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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#201 tileguy
December 21 2013, 11:10PM
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Good for Hall, this is probably harder than playing against Backes.

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#202 Johnnydapunk
December 21 2013, 11:17PM
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I wonder how many tweets they have to go through on after hours to find ones that can be read on the air? Could be why they are only going to twitter questions not as often as usual...

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#203 Bryzarro World
December 21 2013, 11:56PM
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Spaz wrote:

I was down the aisle from the jersey tosser, very tempting to follow his example but like a true Oiler I must confess I lacked the conviction to make the 'right play'.

Or also like them, lack the guts...

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#204 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
December 22 2013, 02:26AM
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Greg the Hammer Valentine wrote:

Remember in The Godfather, that scene when Michael Corleone negociates with Moe Green for the casino? It ends with the famous "don't ever take sides with someone against the family" line. During that scene, Fredo Corleone has a very particular look on his face. It's a mix of anger, fear and utter stupidity. That's the stare! The Dallas Eakins stare! I knew I had seen it before, I just couldn't remember from where. Look it up on You tube.

Bravo!!! Awesomness

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#205 Rdubb
December 22 2013, 08:39AM
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Johnathon I know it's the day after, but your PREDICATIONS haven't even been close this past 3 weeks plus... Someone, who is presumably around hockey & hockey teams as much as you are, should be a "little closer" in your predications...it isn't a reach to say the Oilers will loose these days, or even this year, but even I knew the Oilers would get hammered by more than 3 goals. The only way they wouldn't is if the top line put in a bunch of their chances...

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#206 Morgue
December 22 2013, 09:54AM
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** wrote:

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all. I need a break from this Oilers misery. Read you after boxing day. Maybe I'll get a deal on a new flat screen where I can watch in smooth detail how the Oilers get pummeled night in and night out.

Out of country for holidays so glad I didn't record the misery. What a joke of a franchise

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#207 Danger Pay
December 22 2013, 10:18AM
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This is historically bad! The worst part is the solution is an enigma, wrapped in a riddle, surrounded by ineptitude.

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#208 FireKLowe
December 22 2013, 06:07PM
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Impartial Oilers Fan wrote:

Was Eakins a former Oiler?! Nope, so there goes that useless theory.

I really wish that the vocal Oilers fans would be a bit more intelligent, rather than just recycling the same garbage like the Old Boys club.

Because, how could it ever be on the players to have any kind of accountability?!!? You guys that blame management are bordering on pathetic. Spewing the same topic without any substance.

Is that you Kevin Lowe? This is a poorly assembled team period. That is all on management.

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#209 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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#210 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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#211 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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#212 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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#213 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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#214 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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#215 @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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#216 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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#217 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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#218 Robert (AKA Hockey Fan)
December 21 2013, 10:50PM
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@He Who Knows

Almost makes you wonder if KLowe had a few beers after that comment beforehand.....

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#219 Robert (AKA Hockey Fan)
December 21 2013, 10:54PM
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@Jordan Nugent-Hallkins

Well if you see me in a Jets jersey (which I'll be wearing) say hi!

Jets will have a tough game against the Canucks tomorrow night...so we could see 2 very pissed off teams on Monday....be a great ole Smythe Division matchup!

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#220 Spydyr
December 22 2013, 07:26AM
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Rheal1 wrote:

Isn't KLOWE part of that organization? Maybe Eakins and his competent coaching staff should be behind the bench.

The WJC is the Team Canada I was referring to at this point.Fourtunaly Lowe is no where near that team.His draft pick last year could not even make that team.

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#221 camdog
December 22 2013, 08:50AM
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@Ed in PV

Cogs needed to learn a few lessons about what type of player he needed to be in order to be successful. Problem is we didn't have the tools to train him properly, thus he needed a change.

I like what Weeks said best on HNIC they need veterans to teach the kids about accountability. And the culture of the Oilers the past few years has been to call the veterans out and dismiss them as soon as possible as being irrelevant. This culture has been cancerous to the organization and it started with Mr. Lowe. I know some media pundits like to dismiss these anti- Lowe comments, however with the purging of more veteran leadership this season, it appears to me as though the culture has not changed.

Although some veterans have poor corsi and poor advanced stats, they do bring value to a team!!!

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#222 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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#223 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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#224 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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#225 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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#226 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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#227 Arius Mumin
December 21 2013, 08:53PM
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David Perron will one day coach in the NHL.

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#228 Ari Gold
December 21 2013, 08:55PM
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Reading these comments, I'm glad I'm not watching.

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#229 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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#230 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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#231 Robfra50
December 21 2013, 10:14PM
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@Jay

Halllsy will be needing Jack Daniels after this game is over.

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#232 Robert
December 21 2013, 10:20PM
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@vetinari

Too funny, though so true LOL

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#233 Taylor
December 21 2013, 10:32PM
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Enough already about STL on CBC , they are playing a AHL team they should dominate.

