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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#1 The Farmer
December 01 2013, 08:40AM
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Andrew Ference has been a huge disappointment for me. I guess we shouldn't be surprised when you are being sheltered by Chara, almost anyone can look effective. It would be nice to name a captain sometime who after three months we're not looking to run out of town. He is not effective moving the puck, too small to be tough, and too old for much improvement. His numbers reflect this.

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#2 Quicksilver ballet
December 01 2013, 09:08AM
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@YFC Prez

Sure, why the heck not.

Are you in it for a top 3 pick this season? Or, limited success landing them in that dead 20th-25th zone?

4-zip Dallas please....

and thank you.

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#3 Oilerz4life
December 01 2013, 10:01PM
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Spydyr wrote:

No Oiler deserves to be mentioned for team Canada. Full stop.

Not sure what you are getting at with this second team Canada.It does not exist in the real world.Maybe the Oilers would be better in the second NHL.

Eberle is and fully deserves to be mentioned for team Team Canada.

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#4 Quicksilver ballet
December 01 2013, 08:59AM
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@The Farmer

It's difficult to soar like an eagle, when you're working with a bunch of turkeys. Ference is a solid D'man, but he's miscast as a top pairing guy like he's forced to be here in Edmonton. He's a fine support player when you have two legitimate top pairing D playing in front of him.

You need to watch 20 more years of hockey, your narrow minded opinion reflects this.

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#5 Walter Sobchak
December 01 2013, 11:43AM
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Where the hell has DSF been? I'm kindling of missing his brand of reasoning lately.

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#6 Old Man
December 01 2013, 09:13AM
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"The Farmer", Stop complaining about your Oiler players and start CHEERING for them. The belly aching is getting old. You would be the first to jump back on the Ference bandwagon the second the Oilers improve and he's the mentor/backbone. Can't have it both ways. GO OILERS!!!

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#7 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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#8 God
December 01 2013, 06:57PM
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The Oil had no business winning that game.

I love my team, I want them to do well, but winning garbage games like this is not character building. They escaped a terrible performance with the win. Petry & Belov looked as bad as I've seen them.

Hall, Gags & Yak need to learn to create their own space, NOT take what's given to them.

This team needs more of a killer instinct. I've been talking about feeding them a bowl of blood, endlessly. Perhaps they need to be taken out on a true hunt with an Aboriginal Tribe. They need to learn how to sense defeat and take the life of their opponent.

Perhaps it's just the alcohol talking. But seriously, these kids need to become predators, not omnivores.

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#9 Spydyr
December 01 2013, 07:12PM
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Mikey wrote:

That was not Gagners man. Give your head a shake.

A good defensive centre puts his head down and hustles back. Picking up the trailer.Not coast back and watch the puck go in your net.

After seven years in the NHL you would think Gagner would know that.

You suggesting Perron belongs on team Canada gives me all the information I need about your how astute you are concerning the game of hockey at the NHL level. Sure he is having a good year but there 30 players ahead of him at forward

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#10 Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate
December 01 2013, 09:14AM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Sure, why the heck not.

Are you in it for a top 3 pick this season? Or, limited success landing them in that dead 20th-25th zone?

4-zip Dallas please....

and thank you.

You're Welcome...I think.

Oil WILL get a Victory

because Horcoff sucks

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#11 TayLordBalls
December 01 2013, 09:32AM
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I don't understand why the coach hasn't benched Hemsky.

Let him know that if he wants to be in the league next year he's got to put out a lot more than coasting every game.

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#12 Mikey
December 01 2013, 06:55PM
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I feel like this is a homer statement. But why not Perron for team Canada?

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#13 Mac962
December 01 2013, 09:14AM
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Corsi Schmorsi- yes there is truth to it but i am so tired of it. Does it measure Heart? Drive ? the will to win and not be beaten ? No. Does it add size to your forwards ? No, or your Defense ? No...

Do winning teams sit and analyze corsi ? perhaps, i really dont know.

This Team is small - Not a good mix through the line up, its all the same. Until it changes we will continue to be bored with Corsi and will have minimal success.

