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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#51 God
December 15 2013, 08:42PM
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I love how failure is acceptable in this organization.

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#52 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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#53 Comrade GT
December 15 2013, 09:00PM
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If we could put in great efforts like than consistently we could scratch and claw our way to .500. Its not the playoffs but at least it will be a good building block going into next year. As appose to these new mini rebuilds that happen every time a new coach is hired.

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#54 HardBoiledOil
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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#55 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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#56 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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#57 D-Unit
December 15 2013, 12:46PM
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The Oilers really could use someone with the Size, Skill, and Smarts as Penner, but it would need to be someone who could use all three of those at one time. Penner could not do that consistently, just like the players on the Oilers right now, though lacking the size.

If the Oilers had 2 Olympians to play alongside every guy with consistency issues, it wouldn't even be a discussion.

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#58 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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#59 vetinari
December 15 2013, 12:54PM
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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)

Know you're just floating ideas out there but flip those trades around and look at them from the other team's perspective... why would those teams unload home grown Olympic talent for overpaid, underperforming Oilers, and burn up room on 50 man roster lists? Unless Mike Milbury is GM'ing again somewhere around the league, no team would even consider those trades.

As for tonight's game, if Bryzer is in net:

Oilers 2 Ducks 3 (OT/SO)

If Digger Dubnyk is in net:

Oilers 1 Ducks 5

I predict 20 minutes of "good" Oiler hockey; 20 minutes of "average" Oiler hockey; and 20 minutes of "toe drag-turn over-missed coverage--SH goal against-softie-goal-from-centre-ice" hockey.

Maybe tonight is the night to catch up on PVR viewing?

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#60 john
December 15 2013, 01:04PM
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HardBoiledOil 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.

If the Oilers already had several solid defensemen on the roster then I would agree with your point but being that they only have 1,(Ference & even that's debatable), it would take at least 1 if not 2 stud defensemen to restabalize one of the weakest blue lines in the NHL.

BTW, can they change the name of "Oil Change" to "Bad Oil" or is it too late?

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#61 S cottV
December 15 2013, 01:14PM
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@Serious Gord

I agree with the free agent assessment. We are limited in appeal to mostly guys who grew up here and they are coming back for the wrong reasons.

We all know that Edmonton is not the ideal place on the mind of any free agent, from the standpoint of the city itself.

Attracting the right free agents is probably a must, if the Oilers are ever again to be Stanley Cup contenders.

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#62 **
December 15 2013, 01:38PM
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Sunday evening massacre coming up.

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#63 bazmagoo
December 15 2013, 01:59PM
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If the Oilers can somehow parlay Yakupov or Eberle into a #1 d-man then 2014/15 will be fun. But if there was ever a team that needs a #1 d-man it's this team! Petry, Ference, J Schultz, Belov, N Schultz and Larsen are all being asked to play minutes they are not capable of playing. A #1 d-man eating up 25 minutes a night with skill, size and ability would do wonders for this team.

Even though the Smid trade looks horrible this season, I think it will look worthwhile in the end, even as a salary dump. Smid at $3.5 million is too much and would hold us back in the long run.

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#64 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
December 15 2013, 02:11PM
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bazmagoo wrote:

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.

Why are you bringing back Smyth. Not trying to knock him but he is pretty long in the tooth and obviously hasnt helped make the team better. Not that it was his fault or anything but I don't see him as a potential difference maker anymore.

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#65 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
December 15 2013, 02:36PM
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bazmagoo wrote:

I agree, I think Smyth is a mercy signing as a 13/14th forward so he can retire an Oiler when he chooses to retire. Personally I think he'd be capable in that role, and might exceed expectations. Would like to see MacT get him down to $1 million per season though, on a 1 year deal maximum.

Makes sense.

Personally I think he should retire and get away from this stink.

I love you Smytty you will always be an Oiler great in my eyes. Too bad these last couple seasons have been losing and REEAALLY sorry you missed out on a Cup in LA to be here. You deserve a Ring.

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#66 Oliveoiler
December 15 2013, 03:03PM
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When sleeping beauty awakens, all will be well in the Oilers' world, grass will be green all year in Edmonton vehicle plug ins a thing of the past, Flames and Nuks will be bottom feeders and the Oil will slug champers from the cup. We just have to figure out who/where sleeping beauty is and how to wake him up!

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#67 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
December 15 2013, 03:54PM
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Breezy's gonna have to stand on his head tonight. Not looking forward to watching the boys get thrown around, but Hall and Ebs could learn a thing or two from Getzlaf and Perry, let's hope they're paying attention.

EDIT: Holy run on sentence, Batman.

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#68 I tried it at home
December 15 2013, 03:54PM
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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.

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#69 Reg Dunlop
December 15 2013, 07:10PM
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Debrusk: 'Goaltenders are a lot tougher than people give them credit for'. When, in the history of televised hockey, has any commentator questioned the toughness of a tender who exposes himself to damage by 100mph pucks daily? What a moron.

