GDB 30.0: Blue

Jonathan Willis
December 05 2013 06:22PM

The Edmonton Oilers play the Colorado Avalanche tonight sans two of their top-four defencemen. Jeff Petry is a healthy scratch; Anton Belov has been demoted to Oklahoma City.

The Remainder

Edmonton will ice the following not remotely NHL-caliber blue line against the Avs:

  • Justin Schultz
  • Andrew Ference
  • Nick Schultz
  • Philip Larsen
  • Corey Potter
  • Martin Marincin

Some of that's poor roster construction, but some of it is decisions by the coaching staff.

Either way, the Oilers go into tonight's game against Colorado (tied with Pittsburgh as the sixth highest-scoring team in the NHL) with almost nothing on the back end.

The Lines

We don't know the lines; all we know for sure is that they're going to be different, both because of the changes in personnel and possibly owing to other factors:

Update: As expected, the lines change:

Predictions

Game day prediction: Let's say 5-1 Colorado.

Obvious game day prediction: Nathan MacKinnon moves ahead of Mark Arcobello for the rookie assists lead when he picks up two tonight. 

No-so-obvious game day prediction: Luke Gazdic will score the Oilers' only goal, crashing hard to the net and redirecting Anton Lander's shot past Colorado's goaltender. 

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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 David S
December 05 2013, 06:24PM
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I'm afraid it looks like a guaranteed loss night boys. *Loads shotgun*

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#2 Greg the Hammer Valentine
December 05 2013, 06:28PM
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Like Han Solo would say: "I have a bad feeling about this."

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#3 Craig1981
December 05 2013, 06:28PM
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Double post.....my bad.

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#4 Craig1981
December 05 2013, 06:31PM
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I try and not judge or criticize coaching and GMing decisions since I am aware I don't have the expertise nor the inside knowledge MacT or Eakins has. That said, this defense that is dressing tonight really tests my conviction to that Philosophy....,REALLY tests it

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#5 Johe
December 05 2013, 06:36PM
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Our defense cannot honestly be worse than it has been all year. We've given up 101 goals. Trying Marincin and Potter is worth a shot for a game or two. Why not?

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#6 David S
December 05 2013, 06:36PM
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Greg the Hammer Valentine wrote:

Like Han Solo would say: "I have a bad feeling about this."

http://youtu.be/sBknAcTaMiI

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#7 Jason
December 05 2013, 06:37PM
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Playing for the Oilers stunts your growth as a hockey player.

Not much more to say.

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#8 A-Mc
December 05 2013, 06:46PM
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#GOilers

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#9 6 ring circus
December 05 2013, 06:50PM
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Just curious, is anyone picking the Oiler's to win tonight? If you are, can you please call 1-800 you just lost your bet.

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#10 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
December 05 2013, 06:52PM
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Hang on tight boys, this is about to get third world ugly.

I say this with as much hope as I can muster, which is to say, almost none: go Oilers.

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#11 Danger Pay
December 05 2013, 07:00PM
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Stranger things have happened, if the Oilers can with stand the first 10 mins, maybe they have a chance? Just a little optimism from seberia here boys, relax.

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#13 @stevegregson02
December 05 2013, 07:03PM
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I think what were seeing (and I've speculated this before) is that Eakins has full control over roster. He has obviously failed to manage his roster effectively, run a good special teams or match lines while the game is being played.

His decision to sit both Petry and Belov is asinine. He's more less handing the game to the Avalanche. After this decision, especially based on how the Oilers for the majority of the game vs Phoenix - outplayed and out fancy statted them at even strength - is ridiculous.

This team has underperformed and lost for a variety of reasons. The Defense is bad, they have made costly mistakes, but sitting both of these guys (especially Petry) shows just how mad or ill informed Eakins is an NHL coach. This decision tonight along with the Smid deal shows that the crazy house runs this organization. No logic, no planning, no attention to the underlying numbers, no results.

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#14 @stevegregson02
December 05 2013, 07:03PM
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I think what were seeing (and I've speculated this before) is that Eakins has full control over roster. He has obviously failed to manage his roster effectively, run a good special teams or match lines while the game is being played.

His decision to sit both Petry and Belov is asinine. He's more less handing the game to the Avalanche. After this decision, especially based on how the Oilers for the majority of the game vs Phoenix - outplayed and out fancy statted them at even strength - is ridiculous.

This team has underperformed and lost for a variety of reasons. The Defense is bad, they have made costly mistakes, but sitting both of these guys (especially Petry) shows just how mad or ill informed Eakins is an NHL coach. This decision tonight along with the Smid deal shows that the crazy house runs this organization. No logic, no planning, no attention to the underlying numbers, no results.

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#15 Harlie
December 05 2013, 07:06PM
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Uh oh...what's that melancholic feeling setting in?

It's the 90's Oilers fan in me returning.

