GDB 29.0: SHOW UP AT HOME

Jason Gregor
December 03 2013 01:24PM

Home ice advantage has been a mirage for the Edmonton Oilers so far this season.

The Oilers are 3-8-0 at home this year. They've been outscored 38-23. They've allowed 3+ goals in 9 of the 11 home games and they've scored once or been shutout seven times. There is no other way to say it, they've been awful on home ice, and it's about time they start giving their fans something to cheer about.

In 2010, on their way to drafting Taylor Hall at least they were competitive at home, 18-19-4, and 9-28-4 on the road.
In 2011, they were pretty much the same team at home on and on the road; 13-22-6 at home and 12-23-6 on the road.
In 2012, they were 18-17-6 at home, and 14-23-4 on the road.

Last year, the Oilers won more games on the road than they did at home, 9-11-4 at home and 10-11-3 on the road.

There is no reason the Oilers should be this horrendous at Rexall Place, and it has to change. The games are still announced as sell outs, but I know some fans are wasting their tickets and not showing up. The Oilers must be aware of this.

When that many fans elect to just "waste" their tickets, Oilers management better take notice. This happened in the early 90s, and once the team wasn't competitive, 1993-1996, the fans stopped buying tickets. The Oilers shouldn't be naive enough to believe that couldn't happen again.

Fans have been incredibly loyal and patient, but if the Oilers don't start winning some home games soon, I sense we could see even more empty seats as the season progresses.

LINEUP

Hall-RNH-Eberle
Perron-Arcobello-Yakupov
Jones-Gagner-Hemsky
Smyth-Acton-Joensuu

Ference-Petry
Grebeshkov-J.Schultz
Belov-N.Schultz

Dubnyk

Ryan Jones has played with desperation since coming out of the pressbox, and Eakins rewarded him by bumping him up the lineup. Eakins moved Yakupov back to the right wing, and put Perron on the right side with him and Arcobello in hopes of creating two scoring lines.

I'm curious to see if Eakins starts to try and get better matchups at home. Will he try to give "softer" minutes to Arcobello's line so they can produce offence, or will he do that with the Gagner trio?

Joensuu has to play with the same passion and determination that Jones did to earn a promotion. I think Joensuu has more to offer, and he needs to start showing it.

TUESDAY TIDBITS...

  • It will be back next week, but this week we incorporated into the GDB.
     
  • Ray Ferraro had an interesting take on my show regarding Taylor Hall, when I asked him what change Hall should make in his game that would help him become a more dominant player.
    I think there is one thing he could do that would elevate his game and he could do it quickly. If he would learn, or accept, that he is not the best option on the ice all the time, I think that could help him a great deal.

    I will give you an example. When he gets the puck, and when he gets moving, if he would give it up a little quicker and separate, because no one is going to catch him, and then get it back; that small change to his game would change his game immensely. He loves to lug the puck. At times he looks like a punt returner. He gets it in his zone and is going to go as far as he can with it, and he can because he's that talented.

    I think if he takes a couple of strides and moves it to a centreman -- and obviously in Edmonton he is playing with talented players so the puck will come back to him --now he is moving again. If he moves it to the middle the defenceman has to take a step to the middle, because he has to defend the centreman, and that will give Taylor another five feet when he gets the puck back. Now the D-man has to cross over and come back, and I like Hall's chances better if he has that much more room to skate, than if he was just lugging the puck all the time.

    I think it is a small change, and if he can get his head around it and try it, he would find that he is going to get more room on the ice than he already creates with his speed.
     
  • Ferraro knows a thing or two about creating offensive chances. Ferraro is currently the 99th highest scoring player in NHL history. Ferraro admitted it isn't easy for players to make sudden changes to their game, and while he said it was small, it would take some time to adapt properly. Hall has carried the puck his entire career, and he's had success with it, so any change is tough, but it makes a lot of sense. Hall's speed already scares D-men, and if he gain a quarter or a half of a step advantage he could be even more dangerous.
     
  • Sidney Crosby will play his 499th game tonight, and he'll play his 500th game vs. the Sharks on Thursday. Crosby already has 701 points in 498 games and whatever points his picks up in the next 72 hours will put leave him with the 6th most points in NHL history through 500 games.

    Wayne Gretzky is first with 1,186.
    Mario Lemieux tallied 971.
    Peter Stastny had 759.
    Mike Bossy scored 757.
    Jari Kurri is 5th with 730.

