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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#151 brad
December 22 2013, 06:23AM
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We should all mail our jerseys back to the team head office that would send a huge message! I'm up for it... anyone else. Worth making a facebook page for too to get the word out that enough is enough!!

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#152 outdoorzguy
December 22 2013, 07:18AM
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Maybe the owner should be flown in from Vancouver so he can see first hand what a mess this team is. Obviously the message he's getting from Loser Lowe is garbled...probably the six rings in hs mouth as he talks.

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#153 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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#154 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
December 22 2013, 07:45AM
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TDSM31 wrote:

Its the season. Hrudey's far from a douche. My nephew has Down Syndrome and Kelly donates a ton of time and money to the PREP foundation which helps support and teach kids with DS. And this is just one of the many charity's he and his wife donate their time and money to. He might not hit all the marks with his color commentary but he's really a stand up guy.

Well it seems I was mistaken about the douche accusations, my apologies. Still hate his 'color' commentary though. I miss Rod Phillips...

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#155 Sir Lurks Alot
December 22 2013, 07:50AM
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Huge props goes out to the fan that threw his jersey onto the ice. We should have a facebook group, and encourage one person to throw on a jersey every game for the rest of the year.

I'm 100% convinced until Kevin Lowe is fired, nothing will change. If I was Lowe, i'd step down. It's embarassing for everyone involved.

People on here keep saying we need a big d man and a few 3rd and 4th liners. Our top 2 lines aren't even close to good enough. If it was just our d and 3rd and 4th line guys that were the problem we wouldn't get shutout this many times.

I love Eberle, but i'd trade him first. Calls out players on his team and is soft with the puck and refuses to shoot. HIs first year he started to believe he was better than he is. Hall, Nuge and Perron would be the only people I wouldn't trade right now.

Gagner, stop chewing on your mouthguard, you're not Patrick Kane, you may as well be his cab driver.

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#156 JSR
December 22 2013, 08:30AM
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What a sad state of affairs this has become. My family has season seats and I have not been to a game since the two back-to-back shutout losses to the Leafs and Wings. MacT has to do something soon, and as far as I'm concerned, there are no untouchables, Hall included. This team is too soft. I would like to see more emotion out of Eakins, but it's time to stop pointing fingers at the coaches, this team just doesn't have the personnel to get it done. As for old Six Rings, he should have been fired after allowing Pronger to force a trade. He should step down now!

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#157 Rheal1
December 22 2013, 08:37AM
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Spydyr wrote:

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.

Ouch. Very ouch baby. I was kinda expecting Nurse to make the cut, ya know all things considered. Well as this team - on a pro rated - basis will finish with no more than 51 pts in April (that's when golf season starts. I hear the Oilers are extremely proficient at that sport). Almost mid-season now and 5 other teams have reached 51 pts!!!! Sam Reinhart or Ekblad will probably seek psychiatric help after the Oilers select them at the draft.....

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#158 Wintoon
December 22 2013, 08:38AM
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After last nights loss by the Oilers, criticism is flooding in from every source. The Coach, the players, the HNIC Panel, the MSM, the bloggers and the fans are unanimously critical.

The quintessential statement made by qa fan was throwing their Oiler Jersey on the ice after the game. Given the sport's culture and the pride with which a team jersey is expected to be worn, there can be no more damning statement made by a fan to an organization.

We all have teased MacT about his wanting to make "bold" moves but that is exactly what is required now to transform this franchise.

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#159 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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#160 Dave "Killer" Carlson
December 22 2013, 09:22AM
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First off, props to the jersey being thrown. I didn't see it, stopped watching after the 2nd. Wish I would've saw that.

Playing shinny with my family this morning. I'm going without a jersey. I can't bring myself to sport my #5 Ladi Smid jersey, mostly because of the logo on the front. Maybe mailing my old one to the Oilers with a pic of me in a new red #3 jersey would send a message too...

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#161 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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#162 camdog
December 22 2013, 09:47AM
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Gk1980 wrote:

This team had died and given up. Do Eakins a favour and let him go. Mercy firing. He has a ton of potential and is getting dragged through the krap here. Of the 7 years this is as low as it has ever gotten. How did it get so bad? What the heck happened?

One thing they did was get rid of all of their tough, hard nosed players that had bad advanced stats, Brown, Smid, and Fistric.

Gadzic has been a welcome addition, but he can't do it on his own and his a rookie himself.

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#163 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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#164 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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#165 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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#166 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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#167 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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#168 K_Mart
December 21 2013, 06:28PM
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Ride bryz

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#169 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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#171 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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#172 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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#173 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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#174 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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#175 Quicksilver ballet
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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#176 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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#177 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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#178 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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#179 **
December 21 2013, 08:33PM
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hanging your goalie out to dry 101

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#180 **
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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#181 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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#182 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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#183 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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#184 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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#185 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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#186 #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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#187 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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#188 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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#189 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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#190 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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#191 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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#192 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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#193 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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#194 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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#195 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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#196 Robert
December 21 2013, 10:16PM
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@RexHolez

He'll be singing the Blues.

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#197 Serious Gord
December 21 2013, 10:19PM
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In these six latest games the oil has been out scored 23 - 6.

The blues never even had to play their typical game tonight to win easily.

The focus IMO really should now be on the cgy game on the 27.

If the oil come up with a lackluster performance and yet another loss, Eakins should be fired before 2014 dawns.

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#198 merfer
December 21 2013, 10:19PM
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I'll bet those beers will taste extra good for the boys tonight considering they were still in the game after the first period. I'm sure Gordon wishes he stayed in Phoenix. This just gross already.

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#199 Greg the Hammer Valentine
December 21 2013, 10:20PM
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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.

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#200 Arius Mumin
December 21 2013, 10:21PM
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The biggest winner in the Paajarvi/Perron trade was not the Oilers. The biggest winner in that trade was Mangus himself, he is no longer in the black hole of the NHL.

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