GDB 19.0: THE DREADED STARS

Jason Gregor
February 28 2013 11:50AM

The Dallas Stars domination over the Edmonton Oilers has become laughable. In 74 meetings the Oilers have won a meagre 15 games. The Stars have won 79.7% of the games. No other franchise has dominated the Oilers like the Stars, but if the Oilers want to make the playoffs, or at least stay in the hunt, they need to beat the Stars.

I don't see a scenario where both of these teams make the playoffs, so the Oilers need to win. A win would give them a 33.3 winning percentage against Dallas this year, which would be a big step forward.

You can't pinpoint one specific reason why the Oilers have struggled to beat Dallas since they moved from Minnesota at the start of the 1993/1994 season. There has been 14 different head coaches between the two teams during this period and hundreds of different players, yet the Stars have completely dominated the Oilers.

Just for fun here is a look at how the Oilers have fared v. all the Western teams since October of 1993. I only calculated wins, not ties (ended in 1999) or points for losing in OT or SO. 

Opponent GP W Winning%
Dallas 74 15 20.2
Detroit 73 24 32.8
Calgary 109 41 37.6
St. Louis 72 28 38.8
Colorado 102 40 39.2
Vancouver 111 44 39.6
Chicago 73 29 39.7
Nashville 53 22 41.5
Minnesota 70 30 42.8
San Jose 81 35 43.2
Los Angeles 82 39 47.5
Phoenix 74 41 55.4
Columbus 45 28 62.2
TOTAL 1019 416 40.8

The last 18 and 1/3 seasons haven't been stellar for the Oilers or their fans, but the Dallas Stars have absolutely owned the Oilers.

LINE UP

Hall/Nugent-Hopkins/Eberle
Jones/Gagner/Hemsky
SmythBelanger/Yakupov
Eager/Vande Velde/Petrell

Interesting to note it looks like Yakupov might play right wing tonight. We will see if he is more comfortable attacking from the right side and if he has any troubles on his off-wing in his own end. Krueger didn't play him on the RW to start because he felt it was harder to play the puck along the boards in the defensive zone.

Smid/Petry
N.Schultz/J.Schultz
Fistric/Potter

It sounds like Whitney and Peckham will be the healthy scratches, but that isn't confirmed. I thought Peckham played decent in his only game of the year, and feel he deserves another chance, but clearly the coaches see it differently.

Dubnyk

QUICK HITS

  • A source tells me the Oilers did put a claim in for Aaron Volpatti, but the Capitals were ranked lower so they got him first. Currently the Oilers are 7th on the waiver wire. CBJ, BUFF, WSH, FLO, NYI and COL are ahead of them based on standings.
     
  • Volpatti wasn't going to be a major difference maker, but it is obvious the Oilers need more grit. Not just fighting grit, but guys who hate to lose and will do anything to win.
     
  • Watch how Ryan Smyth plays tonight, if he has an average game they might rest him during back-to-back tomorrow in St.Louis.
     
  • Oilers have 16 ES goals in 18 games. They are averaging 0.88 ES goals/game. Last year the Minnesota Wild were the worst in the league with 112 in 82 games, 1.36 ES goals/game.  The worst ES scoring rate since 1979 expansion was the 2003 Carolina Hurricanes with 98 ES goals in 82 games, 1.19 ES goals/game.
     
  • To avoid becoming the most anemic ES offence in the past 30+ years the Oilers will need to score 42 ES goals in their next 30 games. Not a crazy number, only 1.4 ES goals/game, but that is almost double the production from their first 18 games.
     

  • UFC Ring Girl and model Arianny Celeste will be at the Nation's 5th birthday party tomorrow night at the Pint off Whyte. You can watch the Oilers/Blues and talk MMA with Arianny. There are only 30 tickets left. All proceeds to go to Inner City Children's Program and you get a T-shirt and $45 in GCs. Hurry and buy  them here.

