GDB 18.0: MORNING MADNESS

Jason Gregor
November 09 2013 09:06AM

Yesterday at 4:45 p.m. news broke that the Oilers had traded Ladislav Smid to Calgary, and a half hour later the Ilya Bryzgalov signing became official. Some wondered if the two deals were connected. I believe they were, but not just for financial reasons.

Trading Smid freed up $2.786 million in cap space for the remainder of the season, and $3.5 mill cap hit for the following three years, while Ilya Bryzgalov was signed for $1.75 million, which starting today is $1.393 million in actual cap space. The Oilers could have signed Bryzgalov to that deal without moving Smid; however, I do see a connection between the moves.

The Oilers aren't making the playoffs this season. The coaches and players won't think that way, as they should, but in making these moves I believe Craig MacTavish recognizes the disappointing reality that the Oilers are already 12 points out of a playoff spot.

I expect the Oilers to be better in their final 65 games, but they won't go 38-17-6 in their final 65 (which would give them 92 points).

An hour after making the deal, MacTavish stated that he felt the Oilers had more depth on the blueline, and he expected Oscar Klefbom or Darnell Nurse to be two possibilities to replace Smid's size. Klefbom is 6'3" while Nurse is 6'4", but neither will replace Smid right now. Both of them will push for a roster spot next season, although Klefbom likely will get some games near the end of this season.

MacTavish made this move with the long-term future in mind, more than the short term, and I believe the Bryzgalov move was also made with the bigger picture in mind.

MacTavish is hoping Bryzgalov can come in and either out perform Devan Dubnyk, or push him to play better. That helps right now, but more importantly he needs solid goaltending so his players can taste some success. I don't see the Bryzgalov signing as a big risk. He can't be worse than what they have, and despite some of his past comments, I doubt he will be a bad influence in the dressing room.

The Oilers are finally starting to get comfortable with Dallas Eakins system, and if they can get some victories they are more likely to buy in even more and should enter next season more comfortable in their overall game. For that to happen they need better goaltending.

The Oilers outplayed Tampa Bay on Thursday, one of the better teams in the league, but they lost. We all saw the need to try and improve the goaltending right away, but I feel that MacTavish also did it with an eye on next season.

Eakins isn't getting fired, and next year will be the first time in four seasons that the Oilers won't have to learn a new system. They will enter a season with some actual continuity and understanding of their system. They won't need 10, 15 or 50 games to get comfortable with their new coach.

The Oilers need to have a strong second half. They will get more comfortable in the system, and if they can win some games down the stretch, at least they will end the season with some confidence.

These trades were about the big picture, and the Smid move also gave MacTavish some cap flexibility so he can make even more moves leading up to the trade deadline.

SMID TRADE...

The Oilers lose this trade today; because Roman Horak and Laurent Brossoit are both prospects and there is no guarantee either one of them will ever play. They won't help the Oilers today. It is fair to question why MacTavish made the move, but I believe he made it to get some cap flexibility short term and long term, and he felt Smid was expendable.

Smid was their best shot blocker and most physical defender. He will be missed. Despite his offensive shortcomings, no one ever questioned his willingness and desire. He competed, and he was sick of losing. He was well-liked in the dressing room, and he really enjoyed living in Edmonton. I know being a good guy off the ice, doesn't always coincide with victories on the ice, but the community will miss him. I

On a personal note, I enjoyed interacting with Smid. He was always throwing out barbs and chirps. He would chirp anyone and he was always smiling, even when he was pissed off. A part of me feels bad for Smid, because he is leaving one rebuild for another. I don't see him racking up a lot of wins in Calgary and being on a losing team for that long must start to wear on a guy.

At the same time I don't think Smid's departure is a major blow to the Oilers. They will miss his competitiveness and shot-blocking abilities, but Andrew Ference plays the same game, and if Klefbom is ready next season he has more overall upside.

I also don't think Taylor Fedun's play led to the Smid trade. Craig MacTavish said he had been discussing this deal with the Flames for a few weeks. Smid's puck moving ability was a concern for the team, especially in Dallas Eakins' new system.

TODAY'S GAME....

The Oilers and Flyers are the poster boys for underachieving so far this season. The Oilers sit in the basement of the western conference, while the Flyers are a disappointing 2nd last in the east. The Flyers only have nine points.

Claude Giroux has 0 goals in 15 games. Scott Hartnell has 1 point in 11 games. Wayne Simmonds and Jacob Voracek each have 1 goal in 15 games.

Giroux had 41 goals and 140 points in his previous 125 games.
Hartnell had 45 goals and 75 points in his previous 114 games.
Simmonds had 43 goals and 81 points in his previous 127 games.
Voracek had 40 goals and 85 points in his previous 126 games.

The Flyers are struggling because their best forwards can't produce.