Run Forrest Run! Bright Shiny Tunes! Ezzies! The Bronx! RED'S!

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#16 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
December 05 2013, 07:08PM
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@Harlie

Big Shiny Tunes, that was a blast from the past, thank you sir.

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#17 KRad
December 05 2013, 07:10PM
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Unfortunately, even if a miracle happens and Edmonton wins, they will not want to mess with a "winning lineup" and we will ice the same group against Calgary on HNIC - and get destroyed by a terrible team.

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#18 dawgtoy
December 05 2013, 07:11PM
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Is a team allowed to demote its head coach? If so, I'd say send Eakins to OKC and call up Todd Nelson. That is all!

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#19 ValleyviewSports
December 05 2013, 07:11PM
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which Oilers team shows up in the first period should be telling as to just how bad the issues with this team currently are. It would be an absolute blessing if Bachman or Bryz could have the start for what should be a valuable test this evening

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#20 Rod from Viking
December 05 2013, 07:15PM
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@Jonathan Willis

On a different topic, I can't find the raw interview of Taylor Hall after the loss to the Coyotes but someone asked him if he watched Nathan McKinnon and he said something like he doesn't watch teams above them in the standings play. If I heard right he doesn't watch much NHL hockey, it would sure be nice to get the Taylor hall back that charged down the wing and gave a chicken wing to Drew Doughty when he took a run at him or the guy that got suspended for his hit on Clutterbuck. Is he injured,disinterested or being told to play this style? I really hope the changes can happen so this team can have a turnaround next year like Colorado and Hall can get his mojo back,if he stirs the drink it is now a glass of flat Pilsner.

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#21 Rusty Patenaude
December 05 2013, 07:16PM
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Wow! I don't know what alternate plain of reality Eakins exists on but Potter and Larsen in for Belov and Petry is just deranged.

Larsen is a train wreck in his own end and Potter makes me sick the way he loses every battle he ever engages in. I know Petry has been off the last several games, but Belov has been pretty solid, not perfect but imo the bet all-around defenceman the Oil have had this season.

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#22 Turnover
December 05 2013, 07:19PM
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Petry out? Someone finally came to their senses. Without him giving the puck away all night, that'll be like Colorado playing a man short. So I think we got a good shot at a win.

They should have Yakapov and Gagner in the pressbox also.

I wonder if Dubnyk is going to play like there's nobody to take his job, or is he going to have a decent game?

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#23 Serious Gord
December 05 2013, 07:24PM
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Hard to see how this ends in an oiler win.

6-2 Colorado. And I have never been mor confident in a prediction this year.

JESUS

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZR58d77a4A

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#24 Harlie
December 05 2013, 07:33PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

Hard to see how this ends in an oiler win.

6-2 Colorado. And I have never been mor confident in a prediction this year.

JESUS

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZR58d77a4A

Beautiful. And in 1080P and 7.1....

My gun goes click,

My gun goes boom.

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#25 ValleyviewSports
December 05 2013, 07:33PM
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Hall-Gagner-Yakupov to start... I am leary. Could easily get preyed on, quickly.

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#26 Chainsawz
December 05 2013, 07:33PM
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At least Gene brings it every night.

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#27 Serious Gord
December 05 2013, 07:35PM
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Harlie wrote:

Beautiful. And in 1080P and 7.1....

My gun goes click,

My gun goes boom.

Gotta watch it again soon.

Maybe a double feature - lebowski and team America.

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#28 D-Unit
December 05 2013, 07:35PM
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Rusty Patenaude wrote:

Wow! I don't know what alternate plain of reality Eakins exists on but Potter and Larsen in for Belov and Petry is just deranged.

Larsen is a train wreck in his own end and Potter makes me sick the way he loses every battle he ever engages in. I know Petry has been off the last several games, but Belov has been pretty solid, not perfect but imo the bet all-around defenceman the Oil have had this season.

What Oiler doesn't lose every battle, ever? Most of then have a hard time winning a puck battle with the boards on a dump in when the other team goes for a line change.

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#29 Rheal1
December 05 2013, 07:40PM
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Did taylor hall really say this? "I don’t watch hockey these days, it makes me bitter seeing teams higher up in standings winning”. Can anyone prove/disprove?

This would be extremely telling about the psyche of NHL stars stuck in Edmonton, under Kevin Lowe.

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#30 bulldog12
December 05 2013, 07:44PM
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Oiler fans complain when Eakins doesn't sit some guys and complain when he does. So what is it. I think it's a good move. It sends a message to the guys sitting and to the ones not. Now they should be all worried about who's next. Bet the guys coming in have good games. And how could it possibly get worse. Oil get a W tonight.

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#31 D-Unit
December 05 2013, 07:44PM
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@stevegregson02 wrote:

I think what were seeing (and I've speculated this before) is that Eakins has full control over roster. He has obviously failed to manage his roster effectively, run a good special teams or match lines while the game is being played.

