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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#51 RexHolez
January 01 2014, 03:57AM
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lets all just be happy that #Yakcity didn't play tonight! the playoff race is too tight to give him time to build confidence!! he'll either learn how to bail out JSchultz and block shots or we'll trade him to Calgary for that stay at home dman we need like Smid!

I hate what this team has become!

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#52 Wohin gehst du?
January 01 2014, 04:56AM
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This is completely off topic.

Is Curtis Hamilton looking better this year in OKC? I notice that he has almost matched his last year's point total (though it wasn't much) in just about 20 games. Or is he still a lost cause?

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#53 Lemieux66
January 01 2014, 05:03AM
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@oilerman53

Sorry bada bum fist this us not on you.

This game is lost on Belov. Belov is not good enough to play here. I am sorry. At the beginning of the year I was like wow, but now it is like wow, you are terrible. Anybody that coaches hockey or knows wtf they are talking about will look at this footage and send him packing. First he completely decides to coast into a battle behind the net which he looses and ultimately results in an amazing save by Bryan to keep it tied.

The play gets tied up in his end finally the puck gets out and he does not. Change with ample opportunity. Instead he stays out cannot keep up with whoever the Phoenix player was ( after 90 seconds could have been me in tier 8 men's) and they score.

By belov. You are not good enough!

Mike

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#54 Jman
January 01 2014, 05:32AM
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TDSM31 wrote:

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.

Because he is fighting for a spot on the US Olympic team. He was just yelling in a " You see that, team USA??" kind of way.

Also, this is my first post, found this site a couple of months ago. Good stuff.

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#55 Hoozonphirst
January 01 2014, 05:45AM
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So what do we call this colossal goat $$$$ of a hockey organization? A six-ring circus maybe? Just sayin....

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#56 Fresh Mess
January 01 2014, 06:19AM
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The love in for Fail continues. Hilarious. I'm sure it would have been a much better result if Eakins dressed the worst player in the NHL.

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#57 Spurzey
January 01 2014, 06:22AM
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Anybody see the play where Horak sets up Gags to come around front and get stopped by Greiss. Horak then is digging for the rebound and gets tossed to the ice by two or three dmen. Gags is already watching the replay with his mouth guard hanging out to see how cute he looks. He has no intent at all to come to his teammates aide. He just needs to see himself on the big screen. That folks is what is wrong with this team.

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#58 huskamania
January 01 2014, 06:32AM
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wow wow I must say with all the hate to players,seems like every post I hear is blame for Ebs,Bel or Pet, Look at the bigger picture people. First Ebs and Gags are not on team for defence, quit saying these guys need to sit or get traded for playing as the players they are, you want defensive team get different players. 2nd players are put out there to do a certain job by the coach, I always hear by the posters of what this player did or what that player did I call BS look at the coach who is putting the players out HE MAKES THOSE CHOICES just like sitting Yaks he made that happen. I blame 3 people for this lose and ever lose to follow Lowe, Eakins and the coaching staff. I am a fan and hate losing but have seen this before when there is nothing to fight for, people say fight for pride, um play the sport and it gets into your head that you are so brainwashed that you can win by willing it. Things will not change no use to get pissed and blame this guy or trade that guy, untill the team is fixed by right people put into every position starting from top , the team wont go no where btw Happy New Year

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#59 Spydyr
January 01 2014, 07:00AM
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The thing that caught my attention and bothered me the most about this game.When the Oilers had the powerplay in OT the Coyotes set up a triangle then the oilers set up a box around it.Four guys all on the outside passing it around the perimeter.No net presence no screen no tip no nothing.If they have been coached to do that.The coach has to go.If they did it on their own.The have to be coached to have a net presence.Either way it is on the coach.

All hat no cattle Eakins

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#60 Spydyr
January 01 2014, 07:05AM
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Don't eevn get me started on the smurf line of Gagner, Eberle and Horak. Is there a softer line in all the NHL? I don't think so.What is the coach thinking here?

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#61 hemi
January 01 2014, 07:38AM
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Ground Hog Day! Will it ever end? This pathetic team is so far down the chart that it has become the measuring bar for what bad really is. Year after year and without even a hint of improvement in the mix. What ever the good people of Edmonton have done to deserve this perpetual disappointment, surely we have paid our debt to the Hockey Gods? Is there no mercy to be considered?

That break down of that goal truly typifies how horrible this team truly is. PITIFUL!

The entire management team, scouts, coaches, players and everyone else whom are on the payroll should be totally ashamed of their individual contributions in creating and festering such a dismal and gloomy product.

Edmonton deserves much more than this organization has provided.

