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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#101 Mo Playoffs Mo Problems
December 06 2013, 10:58AM
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@Jordan Nugent-Hallkins

Agreed.

I don't want to speak blasphemy, but the Oilers 28.6% shooting percentage from last night might not be something that happens every game...

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#102 Oiler Al
December 06 2013, 07:36PM
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Rip van Winkle wrote:

I had to laugh when J Shultz was skating away sheepishly and Acro came in guns a blazing to defend Dubnyk. There was no other oiler around. Eakins has to show that clip to the room to shame them into growing some balls or at least acting like they have a pair.

I think if Justin Schultz took off his pantyhose he would play a tougher game.

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#103 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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#104 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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#105 Rod from Viking
December 05 2013, 09:54PM
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Rod from Viking wrote:

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.

It looks like Taylor does read ON after all. (lol) TSN said that the Avalanche have McGinn available and need a d-man and after tonight they need two, might work Mac T a hard nosed possible 20 goal man.

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#106 MMAX
December 05 2013, 10:35PM
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Now that's a pure f*cking throttling.....I love it.

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#107 FlamesRule
December 06 2013, 12:11AM
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@West

Oiler website can't be blamed - this is NHL all the way

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#108 Rheal1
December 06 2013, 04:49AM
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Two facts:

1. Oilers win by 6 goals=highly unlikely to re-occur. 2. On TSN the Oilers win gathers nil comments as of 04h47MT. Habs win gathers 6 full pages of comments. Hmmmm. 3. Saturday vs Calgary will see what Oilers have as a team.

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#109 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
December 06 2013, 10:21AM
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Good to see the Oilers beat a better team, but I think we should temper the optimism a bit. Some folks here are planning the parade, but it's gonna take a whole lot more than one win to make me believe they've turned any kind of corner.

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#110 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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#111 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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#112 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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#113 Quicksilver ballet
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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#114 YFC Prez
December 05 2013, 08:54PM
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Quicksilver ballet 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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#115 Ari Gold
December 05 2013, 10:05PM
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Lander you clown! Give Hall the breakout pass to give him a chance for the hatty on that empty net.

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#116 Jzed
December 05 2013, 10:13PM
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So does Roowah glare at Hallss he leaves the building?

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#117 West
December 05 2013, 10:23PM
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But seriously, who is running the Oiler website? Did any penalty get listed correctly? Ryan Jones for head butting. Two match penalties for deliberate injury. Two guys got boarding majors against each other. Nice job whoever you are.

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#118 Westcoastoil
December 05 2013, 10:27PM
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6 ring circus wrote:

Yes I will eat humble pie I never thought they were going to win tonight good thing I didn't bet on the game I would of lost a fortune!!!!

You're smarter than me! Only good thing is I chickened out and bet light at the last second

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#119 oilerman53
December 06 2013, 11:57PM
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I love all the piss and vinegar Arco plays with every night. Jultz needs to put his purse down when his goalie gets crap from the opposing team.

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

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#121 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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#122 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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#123 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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#124 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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#125 Fatbob24
December 05 2013, 08:44PM
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The turnover and the deflection! Nice. Lol

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#126 Harlie
December 05 2013, 10:20PM
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Sir Admiral Hallsy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XI6C7L66zq8

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#127 Rod from Viking
December 05 2013, 11:46PM
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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

My Streakcred went for shi# tonight, my predictions didn't work out to good either.

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#128 Bucknuck
December 06 2013, 07:25AM
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6 ring circus wrote:

Seriously WTF happened tonight ? How can the Oilers play so brutal one night and then come out and play like a bunch of all stars two days later unreal!!!

I dialled that 1-800 number you talked about and got Taylor Hall's place.. hmmm.

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#129 Serious Gord
December 06 2013, 08:34AM
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Another commitment prevented me from watching the game and commenting until now.

Judging by the score Colorado got outplayed. Whether it was bad play/goaltending by Colorado or out-of-the blue perfection by the oil I could not say - I'm guessing it was somewhere in between.

For now it is a freakish anomaly in an otherwise very subpar season - not unlike gagner's little point streak a while back.

Calgary on Saturday just got a bit more interesting...

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#130 hall the time
December 06 2013, 09:12AM
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That was entertaining hockey

Nice feed to Hemmer flying up the left side by Smith. Rookie point lead. Peron's play. 4th Hattie for number 4. A good fight. PP goals, still don't like the PP though. Props to the oil.

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#131 @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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#132 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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#133 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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#134 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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#135 YFC Prez
December 05 2013, 08:34PM
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Wtf just happened ?

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#136 Serious Gord
December 05 2013, 08:57PM
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Harlie wrote:

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 ....

Thanks for the recommendations - I haven't seen either. I will definitely check them out.

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#137 Quintana
December 05 2013, 10:24PM
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I have one question. How was Marincin on defence tonight?

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#138 Oiler Al
December 06 2013, 12:24PM
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If nothing else, it should instill much needed confidence for this youngish team... well done. Lets hope they can take care of the Flames on Saturday.!

Great game by Hall and others.. Smyth played his best game since comeing back from LA.Dubby should play like that more often.

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#139 Spydyr
December 07 2013, 11:07AM
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Rip van Winkle wrote:

I had to laugh when J Shultz was skating away sheepishly and Acro came in guns a blazing to defend Dubnyk. There was no other oiler around. Eakins has to show that clip to the room to shame them into growing some balls or at least acting like they have a pair.

At least pair J Shultz with someone that stands up for his goalie and teammates.Say a guy like Smid.Oh wait.

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