SCENES FROM A MAUL

Lowetide
December 08 2013 07:41AM

The Edmonton Oilers won the battle last night, but once again lost the war. The shot differential said Edmonton was well clear of the Flames (52-33) but the final score told us Calgary won the day. The story of last night was execution, and at this point I'm in favor of it.

SHOT DIFFERENTIAL BEATDOWN

The Oilers had a field day last night based on even-strength shots for and against (my thanks to Michael Parkatti for the table above), hell the guy they benched went 12-0 in the discipline. The problem for Edmonton? They're a miserable team without the puck and increasingly they are not willing to do the hard work of getting it back.

I'm not a guy who talks about "physical presence" or "someone to get in your face" very much, because for the most part I do believe those things are overrated. However, this edition of the Edmonton Oilers needs someone to light a fire under their ass, the way Glen Sather did with the Boys on the Bus when they were pissing about instead of eating their vegetables. This team could use a whole lot less "Harlem Globetrotters" skill and a lot more lunchpail work ethic and attention to detail.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

There are two ways out of this:

  1. Impress upon these players that "fleeing the zone for offense" is treason, and that you're letting the team down.
  2. Trade one or two of these players for new ones in order to grab the group's attention. 

I bet Craig MacTavish is edging closer to the second option. The Edmonton Oilers are going to finish last with Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Sam Gagner and Justin Schultz, they can sure as hell finish last without them.

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Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on TSN 1260.
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#2 Spydyr
December 08 2013, 09:07AM
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Remember when Wayne predicted Gagner to be the next captain?

Now that was some funny $hit.

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#3 6 ring circus
December 08 2013, 04:01PM
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I already know the answer to these question's and so does every other Oilers Fan, our problem unfortunately Katz does not!!!

If Keven Lowe was fired by the Oiler's is there another team in the NHL stupid enough to hire him,in any capacity other than a water boy?

If Mactavish was fired by the Oiler's as their GM, would any other team hire him ? (how does he go from being fired as our head coach 4 years ago no other NHL team hiring him as a coach and then he comes back to the Oiler's as General manager !!!!)

Can Scott Howson get a job anywhere else in the NHL, where Kevin Lowe isn't his boss?

If Steve Tambellini was such a good General manager (that's what Kevin Lowe said and it was his decision to hire him) why hasn't he been hired anywhere else in the NHL and will he ever surface again ? I had heard a rumor he went into the witness protection program.

If Steve Smith and Kelly Buchberger are such good assistant coaches,(they have been here now for 4 head coaches) why hasn't any other team hired either one for an Associate coach position or a head coach position in the AHL?

There is no need to wonder WTF is wrong with this organization, just look at the list above and tell me we aren't screwed until Katz does a complete overhaul of his management team.

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#4 Puck_In_Throat
December 08 2013, 04:32PM
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I will apologize for the length of this post in advance. The error that the Oilers have made is a simple one, but it continues to be made:

They have handed the reigns of the team to players who were too young and had no veteran leadership.

1. Hall and Eberle have lived together from day 1. Major recipe for disaster. Logic tells you that and 18 and 20 year old living together with a combined income of +5M will be a problem.

2. Fast tracking players to the NHL creates a myriad of problems (Hemsky, gagner, cogliano, nilsson, schrmep, Hall, Eberle, Nuge, Yak, J. Schultz, Petry).

2a) They do not learn to play two way hockey (see Arcobello for a prime example of what having to earn your ice time does).

2b) they have unhealthy egos

2c) they earn WAY too much money too soon (j. schultz for $3.75?!?! Hall and Eberle for $12M combined?!? I would rather have Tatar and Nyquist from Detroit for $1.8M combined). This creates a salary cap issue.

3. Lack of veteran leadership means that young players learn bad habits. Anyone who has tried to quit smoking will tell you that bad habits are very hard to break, sometimes impossible.

4. Lack of success means that other young players are pushed in too early, perpetuating the problem.

If the Oilers had been REALLY serious about the "rebuild", they would have kept Eberle in the AHL for a few years, left Pajaarvi in Sweden and then in the AHL for a bit, etc. etc. etc. Sure, we probably should have kept Hall as an 18 year old, but could the Nuge not have benefitted from another year of Junior? Don't forget, by returning the Nuge and Yak to Junior, we would have delayed their salary increases by not burning a year of their contracts.