Flyers analyst Steve Coates told me yesterday that the Flyers are an extremely fragile team right now. When something goes wrong in a game they unravel, and they haven't been able to overcome adversity.

Despite below average goaltending and some five-star giveaways the Oilers haven't folded their tents, except for the brutal Detroit game, so far this season. The Oilers have at least battled throughout the majority of their games.

The Oilers need to attack the Flyers right away. Score first and see if the Flyers will wilt. Eventually Giroux, Hartnell, Simmonds and Voracek are going to start scoring, the Oilers have to try and delay that inevitability for at least one more game.

LINEUP...

Perron-Nugent-Hopkins-Eberle
Hall-Gagner-Hemsky
Joensuu-Gordon-Arcobello
Gazdic-Smyth-Yakupov

The fourth line could also include Ryan Jones or Wil Acton. Those players rotated in and out during yesterday's practice.

David Perron and Jesse Joensuu will return to the lineup, and the Oilers will dress their healthiest forward group of the season. If you switched Yakupov for Arcobello, the top three lines would be what most projected them to be, but Arcobello has earned the right to stay in the top-nine.

If the Oilers can stay healthy, Eakins will finally have the option to move guys in and out, or up and down the lineup based on performance.

Ference-Petry
Belov-Larsen
N.Schultz-Fedun

Dubnyk

The D pairs could also change with Anton Belov replacing Smid. The Oilers backend isn't very big or physical, but the Oilers feel they can move the puck quickly, and that should allow their fast, skilled forwards to generate offence.

MORNING GLORY....

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Flyers and Oilers will each get a point. This one ends in a SO, and the Oilers get the bonus point in a 4-3 win.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Wanye and many others miss the first period. Wanye slept in because he spent three hours talking to babes on line after returning home from the bar. Unlike Chip from Napolean Dynamite, none of Wanye's babes lived in the same country, however, so there will be no nuptials in his immediate future. But he will SQUEEEEEEEE when Eberle scores in the 2nd period.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Fedun scores for the third consecutive game. His comeback story just gets better and better as he becomes the first D-man in the expansion era to score a goal in his first three NHL games. Fedun was the first D-man to score in his first two games since, Marcus Ragnarsson in 1995/1996. (Thanks to Elias Sports Bureau for getting me that answer.)

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR 

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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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#201 Alsker
November 09 2013, 01:38PM
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Wow another very borderline call, refs fear for lives from Philly fans...anyone see QSB today, odd. Ok just for him, "time for DD to prove you dont need to be good to get big$ and blows a dump in from center to seal the game. A step closer to lotto heaven".

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#202 DrunkGuyTy
November 09 2013, 01:39PM
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I don't mind Eakins but I would love to see an Oilers coach fly off the handle after one of these stupid calls. Can someone please look like they give a sh!t ... just once.

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#203 Spydyr
November 09 2013, 01:39PM
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Wow just wow.

That would be it for me as GM Dubnyk on waivers.That would free up some cap room if he got picked up.Like that would happen.

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#204 Reg Dunlop
November 09 2013, 01:39PM
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My take on DD today, the 3rd goal was his once per game weak goal. We can not, however, pin this loss on him. This one is on the 10 players that were no-shows, Eberle who is such a cute little fellow but is too small and is weak as a kitten, and Ryan Smyth who should retire.

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#205 Alsker
November 09 2013, 01:39PM
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Oops I meant down early top half of the net wide open again.

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#206 Bob
November 09 2013, 01:40PM
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DrunkGuyTy wrote:

I don't mind Eakins but I would love to see an Oilers coach fly off the handle after one of these stupid calls. Can someone please look like they give a sh!t ... just once.

Exactly!! he's useless...

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#207 bazmagoo
November 09 2013, 01:40PM
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Now the Oilers will be flying, with 3 minutes left in the game down by two goals. Can someone tell me where the effort level is at the beginning of the game?

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#208 Bucknuck
November 09 2013, 01:40PM
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and to think I had been defending Dubnyk all bloody summer. He sucks. He just really sucks. He is a big bag of Suck. I'm so mad at his level of suckiness. I can't even describe his suck it sucks so bad.

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#209 Rheal1
November 09 2013, 01:40PM
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4-2 Thank you DD. We love you:)

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#210 James
November 09 2013, 01:41PM
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One step forward, 2-3 steps back every single time. God this team is trying to watch.

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#211 Spydyr
November 09 2013, 01:42PM
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It does not matter if you are 6'6" if your always on your knees.

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#212 Rheal1
November 09 2013, 01:42PM
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Bob wrote:

your an idiot

Thanks for the insult. Since you're so f-nnin' smart, figure out this mess for us all.

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#213 Spaz
November 09 2013, 01:43PM
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Lets call a time-out to prolong this shame. You're not going to tie it with 30 seconds left.