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#234 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
December 21 2013, 11:17PM
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@FIREEAKINS

HA, I saw that too. Watch out guys, it might explode and get ink on you. That stuff is a pain to get off, y'know.

JW should set an ON record for shortest article ever tomorrow.

"Wow. Just, wow." And nothing more need be said.

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#235 Serious Gord
December 22 2013, 08:07AM
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Ed in PV wrote:

This team through the 1st 38 games are the worst in Oil history.

Willis, I think you should start a game by game chart showing how the Oil are tracking against the worst teams in NHL history. I wonder if they have a chance to be the worst of all time?

They are nowhere near the worst ever for one season. However since expansion in '68 the years since the cup run may be among the worst long term records ever.

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#236 Rheal1
December 22 2013, 08:43AM
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That brave soul who threw his jersey in disgust on the ice. Why can't we do the same and mail our jerseys back to KLOWN?

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#237 Ed in PV
December 22 2013, 09:42AM
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Serious Gord wrote:

They are nowhere near the worst ever for one season. However since expansion in '68 the years since the cup run may be among the worst long term records ever.

Perhaps just since the Oil entered the NHL.

With the tough western teams they will seeing a lot of in the rest of the year, I think they will have a truly dreadful total.

Tracking of the futility would highlight the joke the organization is and will add some comic relief.

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#238 Reg Dunlop
December 22 2013, 10:22AM
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The gesture of throwing oil jerseys onto the ice seems good but what is being accomplished? Katz would collect them, stay up all night making his brats mend any holes in them and then try to sell them as game worn jerseys.

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#239 Rama Lama
December 22 2013, 12:11PM
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Six Rings use to post on this website under the name Jasmin.........Jasmin where are you? You alter ego is looking for you.

This team has been instructed to play bad for Ekblad........I have to believe this as there is no logical explanation for just how bad we can play. The whole hockey world knows why we can win ( too small, too many of the same players, not tough enough) except Six Rings and Mac T.

Call up the AHL roster......that would be more entertaining.

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#240 FireKLowe
December 22 2013, 06:05PM
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Well as predicted ... Willis trying to dress up the pig ...

http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/12/22/the-state-of-the-edmonton-oilers-its-bad-but-not-as-bad-as-it-looks/

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#241 @Oilanderp
December 21 2013, 08:57PM
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@Ari Gold

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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#242 Jay
December 21 2013, 10:12PM
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Nice cross crease pass. Maybe that's why our PP is always trying that. Cuz it always works for them in practice

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#243 Robert
December 21 2013, 10:16PM
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@RexHolez

He'll be singing the Blues.

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#244 Rheal1
December 22 2013, 07:16AM
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Spydyr wrote:

I have one thing to say after reading all of these comments......GO TEAM CANADA!!!

Isn't KLOWE part of that organization? Maybe Eakins and his competent coaching staff should be behind the bench.

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#245 MessyEH!
December 22 2013, 08:56AM
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We should throw all our old merchandise on the ice.

Also bring all the pennies that you have around your home. This would create a real Mess. Do it right after the ice is cleared. Thousands of Pennies. Raining down on the ice would look fantastic.

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#246 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
December 22 2013, 12:43PM
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Ed in PV wrote:

A number of random thoughts.

1. Yak needs to be sent to OKC. He is adding nothing to the team and makes the mantra of accountability a farce. I hope the Oil management (and I use the term loosely)are not influenced by Larianov's whining from last month. If Yak pouts about the demotion and bolts to the KHL, better to get rid of the cancer now than let it continue to fester.

2. I also suggest that Yak will want a 6 millionish contract similar to RHH to be offered next year. The Oil have set a precedent with No.1s when they gave RNH the money for what was it, 4 goals last year.

3. When the HNIC panel was filling time waiting for Hall to take the fall for the team on After Hours, they got into a heated debate about whether the Oil should de something now or "be patient". The exchange became quite heated. Freideman was up his you know what when he stated the Oils shouldn't trade any of their young talent because they "might be great somewhere else". This topic gets kicked around all the time on this site. Oil cannot be afraid to trade any asset they have, they cannot be paralyzed by fear of what might be.

4. I wonder if the Oil made a mistake when they decided to keep Gagner in stead of Cogs. The Ducks have done a great job with Cogs, giving him a defined role he can thrive on. Oil never really knew what to do with Cogs. They did a good job finding out what his deficiencies were, but didn't seem to understand his strengths.

Cogs needed a new environment. Lots of guys need new environments after being in this poison

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#247 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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#248 Jay
December 21 2013, 08:06PM
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New page meow?

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#249 He Who Knows
December 21 2013, 10:21PM
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Everytime the oilers suck the life out of me, I watch this press conference for a good laugh. Kevin Lowe cracks me up.

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#250 @Oilanderp
December 21 2013, 10:21PM
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Whaaaat the.............

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