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 Zamboni Driver
December 03 2013, 10:05PM
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By the way, the worst player on this team right now is Sam Gagner. How he isn't benched is absolutely beyond me.

"But he's still a kid" - You'd think after 7 years in the NHL he'd have half a clue what to do in his own zone. He has none.

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#52 PapaMike
December 03 2013, 10:13PM
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Reg Dunlop wrote:

Looks like Eakins fell asleep or passed out due to malnutrition. Get him a donair.

Or a donut....

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#53 Taylor Gang
December 03 2013, 10:31PM
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"Just when I think I'm out, they pull me back in"

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#54 Greg
December 03 2013, 10:38PM
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lol, didn't watch or go to the game tonight, just checked the box score. and when i looked at it it make me laugh. beating the oilers is as easy as 1-2-3.

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#55 Greg
December 03 2013, 10:58PM
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its dumbfounding that Klowe is still here...

and where the hell is Katz during all this? when is the last time anybody heard from that guy? i know we all beat up on Klowe for being the idiot that drove this team through the ground. hell if i was Klowe i wouldn't quit. just show up and "run" a hockey team... get paid the big bucks... ive exhausted myself trashing Klowe on here. i think its about time i start directing all my hatred towards Katz. after all this is is product, and he's the one stuffing is pockets during these, depending on how you look at it, horrible/terrific times.

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#56 Oiler Al
December 04 2013, 06:10AM
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Come on ON, can you not manage this idiot Mike Krusyshetsky... this is insane.. this is not a glich,, this guy is manipulating your site and you let him get away with it.

PS.. unless unless you want to impress your advertisers with the number of hits.

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#57 Hockey Problems
December 04 2013, 10:22AM
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Does Yakupov mean pylon in Russian ? The kid is constantly standing still, watching the play in the D zone. Hey Yak, if you want to watch the game I've got some tickets in sec 122,row 11, I sell you for cheap. I'm not using them anymore. How do you forget how to play a game that you've played your whole life. Maybe we can loan him out to the KHL and dress Larionov instead.

Somebody?

Anybody ?

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#58 bleedblue
December 04 2013, 11:13AM
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I saw lots of empty seats. If ticket holders refuse to go at least find some kids that cant afford the NHL experience. Lots of kids enjoy the circus. Seriously find some kids worthy.

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#59 MR. Roger's Circus Show Fun Time Happy Hour
December 04 2013, 12:03PM
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Fire Eakins! If your too scared to make a trade fire the coach MacT. You gave him this mess and he couldnt even keep it close to 500. He was lost since day 1 and if the fans notice what do you think the players are thinking?

Either Intern yourself until you find a replacement or let Tod Nelson have a shot at it. He cant do any worse than whats already been done the last 7 years.

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

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#61 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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#62 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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#63 LOIL
December 03 2013, 09:25PM
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I think Petry doesn't skate backwards very well

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#64 Reg Dunlop
December 03 2013, 09:51PM
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Nice goal by Yandle but who doesn't like the high end potential of the oil? Who wants a generic player like Moss when you can have 12 million invested long term in Hall and Ebs?

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#65 They're $hittie
December 03 2013, 10:02PM
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Are you guys sure that Ekblad, Nurse and Kelfbom would not be a big upgrade to our D next year?

Three rookies ya, but all the others look like rookie AHL players right now.

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#66 kgo
December 03 2013, 10:08PM
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Oh, and send Justin pussypants Shultz to the AHL please

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#67 HOFFFF
December 03 2013, 10:08PM
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Hall won't go to the net....back hand to avoid a bump. Soft.

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#68 Hockey fan 1976
December 03 2013, 10:12PM
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How do you not score on a 5-3? Show some ****ing emotion Eakins. How embarrassing with 10 min left arena is half empty. Other than Perron, Arco and Nuge fire everyone. !!!! Screw you Coilers!!!!

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#69 Zamboni Driver
December 03 2013, 10:28PM
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BingBong wrote:

The game I just watched was Phoenix 5 - Perron 2.

Oh, and it's time to send Petry down to OKC for a little seasoning. Wait, what? He's our best dman?!?

Not to quibble, but it should have been Phoenix 7

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#70 Serious Gord
December 03 2013, 10:30PM
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Just looking at the games remaining for the month and the first week of jan:

The halfway point is almost exactly at the end of that period (44)

If the oil continue to lose practically every game to opponents who are " in" the playoffs they will lose 11 and win 4. Including the loss tonight the record. Will be:

13 - 27 - 4 give or take a win or two that's a gawdawful record.

The low point of the oil was mine games ago. Then they were 4 - 15 - 2 at the quarter pole of the season.

December looks to be a dark month in more ways than one...

Meanwhile mr Katz has even more money to count and fold...

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#71 tyler
December 03 2013, 10:37PM
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you know the "keys to the game" they put up at about the 5 minute mark? I think for this Oiler team it should be to not be down a goal or more before they post the "keys to the game" for the rest of the season...sure would like to not want to turn the game off before the 10 minute mark on most nights.

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#72 BingBong
December 03 2013, 10:51PM
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Serious question: Are Petry, Gilbert and Poti all college hockey grads? Just looking for the pattern...

