GDB 33.0: BATTLING THE BRUINS

Jason Gregor
December 12 2013 12:33PM

The Boston Bruins are not only good on the ice; their marketing team is pretty solid off the ice as well. The Bruins have produced some humourous commercials the past five seasons, and this is one or my favourites. The Oilers aren't a divisional rival, but many Bruins fans have told me they have a healthy disdain for the Oilers due to two Stanley Cup Finals losses in 1988 and 1990.

The Bruins and Oilers are at opposite ends of the NHL standings, and have been since 2007/2008, and the Oilers will need to play their one of their best games of the season tonight, just to keep it close.

The Oilers might catch a break with Tukka Rask battling the flu, but the Bruins are stacked and they haven't lost in Edmonton since October 17th, 2000. That night Dan Lacouture and Brian Swanson scored their first NHL goals in a 6-1 thrashing of the Bruins. Since then, the Bruins have won four straight games in Edmonton including a 3-2 victory in their last visit to Edmonton on February 27th, 2011.

It is hard not to respect the Bruins.

They have skill, size, experience, solid two-way players, great goaltending and they are the toughest team in the NHL led by their captain Zdeno Chara. They don't have any weaknesses, and once again they are sitting first in the Eastern conference with a 21-8-2 record.

The Oilers are playing their best hockey of the seasons, 7-3-1 in their last 11 games, and while they didn't beat up on the top teams in the league, they did grab 15 of a possible 22 points. That is a solid stretch of hockey, but tonight will be a much more difficult task for the Oilers.

The Oilers will need to use their speed, and be disciplined with the puck. They can't continue to turn the puck over, especially on the powerplay, or the Bruins will skate them out of the rink.

LINEUP

Perron-RNH-Eberle
Hall-Gagner-Yakupov
Joensuu-Arcobello-Hemsky
Gazdic-Lander-Jones

Boyd Gordon still isn't healthy enough to play. Ryan Smyth is also banged up, and he'll be a game time decision. Eakins will switch up the PP units. They've been really hot or really cold, similar to the overall play of the team. Since November 5th, the PP is 17 for 71 (23.9%) so it's not like it has been terrible. The production has been great, but the bad giveaways are the issue. 

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

Jeff Petry has been cleared to play. He's an upgrade on Potter, and the Oilers need their best lineup against the Bruins.

Dubnyk

QUICK HITS....

  • It was a subtle message, but Dallas Eakins didn't play Taylor Hall in the final five minutes on Tuesday after Jeff Skinner tied the game. You might say it was only five minutes, but it was the most important time of the game, and I'm sure Hall got the message. I'm curious to see how he responds, especially in the defensive end.
     
  • Eakins did put Hall out for the PP in OT, which was a smart, but not being on the ice for the final five minutes of regulation should get Hall's attention.
     
  • It was interesting to note that Hall got a short stint on the bench, but Sam Gagner, despite some equally bad defensive decisions never missed a shift. Eakins must be giving him some leeway due to the injury, or he wants to keep throwing him over the boards with the hope it builds his confidence.
  • Firing Feaster today makes sense. There is no point waiting until the end of the season to can him, if the Flames knew he wasn't their guy moving forward. You can also expect the Flames' new GM to fire Hartley before the start of next season. The Flames should look at Oilers to see that firing coaches frequently doesn't change much, if you don't give the new coach better players.
     
  • Good luck to all of you in Fantasy Football playoffs...whether you are going for a championship, or trying to avoid losing the Toilet Bowl. Good luck. I have Manning, Decker and Moreno on my team...Please don't pick tonight to have an off night.

TONIGHT....

GAME DAY PREDICTION: Because everyone expects them to lose, the Oilers stun the Bruins with a 4-3 victory. P.S... I put the team logos in front of my son, and whichever one he touches, I go with that team to win. He is 8 days old, and his record is already 2-0.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers lineup has a combined four career goals vs. the Bruins; Hemsky, Perron, RNH and Ference each have one goal. Two Oilers will score their first career goal against Boston tonight.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Now that he isn't a member of the Calgary Flames, the Oilers will give St. Albert native, Jarome Iginla a healthy cheer when he announced over the PA. Iginla will be honoured, and he'll return the favour by scoring a second period goal. After the game, Oilers fans collectively decide never to cheer for an opposing player, who never played for the Oilers, ever again.