Good GMs and well-run organizations (CF: Detroit) make the hard decisions that are right for the player and team long term. Bad organizations cannot see past the 1 year horizon, which is why the Oilers have made the same mistake with

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#5 BiG bOY pAnTs
December 08 2013, 11:21AM
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Eberles gotta go. He is the epitome of what is wrong with this team. Skilled, yes... But, no size, less heart. Can not back check, will not forecheck and has NEVER learned to play on the defensive side of the puck. This guy must think he's a pilot with all the flybys he's been doing. Is he allergic to the physical element of hockey ? He can take that crap to another team and see how it works out for him there. Time for some tough love, and tougher decisions.

And Gagner's even worse. Buy him out, send the message that this sissy hockey is no longer acceptable, and you can take that useless tit JSchultz with you please. What a disappointment this trio has been. Huge fail X 3.

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#6 RexHolez
December 08 2013, 08:22AM
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I keep telling myself that I don't care anymore and I'm not gonna bother watching... But I still do! Every comment I post on here is filled with anger, depression and cynism and I feel ashamed of myself. My Lord it's hard to be an oiler follower (not gonna call myself a fan anymore)

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#7 oilers1168
December 08 2013, 09:11AM
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My question is why does Eberle, hall, gagner and Schulz junior get such a long leash.

My count last evening Gagner was only credited with two giveaway, I count 4. We need more from our coach to start benching, cutting ice time and press boxing some of the above players.

I didn't include Yak because he is really still in his 1st year and is 20yrs old. He should be forted the same as the others needs to learn by making some mistakes. The same reasoning was used on the others.

Trading Yak would be a mistake. He hits way more then Eberle and Hemsky combined, and awesome shot if they decide to pass to him. He has a lot of Hall in him. Loves to carry the puck and drive the play and is passionate. When he fills out and has more man strength he will be close to a Phill Kessel physique and skill set. He is not a duplicate of Eberle.

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#8 oilers1168
December 08 2013, 10:38AM
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@Soup

Yak is no duplication of Eberle. He is an explosive skater like a Hall. Loves to carry the puck, awesome shot, and has a physical element to his game. Eberle is soft and rarely found in a scrum. When Nail fills out he will be more similar to a Phil Kessel in physique and skill set.

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#9 Retsinnab5
December 08 2013, 08:34AM
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Eakins said he was going to bring out the hard work of every player on any given night. I didn't see it tonight and i haven't seen it every night ether.

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#10 onlyoil
December 08 2013, 11:34AM
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2004Z06 wrote:

Can't trade best buddy Eberle....Hall will be too upset!

Well boys, kindergarten is now over!!

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#11 Batfink
December 08 2013, 08:21AM
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Lowetide wrote:

Yakupov is just finishing up his first 82 games, I don't think he's a guy we can blame for the overall mess this team is in currently.

That said, if the Oilers decided to deal him, your point about duplicate skills applies. The one thing about Yakupov that we can't forget is his shot: if he ever finds the range it's going to be amazing.

The woes of this team isn't on a rookie. Like joining a new company just before it goes belly up. Your fault, was it? And yes, strange that we didn't once try Yak on the one -timer last night.

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#12 Release the Hounds
December 08 2013, 10:36AM
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I watched the highlights of last nights game and what really stood out for me was that on the O/T goal, Hudler is standing ALONE in front of DD while the d-men(#19 and #85) are looking up ice from almost the top of the circles! Do these guys even communicate with each other on the ice? Could Dubnyk not give verbal "heads-up" to his D-men that he has a lone visitor at the edge of his crease and he isn't of the friendly variety? I've seen this time and time again how the opposition is allowed to stand around in front of the net uncontested. I realize that a lot of that has to do with the team being a bunch of softies but it seems to me there is a total lack of communication on the ice.

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#13 brake bad here
December 08 2013, 11:59AM
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Like it has been "said from above"

If we can finish in last place with'em, we can damn sure finish in last place without'em. Change is needed. Start with Eberle. If the Oil want to keep Schultz jr, play him at forward. He has no idea what defense looks like. Sit Gagner beside KLowe for a few games and may some "winning" will rub off.

