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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#151 S cottV
December 03 2013, 10:53PM
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Wow - that was horrifying. Dubnyk was bad on a couple but omg that's the worst d zone coverage in the history of the world. What the ---- is Petry doing? Sorry - but Eakins does not look like a leader. His body language is awful - even in the early going. Be a cheer leader, sound a battle cry or kick a water bottle, but don't just stand there pouting and looking beat. Geezes - MacT may have to do the unthinkable - punt Eakins and get his exposed @ss on that bench. .

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#152 Walter Sobchak
December 03 2013, 10:56PM
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I knew the last 10-12 games against teams that are not going to be in the playoffs was a telling sign.

Enjoy the next two games folks, it's going to get grim around here.

This team from owner & management to coaches has there head so far up there arse's.

This team desperately needs people who know what the hell is going on!

Anyway, December & January is going to test a lot of fans.

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#153 kale
December 03 2013, 11:04PM
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S cottV wrote:

Wow - that was horrifying. Dubnyk was bad on a couple but omg that's the worst d zone coverage in the history of the world. What the ---- is Petry doing? Sorry - but Eakins does not look like a leader. His body language is awful - even in the early going. Be a cheer leader, sound a battle cry or kick a water bottle, but don't just stand there pouting and looking beat. Geezes - MacT may have to do the unthinkable - punt Eakins and get his exposed @ss on that bench. .

Eakins said post game that Arcobello had a really rough game. I know it was not a perfect game but to me he appeared more productive than many. Last game they lost Eakins said it was because of physical fitness. This team is becoming as mechanical as he is. I have never seen the team so emotionless. The team really mimics its coach in my humble opinion. I just dont see this coach leading this team to the next level.

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#154 Slats
December 03 2013, 11:08PM
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@kale

Arcobello???????

Really Eakins - next time watch the game instead of bumbling around behind the bench Mr. Bean!

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#155 Rod from Viking
December 03 2013, 11:09PM
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Did I hear right? Did Eakins throw Arco under the bus?What about the golden boys and every other player not named Perron.

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#156 kale
December 03 2013, 11:18PM
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Rod from Viking wrote:

Did I hear right? Did Eakins throw Arco under the bus?What about the golden boys and every other player not named Perron.

He actually said he didnt want to throw Arco under the bus but he had a really rough game. So i dont know, you tell me, if that doesnt sounds like someone being thrown under the bus

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#157 Rod from Viking
December 03 2013, 11:24PM
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@kale

Didn't want to throw him under but he did, Arco has been the most consistent player all year and has done everything he can, Eakin's comments were brutal, how about the rest who have been poor most games.

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#158 Quintana
December 03 2013, 11:27PM
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kale wrote:

Eakins said post game that Arcobello had a really rough game. I know it was not a perfect game but to me he appeared more productive than many. Last game they lost Eakins said it was because of physical fitness. This team is becoming as mechanical as he is. I have never seen the team so emotionless. The team really mimics its coach in my humble opinion. I just dont see this coach leading this team to the next level.

At this stage of the rebuilding we need a senior management, coaching and leadership........Eakins is not, Mc-T is not , "6 rings"is a failure....go figure!!

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#159 LoweBlow
December 03 2013, 11:30PM
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I'm tired of feeling terrible. Time to stop watching the Oilers.

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#160 Mike Krushelnyski
December 03 2013, 11:38PM
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Well that sucked

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#161 Mike Krushelnyski
December 03 2013, 11:38PM
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Well that sucked

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#162 Mike Krushelnyski
December 03 2013, 11:38PM
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Well that sucked

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#163 Mike Krushelnyski
December 03 2013, 11:38PM
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Well that sucked

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#164 Mike Krushelnyski
December 03 2013, 11:39PM
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Well that sucked

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#165 Mike Krushelnyski
December 03 2013, 11:39PM
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Well that sucked

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#166 Mike Krushelnyski
December 03 2013, 11:39PM
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Well that sucked

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#167 Mike Krushelnyski
December 03 2013, 11:39PM
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Well that sucked

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#168 He Who Knows
December 03 2013, 11:40PM
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This organization lost its soul the day EIG sold. This arena deal looks more and more shady as well. E-town down, i repeat E-town down.

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#169 Mike Krushelnyski
December 03 2013, 11:40PM
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Well that sucked

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#170 Mike Krushelnyski
December 03 2013, 11:40PM
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Well that sucked

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#171 Mike Krushelnyski
December 03 2013, 11:40PM
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Well that sucked

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#172 Chris.
December 04 2013, 12:16AM
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Memo to Rogers:

Why would you want to associate yourself with this product?

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#173 OCD OCD OCD OCD ... What ?!?
December 04 2013, 01:32AM
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@Mike Krushelnyski

Time for some medication ?!?

