GDB 38.0: Perron Sees His Old Team

Jonathan Willis
December 21 2013 01:36PM

The Edmonton Oilers return to Rexall tonight to face David Perron’s old squad, the St. Louis Blues, in what will be the first of three meetings between the teams.

The Trade

Craig MacTavish hasn’t had a perfect start to his tenure as general manager, but he’s done some nice things and been willing to make improvements when opportunity has come along. One of those opportunities was Perron, who became available as the Blues needed to cut salary to re-sign players like Alex Pietrangelo.

Thus far, the deal’s been awfully lopsided:

  • David Perron (Edmonton): 33GP, 14G-13A-27PTS.
  • Magnus Paajarvi (St. Louis): 15GP, 2G-0A-2PTS.
  • Second round pick in 2014 (St. Louis): Shaping up to be in the 30-35 range.

Once Paajarvi finds his legs and if that second round pick pans out this should get a little better for St. Louis, but it’s a move that made Edmonton a better team right now, and that’s important. If MacTavish can find three or four more of these the Oilers will be in great shape.

The Opposition

Edmonton hasn’t played the Blues so far this year, but the Blues are a good team and Edmonton has trouble with good teams. Many will focus on them being big and strong and tough but the fact that they’re in playoff position right now is what makes them scary. Take a look at the Oilers’ record this season against teams currently sitting in the top-eight in either conference:

  • Team inside the top eight: 2-17-2
  • Team outside the top eight: 9-6-1

Edmonton’s been pretty good against bad teams, but has been getting hammered by the good ones (an 8-2 win over Colorado notwithstanding).

The Lineup

Some interesting items there. With all of 12 healthy forwards, Dalls Eakins hasn’t got much in the way of choices, so he’s put together a power-vs.-power line, a tough minutes line and done what he can with the rest. With Luke Gazdic on the wing it’s a good bet that Sam Gagner and Nail Yakupov are the “fourth” line and will be spotted against the weakest available opposition; maybe it will help. The other line is super interesting, because Lander has struggled so far and finally gets a skilled guy (and a guy a lot like his AHL sidekick Linus Omark) on his wing. Jesse Joensuu isn’t exactly a prize as the other winger, but he’s comparable to one guy Lander’s been playing with and better than the other.

On defence it’s just nice to see Philip Larsen, the team’s seventh-best defenceman, taking a seat.

Predictions

Game day prediction: A 1-0 St. Louis Blues victory 

Obvious game day prediction: Dallas Eakins gets many opportunities to work on his facial expressions. They range from incredulous (really, that's a penalty now?) to disgusted (the power play bobbles the puck at the blueline because of course it does) to resigned (well, they were going to score eventually) to a clear desire that he had stayed in the AHL.

Not-so-obvious gameday prediction: While this will be a one-sided and boring game, it won't be the most boring game of the season. That's coming in March when Edmonton next plays the Los Angeles Kings.

Recently by Jonathan Willis

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 Czar
December 21 2013, 01:44PM
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After the Perron trade no one in the Blues organization is taking calls from MacT.

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#2 Arius Mumin
December 21 2013, 01:58PM
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Those lines are sooooooo sad, they're sucking the spirit out of me as I type this.

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#3 vetinari
December 21 2013, 01:58PM
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I read the first tweet that said "4-93-14" and thought that they were quoting our record...

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#4 tileguy
December 21 2013, 01:59PM
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94-27-57 is the second scoring line, yikes! or is it 6-51-83? double yikes!!

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#5 tileguy
December 21 2013, 02:01PM
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vetinari wrote:

I read the first tweet that said "4-93-14" and thought that they were quoting our record...

Lol. I'm still going to watch the game though and look for moral victories.

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#6 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
December 21 2013, 02:07PM
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tileguy wrote:

Lol. I'm still going to watch the game though and look for moral victories.

I've downgraded even further....now just hoping for molar victories...where all our players finish the game with all their teeth.

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#7 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
December 21 2013, 02:08PM
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Arius Mumin wrote:

Those lines are sooooooo sad, they're sucking the spirit out of me as I type this.

Why you hef to be med?

Edit: Bryz gives me a reason to watch the game!