Kick Butt Oilers. Yeah, someone did crap in my cornflakes this morning.

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#14 Quicksilver ballet
December 01 2013, 09:22AM
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Old Man wrote:

"The Farmer", Stop complaining about your Oiler players and start CHEERING for them. The belly aching is getting old. You would be the first to jump back on the Ference bandwagon the second the Oilers improve and he's the mentor/backbone. Can't have it both ways. GO OILERS!!!

.....and everyone here doubted the fact that Kevin Lowe doesn't watch what's going on here.

Morning Kevin

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#15 StHenriOilBomb
December 01 2013, 09:33AM
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Mac962 wrote:

Corsi Schmorsi- yes there is truth to it but i am so tired of it. Does it measure Heart? Drive ? the will to win and not be beaten ? No. Does it add size to your forwards ? No, or your Defense ? No...

Do winning teams sit and analyze corsi ? perhaps, i really dont know.

This Team is small - Not a good mix through the line up, its all the same. Until it changes we will continue to be bored with Corsi and will have minimal success.

Kick Butt Oilers. Yeah, someone did crap in my cornflakes this morning.

You're missing the point entirely.

What's exciting about this blog is that we've been watching the Oilers get grittier, more focused, and better defensively throughout this season, and now it's starting to have a measurable impact in their play. Something we haven't seen much of these long dark years.

Corsi measures what has happened, not why. What happened is that for the first time in a while, the team is improving measurably in it's 5 on 5 play.

The why is what is debated every hour of every day here.

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#16 Serious Gord
December 01 2013, 07:31PM
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Mikey wrote:

I feel like this is a homer statement. But why not Perron for team Canada?

LOL LOL LOL LOL!!!

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#17 a lg dubl dubl
December 01 2013, 09:26AM
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I like what you said LT, "more wins should come as a result". You're right the wins should come, but with the D the Oilers have right now the wins just come in spurts.

I know is a really old topic but macT has to make a trade, either Eberle or Yakupov are the ones IMO. I know getting 1 top dman for either player wont change the world but it should set things up for next season.

Its time for Mac to step up, this team right now, is just spinning its wheels.

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#18 PutzStew
December 01 2013, 09:58AM
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The Farmer wrote:

Andrew Ference has been a huge disappointment for me. I guess we shouldn't be surprised when you are being sheltered by Chara, almost anyone can look effective. It would be nice to name a captain sometime who after three months we're not looking to run out of town. He is not effective moving the puck, too small to be tough, and too old for much improvement. His numbers reflect this.

So he is suffering from the same thing that every other veteran, brought in to add leadership in the past 8 years, has caught.

Oilers suck. No player development. Decent Vets coming here to die because there organization is ran by clowns. And dispute decent talent, they are 2 last in the league, behind freshly started rebuilding teams such as, Florida and Calgary.

Bhahahahaha.

Yes, it truly is that funny.

Here we Choke Oilers, Here we Choke.

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#19 Velo
December 01 2013, 09:15AM
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The Farmer wrote:

Andrew Ference has been a huge disappointment for me. I guess we shouldn't be surprised when you are being sheltered by Chara, almost anyone can look effective. It would be nice to name a captain sometime who after three months we're not looking to run out of town. He is not effective moving the puck, too small to be tough, and too old for much improvement. His numbers reflect this.

Yep, sheltered, yearly, on deep playoff runs...your narrative is creative, but lacking in many respects.

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#20 Serious Gord
December 01 2013, 09:27AM
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Old Man wrote:

"The Farmer", Stop complaining about your Oiler players and start CHEERING for them. The belly aching is getting old. You would be the first to jump back on the Ference bandwagon the second the Oilers improve and he's the mentor/backbone. Can't have it both ways. GO OILERS!!!

Bellyaching might be getting old, but years of lousy hockey is far older. FIRE LOWE is the only cheer a rational oiler fan should be engaging in currently.

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#21 michael
December 01 2013, 12:02PM
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The Nucks decided to take out their misery on the the hapless Canes. 2-0 first period for the Nucks. See this one ending badly for the Canes. Where the heck is Jordan Stahl? He has been near invisible. 8 points for 6 million a year? You think we have defensive issues?