GAME DAY PREDICTION: Eventually the Oilers have to win, right? You've been saying that for years, so why should tonight be any different. Sadly it won't, Oilers lose 4-3.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The remaining 30 tickets to the Nation party will be scooped up before puck drop. You don't need any extra incentives to party, but when it includes charity, hotties and a Nation T-shirt it's a no-brainer.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: After learning the Oilers put in a claim for Aaron Volpatti, Ben Eager responds with a solid game. He lays out Jamie Benn and scores a goal in the 2nd period. After the game the Oilers brass start looking at the waiver wire wondering if there is anyone else they can put a claim on, but don't end up getting, with the hopes it fires up a few other players.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

What my girlfriend is in Edmonton and she didn't tell me?

She stopped by my house first. She tried calling you but her mouth was full.

And since we're dreaming.....Oilers win 5-2

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#3 West
February 28 2013, 10:45PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

They are indeed both playing well. But they are not part of the oilers future. Trade them now while they have top market value and aren't injured.

Buy low sell high.

Yeah, lets trade our 23 year old leading point getter who has no future with this team. Oh and while we are at it lets also trade our leading goal scorer. Maybe that way we can get #1 overall again.

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#4 Rocket
February 28 2013, 09:59PM
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C'mon Oilers!

Only 5 goals?

Trade Gagner & Hemsky!

They obviously don't contribute to this team.

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#5 James
March 01 2013, 11:51AM
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Serious Gord wrote:

What's your point?

My point is this kid has been on the team since '07 and people should know how to spell his last name yet so many don't.

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#6 Ducey
February 28 2013, 12:24PM
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Mr. Sense Common wrote:

Shocked that KLowe forgets the fruit salad of the glory days....skill, tenacity, a few sons of ****es (Napier, mclelland, tik), a few nutters (semenko, muni) and most of all, the many hustlers (Jackson, mcsorley, bookeboom and his best bud, macT) those guys are the reason Jari and Wayne danced around. Amazing departure from the past.

Yeah! If the Oilers dressed 3 or 4 scrappers that would really help their ES scoring woes! If it wasn't for Semenko, Gretzky wouldn't have amounted to anything!

I am interested to see how DD plays tonight. Given the injury to Bulin, there is a lot riding on a good performance.

No MPS? I'd like them to play MPS and waive Petrell. He is a decent PK guy but doesn't have any offensive upside doesn't intimidate anyone.

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#7 northof51
February 28 2013, 12:39PM
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Wow, those win totals are astoundingly terrible. Just curious if you had stats for Anaheim as well?

NSOGDP - Oilers force a shootout with only 15 shots on net. Locked in a scoreless tie through the first 11 rounds, Nieuwendyk trades Lehtonen, Benn and himself for Jussi Jokinen, who makes it back to American Airlines Arena in time to pot the winner (while still wearing his Hurricanes jersey).

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#8 Rob...
February 28 2013, 01:23PM
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What's the over/under on blind spin-o-rama passes for the night? My prediction is that there will be 3.

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#9 David S
February 28 2013, 03:22PM
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For the record (or FTR as the kids say these days), the reason guys are waived is because they were deemed too crappy to play on a NHL team.

Think about that for a second.

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#10 rpk99
February 28 2013, 11:07PM
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@ Real life,

with less than last five minutes of a game, they provide the team getting the minor the differential....so they can fit in full value to maximize value of the major. its a good rule. Otherwise, any other time left in the game, its the 2 at 4 on 4 then the 3.

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#11 dougtheslug
February 28 2013, 11:13PM
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The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33 wrote:

Man this koolaid tastes extra sweet tonight.

My favourite cartoon from the New Yorker has 2 dogs chatting, and one says to the other, "It's not enough that Dogs win. Cats have to lose". Good night tonight. Dogs (Oilers) win. Cats (Flames) blow a three goal lead and lose. The koolaid will taste sweet until tomorrow evening.

