GDB 35.0: TRYING TO BRYZ BY THE DUCKS

Jason Gregor
December 15 2013 09:51AM

Ilya Bryzgalov has been cleared to play and should return to the lineup tonight against his first NHL team, the Anaheim Ducks. The Oilers are hoping he injects some life, enthusiasm and even some humour into a downtrodden dressing room.

The Oilers were dominated in Vancouver, and despite a solid 40 minutes against the Bruins on Thursday, the Oilers are 0-2 in their six-game stretch against elite teams. They will need to put forth a much better effort tonight, if they want to avoid being blown out by the red-hot Ducks.

The Ducks have won four straight, and are 7-1-2 in their last ten games and they've only allowed 22 goals in their past ten games. The Ducks finished 2nd in the west last season, and some suggested that their underlying statistics suggested that was a lucky 48-game stretch.

If you combine last year's 48 games with their first 34 this year you see an outstanding 82-game stretch.

The Ducks are 52-19-11 good for 115 points and they've outscored the opposition 248-205. The Ducks are a very good team and despite not having a true dominant #1 D-man, their blueline has been very steady even with Francois Beauchemin missing the last ten games. 

  GP  G  A  P  +/-  PIM  TOI/G
Cam Fowler 34 3 16 19 6 8 24:03:00
Francois Beauchemin 24 0 6 6 15 19 21:54
Ben Lovejoy 32 1 4 5 9 10 20:03
Hampus Lindholm 32 2 8 10 14 12 19:17
Bryan Allen 31 0 6 6 12 34 18:51
Luca Sbisa 9 0 1 1 -5 25 18:00
Sami Vatanen 26 3 4 7 0 12 17:54
Mark Fistric 13 1 1 2 -1 14 15:47
Nolan Yonkman 2 0 1 1 -1 0 14:53
Alex Grant 2 2 0 2 3 2 12:10

Fowler is playing in every situation. He plays 3:15/game on the PP and 2:47/game on the PK. Since Beauchemin went down, he's started playing even more and he's only 22 years old.

Hampus Lindholm played 44 games in the AHL last year as an 18-year old, and at 19 he has stepped into the NHL and performed very well. Ben Lovejoy was acquired for a 5th round pick last February, and he's turned out to be a steal for the Ducks.

They play a very solid game in their D-zone, and when they get the puck Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry take over. Getzlaf is 4th in NHL scoring with 16-22-38, while Perry is 6th with 21-15-36. Both of them are locks to make the Olympic team again, and their line, with Dustin Penner, is carrying the Ducks offensively.

Whoever matches up against that trio tonight is in for a tough game.

The Oilers are 1-5-1 over the past two seasons vs. the Ducks, and they've been outscored 21-8 in those seven games. They've struggled handling the Ducks' size, especially Getzlaf and Perry, and the Oilers will be hard pressed to avoid their 7th loss in 8 games vs. Anaheim.

LINEUP...UPDATE

Hall-RNH-Eberle
Smyth-Gordon-Perron
Joensuu-Arcobello-Yakupov
Gazdic-Gagner-Jones

Ales Hemsky is out with a rib injury, from the Ryan Kesler hit in Vancouver.

Ryan Smyth will draw in and Eakins will have to change his lines. Gagner will need to earn his way back into the top-nine I suspect, and I won't be surprised to see Smyth back with Gordon and Perron. The Oilers need Hall, RNH and Eberle to match the intensity and determination of Perron. If they do that, this team will have a much better chance of winning more games.

***Update***

Looks like I was wrong...Gagner gets promoted to 2nd line...

Hall-RNH-Eberle
Perron-Gagner-Yakupov
Smyth-Gordon-Jones
Joensuu-Arcobello-Gazdic

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

Eakins could switch his pairs and maybe try to match Petry and Ference vs. Getzlaf's line, otherwise Larsen or J.Schultz could be in for some long shifts in the D zone.