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#174 Spydyr
December 04 2013, 06:36AM
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Reg Dunlop wrote:

Gagner fall down and not 1 team mate skates over to check on his wellbeing. Gotta love the skill on display, however.

Gagner falls down three times a shift.It is nothing new.

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#175 sizedoesmatter
December 04 2013, 06:46AM
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Debrusk's mouth makes sounds but nothing comes out

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#176 michael
December 04 2013, 07:24AM
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The morning after. And its -20 with wind chill at -28. The Oilers get pasted 6-2. At least they plowed my road this week. Pretty much the end of the good news.

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#177 Joe Mamma
December 04 2013, 09:11AM
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Oiler Al wrote:

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.

I am sure the mods and contributors to this site are passed out drunk, trying to drown the fact that they have to cover this team for the foreseeable future in copious amounts of booze.

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#178 **
December 04 2013, 09:31AM
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About Eakins throwing Arcobello under the bus, this from Bruce McCurdy at the cult of hockey in the Edmonton Journal:

"#26 Mark Arcobello, 3. Was “way off” according to Eakins, and I largely agree. He had his issues defensively, couldn’t close down the passing lane on the 2-1 goal, the 5-2 goal, or the disallowed goal (which was another own-zone meltdown by the Oil that should have been punished but wasn’t, quite). On the other hand, this guy also posted the following stats: Corsi +16/-4; shots +9/-3; a team-high 2 hits; a team-high 3 blocked shots; and a team-leading 2:37 SH TOI. Recorded an assist (on a nice interception and dish to Perron). Oh yeah, he was also credited with drawing 3 penalties. Either statistics are damned liars or Arco’s game wasn’t completely “way off”."

I think it was classless from Eakins to say that about Arco when there were others who suck even worse (Petry anyone?).

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#179 Joe Mamma
December 04 2013, 10:02AM
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** wrote:

About Eakins throwing Arcobello under the bus, this from Bruce McCurdy at the cult of hockey in the Edmonton Journal:

"#26 Mark Arcobello, 3. Was “way off” according to Eakins, and I largely agree. He had his issues defensively, couldn’t close down the passing lane on the 2-1 goal, the 5-2 goal, or the disallowed goal (which was another own-zone meltdown by the Oil that should have been punished but wasn’t, quite). On the other hand, this guy also posted the following stats: Corsi +16/-4; shots +9/-3; a team-high 2 hits; a team-high 3 blocked shots; and a team-leading 2:37 SH TOI. Recorded an assist (on a nice interception and dish to Perron). Oh yeah, he was also credited with drawing 3 penalties. Either statistics are damned liars or Arco’s game wasn’t completely “way off”."

I think it was classless from Eakins to say that about Arco when there were others who suck even worse (Petry anyone?).

This.

Couldn't agree more. I agree 100% with the media's assertion that Arcobello is not a fit for this team (last thing we need is another small center), but singling him out when Ganger, Petry, Joensuu, Ference, and Shultz (squared)all played far worse is laughable.

But hey, gotta justify playing the coach's son when Gordon gets back somehow, right?

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#180 Death Metal Nightmare
December 04 2013, 10:12AM
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funny how out of that list, Paul Stastny gets the least respect or talk but is sitting in third place and probably will forever. everyone else on that list gets a verbal BJ non-stop.

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#181 YakkkAttakkk
December 04 2013, 10:15AM
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6 ring circus wrote:

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!!!

You could always just give them to this guy LOL. You dont even have to pay him to give him the tix LOL

http://alberta.kijiji.ca/c-buy-and-sell-tickets-Oilers-tickets-you-dont-even-have-to-pay-me-W0QQAdIdZ549414658

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#182 Puck JammeR!
December 04 2013, 10:23AM
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YakkkAttakkk wrote:

You could always just give them to this guy LOL. You dont even have to pay him to give him the tix LOL

http://alberta.kijiji.ca/c-buy-and-sell-tickets-Oilers-tickets-you-dont-even-have-to-pay-me-W0QQAdIdZ549414658

I bought a ticket from a buddy for the Chicago game for $25. I felt like I overpaid by about $20. I would say I overpaid by more, but that Toews breakaway goal was pretty sick.

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#183 Puck JammeR!
December 04 2013, 10:26AM
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Btw there's no such thing as free/cheap Oilers tickets cause you need to spend $60 on beer just to make it watchable.

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#184 VK63
December 04 2013, 10:26AM
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@Doctor Smashy

I thought Arco was Ok. Drew a couple penalties by mucking it up. Maybe Eakins thinks that because the Oilers PP blew chunks it was Arco's fault for drawing the penalty and thus exposing the chosen ones to scrutiny.

~young and skilled baby… young and skilled~

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#185 Ed in Edmonton
December 04 2013, 10:50AM
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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.