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#62 sureyadid
January 01 2014, 07:43AM
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Bryzarro World wrote:

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?

And yet here you are, submitting your frustrations on a forum dedicated to all things Edmonton Oilers with the rest of us. You "smartened up?" I got sad news for ya, you're one of the mindless sheep just like everybody else...welcome home.

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#63 Bryzarro World
January 01 2014, 08:33AM
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@sureyadid

See you can't even handle simple concepts with that pea brain of yours. Keep spending money you knob, Katz needs idiots like you...

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#64 Lofty
January 01 2014, 08:36AM
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sureyadid wrote:

And yet here you are, submitting your frustrations on a forum dedicated to all things Edmonton Oilers with the rest of us. You "smartened up?" I got sad news for ya, you're one of the mindless sheep just like everybody else...welcome home.

The Oilers are a business and its all about the money. The nation is free. Props to everyone who does not spend money on anything that supports this sham. Is it time for a public Jersey burning?

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#65 Hockey fan 1976
January 01 2014, 08:37AM
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I feel for Hall, Nuge and Perron. You could also make the case for Bryz that he's got that competitive gene that just wants to win. Everyone else specially Dick Eakins GTFO!!! If management doesn't fix this s&$? show next year, I can see the only 4 players mentioned above worthy of staying asking for a trade soon. These players are winners and want to compete. Oh and KBlow, do the right thing and step down. Have some dignity and spare whatever is left of respect you have left in Edmonton from your playing days. I know you are worried that no NHL team will hire you ever again, but you could always become a sports announcer or towel boy if need be.

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#66 -30-
January 01 2014, 08:45AM
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This is why Yakupov sat out last night.

He is supposed to see WHAT NOT to do by Eberle, Belov and Petry.

Of all the effing goofiest things to do at the end of a game. That's right Ebs, you're getting SIX MILLION dollars a year to stand there and watch the puck get away from you.

Sheesh

-30-

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#67 AthabascaJim
January 01 2014, 08:50AM
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This goal happened as a direct result of Petry having no idea how to play defense. He doesn't read the play developing and gets caught in between. If he pinches down on Yandle BEFORE the puck comes free nothing develops. Instead he hesitates and plays neither the puck or the man. A 12 year old knows enough to take the man In this situation but Petry seems to have a huge aversion to touching anyone. For all his so called skill he seems incapable of playing with any confidence. Just another in a room full of players regressing under this leadership!

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#68 jamesrob56
January 01 2014, 08:54AM
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My brother-in-law's tv was displaying the Oiler's uniform with forest green shoulders/pants and hot pink stripes on white. I did not adjust the set, as it was the most notable improvement to Oiler's this year. Fitting to. If they are going to play like pansies they may as well look like pansies.

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#69 Guy Lafleur
January 01 2014, 09:04AM
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If Belov was the best defenceman in the KHL just exactly how good is that league ??

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#70 5inatrailer
January 01 2014, 09:10AM
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Does anyone know the status of Acro or Larssen? I don't think they are the cure but I need something to cheer for.

Arco's emergence and Halls evolution are the only things worth watching on these Oilers.

New contest: find a post from 2007 (7 years ago now!) and apply it to today's oilers. "With the historic fourth first selection, the Edmonton Oilers are so proud to select ___ with our 2014 entry draft pick"

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#73 sureyadid
January 01 2014, 09:15AM
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Bryzarro World wrote:

See you can't even handle simple concepts with that pea brain of yours. Keep spending money you knob, Katz needs idiots like you...

I was merely stating that, despite your denial, you are as hopelessly attentive to how this team fares whether it be a positive or negative result at the game's end.

I would contest the validity of your claim that my brain is the size of a pea, but who can be sure?

As far as your obvious anger issues go, I wish you the best of luck in finding peace this year.

Happy New Year!

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#74 Oiler Al
January 01 2014, 09:20AM
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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.

Hemsky 6 shots most all from 50 ft out. He wont score to many from that far out.Cant recall when he last scored or made a meaningful play to help win a game.

I would hope he had some take aways, playing on the third line against softies.

He is so great, that two years later 29 GM.s won.t touch this guy with a 10 ft pole.

Jonathan your a strong analyst and a good scribe, but don't let the Kool Ade get to you.

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#75 michael
January 01 2014, 09:39AM
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Petry still making first year mistakes 250 games into his NHL career. Yak has not even played a 82 games and Eakins beats him down like sledgehammer on a post.

Belov is not,not, an NHL defenceman. He should be in OKC. Or the KHL. He has found out quickly this season that the gap between being a defenceman in the KHL and one in the NHL is not so small a gap. I believe he will make a good NHL defenceman in 2-3 season. But right now he is at best a 6-7. His lack of physicality showed on that GWG by the Yotes.