His decision to sit both Petry and Belov is asinine. He's more less handing the game to the Avalanche. After this decision, especially based on how the Oilers for the majority of the game vs Phoenix - outplayed and out fancy statted them at even strength - is ridiculous.

This team has underperformed and lost for a variety of reasons. The Defense is bad, they have made costly mistakes, but sitting both of these guys (especially Petry) shows just how mad or ill informed Eakins is an NHL coach. This decision tonight along with the Smid deal shows that the crazy house runs this organization. No logic, no planning, no attention to the underlying numbers, no results.

Not like Eakins has much option on line matching. Gordon can't take every draw, and other than that he has a collection of centres who can't win draws, and small soft wingers who do little to win any battle. Then on D it is a collection of 5, 6, and 7s that are in over their heads the majority of the game, and sometimes even in warm up.

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#32 Derian Hatcher
December 05 2013, 07:47PM
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@Rheal1

There's only one other person in hockey that has won more cups than KLowe. So I think he knows a little bit about winning ....if there's ever a concern.

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#33 steelymac
December 05 2013, 08:04PM
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Im thinkin shultz jr is a pussy.going to be a good player but no stones.

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#34 Ari Gold
December 05 2013, 08:16PM
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3-0??? Who are these guys?

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#36 Alsker
December 05 2013, 08:17PM
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I am so confused, we should be getting thumped,no? Nice tic-tac-toe Arco-Smyth-Hemmer..

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#37 Money Moe
December 05 2013, 08:19PM
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Once upon a time there was a undersized undrafted rookie leading all rookies in assists named Cory Conacher ..

His GM then traded him while he was hot for a legit number 1 goalie

I'm talking about Conacher , Bishop &&&....Arcobello !!!

Getter done ....a Dman will do ;)

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#38 Alsker
December 05 2013, 08:23PM
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Money Moe wrote:

Once upon a time there was a undersized undrafted rookie leading all rookies in assists named Cory Conacher ..

His GM then traded him while he was hot for a legit number 1 goalie

I'm talking about Conacher , Bishop &&&....Arcobello !!!

Getter done ....a Dman will do ;)

How 'bout keeping that undrafted rookie and move a young,xperienced offensive centre + prospects/pick for that Dman.

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#39 Ari Gold
December 05 2013, 08:24PM
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Money Moe wrote:

Once upon a time there was a undersized undrafted rookie leading all rookies in assists named Cory Conacher ..

His GM then traded him while he was hot for a legit number 1 goalie

I'm talking about Conacher , Bishop &&&....Arcobello !!!

Getter done ....a Dman will do ;)

I don't think Arco is over-producing. I think this is 60% of what he's capable of at the NHL level. I'd keep him.

Gags is expendable.

Unless a Bishop quality player is available, Arco is an asset worth keeping.

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#40 Alsker
December 05 2013, 08:27PM
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@Ari Gold

Boy are we on the same page. Too bad management doesn't see it our way.

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#41 Chainsawz
December 05 2013, 08:27PM
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Damn Gene, you let me down with the intermission interview!

He will pick up later on. In Gene I trust.

Oh yeah, take that Avs. We win the first period, hahahahahahahaha!

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#42 West
December 05 2013, 08:31PM
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Who is running the Oilers website tonight? According to them the Oil have 2 match penalties for deliberate injury or as I like to call it delay of game.

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#43 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
December 05 2013, 08:31PM
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Lets see if I can jinx this...

3-0 lead, worst lead in hockey.

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#44 ValleyviewSports
December 05 2013, 08:32PM
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how stupid is it to have a Jamie Benn segment on right now? we played Dallas on sunday...

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#45 Harlie
December 05 2013, 08:32PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

Gotta watch it again soon.

Maybe a double feature - lebowski and team America.

Triple feature it with Tropic Thunder.

or Hardcore Logo, if, you know, you're not into the whole brevity thing. This is a very complicated ....

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#46 YFC Prez
December 05 2013, 08:34PM
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Wtf just happened ?

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#47 Alsker
December 05 2013, 08:43PM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

Lets see if I can jinx this...

3-0 lead, worst lead in hockey.

Oh you're good...shot off Schultz and then off Yak and in....feel bad for Yak...actually was back checking and has the puck deflect off him and in...

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#48 Fatbob24
December 05 2013, 08:44PM
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The turnover and the deflection! Nice. Lol

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#49 YFC Prez
December 05 2013, 08:54PM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

Lets see if I can jinx this...

3-0 lead, worst lead in hockey.

Pnbbbfffttttthh!!!!

Or however you spell the sound you make when you stick your tongue out at someone.

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#50 YFC Prez
December 05 2013, 08:56PM
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Crappy call on hall. Can someone explain to the refs the oilers are perfectly capable of blowing this without their help.

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