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 

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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 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
December 15 2013, 03:51PM
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PeOiler wrote:

BelΔnger also said he would not move to Winnepeg, but ended up in Edmonton at the end of the day.

Tow the company line baby.

To quote the great Rocky Burnett

"Baby I'm, Tired of towin' the line. If you wanna get rid of me Baby Baby Baby you're doin' fine"

(Should have said to read that in a Morgan Freeman type voice)

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#152 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
December 15 2013, 06:48PM
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Spydyr wrote:

What those stats fail to show is he was the most fearless forward going to the net I have ever seen.In the time when nets were held in the ice with pipes.

He took absolutely no crap from anyone.More then a few times oppositions players got hit by a "errant" high stick trying to run him.

Finally..."weebles wobble but they don't fall down ."He was the hardest guy in the NHL to knock down.

Oh the memories.

Edit : talk about serendipity post 89 a player who is almost a mirror opposite when it comes to playing hard and being hard to play against.

makes me weep thinking about the good ole days and having to watch this version.

edit/ so far so good tonight however.....dare i hope. Someone hold me.

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#153 Reg Dunlop
December 15 2013, 06:58PM
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A couple of possibilities; 1)the young oil are inconsistent and tonight they are on 2)the Ducks are not really as good as their record 3)the Ducks thought that this game was a free spot on the bingo card. I say 1-20%, 2-20%, 3-100%.

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#154 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
December 15 2013, 07:08PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

I'm 51. Saw lots of him. That was then this is now. And now he is not what he was then.

What?

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#155 Rocket
December 15 2013, 07:13PM
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Wow this game got chippy fast. Glad to see a little push back from The Oilers.

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#156 Rocket
December 15 2013, 07:16PM
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I couldn't see who it was but an Aneheim defender lays a hit from behind on Hall who crashes into the boards and there is no call.

Potter does the same and he gets a game. SMH

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#157 I Remember the Orange Jerseys
December 15 2013, 07:34PM
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@Quicksilver ballet

You asked about the orange jerseys in a previous thread. This was their original road jersey during the WHA years.

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#158 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
December 15 2013, 07:36PM
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Damn another slump busted.

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#159 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
December 15 2013, 07:40PM
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Reg Dunlop wrote:

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.

maybe he isn't. His mask in philly was solid black wasn't it?

maybe solid white is to reverse his fortune. (i say with having no real clue what he intends)

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#160 Serious Gord
December 15 2013, 07:49PM
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Reg Dunlop wrote:

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.

And I'm not joking.

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#161 Serious Gord
December 15 2013, 08:03PM
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reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan) wrote:

yes you are. This is hilarious gord. Bravo on your trolling sir.

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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#162 john
December 16 2013, 02:28AM
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Why are there so many people want us to trade for Ryan Miller or Shea Weber? Miller can't win games for Buffalo so coming to Oilers will not improve anything. Weber's Preds are out of playoff spot so he can't help them to make playoffs, coming to Oilers will not improve our chances either. WE need a veteran coach to get the players get to the next level. I m sick of seeing other young players in other team playing so well. When we have all these 1st picks over all and underachieving. We all hear how good these young guns are but we are not producing on the ice.

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#163 Zamboni Driver
December 16 2013, 09:01AM
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john wrote:

Why are there so many people want us to trade for Ryan Miller or Shea Weber? Miller can't win games for Buffalo so coming to Oilers will not improve anything. Weber's Preds are out of playoff spot so he can't help them to make playoffs, coming to Oilers will not improve our chances either. WE need a veteran coach to get the players get to the next level. I m sick of seeing other young players in other team playing so well. When we have all these 1st picks over all and underachieving. We all hear how good these young guns are but we are not producing on the ice.

Okay so just for the sake of argument.

The coach has been changed every year for the last 23 (or something like that).

The 'good young guns' have been here for lots of those years.

Didja maybe consider the 'good young guns' maybe...just maybe...aren't that good?

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#164 S cottV
December 15 2013, 12:27PM
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@HardBoiledOil

I know this won't be popular but you showcase him too much and he takes one of several offers out of the north pole.

Blend in both Bryz and Dubnyk and continue to hope they both play well off of each other.

