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 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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#52 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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#53 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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#54 Goalpost
January 01 2014, 11:04AM
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@offthebandwagon

I can't understand why they keep this loser Petry around. He's the biggest liability on the team. Ebbs didn't look hood on that play either.

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#55 Loweblows
January 01 2014, 01:20PM
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Eakins has been a disaster! KLowe and his rookie assistants have been an ongoing disaster. Nero ( Katz) fiddles while Rome burns. If there is a god he will let this season end tomorrow.

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#56 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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#57 G-Unit
January 01 2014, 12:18PM
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That loss falls 100% on Eakins. Argue whatever you want about mistakes in the game, but the line he had come out with a minute left and a defensive zone draw is laughable. Gordon (ok), Hemsky (??) and Smyth(?????????). How do we not have 2 more defensive fourth liners that can shut down for 60 seconds? Unbelievable. I was against changing coaches again for this season, because of the optics, but I might be fine with another change this summer. Unforgivable to dump 3 points like that.

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#58 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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#59 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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#60 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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#61 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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#63 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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#64 Sisyphus
January 01 2014, 11:54AM
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Gleason to TOR. And the Oilers miss out yet again.

MacT, get it through your head. Either you're going to continue to suck for another 2-4 years, minimum, or you're going to have to make at least one, probably more than one, pretty painful trade to get pieces that you need.

You grab all those first overalls for one reason--as something you can use later to get what you need and didn't get in the draft. Not to hold onto them all no matter how bad your team gets.

I feel for Hall--wonder if he's starting to really regret signing such a LT contract with a disaster like this

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#65 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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#66 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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#67 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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#68 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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#69 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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#70 Alsker
January 01 2014, 11:27AM
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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?

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#71 G-Unit
January 01 2014, 12:30PM
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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!

What exactly does Petry do that wouldn't be accomplished by a good AHL D-Man? Such a weak player that offers almost nothing to this team. Decent outlet passer (if not pressured) is the best thing I can say about him. Not even good, but ok. Embarrassing how much time he spends on the ice.

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#72 Kr55
January 01 2014, 03:10PM
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JustThink wrote:

You sound like a nut job. Yeah, we all get it. When Kevin Lowe was the GM he screwed this team up royally. However, where is the proof that he swayed any decision Tambo or MacT has made in the last few years? Its know it alls like yourself with no insight into what goes on in the front office that chats on the internet all day playing pretend GM that p!sses off anyone with a brain.

Lowe's massive ego would never let him be hands off with this team. He wants to be the guy to take the credit when things finally turn around. If he really was not involved, he would have no reason to brag about his past winning as a player to the media like he did last year and act like it has some relevance to what he is doing today.

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#73 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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#75 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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#76 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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#77 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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#78 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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#79 JustThink
January 01 2014, 02:22PM
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@Loweblows

You sound like a nut job. Yeah, we all get it. When Kevin Lowe was the GM he screwed this team up royally. However, where is the proof that he swayed any decision Tambo or MacT has made in the last few years? Its know it alls like yourself with no insight into what goes on in the front office that chats on the internet all day playing pretend GM that p!sses off anyone with a brain.

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#80 Groundhog
January 01 2014, 04:42PM
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Welcome to 2014 as an Edmonton Oiler fan. Groundhog year... again ..

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#81 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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#82 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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#83 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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#84 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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#85 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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#86 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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#87 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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#89 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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#90 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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#91 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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#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 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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#94 Sisyphus
January 01 2014, 01:21PM
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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.

Apologies. I should have been more clear. I agree that Hall and Perron are the ones with the most trade value. I was talking about guys that I could possibly see MacT actually moving. It'll be a cold day in hell before MacT would trade Hall, and I dont see him trading Perron either.

I do think that if he could bite the bullet, put Hall on the block, what he could get back would solve a few holes in one trade. But its just not going to happen

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#95 @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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#97 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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#98 s
January 01 2014, 12:16PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Gleason's contract is terrible and he's a shell of what he used to be (at least, in the games I've seen this year and by the numbers).

Agreed he isn't the savior we need, but I'd also argue he's still better than 85% of our current dmen

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#99 Loweblows
January 01 2014, 03:17PM
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JustThink wrote:

You sound like a nut job. Yeah, we all get it. When Kevin Lowe was the GM he screwed this team up royally. However, where is the proof that he swayed any decision Tambo or MacT has made in the last few years? Its know it alls like yourself with no insight into what goes on in the front office that chats on the internet all day playing pretend GM that p!sses off anyone with a brain.

Actually the point I was trying to get across was that Katz is responsible for letting the madness continue by not making the changes necessary ie. getting rid of KLowe and Bucky and Smith. I would suggest that you improve your reading comprehension. Nero was a Roman Emperor who according to legend allowed Rome to burn. Inwould suggest you improve your history. And in conclusion it is obvious that you are a hypocrite by posting your insight and condemning others. What a wanker!

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#100 meh
January 01 2014, 05:45PM
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Let's not forget the absolutely horrible Power Play 2 minutes earlier where everyone just stood around and passed it back and forth with each other with no traffic in front.

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