GDB 32.0: SINGING THE BLUES

Jason Gregor
March 26 2013 01:29PM

The frustration is mounting in Oilersnation. The Oilers have won 8 of their past 26 games and once again they find themselves closer to the basement than a spot in the playoffs.

For the first 40 minutes last night the Oilers didn't play with the smarts, energy or passion you'd expect for a team fighting to stay in the playoffs. They were good in the 3rd period, but this team isn't good enough to play one solid period and win. 

The bigger question is what is ailing the Oilers?

The harsh reality is there is no quick fix for the Oilers. One or two moves won't suddenly make this team a contender. They need to upgrade their blueline, they need to mix in some size in their top-nine and they need to find more players who will go to the net regularly. They could improve their 4th line, but that isn't the main concern.

Do the Oilers have the right mix of players to win moving forward? It seems everyone wants to ship out veterans or fringe players, and I see why, but when you get rid of them do you believe the core group has the right combination of skill sets to win?

Some will say it is too early to tell. I'd agree it is too early to know how productive the young kids will be in the future, but is it too early to tell what style of game they'll play?

Can they alter their games to the point they go to the net regularly, or become better puck retrievers, or win more one-on-one battles?

I think the Oilers have a lot of good young players, but I'm not sure that collectively they possess the right mixture of skills to win regularly in the NHL. I assume they will put in the necessary work during the off-seasons to get stronger and quicker and improve any deficiencies in their game, but will that be enough?

I just don't see how the Oilers can develop all their young, skilled forwards at the same time and expect to win. Can six skilled forwards between the ages of 19-23 , none of whom are over 200 pounds or possess a consistent physical element in their game, simultaneously develop the skills, work ethic and gamesmanship that lead to winning ?

I'm not sure anyone knows for sure, but when I look at the history of the game, it seems very unlikely that could happen.

Tonight is another good test to see how the Oilers match up vs. a veteran team filled with numerous strong, heavy players. On Saturday, David Backes, Patrick Bergland and Chris Stewart were too big and strong for the Oilers. Tonight we'll see if they can alter their game and force the Blues to match their speed. The Oilers can't match the size and strength of the Blues, so they'll need to try and quicken the pace. If that doesn't happen, this could be another agonizing evening for the Oilers and their fans.

LINE UP

Eric Belanger aggravated his groin injury after only eight shifts, and he's headed back to the IR, however the Oilers will make the mistake of moving Ryan Smyth back to centre. He's more effective as a winger, there is no point moving him to centre. They should have called up Chris Vande Velde or Anton Lander.

Eberle and Nugent-Hopkins played pretty well last night. Taylor Hall continues to be their most dangerous forward and while the 4/93/14 trio was great together in the 3rd period they ultimately didn't produce anything. I'd keep the triple-H line together, play Eberle with RNH and slide Gagner back with Yakupov and Paajarvi.

I think Theo Peckham has gotten the message. He screwed up in December and January, by not staying in game shape, and he admits as much, but he played decent the games he dressed and after last night's struggles for the 3rd pair I'd dress Peckham tonight. However, it looks like Whitney will draw in for Fistric.

The Oilers aren't mathematically out of the playoff race, but their chances of making it are extremely low. It is inevitable they will move Whitney, so they will showcase him for the next four games, unless he gets moved earlier.

Hall/Horcoff/Hemsky
Jones/Nugent-Hopkins/Eberle
Paajarvi/Gagner/Yakupov
Brown/Smyth/Petrell

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

Khabibulin

QUICK HITS

  • I watched the replay numerous times and I still don't understand what Fistric was doing on the Mueller goal. I also am perplexed as to why Potter elected to go that far to his left. Fistric's lapse in judgement was the worst, but Potter's wasn't good either. Maybe lack of communication from rarely playing together was a factor, but it is hard to excuse that type of play.
     
  • Bad timing for Belanger to get injured. If he isn't healthy by next week, it is unlikely they can move him. A source told me they would have certainly moved him, but if his groin doesnt' heal then a deal is unlikely.
     
  • Alex Semin gets $35 million over five years. Did Jim Rutherford honestly believe someone would have paid him that on the open market?
     
  • Currently there are only two potential free agent D-men younger than Ladislav Smid, and one of them is Mark Fistric. Here is the complete list of the potential free agent D-men. If the Oilers don't re-sign him do any of these names excite you as possible replacements for him? I don't see many, if any, who play the same role as Smid and would be an upgrade moving forward. It would be foolish to not re-sign Smid.