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#214 Spydyr
November 09 2013, 01:43PM
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Bucknuck wrote:

and to think I had been defending Dubnyk all bloody summer. He sucks. He just really sucks. He is a big bag of Suck. I'm so mad at his level of suckiness. I can't even describe his suck it sucks so bad.

Welcome to the ever growing Dubnyks gotta go team.

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#215 Soccer Steve
November 09 2013, 01:44PM
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The Bryzgalov naysayers are making it eerily quiet in here.

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#216 James
November 09 2013, 01:44PM
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Are we officially last yet? *cries*

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#217 Bob
November 09 2013, 01:44PM
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Spaz wrote:

Why does trading Hall for a Norris winner make you an idiot?

lets see what other people think. props if you would trade Hall for Subban. Trash if you wouldn't

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#218 Johnnydapunk
November 09 2013, 01:45PM
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Such a giant man who plays so tiny in the net, Dubnyk you gong show.....

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#219 Bucknuck
November 09 2013, 01:45PM
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I want to break stuff.

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#220 Spydyr
November 09 2013, 01:45PM
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What happened to the accountability they talked so much about?

You goalie has cost you many games this year but he is still not sent down.Send a message waive his a$$

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#221 Spaz
November 09 2013, 01:46PM
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James wrote:

Are we officially last yet? *cries*

I think Buffalo is still worse in the standings, but they're still in selloff mode not we've been rebuilding for almost a decade. But we're totally killing it in the 'moral victory' dept.

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#222 quintana
November 09 2013, 01:46PM
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What a joke this team is........sad.

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#223 Rob...
November 09 2013, 01:46PM
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This reffing is sickening. Don't they know the Oilers are perfectly capable of losing the game on their own?

I'd bag-skate the Oilers tomorrow, then hold an hour long Goldilocks Passing drill. Teaching them to pass the puck, not too hard, and not too soft, and freaking make sure the enemy is nowhere around where you're sending the fraggin puck! Shouldn't they know this already? Time for ol' 6-rings to start demanding salary back from all of the players.

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#224 sizzler
November 09 2013, 01:46PM
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I give up.

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#225 Bloodsweatandoil
November 09 2013, 01:47PM
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The Dyingsty keeps chugging....

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#226 Spydyr
November 09 2013, 01:47PM
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Bob wrote:

lets see what other people think. props if you would trade Hall for Subban. Trash if you wouldn't

Trash poll I love it.

I would trade anyone on the team not named Hall or Nuge for Subban.

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#227 Spaz
November 09 2013, 01:47PM
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Bob wrote:

lets see what other people think. props if you would trade Hall for Subban. Trash if you wouldn't

It's probably going to be a bit biased on this website but I doubt Habs nation would make that trade if offered.

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#228 Bob
November 09 2013, 01:48PM
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Rheal1 wrote:

Thanks for the insult. Since you're so f-nnin' smart, figure out this mess for us all.

Do you really think we need another offensive defenceman? Do you really think he's worth our best player?

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#229 Smokey
November 09 2013, 01:48PM
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Eakins is reasonable coach I think. But this team needs someone to install confidence. Pat Quinn anyone? Oh right, we discarded him cause he was outta touch with todays current player...My ass. Eakins lost the room 2 weeks ago, the kids quit. Then they trade a heart and soul guy, who predicted someone would get traded to the dark side which will help their rebuild. Then they signed a cosmonaut to tend goal cause the giraffe who's currently tending hasn't got it between the ears and cost this team probably ten times this season.

I watch the games to test my Oilers allegiance, but this is painful.

Katz should sell this team to someone with a pulse.

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#230 James
November 09 2013, 01:49PM
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@Spaz

Moral victories. Huzzah? *still cries*

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#231 Rheal1
November 09 2013, 01:49PM
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Spydyr wrote:

What happened to the accountability they talked so much about?

You goalie has cost you many games this year but he is still not sent down.Send a message waive his a$$

Not gonna happen. One hour ago on CHED MacT just stated that "Dooby will get many opportunities". Just like Desharnais in Montreal; carry the shame 'til golf day in April...

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#232 D-Unit
November 09 2013, 01:49PM
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Why does Dubnyk wear skates? He could just walk out on the ice at the start of the game and go into the butterfly and not move, it's all he does anyhow.

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#233 Bob
November 09 2013, 01:49PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Trash poll I love it.

I would trade anyone on the team not named Hall or Nuge for Subban.

No Sh*t. He said Taylor Hall though...

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#234 Alsker
November 09 2013, 01:49PM
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Philly got 4 bhawks get...wheres the over/under going to be set..? Thank god there's NFL tomorrow, anything to take my mind off this sh*tshow.

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#235 Serious Gord
November 09 2013, 01:50PM
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Sole possession of 29th place.