Come on DSF time to spew a little of your own brand of special.

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#22 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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#23 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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#24 YFC Prez
December 01 2013, 08:58AM
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@The Farmer

Ferrence has left me wanting a little more, but I disagree that he has been a huge disappointment. And I definetly disagree that he is too small to be tough. He has showed some jam on several occasions.

I think the problem with Ferrence is much the same as every other d man the oilers have had the past several seasons. They all play 1 spot ahead of their skill set. Your point of Chara making him a much better d man rings very true.

Oil have several solid d men. But untill they get the number one guy they need. The rest of the group will continue to be misused.

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#25 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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#26 Mikey
December 01 2013, 06:56PM
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YFC Prez wrote:

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

#lesson learned

That was not Gagners man. Give your head a shake.

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#27 Arius Mumin
December 01 2013, 08:41PM
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Does anyone the point of the 2nd PP unit?

It consists of; Grebeshkov, Gagner, Smyth, Hemsky and Yakupov.

Why Grebeshkov? What sense does chosing him over Belov make? One has been a regular through out the season, the other was just called up. Even Petry would make more sense. What about that young kid they brought up and he scored in the few games he played then got sent down. Why not call the kid up?

Gagner should be sitting on the bench and watching Arcobello take advantage of the oppurtunity, the oppurtunity of ice time and the opportunity of the powerplay. Gagner doesn't have much to offer to dominate the game during the powerplay, he just loiters around looking for someone to pass to and his shot is pretty weak. Gagner's hockey IQ can be questioned on many nights and plays, even if their skill level is a wash-Arcobello should get the time on effort and will alone.

Smyth being in front of the net makes no sense. Who is going to shoot? Hemsky? No! Gagner? No! Grebeshkov? NO! Unless, he has to throw it at the net. Yakupov? YES! But,......

There is no way to get Yak a pass while he is in good position. NO one cares about Smyth being in front of the net on the PP, they just leave him be and make sure no easy passes get to him. They press on soft ass Gagner and Hemsky(both are just looking to make an obvious pass), who ever the dman is is irrelevant-for when he gets the puck his time is limited and his options foreseen.

Who picks the lines anyway? He only switches them up in the third if they are losing, then it is back to normal the next game even if they ended up losing.

Fire Eaking,!..Hire Igor..!.

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#28 Candles
December 01 2013, 08:54AM
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Excited to watch the game. I plan to put Columbus behind me, cover my face with my hands and watch the game through a sliver between my fingers. Whether I run through the streets in joy or cry in a bathtub tonight, my sick oiler obsession will go on. I need someone to get a hat trick tonight. Pls Nail.

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#29 The Farmer
December 01 2013, 09:19AM
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@Quicksilver ballet

I'm not saying Ference can't play defence in the NHL, but to give him a free pass because all of the defence on this team are in over their heads is foolish. He was paid handsomely and named Captain before he'd ever played a game. To think he's not been a disappointment might show a lack of "hockey watching" over the past 20 years.

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#30 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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#31 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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#32 Smokey
December 01 2013, 08:35PM
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Spydyr wrote:

No Oiler deserves to be mentioned for team Canada. Full stop.

Not sure what you are getting at with this second team Canada.It does not exist in the real world.Maybe the Oilers would be better in the second NHL.

Pundits have hypothetically talked bout fielding a second team cause of Canada's depth for how long? Its hypotheticals. If your arguement is you can live in hypotheticals well enjoy your week argument buddy.

The gentlemen who said Perron should be on Team Canada may be wrong. Was the comment outlandish. No way. If Perron did not miss those 3-4 games he is probably sitting in the 40-50 range in the NHL in scoring. His two.way game is sound, and is exactly the type of player that you would want on a championship team. He would have to get real hot to have an outside chance I admit and depth.on the wing is steller. I would not take him but he'd be in the conversation if he is top 45 point producer come Febuary. Not every player Canada always takes is a superstar. Canada took last time Morrow, Richards, Bergeron. I think these are players like Perron. The sound two way gritty players that do certain roles well.