 

  Team  Age  Cap Hit 
Aucoin, Adrian  CLB  39 $2,250,000
Gonchar, Sergei OTT  38 $5,500,000
Hamrlik, Roman  NYR  38 $3,500,000
Sutton, Andy EDM  38 $1,750,000
Visnovsky, Lubomir  NYI  36 $5,600,000
Zidlicky, Marek NJD  36 $4,000,000
Poti, Tom  WAS  36 $2,875,000
Streit, Mark NYI  35 $4,100,000
Lydman, Toni ANA  35 $3,000,000
Corvo, Joe CAR  35 $2,000,000
Wade Redden STL  35 $1,000,000
Scuderi, Rob  LAK  34 $3,400,000
Ference, Andrew  BOS  34 $2,250,000
Rozsival, Michal CHI  34 $2,000,000
Hannan, Scott  NAS  34 $1,000,000
Murray, Douglas  PIT  33 $2,500,000
Hainsey, Ron WIN  32 $4,500,000
Regehr, Robyn  BUF  32 $4,020,000
Leopold, Jordan  BUF  32 $3,000,000
Walker, Matt PHI  32 $1,700,000
Bergeron, Marc-Andre  TBL  32 $1,000,000
Alberts, Andrew  VAN  31 $1,225,000
Whitney, Ryan  EDM  30 $4,000,000
White, Ian  DET  28 $2,875,000
Babchuk, Anton  CGY  28 $2,500,000
Pardy, Adam  BUF  28 $2,000,000
O'Byrne, Ryan COL  28 $1,800,000
Lundin, Mike  OTT  28 $1,150,000
Smid, Ladislav EDM  27 $2,250,000
Clitsome, Grant WIN  27 $1,250,000
Fistric, Mark EDM  26 $1,475,000

  •  I'm curious which teams Doug Maclean thinks would offer up a 2nd rounder for Nikolai Khabibulin? Do you see a fit for him?
     
  • Would you re-sign Khabibulin to a one-year deal at $1.2 million to be the back up next year? His injury history is the major concern, and I wonder if the Oilers would want a veteran or a younger, unproven goalie to push Dubnyk.

TONIGHT....

 

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Blues are healthy and they are too big, strong and experienced for the Oilers. The Oilers lose 3-1.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Chris Stewart, Alex Steen and David Backes have their way with the Oilers all night. The Oilers aren't big enough, strong enough or skilled enough to handle them.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Some of the most dedicated and diehard Oiler fans will walk away from the TV tonight. Guys like Racki, Humantorch, Vetinari, Geoilersgist, Newj, Bucknuck, Crusty Grit, Archaeologuy, Ducey, Smokey, A-Mc, Phixieus666 and many more Nation loyalists will switch the channel. They'll end up in the fetal position questioning their sanity and wondering why they are more loyal to the Oilers than they were to any of the first few girlfriends.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
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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#1 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
March 26 2013, 01:30PM
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Friend: "Why watch?"

Me: "Maybe the Blues will take a night off..."

Friend: "And still beat us?"

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#2 BigE91
March 26 2013, 01:35PM
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Love the NSOGDP........

this team is slowly painfully driving everyone away.

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That Fistric/Potter play was horrible.

So they want to showcase Whitney, but sit him last night? Seems like last night against the Preds would've been a better game to showcase him.

I agree on Semin, even if you really like the guy how do you commit so much after 30 games? Did Semin light up the Canes when he played for WSH? Because there was no reason to give him 5 years at 7mil.

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#4 Jonathan Willis
March 26 2013, 01:38PM
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I can't imagine an NHL team being willing to swap a second round pick for Nikolai Khabibulin.

I also think the Oilers will be better off if they don't even entertain the possibility of signing him to a one-year deal.

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#5 dmac4532
March 26 2013, 01:39PM
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It would be easier to take if the effort was there. They apear lost for large parts of the game and then disapointed when their " supperior" skill for 20 minutes a game doesn't win it. At some point these kids will have to get their noses dirty.

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#6 BigE91
March 26 2013, 01:40PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

I can't imagine an NHL team being willing to swap a second round pick for Nikolai Khabibulin.

I also think the Oilers will be better off if they don't even entertain the possibility of signing him to a one-year deal.

~Still thinking three or four year pact, Jonathon?~

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#7 Miyagi Chopsticks
March 26 2013, 01:42PM
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Why would any team give up a second rounder for khabby? I don't even think teams would want him if the Oilers waived him. If your starter gets injured, he's not the answer to back stopping your team to a cup.