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#70 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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#71 Serious Gord
December 15 2013, 07:47PM
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That second goal was all on Ference. Didn't clear the puck then lost it along the boards to selanne.

Teemu Selanne - now there is a first ballot hall of famer.

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#72 Serious Gord
December 15 2013, 07:57PM
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Jason: fowler might not be a dominant first line defenseman, but he's a pretty good one - he'd be a shoo-in number one on the oil.

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#73 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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#74 YFC Prez
December 15 2013, 08:20PM
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And he scores driving to the net! Nope definetly not real life.

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#75 Reg Dunlop
December 15 2013, 08:33PM
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@Serious Gord

We had him on our team. His name was Mark Fistric. And yes, you're right, he would look good on our D.

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#76 Hall the time
December 15 2013, 08:39PM
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The oilers don't support each other.

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#77 **
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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#78 **
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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#79 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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#80 HardBoiledOil
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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#81 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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#82 Frank
December 15 2013, 01:05PM
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8 years of rebuilding and they still can't compete. I will give the Public Relations a check mark they have wrapped a horrible team and sold them as a potential playoffs team. The wrapping was beautiful and bells and whistles were excellent.

Flag Football

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#83 PutzStew
December 15 2013, 01:20PM
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MessyEH! wrote:

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.)

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.

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#84 bazmagoo
December 15 2013, 02:08PM
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I got poo pooed on for suggesting this trade previously, but I really think the Oilers should be pursuing Kevin Shattenkirk out of St. Louis. He'd be a great fit as our #1 d-man, has no movement clauses in his contract, St. Louis and Edmonton have a recent history of trading, and St. Louis has a wealth of defensemen with limited skill up front. Maybe Hemmer to the Blues for our 2nd round pick next season returned to us builds some more goodwill? I'd be down for Eberle straight up for Shattenkirk.

Sounds like a match made in heaven to me.

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#85 oliveoiler@telus.net
December 15 2013, 02:27PM
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Batfink wrote:

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!

sorry! I've been an Oliveoiler for about 10 years, since my grandson gave me the name. It's my email addy and also on the back of my Oilers' jersey. I guess we must be sisters!!! Merry Christmas, GO OILERS!!!

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#86 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
December 15 2013, 02:57PM
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TayLordBalls wrote:

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.

I got one from George Carlin

Ranger Dan and his big dog, Dick. or; Ranger Dan and his big dog dick.

Punctuation is fun

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#87 Serious Gord
December 15 2013, 03:08PM
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S cottV wrote:

I agree with the free agent assessment. We are limited in appeal to mostly guys who grew up here and they are coming back for the wrong reasons.

We all know that Edmonton is not the ideal place on the mind of any free agent, from the standpoint of the city itself.

Attracting the right free agents is probably a must, if the Oilers are ever again to be Stanley Cup contenders.

But attracting free agents for the right reasons means the team has be consistently competitive and in the cup race mix for several years and have the kind of high class respected management similar to teams like Detroit.

And we can't do that or at least it will be extremely difficult if we don't sign some of the right free agents - hence my catch 22 analogy.

(Note to self: Great movie - must watch it again soon)

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#88 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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#89 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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#90 HardBoiledOil
December 15 2013, 03:46PM
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bwar wrote:

Still trying to decide if its even going to be worthwhile to turn the TV on tonight. The Vancouver game was just depressing.

and boring if you are an Oiler fan. i missed the 3rd period of that game...had things to do, but when i found out i just missed seeing more Canuck goals, and that the Oilers didn't even get ONE goal....AGAIN, i wasn't really surprised and was actually glad i spared myself from having to watch the 3rd.

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#91 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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#93 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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#94 Rama Lama
December 15 2013, 04:28PM
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When we were looking for a goaltender and MacT heard Labarbara's name..........exactly what made him think this guy would help us? For that matter what made Mac T think that signing Ference would make us better?

I know that when I heard their names, nothing about these players got me excited. It has been well documented that we need strong and large puck moving defensemen to help our little forwards out. Mac T has some sould searching to do........he ran Penner out of town, and since we have not found any forwards with size that can do what he can do.

I'm sure that he will be licking his chops as well as Cogs!

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#95 brad
December 15 2013, 05:03PM
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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.

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

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#96 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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#97 **
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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#98 Hockey fan 1976
December 15 2013, 06:09PM
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Two things

A) Gene Principe is a tool and can't stand him and b) wtf is Gags doing on the second line yet again?

Well, here we go, practice time for the Ducks!!!

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#100 ubsfan
December 15 2013, 06:55PM
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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.

dude youre so negative.......didnt your parents hug you as a kid....i havent heard or read anything positive from you on the radio or this website.....lighten up man....

mind you not much positive to talk about this years version of oilers

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