Bryzgalov

I'm assuming he starts. The Ducks are one of his former teams, and the Oilers will need a strong performance in goal to stay in this game.

QUICK HITS....

  • Jason LaBarbera must feel like he won the lottery. He struggled in Edmonton, was demoted to the AHL, got recalled due to an injury and then he was dealt to the first place Chicago Blackhawks. When Corey Crawford returns from his injury, I suspect the Hawks will send Raanta back to the AHL and LaBarbera will stay as the back up. The Hawks don't need to rush young players, and they will want Raanta to play more games in the AHL I suspect.
     
  • It was a smart trade by MacTavish. They free up a roster spot, plus it allows them to keep Laurent Brossoit in OKC and share time between the pipes with Richard Bachman. LaBarbera was the wrong choice in the summer, and the Oilers will need to do a better job next year when they go searching for a back up. They can't sign the wrong guy again.
     
  • The Ducks special teams aren't very good. Their PP is 19th and the PK is 21st, but the Ducks dominate teams at ES. They've outscored their opponents 78-55 at 5-on-5. They are 2nd in ES goals in the league.
     
  • The Oilers are almost the exact opposite to the Ducks at ES. The Oilers have given up the most goals 5-on-5, 78, and they've only scored 53. If the Oilers are going to win tonight, they likely will need at least two goals from their powerplay. 

WHAT DO WE SEE....

GAME DAY PREDICTION: Oilers struggles against the top teams continue with a 3-1 loss.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Dustin Penner scores and the Penner supporters say, "I told you the Oilers should have re-signed him."...The fact he is playing with two Olympians won't be mentioned. Penner is a very smart player defensively, and the Oilers could desperately use someone with his size, skill and smarts, but there is no way he'd have the same success in Edmonton as he is having in Anaheim. Plus, I doubt he would want to return to Edmonton.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Nick Schultz scores his first goal of the season. Schultz loves playing the Ducks. He has six goals in 43 career games vs. Anaheim, but he only has 21 goals in 800 games against the rest of the league. Schultz scores on a seeing shot from the point.

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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#1 Spydyr
December 15 2013, 10:23AM
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"LaBarbera was the wrong choice in the summer, and the Oilers will need to do a better job next year when they go searching for a back up."

I'm more concerned they do a better job next year when they go searching for a starter.

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#2 IamWanye'sEnragedGallbladder
December 15 2013, 11:36AM
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dvasteroid 76 wrote:

Gagner Hemsky and Marincin for Subban Petry Eberle Jones for Tavares and pick

Wait for Yakimov Nurse and Chase

(Putting it out there. ..in hopes universe responds)

This is at the level of moronic Vancouver and Toronto fans. .

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#3 OilDieHard
December 15 2013, 09:59AM
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I hope Bryz plays 45 of our last 48 games so we can see if he's a goalie we might want to re-sign at the end of the year. good luck to Bryz...he'll need it with the defense he has in front of him!

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#5 outdoorzguy
December 15 2013, 10:22AM
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Hopefully this is the beginning of the end of Dubnyk's time in Edmonton!!

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#6 6 ring circus
December 15 2013, 12:01PM
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"LaBarbera was the wrong choice in the summer, and the Oilers will need to do a better job next year when they go searching for a back up."

We have been hearing that for the past 7 seasons,"the Oilers will need to do a better job next year".When will we finally get to say the Oiler's did a great job this year,I hope its in this decade!!!!

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#7 Jase
December 15 2013, 12:11PM
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You know what would be really nice this year as a gift from Wanye and co? A button to report ridiculous posts that cross a line like #14. Encouraging someone to lay in traffic to end themselves and then calling them a bastard is bad form no matter how you slice it. People need to be better. That sh*t isn't funny.

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#8 OilDieHard
December 15 2013, 11:50AM
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hell NO to Perron! he's the only forward who's shown any intensity this season!