JW my biggest concern was that Belov was on the ice at all in that last minute. Eakins/Smith rotated their dmen poorly. Ference with the most experience needs to be on the ice at that point. Why waste him beforehand playing on offense? Frustrating.

MacT needs another NHL Dman and he needs it sooner than later.

What would it take to get a guy like Matt Greene from LA? Or Braydon Coburn?

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#76 michael
January 01 2014, 09:44AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

I was out grocery shopping the other day and I realized it was plus-16. In December.

Don't cry for me too hard.

I'll file this quote for later when its Tornado season in OKC and your cowering in your underground bunker.I'll take the -30 any day of the week over the "Where the hell is my house gone" kinda weather that is a regular occurrence down in that part of the US. Tornado Alley indeed.

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#79 michael
January 01 2014, 09:48AM
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AthabascaJim wrote:

This goal happened as a direct result of Petry having no idea how to play defense. He doesn't read the play developing and gets caught in between. If he pinches down on Yandle BEFORE the puck comes free nothing develops. Instead he hesitates and plays neither the puck or the man. A 12 year old knows enough to take the man In this situation but Petry seems to have a huge aversion to touching anyone. For all his so called skill he seems incapable of playing with any confidence. Just another in a room full of players regressing under this leadership!

Petry hit someone? JW perhaps you could educate us as to how many hits Petry has over his NHL career vs the average NHL dman. Petry lacks physicality is the perception. Do then numbers say otherwise

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#80 whoaaaaa
January 01 2014, 09:50AM
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michael wrote:

I'll file this quote for later when its Tornado season in OKC and your cowering in your underground bunker.I'll take the -30 any day of the week over the "Where the hell is my house gone" kinda weather that is a regular occurrence down in that part of the US. Tornado Alley indeed.

Ouch! Sounds like Johnathan may have hit a (frozen) nerve.

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#81 michael
January 01 2014, 09:50AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

I'll be safe and sound back in Canada during Tornado season. My wife insisted :)

Wives are funny that way. Preferring ground under their feet rather than over their heads.

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#82 michael
January 01 2014, 09:55AM
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Is Braydon Coburn a guy who MacT should target then this off season? I for one like Ben Lovejoy from Anaheim. Tough as nails.

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#83 michael
January 01 2014, 10:07AM
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Is Anaheims Devante Pelly-Smith a guy we should target? With the Ducks loading up for a Stanley Cup run will there a willingness to trade assets for a proven player.His size,skill and toughness are exactly what we need.

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#84 Oilcruzer
January 01 2014, 10:11AM
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With 40 games remaining, the Oil are on track for 15 more wins.

With the Olympics around the corner, my mind turns to the thoughts of 5 rings.

Now with rings in my head, and New Years Day being a time for "out with the old and in with the new", I start to wonder about that question, "What would firing top management solve?"

The answer lays in the counter question, "What good could possibly come from maintaining the foundation that creates this perpetual cycle of failure?"

This is the same brain trust that did all it could to try and land Vanek, Heatley, and Clarkson.

(Vanek would have cost a fortune in future picks, never mind that he wasn't a franchise cornerstone candidate).

The mistakes of the past will continue so long as the key supporting elements are allowed to remain in place.

Or maybe I'm missing something. Do you wait until the team is talking about where they landed in the draft lottery before the light comes on?

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#85 Jaroslav Pouzar
January 01 2014, 10:13AM
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Lure Scott Niedermayer back to the NHL with a big contract. He's only 40 and would be better than anyone on our current blueline.

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#86 Fossil
January 01 2014, 10:17AM
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In a tight game good teams ensure the smart fundamental hockey play is made, regardless of the supposed skill level of the player involved. The last 2 goals scored on us were due to not getting the puck deep (4) and clogging the middle of the ice (3). As mentioned, skill is irrelevant if basic smart hockey plays aren't made. As this has happened all year, either the players refuse or the coaches aren't making it a requirement.

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#87 K_Mart
January 01 2014, 10:20AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

I'm sure OKC would be thrilled to have Yakupov. But I'm not sure it's a risk the Oilers can afford to take with a guy who has a clear KHL option.

I don't know Yakupov, but the unfortunate reality is that if he doesn't want to go he doesn't have to.

I thought the KHL honoured NHL contracts, how could Yak go to the KHL? I don't think he can until 2015. By then, a stint in the AHL shouldn't be relevant regarding a decision to stay or go.

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#88 Ed in PV
January 01 2014, 10:20AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

I don't think Matt Greene helps. At all. This is a team that needs top-four help, not another five/six defenceman who looks good because he's playing for a contender.