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#8 jzed
March 26 2013, 01:45PM
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Snag Justi, call up Harti and Toni, unleash your all Fin fourth line along with Hall-Nuge-Ebs, Parvo-Gags-Yak, Smitty-Comrade-Hemsky . Better than same old, same old....

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#9 oliveoilers
March 26 2013, 01:46PM
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Please guys, win or lose, let's just see some effort!

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#10 Marty
March 26 2013, 01:48PM
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@BigE91

Slowly??? Too much (perceived) skill and nowhere near the required heart/soul/grit/p&v/spit disturbing needed to play a man's game.

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#11 Ducey
March 26 2013, 01:48PM
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Some of the most dedicated and diehard Oiler fans will walk away from the TV tonight. Guys like Racki, Humantorch, Vetinari, Geoilersgist, Newj, Bucknuck, Crusty Grit, Archaeologuy, Ducey, Smokey, A-Mc, Phixieus666 and many more Nation loyalists will switch the channel. They'll end up in the fetal position questioning their sanity and wondering why they are more loyal to the Oilers than they were to any of the first few girlfriends.

I will be watching. I wasn't expecting them to make the playoffs this year. I take solace in the draft and next year.

Loyalty to team thru thick and thin is a sign of character.

And you can always get another girlfriend :)

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#12 northof51
March 26 2013, 01:49PM
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For the 4th consecutive year I have grown numb to the losing. I'm an Oiler fan, it's March, I expect them to lose...

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#13 Neil
March 26 2013, 01:54PM
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There is always next year, with another high draft pick, we can can have expectations of a better year again. When the expectations meet reality we will be going through the same articles for years gone by. Nothing will ever change it will be deja vu all over again.

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#14 Eddie Shore
March 26 2013, 01:58PM
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Why does Theo Peckham never play? Does anyone know? Anyone?

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#15 Bucknuck
March 26 2013, 02:00PM
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I agree with pretty much every prediction you made. My "patient fan" phase is over. I live in Canuck land and I am soooo tired of having to put up with all the comments because I have the Oilers logo prominently displayed all over my store.

It's ironic that I largely blame an ex-Canuck guy (Tambellini) for the Oilers troubles.

Say what you want about Lowe, but at least he had some balls. This "wait and see" BS is crap. Win now or GTFO.

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#16 Phixieus666
March 26 2013, 02:01PM
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Gregor

"Some of the most dedicated and diehard Oiler fans will walk away from the TV tonight. Guys like Racki, Humantorch, Vetinari, Geoilersgist, Newj, Bucknuck, Crusty Grit, Archaeologuy, Ducey, Smokey, A-Mc, Phixieus666 and many more Nation loyalists will switch the channel. They'll end up in the fetal position questioning their sanity and wondering why they are more loyal to the Oilers than they were to any of the first few girlfriends."

This is awesome and I have an answer,...cuz we can ignore, mute, and say nasty things about the oilers without repercussions. Sadly however the Oilers cause the build up of more tension as opposed to releasing it.

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#17 Supernova
March 26 2013, 02:03PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

I can't imagine an NHL team being willing to swap a second round pick for Nikolai Khabibulin.

I also think the Oilers will be better off if they don't even entertain the possibility of signing him to a one-year deal.

A team like LA could be interested if it traded Bernier for something else (Iginla ???)

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Chris Stewart, Alex Steen and David Backes have their way with the Oilers all night. The Oilers aren't big enough, strong enough or skilled enough to handle them.

Thats been the problem for a long time. Any team with Size and discipline runs the Oilers show.

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#18 ghostofberanek
March 26 2013, 02:08PM
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For the life of me, I can't understand the love for Taylor Hall. I'm very disappointed in his play this year. He makes terrible decisions in the offensive zone time after time, trying to pass through legs and split defenders with no results.

Don't get me wrong, I was as excited as anyone else when they drafted him, but in my eyes he's just not progressing. Is it just me?

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#19 Alex Mathis
March 26 2013, 02:10PM
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I agree that the Oilers can't change everything at the trade deadline or over the summer. Getting rid of some underachieving veterans is easier said than done. But don't we know this process from three years ago, dumping players like Moreau, Staios or O'Sullivan? Actually and in this case, the Oilers walk sideways or even a step back. As a result, we seriously must question the management and demand a change.

What I can't understand is why managment didn't react after some serious injuries or sthort comings at different positions, e.g. at center. I'm sure there were some possibilities, either via waiver claim oder via trade. Why is Steve Tambellini so passive and lame?