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#9 Regretful Reg
December 15 2013, 12:29PM
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Jase wrote:

You know what would be really nice this year as a gift from Wanye and co? A button to report ridiculous posts that cross a line like #14. Encouraging someone to lay in traffic to end themselves and then calling them a bastard is bad form no matter how you slice it. People need to be better. That sh*t isn't funny.

You're absolutely right. In a hungover grumpiness I posted something absolutely not funny and I feel quite bad about it. Im very sorry and I sent an email requesting that it be removed as there is currently no option to do so on the site personally.

@dvasteroid 76, I'm very sorry for saying that. It was unwarranted and inexcusable. I may not agree with you, but I had no right to say that. It was purely in pursuit of humour, but it crossed the line.

The Oilers losing so much is bringing out the worst in all of us. :(

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#10 Spydyr
December 15 2013, 09:59AM
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OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Once again men against boys. With predictable results.

The Oilers get dominated so much Gagner comes out for the third with his bottom chin guard removed but he is wearing "the Gimp" mask.

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#11 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
December 15 2013, 01:05PM
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Telling the guy to lay down in traffic might be a bit much, but 'coagulated gravy eating hot dog bun bastard onion ring sasquatch' is pure gold of a Trailer Park Boys level.

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#12 Spydyr
December 15 2013, 04:19PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Glenn Anderson was a myth who is in the Hall of Fame...His teammates said he was the most clutch player they had, but you say he is a myth. Good one.

Smyth has been a very good player. He isn't great, but no one ever said he was. It is ridiculous that you suggest he is a myth or not a leader. The guy led by his actions on the ice. Showed up, played hard, and never took a shift off for ten years.

The need for you to want to tear a guy down late in his career is pointless.

There is not one player on the Oilers today that even comes close to Anderson.Not a one.

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#13 Ari Gold
December 15 2013, 08:42PM
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I love how failure is acceptable in this organization.

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#14 OilDieHard
December 15 2013, 10:14AM
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good point was made by Gregor though....despite not having a true #1 d-man, the Ducks are winning! yes, it helps to have Teemu, Getzlaf, Perry...but their defense has been very steady. this is what i believe the Oilers need to focus on....instead of endlessly obsessing about getting a #1 d-man, the Oil should try to build a good, solid defense like the Ducks have. you really can win without a true #1 d-man.

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#15 PutzStew
December 15 2013, 01:22PM
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dvasteroid 76 wrote:

Gagner Hemsky and Marincin for Subban Petry Eberle Jones for Tavares and pick

Wait for Yakimov Nurse and Chase

(Putting it out there. ..in hopes universe responds)

I'll respond. Quit smoking Crack and you might have a better grasp on life. That is all.

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#16 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
December 15 2013, 05:17PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

Anderson shouldn't be in the HOF - nor should several others (Clarke Gilles comes to mind) a life-long second liner who got to play against other teams second line with mess as his center man. Only a dozen or so more points than theo fluery who played super-tough first line minutes and isn't in the HOF.

As for his teammates pumping his (and by connection, their) tires is hardly surprising and surely you don't take their word for it.

As for Smyth - he was an effective player back in the day - never said he wasn't. But please point to evidence that he was ever a team leader other than by example and while he may have never taken a shift off in his first ten years he certainly has since so what message/leadership does that give his current teammates? And even though he has faded skills wise there remains nil evidence that he has assumed the role of mentor/leader. Thus the commenters claims above are based on myth not fact.

This is a troll right? cause if not then WOW...Just WOW

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#17 vetinari
December 15 2013, 05:37PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

Anderson shouldn't be in the HOF - nor should several others (Clarke Gilles comes to mind) a life-long second liner who got to play against other teams second line with mess as his center man. Only a dozen or so more points than theo fluery who played super-tough first line minutes and isn't in the HOF.

As for his teammates pumping his (and by connection, their) tires is hardly surprising and surely you don't take their word for it.