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#14 Oiler Al
December 08 2013, 08:38AM
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Flames goalie was No.1 star.. thanks to 24 blocked shots for Flames and 8 for Oilers.

Calgary had 9 giveaways, and Edmonton had 19.

The supposed Oiler All Stars, went 0-6 on the power play, that wont win you games.

One thing for sure, Oilers saving time and money on Gagners, and Hemsky's skating sharpening, sure cant dull the blades when you are gliding half the night.

PS>. Time to get some extra Wheaties for RNH been playing lately like he has not had meal in days.

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#15 mayorblaine
December 08 2013, 07:54AM
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MacT needs to decide what he wants, dreams or reality. He better darn well know what he has.

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#16 Andrew
December 08 2013, 04:45PM
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You know people/fans/bloggers are getting really fed up with the state of this Oiler debacle when L.T. starts getting pissed off. He's the champion of the "glass-half-full-contingent".

My point being that at some point even the most moderate critics of the Katz/Lowe/MacT mis-management triumvirate is going to turn people off to such a degree they are going to vote to re-allocate their discetionary dollars elsewhere. Katz' arrogant belief that the fans will pay up no matter how inept his decisions may not pay off in the long run. I want to see an honest effort and for that I would be thankful. I don't know how the likes of Gagner, Hall and Eberle can stand in front of those cameras at the end of another gutless lacklustre performance and keep a straight face. Where the hell is their pride?

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#17 Hockey Problems
December 08 2013, 10:09AM
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Yakupov threw more body checks in the last two game than Ebs, Gagner, and J Schultz have thrown their whole career. Now that's sad.

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#18 Wintoon
December 08 2013, 08:00AM
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I detest 'broad street bully' hockey where intimidation is the key tactic. I much prefer skilled hockey being on display. Having said this, I do expect a team to be competitive. If, occassionally, that means dropping the gloves then so be it. Dropping the gloves however is certainly not the key component of competitive. Current edition of the Oilers either needs to find a different level of compete or they need to be traded. LT has stated it beautifully and succinctly.

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#19 Drowning in Oil
December 08 2013, 11:20AM
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I know everyone has a love affair with Hall, but come on people. He is a reckless player who loses the puck constantly. He makes bad decisions, and will be hurt again before the end of the season, that is a given. There are too many negatives with him to look past. Yes, he may score every once in a while, but it normally happens in games that are meaningless (last night being the exemption). I know people will cry saying that he has HEART, great, that is just great, but I want to see someone that is less of a liability on the ice than him. He scares the hell out of me when he has the puck........... But at the end of the day, Eakins loves him and Hall can do no wrong in his book so I guess nothing will ever change.

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#20 Batfink
December 08 2013, 08:19AM
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The problem is, the rest of the pro scouts in the league know what these guys are like. How's PRV doing? We won't get THAT deal again! We would have to take damaged goods back, as our wunder-kind MAY, I emphasise may before you all lynch me, be viewed as damaged goods themselves.

But that aside, what I found unforgivable last night was the lack of effort. If you can't get motivated for a BOA on either team, then quit hockey. Terrible game for both teams, compounded by apathy all round.

Like it or not, these are the players we have going forward. So management better find what motivates these players and quick. Also, they clearly won the most important battles: Battle of the scoreboard, and the Battle of the coaches. Hartley obviously did his homework, as all the space and time that was available Thursday wasn't there last night.

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#21 Cameron
December 08 2013, 08:30AM
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Good health, great family, good pension, winter home in the AZ, and the Oilers are spoiling my retirement!!

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#22 Hockey fan 1976
December 08 2013, 10:41AM
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Wonder who would win between the Oil Kings and Oilers if they played today? Lol or the Women's Olympic Team and these clowns?

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#23 **
December 08 2013, 03:29PM
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The sad thing is he will probably trade yakupov

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#24 He who knows
December 08 2013, 04:08PM
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This organization is screwed up beyond belief. Such a soft soft team. No balls down there.

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#25 a lg dubl dubl
December 08 2013, 08:28AM
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First off, Great choice LT, Amy Smart is a hottie!

I think, MacT trades Eberle and Shultz jr.

I'd hate to see Ebs leave*, and is better defensively than Yakupov, but to get what this team needs, Eberle starts the convo with other gm's. Yak is to much of a liability with and without the puck.