DAY TEN...MONTH OF GIVING

Yesterday we raised another $2,800 for Santas Anonymous.

Today we have an excellent and very generous package that was donated to us by The Home Matchmaker Michelle Derk from Remax Elite.

  • Up for grabs is the seller's commission for your house. (In a regular sale half the commission goes to the seller realtor and half to the buyer. So this is $3.5% on the first $100,000 and $1.5% on the balance).

On a $500,000 house that is a value of $9,500.00 just to give you a reference point.

You can bid on this package by calling 780.444.1260 between 2-6 p.m. today.

Thanks in advance.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR 

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#251 Oilcruzer
December 12 2013, 10:37PM
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Let's play a game. You are a GM. I'm MacT. I have my starting goalie and number two centre to offer in a trade. Would you even talk to me?

Probably not.

Does any other GM in the league have that problem?

It's a mess.

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#252 Thumby
December 12 2013, 10:37PM
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Spydyr wrote:

That floater goal had to seal his fate.He is gone this summer.

"If you have to ask the question, you know the answer."

Mac T is not going to let this get past the trade deadline if he can help it...he's praying Dub can play decent enough to have someone offer a bag of pucks for him.

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#253 **
December 12 2013, 10:37PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

Yeah.....but his STATS are better than any Oiler goalie in history....so there has to be some other reason the floaters from the blue line keep getting past him......hhmmmmm...what could it be.....there must be stat somewhere that explains it.

Oh that's right!......being on your knees when the opposition players crosses the blue line is one of those intangibles....we can't count that......

Actually Jonathan Willis posted a goalie list with numbers updated for the modern day sv%. Dubnyk ends up somewhere in the bottom third of the list.

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#254 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
December 12 2013, 10:39PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Maybe DSF is Burke and he has just been busy dealing with the Feaster thing.

Troll convention in Mordor....just east of middle earth December 7 - 14.

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#255 Spydyr
December 12 2013, 10:40PM
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Thumby wrote:

"If you have to ask the question, you know the answer."

Mac T is not going to let this get past the trade deadline if he can help it...he's praying Dub can play decent enough to have someone offer a bag of pucks for him.

To bad he never answered the question this summer.The team might not have been out of the playoffs by Halloween.

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#256 Spydyr
December 12 2013, 10:41PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

Troll convention in Mordor....just east of middle earth December 7 - 14.

Guess Hobbits were not invited,Gagner was here "playing " tonight.

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#257 Thumby
December 12 2013, 10:41PM
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Spydyr wrote:

The difference in this game is the other teams tough guy can play hockey.Not just be a tough guy.

I liked how our 4th line played tonight...you cant ask more from them.

Let's keep the blame focused on the obvious culprits - Dub, Gag and the crap PP.

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#258 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
December 12 2013, 10:41PM
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** wrote:

Actually Jonathan Willis posted a goalie list with numbers updated for the modern day sv%. Dubnyk ends up somewhere in the bottom third of the list.

See!!!.....I knew there was a stat that would explain it. Thank you. I feel better.

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#259 Serious Gord
December 12 2013, 10:41PM
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Spydyr wrote:

I do believe they were up 3-0 after the first.

Set the cruise control win 4-2

And they did it with five regulars out and their best goalie apparently so sick he was barely able to sit on the bench.

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#260 Spydyr
December 12 2013, 10:42PM
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Thumby wrote:

I liked how our 4th line played tonight...you cant ask more from them.

Let's keep the blame focused on the obvious culprits - Dub, Gag and the crap PP.

This team needs team toughness not one guy on the fourth line.

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#261 Thumby
December 12 2013, 10:44PM
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Spydyr wrote:

To bad he never answered the question this summer.The team might not have been out of the playoffs by Halloween.

He tried on Draft day. And at the time I thought his offer to Van was a big ugly overpay but in retrospect, maybe not...then again, we were not going to make the playoffs anyway with our current set of D so might as well have another top pick and see what happens.

Sucks to be an Oilers fan....

