GDB 26.0: PESKY PREDATORS

Jason Gregor
November 28 2013 12:43PM

When Pekka Rinne went downwith a hip injury on October 22nd, many expected the Predators to stumble down the standings. Rinne started nine of their first ten games compiling a 4-4-1 record. Carter Hutton started one game prior to Rinne's injury and he won. When Rinne went down the Predators expected Hutton to be their starter, however, he has struggled in seven starts, going 3-3-1 and allowing at least three goals in every game except one.

Twenty-two year old, Marek Mazanec has taken the job from Hutton. Mazanec was drafted in the 6th round of the 2012 draft, and after playing five games in the AHL he was recalled to Nashville when Rinne was injured. He's played exceptionally well going 5-3 with a solid 2.01 GAA and 0.935 SV% and two shutouts.

The Predators always find a way to stay competitive. Over the past 73 games they've lost their 2nd best D-man, Ryan Suter, and their starting goalie and had to replace them from within. Most teams would be crippled losing key pieces like that, but the Predators are only six points out of the playoffs with a game in hand.

They don't use injuries or free agent losses as an excuse. They just keep finding ways to stay competitive. Head coach Barry Trotz rarely ices a lineup that has as much skill as the opposition, but he and GM David Poile find players who buy in and work hard every night.
 
The Predators don't complain they just find ways to stay competitive.

Tonight is a good challenge for the Oilers to see if they can match the work ethic, competitiveness and discipline of the Predators. The Oilers have more offensive skill than the Predators, but they haven't learned how to beat teams when their skill isn't effective.

They could learn how to be competitive from the Predators tonight, and hopefully match their intensity as well.

LINEUP

Hall-RNH-Eberle
Yakupov-Gagner-Hemsky
Smyth-Gordon-Perron
Jones-Arcobello-Joensuu

Ference-Petry
Grebeshkov-J.Schultz
Belov-N.Schultz

Bryzgalov

Wil Acton, Luke Gazdic and Corey Potter are out while Ryan Jones, Marc Arcobello and Denis Grebeshkov draw in. I'm curious to see if Dallas Eakins gives him 4th line more minutes, and how Arcobello plays with only 9-11 minutes. It is very difficult for most guys to stay in the game, when they play limited minutes, and if Arcobello can excel in that role I doubt he comes out of the lineup very soon.

QUICK HITS....

  • The only way Shea Weber gets traded is if he asks for a trade. He is the face of the Predators and after losing Suter, and paying Weber $26 million dollars to play 130 games by the end of the season; the Preds have no interest in moving their star D-man.
     
  • If Mazanec continues to play this well, he might be someone the Preds could shop to acquire some offence. They have been great at developing young D-men, but for some reason they can't develop any young forwards.
     
  • The Oilers are 5-9-1 in their last 14 visits to Nashville. If they don't work hard tonight, they will get beat.
     
  • Joensuu needs to play with more intensity. He has done nothing since scoring on opening night. He's had flashes, but since returning from injury he hasn't had the same jump in his game.
     
  • The RNH line has to rebound after a dreadful performance at home. They didn't generate many chances, and seemed frustrated early on. They have to find ways to produce when their tic-tac-toe plays aren't working.

GAME DAY PREDICTION: Preds work hard, and defeat the Oilers 4-3 in OT.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION:
Arcobello scores and those who were irate he was a healthy scratch for four games, feel some vindication. Oilers fans need something to feel good about.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Ryan Jones has been frustrated sitting in the pressbox, and he tries to make a statement to the coach by having a spirited tilt with Nick Spaling in the first period. It is a pretty even tilt, until the end when Jones lands an off-balance right hand that hits Spaling on the button. Jones who rarely says much on the ice, will sit in the sin bin with a huge grin on his face while he and the timekeepers talk about his time with the Predators.

MONTH OF GIVING RETURNS....

My third annual Month of Giving begins today on my show. In the past two years we've raised over $106,000 for Christmas charities to help those in need. I'm starting a bit early because I will miss a few days with the birth of our first child in the next few weeks, but I wanted to ensure we come close, or surpass, $53,000 again.

