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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#151 **
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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#152 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
December 12 2013, 11:25PM
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camdog wrote:

"We want black-and-blue hockey here," Burke said. "That's what we do in Alberta."

Burkie didn't say that's what we do in Calgary, no that's what we do in Alberta. Burkie's going to make it his mandate to beat the snot out of the Oilers.

I'm glad Burkies in cowtown...makes for a better rivalry....let the hate rain down!

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#153 2004Z06
December 12 2013, 11:25PM
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Andy7190 wrote:

They could you know...

Fire the apparently entrenched assistant coaches..

Just to try and fix some of it.

Hey I am all for getting rid of the assistants...But Eakins is not the problem. This team needs better players.

Aside from Perron, Gordon, Arcobello, Belov, Ference, RNH, Hall(if he stops with the horrid turnovers in the offensive zone) everyone should be upgraded. I would probably keep Gazdic as well.

Mac T has batted 70% thus far, but you can't turnover the whole team in one season.

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#154 A-Mc
December 12 2013, 01:06PM
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I've got a good vibe brewing for the Mighty Oil tonight. My emotions say they are going to WIN, but history dictates that i must experience ultimate disappointment at every step, so that means the Oil will Lose; Badly.

Oilers Lose 7-1, but the Dirty Frenchman will STRIKE AGAIN to score the lone goal! (Perron)

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#155 Smokey
December 12 2013, 01:53PM
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Shocked about Feaster. Calgary was over achieving, every knew they were bad but frankly that team plays hard and has had injuries to their top players.

I guess Burkie said WTF is this Mark Janikowski.

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#156 Old Timer
December 12 2013, 03:16PM
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@The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33

Awesome.

I will record it on my new Sony Beta recorder.

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#157 Dog Train
December 12 2013, 04:59PM
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Now for a real test. I'm cautiously optimistic about this one because that's just my nature. I have lots of relatives who are Bruins fans so a win tonight might make hockey talk a little more bearable at Christmas time.

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#158 camdog
December 12 2013, 05:11PM
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tileguy55 wrote:

Must win or what?

1. we miss the playyoffs.

2.Oiler fans congregate and burn down rexall (stores and arenas)

3. Klowe gets fired :)

#2 and #3- it's gut check time. The season is over, but they still owe it to the fans and taxpayers who pay thousands of dollars so that they can make their millions. If they have any respect for themselves or the city they will play hard tonight and win.

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#159 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
December 12 2013, 07:47PM
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If we make it out of this game without any major injuries, I'll consider it a victory.

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#160 @Oilanderp
December 12 2013, 08:14PM
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Wow... what a piss poor backcheck on that second goal (or was it the third? *chews his own fingers off*). Piss poor. I can't tell who it is as my grainy internet feed isn't good enough. Their number ended in 4. Eberle? Smyth?

Someone tell me who that was. Unacceptable.

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#161 Kevin
December 12 2013, 08:27PM
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with Lowe and Mac T trading off their heart and sole D-Man Smid, they now have freed up some cap space to sign Yakopov to a 7 year $42 million contract. Can some please STOP the insanity ! this is to comical and quite honestly sad for us long time Oil fans. Looking for a new team to cheer for ! Surfing centre ice for an NHL team to watch.

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#162 Spydyr
December 12 2013, 08:39PM
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Loweblows wrote:

Watch the replay on the first goal. Ya Dubnyk is useless but watch gagner. He not once kicks it into high gear to back check. Watch the second goal. He leaves a man in front of Dubnnyk unmolested and then screens him. Watch the third goal. Gagner is once again seen in the distance floating back. Is Eakins being forced to play Gagner as he is MacT's pet? Or is Eakins really that incompetent to keep sending out Gagner?

Katz's kid likes him.

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#163 @Oilanderp
December 12 2013, 08:39PM
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Eberle on the pt making a cross-D pass along the blueline. Schultz Sr. bails him out. My god, get it deep or put it on net. Yay Perron!

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#164 RexHolez
December 12 2013, 09:00PM
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Dubnyk, Gagner, Petry and J Schultz hype is whats wrong with the oilers

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#165 Alsker
December 12 2013, 09:45PM
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Rocket wrote:

Jack Michaels:"Gagner with a shot on net"

Wait, what!?! Gagner is actually playing tonight? Huh, I couldn't tell.

with a -3 how couldn't you tell.

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#166 Quicksilver ballet
December 12 2013, 10:09PM
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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?

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#167 Thumby
December 12 2013, 10:18PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Looks like Jack is bringing his own donuts to the game.

He's following the Bob Stauffer diet...

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#168 Spydyr
December 12 2013, 10:26PM
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Andy7190 wrote:

You did so!

You are right, though. How many games have the Oil lost now (despite certain bloggers apologist articles) because of Dubnyk?

The guy doesn't win.

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

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#169 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
December 12 2013, 10:28PM
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Andy7190 wrote:

You did so!

You are right, though. How many games have the Oil lost now (despite certain bloggers apologist articles) because of Dubnyk?

The guy doesn't win.

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......

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#170 Rocket
December 12 2013, 10:32PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Things are bad....

Even DSF has quit trying to help right the Oilers woes.

LOL Right because DSF always "helped" things around here.

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#171 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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#172 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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#173 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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#174 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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#175 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
December 12 2013, 11:10PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Well it is bed time,wonder if Dubnyk is going to wake up in the middle of the night trying to catch that floater.

Beauty!...lol...sign out on a high note!

Edit: and on post 300..at the end of page six.... You're at the top of your game tonight!

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#176 2004Z06
December 12 2013, 11:16PM
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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.

You are right! 6 coaches in 6 years would fix everything!