Bryz and PRV

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#8 Walter Sobchak
December 21 2013, 02:11PM
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From the Edmonton journal

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DIFeOkD_dc

Boy, that say's a lot.

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#9 Rick Stroppel
December 21 2013, 02:18PM
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SOMEBODY HAS TO TELL THE TRUTH!

Puzzle me this. That stunt the referees pulled on Eakins in the last game, do you think they would do the same thing with Ken Hitchcock?

In the eighties the Ghermezian family built three huge mansions in the west end, connected underground by tunnels. Those mansions are now occupied by the Three Unwise Men: Katz, Lowe and McTavish. They do not mix with the outside world. They are ensconced in their urban compound.

A small lake which does not have an inlet of fresh water will soon become a stinky swamp.

Why hasn't the braintrust brought in a coach like Hitchcock, Crawford, or somebody else with HC experience at the NHL level? Why do they hire rookies like Krueger and Eakins? Because they do want anyone to challenge their notions about how to build a competitive NHL team. They have it all figured out already.

The suffering has to end. Civil unrest is imminent. You have to give Eakins the balance of the season, but if there is no major improvement between now and then, I think you need to replace him with a PROVEN NHL coach.

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#10 Naky
December 21 2013, 02:49PM
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Oilers better pray they don't get a powerplay this game. Also better hope they aren't a goal behind or tied with two minutes left to play either. Eakins is determined to make them lose with his man advantage and goalie management skills; they're going to have to foil his evil plots by making sure they score goals just to spite him!

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#11 Rama Lama
December 21 2013, 02:50PM
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Well I must admit we fleeced St. Louis.........of that there is no doubt.

I must admit that having Larsen sit means we will have no defensemen able or willing to create offence. Since Eakins has dialed back offence for the sake of defence, it seems no one is willing to take a chance. Our scores reflect this attitude as do our stats on the PP, PK, ES, .......in every area we have moved backwards.

I'm expecting a zero offence game against St. Louis.......maybe Eakins can learn from a coach like Hitchcock how to work a bench. Eakins has turned all of our offence type players into shadows of their former selves.......considering we have a natural wealth of offence type players I'm totally confused why we are trying to turn these guys into Hitchcock type of players.......Gretzky never played defence nor did any of those great Oilers........they played to their strengths, not to their weakness.

Well at least we are fit, losers!

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#12 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
December 21 2013, 02:55PM
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"Craig MacTavish hasn’t had a perfect start to his tenure as general manager, but he’s done some nice things and been willing to make improvements when opportunity has come along."

Like dumping smid for nothing in a panic move cause he was worried about his cap space/contract limit/BOLD trade, take your pick.

Signing an old, career backup to make Dubnyk better.

Signing Grebs and telling us he was here early to get in shape then told us he needed to be sent to OKC to get in shape.

Signing the best available D-Man, that he personally scouted, from the KHL who, certainly not awful, has not lived up to the hype of working towards a Russian Olympic spot.

Full credit for picking up Perron (not a steal because it was a Blues salary dump and he was first in line)

Did dump the Horc contract

Fired a coach he helped hire to bring in Eakins who right now looks like he conned the BS'er. In the name of halting turnover in the coaching position. Perhaps too early to tell with Eakins but certainly does not look like an NHL coach.

MacT cannot recognize talent nor can he develop it. He has no idea what substance is but he certainly knows how to talk like he does.

Looking forward to his contract extension

Six Rings and counting....

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#13 Rama Lama
December 21 2013, 03:04PM
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@reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)

Very funny.......it seems that all the Oilers fans have to look forward to. A bunch of clowns running a sad circus is all we have left!

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#14 Dog Train
December 21 2013, 03:10PM
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That Gazdic-Gagner-Yakupov line is going to get eaten alive. Yikes.

Hard to see us having a chance in this one but the Oilers tend to play their best when they should get blown out on paper. I'll say 2-0 Blues. The players will have fun though and that's the most important thing.

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#16 Johnnydapunk
December 21 2013, 03:28PM
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Dog Train wrote:

That Gazdic-Gagner-Yakupov line is going to get eaten alive. Yikes.

Hard to see us having a chance in this one but the Oilers tend to play their best when they should get blown out on paper. I'll say 2-0 Blues. The players will have fun though and that's the most important thing.