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#12 The Soup Fascist
February 28 2013, 11:28PM
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@kgo

Getting past Karlsson should be a slice ......

Gene Principe

Too soon?

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#13 James
March 01 2013, 08:08AM
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Serious Gord wrote:

The bruins traded Esposito when he was their top point getter, every time Gretzky was traded he was the top point getter so was Thornton I think.

This is about the team dynamic - not the individual. And gagne and hemsky are spare parts going forward. And there will likely never be a better time to trade them than right now.

Good thing Gagne got traded back to Philly then.

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#14 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
February 28 2013, 12:01PM
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What my girlfriend is in Edmonton and she didn't tell me?

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#15 Shane
February 28 2013, 12:05PM
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I feel like the Oilers are due for an 8 ES goal game break out. Although saddly I don't think it's today.. When do we play Columbus next?

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#16 Sanaa Montana
February 28 2013, 12:54PM
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It appears as if the dead horse that is the Oilers 1st line is still being kicked by Krueger.

Jones is being showcased on the 2nd line. He has to be, I can't see no other reason why the Oilers would have him there.

I feel for Yakupov, poor kid.

Paajarvi over Petrell.

Defense is alright, but I would play Chugham over Potter.

Oilers will lose again due to the fact that their coach doesn't know how to utilize the offense he has at his disposal.

I believe the management is smart enough to see the short comings and is allowing it to take course for a greater cause. The ends justify the means.?

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#17 vetinari
February 28 2013, 01:47PM
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Steve Tambellini is like a 3 year old playing PS3 or XBox-- he only hits the same button (*draft*) over and over again while expecting different results.

These are the GMs with a better record than Steve Tambellini over the past three and a half seasons: EVERYONE!

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#18 Ales Hallsky
February 28 2013, 01:59PM
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#hashtaggingcommentsisretarded #wheredowedrawthlinedoihavetohashtagworkemails? #squee?

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#19 Shredder
February 28 2013, 02:38PM
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NSOGDP: Hall makes a statement game and has as many hits as he does shots (cue the basketball term: double-double). Hall scores 1 goal from inside the blue paint on a gritty-smytty-from-10-years-ago type goal where he takes an ugly cross check from behind. Hall also draws a penalty on the same play, and on the ensuing power play Nuge, after reading Willis' article at Cult of Hockey about not scoring from the half boards, puts in a wicked wrister. Eberle, after reading plenty of Willis' articles, realizes he's not carrying his weight in terms of zone entries and tries real hard to compensate, but fails miserably...only to be switched to Yak's spot...and as the only good shooter on the line, Smytty and Belanger pick up 2 assist each as Eberle then shows the whole world how to finish. Yak and Gagner keep putting up points as they are inspired by the other youngsters, and the whole team ends up winning 5-1. Statement game.

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#20 Romanus
February 28 2013, 05:13PM
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Mr. Sense Common wrote:

Its a personnel issue.

We need:

bodychecks: -Steve Ott, Theo Peckham, Luke Schenn

Pest: -Max Lapierre, Brandon Prust

Faceoff: -David Steckell

Leadership: -Landeskog, Brendan Morrow

Delete:

-Whitney, Smyth, Petrel, Potty, Alice, Pajarvi

Lineup: Hall-Noogie-Ebs Ott-Gagner-Landeskog Yakupov-Whorecough-Prust Steckell-Lapierre-Morrow

Schenn-J Schultz N.Schultz-Smid Petry-Peckham

=complete annihilation with zero injuries to star players.

Did it work on NHL 2013?

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#21 Mikey
February 28 2013, 06:16PM
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bwar wrote:

Baertschi and Glencross or Cammallari most likely. This move all depends on where that first round draft pick ends up being. If Calgary tanks or even misses playoffs this could turn into being a huge folly. Roll the dice. At least Calgary does something to try and make their team better. Especially with Iginla and Kipprusoff being at the end of their careers.