Unfortunately the Oil are also challenged in many other areas. There is a perception that the Oil have a number of players who have scoring ability. This perception and a high draft pick next year are the only items of value the Oil have which they might be able to leverage to address some of their weaknesses. IMO it is not if, but when will they turn their perceived strengths into assets that will address their weaknesses.

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#186 tileguy
December 04 2013, 12:20PM
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I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore. Oiler fans please watch.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WINDtlPXmmE

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#187 A-Mc
December 04 2013, 12:33PM
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To be fair: Eakins didn't bring up Arco's play, a media guy did and that is why Arco was being discussed. Petry was also brought up but the video cuts out before you hear the answer.

Arco wasn't being singled out by Eakins.

That being said: Obviously Arco was the least of the Oilers worries and IMO he didn't deserve the comment about being "way off"

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#188 Oilerz4life
December 04 2013, 01:01PM
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Wonger wrote:

You have just discovered the Wongers Investing Secrets! Banks and Liquor/beer/ cigarette companies- to name a few- are also great long term investments!

Lemons to lemonade lol

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#189 Ed in Edmonton
December 04 2013, 01:03PM
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@A-Mc

I agree, although I thought that Eakins was surprisingly harsh on Arco, it was in response to a specific question about Arco.

I am seeing a big difference of opinion between many in the fan base, as expressed in sites such as this, and the lap dog sports media in this town wrt respect to the value of Arco. Have any of the lap dogs asked Eakins how he thinks Gagner is playing? Gagner seems untouchable whilst Arco is singled out by a media wag as a problem on a night when perhaps 15 of the 20 players were not good enough.

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#190 Joe Mamma
December 04 2013, 01:42PM
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Eerily quiet on the site today. Guess even the writers and bloggers are out of ideas on how to polish this turd of a season.

I guess I'd feel the same if I had to dissect corpses from train wrecks every day.

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#191 Puck JammeR!
December 04 2013, 01:59PM
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tileguy wrote:

Criminals??? I think the lions were fed with eunuch.

Well eunuchs sums up the way the Oilers play pretty well

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#192 Chainsawz
December 04 2013, 02:04PM
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Trade Arcobello.

This organization doesn't deserve a competitor like him if this is the way he is going to be treated here.

Only spoiled rich floaters allowed.

Dark days indeed.

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#193 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
December 04 2013, 02:07PM
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Pouzar99 wrote:

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.

Your last sentence makes me think one of 3 things. a- your trolling b- your dumber than a hammer c- Your Darryl Katz

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#194 Oilerz4life
December 04 2013, 06:54PM
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^We also care about the team. But the Rogers deal is big news and effects the Oilers. But we are not arguing, we are discussing lol. My friend here, believes that Rogers is limited to Canada. I was was under the impression that Rogers now owned 100% broadcast rights to the NHL, which brings in big profits from across the border (broadcasting US teams in the US or wherever). They also have ownership in FOX and a multitude of other media and broadcasting outlets. Whatever though you're right, it doesn't really matter, unless ofcourse you're investing.

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#195 Joe Mamma
December 05 2013, 08:34AM
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The Last Big Bear wrote:

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.

Why the hell is a flames fan even on the ON site? Really, you just sit around reading Oilers articles and commentary?

I would rather eat a pound of broken glass and wash it down with three liters of iodine than be caught dead on a flamers blog.

Have some self-respect man.

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#196 vetinari
December 03 2013, 01:37PM
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"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...

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#197 BingBong
December 03 2013, 01:57PM
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Grebs and J. Schultz on the same pairing? Seems like a recipe for disaster.

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#198 gongshow
December 03 2013, 03:46PM
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I have been unable to attend a couple of the games this season and I had as much difficulty giving away my tix for FREE as I've ever had. It's sad the apathy that is starting to grow. Hawks game last week cleared out early and the folks around me were joking about why they even spent the time to drive to the game as they put their coats on and left early. It's not even the losing that's the worst. The visible lack of intensity/effort for large stretches pisses me off more than the losing. I expect that it's the same for many other fans.

I was on my way out of town the other night and was listening to the Dallas game on 630 CHED. Even Kool Aid Drinker #1, Bob Stauffer, sounded disgusted by the effort level.

As dad as it is, I think the team might be losing their next generation of fans, too. Both of my sons' teams that I coach are filled with more non-Oilers fans than homers. Frankly, that sucks.

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#199 Oiler Al
December 03 2013, 04:06PM
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I think Ferraro makes a great point on Halls reluctance to make plays to his mates.. he is like a runaway colt breaking out of the barn.. not aware whats around him most of the time.

He should try for the one pass then take back to the net... mind you many times his mates cant keep up or catch him is another problem.

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#200 tileguy
December 03 2013, 04:42PM
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I wish something good or bad happens to this team. Get beat 7-0 and have a mngt shakeup, or go on a 7 game win streak and let the good times roll. Sooo tired of this apathetic feeling watching "my team".

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