A Comedy of Errors

Jonathan Willis
December 31 2013 10:40PM

On Tuesday night, the Edmonton Oilers lost a game by a 4-3 score, falling in overtime to the Phoenix Coyotes. The score and standings point flatter Edmonton, but the comedy of errors on the final goal was something not to be missed.

The Chain of Screaming

We set the scene with 17 seconds left in overtime. Jeff Petry (2) has the puck and is in a bit of trouble, but Anton Belov (77) is in good position to cover him and Petry is about to dump the puck along the boards to where Jordan Eberle (14) can recover it. Provided he does so successfully, the Oilers will have possession in the Phoenix zone with barely any time left.

Two seconds later, all is well. Eberle is under pressure from Radim Vrbata (17) and Keith Yandle (3), but he has possession and even if he somehow loses the puck Yandle is going to need to beat two defencemen back to the Oilers net. Besides which, if Eberle gets into trouble he can dump the puck along the boards and Sam Gagner (89) will be in decent position to recover it.

Well, Eberle doesn’t get it deep and worse gets cut off by Yandle after coughing up the puck. Oh well, no worries; Yandle has to beat two defencemen and he isn’t totally clear of Eberle yet. Good luck with that.

Uh oh. Petry has pinched to hold the puck in, and it’s gone off his skate. Eberle isn’t moving his legs, so he’s out of the play. Suddenly Petry’s vulnerable, Eberle’s irrelevant and Belov is the only player standing between Yandle and Bryzgalov. It shouldn’t be a problem, though, because Belov sees what’s happening and has a lead on Yandle.

Petry’s out of the play and Eberle’s somehow almost as far out of things as Gagner, who started much further back. And suddenly Belov’s lead on Yandle is looking a lot less impressive.

At this point, Petry’s in position to take the second Phoenix attacker, and Belov is in position to take Yandle. There are less than 10 seconds left. Despite some gains made by Yandle on Belov, Petry’s inability to hold the line and Eberle’s inexplicable disappearance from the frame, there’s no problem here that Belov can’t solve.

Oops. Belov went from a slight lead to neck-and-neck to being cleanly beat by Yandle. Oh well, with 8.5 seconds left he might as well wrap Yandle up in a big bear hug and let Bryzgalov get set for a penalty shot.

Or I guess Belov could let Yandle shoot. That’s not what I would have advised, personally.

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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#1 oilerman53
December 31 2013, 10:45PM
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Ba Dum Bum *fist*

Then I take that fist and use my other fist and open them both up and throw my weepy face in there.

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#2 offthebandwagon
December 31 2013, 10:48PM
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I thought Petry was the main culprit. Of course I was still frustrated with how badly he played the previous goal. Bad game for him all around.

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#4 RexHolez
December 31 2013, 10:52PM
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I didn't watch the game tonight and I bet I'm starting the new year off in a better mood than those who did!!

Can we just pick names out of the phone book to pick a G.M!!? I'm willing to bet good money that a random edmontonian could put together a better team than this!!

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#5 HardBoiledOil
December 31 2013, 10:57PM
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^doesn't a play like that really piss a guy off or what? how many times have we seen similar plays like this from the Oil this year? love the disappearing act that is Eberle!

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#6 Bryzarro World
December 31 2013, 10:57PM
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This team blows. A TOTAL joke. From 6 rings to the assistants to every freaking one in between.

My resolution is to not watch another oilers game or spend another cent on them until Kblowe is gone.

Until then I will just hang out here and watch the suffering from afar...

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#7 Derian Hatcher
December 31 2013, 10:59PM
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why in the name of curt brackenbury did Belov stop skating for 3 strides??? What the frick is wrong with 14, 2 & 77 that they did not (could not???) recognize the immediate danger. Un frickn believable. Have a great New Year in Phoenix boys....you've earned it! Out

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#8 admiralmark
December 31 2013, 11:03PM
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Don't worry everyone Eakins will send a message to the team by sitting Yakupov for "another" game. He must of had something to do with that poor play.