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#262 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
December 12 2013, 10:44PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Guess Hobbits were not invited,Gagner was here "playing " tonight.

His injury wouldn't allow him to travel.

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#263 Spydyr
December 12 2013, 10:45PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

And they did it with five regulars out and their best goalie apparently so sick he was barely able to sit on the bench.

Our best five players never showed up either.Outside of Perron and our best goalie is on the IR.

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#264 Thumby
December 12 2013, 10:46PM
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Spydyr wrote:

This team needs team toughness not one guy on the fourth line.

And Lucics don't grow on trees...

How's Mitch Moroz doing?

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#265 RexHolez
December 12 2013, 10:47PM
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Spydyr wrote:

This team needs team toughness not one guy on the fourth line.

I think the obvious is goaltending first, Dman 2nd, and new assistant coaches a couple years ago. I got no problem with the team toughness if we play like that more often

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#266 LoweBlow
December 12 2013, 10:48PM
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Gagner was garbage again. Arco is getting better every game. He's hitting more, skating faster, stronger in the dot.

In the decision of who to keep, is 'being a man' in the criteria? If so, Arco wins hands down.

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#267 Spydyr
December 12 2013, 10:48PM
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Thumby wrote:

And Lucics don't grow on trees...

How's Mitch Moroz doing?

That was my point exactly.

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#268 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
December 12 2013, 10:50PM
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RexHolez wrote:

I think the obvious is goaltending first, Dman 2nd, and new assistant coaches a couple years ago. I got no problem with the team toughness if we play like that more often

On the other hand....not sure....but I think Steve Ott is a free agent at the end of the year...

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#269 Quicksilver ballet
December 12 2013, 10:51PM
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With Dubey, Hemsky, N.Schultz and Gagner off the books later this season, the Oilers would certainly have some space to possibly bring in a top pairing blueliner or two.

Offer Gudbranson a redonkulous 5 yr 22 million dollar leap of faith RFA offer sheet.

Yeah, I'm desperate.

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#270 Spydyr
December 12 2013, 10:52PM
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RexHolez wrote:

I think the obvious is goaltending first, Dman 2nd, and new assistant coaches a couple years ago. I got no problem with the team toughness if we play like that more often

The Oilers are the softest team in the NHL. They have missed the playoffs going on eight years. Coincidence.I think not.

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#271 camdog
December 12 2013, 10:52PM
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Curious what our coach is going to do when Gordon returns from injury, should be a lively debate...

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#272 **
December 12 2013, 10:52PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

With Dubey, Hemsky, N.Schultz and Gagner off the books later this season, the Oilers would certainly have some space to possibly bring in a top pairing blueliner or two.

Offer Gudbranson a redonkulous 5 yr 22 million dollar leap of faith RFA offer sheet.

Yeah, I'm desperate.

Aside form Ference, the whole blue line and all the goalies are off the books this season.

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#273 Noelpm
December 12 2013, 10:52PM
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Arcobello over Gagner every day of the week. Gagner is not a good player and I wish we kept Cogliano instead of him to be honest. Arcobello has proven enough in my mind to have Gagner on the trading block especially this season since he has a NTC in the 2nd year of his contract. It is time to part ways with the most underwhelming "second line" center in the league.

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#274 Spydyr
December 12 2013, 10:52PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

With Dubey, Hemsky, N.Schultz and Gagner off the books later this season, the Oilers would certainly have some space to possibly bring in a top pairing blueliner or two.

Offer Gudbranson a redonkulous 5 yr 22 million dollar leap of faith RFA offer sheet.

Yeah, I'm desperate.

At least you never said they should trade for Weber.

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#275 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
December 12 2013, 10:53PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

With Dubey, Hemsky, N.Schultz and Gagner off the books later this season, the Oilers would certainly have some space to possibly bring in a top pairing blueliner or two.

Offer Gudbranson a redonkulous 5 yr 22 million dollar leap of faith RFA offer sheet.

Yeah, I'm desperate.

Actually.....not really that outrageous an idea....would fall in the category of bold...

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#276 **
December 12 2013, 10:53PM
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The Oilers are .333 winning % when outshooting the opposition.