Shultz, he just looks disinterested in everything, kinda like Yakupov lol.

The Oilers need a shake up, this seasons done, time to steer the ship towards a better season for next year, next year its playoffs or bust.

*please don't hunt me down and hurt me Wanye.

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#26 Quicksilver ballet
December 08 2013, 10:03AM
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Life is hell without any leadership on that blue line. Without Boyd Gordon, that second line center vacancy appears to be magnified as well.

I can't stand watching these kids get pushed around every night. It's frustrating. I will never watch another game again.

See you guys on Tuesday.

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#27 ryan
December 08 2013, 11:23AM
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The complete lack of a fore check baffles me, a team with this much speed just standing there waiting for the other team to attack is ridiculous. Our team isn't responsible enough or disciplined enough to play this way.

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#28 Klima's Mullet
December 08 2013, 08:21AM
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"I bet Craig MacTavish is edging closer to the second option. The Edmonton Oilers are going to finish last with Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Sam Gagner and Justin Schultz, they can sure as hell finish last without them."

Wow, never thought of it from this angle...still think it's too early to trade RNH or Yak. Hall should not be traded...he is a franchise player.

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#29 srbuhr
December 08 2013, 03:35PM
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@DoubleDIon

"Are you guys seriously talking about healthy scratching Hall? Did you watch a different game then me? You'd never win again without Hall. He's the guy who drives the play north and generates the offense"

Did you watch the game. Hall was atrocious, Yes he scored the tieing goal but can be given due credit for an 0-6 PP. Play died on his or Gagner stick all night. Your right he takes the puck north to the blue line to turn it over south. I think you need to watch a real hockey team play, then maybe you will understand good teams and good players don't do this.

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#30 John Chambers
December 08 2013, 09:45AM
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Schultz Jr is an infuriating player. His ego must be enormous from the Gretzky courtship.

Gagner, Schultz and our pick to NYR for Girardi, Brassard, and their pick. We pay whatever it takes to sign Girardi, play Brassard in a C / W role.

Problem solved, I swear.

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#31 Naky
December 08 2013, 10:19AM
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Last night was another prime example of Dubnyk keeping the game winnable behind a team completely disinterested in helping him keep the puck out of their own net and yet again they didn't reward him with a win for all their supposed offense and all their non-stop cheating to try to get it.

Games like this is why I get so mad when people crap over him because it's games like this that people don't remember. It's just a loss. Guess he should have stopped them all so we could have won 1-0. Clearly his fault. At least that's how it'll be remembered and it's the height of crap.

Nobody ever remembers that it was the collective mess in front of him that couldn't do much of anything to help both offensively or defensively and it's been like this for two or three years now. Even when they get the offense on the scoreboard, their defensive play was such a mess to get that offense but fans don't care because, hey, they got 4 or 5 on the board man. They did what they were supposed to do, right? Bull. Hockey's more than putting the biscuit in the bag and always has been.

But at least people are starting to see it now. Looking beyond the shot totals and the numbers on the scoreboard and assuming that a good game was played by all, or at least I hope so. Because it hasn't been pretty for a long time now and I'm really getting sick of watching it.

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#32 Rod from Viking
December 08 2013, 10:54AM
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@Naky

Last night's loss was not goaltending but; Dubynk was on his knees before the shot was released on first goal and not a great effort on winning goal, in between some good saves, stop either of the other two and game may or may not ended up different result. The Oilers lost because beside Perron and Smyth no one will stand in front of the net, we have a bunch of skilled perimeter forwards that won't do what it takes to win against a team that keeps you on the outside.

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#33 Hockey fan 1976
December 08 2013, 11:15AM
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TUE, 10 DEC 2013 HURRICANES OILERS Carolina Wins THU, 12 DEC 2013 BRUINS OILERS Bruins Makes road kill of the Oilers FRI, 13 DEC 2013 OILERS CANUCKS Man vs boys part II SUN, 15 DEC 2013 OILERS DUCKS See Bruins TUE, 17 DEC 2013 OILERS KINGS See Ducks THU, 19 DEC 2013 OILERS AVALANCHE Revenge by Avs SAT, 21 DEC 2013 BLUES OILERS See Canucks MON, 23 DEC 2013 JETS OILERS See opening game of the season FRI, 27 DEC 2013 OILERS FLAMES Ok we might win this one!!! SAT, 28 DEC 2013 FLYERS OILERS See Blues TUE, 31 DEC 2013 OILERS COYOTES Didn't we get spanked 6-2

So in conclusion. Our remaining potential record in Dec will 1-10. Merry f@&$! Christmas everyone!!!!