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#9 Rob...
December 31 2013, 11:06PM
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Boy oh boy did Eakins ever do the right thing in making Yak watch from the press box. He sure learned a valuable lesson in how to put in a solid defensive effort.

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#10 Brian
December 31 2013, 11:08PM
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Relax. 6Rings has it all under control. He knows how to draft first overall If there was ever any concern. Loser.

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#11 RexHolez
December 31 2013, 11:09PM
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RexHolez wrote:

I didn't watch the game tonight and I bet I'm starting the new year off in a better mood than those who did!!

Can we just pick names out of the phone book to pick a G.M!!? I'm willing to bet good money that a random edmontonian could put together a better team than this!!

Lets take this further! Whatever side you're on I'll put up good money that Stauffer, Lowetide, Gregor, Brownlee, Willis, jack or even Ron Burgandy could all put together a more competitive team

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#12 Alsker
December 31 2013, 11:10PM
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Well, we can hope for the best that Yak did learn from this experience in the pressbox and now understands as the coyotes forwards do...what he must do. Oh with both Smith and Bucky on the bench, who was with Yak upstairs to explain to him what was he was doing wrong and what was the right thing to do? Please don't tell me it kBlowe!!!!

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#13 hallsyoilerforever5
December 31 2013, 11:13PM
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How many more games will we continue with this garbage defense. If Eakins wants me to believe his true "accountability" then I expect some players to get the same treatment Yakupov is getting. I'm looking at you Belov.. And Eberle, enough of the toedrags and just shoot the puck please?

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#14 Alsker
December 31 2013, 11:14PM
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HardBoiledOil wrote:

^doesn't a play like that really piss a guy off or what? how many times have we seen similar plays like this from the Oil this year? love the disappearing act that is Eberle!

Hey he's learning well from his veteran presence: Gagner.

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#15 Oiler Al
December 31 2013, 11:15PM
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Eberle on the ice for 3 Coyote goals, along with Petry. Petry was on for the last three goals.

Eakin sends out the vets .. Smyth, Gagner, Eberle, Hemsky, Petry, to protect the lead, and these Bozos get three goals scored on them when they wre suppose to be protecting a lead. What a joke.

Gagner, and Eberle on the friggin ice with less than a minute to play.. joke.

Flat foot Belov, got ten minutes of ice time , but is on the ice in the dying minutes of the game... joke

Eberles star isn't shinning to bright when hes not playing with # 4 and 93.

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#16 drdoogie16
December 31 2013, 11:17PM
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I have better advice for Oil fans. Stop griping on this blog and get a new team already. They is the king of suck!!!!!

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#17 RexHolez
December 31 2013, 11:17PM
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Alsker wrote:

Well, we can hope for the best that Yak did learn from this experience in the pressbox and now understands as the coyotes forwards do...what he must do. Oh with both Smith and Bucky on the bench, who was with Yak upstairs to explain to him what was he was doing wrong and what was the right thing to do? Please don't tell me it kBlowe!!!!

The only thing Yak learned tonight is why he should ask for a trade!

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#18 Rob Gilgan
December 31 2013, 11:19PM
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Been a fan of Jordan Eberle since the get-go, but he quits on plays. Yandle's goal is on him. If he hadn't quit, Petry and Belov would have handled Yandle and there would have been a different outcome. Bet Eakins doesn't have balls enough to sit Eberle for a little look-see.

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#19 Jill
December 31 2013, 11:25PM
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Belov Stopped skating on the over time goal. What a terrible skater.

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#20 Tuningout
December 31 2013, 11:29PM
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Bryzarro World wrote:

This team blows. A TOTAL joke. From 6 rings to the assistants to every freaking one in between.

My resolution is to not watch another oilers game or spend another cent on them until Kblowe is gone.

Until then I will just hang out here and watch the suffering from afar...

It is sad. Even worse it's pathetic. Honestly I think I would still be watching if it wasn't for the lockout. I was a fan, the lockout made me realize it's just an entertainment business. Then the lockout ended and slowly I have come to the realization that I'm not being entertained. The oilers aren't my "boys". They're a bunch of highly paid kids and young men that are not getting a penny more of my money that could be going to my family or myself.