On a different subject, no Gagner's fanboys show up when their boy lays a stinky one and it's still fresh.

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#277 Spydyr
December 12 2013, 10:53PM
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camdog wrote:

Curious what our coach is going to do when Gordon returns from injury, should be a lively debate...

Isn't it obvious "the braintrust" says Acro sits.

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#278 Andy7190
December 12 2013, 10:55PM
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Spydyr wrote:

That floater goal had to seal his fate.He is gone this summer.

This summer?

If a high draft pick is the aim, then keep him.

If giving the team a chance to learn how to win, how to close out games and how to put teams away is the aim for the rest of the season than put him on waivers tomorrow. It isn't like he'll get claimed, however much the bloggers here love his save %. You can always call him back up later.

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#279 **
December 12 2013, 10:55PM
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Spydyr wrote:

The Oilers are the softest team in the NHL. They have missed the playoffs going on eight years. Coincidence.I think not.

When your smallest player ends up with the most hits on a night like this, no one in the league is going to fear you.

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#280 Spydyr
December 12 2013, 10:55PM
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** wrote:

The Oilers are .333 winning % when outshooting the opposition.

On a different subject, no Gagner's fanboys show up when their boy lays a stinky one and it's still fresh.

They are all busy crunching their spreadsheets.They will have stats proving how good he is in the morning.

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#281 Spydyr
December 12 2013, 10:56PM
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** wrote:

When your smallest player ends up with the most hits on a night like this, no one in the league is going to fear you.

No one has feared the Oilers in years.

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#282 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
December 12 2013, 10:56PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Isn't it obvious "the braintrust" says Acro sits.

Sad but true....from their point of view......they bet on their horse and the betting window is closed.

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#283 Spydyr
December 12 2013, 10:57PM
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Andy7190 wrote:

This summer?

If a high draft pick is the aim, then keep him.

If giving the team a chance to learn how to win, how to close out games and how to put teams away is the aim for the rest of the season than put him on waivers tomorrow. It isn't like he'll get claimed, however much the bloggers here love his save %. You can always call him back up later.

Fine who replaces him here?

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#284 RinkratBrown
December 12 2013, 10:58PM
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@Oilcruzer

The biggest and most disatrous trade this GM has made is to gamble on an untried NHL coach who talks about "motivation" and "swarming the puck in the defensive zone" and then makes incomprehensible decisions like sending Larson out on the game's most critical power play after he has ALREADY handed the Bruins a shorthanded softie. And what does he create? His first handling of the puck is a muffed pass that hands essential possession of the puck to the Bruins just as the PP looks like it's getting a bit of traction.

This team has little defensive structure, can't begin to clear their own zone if under any pressure whatsoever, and has a power play that is in RUIN after last year's success. "We can't trade the coach!" What nonsense... he should never have been hired when proven men were available. And having been allowed to institute a season-crashing system that proved unworkable after the first 20 games, should have been promptly replaced. Dallas is a disacter pure and simple.

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#285 Loweblows
December 12 2013, 10:59PM
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camdog wrote:

Curious what our coach is going to do when Gordon returns from injury, should be a lively debate...

Eakins will send Arco down is what I would expect.

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#286 **
December 12 2013, 10:59PM
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Thumby wrote:

He tried on Draft day. And at the time I thought his offer to Van was a big ugly overpay but in retrospect, maybe not...then again, we were not going to make the playoffs anyway with our current set of D so might as well have another top pick and see what happens.

Sucks to be an Oilers fan....

that's what happens when you're the joke of the league, teams are going to try and swindle you. Honestly the trade for Perron was a masterful move, it was an armed robbery.

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#287 Rod from Viking
December 12 2013, 10:59PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Iginla is a lesbian.

Oilers need to shoot the puck a little higher. It's tough to know where the rebound is going to go after it rocks Johnson in the mask.

Is that the same Chad Johnson that played for the Cincy Bengals?

No that is Chad Ochocinco the wife beater.

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#288 Spydyr
December 12 2013, 10:59PM
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RinkratBrown wrote:

The biggest and most disatrous trade this GM has made is to gamble on an untried NHL coach who talks about "motivation" and "swarming the puck in the defensive zone" and then makes incomprehensible decisions like sending Larson out on the game's most critical power play after he has ALREADY handed the Bruins a shorthanded softie. And what does he create? His first handling of the puck is a muffed pass that hands essential possession of the puck to the Bruins just as the PP looks like it's getting a bit of traction.