Yea they tried something that has a good chance of delaying them from being good. Crap why didn't edmonton do that...

Why do something just to do something?

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#22 RexLibris
February 28 2013, 06:19PM
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Here's what I said about the O'Reilly signing over at FN:

I won't argue that adding O'Reilly makes the Flames a better team immediately. However, in the long run I am less enthusiastic.

At the very least this will allow the Flames to run O'Reilly, Cervenka, Backlund and Stajan down the middle, which is far and away a better option than, well, whatever it is they have now.

Also, I have to disagree that anything short of a Tavares-level player is equal compensation for O'Reilly [this was Kent's point in his response]. That seems like a bit of a stretch.

For the record, I would have offered up Gagner and a 2nd round pick for O'Reilly, so by no means am I saying that he is a bad player.

However, I see in this move, and the potential repercussions, some troubling signs for the organization. Namely, despite their stated desire to focus on the draft they have knowingly now forfeit their three first picks in what is widely considered to be a deep draft.

The cap hit for O'Reilly is $5 million, when the club has to re-sign Backlund, Cervenka, presumably Iginla, Brodie, Byron, and a host of AHL players and graduating prospects. The team is committed to $48 million out of a projected $64 million next season.

Spending $5 million on a 22 year old centre is hardly a bad move, but taken in concert with the contractual obligations and the fact that the team is at the maximum contract limit should this go through, it foreshadows some problems down the road.

All in all, a good move by Feaster, in light of the organization's refusal to consider other long-term options.

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#23 Butters
February 28 2013, 08:36PM
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5 on 3. If only the Oilers had a player with a laser for a one-timer *cough number 64 cough*

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#24 Butters
February 28 2013, 09:35PM
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Good ting they kicked Benn out of the game. Gags took his number....

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#25 The Soup Fascist
February 28 2013, 10:31PM
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Maybe we can get some draft picks??

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#26 dougtheslug
February 28 2013, 10:38PM
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Could someone enlighten me about Ryan O'Reilly? Not a goal scorer.39 goals in 236 NHL games.Never a point per game producer, not even in junior. Good, not great size (6 feet, 205 lbs). Mediocre numbers in a handful of games in the KHL this year, then bails on his team in Russia citing a mysterious "ankle injury". Then holds out and gets 10 million, including a base of 6.5 mill next year? Yes his numbers improved last year, but might this not be a Horcoff effect? Methinks the Flames will eventually thank their lucky stars that the Avs matched.

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#27 The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33
February 28 2013, 11:03PM
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Man this koolaid tastes extra sweet tonight.

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#28 James
March 01 2013, 11:53AM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

I think he is saying if you plan to trade your 23 year old leading scorer who plays with heart ...... that is fine. But show him the respect that you actually know his name before you send him packing.

That's pretty much it. It floors me how many people spell this guy's name wrong. He's been on the team for 6 years, and it's not some big long name with a weird spelling. It's pretty simple. I don't understand why people don't get that.

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#29 Mr. Sense Common
February 28 2013, 11:58AM
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Gregor, For the love of God, please ask Tammy and KLowe the next time they are on the show to explain their aversion to size and muscle. Why do they prefer midgets to beef? Very confusing Thanks

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#30 Mr. Sense Common
February 28 2013, 12:12PM
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Shocked that KLowe forgets the fruit salad of the glory days....skill, tenacity, a few sons of ****es (Napier, mclelland, tik), a few nutters (semenko, muni) and most of all, the many hustlers (Jackson, mcsorley, bookeboom and his best bud, macT) those guys are the reason Jari and Wayne danced around. Amazing departure from the past.

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#31 VK63
February 28 2013, 12:32PM
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I kinda thought that with the retirement of Modano that the Oilers fortunes would change vs the Stars.

His HOF induction should have come with a points vs the Oilers asterisk. Or at least a nod to the contributions made by the Tom Poti's of the Oilers past.