As for Smyth - he was an effective player back in the day - never said he wasn't. But please point to evidence that he was ever a team leader other than by example and while he may have never taken a shift off in his first ten years he certainly has since so what message/leadership does that give his current teammates? And even though he has faded skills wise there remains nil evidence that he has assumed the role of mentor/leader. Thus the commenters claims above are based on myth not fact.

Let's take a quick look at 'ol Glenn...

Glenn Anderson,

Regular season stats- 1129 games, 498 goals, 601 assists for 1,099 pts.

Playoffs- 225 games, 93 goals, 121 assists for 214 points.

4 time NHL All-Star

6 Stanley Cups

@Serious Gord, buy some eyeglasses my friend because THAT is what a HHOF career looks like...

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#18 RexHolez
December 15 2013, 08:45PM
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Can you guys imagine watching the oilers play .500 hockey again? We'd think they're a dynasty

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#19 Gerald
December 15 2013, 09:13PM
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Good teams pace themselves during the season , Anaheim did enough to win.

Fans will think Oilers competed but Anaheim brought their B game.

Oilers have 21 losses already in 35 games. 8 years wasted

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#20 michael
December 15 2013, 10:03AM
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For all the Nuck haters, including me, the Nucks not only handed us our lunch but they included a take out bag for the Bruins. I'll say it again.The Bruins might be the 6-7 in the WEST.

IB will need to stand on his head for the Oilers to have any chance. Getzlaf and Perry are both in Olympic form. Hall and Ebs should pay close attention tonight. This is what OLYMPIC level athletes look and play like.

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#21 Do bolo
December 15 2013, 12:35PM
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Jase wrote:

You know what would be really nice this year as a gift from Wanye and co? A button to report ridiculous posts that cross a line like #14. Encouraging someone to lay in traffic to end themselves and then calling them a bastard is bad form no matter how you slice it. People need to be better. That sh*t isn't funny.

Somebody call a whambulance, my feelings are hurt.

Make up an asinine trade scenario and you get dumped on, simple as that.

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#22 Rcky
December 15 2013, 12:51PM
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Won't make a difference who is in net. If Anaheim decide to play a 60 minute game .

Oilers need to find a non- contact league. They cannot compete in the NHL.

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#23 YFC Prez
December 15 2013, 08:35PM
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Poop. Stupid penner.

Oh well if Eakins gets them playing like that every night this season is going to be a whole lot more respectable going forward.

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#24 PancakesForDayzzz
December 15 2013, 10:06AM
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#PENNERFORSOCHI

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#25 Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate
December 15 2013, 10:25AM
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Miss Evangeline

Well Done Gregor, She is HOT

Oh and, Go Oilers

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#26 Quicksilver ballet
December 15 2013, 03:37PM
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Another men against boys effort tonight. The same pussy Oilers get run over at every opportunity without the Ducks having to break a sweat.

Good thing this throttling won't happen in front of the home folk. Penner with the hatty, in an 8-1 gong show effort.

Keep in mind.... this is progress according to those teets in management. These kids can't bail management out soon enough.

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#27 Reg Dunlop
December 15 2013, 07:17PM
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@Serious Gord

So, if Messier played 2nd line centre behind 99 HE doesn't belong in the HOF?

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#28 Reg Dunlop
December 15 2013, 07:45PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

Messier was second behind the third best player in hockey history (Orr and Lemieux being one and two) so he got the great benefit of second line minutes to pad his numbers but he was a dominant player on every team he played for.

Anderson played behind kurri - big difference and he never played first line anywhere.

As for sundin mentioned above he was the second best swede to ever play for the leafs. But he was also the softest 6'5" player of his era. Got a lot of easy points when the leafs were often awful.

I know you are only fishing for some attention, calling 99 the 3rd best and saying Andy doesn't belong in the Hall. I'm not biting.

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#29 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
December 15 2013, 08:40PM
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At least they were in it for the whole game. But that kind of thinking is also what got us to this point. This team confuses me...