Agree that Oil don't need more bottom half Dmen. But if LA were to offer Greene for Petry, Oil should probably take it. Oil need more toughness and Greene would help that. Petry seems to be stagnating and what you see is what you get with him. On a team where he can play 3rd pairing he would do well.

Since you are in OKC, what have you seen from Klefblom? His stats are very unimpressive. Should we be concerned? One of your co-writers on ON stated that Klefblom "will be fine" but gave not justification for this conclusion. I would like to get a report on what he has shown so far. Hopefully some reason for optimism and not just wishfull thinking.

Many Of Yak's supporters are irate that he was sat rather than probably 8 or 10 other Oilers who deserved it just as much. I don't doubt that about half the Oil roster is not NHL quality, but Eakins has to fill a lineup each night and can't sit everyone. Many of the culprits have had a few nights off, so I think he is trying but his options are limited.

Does anyone know if Arco is back vs SJ? If so it should be interesting to see if Gags plays. he was definitely the Oil's 4th best center last night.

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#89 Ed in PV
January 01 2014, 10:23AM
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K_Mart wrote:

I thought the KHL honoured NHL contracts, how could Yak go to the KHL? I don't think he can until 2015. By then, a stint in the AHL shouldn't be relevant regarding a decision to stay or go.

KHL does honor NHL contracts, Willis should know better.

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#91 K_Mart
January 01 2014, 10:31AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

I don't think Matt Greene helps. At all. This is a team that needs top-four help, not another five/six defenceman who looks good because he's playing for a contender.

Agreed. This team needs a top pairing d man that can successfully play against tough opposition for 25 mins a night every night.

That's the only way that trading one of Ebs, Yak, or the pick makes sense.

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#92 JonSwift
January 01 2014, 10:31AM
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Petry is really a terrible NHL defencemen.

He was responsible for Phoenix's 3rd and 4th goals last night.

On the game tying 3rd goal he had a decision to cover the player in front of the net (who scored) or go after the player on the side of the net who is not in scoring position. Of course, his eyes are only on the puck, there's a quick pass, and the wide open player in front of the net puts it in.

There is at least 1 goal every game in which he personally lets the team down. If you watch the goals against in slo-mo there is always 1 or 2 goals where he is seen gliding through the background, out of position. Petry - cover the man in front of the net! Peewee style! How is he even playing in this league and how come management and media do not recognize this?

This is the major reason Edmonton management needs to be cleaned up. They require the fans to tell them which players are not NHL calibre and then it takes a year or two to deal them out.

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#93 Sisyphus
January 01 2014, 10:38AM
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K_Mart wrote:

Agreed. This team needs a top pairing d man that can successfully play against tough opposition for 25 mins a night every night.

That's the only way that trading one of Ebs, Yak, or the pick makes sense.

Hate to say it, but after watching how Yak has been handled this season, I don't think we could trade him for a top-pairing D. And considering how weak everyone in the league knows we are, the pick isn't going to get it either. It's going to be VERY, very expensive to get via trade. But its the only way--otherwise, we wait on d prospects for 2-4 more years. No FA is coming here unless they have no other choices (and if they have no other choices, there's a reason!).

Ebs might get a top pairing D, but his game is fairly shaky for a $6M guy locked up for that long. RNH is too soft to be able to get a one-for-one top pairing D back.

Anyone want to start taking bets on how long it takes for Hall, et al, to start quietly asking for trades out of this festering pile?

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#94 K_Mart
January 01 2014, 10:40AM
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JonSwift wrote:

Petry is really a terrible NHL defencemen.

He was responsible for Phoenix's 3rd and 4th goals last night.

On the game tying 3rd goal he had a decision to cover the player in front of the net (who scored) or go after the player on the side of the net who is not in scoring position. Of course, his eyes are only on the puck, there's a quick pass, and the wide open player in front of the net puts it in.

There is at least 1 goal every game in which he personally lets the team down. If you watch the goals against in slo-mo there is always 1 or 2 goals where he is seen gliding through the background, out of position. Petry - cover the man in front of the net! Peewee style! How is he even playing in this league and how come management and media do not recognize this?

This is the major reason Edmonton management needs to be cleaned up. They require the fans to tell them which players are not NHL calibre and then it takes a year or two to deal them out.

In hindsight, it's clear that Petry made the wrong decision on the third goal by phx. But the fact that he had to choose between two players means he wasn't the only player failing to do his job.

Petry has made mistakes, but I can't imagine singling him out any more than the rest of this team.