This year I've gathered some excellent auction items: 

  • Michelle Derk from Remax Elite has donated her “seller’s commission” on a house.
  • A high efficiency furnace or Central air conditioning system including permits and installation and removal of old furnace from G&H Heating and Cooling.
  • I have some dinner packages with Eskimos and Oilers…
  • Rush VIP package…MFC VIP package…
  • Signed Messier jersey, and other signed jerseys…
  • Golf packages, jewellery, Oil King Suites…Gold seats to Oiler games
  • $1,500 GC for Dinette and Patio Showcase..
  • $1,000 GC from United Cycle…
  • Shopping spree at Derks clothing and dinner….
  • And more...

TODAY'S ITEM....

  • A one year lease on a brand new 2014 GMC Sierra SLE courtesy of Petersen Buick GMC.

    It is a 1500 4x4 Double Cab...
    Heated front bucket seats...
    Back up camera...
    Intellilink...
    You can get in Black, Stealth Grey or Silver.
    You need to start your one year lease by the end of January, 2014. 

You can bid by calling 780.444.1260 or 1-800-243-1945 between 2-6 p.m. today during the Jason Gregor Show.

Thanks in advance to all who will bid on these packages over the next few weeks. 100% of the money raised goes directly to the charities, and know that you will be making some people's lives much more enjoyable during the holidy season.

I'm hoping we can reach $60,000 this year.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR 

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#1 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
November 28 2013, 08:04PM
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So thats what a goalie looks like. Who knew?

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#2 cain
November 28 2013, 01:10PM
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I want to see the "Kids" play like they are being paid 6 million dollars per year.

I don't want to hear about how they are learning, or how they just weren't quite ready at the start of the game, or even how they played well at times and just made a couple of costly mistakes.

6 million dollars a year.

Earn it.Now.

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#3 doubleA34
November 28 2013, 08:12PM
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Arco is playing pretty well tonight, Dallas will probably reward him by making him a healthy scratch next game.

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#4 God
November 28 2013, 08:17PM
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"Rich Klune! He came in the kitchen.... but he couldn't eat."

Worst commentating ever! Roger's Sportsnet, your leaders in hockey coverage!

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#5 God
November 28 2013, 07:50PM
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Joensuu - Arco - Jones is a great 4th line! I'm loving it. They can actually cycle & keep the puck in the opponent zone!

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#6 God
November 28 2013, 08:34PM
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Oilers playing their 4th line with less than a minute to go. Road shut-out. Decent shut-down road game.

Is this the same team?

I feel like I'm going bipolar.

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#7 YFC Prez
November 28 2013, 08:47PM
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Man BryZ showed up now I'm all high on hopium again. Thank you sir may I have another ?!

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#8 Rod from Viking
November 28 2013, 08:59PM
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God wrote:

Joensuu - Arco - Jones is a great 4th line! I'm loving it. They can actually cycle & keep the puck in the opponent zone!

Why did it take this long for Eakins to figure it out,people on this site suggested this combo for a 4th line on nights you don't need Gazdic for a while. They were a factor all night.

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#9 Sailge
November 28 2013, 01:43PM
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Obvious Game Day Prediction:

Username "Mike Krushelnyski" posts another 100+ comments within 1 minute of the EXACT SAME comment.

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#10 Alsker
November 28 2013, 08:32PM
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Did we just look like a real team again? Very nice game by the Bryzzer

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#11 Spydyr
November 28 2013, 01:13PM
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OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Well duh , Weber gets traded here after the game for Gagner , Omark and Labarbera

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#12 vetinari
November 28 2013, 08:24PM
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Is it wrong to think that if one of the other goalies was in net tonight, the score would likely be 3-2 or something close to that?

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#13 Johnnydapunk
November 28 2013, 08:33PM
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Nobody beats the Bryz!!

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#15 jonny94
November 28 2013, 12:54PM
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It will be interesting to see if the Oilers can bounce back from a loss.