I wouldn't sign Khabby as a back-up, we have to go in another direction. If we can't find a reliable backup, why not sign a European goalie?

The problem regarding Smid is: Would the Oilers find an adequate and cheaper solution on free agency? I highly doubt.

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#20 Sanaa Montana
March 26 2013, 02:11PM
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Eddie Shore wrote:

Why does Theo Peckham never play? Does anyone know? Anyone?

He is busy paintballing.!..

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#21 Sanaa Montana
March 26 2013, 02:14PM
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ghostofberanek wrote:

For the life of me, I can't understand the love for Taylor Hall. I'm very disappointed in his play this year. He makes terrible decisions in the offensive zone time after time, trying to pass through legs and split defenders with no results.

Don't get me wrong, I was as excited as anyone else when they drafted him, but in my eyes he's just not progressing. Is it just me?

No, it is not just you. I also can not understand why he keep taking shots from the sharpest angles possible.

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#22 Phixieus666
March 26 2013, 02:14PM
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Sanaa Montana wrote:

He is busy paintballing.!..

Nope tracking down the worlds best double with extra cheese.

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#23 Sanaa Montana
March 26 2013, 02:15PM
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Are they Oilers converting Smyth to a full time centre next year? Is that why they keep sliding him in at centre any chance possible?

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#24 The Soup Fascist
March 26 2013, 02:18PM
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BigE91 wrote:

Love the NSOGDP........

this team is slowly painfully driving everyone away.

"Storage Wars" Marathon on A&E tonight. My interest has been piqued .......

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#25 Sanaa Montana
March 26 2013, 02:19PM
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Phixieus666 wrote:

Nope tracking down the worlds best double with extra cheese.

I wish he showed that kind of determination on the ice.

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#26 Jay
March 26 2013, 02:19PM
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I predict Hitchcock pumping up our tires saying how good this team is after his team beats us into submission with a 7-2 laugher.

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#27 Dallylamma
March 26 2013, 02:19PM
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I know this verges into 'What happens in the locker room stays in the locker room' territory, but has a vet (Horcoff, Smyth) or team leader (Hall, Gagner) gone off on anyone or everyone yet?

How verbal do the leaders get? I can't imagine that Gagner who has suffered an entire pro career to this point of sucking can be feeling too great about another bad year while he's putting up his best numbers.

Is the age of Messier putting guys up against the wall and telling them to get their shiot together over? If Horcoff spent an intermission smashing sticks and cussing guys out would that help or hurt at this point?

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#28 LinkfromHyrule
March 26 2013, 02:24PM
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the st louis blues are everything the oilers need to be..

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#29 Sanaa Montana
March 26 2013, 02:26PM
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Dallylamma wrote:

I know this verges into 'What happens in the locker room stays in the locker room' territory, but has a vet (Horcoff, Smyth) or team leader (Hall, Gagner) gone off on anyone or everyone yet?

How verbal do the leaders get? I can't imagine that Gagner who has suffered an entire pro career to this point of sucking can be feeling too great about another bad year while he's putting up his best numbers.

Is the age of Messier putting guys up against the wall and telling them to get their shiot together over? If Horcoff spent an intermission smashing sticks and cussing guys out would that help or hurt at this point?

it would be very hypocritical of anyone of those to try that. Hall goes out and does what he wants, shift in shift out. Gagner makes the most random passes to no one most of the night. Smyth is the slowest guy on the ice any given night.

This team is not a team, it is a bunch of individuals led by the blind.

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#30 gord962
March 26 2013, 02:28PM
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If the Blues are so much bigger, why are the Oilers not dressing their two biggest/most physical defensemen? Teddy Peckman and Fistric should be in if size is a major factor tonight.

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#31 vetinari
March 26 2013, 02:33PM
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LOL- read NSOGDP prediction twice since it caught me so off guard. Major props.

My negativity on the Oilers' current management stems from seeing the same thing tried over and over again, and expecting different results. Also, Tambellini is not a good communicator or even an average communicator; I defy anyone to tell me what the plan for the Oilers is from management's perspective at this point in time. I watch Oil Change, follow the blogs and newspaper reports, and still find myself going whattheheck?

As for player roster moves-- this is game 32 of the season or 2/3 of the way through the season. Even if the Oil start a rampage through the Western conference, so long as most of the teams ahead of them play .500 or better hockey, we're on the outside looking in again.