Make a arguement against it rather then skirting the debate

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#33 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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#34 Spydyr
December 02 2013, 07:13AM
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Todd wrote:

Your tactical understanding of this play and Gagner's responsibility is wrong. Sorry I'm typically not one to argue, especially if its an opinion or discretionary call. But this was not. Its cut and dry. On a clear 2 on 2, the 1st fwd back (C or otherwise) should never "hustle back and help the D". His job IS to turn around, even slow up, and wait for the 3rd man who IS his responsibility. This is a concept I have a hard time teaching kids, because your instinct is to hustle back and help your d man. But this causes further breakdown, and is absolutely wrong.

Sorry, on this one you are absolutely wrong. If you want to blame anyone else, Petry was forced to cheat over because Ferrence sort of got beat wide. But otherwise that is squarely and entirely on Petry's shoulders.

Spydyr wrote: A good defensive centre puts his head down and hustles back. Picking up the trailer.Not coast back and watch the puck go in your net.

After seven years in the NHL you would think Gagner would know that.

You suggesting Perron belongs on team Canada gives me all the information I need about your how astute you are concerning the game of hockey at the NHL level. Sure he is having a good year but there 30 players ahead of him at forward

Your tactical understanding of this play and Gagner's responsibility is wrong. Sorry I'm typically not one to argue, especially if its an opinion or discretionary call. But this was not. Its cut and dry. On a clear 2 on 2, the 1st fwd back (C or otherwise) should never "hustle back and help the D". His job IS to turn around, even slow up, and wait for the 3rd man who IS his responsibility. This is a concept I have a hard time teaching kids, because your instinct is to hustle back and help your d man. But this causes further breakdown, and is absolutely wrong.

Sorry, on this one you are absolutely wrong. If you want to blame anyone else, Petry was forced to cheat over because Ferrence sort of got beat wide. But otherwise that is squarely and entirely on Petry's

Did you not read the line in my post "A good defensive centre puts his head down and hustles back. Picking up the trailer"

At no point did I say help the "D"

Perhaps you should read the post before arguing against it. Using the same thing that was posted in the first place.

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#35 gcw_rocks
December 01 2013, 09:33AM
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Serious Gord wrote:

Bellyaching might be getting old, but years of lousy hockey is far older. FIRE LOWE is the only cheer a rational oiler fan should be engaging in currently.

Amen, brother. A house cleaning is the only rational response to eight years of losing.

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#36 Rob
December 01 2013, 09:35AM
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Ference has been sheltered in Boston. It's been said time and time again we are missing a true number one d-man. It would all filter down from there. Think back to when Pronger came to town. Love him or hate him he took the pressure off of the rest of the crew by chewing crazy minutes and allowing others to play well within their limits.

Reality is, nobody like that is coming until the trade deadline at the earliest and then what are we giving up to get a player of this calibre? Likely one of the studs and if not a first pick then certainly a second. I would suggest the latter because teams will see MacT coming a mile away.

There is an outside chance they get a free agent like that but generally speaking these guys don't go to free agency and if one does, because of our brutal record as of late Edmonton is not their first choice of destinations. One of the biggest mistakes made this summer was actively pursuing Jason Labarbera. Yes, Bryzgalov was a head case in Philly but a. Who wouldn't be and b. he has the pedigree to be a solid goalie and has shown it in large stretches throughout his career (even if the teams in front of him played solid d). Labarbera has always been a fringe NHLer. Face palm. When Dubey started slow there was no alternative and it was felt throughout the lineup, throw in some injuries and the season was over before it started.

Until then status quo... Here is hoping some of those "Bold Moves" aren't too far off.

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#37 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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#38 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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#39 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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#40 YFC Prez
December 01 2013, 06:53PM
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Mikey wrote:

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.

I love gags but It was the lazy play at the centre line that's got the ire up. Gagner coasted lazily as the goal scorer rushed passed him to the open ice. Petry messed up too.

But who cares. They won!

