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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#151 Spaz
November 09 2013, 01:17PM
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What a joke.

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#152 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
November 09 2013, 01:19PM
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Arcobello playing miles ahead of Sam Gagner at this point in time.....setting up plays...delivering BIG hits....

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#153 Soccer Steve
November 09 2013, 01:19PM
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A freezeframe of that could be posted on Shanny's office wall with a caption saying: "The perfect hit in my NHL".

So, yeah, game mis for Belov makes sense.

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#154 Spaz
November 09 2013, 01:20PM
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The hockey gods owe us a short handed goal for that call.

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#155 Reg Dunlop
November 09 2013, 01:20PM
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Hall looks like he may have spent last night at the bar.

For anyone thinking that size doesn't matter, watch Eberle. If the smaller player is as committed, is quicker to change direction and is faster from point A to B then size is not relevant. However, big, mean NHLers in today's NHL are just as fast, quick and motivated. This isn't 1980 when slewfoots like Brad Marsh populated rosters. All else being +/- equal size is the determining factor. The oil will remain detritus feeders until more than 1 of the dwarfs are converted into actual men.

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#156 ubermiguel
November 09 2013, 01:21PM
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Lesson learned from Giroux today: every time you get hit whip your head back to draw a penalty.

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#157 Rheal1
November 09 2013, 01:29PM
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3-1 Flyers. This game is officially over. Is a loser of a team was MacT's idea of a "bold move"?

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#158 DevoKnows
November 09 2013, 01:29PM
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Your welcome Giroux!!!!

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#159 ubermiguel
November 09 2013, 01:33PM
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OK Hall, glad you weren't benched.

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#160 Bob
November 09 2013, 01:36PM
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Rheal1 wrote:

Taylor hall for PK Subban straight up!!!

your an idiot

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#161 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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#162 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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#163 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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#164 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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#165 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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#166 quintana
November 09 2013, 01:46PM
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What a joke this team is........sad.

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#167 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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#168 sizzler
November 09 2013, 01:46PM
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I give up.

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#169 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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#170 Serious Gord
November 09 2013, 01:50PM
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Sole possession of 29th place.

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#171 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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#172 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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#173 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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#174 Reg Dunlop
November 09 2013, 01:57PM
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The oil will feel a little heat after a Philly no-show,try hard in Chicago and the Blackhawks will play just hard enough to win tomorrow leading media and many fans to chalk it up as a moral victory with many positive signs. 'They played one of the NHL's elite straight up. They have the potential, they only need consistency.' This is just an illusion. This edition of the oil is possibly the worst team I have ever seen in 45 years of watching the NHL. The other horrid teams were expansion clubs or WHA squads new to the league. No excuses for Edmonton. Changes gotta come.

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#175 Spaz
November 09 2013, 01:59PM
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@Reg Dunlop

Khabibulin shuts out the oilers.

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#176 Spydyr
November 09 2013, 02:02PM
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Joe wrote:

I wonder if Edmonton Oilers could beat a good AHL team

If this was soccer they would have been relegated years ago.

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#177 Spydyr
November 09 2013, 02:20PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

Actually......I am a retired Rocket Scientist.......and I did approve his comment.....

Funny I am a rocket surgeon.As Grapes would say.

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#178 Reg Dunlop
November 09 2013, 02:21PM
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vetinari wrote:

Remember the Simpsons episode where Homer gets the Denver Broncos as a gift from Hank Scipio for running his nuclear power plant and Homer says to Marge (when she asks him "aren't you happy with your gift"), "Oh Marge, you know nothing about football..."?

The Oilers remind me of the old Denver Broncos right now...

I don't know much about the Simpsons but comparing the oil to the Broncos? I can think of 2 seasons where Denver has been really bad since I began following NFL. The year before they got Elway and 3 years ago. I can't even remember when the oil were good.

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#179 Bucknuck
November 09 2013, 02:22PM
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Ed in Edmonton wrote:

Thought the Oil's top two centers were brutal. RNH looked half asleep and Ganger is Ganger. Arcabello was the Oil's best forward and should be out back at center. Likely no room for Gagner if he can't get it turned around soon.

Agreed on Gagner and Arco. Arco and Hall have been the best Oilers on a lot of nights. Gagner needs to sit some more, and I like Gagner a lot.

The list of Oilers players who looked good is pretty darn short, though.

Arco; Hall; Eberle; Larsen

I think that's it. Everyone else was asleep.

