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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#101 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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#102 vetinari
December 12 2013, 10:06PM
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Damn you Iggy... Damn you to hell...

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#103 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
December 12 2013, 10:06PM
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Iginla is an Oiler Killer.

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#104 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
December 12 2013, 10:08PM
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Another nail in Dubnyk's coffin?

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#105 Ari Gold
December 12 2013, 10:09PM
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That softie by Dub'er did the Oil in.

This team needs a bomb on the powerplay. They should use Yak for his shot on the halfboards.

Arco looked great battling Chara.

The Bs were all battling the flu and still looked far superior in structure to the Oilers. I wish my team was that good.

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#106 Spydyr
December 12 2013, 10:13PM
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Looks like Jack is bringing his own donuts to the game.

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#107 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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#108 **
December 12 2013, 10:18PM
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FireKLowe wrote:

The fcukin a$$hole $hitnyk cost us the game!!! Get rid of that sob!!!

It wasn't just him. The whole team was being ragdolled through the first 20 minutes. GAgner was specially awful

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#109 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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#110 Thumby
December 12 2013, 10:22PM
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Ok we lost - but I have to say those last 2 periods were damn good for the Oil.

If they bring that to the rink every night, I'd be more than pleased and we'd win our fair share of games.

But they have to get Bryz in net so we don't always start the game -1 on a shi$$y Dub softie...I don't care about his save %, his bad goal per game is just killing our mojo.

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#111 Spydyr
December 12 2013, 10:23PM
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Thumby wrote:

Ok we lost - but I have to say those last 2 periods were damn good for the Oil.

If they bring that to the rink every night, I'd be more than pleased and we'd win our fair share of games.

But they have to get Bryz in net so we don't always start the game -1 on a shi$$y Dub softie...I don't care about his save %, his bad goal per game is just killing our mojo.

Ever dare to think Boston took their foot off the gas a bit?

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#112 Loweblows
December 12 2013, 10:23PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Lowe is an Oiler killer.

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!

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#113 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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#114 TonyT
December 12 2013, 10:28PM
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Better effort than I expected from the Oilers, so I will give them credit. A few comments, I love it how Yakupov is given no rope, but Eberle gives up on a play that leads to a goal and is right out there. Double standards are the sign of great coaching. Who is in charge of the power play!? That first unit umbrella has no one-timer options from the point, and why is RNH (the best setup man on the team) on the second unit!? Lastly, Arcobello was a monster tonight, I don't care about sample size or draft pedigree, move Gagner for a usable part. I'm not saying Arco is the answer long term but neither is Gagner and right now Arco makes this team better than Gagner does.

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#115 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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#116 **
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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#117 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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#118 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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#119 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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#120 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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#121 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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#122 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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#123 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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#124 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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#125 **
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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#126 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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#127 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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#128 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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#129 YAKCITY64
December 12 2013, 11:14PM
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I know this is totally obvious but Klowe needs to be fired just due to the fact that this management team has failed to develop and build the players within our system like guys like David Perron and Boyd Gordon. You have to give Mac T huge props for going after these type of players but the inability by the oilers to draft and develop players like this is right now the downfall of this organization.

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#130 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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#131 Andy7190
December 12 2013, 11:18PM
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2004Z06 wrote:

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

They could you know...

Fire the apparently entrenched assistant coaches..

Just to try and fix some of it.

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#132 Devolution
December 12 2013, 11:56PM
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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?

Same place we are now I would say.

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#133 bwar
December 13 2013, 12:02AM
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@Rinkrat Brown

100% Eakins decision to put that personnel in that position. I'm not calling for Eakins head but I think that poor decision directly led to the loss tonight.

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#134 bazmagoo
December 13 2013, 12:09AM
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@Devolution

"Same place we are now I would say."

You'd have to hope some of the "young guns" wouldn't have wanted to lose as badly as they would have if Perron's production wasn't replaced, lol.

Personally I think the Oilers have actually done pretty well with RNH's, Hall's and Eberle's contract, with the latest news about the cap. All 1st line talent with reasonable contracts and no, no trade clauses. Which of them gets our #1 d-man? The one we need so funking desperately.

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#135 2004Z06
December 13 2013, 08:43AM
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Rinkrat Brown wrote:

But coaching isn't the problem, no, no, coaching couldn't possibly be the problem... Defensive zone clearances aren't a coaching issue... Crikey! Defensive zone clearances are an issue when you're coaching U-12 girls' soccer! Why does Eakins get a free ride from the Edmonton media???

Unless you are in the room, or on the ice in practice, you can't know for sure what the coach is teaching them.

I am sure he isn't teaching them to turn the puck over with lazy passes across the ice, toe drags at the line or the behind the back no look passes that end up in our net.

These players are not executing the system, that is not the coaches fault. Every one of these first rounder's got by on talent alone in jr. They all have some really bad habits that need to be broken.

How about we give the guy a season before we hang him from the rafters?

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#136 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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#137 **
December 12 2013, 01:12PM
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It's a trap!

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#138 tileguy55
December 12 2013, 01:15PM
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all the Bruins commercial can be found here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCVdBHRJvhM

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#139 Mo Playoffs Mo Problems
December 12 2013, 01:17PM
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@ Jason Gregor

A little off topic, but I'm curious: do you think the new GM in Calgary will fire Hartley so that he can have "his guy" coach the team?

I haven't watched many Flames games this year, but it seems like Hartley has the team working hard and playing fundamental hockey despite being significantly under-skilled to compete with the Western Conference heavyweights. Do you see this as a "Ralph Krueger" type situation where Hartley won't necessarily deserve to be fired, but will be replaced so the GM can hire the coach he wants?

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#140 Mo Playoffs Mo Problems
December 12 2013, 02:17PM
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@Jason Gregor

As suspected. Thanks for clarifying.

I read that Burke has permission to talk to Joe Nieuwendyk about taking over as GM. It's going to be very interesting to watch this play out; although I can't say I'm excited to watch the Oilers match up with another soon-to-be heavy/pugnacious/truculent Pacific division team...

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#141 Dobolo
December 12 2013, 02:17PM
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Have you even watched any of the Calgary games. Calgary is at least 10 points ahead of where they should be due to coaching. They would be idiots to fire Hartley. This is coming from an Oilers fan that hates the Flames.

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#142 The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33
December 12 2013, 02:39PM
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Oil win 6-1. Goals by Tikannen, Simpson, Kurri and Coffey with the trick.

Craig Janney gets pasted into the boards by the Moose. Out for the season.

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#143 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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#144 The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33
December 12 2013, 03:19PM
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Old Timer wrote:

Awesome.

I will record it on my new Sony Beta recorder.

Does it come with the remote that has a long cord?

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#145 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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#146 tileguy55
December 12 2013, 05:17PM
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@camdog

here here.

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#147 Spoils
December 12 2013, 05:18PM
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Strikes me the Oil should set up differently when they get a lead.

Attack
Perron-RNH-Eberle
Hall-Gagner-Yak
Joenssu-Arco-Hemsky
Jones-Gordon-Smyth

Defend
Perron-RNH-Eberle
Hall-Gordon-Smyth
Jones-Arco-Hemsky
Joenssu-Gagner-Yak

with the 4th lines getting very little time. sub in Gordon on some key draws in attack mode to make up for decreased time.

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#148 sizedoesmatter
December 12 2013, 06:54PM
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If they don't start the game shorthanded as usual and the power play scores the Oilers may pull off the upset. They should be motivated

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

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#150 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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