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, Sportsnet, 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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#51 RexHolez
December 21 2013, 08:07PM
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Why are the Oilers like grizzly bears? Every fall they go into hibernation.

What do a fine wine and the Edmonton Oilers have in common? They both spend a lot of time in the cellar, cost too much and are only enjoyed on select occasions

Why did the Post Office recall their latest stamps? They had pictures of Oilers players on them and people couldn't figure out which side to spit on.

What do you get when you combine all 23 Edmonton Oilers with 23 lesbians? Fourty-Six people that dont do di(k!

Whats the difference between the Edmonton Oilers and a mosquito? A mosquito stops sucking.

What's the most amazing thing about the Oilers website? The fact that they were able to string 3 w's in a row

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#52 Alsker
December 21 2013, 08:11PM
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vetinari wrote:

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

Definitely worth reposting this!!!!!!

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#53 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
December 21 2013, 08:15PM
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Didn't even notice Potter was gone or back. Tells you pretty much all you need to know about that player.

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#54 Alsker
December 21 2013, 08:25PM
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Cheap penalty, don't mind the rule when a guy acually fires it over the glass but a one handed poke and it goes straight up.

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#55 RexHolez
December 21 2013, 08:27PM
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When CBC has to air an Oilers game do they change the name from "Hockey Night in Canada" to "Waste of a Night in Canada"?

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#56 Reg Dunlop
December 21 2013, 08:29PM
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Win or lose, the oil, through the 1st 10 minutes, have looked like I thought they would at the start of the year. It's like they finally tried the blue pills and gave up the red ones. GO OIL.

Oh oh, I spoke too soon.

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#57 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
December 21 2013, 08:29PM
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The powerplay is truly a spectacular thing to watch. Every time I think it can't get any worse, the Oilers prove me wrong.

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#58 **
December 21 2013, 08:33PM
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hanging your goalie out to dry 101

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#59 **
December 21 2013, 08:35PM
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RexHolez wrote:

When CBC has to air an Oilers game do they change the name from "Hockey Night in Canada" to "Waste of a Night in Canada"?

I guess it depends which team you are cheering for. For opposing teams it is CWIC (certain win in Canada).

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#60 Reg Dunlop
December 21 2013, 08:36PM
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Great to see Nuge try to stand up for himself. Where are his teammates though?

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#61 **
December 21 2013, 08:39PM
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The refs are giving this game to St. Louis. Stop giving Edmonton power plays!!!!

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#62 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
December 21 2013, 08:42PM
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I really hate Kelly Hrudey. Dude seems like a douche. And for a former NHLer, he comes across as knowing next to nothing about the game. Maybe it's just me and all the negativity this season's been stuffing down my throat.

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#63 Walter Sobchak
December 21 2013, 08:45PM
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I just love how Eakins new PP units looks just like the old one, I also especially like how great they pass the puck around the perimeter, and I'm guessing Eakins has told the 1st PP unit not to change for at least 1:40 seconds, no need to throw on that 2nd PP unit that's filled with new spare players out there.

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#64 Arius Mumin
December 21 2013, 08:53PM
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David Perron will one day coach in the NHL.

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#65 @Oilanderp
December 21 2013, 08:53PM
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Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

I really hate Kelly Hrudey. Dude seems like a douche. And for a former NHLer, he comes across as knowing next to nothing about the game. Maybe it's just me and all the negativity this season's been stuffing down my throat.

My god man, the guy played in the best league in the world for I think 16 seasons. I know you're mad at your team but give your head a shake and have at least a little bit of respect. You are making the rest of us look bad.

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#66 LoweBlow
December 21 2013, 08:55PM
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Reading these comments, I'm glad I'm not watching.

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#67 @Oilanderp
December 21 2013, 08:57PM
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@LoweBlow

That's the thing... Oil outshooting STL 14-5 in the first. They're playing great! You can bet STL is going to push back in the second.

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#68 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
December 21 2013, 08:59PM
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@@Oilanderp

I don't give a rats ass how long he played in any league, a douche is a douche. He needs to get a job with Canucks and quit pretending to be impartial, he sounds bored out of his tree whenever he isn't doing color during a Van game.