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#30 Ricky
December 15 2013, 09:23PM
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What a joke , fans think they might have players that may make the Olympic team this year. They have never played under pressure, the only pressure on them is not to embarrass themselves. And they fold under that pressure most nights

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#31 bwar
December 15 2013, 03:26PM
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Still trying to decide if its even going to be worthwhile to turn the TV on tonight. The Vancouver game was just depressing.

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#32 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
December 15 2013, 04:51PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Glenn Anderson was a myth who is in the Hall of Fame...His teammates said he was the most clutch player they had, but you say he is a myth. Good one.

Smyth has been a very good player. He isn't great, but no one ever said he was. It is ridiculous that you suggest he is a myth or not a leader. The guy led by his actions on the ice. Showed up, played hard, and never took a shift off for ten years.

The need for you to want to tear a guy down late in his career is pointless.

THANK YOU!!!! Grew up watching Anderson play in the 80's Dude was awesome. Who at that time didn't get chills when he broke in on the wing? It was gonna be a goal or a glorious crash or both. He knew how to pay the price.

Smytty has been a fantastic Oiler and i just hate that he has to get painted with the stink that this franchise has become.

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#33 Fresh Mess
December 15 2013, 06:47PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

I beg to differ. Smyth has been unimpressive since re-signing with the oils and really wasn't that great during his Odessey away from the team. He certainly takes nights off; really isn't that chippy; doesn't seem to be much of a mentor or leader.

He is far more myth than reality. But then the same can be said for a lot of players in the oilers past Glenn Anderson being #1 in that regard.

You mean the Glenn Anderson who is the 4th highest scorer all time in NHL playoff history?

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#34 vetinari
December 15 2013, 07:27PM
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I hate to say it but overall, I like Bryzer's game a lot and think that a veteran goalie settles the team down better than "Up and Down-nyk".

Bryzer's positioning is way better, he plays the shot and then follows it to the ice in case he drops it (which is rarely), he knows how to look around players in his crease, he knows where the play is going and responds by repositioning himself, and he actually directs his defencemen... overall, when he has started, the team looks less jittery and disorganized in front of him.

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#35 Reg Dunlop
December 15 2013, 07:37PM
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Would someone please throw some blue and orange paint on Bryz' mask! It's like a guy not intending to stay long so he never bothers to unpack.

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#36 **
December 15 2013, 05:53PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Glenn Anderson was a myth who is in the Hall of Fame...His teammates said he was the most clutch player they had, but you say he is a myth. Good one.

Smyth has been a very good player. He isn't great, but no one ever said he was. It is ridiculous that you suggest he is a myth or not a leader. The guy led by his actions on the ice. Showed up, played hard, and never took a shift off for ten years.

The need for you to want to tear a guy down late in his career is pointless.

Serious Gord is just having a senior moment today.

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#37 Reg Dunlop
December 15 2013, 07:24PM
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What an amazing difference having a NHL goalie makes. Everyone's attitude and compete level raises knowing that victory is possible tonight. Here's hoping we never see DD again.

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#38 **
December 15 2013, 09:01PM
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So the Ducks coasted to victory. They barely even tried while the Oilers looked like they were playing game 7 of the SCF. Eakins genius moves didn't quite work. But Gagner scored and had a good night on the FO, so now let' shere how he's back and he's such a great player *yawns*. PS: What a difference a solid goalie makes. Bryz didn't look shaky at all tonight. Even the Ducks respected him, i didn't see any shot from mid ice.

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#39 Simon
December 15 2013, 09:14PM
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Ari Gold wrote:

I love how failure is acceptable in this organization.

Not only is it acceptable it is their philosophy. Losing

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#40 Wohin gehst du?
December 15 2013, 10:52AM
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PancakesForDayzzz wrote:

#PENNERFORSOCHI

Honestly, If Kunitz is going because of chemistry, Penner should too...