    Crosby will join a very elite crew, being only the 6th player in NHL history to score 700+ points in his first 500 games.
     
  • In case you are wondering, Alex Ovechkin had 643 points in his first 500 games, including 309 goals.
     
  • The Penguins ability to throw out two dominant centres makes life much easier for head coach Dan Bylsma. While Crosby had a "slow" month, picking up 15 points in 15 games, Evgeni Malkin was on fire with 25 points in 15 games. After a slow start Malkin is now 2nd in league scoring, 35 points, and he's only one back of Crosby.
     
  • I was perplexed in the summer when some people didn't have Corey Perry on the Olympic team. He was great in 2010, and I don't think his foot speed is an issue. He and Ryan Getzlaf are off to a great start, with 29 and 31 points respectively. For me, both of them are locks to make the squad.
     
  • I wonder if the St. Louis Blues are concerned about how they match up vs. the Sharks and Kings. The Sharks have beat them 6-2 and 6-3 this year, while the Kings dominated the Blues for 55 minutes last night, before two late goals made the 3-2 final look more respectable.
     
  • The Blues need a pure finisher, and Marian Gaborik is a UFA at the end of the season. The Blue Jackets likely won't re-sign him, and he would fit perfect in St. Louis. Gaborik won't lead your team to the Cup, but he could be an excellent complementary player in their top-six. With David Backes and Alex Steen down the middle, the Blues don't need a defensively responsible scorer. They need a finisher. The Blues have about $2 million in cap space at the deadline, and if they are willing to spend it, they could fit Gaborik under the cap, by moving out a small salary.
     
  • The Coyotes have scored the 5th most goals in the western conference, but only Calgary and the Oilers have given up more goals. Mike Smith has a .307 GAA and a respectable .910 SV%. He hasn't played as well as they would like, but the Coyotes are giving up way too many shots. The Coyotes, 34.5, are giving up four more shots against than the Oilers, 30.5.
     
  • Dave Tippett's Coyotes aren't playing as defensively as they have in the past.

TONIGHT...

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Coyotes have lost four of their last five, and they've given up 4 goals in each loss. The Oilers finally give their fans something to cheer about as defeat a playoff team for only the 2nd time this season. Oilers win 4-1.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Hemsky picks up a point. He has 34 points in 33 career games vs. the Coyotes.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Justin Schultz becomes the first Oiler D-man to score two goals in a game since Corey Potter did it late last season. After reading the previous sentence, many of you are stunned that Potter was the last Oiler D-man to score two goals in a game. I was too. Entering tonight the six blueliners have played a combined 2,118 NHL games, and Andrew Ference is the only one to have a multi-goal game. He scored twice on January 5th, 2004. J.Schultz' two goals will indeed be a rare occurrence.

DAY FOUR...MONTH OF GIVING...

Yesterday we raised another $2,500 for Santas Anonymous. Thanks to Ken for the bid and especially to Robert for re-donating the Messier jersey.
 

It includes:

You can bid by calling 780.444.1260 or 1.800.243.1945. All the proceeds will go to the Christmas Bureau. Thanks in advance to all of those who make a bid.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR 

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#51 David S
December 03 2013, 06:29PM
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The site is really SLOOOOOOW. Wonder if Wanye is getting ready to pull off some fat stack deal with a Rogers sponsorship of the Nations.

Oilers Nation corporate suites for everybody!

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#52 Pouzar99
December 03 2013, 06:30PM
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I have been a season ticket holder for most of the past 35 years and have no intention of changing that despite my frustration at the Oilers team play, particularly on home ice this year. I make no judgement about those who plan to drop their season tickets, as it is their call. I gave my tickets up for two years after the Gretzky sale, but came back for the 1990 playoffs. My decision.

I sit up with my mates in the front rows of the gallery and we have a pretty good time at $30 per ticket. Fortunately for me I can easily afford it. If you don't want to go, stay home. Watch the games on TV or not at all. End of story. Spare me the lectures about how I should be following suit, however. This organization has made serious mistakes in recent years and I totally agree that some people need to go, but the suggestion that what the club needs is less support is, frankly, stupid.