This team has little defensive structure, can't begin to clear their own zone if under any pressure whatsoever, and has a power play that is in RUIN after last year's success. "We can't trade the coach!" What nonsense... he should never have been hired when proven men were available. And having been allowed to institute a season-crashing system that proved unworkable after the first 20 games, should have been promptly replaced. Dallas is a disacter pure and simple.

Making the mistake as a rookie GM is one thing.Failing to rectify said mistake is another.

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#289 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
December 12 2013, 10:59PM
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Andy7190 wrote:

This summer?

If a high draft pick is the aim, then keep him.

If giving the team a chance to learn how to win, how to close out games and how to put teams away is the aim for the rest of the season than put him on waivers tomorrow. It isn't like he'll get claimed, however much the bloggers here love his save %. You can always call him back up later.

The guy might look ok in Oiler silks as a backup at $1 million per season?...that way he doesn't go to Pheonix or St Louis and win a Vezina.....

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#290 Wohin gehst du?
December 12 2013, 11:00PM
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Completely unrelated, I was just at the Barons site, and I saw that Ty Rimmer, the goalie who has just three games played, has more points than Will Acton, who has played four...

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#291 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
December 12 2013, 11:02PM
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Wohin gehst du? wrote:

Completely unrelated, I was just at the Barons site, and I saw that Ty Rimmer, the goalie who has just three games played, has more points than Will Acton, who has played four...

Will who?

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#292 Andy7190
December 12 2013, 11:02PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Fine who replaces him here?

I am not entirely sure it matters. Bryzgalov and Labs could hold the fort as Mac T scours the world for someone less prone to backbreaking, heart wrenching, soul crushing goals against.

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#293 Spydyr
December 12 2013, 11:02PM
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Wohin gehst du? wrote:

Completely unrelated, I was just at the Barons site, and I saw that Ty Rimmer, the goalie who has just three games played, has more points than Will Acton, who has played four...

But who is Rimmer related too?

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#294 RexHolez
December 12 2013, 11:03PM
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Spydyr wrote:

The Oilers are the softest team in the NHL. They have missed the playoffs going on eight years. Coincidence.I think not.

I agree they need to get tougher, but were not building a Brian Burke team. We switch goalies with every team and were in the playoffs.

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#295 Quicksilver ballet
December 12 2013, 11:03PM
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Spydyr wrote:

At least you never said they should trade for Weber.

Not in print, but there's always a subliminal cry for someone to throw the Oil a life jacket. If you read between the lines, it's always there.

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#296 2004Z06
December 12 2013, 11:04PM
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Loweblows wrote:

Gag-me is an Oiler killer. If Eakins is preaching accountability then Gag-me better be sitting next game. And on another tangent, would Louie DeBrusk please go away!

Can't sit him until Gordon is back. No depth at center.

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#297 Spydyr
December 12 2013, 11:04PM
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Well it is bed time,wonder if Dubnyk is going to wake up in the middle of the night trying to catch that floater.

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#298 Andy7190
December 12 2013, 11:04PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

Will who?

Ty Rimmer, former Lethbridge Hurricanes goalie, without whom this year, the Canes have become the biggest laughing stock in junior hockey, what with players walking off the team and demanding trades.

Anyone would think they were playing on the NY Island, it's been such a debacle.

Rimmer is a decent goalie. He fights for every puck.

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#299 **
December 12 2013, 11:07PM
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Wohin gehst du? wrote:

Completely unrelated, I was just at the Barons site, and I saw that Ty Rimmer, the goalie who has just three games played, has more points than Will Acton, who has played four...

He is awesome, he was in the Oilers training camp. Dressed up on the rookies vs Golden bears game. He is from St. Albert I think. He looked good.

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#300 2004Z06
December 12 2013, 11:09PM
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Spydyr wrote:

To bad he never answered the question this summer.The team might not have been out of the playoffs by Halloween.

Even you have to admit he tried to.

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