GDB 28.0: HURDLING

Lowetide
December 01 2013 08:24AM

The Edmonton Oilers have been tightening their defensive play under coach Dallas Eakins and it does appear to be working. In the club's last 10 games, the goals-against average for DD and Bryz is 2.52 compared to 3.24 for the entire season. The goaltending has improved, but what about the defense? Is it getting better? How can we tell?

BOXCARS

In the last 10 games, the Oilers blue has posted the following boxcar numbers:

  1. Phil Larsen (IR) 5, 0-4-4 -4
  2. Justin Schultz 5, 2-1-3 +3
  3. Corey Potter 6, 0-2-2 -2
  4. Nick Schultz 10, 0-2-2 -1
  5. Denis Grebeshkov 2, 0-1-1 +1
  6. Jeff Petry 10, 0-1-1 +3
  7. Anton Belov 10, 0-1-1 -2
  8. Taylor Fedun 2, 0-0-0 -2
  9. Andrew Ference 10, 0-1-1 -1

It's an interesting look back, we can kind of see the point where  Larsen went on IR and Fedun was sent down, and then the 5 games Schultz the younger has been back has coincided with an uptick in results (funny, that) for the team.

CORSI FOR % (5x5)

In the last 5 games, it's fun to see the list of defensemen who have been on the ice for good things:

  1. Anton Belov 78-62 55.7%
  2. Justin Schultz 66-57 53.6%
  3. Denis Grebeshkov 23-20 53.4%
  4. Jeff Petry 66-58 53.2%
  5. Nick Schultz 60-67 47.2%
  6. Andrew Ference 57-65 46.7%
  7. Corey Potter 30-44 40.5%

This is from Extra skater, and I'm listing Corsi For-Corsi against and the percentage and this is all 5x5. Now, it's important to note that we're not taking into account things like zone starts and toughness of opposition, this is straight Corsi at 5x5 over the last 5 games.

That said, it's fascinating to see four defensemen above 50% over that time (!!!!) and the 5-6 guys are not far from 50% (with only Corey Potter fading badly). We don't know if Schultz's return or Grebeshkov's callup are big reasons for the improved shot differential, we only know that in the last 5 games this group has been part of some good things.

And we also know the goals against in the last 10 games has been going down, and part of that is due to the puck being in the other end more often.

These are all nice signs for the club, and barring injury they should be able to repeat it (depending on quality of opposition, etc) and more wins should come as a result.

LINEUP

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

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

Dubnyk

That's my guess, but I don't know why you'd change anything aside from the goaltender. That 4th line has been doing some nice things, and I'm betting the Nuge line will find a way to rock and roll in Texas later today. The young Russian likes the big stage, and everything's big in Texas, maybe he'll rip three rockets into the Dallas night.

QUICK HITS

  • According to nhl.com, the Oilers have 4 rookies this season: Mark Arcobello, Taylor Fedun, Luke Gazdic and Tyler Pitlick. Anton Belov doesn't qualify.
  • The Oilers leading scorer is Jordan Eberle (23 points) who is tied for 28th in league points. Last year, Taylor Hall finished 9th, but this year he and David Perron are tied at 61st overall.
  • Craig MacTavish was in Oklahoma City last night, raving about Mark Arcobello in an interview with brilliant play-by-play man Jim Byers.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

WHO CARES? It's almost time for hurdles!!!!! Okay, fine.

GAME DAY PREDICTION: Oilers play the system and find their range on the powerplay, scoring twice with the man advantage in a 3-2 victory over the Stars.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Ryan Smyth leaves it all out on the ice.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Shawn Horcoff channels himself as a rookie and sends a cross-ice pass that Yakupov shoots through the net for the winner.

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Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
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#101 Alsker
December 01 2013, 05:40PM
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See comment #96 ...lets hope Bryz is ok, has been a lot better than the guys in front of him.

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#102 The Soup Fascist
December 01 2013, 05:43PM
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According to Quinn only 3 minutes left in regulation time. Bad game but I think there is another period left.

Only 12.5 more years of high quality Sportsnet coverage. Coincidentally could be that many years of no Edmonton Oilers in playoffs.

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#103 Alsker
December 01 2013, 05:44PM
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Amazing what happens when you take the body in O zone...get it 89,83,4,14,etc..

