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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#301 Disappointed Italian Oiler Fan
December 12 2013, 02:26PM
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Bruins win 5:1

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#302 Spydyr
December 12 2013, 06:49PM
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OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: When push comes to shove the little guy loses.Oilers hang in until the Bruins try hard enough to pick up the two points.

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#303 David S
December 12 2013, 06:51PM
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camdog wrote:

#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.

They can play as hard as they want. Boston is MAGNITUDES better. Unless the fix is in the Bruins should walk away with this one.

I'll be happy if the Oilers just make it difficult and compete like they give a crap.

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#304 vetinari
December 12 2013, 07:42PM
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So, predictions on shot totals tonight? I say 45-20 for Boston...

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#305 Fresh Mess
December 12 2013, 08:21PM
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Plan the parade, or fire everyone ?

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#306 Rod from Viking
December 12 2013, 09:12PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Gagner must of not been on the ice for that Iginla shot.The goalie was not screened.

Petry was having a decent game until that give away.

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#307 Spydyr
December 12 2013, 09:31PM
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Petry is picking them off one by one.

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#308 Rod from Viking
December 12 2013, 09:41PM
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vetinari wrote:

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

Maybe Will Farrell's new sport drink, bull testesteron with cat-nip.

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#309 Wax Man Riley
December 12 2013, 09:46PM
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#wouldof

#couldof

#shouldof

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#310 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
December 12 2013, 10:03PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

NHL play of the week...Perron's one handed wrap around goal!

NHL fight of the week Gadzik vs Lucic !

NHL comeback game of the week!???

.

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#311 Thumby
December 12 2013, 10:17PM
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Andy7190 wrote:

Dubnyk is an Oiler killer.

Ha - beat you to it!

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#312 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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#313 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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#314 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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#315 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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#316 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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#317 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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#318 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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#319 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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#320 **
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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#321 Spydyr
December 13 2013, 09:12AM
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2004Z06 wrote:

Even you have to admit he tried to.

Sure he tried no doubt there.Obviously not hard enough.

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#322 hall the time
December 13 2013, 09:27AM
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bazmagoo wrote:

Just a quick question for Oilersnation, where would be if Perron was Paajarvi? If we hadn't traded for Perron?

We would be in last! oh wait :(

Thanks Dubby you reinforced my statement of the OIL need to score 4 goals to have a chance to win games.

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#323 Harlie
December 12 2013, 07:36PM
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Why is Tambellini skating with Eberle in a bank commercial??

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#324 Spydyr
December 12 2013, 07:43PM
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vetinari wrote:

So, predictions on shot totals tonight? I say 45-20 for Boston...

I say closer the Oilers hang in till late in the game because Boston only plays well enough to win.

35-30 Boston

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#325 @Oilanderp
December 12 2013, 08:09PM
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Fargin Lusic.

Good comeback shift though.

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#326 **
December 12 2013, 08:26PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

I doubt that Burke will fire Hartley. The flames are playing very well given the talent level - esp when giordano is in the line up. For what it's worth Burke gave a very strong endorsement of Hartley today.

And if, as you say its hard to judge a coaches performance when they have little talent to work with then ipso facto you can judge a coaches performance more easily when he does have talent to work with. Using your logic we should be very well armed in making a judgement on Eakins around jan 15.

Burke did say during the media availability that he didn't like the way the team was playing. He was talking about the style, but he did praise the work ethic.

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#327 Spydyr
December 12 2013, 08:37PM
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I suppose that is understandable.Best understatement of the night.

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#328 Alsker
December 12 2013, 09:32PM
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Arco-Hemmer-Hall, when did that start?

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#329 Spydyr
December 12 2013, 09:51PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

.Arcobello should merit serious consideration for the Calder.

Seriously...when was the last time you saw a Calder eligible player with such well rounded skills?

Landeskog last year.

edit:Couturier too

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#330 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
December 12 2013, 09:52PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Landeskog last year.

edit:Couturier too

That's true.

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#331 Wohin gehst du?
December 12 2013, 10:27PM
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@Spydyr

Well, if they did that while they were only up 3-2, they aren't actually that great of a team, are they?

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#332 Alsker
December 12 2013, 10:32PM
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@PapaMike

Thx dude...

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#333 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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#334 bazmagoo
December 13 2013, 12:25AM
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How about Eberle, Justin Schultz and a 2nd round pick 2014 (which we acquire at the deadline) for Kevin Shattenkirk and Patrick Bergland from St.Louis. I think the Oilers have a pretty good chance at winning that trade even though they lose the best player, by getting two above average NHL players in return/depth.

Shattenkirk is first d minutes, throw Ference up there with him on the left, keep Petry second line minutes on the right with Belov on the left and you actually have a top 4 resembling an NHL team.

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#335 Spydyr
December 13 2013, 09:16AM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

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!

Thanks bud ,I had consumed some liquid inspiration.

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#336 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
December 13 2013, 12:59PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Fine who replaces him here?

Who cares who replaces him here. We are losing far too often with him so it cant get worse. may stay the same crappy way but it wont get worse. Can you imagine DD in the playoffs when whichever team they face actually focuses and gameplans for him? Not that they will ever see the playoffs....

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#337 aceglfr
December 13 2013, 10:24PM
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i have just finished watching oilers lose to the canucks. Dubnyk was playing way above himself for a while but then as I have been eluding to, one of his many deficiencies was leting the ones go under his pads while on his knees. i noticed Dubnyk making saves any nhl goalie would make because he stayued on his feet, as soon as he goes to his knees he is very imobile and susepetible to pucks going under his pads, its been happening all season To see it over and over again I can't beleive Chabot has not noticed that and let it go on, that proves to me the goalie coach is not capable of improving the goalie and both of them should get the boot. Its about time the Oilers start making people accountable including the coaches I can't beleive some of the mispositions and lack of awareness. The power play sucks, we have given away 7 short handed goals the most in the nhl. We have too many negative records the best way to change is to have a capable goalie.

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#338 aceglfr
December 13 2013, 10:59PM
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I am an Oiler fan and I want to know if the Oilers are ever going to resolve a glaring problem that seems obvious to Oiler fans and yet the media seem to support every losing effort of the goalie and offer a bunch of excuses like he had no chance on that one, well yeh, because he was not in the position he should be, like any other goalie its routine, with Dubnyk its like he is doing the breast stroke and then a roll over its too much when its not required and yet he will watch a 30 mph. 80 footer puck drift by him and seems to be parylised until it hits the back of the net. I don't understand why we have been losers far too long. If he keeps playing nothing is going to change.

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#339 aceglfr
December 13 2013, 11:35PM
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another observation Eberle is not the same dynamic player you expect him to be, he seems to have tailed off and seems to be lazier now he has his $6 million and go screw yourself attitude, not bothering to give the extra stride to block the pass i am disappointed i expected more of him. Coaching is at fault. Goalie and coaching needs to change. Too many reoccuring problems. We get blown of the puck just as the guy is breathing out, why can't any body hold the puck for more than three seconds. Fundamentals lacking, #1 puck control = whats that?

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