Though I do still love oilersnation :)

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#21 6 ring circus
December 31 2013, 11:32PM
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The whole Oilers organization is a comedy of errors!!!!

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#22 Harlie
December 31 2013, 11:47PM
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Petry sucks.

Bad backchecking by Eberle.

Belov sucks.

Bad tending by Bryzgalov.

MacT needs to find a Yandle.

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#23 S cottV
December 31 2013, 11:51PM
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Jill wrote:

Belov Stopped skating on the over time goal. What a terrible skater.

Belov should have had that covered off. He is primarily responsible for that goal, showing no attempt to anticipate the danger and then no desperation to shut it down.

It is the price to be paid for being out of the playoff race.

Plenty of alertness and desperation from the Coyotes to find a way to win.

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#24 Bryzarro World
December 31 2013, 11:59PM
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@Tuningout

Exactly!

Season tickets had been in our family since 82, I dumped them the minute they had the last lockout and so glad I did.

The no hockey for several months opened my eyes to better things and I maybe watched a handful of games the rest of that year. I have barely watched any since and I don't miss it at all.

They turned this team into a joke ever since KLowe has been involved. He can't coach so he gets to be GM and them pre and has failed every step of the way.

How long do we have to keep watching them lose when leading? How long do we have to watch them constantly be out shot? 10, 20 more years?

I don't know if I should feel sorry or laugh at the idiots spending money on tickets. Worst excuse is " I don't wanna lose the seats in the new arena".... Screw the arena and screw this team. They count on the mindless sheep supporting crap. I smartened up a bit, when will the rest?

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#25 Lawndemon
January 01 2014, 12:23AM
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HardBoiledOil wrote:

^doesn't a play like that really piss a guy off or what? how many times have we seen similar plays like this from the Oil this year? love the disappearing act that is Eberle!

Eberle is a complete waste of space out there... I wonder if he and Hemsky have some kind of inside bet to see who can be the first to play soft and lazy enough to get press box time.

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#27 cubsfan
January 01 2014, 12:37AM
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6 ring circus wrote:

The whole Oilers organization is a comedy of errors!!!!

more like 'tragedy of errors'

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#28 Al 77
January 01 2014, 12:45AM
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We'll Happy New Year Oilersnation! Mr.Willis you have more actual contact with these players then the rest of us, so can you tell me/us if they seem like not the brightest bunch of guys from a hockey I.Q perspective or are some of them lazy,or are some off them flat out not NHL caliber players?

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#29 Lawndemon
January 01 2014, 12:48AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Hemsky had three defensive zone takeaways in the first period alone, and aside from that kind of committed backchecking had six different shot attempts at the Phoenix net.

I don't really think Eberle's lazy, despite that ugly play above, but I really don't know how anyone who watched tonight's game would be ripping on Hemsky's effort level.

Since when is one game enough to warrant a free pass? His body of work for the last 3 years (injuries aside) has been sorely lacking.

Moreover, anyone who watched tonight's game and gives a free pass to anyone in an Oilers jersey needs to give their head a shake. I think you may have the hockey fan equivalent of Stockholm Syndrome... Being the least useless player on the Oilers doesn't mean you are a quality asset to an NHL hockey team.

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#30 Al 77
January 01 2014, 12:49AM
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In my opinion we have all 3 of those component on that silly display!

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#31 Tuningout
January 01 2014, 12:53AM
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@Bryzarro World

That's what I don't get.

During the locket I watched people buy loads of NHL merch for Xmas gifts. I don't get it.

Now I sometimes watch a game and see a capacity filled rexall with people buying food, beer, and merch and chanting "let's go oilers" for a team that can't get out of the basement. I don't get it.

Maybe I'm just dull, but why spend the time, effort, and money on this product ?

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#32 Moog's helmet
January 01 2014, 12:57AM
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If Eakins is right and this team's work ethic is on par with Calgary night in and night out then the Oilers are 16-17 players away from competing for a playoff spot.