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#104 Quicksilver ballet
December 01 2013, 05:44PM
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Awesome effort by Jonesy.

Good on you Ryan.

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#105 Hockey fan 1976
December 01 2013, 05:45PM
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Wow our Dman suck!!!! Nice pick up Mac T with Garbageshkov and Petry is horrible!!!

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#106 Danger Pay
December 01 2013, 05:45PM
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Hey give Grebs some credit, he lasted 2.5 games before his 1st costly turnover.

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#107 Spydyr
December 01 2013, 05:45PM
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Jones shows the kids what hitting does.Kids are still to "good" to hit anyone.

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#108 YFC Prez
December 01 2013, 05:45PM
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Good plays by the 2 goats. hobbitses and jonesy !

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#109 Alsker
December 01 2013, 05:45PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

According to Quinn only 3 minutes left in regulation time. Bad game but I think there is another period left.

Only 12.5 more years of high quality Sportsnet coverage. Coincidentally could be that many years of no Edmonton Oilers in playoffs.

I was laughing to hard to post the same, maybe he's got a hot date after the game.

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#110 YFC Prez
December 01 2013, 05:47PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Jones shows the kids what hitting does.Kids are still to "good" to hit anyone.

Jones has been playing half decently effective hockey lately. He seems to have found a nice niche playing with arco.

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#111 Ari Gold
December 01 2013, 05:47PM
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Oilers management needs to watch Moneyball. I think it'd help, especially considering that they're a cap team.

Love certain players or not. In the end, they're assets. Attatch a potential value if you like to guys like Schultz Jr., Belov or Hall. In the end, individuals must be weighed on what you can fetch for them in the open market.

This game so far has been a struggle. After 20 years of rebuilding, this is unacceptable. Current management obviously doesn't get it.

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#112 Spydyr
December 01 2013, 05:48PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

According to Quinn only 3 minutes left in regulation time. Bad game but I think there is another period left.

Only 12.5 more years of high quality Sportsnet coverage. Coincidentally could be that many years of no Edmonton Oilers in playoffs.

You know what would be perfect.If Lowe became available to serve as a colour man.Man, that would be sweet.

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#113 Oilerz4life
December 01 2013, 05:49PM
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Danger Pay wrote:

Hey give Grebs some credit, he lasted 2.5 games before his 1st costly turnover.

Place Mac-T and Garbagekov on waivers. Fire Eakins. Put Bryzgalov in as player-coach.

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#114 Spydyr
December 01 2013, 05:49PM
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YFC Prez wrote:

Jones has been playing half decently effective hockey lately. He seems to have found a nice niche playing with arco.

IMO it is more about him playing for his NHL life.That trip down woke him up.

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#115 The Soup Fascist
December 01 2013, 05:52PM
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Ari Gold wrote:

Oilers management needs to watch Moneyball. I think it'd help, especially considering that they're a cap team.

Love certain players or not. In the end, they're assets. Attatch a potential value if you like to guys like Schultz Jr., Belov or Hall. In the end, individuals must be weighed on what you can fetch for them in the open market.

This game so far has been a struggle. After 20 years of rebuilding, this is unacceptable. Current management obviously doesn't get it.

At the end of the day it is about "value contracts". You can live with a couple of guys not performing to their contract as long as you have more guys that are exceeding expectations.

I can think of two value contracts for the Oilers and one of them has played 3 games and just got carted off the ice. Look no further for the reason the Oilers are a bottom 3 team spending to the cap. Yuck.

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#116 Alsker
December 01 2013, 05:56PM
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Oh great a + for 89+83 on Jones' good play. Another week of hearing how important the two floaters are to us...baaahhhh...Our D-men seemed just as lost in the Ozone as they do do in the D-zone...time for more rum.

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#117 cain
December 01 2013, 05:56PM
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Remember long ago when somebody ran your goalie, someone,anyone, would at LEAST give the offending player a punch or push or slash or jab or something??????

Hey Justin Schultz...he just ran your goaltender...do something besides skate by and look at the referee....Nice work,Nancy, I think you just showed in one play why we are so easy to play against.

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#118 Hockey fan 1976
December 01 2013, 06:01PM
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cain wrote:

Remember long ago when somebody ran your goalie, someone,anyone, would at LEAST give the offending player a punch or push or slash or jab or something??????