My guess is Bryz stands on his head and Oilers win 3-1 with an empty netter.

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#16 Wax Man Riley
November 28 2013, 09:08PM
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Rod from Viking wrote:

Why did it take this long for Eakins to figure it out,people on this site suggested this combo for a 4th line on nights you don't need Gazdic for a while. They were a factor all night.

They were a factor. Looked really good, actually.

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#17 Mo Playoffs Mo Problems
November 28 2013, 08:31PM
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@God

"Eyes... wide open... with that open... net... looming?!"

Classic Sportsnet West commentary.

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#18 Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate
November 28 2013, 09:11PM
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What did we witness?

Oilers Bryz past Predators?

In my wildest dreams.

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#19 NsxZero
November 28 2013, 12:54PM
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"The RNH line has to rebound after a dreadful performance at home. They didn't generate many chances, and seemed frustrated early on. They have to find ways to produce when their tic-tac-toe plays aren't working."

Yeah I hope it's tic-shoot the puck-crash the net for a rebound-toe.

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#20 Rocket
November 28 2013, 09:19PM
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@Oiler Al

You know who could knock guys down in front of the net? Smid.

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#21 el presidente
November 28 2013, 09:36PM
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TAKING CARE OF BRYZNESS!!! What a save! TAKING CARE OF BRYZNESS!!! We win game!!!!!

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#22 Bryzarro World
November 28 2013, 11:59PM
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bulldog12 wrote:

Bryz Bryz Bryz This is the same guy that couldn't stop a beach ball or keep his mouth shut in Philly They thought so highly of him they paid him a whole bunch of cash just to go away He gets a shutout against an offensive challenged team and now he's a savior Horcoff is gone so now Dubnyk and Gagner are the wiping boys How does Hemsky escape the criticism When was the last time he was not a non factor tonight he was 0 0 0 0 and 1 shot on net Brutal When was the last time he was one of the 3 stars of a game From a vet that should be a leader He should be eating popcorn in the press box

Tell your mom the period button is broken and I'm sure she'll buy you a new keyboard.....

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#23 Dave
November 28 2013, 10:00PM
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We could do a lot worse than Kevin - Louie. For example Calgary's broadcast team or any broadcast featuring Chris Cuthbert.

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#24 Dan 1919
November 28 2013, 09:40PM
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I support Eakins and do not think firing another coach will solve anything, but he needs to get serious, his post game comment tonight regarding who will start in goal against Columbus, “We’ll talk to both guys in the morning, I’m not worried blah blah blah dubnyk had a shutout against columbus blah blah.” Deven Dubnyk has been the main downfall of this team this year, get over the guy and say Bryz will start because he just had an OUTSTANDING SHUTOUT!

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#25 Rod from Viking
November 28 2013, 09:51PM
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hankthetank wrote:

WORST COMMENTATING EVER. Kevins brain keeps taking a dump whenever the oilers enter the o zone. Feel so embarassed for that guy.

Only 12 more years of them, I hope they hire Gord Miller and Ray Ferraro to do Edmonton Games.

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#26 Craig1981
November 28 2013, 01:27PM
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When speaking about how Nashville always competes and wins and giving props to the organization I think one also needs to look at what having one of the top 3-5 d-men in the league on your roster.

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#27 Ducey
November 28 2013, 04:43PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

So one 48 games stretch means they stink...maybe look at bigger picture..Here are last 3 full NHL seasons for Nashville...

2012...playoffs, with 104 points. 2011...playoffs, with 99 points. 2010...playoffs, with 100 points.

Oilers finished 30th, 30th and 29th those three years, but I guess the Preds aren't competitive.

Since 2006 Preds have made playoffs six times, and had 99+ points five times.

You seem to like to argue just for the sake of it. Maybe take a moment to look at history rather than your usual small sample size...

But yes for 48 games Oilers beat them, so clearly Edmonton is more competitive. #facepalm

Oh, and they are already 10 points ahead of Oilers this year, despite losing their starting goalie for 5 weeks.

You indicated the Preds are "always competitive" and "keep finding ways to be competitive".