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#34 Quicksilver ballet
December 08 2013, 02:00PM
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Management is perfectly satisfied with where things are at right now. You don't see them at all concerned with what's happening. Why you heff to be mad, persons with more money than brains?

If Management doesn't care, why should the coaches/players. Every seat has been sold for the last 5 yrs, it certainly appears as though they're satisfied as well.

The Oiler are the epitome of off ice success, and when you have that, nothing else matters.

Know your role Oiler fan. Just shut up and buy those tickets...... you idiots, whether you like it or not. Now that you've given Katz everything he wants, this is how it's going to work. Or, he'll take the rest of his party brigade to Seattle.

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#35 non descript
December 08 2013, 08:47AM
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wow. almost sounds like the eternal oiler optimist is pissed this morning.

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#36 morgie
December 08 2013, 12:38PM
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steveb12344 wrote:

First of all I said the team was talented. I didn't say they were awesome.

I don't care where the shots come from. Outshooting your opponent 52-33 will win you the game far more often than not. If this was not the case than I guess Corsi must be a completely useless stat.

Even with the OT loss, The Oilers are still 6-3-1 in their last 10. That's 13 points gained in their last 10.

In the west only SJ,and LA have more in their last 10. In the East just Pitt, Mtl and Bos have more.

I realize (sadly) that the season didn't start only 10 games ago, but I still feel at least a little better knowing that they have been tied for the 6th best record in the league over the last 10.

I fully agree that this team has serious issues, and is still far from a finished product. I just don't think it's time to get all apocalyptic about it.

Just a little different perspective.

Another perspective is the oil beat only one playoff team in those ten games, Colorado

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#37 Jesse
December 08 2013, 10:10AM
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Oilers team is full of Goal-sucks. No one wants to play a 200 ft game.

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#38 Morgie99
December 08 2013, 12:41PM
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how do i delete a posting my computer went AWOL

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#39 Rama Lama
December 08 2013, 12:58PM
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I'm now on the Eakins' bandwagon! All we have to do is send members of the bottom two lines into the pressbox so they can "reset".

Everyone else can cheat all they want because accountability only applies to a select numbers of individuals deemed necessary by Mr. Bangs.

If there was a team ripe for the talking it was Calgary, depleted, hurt, and the rest suffering the flu. When will Mr. Fitness figure this out? When will MacT resurface? When will Mr. Six Rings get fired? NEVER

It seems our Stanely Cup is drafting first?

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#40 camdog
December 08 2013, 05:21PM
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The problem with the organization is that there are very few players on this team that have earned their status, in Edmonton we just annoint players stars, without making them have to work for it speaking of Hemsky, Gags, Eberle and Hall. Heck we were ready to give Hall the C and have Eberle and Gags with A's. Hall is the only one that deserves a letter, however that letter is an A and that is all.

The Oilers best player this season is Perron. With Hitchcook as coach Perron had to earn his position on the team. When he didn't play the "200" foot game he got benched. THat doesn't happen in E-town, not with the star players. That's the difference between Edmonton and winning franchises.

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#41 Fresh Mess
December 08 2013, 09:33AM
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Fail and Schultz are on entry contracts so they should be in the AHL learning how to play a complete game. Gagner needs to be traded away. Those are the three worst culprits.

Hemsky needs to go yesterday. I agree Eberle and Hall have been given a free ride by Eakins. It's hard to scratch someone who has been producing offensively, but I think Hall should sit out a game. So should Eberle, but Hall has consistently been the worse of the two and scratching him would send a loud message to the team.

Scratching Arcobello for 5 games is a perfect example of what is wrong with this team. The manager and coach play favourites rather than rewarding merit.

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#42 Spydyr
December 08 2013, 10:03AM
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oilers1168 wrote:

"They've had a pick anywhere from No. 1 to No. 10 year after year after year after year, and they still wander in the desert."