Mind you I'm sure they said the same in the 80s when Slats put out the line of Gretzky Kurri and Semenko and Gretz ended up having his highest scoring seasons those 3 years if I am not mistaken :-p

I'm not in any way suggesting that Gags and Yak are anywhere near the gods that were Gretz and Kurri, but the idea of putting a fighter with a couple of "scorers" is not that far fetched. In a perfect world that allows both Yak and Gags to play without a worry of having to deal with any sh*t as Gazdic (who I think has been a sleeper surprise find for the Oil) can punch faces with the best of them.

The reality is that most of my hope was gone long ago and the Oil will poop the bed and lose like 2-1 or some score that is equally irritating.

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#17 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
December 21 2013, 03:29PM
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GDP: Game starts at 8:10 pm. Oilers show up at 9:15. Bryz stands on his head Oilers loose 3-0. Eakins finds the silver lining. Kids go out for pizza and pus*y after the game.

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#18 RexHolez
December 21 2013, 03:35PM
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I'm sorry you got traded to such a crappy team Perron. It must really suck

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#19 a lg dubl dubl
December 21 2013, 03:39PM
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I hope MacT can fool Garth Snow in taking Hemsky for Okposo, same way he did with the Blues.

I still have some faith that he will make this team better, given some more time, Dithers really messed this team up while being gm, besides every other gm aren't making trades either.

Eakins isn't going anywhere til at least this time next year, its all on the players now to live up to their hype, despite having what 4 different coaches in 5 years. Bottom line its hockey, the players have been playing the game since they were 3 years old. How hard is it to show up for 60min.

3-2 Oilers in a shootout

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#20 RexHolez
December 21 2013, 03:42PM
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"It’s a move that made Edmonton a better team right now"

While I agree Perron is a better player than PRV right now, I'd have to look at the record and argue that they are in no way a better team for it

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#21 **
December 21 2013, 03:43PM
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7-2 Blues. Lock it and throw the key.

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#22 S cottV
December 21 2013, 03:59PM
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It's not any kind of new defence first strategy from Eakins that explains less than expected offensive production from some our skill players.

If it were - you would think there would be some evidence of improving team defence and really we just keep giving up too many unnecessary ga's.

I think the player group is shocked and discouraged at where the team is at in the standings and they don't just blame themselves - they blame Eakins and his trial and error AHL to NHL learning curve.

They no damn well that his ill conceived strategies and systems, later self declared as unsuited to the player group - have made this hole deeper than it had to be and they are pissed off - which has had a negative effect on performance.

I say that Eakins has cost the team at least 10 learning curve points in the standings. That would otherwise have put this team at .500 and some hope for a miracle run to make the playoffs. Hope can be a powerful driver of performance - for as long as there is at least some hope. Eakins directed this group into a no hope scenario by mid Nov and anyone who thinks that ain't a problem believes in moral victories - "he did the best he could with what he had to work with" Are you kidding? We are in 29th place and nothing in particular seems to be getting any better.

It really looks like a player group that is disillusioned by its leaders to me. There is a disconnect between them and Eakins will have his hands full trying to hold this thing together for the balance of the season.

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#23 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
December 21 2013, 04:35PM
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Despite the fact he's having his best season to date, I'm sure Perron would give anything to be seated on the visitors bench this night with his former brothers.

Oilers outclassed across the board tonight, outworked, outhit, outdesired and outcoached. Not even going to watch the game.

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#24 jake
December 21 2013, 04:52PM
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3-1 St. Louis. Down 2-0, Oil will score late in 3rd to make it interesting, then give up the ENer.

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#25 Ed in PV
December 21 2013, 05:00PM
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It seems to me pretty much every home game vs a good opponent has been 3 or 4 zip by the 25 minute mark. Some times the opponent puts it on cruise control after that and the Oil save some face in the last half of the game. I can't find a reason to suggest this game will be anything different.

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#26 sizedoesmatter
December 21 2013, 05:05PM
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Hope you all don't break your ankle jumping off the bandwagon

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#27 Slats
December 21 2013, 05:09PM
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Sorry to disagree but that line-up is brutal . . . not interesting Willis.