How is finishing in 4th last for 2012-2013, (just 2 pts out of 29th), and having the worst offense, being "always" competitive?

You entire premise was that NSH somehow managed to stay competitive once they lost Suter. Well, they obviously didn't. They stunk - so bad they were worse than the Oilers.

Now they are currently out of the playoffs again.

If anything is to be learned from NSH its not about effort or coaching genius. Its about playing an extreme defensive system based on the two best D men in the league playing 25 minutes a night. That will keep you "competitive" enough to make the playoffs. It obviously wasn't enough to do much once they got there - which might give you pause to consider whether that set up will work well enough to win a Cup.

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#28 Alsker
November 28 2013, 06:41PM
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Arco showing why he SHOULD be in the lineup...Jschultz is havin a tough one so far

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#29 Oiler Al
November 28 2013, 09:14PM
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Rocket wrote:

One play that illustrates the two teams.

Bryz bobbles the puck and a Nashville player crashes the net with barely pushback by the Oiler players.

Then at the other end, Ryan Smythe gets in the Nashville goalie's kitchen and 3 Nashville players check him knocking the net off.

One team uses physical play, the other hasn't used physicality as intimidation in years.

And as I was typing The Oilers score twice. Shows what I know.

Totally agree with you... Oiler D are softest cup cakes of all defensemen in the league. They could not clear the front of the net if you gave them bobcats instead of hockey sticks.

In fact on one play infront of Oilers own net, Ference gets knock down rather hard... should it not be the other way around... Ference knocking down and clearing the Preds from infront of the Oiler net.

Bryz... safes the day.One thing, he sure moves a lot quicker than Dubby.

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#30 Ducey
November 28 2013, 02:11PM
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The Predators always find a way to stay competitive. Over the past 73 games they've lost their 2nd best D-man, Ryan Suter, and their starting goalie and had to replace them from within. Most teams would be crippled losing key pieces like that, but the Predators are only six points out of the playoffs with a game in hand. They don't use injuries or free agent losses as an excuse. They just keep finding ways to stay competitive. Head coach Barry Trotz rarely ices a lineup that has as much skill as the opposition, but he and GM David Poile find players who buy in and work hard every night. The Predators don't complain they just find ways to stay competitive.

Are you drunk Gregor? :)

Finishing with the 4th worst record (with the worst goals for) in the league last year was "competitive"?

The Oilers with the 7th worst record must have been even more "competitive".

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#31 **
November 28 2013, 09:27PM
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In Bryz we trust. 4th line looked sexy.

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#32 Cool Beans
November 28 2013, 01:08PM
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Yak, Gagner and Hemsky on one line! Holy turnovers

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#33 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
November 28 2013, 02:05PM
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Congrats on the kid, Gregor.

Hope Bryz lights it up tonight.

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#34 EightiesAnyone?
November 28 2013, 02:24PM
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Hockey Problems wrote:

GDP:

Ryan Jones with the hatrick against his former team.

Nice to finally see three semi-competent hockey players on the fourth line. Hope they play well.

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#35 hankthetank
November 28 2013, 09:09PM
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WORST COMMENTATING EVER. Kevins brain keeps taking a dump whenever the oilers enter the o zone. Feel so embarassed for that guy.

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#36 Spydyr
November 28 2013, 01:15PM
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Cool Beans wrote:

Yak, Gagner and Hemsky on one line! Holy turnovers

One has to wonder who will be the first one back. To dig the puck out of their net.

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#37 tileguy
November 28 2013, 02:21PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

One more lose, followed by one more win to close the month off, then the hurt begins, enjoy these last couple games cause I think it’s about to get nasty around here.

OGDP – Oilers lose in typical fashion 3-1.

Eakins does his post-game routine “ I thought we were good to go before the game but it was a little bit of weird game that way, I definitely thought we played better than the score indicated, but giving up that goal I felt was the difference in the game".

I even read that in Eakins voice.