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#32 The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33
February 28 2013, 01:00PM
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VK63 wrote:

I kinda thought that with the retirement of Modano that the Oilers fortunes would change vs the Stars.

His HOF induction should have come with a points vs the Oilers asterisk. Or at least a nod to the contributions made by the Tom Poti's of the Oilers past.

Man I hated it when his jersey starts flapping in the back. He definitely had some sort of super power agaisnt us.

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#33 james_dean
February 28 2013, 01:05PM
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what does it take to pry horton from chirelli?

jones and a 1st?

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#34 vetinari
February 28 2013, 01:17PM
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GDP: Oilers score 2 goals, with one of them on special teams (either PP or PK). I don't care what Dallas scores because it is 95% likely that it will be more than 2.

OGDP: Yak/Hall/Eberle/RNH will fly down the ice leading a 2 on 1 or 3 on 2 and instead of taking the open shot, will elect to pass and miss their intended target. x 4! Maybe x 5!

NSOGDP: Dubnyk, fed up with another year of losing and of competing for his job, goes Ron Hextall on each and every Star that crosses his crease, resulting in at least 3 Stars out with fractured legs by the end of the night, spawning the phrase "going Dubnyk".

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#35 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
February 28 2013, 01:24PM
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Relax peoples, another 7-8 losses on this road trip is what management wants. It's lie back and think of England night again. They must not of told ole Ralphy boy of their plan, poor sap thought he actually had a shot going into this season. Oiler opponents have to be rolling their eyes at Kruegers new fail proof attacking system. Any other great ideas Ralph?

One more lotto pick is obviously the plan. 6-1 Dallas over the Edmonton Easily Beats. Save the airfare and accomodation and just mail them the two points.#freespaceonthedallasstarsbingocard

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#36 Ducey
February 28 2013, 01:25PM
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james_dean wrote:

what does it take to pry horton from chirelli?

jones and a 1st?

The Oilers could finish in 25th and win the lottery.

Giving up Seth Jones and Ryan Jones for a guy who is one hit away from being out of hockey would result in the Oilers really getting "Jonesed".

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#37 Sanaa Montana
February 28 2013, 01:26PM
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@Next up, is Connor McJesus.

Even if they told him, the Ralphsults would be the same.

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#38 Phixieus666
February 28 2013, 01:27PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Today the Oilers will need much more than a clenched hand to win. Boom.

Tom Wandell is on waivers, what do you think about Edm picking him up?

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#39 Dog Train
February 28 2013, 01:34PM
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Nice to hear that we at least tried to get Volpatti. So often players become available in season that might fit a role in Edmonton and we never seem to even make an effort to get them. We made a play for a guy named Ryan Jones a few seasons back and he is still playing for us today. We have spent enough time in the basement that I feel like it's an option that we haven't explored enough.

Our record against the West in that graphic is disgusting. The Stars beat us twice in Edmonton and I don't see a different result tonight. 3-2 Stars.

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#40 Mr. Sense Common
February 28 2013, 01:38PM
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Ducey wrote:

Yeah! If the Oilers dressed 3 or 4 scrappers that would really help their ES scoring woes! If it wasn't for Semenko, Gretzky wouldn't have amounted to anything!

I am interested to see how DD plays tonight. Given the injury to Bulin, there is a lot riding on a good performance.

No MPS? I'd like them to play MPS and waive Petrell. He is a decent PK guy but doesn't have any offensive upside doesn't intimidate anyone.

You bet it would. Every time Ebs and Noogie's frail bodies take a hit, slash or abuse, not only does it amount to their apprehension 5 on 5, it makes them change the way they play to compensate for the abuse....so many layers of negatives when you dig deep. Moron management has never been able to pursue and persuade 3 Steve Ott's to play in Edm? What a joke

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#41 Milli
February 28 2013, 02:11PM
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I can't believe she didn't tell me! Must still be mad when she found out I was married! Bhahah! And well if there are only 3 spin O rama's, then they are begining to listen to the coach! Man am I ever sick of that move, or the pass from the slot to the wing that never gets through!!!!