Interesting is a line up where skill vs skill or brawn vs brawn or History of bad hit vs instigator/hitter

This Match-up is Men vs. Boys; Coached vs. Uncoached (unlistened to); Passion vs. no passion

Until these players care as much as ON they will never be winners, just pay-cheque cashers.

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#28 FireKLowe
December 21 2013, 05:15PM
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I feel sorry for Perron. Poor guy got traded to this mickey mouse club from a contender.

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#29 Slats
December 21 2013, 05:15PM
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Naky wrote:

Oilers better pray they don't get a powerplay this game. Also better hope they aren't a goal behind or tied with two minutes left to play either. Eakins is determined to make them lose with his man advantage and goalie management skills; they're going to have to foil his evil plots by making sure they score goals just to spite him!

I hope we put a "shut-down' dman on our PP . . .oh wait . . .I guess we go back to 5 forwards. Sad.

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#30 Bucknuck
December 21 2013, 05:17PM
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After five games of suck, the Oilers have an out of body experience and beat St. Louis 3-2.

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#31 bwar
December 21 2013, 05:23PM
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Little known fact: Low scoring does not mean boring.

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#32 Spaz
December 21 2013, 05:44PM
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Going to the $#%# show tonight but a silver lining watching HNIC early game - we didn't give David Clarkson 7+million dollars.

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#33 Walter Sobchak
December 21 2013, 05:47PM
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MacTavish is a fool himself, this team was better under Ralph Krueger, he (Krueger) almost got them into the playoffs despite being decimated down the middle and arguable a worse defense, all while having to play only the harder Western conference teams.

This team has badly regressed this year; the team is the worst out of the 8 years of suck!! If MacTavish was so smart he wouldn’t have advertised so publically that he was going to trade Horcoff & Hemsky, if he was so smart he would have kept Horcoff.

Letting Horcoff go when you had no 4th line center & the 1st line center was out for an undetermined amount of time IS Tambellini .

Trading Smid for prospects when it’s clear that both your defense & size on defense are questionable at best is baffling and a damning indictment of this organization, especially when the Oiler could have drafted a goalie earlier in the year instead of trading one for one.

Smid would have gathered a hell of a lot more come the trade deadline with a team that needed a hard nose shot blocker.

The statistical player on defense that should have been traded was Schultz Sr yet, here he is still playing?

So far we have seen MacTavish fill holes in this organization with players that 29 other teams would have passed on.

The Oilers played the month of October & most of November with a 3rd & 4th line of AHL players?

We have witnessed MacTavish do nothing since to fix organizational needs, same as Tambellini!!

The one player that had any type of trade value prior to the season starting he gave an inflated contract to with a NTC? Now that player is struggling like we have never seen before and isn’t worth a puddle of piss.

Eakins has not worked out and is not better then Krueger so far, keeping him because the organization doesn’t want to look bad or not wanting to upset continuity, makes the organization look bad.

Trading for Peron was good, Peron is hell of a player, however he gave up a 2nd rounder that is going to be in between the 31st pick & 35th pick + Paajarvi.

In 5 years we might be saying that was a lot to give up, so while the Oilers are obviously benefitting now..... in 29th place with Peron for two more years....this team is nowhere near ready to compete after 8 years of failure which MacTavish was an original party of.

Lastly Gordon & Ference were decent signings,but they are depth players, and are being asked to play a bigger role then they should be playing on a worse team.

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#34 Butters
December 21 2013, 06:17PM
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GDB 38.0? You mean we are not even half way through this pile yet? Sigh.

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#35 Rheal1
December 21 2013, 06:18PM
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Krueger must be super happy not to be part of this horrible organization. Smid, Horcoff, Omark & LaBarbera as well. Horcoff looks very happy & productive in Dallas. This is Oil country!!!!!!!! This team sucks!!! Eakins sucks!!!! His assistant coaches suck!!!! This team will lose again this evening by a few goals, ONLY because the cosmonaut is in net. BTW Eakins decision to go with DD in net last game proves he is INCOMPETENT.

