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 dvasteroid 76
December 15 2013, 11:28AM
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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)

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#2 Rama Lama
December 15 2013, 11:47AM
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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'm totally for that trade...........it's time to make a play for PK Subban.

We know that the Canadiens would love to have Yaks join his pal Galchenyuk, but I suspect they would rather take Perron!

Just putting it out there?

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#3 Serious Gord
December 15 2013, 05:14PM
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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.

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.

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#4 MessyEH!
December 15 2013, 10:48AM
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We need a real top pairing defenseman. Suban would look great in Oilers silks. Habs still don't use him as a true #1 and he'll want, and get a lot more cash next year., The Yak and this year's 1st may fetch us Suban.

He's still a restricted free agent. Maybe an offer sheet of 6x7 mill. (Then let the Habs talk trade with us.)

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#5 YFC Prez
December 15 2013, 06:50PM
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I gotta throw it out there even though it's not really all that fair with the season he's had so far. With the benefit of hindsight would you keep Gags and send Cogs packing like they did or would you still like to see cogliano with the oil and Gags elsewhere.

Props for Gags. Trash for Cogs.

Lol. I always wanted to do one of these.

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

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#7 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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#8 Serious Gord
December 15 2013, 03:43PM
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Oliveoiler wrote:

As much as I like Ferrance, Smytty should have the "C". If anyone personifies the definition of an Oiler, then Smytty is the real deal. HE needs his statue in front of the new arena, hell, it should even be named after him.

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.

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#9 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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#10 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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#11 Serious Gord
December 15 2013, 07:39PM
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Reg Dunlop wrote:

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

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.

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#12 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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#13 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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#14 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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#15 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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#16 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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#17 Serious Gord
December 15 2013, 07:05PM
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brad wrote:

Sure, Captain Canada was more myth than reality... how old are you? Did you see him in his hayday? I think not my friend.

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

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#18 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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#19 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
December 15 2013, 08:35PM
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aaaaaand another loss. may have to look at demoting Arco and swarming some stuff and be accountable and things and stuff and junk....

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#20 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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#21 Oliveoiler
December 15 2013, 03:08PM
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@reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)

As much as I like Ferrance, Smytty should have the "C". If anyone personifies the definition of an Oiler, then Smytty is the real deal. HE needs his statue in front of the new arena, hell, it should even be named after him.

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#22 DanielDee
December 15 2013, 02:50PM
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Gregor, I'm sorry man but you really need to get on top of the proper use of a comma. A pause in speech does not equal comma break.

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#23 MessyEH!
December 15 2013, 10:52AM
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Fresh Mess wrote:

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

Perron trade +. Smid trade a big WTF-.

I really hope there was a future considerations secret hand shake in there somewhere.

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#24 Rheal1
December 15 2013, 04:26PM
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I tried it at home wrote:

I was just checking out 1260's webpage and their sign on is Eberle teaching cellies at hockey school. My immediate reaction was, "how the hell would he know?". Just goes to show how much these guys have fallen in public perception. 6 million a year for what, again? Oh, and for MacT signing a better choice as back up goalie this summer, as long as he makes a better choice on the number 1, Ill be happy.

Couldn't agree more. Kevin Lowe's job will be done after the team moves to Seattle. A few of the kids will demand trades soon. That remains my big fear. Someone has to show Smith & Bucky the door now. That may be the only bold move this year... BTW Galchenyuk playing great again in the 1st vs Florida right now on TSN-Habs...

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#25 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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#26 Serious Gord
December 15 2013, 08:35PM
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Another loss. Meanwhile the flames pick up a loser point. Up six now with two at hand...

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#27 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.