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#53 6 ring circus
December 03 2013, 06:33PM
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I have been a long time season seat holder and the last few years its been getting harder to give tickets away,it takes six or seven calls before I can find anyone who want's the tickets for FREE,I have them posted on Kijji and the Oiler's site with no luck and they are posted way below face value,there have been a few games this year were no one wanted them at all,this is my last season subsidizing the Oilers,I am done supporting the old boy's club Six rings and the gang!!!

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#54 Alsker
December 03 2013, 06:33PM
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David S wrote:

The site is really SLOOOOOOW. Wonder if Wanye is getting ready to pull off some fat stack deal with a Rogers sponsorship of the Nations.

Oilers Nation corporate suites for everybody!

I blame fLamesNation and Horcoff!!!

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#55 D-Unit
December 03 2013, 06:49PM
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@Saytalk

I am sure Eakins would love to have a total of 6 forwards that he could use to match up. Right now with a contingent of too many of the same type of player makes it difficult.

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#56 tony
December 03 2013, 06:56PM
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BingBong wrote:

Grebs and J. Schultz on the same pairing? Seems like a recipe for disaster.

the math is simple 1+1= -2

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#57 D-Unit
December 03 2013, 06:57PM
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Spydyr wrote:

The reason Yak looks lost is not his linemates.It is how his coach teaches Yak his system and teaches what is expected of him within it.

Coaching is more then picking lines the biggest part is teaching.

I agree coaching is a lot about teaching. Though I am not sure how you know how the coach is trying to teach Yak. Further to that though, from an outsiders perspective it looks like Oilers coaches have been trying to teach players who don't want to, or refuse to learn.

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#58 D-Unit
December 03 2013, 06:57PM
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Spydyr wrote:

The reason Yak looks lost is not his linemates.It is how his coach teaches Yak his system and teaches what is expected of him within it.

Coaching is more then picking lines the biggest part is teaching.

I agree coaching is a lot about teaching. Though I am not sure how you know how the coach is trying to teach Yak. Further to that though, from an outsiders perspective it looks like Oilers coaches have been trying to teach players who don't want to, or refuse to learn.

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#59 Rod from Viking
December 03 2013, 07:13PM
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vetinari wrote:

"I was perplexed in the summer when some people didn't have Corey Perry on the Olympic team. He was great in 2010, and I don't think his foot speed is an issue. He and Ryan Getzlaf are off to a great start, with 29 and 31 points respectively. For me, both of them are locks to make the squad."

I misread this the first time and read Corey POTTER rather than Corey PERRY and spewed coffee half-way across the room... a quick re-read later and all is right once more in the hockey world...

As for the lineup, I'm not so sure that Grebeshkov and Justin Schultz are a duo that I would want to play together on defence... who's going to be standing behind them when they turn the puck over at the other team's blue line and give up a 3-on-none rush? Oh yeah, one of our elite goalies... that should end well...

I read the same thing and thought is Jason trying to be funny, "Cory Potter", Harry Potter would stand a better chance, oh well I guess it is Oilers on the brain.

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#60 Serious Gord
December 03 2013, 07:53PM
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Might be the toughest game to predict this season so far. Could be lopsided either way but with dubnyk in net I'm picking PHX 5-3

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#61 Alsker
December 03 2013, 08:01PM
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Alsker wrote:

Granted, BUT if his linemates actually do what the coach says they are going to do(practice on offdays)then he may not be so lost...everyone Arco and Perron have played with have both looked good and seemed to be on the same page...I'm just hoping it will make a difference..we need YAK to be dangerous and engaging!!!!

Hmmm..Yak pressures, Arco intercepts errand pass, sets up Perron..GOAL...just like in practice..confidence in both yourself and your linemates is so huge for young guys. Hope the leave Yak with Arco for a bit, good for both of them.

I wanted to quote Spydrs comment not my response...ok Epic Fail on me!!!!!

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#62 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
December 03 2013, 08:02PM
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Seriously MacT, find us four more Perrons please.

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#63 Poolanov
December 03 2013, 08:05PM
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Taylor Hall has been bloody AWFUL in the last ten games. All year for that matter. How do you not score that goal...

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#64 Mo Playoffs Mo Problems
December 03 2013, 08:16PM
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Man could the Oilers use a big two-way centre like Martin Hanzal.

So hot right now...