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#41 Retsinnab5
December 15 2013, 11:56AM
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Hopefully the Oilers get down to BRYZness and beat the Ducks

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#42 Oliveoiler
December 15 2013, 01:41PM
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Downtrodden eh? Well, how about playing the way you KNOW you can - Minni 6-1, Nuks 7-2, Avs 8-2, Hawks 8-4 as you have before? How about playing the way you outplayed Boston for the last 40 minutes? How about you play as a team instead of 12 individual players? How about playing so your fans don't boo you off the ice? How about playing the way you promised when you were 12 years old if you made the NHL, Finally, how about playing as if the threat of demotion/loss of salary was a direct result of EVERY game. Win please - regularly. Just a thought

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#43 **
December 15 2013, 09:07PM
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reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan) wrote:

It's the commitment to the troll that I applaud. Love it man. Good on ya

Bob Stauffer is a joke. Oilers apologist and only defends his own views, even when people throw stats at him to prove him wrong. Ha ha you think mentioning Bob Stauffer here will add credibility to your argument. Thanks for the laugh. This post is in response to Serious Gord ( I don't know why the quote didn't show): "Ask bob stauffer if I'm joking. He and I have had this discussion (along with my claim that the worst draft mistake ever was Mtl picking lafleur (stauffers hero) over Dionne) on several occasions over the years."

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#44 Fresh Mess
December 15 2013, 10:43AM
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Spydyr wrote:

"LaBarbera was the wrong choice in the summer, and the Oilers will need to do a better job next year when they go searching for a back up."

I'm more concerned they do a better job next year when they go searching for a starter.

For every good decision MacLooselips makes, he also makes a horrendous one. I expect more of the same going forward with predictable results.

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#45 Brian
December 15 2013, 01:05PM
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GDP: 1. The Fab 4 will float around then retire to a club for a few . 2. Perron will work his rear off. 3. Bryz gets yanked 4. The D will be awfull 5. The Oil will get pumped 5-1

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#46 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
December 15 2013, 01:36PM
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dvasteroid 76 wrote:

Gagner Hemsky and Marincin for Subban Petry Eberle Jones for Tavares and pick

Wait for Yakimov Nurse and Chase

(Putting it out there. ..in hopes universe responds)

I'll help pile on.

No way these trades ever come close to fruition. For Subban, the conversation would likely start at Hall + our 1st. Tavares is the new captain on the Isles, I can't see him going for less than Eberle and probably one of Nuge or Yak, most likely Nuge.

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#47 **
December 15 2013, 05:52PM
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reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan) wrote:

This is a troll right? cause if not then WOW...Just WOW

Sadly, no, he just thinks he is right.

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#48 G-Unit
December 15 2013, 08:10PM
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Why does the team so convinced that Arcobello isn't a full-time NHL player? I see a player making the most of his opportunity and the team thinks he is too small. He and Perron are the 2 most physically effective forwards on the team.

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#49 PutzStew
December 15 2013, 09:39PM
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I just wanted to point out the Edmonton is now 6 points behind the "Favorite to last in the West", Calgary Flames right now, and the Flames have 2 games in hand.

So two things.

1) How are the (Supposed) media going to spin this weekend in to a positive. I'm sure it will be humorous and will continue to make people such as Gregor and Stauffer looking even more foolish then they do already, as the try to maintain paying employment and not face the wrath of the Oilers. In other words they are going to avoid the elephant in the room and won't lay the blame on the feet of management, development or anyone in the oilers organization. I'm sure they will find a way to blame Dubnyk for tonights loose some how or pump the tires of Hall for the Olympics.

2) Maybe this is Edmonton's plan to win the battle of Alberta by getting higher draft picks then Calgary, thus slowing their rebuild.

Naw….Edmonton just sucks.

Avatar
#50 OILERSODEATH
December 15 2013, 12:45PM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
8
cheers

Please, I wouldn't call the Casucks elite, Boston yes but not the Casucks.

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