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#236 Spydyr
November 09 2013, 01:51PM
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Bob wrote:

No Sh*t. He said Taylor Hall though...

And I voted trash.Then put my two cents in.

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#237 Rheal1
November 09 2013, 01:51PM
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Smokey wrote:

Eakins is reasonable coach I think. But this team needs someone to install confidence. Pat Quinn anyone? Oh right, we discarded him cause he was outta touch with todays current player...My ass. Eakins lost the room 2 weeks ago, the kids quit. Then they trade a heart and soul guy, who predicted someone would get traded to the dark side which will help their rebuild. Then they signed a cosmonaut to tend goal cause the giraffe who's currently tending hasn't got it between the ears and cost this team probably ten times this season.

I watch the games to test my Oilers allegiance, but this is painful.

Katz should sell this team to someone with a pulse.

Poor fans..... MacT also stated that "change is a by-product". Pretty bold, no?????

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#238 Mikey
November 09 2013, 01:51PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Trash poll I love it.

I would trade anyone on the team not named Hall or Nuge for Subban.

So you would only trade Hall or Nuge? I am confused.

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#239 Spydyr
November 09 2013, 01:52PM
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Mikey wrote:

So you would only trade Hall or Nuge? I am confused.

Opps typo I'll go back and fix it.Thanks

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#240 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
November 09 2013, 01:52PM
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How do we know that the call on Gagner was a bad call?.....because the call was hitting from behind....and EVERYBODY knows Gagner doesn't hit!

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#241 Smokey
November 09 2013, 01:53PM
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Soccer Steve wrote:

The Bryzgalov naysayers are making it eerily quiet in here.

Dubnyk may not have it between the ears to become the goalie we want, but the matter between Cosmo's ears is scrambled. This shyte is about to get real. Welcome to the Twighlight Zone...

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#242 KLIR
November 09 2013, 01:53PM
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The results so far this year are what happen if you hire a rookie GM who hires a rookie coach to coach a rookie team. Whose fault, Kevin Lowe is to blame and should suffer the consequences.

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#243 Spydyr
November 09 2013, 01:54PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

How do we know that the call on Gagner was a bad call?.....because the call was hitting from behind....and EVERYBODY knows Gagner doesn't hit!

He must have tripped.

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#244 Spydyr
November 09 2013, 01:54PM
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KLIR wrote:

The results so far this year are what happen if you hire a rookie GM who hires a rookie coach to coach a rookie team. Whose fault, Kevin Lowe is to blame and should suffer the consequences.

Exactly.

Don't forget to then handcuff your rookie coach with lousy assistant coaches not of his choosing.

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#245 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
November 09 2013, 01:54PM
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Bucknuck wrote:

and to think I had been defending Dubnyk all bloody summer. He sucks. He just really sucks. He is a big bag of Suck. I'm so mad at his level of suckiness. I can't even describe his suck it sucks so bad.

Ditto.....I was a supporter too....I was wrong! Bring on Bryz!

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#246 Spaz
November 09 2013, 01:55PM
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The saddest thing about this game was that the game after MacT sells off Smid to get a replacement for DD that's the performance we get. Devan your job is on the line and you give up 4 goals on the lowest scoring offense in the league. BOLD STATEMENT.

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#247 Spydyr
November 09 2013, 01:56PM
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Smokey wrote:

Dubnyk may not have it between the ears to become the goalie we want, but the matter between Cosmo's ears is scrambled. This shyte is about to get real. Welcome to the Twighlight Zone...

At least we have some entertainment as the team plummets in the standing for the eighth straight year.

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#248 Rheal1
November 09 2013, 01:57PM
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Bob wrote:

Do you really think we need another offensive defenceman? Do you really think he's worth our best player?

Who are you "Bob"? Scott Howson? How much will you pay me Scott for that answer?

Stupid f***

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#249 Alsker
November 09 2013, 01:57PM
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Rob... wrote:

This reffing is sickening. Don't they know the Oilers are perfectly capable of losing the game on their own?

I'd bag-skate the Oilers tomorrow, then hold an hour long Goldilocks Passing drill. Teaching them to pass the puck, not too hard, and not too soft, and freaking make sure the enemy is nowhere around where you're sending the fraggin puck! Shouldn't they know this already? Time for ol' 6-rings to start demanding salary back from all of the players.

Agreed, but you are assuming that kLowe is actually seeing whats happening. He's fathered this team to where they are at. MacT keeps talking change, it must start at the top, a new perspective/view/philosophy is seriously required. I fear as long as kLowe peers over everyones shoulders we are destined for more and more threads like this. Now back to the beer fridge.

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#250 Spydyr
November 09 2013, 01:57PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

Ditto.....I was a supporter too....I was wrong! Bring on Bryz!

Welcome aboard the Dubnyks gotta go team sit down have a beer or ten.

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