If they do - a better chance to sign one or both at a reasonable amount.

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#165 Batfink
December 15 2013, 02:17PM
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@Oliveoiler

Agree with your comments, but how did you come by your handle? I was Oliveoiler until about a month ago when my password ceased to work. Contacted Wanye with no success. I'm still Oliveoiler on Lowetide.ca, however. Now I know how Madjam felt, but at least I agree with my doppelganger!

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#166 **
December 15 2013, 05:56PM
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8-0 Ducks, I'm calling it.

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#167 YFC Prez
December 15 2013, 06:18PM
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Nice. I love seeing those three together.

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#168 Rocket
December 15 2013, 06:20PM
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Wait. The Oilers are winning? Huh, allrighty then.

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#169 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
December 15 2013, 06:25PM
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So why hasn't Bryz painted the mask yet, I wonder?

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#170 Serious Gord
December 15 2013, 07:12PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

I don't have to take their word for it. Anderson's stats showed his ability to score big goals when the team needed it. Also was fearless going to net when they were glued on, and made his own space on the ice. Yes, he was a brutal player.

I guess you are smarter than the Hall of Famer voters, which by the way needed 75% votes to put him in.

The same clubby group that keeps lindros out? Give me a break - the HOF committee has no credibility.

Anderson never played a second of first line minutes his entire career.

He had the great good fortune of being on the greatest team in history in the highest scoring era - that pads his playoff numbers. Take the playoffs out of the equation and he is comparable to and found inferior to theoren fleury and others. On a more mortal team he would have been an also ran - which is what he was when he played on those kind of teams.

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#171 Serious Gord
December 15 2013, 07:31PM
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reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan) wrote:

c'mon this has to be a troll. Anderson was one of the cornerstones of that offense. Wasn't good fortune it was hard work and drive to succeed.

hate to say this but the HOF committee also put Sundin in on his first ballot only cause he was a leaf. But that doesnt take away from how great anderson was.

He was a good - not great - player and every team he played on treated him as such.

The HOF is a joke and Anderson being in it is proof - much as Clark gillies is in because of his role in the NYI dynasty.

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#172 G-Unit
December 15 2013, 07:32PM
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reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan) wrote:

What?

I was a big fan of Smyth for years, but he is no longer a NHL player. For that matter neither are 1/2 the defence playing for this team. Larson, Belov, Putrid. I would gladly take a one-dimensional d-man like Peckham or Fistric than a zero dimensional player. They are so worried about a number one defenceman that the ignore the 3 through 6 defence they have that suck.

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#173 Serious Gord
December 15 2013, 08:28PM
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Reg Dunlop wrote:

Is that the same Lovejoy who Gagner went 'hoop around a barrel' on that goal?

Looked like beauchemin broke the wrong way and got caught...

I'd have to look at a replay to be sure. Nonetheless I'd have him on the oils defense wouldn't you?

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#174 Serious Gord
December 15 2013, 08:30PM
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wiseguy wrote:

If the HOF is such a joke, why do you care so much about it being affirmation of a player's greatness?

I very much want it to be a respected institution - that's why I'm so critical of it. It desparately needs reform.

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#175 G-Unit
December 15 2013, 08:32PM
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Putrid finally scores!!!!!

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#176 Serious Gord
December 15 2013, 09:35PM
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The bruins hit hard. The Canucks were surprisingly physical. Anaheim made the most of their size - tenderizing the oil for the real heavyweights - LA. How many guys - even after just three of these six games - are icing and taping damage already sustained?

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#177 MessyEH!
December 16 2013, 12:37PM
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PutzStew wrote:

So you would make the offer sheet and if by some chance Subban did sign it, Oilers would have to give up the next 4 1st for him.

So what would you offer Montreal in trade after signing him to this offer sheet???? I'm sure montreal would be happy to take the Oilers Next 4 1sts. You might be able to offer up an Eberle or Yak to recoup one of them but If I would was them I would want the 1sts.

Toronto overpaid the offer sheet value for Kessle to get him. ANyone wanting Subban would have to do the same.

Norris trophy winners are not like Vezina winners. There have been a lot of flash in the pan goalies. Not so for Norris winners. 4 1st Rd picks do not come with a guarantees. Suban most certainly does.

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