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#180 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
November 09 2013, 02:28PM
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Spaz wrote:

Batman's a scientist.

And a Damn Fine One Spaz!

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#181 Quicksilver ballet
November 09 2013, 02:33PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Why so happy? What do you know that we don't know? Did they fire Lowe?

Every dark cloud has a silver lining.

Now that the selloff has begun. Maybe they can move Gagner now, since Archobello has shown he's every bit as capable to do what Gags does on this team.

Imagine the capspace going into the summer with Gags,Hemsky,N.Schultz,Smid and Dubnyks coin coming off the books. Adding another top 3 selection, along with Darnell Nurse to next yrs lineup. Imagine the opportunities they'd have with that much space. There'd even be plenty of room in there for Brinks Weber along with Steve Ott.

Success while failing, it's what we do best. Eakins sure looks like he's way in over his head. He doesn't have a clue. Good thing he totally ruined Yakupovs confidence, he could sure use a goal or two a game scorer now. Guess MacT can't fix stupid when it comes to our coach. Krueger never pointed fingers when this happened last season. Dallas already appears to be reaching for excuses.

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#182 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
November 09 2013, 02:34PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Burp!!!

BRRRRRRAAAAP!............I'm nine beers in.........

Wheres Smid?.......is he injured or something?

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#183 Walter Sobchak
November 09 2013, 02:37PM
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Stauffer was calling this game a "must win" after last game & during his Propaganda show yesterday, I wonder how he's going to spin this?

Not much left to say after all you fine folk, just a couple things, your down a goal and you have Gordon, Smyth & Larssen out there?

PP sucks & PK is brutal....this is on the coach's, the flat play, on the coach's and players.

I'm not sure what made Eakins a better candidate then the coach in OKC but........well there you have it.

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#184 NorthernPride
November 09 2013, 02:44PM
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Dubnyk has lost his game. I was on his side but after this game it's clear to me he has lost his game. Short side from 20 feet out at the goal line? Complete garbage Dubby. I hope with all my heart that Bryzgolav comes in with his A game.

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#185 cubsfan
November 09 2013, 02:45PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

Stauffer was calling this game a "must win" after last game & during his Propaganda show yesterday, I wonder how he's going to spin this?

Not much left to say after all you fine folk, just a couple things, your down a goal and you have Gordon, Smyth & Larssen out there?

PP sucks & PK is brutal....this is on the coach's, the flat play, on the coach's and players.

I'm not sure what made Eakins a better candidate then the coach in OKC but........well there you have it.

can we send Eakins to OKC for a conditioning stint?

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#186 Spydyr
November 09 2013, 02:54PM
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Rheal1 wrote:

PLEASE GOD MAKE BRYZGALOV A WINNER. PLEASE GOD MAKE BRYZGALOV A WINNER. PLEASE GOD MAKE BRYZGALOV A WINNER. PLEASE GOD MAKE BRYZGALOV A WINNER. PLEASE GOD MAKE BRYZGALOV A WINNER. PLEASE GOD MAKE BRYZGALOV A WINNER. PLEASE GOD MAKE BRYZGALOV A WINNER. PLEASE GOD MAKE BRYZGALOV A WINNER. PLEASE GOD MAKE BRYZGALOV A WINNER. PLEASE GOD MAKE BRYZGALOV A WINNER. PLEASE GOD MAKE BRYZGALOV A WINNER. PLEASE GOD MAKE BRYZGALOV A WINNER. PLEASE GOD MAKE BRYZGALOV A WINNER. PLEASE GOD MAKE BRYZGALOV A WINNER. PLEASE GOD MAKE BRYZGALOV A WINNER. PLEASE GOD MAKE BRYZGALOV A WINNER.

Or this team will tank again. Same time next year & the same result, Katz better move this loser away.

Did the Oilers finally make you snap?

Redrum,redrum, redrum.Wiggles fingers.

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#187 Spydyr
November 09 2013, 02:55PM
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Jerod wrote:

You posters will never see another Stanley Cup with the Oilers in it.

Thanks for coming we were missing our regular troll

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#188 Jerod
November 09 2013, 03:00PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Thanks for coming we were missing our regular troll

I was going to say playoffs but then I thought you would think I'm a troll.

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#189 Quicksilver ballet
November 09 2013, 03:27PM
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@Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

Mmmmmmmmm Face Titious with D cups...

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Suddenly a weight has been lifted off my shoulders...

What were we talking about again?