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#65 Johnnydapunk
December 03 2013, 08:44PM
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Alsker wrote:

OK, so why does "Rogers Place" sound so Vancityish, or Ottawaish.....we need a real name: Deathrink, Blooddome, I don't know maybe "Icecavern of Doom"? Rogers Place sounds like it's Mr.Rogers approved, sweaters and hugs for everyone.

What the official name is and what people call it will hopefully be different, it's happened before, not sure with hockey, but I know the stadium where the Football team Newcastle United play was known as St James' park since the beginning of time, and a new owner tried to change the name a few times, failed miserably and the original name was brought back.

Rogers is doing the exact same thing that O2 Telefonica has done in Europe, it gets to the point where it is impossible to escape the advertising.

It's just a matter of time before they buy a team and change the name, make it all formula one style.

Hope that people do actively refer it to another name and hopefully that name isn't something like "The place where all Stanley cup dreams go to die" (even if it is true ) :-P

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#66 LoweBlow
December 03 2013, 08:48PM
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3-1

Horrendous defensive zone coverage. Terrible defensemen. Terrible decisions at the offensive blue line. Pathetic man coverage. Soft play.

I'm going to watch House MD re-runs.

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#67 LOIL
December 03 2013, 08:49PM
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All of you petry lovers need to give it up, he's weak and is only bringing us down. He should have left with Gilbert, they are practically the same.

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#68 Larry
December 03 2013, 08:49PM
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Dubnyk needs to go...

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#69 steelymac
December 03 2013, 08:51PM
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We will never be a winning team with goaltending like this.Instantly deflates the team.List your house Dubey you wont be back.

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#70 OilMan31
December 03 2013, 08:51PM
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Absolutely pathetic, no defensive awareness what so ever. Gagner looks like he's out for Sunday skate

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#71 Rob F
December 03 2013, 08:54PM
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For a sell out .....lots if empty seats....I'm not the only one that's had enough It's a boring experience. That's for sure

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#72 Oilerz4life
December 03 2013, 08:56PM
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Dubnyk is not even giving his team a chance to win when they are putting in the effort. A few of the goals tonight were so weak. How is the team supposed to win when they are getting no support from the goaltender? Its hard to watch.

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#73 LOIL
December 03 2013, 08:57PM
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Petry is not very good and so is Gilbert not very good. Both defencemen are similar and not very good. I think there very similar players. They both are not good

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#74 Craig1981
December 03 2013, 09:00PM
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Rob F wrote:

For a sell out .....lots if empty seats....I'm not the only one that's had enough It's a boring experience. That's for sure

Keep in mind there has been a crazy 2 day snow storm. I think that explains a lot of the empty ones

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#75 Grant Fuhr
December 03 2013, 09:02PM
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I like snow storms

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#76 Sailge
December 03 2013, 09:06PM
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Good thing they "worked on" the pp yesterday at practice.

They need more work. Terrible.

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#77 Sailge
December 03 2013, 09:09PM
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I jinx'd em!

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#78 LOIL
December 03 2013, 09:17PM
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I bet if you put Petry right beside Gilbert they would both be rated not very good

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#79 Harlie
December 03 2013, 09:23PM
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LOIL wrote:

I bet if you put Petry right beside Gilbert they would both be rated not very good

Gilbert would have the nicer shoes.

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#80 LOIL
December 03 2013, 09:25PM
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I think Petry doesn't skate backwards very well

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#81 Big small
December 03 2013, 09:28PM
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Petty is the new version of Gilbert and Potie.... Donkey is a jock like my six rings!!!!

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#82 Rod from Viking
December 03 2013, 09:30PM
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Ryan Smyth has been a heart and sole player for the Oiler's but he can not play every game anymore, he looks so slow tonight and the play has ended with him virtually every shift so far, on the third goal he completely missed a chance to clear, the fourth line is a good start for him but 2 out of 3 in the line up would be better and keep him off the powerplay.

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#83 Alsker
December 03 2013, 09:32PM
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Lets hope the Bryzzly bear returns thursday...can't stand the DD show(considering my love of cleavage and push up bras this is not easy to say).

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#84 They're $hittie
December 03 2013, 09:34PM
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Well the argument for arcobello as a better defensive option and a second line center replacement is being put to sleep tonight.

I like the guy but you cant make a stupid presumption after 20 game sample/

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#85 They're $hittie
December 03 2013, 09:34PM
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Well the argument for arcobello as a better defensive option and a second line center replacement is being put to sleep tonight.