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#33 Kr55
January 01 2014, 01:05AM
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Looks like typical Oilers hockey to me. Maybe if these guys get more fit this stuff won't happen anymore.

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#36 Alsker
January 01 2014, 01:14AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Not really; I'm in Oklahoma City so the only players I have contact with are Barons.

Seeing it from OKCs perspective, do you think Nelson could help Yak in his defensive play and would OKC be the right fit for him? I'm sure Yak would help the Barons on the scoresheet as well as at the gate but any feelings from the Barons coaching staff in if they would like to see him down there?

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#37 HardBoiledOil
January 01 2014, 01:17AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Not really; I'm in Oklahoma City so the only players I have contact with are Barons.

you actually live there?? poor bugger, I feel for you! :-P

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#38 Andrew
January 01 2014, 01:19AM
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Talk about regressing I can't believe how much I can't stand that useless tit Eberle. I would trade his useless and gutless ass for a bucket of donkey snot.

How bad do Eberle, Petry, Gagner and Belov have to be to stand out as lazy fly-by players when they are far from being the only guilty players? Every time that dope Dullass Eakins comes out after a game and makes those unbelievable comments about not seeing lacklustre effort just a few more goals against I perform a primal scream into my pillow.

How can this asinine situation be permitted to continue. If the GM can't deal with a 'whyo' coach like Eakins how the hell is he going to build a winning team. Not an SC winner just a solid competitive team. It's too bad the Oil faithful are faced with the fact that the GM and Hockey Ops are more interested in saving face than doing the right thing by sending the entire coaching and pro-soouting people down the road.

The Oiler organization is truly run by idiots. I feel sorry for the faithful season ticket holders who have fronted big bucks for their tickets and look what they get for their hard-earned dollars.

Apart from Taylor Hall and David Perron I sure don't see any character showing at all. What an embarrassment the organization is to proud and faithful Oiler fans.

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#39 Bryzarro World
January 01 2014, 01:36AM
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@Tuningout

They're idiots. They have sales on different items each game and people eat it up. They stand around like morons bitching and complaining but unwilling to do what needs to be done. Katz banks on those people because without sheep like that he wouldn't have bought the team.

I have been a fan since my first birthday which is 30+ years ago and honestly, I don't care anymore. I'm done and if the coach or anyone else wants to call me a quitter I got 2 words for ya... "SUCK IT"

"The road dog" Jessie James and "Bad ass" Billy Gunn could do a better job on the ice than this bunch of heartless turds.

Oh and to the media that has their BS excuse "You go try it tough guy. It is a hard sport", guess what... LIFE IS HARD! There are MANY jobs that are MUCH harder and people do them DAILY, not once every few days. If we did our jobs as poorly as these aholes we'd be canned a LONG time ago.

PEACE OUT

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#40 SRELIOFAN
January 01 2014, 01:48AM
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Derian Hatcher wrote:

why in the name of curt brackenbury did Belov stop skating for 3 strides??? What the frick is wrong with 14, 2 & 77 that they did not (could not???) recognize the immediate danger. Un frickn believable. Have a great New Year in Phoenix boys....you've earned it! Out

*drops Mic and walks off stage *

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#41 Serious Gord
January 01 2014, 01:58AM
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Holy god that was a bad play.

In about six seconds we witness all that is wrong with the oil and see what true effort - that of yandel - can deliver. Quite remarkable really.

And what was the reaction of the coaches and players in the privacy of the locker room?

Were they quickly getting showered and changed for a night out on the town in Phoenix?

Did Eakins ground them with a curfew? Or was he looking forward to a nice jog in the desert tomorrow am?

My guess is the entire organization is shrugging off the game and the season.

And who could blame them - it is a natural response to futility.

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#42 Thinker
January 01 2014, 02:04AM
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Is it just me or does belov pull up at the blue line for no reason? Also, i think i need to change my goat to petry. I've never been his biggest fan, but I gave him a chance to win me over because everyone seems to love him. However everytime i watch him he bungles it up.