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#36 Rheal1
December 21 2013, 06:26PM
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$20 Omark does good in Buffalo. Edmonton Oilers will become the "what not to do" for many future professional sports franchise owners. They'll make the history books. No wonder the talk back on tsn.ca/nhl is dead empty for Edmonton results… Tonight live coast to coast on CBC….. Another Oilers failure:)

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#37 K_Mart
December 21 2013, 06:28PM
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Ride bryz

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#38 OILERSORDEATH
December 21 2013, 06:59PM
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Rheal1 wrote:

Krueger must be super happy not to be part of this horrible organization. Smid, Horcoff, Omark & LaBarbera as well. Horcoff looks very happy & productive in Dallas. This is Oil country!!!!!!!! This team sucks!!! Eakins sucks!!!! His assistant coaches suck!!!! This team will lose again this evening by a few goals, ONLY because the cosmonaut is in net. BTW Eakins decision to go with DD in net last game proves he is INCOMPETENT.

Lol! So glad whifcoff is gone, plus he really isn't doing squat in Dallas. Good riddins!!

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#39 He Who Knows
December 21 2013, 07:00PM
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Daryl Katz, sell this team you jock sniffing fanboy stuck in the 80's. Get over guys like Lowe and Mac and those two phony assistant coaches. Clean house and hire professionals with managerial background. Eakins does not make sense.

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#41 I tried it at home
December 21 2013, 07:08PM
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In honour of M. D. Perron, I just want to say this: Nous Sommes Visses. Merci.

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#42 bazmagoo
December 21 2013, 07:14PM
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Glad to see so many of you are now on the fire Eakins train, it was painfully obvious to me he was over his head about 10-15 games in. Didn't think Krueger was a great coach, but he was better than Dallas.

Anyone who argues with that fact can offer up an explanation as to how a team with an improved roster and facing weaker opposition (east teams) has regressed from 24th overall to 29th.

Time to fire Eakins MacT, get behind the bench yourself for the rest of the season and try to give us at least the appearance of an NHL team. Or tank the rest of the season and pick this Ekblad kid with the #2 pick (hopefully). Then hire a proven NHL coach in the summer time!

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#43 madjam
December 21 2013, 07:27PM
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Smid was a contract dump just like Horcoff . If gagner doesn't improve vastly , I believe he'll be next and probably with little in return once again . Peron a nice deal for us . Gordon and Ference (two valueable pieces) overpayment offset by luckily not getting Clarkson . Have to wonder if we had kept Nurse on board if our results would be better at this stage.

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#44 FireKLowe
December 21 2013, 07:28PM
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FireKLowe wrote:

I feel sorry for Perron. Poor guy got traded to this mickey mouse club from a contender.

Who are these f'cks that "thumbs down" posts that tell it like it is? People like you make me sick. Open your f'cking eyes and smell the coffee!

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#45 DonDon
December 21 2013, 07:42PM
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Czar wrote:

After the Perron trade no one in the Blues organization is taking calls from MacT.

Don't count on it.

That 2nd round draft pick from the Oil may be very valuable to St. Louis and an important loss for the Oil.

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#46 Brian
December 21 2013, 07:51PM
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Blues kick some serious Oiler ass. This will be a free clinic like the one the Fab Four should go to tomorrow after they have their pants dropped at Rexall, then again at some skanks place. 6-2 Blues.

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#47 Butters
December 21 2013, 07:52PM
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sizedoesmatter wrote:

Hope you all don't break your ankle jumping off the bandwagon

Nope, we are still on it, the wheels have fallen off, and it's upside down and on fire, but were either too stupid or too stubborn to jump off.

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#48 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
December 21 2013, 07:55PM
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DonDon wrote:

Don't count on it.

That 2nd round draft pick from the Oil may be very valuable to St. Louis and an important loss for the Oil.

Should be able to make up atleast one of those second rounders with Hemsky and Schultz leaving town soon.

Paajarvi, he was a MacGregor selection, right? Starting to look like that 2nd (32nd overall) is the gem in that deal. Paajarvi ends up just being filler/throw in.

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#49 @Oilanderp
December 21 2013, 08:05PM
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3-2 Oil. Goals by Yakupov, Perron, Shultz Sr.

GOILERS!

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#50 Jay
December 21 2013, 08:06PM
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New page meow?

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