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#41 Smokey
December 01 2013, 07:34PM
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@Spydyr

I said before if you.were picking one guy from the Oilers to be on Team Canada hypothetically it would be Perron. Obviously he won't make it or is in concideration. He's an average at best skater and undersized concidering the size and depth Canada has. He'd beon my second Team Canada team in whatever role. I love the simple effective plays in all three zones. He plays bigger then what he is and is defensively sound. The one play tonight where he cleared the Oiler zone by putting it 15 feet in the air over the defender and did not create an icing. Thats good coaching...thanks Hitch.

The only way we should concider Perron for Team Canada i ifs hes a PPG player. If he did that you would put him in the conversation. Is it possible. He went into tonights game in 61st place in scoring. I hope he gets hot and gets a mention.

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#42 God
December 01 2013, 08:37PM
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Most frustrating team in the NHL to watch.

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#43 Oilerz4life
December 02 2013, 12:23AM
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K_Mart wrote:

Can't say I agree about him being mentioned for team Canada, but as of this moment, he is the best Canadian player on the Oilers. Might not be for long, but he definitely is right now.

not Hall, not Nuge, and not Perron.

Eberle is the best Canadian on our roster right now. No question.

So he's the best Canadian player on the Edmonton Oilers right now, why wouldn't he deserve to be mentioned for Team Canada?

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#44 Death Metal Nightmare
December 02 2013, 04:17AM
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you should put even more Cheese'd out Female JIFFFZZZZSSSSSSSSS in these posts. total Dad level Sexy calendar in the garage crapola.

more numbers to prove you measured how Right You Are and more cheeeeese plz.

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#45 gcw_rocks
December 01 2013, 09:29AM
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Only two of the teams they played in the last ten are playoff teams. You can only play the teams the schedule allows but any improvement in the last ten should be noted with that asterisk.

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#46 post to post
December 01 2013, 09:32AM
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Stats Man

If we can hit 9 posts per game, that's 3 per period and 1 post for the number one line each period, then we shall get rewarded with another post in overtime.

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#47 K_Mart
December 01 2013, 09:38AM
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I had never really watched Terence outside of the cup finals, but man has he disappointed. I was expecting a legit #3 dman that can be fully relied on in most situations. What I've seen has not been the case. Belov has been a revelation though, just wish he could put the puck in the net.

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#48 PutzStew
December 01 2013, 10:14AM
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Ryan2 wrote:

Ference is exactly what he was advertised to be coming out of Boston - a #4/#5 on a playoff team. Fans that expected more were fooling themselves or do not watch enough hockey outside of the Oilers. The fact that he is miscast as a top pairing player speaks more to the weakness of the Oilers' blueline than anything else.

As I have posted here before, this was a bad deal for MacT as he overpaid in both price and term for a smaller bottom pairing d-man that is on the downside of his career. He reminds me of Jason Smith at the end, and the next couple of years we should see a similar drop off in his effectiveness. Maybe MacT was counting on his leadership as the main reason for bringing him in, but he paid a steep price for that.

It pains me to type this, but as of last night the Flames are 4 points clear of the Oilers with a game in hand. Top 3 pick here we come yet again.

Thankfully Eakins has identified the problem - a lack of fitness. Funny, I thought that is the main reason he was brought in as HC. What a joke.

Fully agree about Ferance. I think he's been type casted into a role that he doesn't belong on this team. Not the first time this team has done that.

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#49 6 ring circus
December 01 2013, 01:01PM
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Spydyr wrote:

For a guy who "swims with the fishes" you make some very good points.

Thanks!!! I often wonder what it would be like if the Oiler's had an owner like Rocky Wirtz,Jeremy Jacobs or Mike Llitch, they have set the bar for having winning teams and run them like a business.It is very apparent that Katz on the other hand is more concerned about hiring and hanging out with the old boy's on the bus Oiler's than winning !!!

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#50 Serious Gord
December 01 2013, 01:58PM
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David S wrote:

Buys team for $200M.

Gets new $650M arena.

Team doubles in value.

If that isn't running a team like a business I don't know what is.

Financial success and jock-sniff-driven failure ARE often mutually exclusive. For proof Just go visit the tombstones of Harold Ballard and Phillip Wrigley (mind the spit).

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