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#43 spliff
January 01 2014, 02:36AM
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Wow do the Oil suck. I've been watching this horrible hockey for many years, and I can't find many positives these days, and unless MacT pulls off a miracle, I don't think its going to get much better anytime soon. Problem is, I'm a life-long Oiler fan and I can't cheer for anyone else.

So...to start the new year off on a positive note, I am happy to see Taylor Hall emerging as a superstar in this league. I feel he is really turning a corner, and at least Oiler fans can sit back and enjoy watching #4 becoming a great player. Also, Nuge will follow.

Here's to 2014 and knowing that eventually, it has to get better.

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#44 theoil99
January 01 2014, 02:39AM
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Maybe whatever coach is in charge of team defense should sit a game or two in the pressbox

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#45 @Oilanderp
January 01 2014, 02:50AM
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You could see this coming. Somehow Bryz kept them in the building in the first period. Then, they got the lead by capitalizing on their few chances. Then, PHX scored that weird goal on a rough bounce and you could feel it.

They looked like they were trying to kill a penalty for the rest of the game. They were young and afraid and so was I.

Afraid, not young.

Tragedy, not Comedy.

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#46 TDSM31
January 01 2014, 03:02AM
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I know this is totally off topic of the main concerns about the Oilers ineptitude but whats with the announcers overtime call of "...Keith Yandle...USA!!!.."?? WTF...this is all of a sudden a battle of international supremacy?? Most of the players on the ice on any given night are Canadian but do you hear any other commentators shouting "Canada!!" after a game winning goal by the multitude of Canadians that score?? I know its trivial but listening to that made me want to jump through the screen and strangle that douchebag announcer. F*ck, I'm so pissed about the state of this organization right now I can't stand it....every little thing is making me snap.

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#47 Slavelakeoilers
January 01 2014, 03:04AM
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I followed the oilers for years. Now I am living in Asia. I paid my money to watch them on the internet. I don't even watch anymore or visit oiler web site. I give up wasting my time on this bunch. Klowe and his cronies. I wonder when they will wake up.

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#48 RexHolez
January 01 2014, 03:24AM
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Lawndemon wrote:

Since when is one game enough to warrant a free pass? His body of work for the last 3 years (injuries aside) has been sorely lacking.

Moreover, anyone who watched tonight's game and gives a free pass to anyone in an Oilers jersey needs to give their head a shake. I think you may have the hockey fan equivalent of Stockholm Syndrome... Being the least useless player on the Oilers doesn't mean you are a quality asset to an NHL hockey team.

you mean the last three years that he was playing on one of the most embarrassing teams in the league!? im pretty sure I wouldn't have backchecked hard on that 1 rush in game 37 when my team was 11-25 or whatever pathetic record it is.... once again! Hemsky is a gamer when it matters! any oiler fan knows this!! why is yak getting benched? cuz Eakins cant bench Eberle and he needs hemsky to make plays and bring offence

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#49 Death Metal Nightmare
January 01 2014, 03:28AM
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this team is a bunch of child clowns and the Adults running it are even more incompetent. it's become dull and depressing.

sit Yakupov, he doesnt know how to play D. then watch your 6 million dollar child backcheck like a f---ing Coach's Kid in Peewee's. SO CLUTCH, EBERLE. YOURE A HERO OF CANADIAN CHILD HOCKEY.

everyone on this team outside of Taylor Hall (and you could make an ok case for Perron) should pretty much be destroyed.

no joke.

benching Yakupov is the least of this piece of garbage teams worries and they still do it as if it matters. "TEACH HOW TO BE CANADIAN, BOY! MACHO STYLE. HARD LOVING. I DO IRONMAN'S! FITNESS TEACHES YOU TO SURVIVE IN A MAN'S WORLD"

Lowe, Eakins GTFO

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#50 bwar
January 01 2014, 03:40AM
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SO how exactly does Gagner's no movement clause work? Seemed like he was exercising it to its fullest tonight. Yak better look out his minus lead is looking more in jeopardy everytime Gagner steps on the ice.

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