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, 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 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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#102 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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#103 Alsker
December 05 2013, 09:13PM
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Arco mucking it up infront of our net...how the f^ck did we sit him for what 5 games? Dubby stopping the weird ones tonight...helpful for once

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#104 Jzed
December 05 2013, 09:16PM
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The fact that Arcobello had to come back and shove McGinn out of Dubnyk's face while Schultz stood and watched.... Says it all. FFS!

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#105 Lawndemon
December 05 2013, 09:18PM
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Alsker wrote:

Arco mucking it up infront of our net...how the f^ck did we sit him for what 5 games? Dubby stopping the weird ones tonight...helpful for once

Insane that the only guy mucking it up for his goalie is also the smallest guy on the ice... That's a big part of what's wrong with the Oilers.

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#106 YFC Prez
December 05 2013, 09:24PM
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Jzed wrote:

The fact that Arcobello had to come back and shove McGinn out of Dubnyk's face while Schultz stood and watched.... Says it all. FFS!

Schultz needs to get punched in the face a couple times so he knows he isn't made of glass. Ya it really sucks but a d man who refuses to stick up for his goalie sucks a whole lot more. With Smid gone we got ferrence..... That's it.

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#107 Rocket
December 05 2013, 09:49PM
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You know the refs got it wrong when Hemsky gets a penalty for roughing. When was the last time that happened? 2004?

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#108 Rocket
December 05 2013, 09:51PM
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Arcobello! Livin the dream

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#109 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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#110 Alsker
December 05 2013, 10:07PM
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Ari Gold wrote:

Lander you clown! Give Hall the breakout pass to give him a chance for the hatty on that empty net.

Can't blame him, looking for his first and in need to impress Eakins. If it was anyone else I would agree with you.

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#111 Westcoastoil
December 05 2013, 10:12PM
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Soooo, where are all the mea culpas from everyone who ripped Eakins for his lineup changes?

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

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#113 Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate
December 05 2013, 10:19PM
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Where was this effort

Earlier in the season?

Come on Boys....Fight on

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#114 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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#115 Quintana
December 05 2013, 10:24PM
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I have one question. How was Marincin on defence tonight?

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#116 emonkee
December 05 2013, 10:27PM
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Wonder what Eakins will do next game...stick with the same "winning" lineup and have Petry sit again?

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#117 Johnnydapunk
December 05 2013, 10:27PM
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Philip Larsen finished the night at +4 ! Small but impressive stat.

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#118 TonyT
December 05 2013, 10:27PM
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Oilers win big! Bigger tease than a Jessica Albla movie...

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#119 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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#120 Fatbob24
December 05 2013, 10:32PM
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I've decided that mr Willis can do every GDB!

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#121 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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#122 Alsker
December 05 2013, 10:39PM
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Jekyll and Hyde thing is better than nightly suckage.

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#123 YFC Prez
December 05 2013, 10:57PM
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Danger Pay wrote:

Well you know what they say boys, that a little opitiminilism can go a long way, and I hate to say "I toadaso" but "I &@#%ing toadaso."

Optimism and oiler fan are almost night and day after all the recent years of sucktitude.

The oilers are 6-4 in the last 10.

That surprised me when I read it. Consumed in my own negativity.

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#124 Ales Hallsky
December 06 2013, 12:03AM
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Less talk more ghost ride the whip!!

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#125 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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#126 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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#127 Craig1981
December 06 2013, 07:37AM
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Craig1981 wrote:

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

Conviction restored!!!!!!!!!!1

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#128 Todd
December 06 2013, 07:44AM
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Eulers wrote:

For a night, the Oilers taught the Avalanche what it feels like to be the Oilers.

Seriously though, demoting Belov ranks right up there with trading Smid for magic beans and demoting/sitting Arcobello with the head-scracher moves that are starting to remove scalp.

My gut agrees about all three. Smid, Arco & Belov. Not moves I would have done...

BUT - Team went 4-1 in the games Arco sat - Before Smid trade we had 3 wins on the season, now we have 10. - Team is 1-0 after demoting Belov

Sample sizes really small obviously, but could it be that the coach, who spends 80 hours per week with his team has a better read on the players than us fans? Just sayin....

If they can beat the Flames (hopefully 8-2, but I'll take any win) for me it'll be reason to believe the corner has turned. Like everyone, I'm skeptical from being burned so many times. But 7-3 in the last 10 is nothing to shrug off. Unless you want to also shrug off the sh1taneous first 15 games.

But if they lay an egg tomorrow, I'll be pretty disappointed.

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#129 Greenlingj
December 06 2013, 08:21AM
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I went to the bar to get drunk to dull the pain.

I ended up black out drunk in the arms of two fine Russian women one was 6'2 the other was 6'1 and drop dead gorgeous. They both did not speak english really well but from the story they tell it went like this.

They came into the bar at around 7:20pm and I was bitching about Klowe MacT and the old boys and they assumed I was Katz and I went home with them.

I then had a dream that I awoke to the Oilers beating the Avs 8-2 and Taylor Hall having a awesome 4 point night, Smyth looked like a hockey god apparently and Arcobello took the Assist lead away from that kid MacKinnon.

So one of these is reality and one is a dream I am just not sure which at this point.

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#130 Taylor Hall's Knee
December 06 2013, 08:22AM
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looks like Willis has to do the GDB from now on...

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#131 vetinari
December 06 2013, 08:51AM
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I was at a Christmas party last night and when I got home and looked up the score, I had to read it twice to make sure that it was Edmonton who had won 8-2. What the heck???

In accordance with recent tradition, does this mean that the lineup is set for the next game?

Also, when I read the score and saw that Varlamov was the goalie for all eight goals against, my first thoughts were "please tell me that he was ticked that Roy didn't pull him sooner, and that he asked for a trade right after the game..."

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#132 S cottV
December 06 2013, 08:58AM
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Human nature to get too high on a big win and too low on a big loss One of those nights when everything's going in for one team. First goal - Av's all over the Oilers - one of our guys breaks a stick and Hall fly's out of the zone and happens to connect to a hail Mary? Unorthodox way to start a game but it works and they were away to the races. Don't be surprised if this is merely a mirage and Eakins should get those more experienced d men back in the line up sooner than later.

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#133 Danger Pay
December 06 2013, 11:23AM
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Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

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.

Can't we just enjoy a nice win and start up the Doom and Gloom after the next loss????

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#134 Todd
December 06 2013, 11:27AM
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Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

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.

Would 7-3 in the last 10 games cause you to think they've turned the corner? Cause thats what the "last 10 games" line will show after we beat the Shames tomorrow. 7-3 is a good stretch for any team.

I fully get the scepticism. We've been burned SOOOO many times by this team. But I think people are being overly negative now. We had a terrible start. But since then its been about as per expected. A middling, not quite playoff team. Not great, but surely not as bad as the first 20 games.

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#135 Ales Hallsky
December 06 2013, 11:29AM
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Mo Playoffs Mo Problems wrote:

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...

an 11% shooting percentage would have been enough...

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#136 DrunkGuyTy
December 06 2013, 11:32AM
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Yeah - but just wait and see what happens when we play the good western conference teams!!!!

Oh wait, Colorado is a western team in the playoffs??? ...and the Oilers beat them????

...that's unpossible!!!!!

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#137 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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#138 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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#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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