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#177 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
December 12 2013, 11:22PM
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Andy7190 wrote:

Dubnyk? Win a Vezina?

In Phoenix or St. Louis?

Not bloody likely...

Just to be clear, I'm talking about Devan Dubnyk. Master of the save %.

Not remotely likely......but it would be just our luck to suffer through his development just to see him freakishly flourish somewhere else.....ok....$750 K

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#178 Lofty
December 13 2013, 05:31AM
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@YAKCITY64

Coincidence that the Oil's best players weren't on the team last year? Perron,Gordon Arco... I think not.

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#179 S cottV
December 12 2013, 01:26PM
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Interesting that Eakins came out and publicly back tracked on his stance at the start "if the Oilers are gonna win, it will have to be done his way"

Now its "a coach would be real dumb, if he continued to impose his will on a player group not suited for playing his way" So - he goes on to say that a number of things have been changed but didnt say what, at least in the interview I saw on TSN, which may have been cut short.

The swarm is probably the biggest thing he is refering to - thank god, but dont see as much scorer types on PK and 5 forwards on the PP - among other things. That kind of risk is only maybe necessary when you really need a goal - bad.

Anyway - must be some pressure coming down on Eakins to eat some humble pie in public. Not a fan of MacT's selection of a rookie coach to lead this team. However - whats done is done and maybe with Eakins ego in check, the team will be led more effectively.

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#180 sidney frosby
December 12 2013, 01:45PM
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Pretty sure Feaster saw the end when Burke came in..

Pretty sure Burke will be the new GM or someone that has worked with Burke before (Dave Nonis anyone?)

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#181 Smokey
December 12 2013, 01:48PM
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No offence 2 percent realty is cheeper and I dont have to win a prize.

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#182 Rod from Viking
December 12 2013, 05:47PM
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I don't expect the Bruin's "A" game tonight due to injuries,flu and on the road, I also don't think the Oiler's will win but it may be a close game. I am more interested in tomorrows game in Vancouver, this is the first game since Zack(the simpleton) Kassian broke Sam's jaw. Let's compare the team toughness; Canuck's have Kassian, Bieksa,Sestito,Stanton,Alberts and Garrison, The Oiler's have Gadzic and Ference(kind of) and who else? After the Canuck's ran the Oiler's show in Edmonton McTavish picked up McIntyre. With no chance for play-offs I hope he is called up but I won't hold my breath.

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#183 Andy7189
December 12 2013, 08:01PM
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After watching Brian Burke earlier and Dallas Eakins in the game tonight...

I am not sure who is most in need of a stylist.

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#184 Spydyr
December 12 2013, 08:02PM
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vetinari wrote:

Okay, Dubnyk lovers, any comment on that first goal?

Not a Dubnyk lover in the least but my comment is Dammit Dubnyk.

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#185 vetinari
December 12 2013, 08:16PM
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Could we stop with the blueline turnovers while on the PP? They are getting old already.

I expect Chara and Boychuk to be smoking cigars on the bench between shifts during the second...

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#186 RexHolez
December 12 2013, 08:41PM
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Someone call bettman and ask how many skaters we have to take out to play 2 goalies

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#187 @Oilanderp
December 12 2013, 08:45PM
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If that fight had an effect on you as a fan, imagine what it did to the bench.

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#188 Spydyr
December 12 2013, 08:45PM
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Does that awesome scrap show up on the stats guy's spreadsheets?

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#189 RexHolez
December 12 2013, 08:50PM
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Harry wrote:

To all the Oiler fans out there.

If you have any balls or want to see this gong show end. Join me Dec 21st on hockey night in Canada behind the Oilers net during warmups. Im drivin all the way from Vernon BC to spend my hard earned dollars. We deserve better. Paper bags or not.

LET IT BE KNOWN!!!!!

I'll be watching!

Why do buchy and gang still have jobs?? Get rid of em, if not for all the loosing atleast cuz I'm just plain tired of looking at them, I can imagine how the players feel

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#190 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
December 12 2013, 09:28PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Does that awesome scrap show up on the stats guy's spreadsheets?

I can't tell if I should be enjoying what I'm seeing.....too many intangibles..... Romulus, can you please check the stats sheet and tell me whether or not I should be enjoying this?

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#191 Alsker
December 12 2013, 09:35PM
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vetinari wrote:

Eakins have a rye & coke going in that cup or what?

Watching these guys night in and night out it would be a rye and vodka for me.

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#192 Spydyr
December 12 2013, 09:35PM
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Hall why do you hate blue lines what did they ever do to you?

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#193 vetinari
December 12 2013, 09:45PM
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Where does Boston keep coming up with these goalies? What a factory.

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#194 OilMan31
December 12 2013, 09:47PM
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I have to say win or lose we have played a great game past the middle of the first period where it looked like we were done.

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#195 Spydyr
December 12 2013, 09:47PM
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Rocket wrote:

Jack Michaels:"Gagner with a shot on net"

Wait, what!?! Gagner is actually playing tonight? Huh, I couldn't tell.

Dubnyk noticed trust me.

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#196 Rod from Viking
December 12 2013, 09:57PM
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Oiler's putting in an effort and crowd is behind them, see how that works Taylor & Jordan, that is all it takes.

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#197 vetinari
December 12 2013, 10:06PM
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Damn you Iggy... Damn you to hell...

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#198 cubsfan
December 12 2013, 10:21PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

Check out Brian Burkes disheveled look at the Feaster press conference.......Burke looks like he's aged 10 years in 6 months!

Really does look like the Mighty Oz!

yeah he didnt look very 'truculent'......he looked more haggered and tired

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#199 **
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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#200 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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