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#69 @Oilanderp
December 21 2013, 09:03PM
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@Jordan Nugent-Hallkins

I don't give a rats ass how long he played in any league, a douche is a douche.

You make an exceptional case in point.

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#70 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
December 21 2013, 09:06PM
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@@Oilanderp

Your wit knows no bounds.

Sean Avery played 12 seasons. Just saying.

EDIT: "To be a good goalie in this league, you have to know how to read plays; that's why Bryzgalov read that one." Thanks, Kelly.

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#71 Jay
December 21 2013, 09:10PM
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Hallsy's on after hours tonight? That's gonna cut into his Bar time. Hope ebs and gang waits for him

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#72 Naky
December 21 2013, 09:14PM
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Oh cripes. A powerplay. Run for the hills!

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#73 Reg Dunlop
December 21 2013, 09:15PM
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Holy smokes, I hate to harp on this but Backes keeps running around and the oil refuse to answer the bell. Standing up for your teammates is part of the game. Someone PLEASE give him a token facewash.

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#74 Arius Mumin
December 21 2013, 09:16PM
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Eberle couldn't hit a soccer net with one of his PP shots.

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#75 Zamboni Driver
December 21 2013, 09:16PM
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Honestly, people who think commentators (and referees for that matter) "hate" the Oilers really need to a) give head a shake; b) Understand just how bad it is having to listen to Debrusk and Stauffer doing 'colour commentary'.

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#76 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
December 21 2013, 09:19PM
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@Zamboni Driver

Debrusk is especially horrible. Stauffer did okay on the play by play the other night, I think that might be his true calling.

Hrudey is just crappy behind a microphone, he constantly stumbles over his words and you end up with half formed sentences that make no sense. It makes him sound like an oaf.

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#77 Hockey fan 1976
December 21 2013, 09:22PM
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It sure is a treat watching a real hockey team move the puck ad defend properly. Santa, can we have a Hitchcock for Christmas? :(

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#78 RexHolez
December 21 2013, 09:22PM
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Hrudey's almost as bad at commentary as the Oilers are at playing hockey

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#79 Zamboni Driver
December 21 2013, 09:23PM
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Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

Debrusk is especially horrible. Stauffer did okay on the play by play the other night, I think that might be his true calling.

Hrudey is just crappy behind a microphone, he constantly stumbles over his words and you end up with half formed sentences that make no sense. It makes him sound like an oaf.

I agree with that. Liked Hrudey in the studio, not so much in the booth. Can't see him getting a ticket to Mister Rogers' neighbourhood.

Debrusk is an embarrassment - I understand what his paycheque says, but from time to time, when a team finishes at the bottom of the league, it is okay to mention a 'booboo' or two by one of the players. Listening to Debrusk everyone wearing god-awful orange and blue is destined for the Hall of Fame.

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#80 Arius Mumin
December 21 2013, 09:23PM
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Egins is the dumbest coach in the NHL.

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#81 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
December 21 2013, 09:24PM
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@RexHolez

Hey come on now, let's not get carried away. I don't like Hrudey, but no one's THAT bad at it.

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#82 Zamboni Driver
December 21 2013, 09:28PM
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Man, St. Louis is good.

They're absolutely toying with the Oilers. Playing an entirely different game.

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#83 Arius Mumin
December 21 2013, 09:31PM
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Why do these commentators believe that people tune in to hear them talk about their weight and recreational events?

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#84 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
December 21 2013, 09:36PM
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@Zamboni Driver

The physicality is standing out this game. St Louis is ragdolling someone every shift, just about.

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#85 #Six Rings
December 21 2013, 09:37PM
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@Zamboni Driver

Notice how all five Blues players support the puck in the d zone? Notice how all the Blues players on the ice forecheck like mad?

You've probably also noticed there are no Blues players cheating for offense, waiting around at the blue line and hoping someone else will do the hard work of retrieving the puck.

That's what a real NHL team looks like.

It's depressing because the Oilers are light years from being remotely close to consistently competent, never mind that level of quality.