Hey Justin Schultz...he just ran your goaltender...do something besides skate by and look at the referee....Nice work,Nancy, I think you just showed in one play why we are so easy to play against.

Exactly. Want to know why no one respect the Oilers. Just watch as Schultz watches and points at ref instead of going after the player that just RAN YOUR FREAKING GOALIE!!!! Regardless whether it was unintentional, need to stand up for your teammates and show some god damn emotion. Cowards!

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#119 Spydyr
December 01 2013, 06:02PM
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cain wrote:

Remember long ago when somebody ran your goalie, someone,anyone, would at LEAST give the offending player a punch or push or slash or jab or something??????

Hey Justin Schultz...he just ran your goaltender...do something besides skate by and look at the referee....Nice work,Nancy, I think you just showed in one play why we are so easy to play against.

Who would you like on the Oilers to do that?

Ference is the only player in the line-up with any balls.

The only other guy that played defence for the Oilers who would have done something plays for Calgary now.

I'm sure the stat guys will tell you that team toughness and hitting are way over rated.

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#120 Alsker
December 01 2013, 06:02PM
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cain wrote:

Remember long ago when somebody ran your goalie, someone,anyone, would at LEAST give the offending player a punch or push or slash or jab or something??????

Hey Justin Schultz...he just ran your goaltender...do something besides skate by and look at the referee....Nice work,Nancy, I think you just showed in one play why we are so easy to play against.

A push,slash, lol, remember when it would be a line brawl, blood on the ice,missing teeth,standing ovations,50+ min in penalties. QSB remembers I'm sure.

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#121 YFC Prez
December 01 2013, 06:03PM
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@Alsker

89 has made some high quality plays this afternoon. And he deserved a plus on the Hemsky goal. Made a good play right before jones. I don't see him floating tonight.

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#122 Spydyr
December 01 2013, 06:05PM
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YFC Prez wrote:

89 has made some high quality plays this afternoon. And he deserved a plus on the Hemsky goal. Made a good play right before jones. I don't see him floating tonight.

89 has the third period to lose that plus.

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#123 Spydyr
December 01 2013, 06:08PM
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That did not take long.Three minutes after I called it.

89 coasting back watching the puck go in.

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#124 YFC Prez
December 01 2013, 06:08PM
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Alsker wrote:

A push,slash, lol, remember when it would be a line brawl, blood on the ice,missing teeth,standing ovations,50+ min in penalties. QSB remembers I'm sure.

I just want to see one flames or Canucks fan beaten with their own shoe. Is that really to much to ask?!

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#125 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
December 01 2013, 06:09PM
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Wow Petry. You do know that's your man, right?

Right?

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#126 Zamboni Driver
December 01 2013, 06:09PM
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Can't wait for the stats nerds to tell me how good Petry is the next time.

I'll trot out that replay and say, "Corsi this."

What, exactly, is he looking at?

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#127 ubermiguel
December 01 2013, 06:10PM
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Spydyr wrote:

That did not take long.Three minutes after I called it.

89 coasting back watching the puck go in.

Petry watching the puck not the trailer. It's more on him.

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#128 YFC Prez
December 01 2013, 06:10PM
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Dammit gags. That was your man. And here I was just defending you.

#lesson learned

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#129 Alsker
December 01 2013, 06:11PM
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Spydyr wrote:

89 has the third period to lose that plus.

How did you know?

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#130 Spydyr
December 01 2013, 06:11PM
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ubermiguel wrote:

Petry watching the puck not the trailer. It's more on him.

Never said Petry did not look bad.

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#131 Spydyr
December 01 2013, 06:12PM
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Alsker wrote:

How did you know?

His pants had snow on them.

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#132 cain
December 01 2013, 06:13PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Who would you like on the Oilers to do that?

Ference is the only player in the line-up with any balls.

The only other guy that played defence for the Oilers who would have done something plays for Calgary now.

I'm sure the stat guys will tell you that team toughness and hitting are way over rated.

Exactly my point.

You don't have to be tough enough to win a fight every night against everybody.

You damn sure better be tough enough to at least show up when somebody messes with your teammate and have the guts to poke,punch,slash or facewash someone...doesn't even have to be harsh enough to warrant a penalty. Just show up.