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#38 pkam
November 28 2013, 02:48PM
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We add Ryan Jones back and even call up Grebeshkov from OKC, so we are going with all our Russians and ex-Predators tonight. Wonder how Predators feel if they were beaten by a team loaded with ex-Predators and Russians.

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#39 vetinari
November 28 2013, 06:53PM
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I like Bryzer's calm feet and positioning so far... might encourage the defence to play with a little more fearlessness... good to see Arco back, using his feet and drawing penalties... go, Oilers!

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#40 Johnnydapunk
November 28 2013, 09:11PM
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I had no idea until now that the last goalie to pitch a shoutout in their Oil debut was Jussi Markkanen on 28 Nov 2001 who was maybe not the best goalie out there, but was/is really, really, nice guy. (Useless sidenote I know, but felt like mentioning that) :-)

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#41 tileguy
November 28 2013, 01:25PM
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Exactly JG do you mean by this statement? " Tonight is a good challenge for the Oilers to see if they can match the work ethic, competitiveness and discipline of the Predators."

That's a sad commentary on our team. Fire Klowe.

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#42 OILERSORDEATH
November 28 2013, 01:57PM
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Sorry its going another sleepfest, Oil will lose 3-0.

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#43 I tried it at home
November 28 2013, 08:35PM
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Keep Bryz. Demote Joensuu. Kick Potter to the curb.

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#44 Oiler Al
November 29 2013, 06:20AM
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Rocket wrote:

You know who could knock guys down in front of the net? Smid.

Not a Smid basher, but for his size the guy was pretty soft... more of bear hug type of player... also engaged more often after the whistle than before... great shot blocker..but so are pylons.. seriously was way to slow in clearing pucks... and not a great skater.. nice guy though.

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#45 Rama Lama
November 28 2013, 12:54PM
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Playing on the fourth line is pure disaster when it comes to the Oil........no player including Wayne Gretzky could be effective playing 5 minutes a game. I would have Arco switch places with Gagner ........if results matter to Mr. Bangs.

Gagner is fourth line material due to his skating, but for some reason he figures very high with the Oilers Management.

If the OIlers can start the game shooting and end the game shooting, eventually the hockey gods will reward us with some luck? Is it just me but whenever the opposition shoots there always seems to be a rebound. When we shoot there is NEVER a rebound......or a OIlers player within 20 feet!

We need Philip Larsen back........he moves the puck very efficiently up the ice.........the Oilers should feed him spinach and Pizza ever hour until he starts to gain some weight.

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#46 Walter Sobchak
November 28 2013, 02:09PM
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One more lose, followed by one more win to close the month off, then the hurt begins, enjoy these last couple games cause I think it’s about to get nasty around here.

OGDP – Oilers lose in typical fashion 3-1.

Eakins does his post-game routine “ I thought we were good to go before the game but it was a little bit of weird game that way, I definitely thought we played better than the score indicated, but giving up that goal I felt was the difference in the game".

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#47 Robin Brownlee
November 28 2013, 03:53PM
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@Jason Gregor

Waiting for the comeback on this one.

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#48 Quicksilver ballet
November 28 2013, 08:05PM
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Alsker wrote:

Isn't that from Slapshot? Actually reminds of a time when enforcers did more than the staged fights of today. How I miss the O'reilys,Duponts,Mahovalich's, of yesteryears. Memories......though odds are they'd be suspended more than they would play in todays game.

Lol, in those days, the Oilers came out onto the ice for pre game warm up with Star Wars music blaring.

Late seventies........old time hockey!

Violence = good.

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#49 bulldog12
November 28 2013, 10:16PM
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Bryz Bryz Bryz This is the same guy that couldn't stop a beach ball or keep his mouth shut in Philly They thought so highly of him they paid him a whole bunch of cash just to go away He gets a shutout against an offensive challenged team and now he's a savior Horcoff is gone so now Dubnyk and Gagner are the wiping boys How does Hemsky escape the criticism When was the last time he was not a non factor tonight he was 0 0 0 0 and 1 shot on net Brutal When was the last time he was one of the 3 stars of a game From a vet that should be a leader He should be eating popcorn in the press box

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