*Sigh*

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#86 Reg Dunlop
December 21 2013, 09:39PM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

Man, St. Louis is good.

They're absolutely toying with the Oilers. Playing an entirely different game.

Yep, a top 5 team, they would be a cup contender if the Kings and Hawks were not on the same side of the draw. Tonight, if the oil don't get shut out it will constitute another moral victory.

Off topic, is it possible that the oil are trying to maximize Bryz' value, fully intending to trade him by the deadline? Nothing but glowing comments, no sideshow. Our best shot at Ekblad is to have DD between the pipes.

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#87 Zamboni Driver
December 21 2013, 09:41PM
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#Six Rings wrote:

Notice how all five Blues players support the puck in the d zone? Notice how all the Blues players on the ice forecheck like mad?

You've probably also noticed there are no Blues players cheating for offense, waiting around at the blue line and hoping someone else will do the hard work of retrieving the puck.

That's what a real NHL team looks like.

It's depressing because the Oilers are light years from being remotely close to consistently competent, never mind that level of quality.

*Sigh*

It's actually refreshing to watch, personally.

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#88 madjam
December 21 2013, 09:45PM
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Oilers dominating after 2 periods and deserve better fate on scoreboard . Unfortunately we look like the Flames - good enough to be in game but not good enough to win a close game . Our young stars are overrated for now by management , coaches and fans . We still look several players and years away from being anything more than a bottom third in league club .

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#89 Reg Dunlop
December 21 2013, 09:56PM
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It's getting tiring grinding the oil so...

Can't wait for this edition of the Winter Classic!! Tor vs Det! Center of the universe vs Hockeytown. Maybe this high profile event will get the Wings into the sports pages. Typical Detroit paper: page 1 U of M football. Page 2 Michigan State football. Page 3 Pistons. Page 4 college hoops. Page 5 Lions and Tigers. Page 6 NASCAR, pro bowling... NHL summary on final page following Jai alai results. Hockeytown my a$$. As for T.O., have you ever been to Toronto? After explaining to locals that you live in Edmonton they say,'Edmonton? My friend Gord lives there, do you know him?'. What a blissfully ignorant group.

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#90 Arius Mumin
December 21 2013, 09:58PM
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OMG!the effort by the Oilers 1st line on that last goal was a #@$%ing joke!

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#91 Reg Dunlop
December 21 2013, 10:01PM
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Is DD wearing Bryz' jersey? Floodgates are open, this will get uglier.

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#92 Bubba
December 21 2013, 10:02PM
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3rd Goal equals why Hall and Olympics are never to occur.

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#93 Zamboni Driver
December 21 2013, 10:02PM
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So. Trash away if you must.

Fallon and Timberlake on SNL.

Night night Oilers.

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#94 Arius Mumin
December 21 2013, 10:02PM
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The line of Hemsky, Lander and Joensuu was doing good to begin the game. Then, Egins decided to put Gagner on the line instead of Lander and both lines disappeared.

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#95 RexHolez
December 21 2013, 10:06PM
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How do we apply to be dropped down to the AHL?

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#96 Hockey fan 1976
December 21 2013, 10:08PM
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Backes is toying with Hall. Hahahah. Maybe one day Hall can play similar game, for now men vs. boys AGAIN!!!

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#97 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
December 21 2013, 10:09PM
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You could clearly hear a Blue there saying 'What are you gonna do huh? What are you gonna do?' Out hit, out played, just straight up out gamed.

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#98 Walter Sobchak
December 21 2013, 10:10PM
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Eakins is a moron! Absolutely over his head in the NHL. Rewards & punishes the wrong players, ridicules.

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#99 Zamboni Driver
December 21 2013, 10:12PM
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Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

You could clearly hear a Blue there saying 'What are you gonna do huh? What are you gonna do?' Out hit, out played, just straight up out gamed.

Was the answer in a about a 11 year old voice, "Nothing, Sir"?

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#100 Reg Dunlop
December 21 2013, 10:12PM
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The oil are a completely beaten and demoralized team, just like their fanbase.

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