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#28 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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#29 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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#30 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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#31 Rod from Viking
December 15 2013, 03:41PM
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There seems to be an extra amount of trashes today, is it because both the Leaf's and the Canuck's won and we are all grumpy or a bunch of trolling going on? Wayne makes a lot of cash on trashes but it would be nice to be able to see who is trashing and propping like Facebook and then people might not be so quick to trash someone. (CWD is going to pay big time on this one)

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#32 Chris.
December 15 2013, 12:10PM
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Game Day Prediction: The Ducks take most of Sunday off and the Jekyll and Hyde Oiler offence returns in a big way for an unlikely 6-5 shoot out win.

Obvious Game Day Prediction: David Perron scores three goals and the winner in the shoot out. After the game, even Bob Stauffer will have verbalize the growing question: How can a cap casualty player from the Blues walk on to our team and be so much more dominant offensively than all three of our first overall picks? Also, Penner will be a +3 somehow.

Not-So-Obvious Game Day Prediction: There will be a goaltending controversy in Edmonton after today... What controversy you may ask? The one that starts after Bryzgalov lets in 3 goals on 7 shots in the first period before being pulled. UUgggg. We can all spend Monday critiquing the win!

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#33 S cottV
December 15 2013, 12:27PM
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@Manfly

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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#34 TayLordBalls
December 15 2013, 02:54PM
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DanielDee wrote:

Gregor, I'm sorry man but you really need to get on top of the proper use of a comma. A pause in speech does not equal comma break.

a comma is the difference between:

I helped my uncle Jack, off a horse / and

I helped my uncle jack off a horse.

Get it right.

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#35 Loweblows
December 15 2013, 12:43PM
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In other serious news a fan of the football club Manchester United killed himself after Man U lost in 2 consecutive games. In other news half of Edmonton jumped fron the high level bridge on Friday night.

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#36 OILERSODEATH
December 15 2013, 12:45PM
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Please, I wouldn't call the Casucks elite, Boston yes but not the Casucks.

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#37 Sailge
December 15 2013, 07:42PM
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Haha another birdie for snowpants. -1.

What a great player. 5 goals in the last 40 some games dating back to last year?

All the while being an absolute disaster defensively. Wow.

Not a 2C on a team that wants to be better than bottom 5 every season.

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#38 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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#39 Jay
December 15 2013, 08:43PM
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So when they suck next year will Lowe and the assistant coaches finally leave?

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#40 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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#41 S cottV
December 15 2013, 12:27PM
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@Manfly

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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#42 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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#43 Serious Gord
December 15 2013, 12:45PM
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Anaheim is due to lose. Perhaps today is the day.

5-4 oil. Bryz plays very well and the regular set will begin the "MacT is a genius for getting him" refrain.

As for attracting a first line defense men via free agency - for get it. No high end player is moving to EDM while the current management is in place. Name one reason besides a ridiculous overpay why a top end player would chose to come to EDM to play the potentially best years of their career? It's catch 22 replete with Katz playing orsen Welle's brig gen deedle and Klowe playing bob newharts major major.

The only route is via a trade - probably sending low cost prospects back for an over pay.

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#44 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
December 15 2013, 12:57PM
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Manfly wrote:

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.

Agree about the building a steady defense without a #1 but how many teams win a cup without a true #1?

If Bryz does well and is in position to get another nhl contract after this year, are we sure he will resign here?

Just wondering

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#45 Jerry
December 15 2013, 12:58PM
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82 games is a long season, teams pace themselves and bring their A game to some games and then there is the B game. Oilers rarely see the other teams A game. Teams try not to underestimate the Oilers because they are bad team.

Anaheim will do enough to win.

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#46 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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#47 bazmagoo
December 15 2013, 01:52PM
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@vetinari

I think Belov, N Schultz, R Smyth, R Jones are all back next season for depth. N Schultz comes back at around $2 million. Belov, Smyth and Jones all come back for under $1.5 million.

We'll get picks for Hemsky, Dubnyk, and possibly Omark before the season is done.

Potter, Eager and Grebeshkov have no value and will walk at season's end.

That's my prediction for that lot.

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#49 **
December 15 2013, 05:56PM
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8-0 Ducks, I'm calling it.

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#50 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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