I hate to say it but feaster is correct. So why don't our management post this in their office wall.

Burke fired off some great Nostradamus type quotes about Lowe too.

Such as :

"For the colossal stupidity of what the Edmonton Oilers did this past summer ... If I had run my team into the sewer like that, I wouldn't throw a grenade at the other 29 teams and my own indirectly," Burke said of Lowe. "So I have no intention of speaking to him any time soon."

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#43 2004Z06
December 08 2013, 11:32AM
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BiG bOY pAnTs wrote:

Eberles gotta go. He is the epitome of what is wrong with this team. Skilled, yes... But, no size, less heart. Can not back check, will not forecheck and has NEVER learned to play on the defensive side of the puck. This guy must think he's a pilot with all the flybys he's been doing. Is he allergic to the physical element of hockey ? He can take that crap to another team and see how it works out for him there. Time for some tough love, and tougher decisions.

And Gagner's even worse. Buy him out, send the message that this sissy hockey is no longer acceptable, and you can take that useless tit JSchultz with you please. What a disappointment this trio has been. Huge fail X 3.

Can't trade best buddy Eberle....Hall will be too upset!

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#44 JJ
December 08 2013, 02:50PM
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I think it's time for everyone - all of you to find another team to follow and cheer for. The best you'll get with this team is perpetual disappointment. Look at where Colorado is, this lies all on the management.

I'm a Canadiens fan now. I suggest everyone else hop aboard. In fact, unlike last year where losses would be disappointing, I don't have a reaction anymore.

The respectable part about the Habs organization is, once they missed the playoffs in 2011/2012 and became dead last in the conference, management was cleaned out. That sends a clear message of accountability. If you're not going to get results, your ass is out the door. And then they won their division the next year and are currently tied for first in the conference despite having wee Davey Desharnais, an undrafted player as their first line center. Because management knows how to win there, and they only accept winning cultures. But Klowe and co. don't, despite what their delusions would have you to believe.

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#45 -30-
December 08 2013, 08:52AM
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With a season where there is nothing left to lose but pride what harm can be done by doing the "Petry" to a few of the top liners who are constantly cheating, giving the puck away or being lazy?

David Perron is setting an example of hard work that Ryan Smyth was supposed to when he was re-signed. Remember how the optimist in us was hoping that Smyth would show the youngsters how to work hard and get results?

Where did that go?

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#46 druds
December 08 2013, 01:12PM
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Do players get bag skated anymore? In this new NHL I guess we have to be sensitive to these poor 6 million dollar players.

Eakins should have them out today skating back and forth until they puke and then maybe that will impress them what is needed to actually win games.

Pathetic!

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#47 Drowning in Oil
December 08 2013, 01:47PM
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@Curcro

Eberle will become a star on another team........l Mtotally agree but let's be honest, this scenario will happen no matter who the Oilers trade. Doesn't it always seem ex Oilers only shine when they are ex oilers!!!

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#48 srbuhr
December 08 2013, 03:28PM
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@Drowning in Oil

Agreed. Take some time and watch a game. We all used to love saying the play dies on Horcoff's stick but Hall has stepped up and taken over this dubious task. Scoring two goals while giving up two is why we suck.

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#49 Spydyr
December 08 2013, 10:16AM
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Roland wrote:

I just want them to dump the puck in once in a while. Something like 1 out of 3 rushes... Playing a tired flu-riddled Calgary team. Make them turn around and chase once in a while. Yes, Even On The Powerplay! You knew, I knew, and the Flames knew that wasn't going to happen so they stood up at the blue line all night.

Dump it in you say. They can't do that they are much too skilled and besides if you dump it in you might have to hit someone.Then they might get mad at you and hit you back.

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#50 DoubleDIon
December 08 2013, 01:31PM
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Are you guys seriously talking about healthy scratching Hall? Did you watch a different game then me? You'd never win again without Hall. He's the guy who drives the play north and generates the offense.

I'd trade Monahan for Hall in a heartbeat. Wouldn't even consider it for any of your other players. Gagner, Yakupov, Hemsky, Eberle and "I'm too good to play for Anaheim" all deserve some pine. Hall, Nuge and Perron give effort consistently.

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