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#42 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
February 28 2013, 02:23PM
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@Ales Hallsky

When in Rome......

Our Oilers appear mentally challenged most nights. In an effort to conform, was i doing it right?

#appology

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#43 Ducey
February 28 2013, 02:28PM
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Mr. Sense Common wrote:

You bet it would. Every time Ebs and Noogie's frail bodies take a hit, slash or abuse, not only does it amount to their apprehension 5 on 5, it makes them change the way they play to compensate for the abuse....so many layers of negatives when you dig deep. Moron management has never been able to pursue and persuade 3 Steve Ott's to play in Edm? What a joke

You mean the Steve Ott who is leading Buffalo to 29th place?

You are right though, they have never been able to get three Steve Ott's to play here.

In his defense I would point out that Tambo is not a villain in a science fiction movie and therefore cannot clone anyone.

If he did learn, I suggest he start by cloning other people than Steve Ott.

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#44 Ales Hallsky
February 28 2013, 02:44PM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

When in Rome......

Our Oilers appear mentally challenged most nights. In an effort to conform, was i doing it right?

#appology

Yes Sir, if that is what you were going for, you are doing it right...

#APPOLOGYACCEPTEDWHYAMIYELLING!!!

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#45 geoilersgist
February 28 2013, 02:47PM
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@Shredder

Dare to Dream

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#46 Mr. Sense Common
February 28 2013, 02:50PM
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Ducey wrote:

You mean the Steve Ott who is leading Buffalo to 29th place?

You are right though, they have never been able to get three Steve Ott's to play here.

In his defense I would point out that Tambo is not a villain in a science fiction movie and therefore cannot clone anyone.

If he did learn, I suggest he start by cloning other people than Steve Ott.

Finally. Someone who understands that adolescent midgets cant alone stickhandle through the nhl.

I suppose your defense of Tammy is well-placed, I shouldn't be too tough on Tammy and the non-fiction he has created in Edmonton

So lets have a friendly bet? what period do you think the Oil will score their 1 goal tonight? me thinks...3rd

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#47 106 and 106
February 28 2013, 02:54PM
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NSOGDP: Dubey goes lights out, stacking the pads like his old Russian friend taught him before tweaking some obscure muscle, and he earns his first shut-out of the year. Belanger undresses Lehtonen for the game-winner and Yakupov does his famous knee-slide because Eric forgot to celebrate and promptly skated off, as if he was on a line change.

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#48 French Toast Mafia
February 28 2013, 03:01PM
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The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33 wrote:

Man I hated it when his jersey starts flapping in the back. He definitely had some sort of super power agaisnt us.

As much as I hated the Stars, Modano was a great player to watch. Guy could fly... Jersey flapping was scary

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#49 David S
February 28 2013, 03:24PM
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As far as the game goes, the Oilers chances of making the playoffs are slipping away like the sands of time. I'm sure the team knows this.

This is a winnable game. Expect our boys to come out playing their nuts off. 4-2 Oilers.

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#50 MrMackey
February 28 2013, 03:30PM
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I would swap Eager and Smyth on the lines. I think that Smyth has a hard time with Yakupov's speed, whereas Eager won't have a problem with it. Yakupov and Eager would be a bit dangerous in their own zone (meaning more heavy lifting for Belanger) but that duo would be energy+.

Honestly, I'm not sure why Eager hasn't got a sniff in the top 6 yet (even the odd shift). He's played better in the last 5-6 games than any of Paajarvi, Harti, or Yak. I'm sure there's politics in play, but it kind of flies in the face of earning your spot. I guess every coach has his preferences.

Smyth, Petrell and Vandevelde have the potential to get a good cycle game going and Petrell's capable of potting a couple in close. That line would be sound defensively and might end up with more minutes overall than the other combo.

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