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#73 camdog
December 04 2013, 12:27AM
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Chris. wrote:

Memo to Rogers:

Why would you want to associate yourself with this product?

Lol I used to be a regular on the sportnet boards until they shut it down because it was so awful. Rogers = mediocrity. The Oilers and Rogers are a perfect fit!

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#74 HOFFFF
December 04 2013, 02:59AM
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Only the Oilers could drive 6 first rounders into the dirt. Thats not counting all of them. I think there are ten first round draft picks on the Oilers right now? Career destroyers.

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#75 Puck JammeR!
December 04 2013, 10:37AM
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Clarko wrote:

Hall & Eberle may not be perfect, but Hall has 123 points in his last 128 games. And Eberle has 136 points in his last 155 games. The stats say that these guys give NHL defensemen at least a little bit to worry about.

They both need to be more consistent, but trading your two most offensively gifted players on an offensively-challenged team would be a big mistake.

How many of those last 155 games did their team win?

We need to stop looking at any player as untouchable. This team is deeply and fundamentally broken.

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#76 The Last Big Bear
December 04 2013, 07:29PM
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When I saw that there were 800+ comments, my little Flames-loving heart skipped a beat assuming that you guys were having an absolute meltdown because something catastrophically bad happened. Like maybe Hall and Yakupov getting into a fistfight during a tv interview or something.

Somebody just finally having a brain aneurysm after one too many home losses isn't quite as entertaining.

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#77 forsoothed
December 03 2013, 01:42PM
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Friends and I split a pair of season tickets and we're among those who've wasted some this year, including tonight. Well, we don't actually waste them, we donate them, but you get my drift.

There are loads of empty seats each game... the atmosphere at Rx is definitely different this year. Anyone else have the same experience?

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#78 Dallylamma
December 03 2013, 02:03PM
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There are tickets for sale here at work for almost every game, usually at reduced price. I seems like people are willing to take a loss to hang on to their season seats in the hope that things might get better down the line.

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#79 Taylor Gang
December 03 2013, 04:15PM
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Gagner and Yakupov need to pick their game up. No excuses

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#80 Taylor Gang
December 03 2013, 04:45PM
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Arius Mumin wrote:

What is:"something Taylor said to his coach this morning."?

What?

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#81 Alsker
December 03 2013, 04:56PM
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Spydyr wrote:

It's been seven years for Gagner I would not expect any Christmas miracles.Yak is lost right now and that is on his coach.

Perron-Arco-Yak, so his coach is doing his part, now it's up to Yak. Doubt disney could conjure the magic needed for Gags to up his game, ~damn glad he's here for the next phase of the infibuild~

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#82 Dog Train
December 03 2013, 05:00PM
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Hopefully Rogers Place is more friendly to us than Rexall has been of late. No matter how many fans waste their tickets for tonight, there will still be more fans at this game than any Coyotes' home game. For that reason alone, we need to win tonight.

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#83 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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#84 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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#85 Grant Fuhr
December 03 2013, 09:02PM
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I like snow storms

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#86 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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#87 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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#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 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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#91 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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#92 Bucknuck
December 03 2013, 09:50PM
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dammit Dubnyk, WOULD YOU SAVE SOMETHING!? friggin pylon.

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#93 madjam
December 03 2013, 09:50PM
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Size is killing us this game ! No contest.

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#94 JJ
December 03 2013, 10:00PM
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Why does this arena continue to sell out? As a fan, why would you want to pay any money to see this piece of **** team play. Can anyone answer this for me? Don't you get it by now? You're just going to get ****** over and over and you don't learn.

Anyway, I'm very happy at the current score. Blow these bastards out, Phoenix. Dubnyk, get the **** out of edmonton. Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out, mother ******

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#95 Jzed
December 03 2013, 10:10PM
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Pheonix KNOWS that there is no one on the Oil that will finish a check on them, that the Oil won't fight through or return their hacking and slashing. Ho hum. Then the Oilers start to yap, having to speak up to be heard over their home crowd's boos. Any hopes of turning the corner after the last road trip are gone. What an embarrassment.

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#96 Zamboni Driver
December 03 2013, 10:15PM
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Incidentally. Watch them scramble like crazy on the PP. Why?

Stats.

You were wondering where rock bottom is?

It's now.

Pathetic. Heartless. Gutless collection of me-first p*ssies.

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#97 Richard
December 03 2013, 10:24PM
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Is 8 enough for Daryl Katz?

FIRE KEVIN LOWE

48 19 22 7

82 32 40 10

82 25 45 12

82 27 47 8

82 38 35 9

82 41 35 6

82 32 43 7

Quite the record

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#98 BingBong
December 03 2013, 10:27PM
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The game I just watched was Phoenix 5 - Perron 2.

Oh, and it's time to send Petry down to OKC for a little seasoning. Wait, what? He's our best dman?!?

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#99 BingBong
December 03 2013, 10:40PM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

Not to quibble, but it should have been Phoenix 7

Yup, my bad.

Did anybody else laugh when Petry fell on Yandle's goal? I laughed.

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#100 11-2-99
December 03 2013, 10:46PM
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Trying to keep it LOIL in the YYC, the father in law is loving it!

Dubnyk and Petry at least give the sports select a chance!

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