Last night the oilers got a great performance from Bryz, and from Hall's line. Those four players are the only reason we got a point we didn't deserve.

On a positive note, Hall looks like he is becoming more of a difference maker every game. Starting to look like a player that can get his team some points in the standings even when the rest of the team doesn't play well.

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#95 Remember The Oilers?
January 01 2014, 10:40AM
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Just watching this Defending Gold thing on CBC... What's more scary- Lowe having a say in picking the Canadian team, or the thought of him basking in the glow of a Canadian win? Please tell me the management group don't get medals!

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#96 Sisyphus
January 01 2014, 10:41AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

I didn't mean to imply the opposite. I had something more like Burmistrov's flight overseas in mind.

Absolutely agree it's something to consider. Kovalchuk had a contract too. Different circumstances, I am aware, but if Yak gets fed up enough with this handling, and Eakins is here to stay? Wouldn't blame him a bit for bolting for the KHL, claiming mistreatment by the coaches, etc. Who cares if he couldn't' come back and play in the NHL--we'd have scarred him enough he probably wouldn't want to. And the tax-free $$ he could make in Russia.....

Just saying, its worth keeping in the back of our minds, this isn't "home" for him

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#97 Spydyr
January 01 2014, 10:52AM
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Remember The Oilers? wrote:

Just watching this Defending Gold thing on CBC... What's more scary- Lowe having a say in picking the Canadian team, or the thought of him basking in the glow of a Canadian win? Please tell me the management group don't get medals!

I'm pretty sure they ask Lowe who he likes.Then they take the other guy.

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#98 JonSwift
January 01 2014, 10:53AM
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@K_Mart

2-on-1's happen all the time in hockey. Otherwise it would be soccer.

When they happen deep in the zone, as a defenceman , you always read the play and cover the man with the greatest chance to score (usually the man in front of the net).

Good defencemen in the NHL need to do this almost all the time. If not, they should not be playing at this level. Petry falls into this category and has been doing it since he started with the Oilers.

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#99 Ed in PV
January 01 2014, 10:55AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

I didn't mean to imply the opposite. I had something more like Burmistrov's flight overseas in mind.

Burmistrov had 4 goals and 10 assists last year in 44 games for the Jets. If in the 2014/2015 Yak has similar production why would the Oil be shaken if Yak were to go to the KHL? Not to say that they should not be shaken by his lack of development if this turns out.

Other than Radulov has there been a Russian who was excelling in the NHL that chose the KHL? There have been a number of mediocre types that have chosen the KHL, but if the NHL team truly values the player he stay in the NHL.

If for example Burmistrov finds his game in the KHL, the Jets still have his NHL rights.

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#100 K_Mart
January 01 2014, 10:59AM
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Sisyphus wrote:

Hate to say it, but after watching how Yak has been handled this season, I don't think we could trade him for a top-pairing D. And considering how weak everyone in the league knows we are, the pick isn't going to get it either. It's going to be VERY, very expensive to get via trade. But its the only way--otherwise, we wait on d prospects for 2-4 more years. No FA is coming here unless they have no other choices (and if they have no other choices, there's a reason!).

Ebs might get a top pairing D, but his game is fairly shaky for a $6M guy locked up for that long. RNH is too soft to be able to get a one-for-one top pairing D back.

Anyone want to start taking bets on how long it takes for Hall, et al, to start quietly asking for trades out of this festering pile?

I think any one of Yak, Ebs, Hall, Nuge, or the Pick can get us a top pairing d man, despite how yak has been handled and despite the $6M contracts .

The question will be the age of the d man and the contract. It's all about circumstance.

If the Oilers want a d man that is under the age of 26, and has established himself as one of the 20 best in the game, then Hall+ or Nuge+ would be the only way to get him.

But if we just want a D man that is 29 or under and is maybe one of the top 40 d men in the league we should be able to get it done with Eberle(10th in right wing scoring right now), Yak, or the Pick.

There are 58 #1-2 d men out there, and at least 40 of them are better than ever d man on our roster.

And when you look at a team like St. Louis with Jackman, Shattenkirk, Pietrangelo, and Bouwmeester, it's clear that there are some #4's that are better than ever d man we have.

The d men I'd be hunting are on bubble teams or worse that need offense, or teams in a cap crunch with big D contracts that are going to be in trouble next year.

Players on my list: Giordano, Brodin, Mcdonagh, Yandle, Faulk, Carlson, Andy Greene, Enstrom, Coburn, Goligoski, Wisniewski, and Hamonic(offense isn't there with this guy, but EVERYTHING ELSE IS) When it comes to pure shutdown and physical d men, I think hamonic is undervalued and can be had for less than his value.

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