I like the guy but you cant make a stupid presumption after 20 game sample/

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#86 GK1980
December 03 2013, 09:35PM
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Wow just wow, do these guys care? They are totally useless opening up the third. Extremely frustrating. They are just so not aggressive. Pathetic!

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#87 GK1980
December 03 2013, 09:35PM
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Wow just wow, do these guys care? They are totally useless opening up the third. Extremely frustrating. They are just so not aggressive. Pathetic!

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#88 LOIL
December 03 2013, 09:36PM
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I bet Petry doesn't even know where to move the puck too

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#89 Hockey fan 1976
December 03 2013, 09:40PM
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So exactly how many games does Ganger has to play after getting back to make people realize he's not as good as people think and Arco is a much better and cheaper option. God we are awful on defence!!!! And Eakins sucks!!!

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#90 Gk1980
December 03 2013, 09:41PM
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What's going on? Are the oilers really that bad? No push or drive. They are so bad in there own end. This team needs to have a huge kick in the butt. Is it the water? A conspiracy? What gives?

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#91 Gk1980
December 03 2013, 09:41PM
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What's going on? Are the oilers really that bad? No push or drive. They are so bad in there own end. This team needs to have a huge kick in the butt. Is it the water? A conspiracy? What gives?

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#92 Alsker
December 03 2013, 09:41PM
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They're $hittie wrote:

Well the argument for arcobello as a better defensive option and a second line center replacement is being put to sleep tonight.

I like the guy but you cant make a stupid presumption after 20 game sample/

Really, compared to .... oh, Gags, the guy who turned aimlessly away from the trailer on that goal? Did we take sleeping pills during the intermission, or is this the first period slow start thing?

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#93 They're $hittie
December 03 2013, 09:42PM
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Hockey fan 1976 wrote:

So exactly how many games does Ganger has to play after getting back to make people realize he's not as good as people think and Arco is a much better and cheaper option. God we are awful on defence!!!! And Eakins sucks!!!

2 goals and 1 dissallowed goal was arcos fault, one was partially gagners and you are saying arco is a better option. wow.

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#94 Quintana
December 03 2013, 09:42PM
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Lots of good UFA Golies this off-season........Dubnyk is garbage.

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#95 LoweBlow
December 03 2013, 09:43PM
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This defense is terrible.

The top line needs to learn that fans want goals, any way. We don't care about how it gets in the net.

Perron is a beauty. He should be the only player held on to during the off-season. Burn the rest of them.

Eakins needs to learn how to use what he has, rather than implementing some draconian system.

House MD re-runs are serving me well. He's less miserable than the average Oiler fan. We're all masochists.

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#96 biggie small
December 03 2013, 09:44PM
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Coilers should belongs to KHL... This is the honest truth...,

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#97 FireKLowe
December 03 2013, 09:46PM
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Larry wrote:

Dubnyk needs to go...

I literally hate that son of a bitch along with the coach, management, and the stupid Sportsnet commentators.

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#98 Reg Dunlop
December 03 2013, 09:47PM
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I know that Phoenix, like almost every other NHL team, toys with the non-contact oil but who wouldn't rather have the young potential of Yak and Ebs? Who wouldn't rather have the flash and sizzle of Schultz and Hall? Anyone? No one?

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#99 MoneyMoe
December 03 2013, 09:48PM
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Time to Make a SERIOUS move Mack!!

Old Shultz to Carolina For Dman T.Gleason ...

Larson & draft pick to Pens for Dman D.Engelland...

And Hemsky, Omark draft pick to Philly for Wayne Simmonds!

All of a Sudden we have players who can "Play" "hit" and fight if or when needed in the regular rotation ...

If u can't pull 1 off. Then let's go after the young Russian Dman from Florida

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#100 Gk1980
December 03 2013, 09:48PM
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LoweBlow wrote:

This defense is terrible.

The top line needs to learn that fans want goals, any way. We don't care about how it gets in the net.

Perron is a beauty. He should be the only player held on to during the off-season. Burn the rest of them.

Eakins needs to learn how to use what he has, rather than implementing some draconian system.

House MD re-runs are serving me well. He's less miserable than the average Oiler fan. We're all masochists.

If I see Ebrrle or hemsky dangle and NOT shoot I'm throwing my channel changer through my tv. Just SHOOT the puck!

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