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#133 Alsker
December 01 2013, 06:15PM
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YFC Prez wrote:

Dammit gags. That was your man. And here I was just defending you.

#lesson learned

Was hoping you were right, but Gags and Petry were oblivious again.

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#134 Spydyr
December 01 2013, 06:16PM
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cain wrote:

Exactly my point.

You don't have to be tough enough to win a fight every night against everybody.

You damn sure better be tough enough to at least show up when somebody messes with your teammate and have the guts to poke,punch,slash or facewash someone...doesn't even have to be harsh enough to warrant a penalty. Just show up.

Buchberger used to injure the other guy's hands plenty of times back in the day doing just that.

No one on this edition has anywhere knew the intestinal fortitude to take a licking to make a point.

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#135 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
December 01 2013, 06:18PM
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Hall can't seem to hit the net these days.

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#136 Alsker
December 01 2013, 06:22PM
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cain wrote:

Exactly my point.

You don't have to be tough enough to win a fight every night against everybody.

You damn sure better be tough enough to at least show up when somebody messes with your teammate and have the guts to poke,punch,slash or facewash someone...doesn't even have to be harsh enough to warrant a penalty. Just show up.

Heck, just finish a check once in a while. I'm choked with way too many guys turning away instead of just shoulder to shoulder check, nothing earth shattering just a simple hit. Its such a big deal when someone actually does what every kid from 10 years old and up does every game. Maybe I'm old school but how hard is it really?

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#137 Alsker
December 01 2013, 06:25PM
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Ok,DD earned some respect with those two saves.

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#138 Mikey
December 01 2013, 06:26PM
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Jeff petry has no idea what to do on a two on one. I am done with with him. Trade him while he still has some value.

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#139 The Soup Fascist
December 01 2013, 06:29PM
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Maybe someone could take out the glass banger in the leisure suit behind the Oiler's net.

Just a flesh wound.

Pretty sure they sell rifles in Dallas ......

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#140 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
December 01 2013, 06:30PM
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Both goals were the result of taking the body, recovering the puck, and throwing it on net. Who'da thunk it.

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#141 YFC Prez
December 01 2013, 06:36PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

Maybe someone could take out the glass banger in the leisure suit behind the Oiler's net.

Just a flesh wound.

Pretty sure they sell rifles in Dallas ......

I'm almost positive I've seen that same dude in the same spot banging on the glass last year. He had a pink shirt on. Can't get away with that crap at rexall.

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#142 2004Z06
December 01 2013, 06:36PM
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YFC Prez wrote:

89 has made some high quality plays this afternoon. And he deserved a plus on the Hemsky goal. Made a good play right before jones. I don't see him floating tonight.

Who was the last man back on the second Dallas goal? Oh yeah.....Gagner!

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#143 Alsker
December 01 2013, 06:39PM
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Can we trade Grebs for a couple of Dallas' ice-girls...mmmmm

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#144 YFC Prez
December 01 2013, 06:39PM
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2004Z06 wrote:

Who was the last man back on the second Dallas goal? Oh yeah.....Gagner!

Yup. That goal was scored like 2 minutes after I posted that. As I said

# lesson learned

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#145 YFC Prez
December 01 2013, 06:40PM
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Jeez. What an overtime so far. Play the whole game like that.

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#146 Alsker
December 01 2013, 06:42PM
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2004Z06 wrote:

Who was the last man back on the second Dallas goal? Oh yeah.....Gagner!

YFC Prez already replied to this....oh he did again, sorry. We all "have the democratic right to be wrong" as John Short used to say.

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#147 Mikey
December 01 2013, 06:43PM
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2004Z06 wrote:

Who was the last man back on the second Dallas goal? Oh yeah.....Gagner!

Gagner had nothing to do with that second goal. First, last back it didn't matter the puck was already in the net. Be smarter than that.

Also check the replay he was the first forward back.

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#148 2004Z06
December 01 2013, 06:43PM
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Sorry YFC, I should have read further down before posting.

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#149 2004Z06
December 01 2013, 06:45PM
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Why did the Oilers wait until overtime to show up?

Man they were flying there.

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#150 Alsker
December 01 2013, 06:45PM
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Was that the best 5 minutes we played all year?

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