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 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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#2 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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#3 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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#4 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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#5 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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#6 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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#7 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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#8 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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#9 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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#11 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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#12 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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#13 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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#14 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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#15 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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#16 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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#18 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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#19 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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#20 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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#21 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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#22 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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#23 Freewheeling Freddie
January 01 2014, 11:26AM
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Eight years no playoffs out of the race after the first month. We will be 2 years off the record for longest playoff drought. We have a owner who doesn't really care, tell me how do we get to the light at the end of the tunnel? Any other professional sports team in North America would clean house. Players like Hall Nuge and Perron give it their best. This must be very disheartening to lose and lose.Hell Garth Snow would look better here than these clowns. Start by getting rid of Smith Bucky and definitely Chabot

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#24 wizeman
January 01 2014, 11:26AM
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Im not an oiler fan but a hockey fan here in Edmonton. Sadly the defence is not of NHL quality and the constant thru the last four years has been the assistant coaches. They had no prior experience prior to their hire in Edmonton. The scouting staff has to be the worst in the league. Beside the first overall picks, not one other pick from the last six years is on the team or pushing existing players for playing time. Other teams expect at least one player from the draft to be ready for primetime in two to three years.Reports from OKC indicate that Klefbom has been scratched for a couple of games (sound familiar)and is not close to being ready for the NHL. Given all of the above you will not see any vast improvement in this team for at least two to three years. The only thing MacT has left is trading existing players. In my opinion the organization has historically over valued its assets and other clubs know this.

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#25 Randaman
January 01 2014, 01:11PM
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Sisyphus wrote:

I still say Ebs is the only one of those 3 who could bring in a top pairing guy alone. If the Oilers weren't dealing from such an obvious position of weakness/desperation, Yak might have been enough, but every GM in the league can smell blood. They know MacT doesn't really have the luxury of time, of waiting for the right deal, and they're going to take advantage of that. What's worse, however, is that even if you trade Ebs for a top-pairing Dman, you still have a mostly terrible Dcorps otherwise, and outside of Hall/Perron, not much skill in forwards, and no solid franchise goalie. You'll have plugged one hole on a ship filled with them.

Sorry to burst your over valuing bubble but there are only two players on this team with any value and that is Hall and Perron. Eberle's value is dropping daily because of plays like last night. These plays happen all the time but this one got magnified because it won the game. Eberle and Gagner are what is wrong in Edmonton. Bench them both and show you actually are the boss Dallas.

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#26 -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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#27 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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#28 K_Mart
January 01 2014, 11:24AM
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This team doesn't need a d man who is 4 years away from being nhl ready. It needs a d man that is ready to go right now.

Ebs, Yak, or the Pick should be pushed in order to bring in a top pairing d man asap.

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#29 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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#31 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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#33 kale
January 01 2014, 01:00PM
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Alsker wrote:

Well at least last nights game gave Yak an opportunity to watch and learn from a well structured and coached team(not the Oil). Since Horak's up and is a center, Yak can come back in and replace him on that line and snowpants can have a seat in the attic if Arco is not yet ready. That line can't/won't be any worse than 12-89-14 were last night. Anyone know WHO would have been with Yak in the pressbox pointing out what Eakins wants him to be doing as to what he has being doing?

I cant help but thinking, especially after his play against Winnipeg, that Yak's benching was out of spite. Management don't take to kindly to being challenged.

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#34 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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#35 Randaman
January 01 2014, 01:03PM
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Spurzey wrote:

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.

EXACTLY. Trades will not happen because nobody wants our lazy, over paid pretty boys. No free agents will sign here (I mean star free agents). Lowe isn't going anywhere. Nothing will change because the coffers for Katz are full and the sheep continue to follow along. I haven't watched the last five games and don't miss these losers at all. You all want change? Boycott the games or you could always throw a jersey on the ice. Message not received by this team at all!!

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#36 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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#37 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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#38 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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#39 Freewheeling Freddie
January 01 2014, 11:04AM
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Fresh Mess wrote:

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.

Worst player in the NHL? Really. He didn't look to bad last year. You do know there is a player on the Oilers who makes 4.8 million ,who coughs up the puck doesn't hit really is invisible 99.9% of the time is generally quite useless .Yak is getting the shaft here. In the game against the Jets he showed much emotion and actually threw some hits ,which cant be said for most players on this team. No lets ruin this kid , and when he goes to competent team and scores 40 goals we will be why did we trade him?

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#40 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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#41 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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#42 Moog's helmet
January 01 2014, 12:09PM
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Now that the Coyotes have been purchased by a group of wealthy Canadians, the Edmonton Oilers are the only franchise in the league that is owned by the other 29 teams in the NHL.

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#43 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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#44 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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#45 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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#46 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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#47 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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#48 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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#49 Herbie Versmells
January 01 2014, 02:07PM
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Randaman wrote:

Sorry to burst your over valuing bubble but there are only two players on this team with any value and that is Hall and Perron. Eberle's value is dropping daily because of plays like last night. These plays happen all the time but this one got magnified because it won the game. Eberle and Gagner are what is wrong in Edmonton. Bench them both and show you actually are the boss Dallas.

Finally another fan that sees that Eberle is a huge problem with this team! At best, he is the type of player that has the ability to compliment his line mates. He is relied on to carry a team offensively. In order to carry any team in any capacity, you have to play all 200' of the ice and Eberle shuts his brain off the second he crosses the red line on the back check (and on this play it looks like he was still in the offensive zone when he shut it off.) But hey, I'm just a fan and what do I know? I'm sure if Jason Gregor was reading this reply he would find a rebuttal that sounds an awful lot like he just had his lips wrapped around Eberle sack.

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#50 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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