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#190 Alsker
November 09 2013, 03:30PM
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Ok, there is no stat to judge a persons heart, willingness,character,desire or will to win and since that is what we appear to have none of on the Oil it only leaves drunken conspiracy theories: kBlowe in fear of losing his "great" winning reputation desides it is time for he and his wife to spend more time doing community work instead. The Smid deal is to make Feaster look good so we can lure Burke out of the city of cows to take over this craplot and turn it around.

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#191 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
November 09 2013, 03:38PM
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Chris. wrote:

Today I could not force myself to watch the game all the way through without using the fast forward. I keep selling more and more of my seasons tickets to total strangers. I no longer visit Oilersnation, Copper and Blue, Lowetide, Black Dog, MC79, Cult Of Hockey, Hockey Buzz, or the Oilogosphere on a daily basis. I now rarely comment on any of the content written. (Once a favorite past time of mine) I'm listening to more and more music on the radio. I haven't bothered to watch the first episode of Oil Change Season 4 because I no longer care to have a behind the scenes look at yet another coaching change, high draft selection, and rhetoric filled training camp...

Honest reader; before you hit Trash it; please understand that I didn't jump off the bandwagon... The bandwagon itself has finally disintegrated to the point that I, like many others, have been unwillingly thrown clear; left standing on the side of the road, badly wounded, unable to help those still trapped on the smoldering wreckage as it wildly plummets toward certain disaster.

I think I'll take up jogging.

Join team "Get Rid of Dubnyk"....you can have up to 10 beers on one membership............(sweet part is memberships are free)

And I get ya....I used to really look forward to Oil Change....now I don't watch it...........but jogging?....really?....does a brisk walk to the liquor barn count?

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#192 PO'D oilers fan
November 09 2013, 03:52PM
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What I don't get about the smid trade is what they got in return ... could they not have traded the two goalies then smid for a first if not a second round draft pick??? I'm upset it was smid to go but even more upset of what they got in return...

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#193 Bryzarro World
November 09 2013, 04:27PM
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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?

Where are these defencemen you speak of?

Do we have any that won a Norris? That can score? No? Ok... stfu Our best player hasn't done jack... I wouldn't trade him but only an idiot would respond the way you did.

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#194 Kirk Brakenberry
November 09 2013, 09:25AM
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Robin, what is it you wanted to say? Smid was a warrior for this team it is sad that he will not be here when they start to see success...they will see success right...right??? I am not sure our best path is to hope to new young d men our the answer. We need to move one of the young guns to get proven studd dmen. None of them should be untouchable in this quest.

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#195 Alsker
November 09 2013, 10:15AM
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Its unfortuneate that Bryz didnt fly into the city of brotherly hatred to meet the team, and go thru the pregame skate with them. The frenzy it would have caused may have shook Holmgren into doing something foolish. And it would have given Gene lots and lots of material to annoy us with all game...lol

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#196 Kim
November 09 2013, 10:17AM
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Having no confidence in your goalie kills a team, players believe they cannot win. So I understand their desperate move to get Bryzgalov. Other goalies were probably too high of a price.

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#197 Grant Fuhrer
November 09 2013, 10:25AM
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Last time the Oilers played an afternoon game I ate waffles for breakfast then headed to the CTC to watch them pick up an ugly W against the Sens.

I just made waffles. Here we go...

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#198 Rama Lama
November 09 2013, 10:37AM
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I'm a little surprised at myself.........I for one have not missed J.Schultz and hardly noticed that he is MIA.

I'm hoping that it was his injury that made him nearly invisible in his last few games.

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#199 bazmagoo
November 09 2013, 10:43AM
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@Kim

"Having no confidence in your goalie kills a team, players believe they cannot win."

Anyone who's played hockey at any level knows how true this is.

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#200 Johnnydapunk
November 09 2013, 10:50AM
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lucky wrote:

So what up with LaBarbera? Does he need waived to report to OKC, or are they going to carry a three headed monster again?

He is going to have to clear waivers with the small hope that someone will pick him up. The Flames did the same with Joey MacDonald a week or so back.

I'm guessing he will go down to OKC and toil there until his contract is up.

Also think it is a 4 headed monster as Bachman is still up but on IR :-)

Not wanting to get anyone's hopes up, but the last time the Oil had a 4 headed goalie monster (Morrison, Conklin, Markkanen, and Roloson) that eventually turned to a three headed monster was the 2005-06 season where they made it to the Finals.

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