Khabibulin is neither a reliable option or a long term option-- take what you can get for him. Jones could be signed (my preference) or traded, without too much uproar. Smid should be made a priority and resigned quick, and even Fistric.

My preference is that the Oil target cash strapped teams with decent but slightly overpaid vets and swap some of our vets or our affordable AHL'ers (like Hamilton and Plante) for them. We need NHL proven help-- not NHL ready help.

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#32 K
March 26 2013, 02:33PM
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No desire, no work ethic. The only desire this team has is for collecting pay cheques. Am sure we could all remain patient if they worked hard & lost, but relying on skill or talent alone will never get more W's than L's.

I will never understand the no work ethic aspect - why aren't they ready to play at the drop of the puck? Why don't they play a full 60 minutes?

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#33 OilDieHard
March 26 2013, 02:34PM
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another Oiler game and another loss...

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#34 50 in 39
March 26 2013, 02:36PM
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ghostofberanek wrote:

For the life of me, I can't understand the love for Taylor Hall. I'm very disappointed in his play this year. He makes terrible decisions in the offensive zone time after time, trying to pass through legs and split defenders with no results.

Don't get me wrong, I was as excited as anyone else when they drafted him, but in my eyes he's just not progressing. Is it just me?

I just about lost my mind when he tried to toe drag around Weber last night. You finally have posession in the offensive zone and are in a shooting position. Yep, perfect time to try to toe drag around Weber and provide the Predators with a quick counter-attack.

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#35 geoilersgist
March 26 2013, 02:36PM
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I've already stopped watching most of the games. Its less painful to just watch the 5min of hightlights than 60min of pure torture*

*tonights agenda is getting my legs waxed**

**it is less painful than watching the game

#omarksadface

I wouldn't mind seeing Teddy get thrown on the 4th line. It's working in San Jose why not give it a try to shake things up and get him some ice time.

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#36 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
March 26 2013, 02:37PM
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What ails the Oilers....

Has to be the fact that most of these veterans are collectively worth diddly squat. If it wasn't for those imbeciles in management they probably wouldn't have jobs.

The Oilers certainly won't be the better team tonight with captain spongebob centering the first line. You know you're in trouble when you trot out the damage control line against a near .500 hockey club like the Blues. The beauty of Tankage in action.

4-zip St.Louis.

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#37 Ducey
March 26 2013, 02:38PM
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ghostofberanek wrote:

For the life of me, I can't understand the love for Taylor Hall. I'm very disappointed in his play this year. He makes terrible decisions in the offensive zone time after time, trying to pass through legs and split defenders with no results.

Don't get me wrong, I was as excited as anyone else when they drafted him, but in my eyes he's just not progressing. Is it just me?

Hall is tied for 35th in the league in points, despite playing fewer games than most others.

He is tied with Patrice Bergeron, Zach Parise, Corey Perry, Ilya Kovalchuk, Brad Boyes, and Daniel Sedin. Thats good company.

He is also a Corsi machine. He is about 35th in shots taken.

He HAS progressed into one of the top 30 wingers in the game.

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#38 Eddie Shore
March 26 2013, 02:40PM
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Eddie Shore wrote:

Why does Theo Peckham never play? Does anyone know? Anyone?

Gregor? Brownlee?

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#39 Dallylamma
March 26 2013, 02:41PM
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Sanaa Montana wrote:

it would be very hypocritical of anyone of those to try that. Hall goes out and does what he wants, shift in shift out. Gagner makes the most random passes to no one most of the night. Smyth is the slowest guy on the ice any given night.

This team is not a team, it is a bunch of individuals led by the blind.

Well maybe they need to bring in some of the scary old men from year's past for a little motivational speaking session. Bobby Clarke might be a good place to start...

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#40 French Toast Mafia
March 26 2013, 02:42PM
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The only thing that made that last home game in any way fun was hearing some of the comments drunk fans threw out at the bums running this organization.

It's also funny that guys that have put away 8 Rexall beers still know that there is no way the Oilers ever should have signed Smyth for 2 years yet our management struggles with that evaluation.

Or that Belanger is a bum, or our team doesn't work hard enough, or that if we lose a center to injury Smyth or Petrell have to step in. It's a joke.

Say what you want about patience and rebuilding but my Grandma could look at this roster at the start of the season and know that you should probably try and do something about the massive holes in the roster if you want to get better. You can't just go on development of kids. They need more support.

Our management blows.

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#41 French Toast Mafia
March 26 2013, 02:46PM
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ghostofberanek wrote:

For the life of me, I can't understand the love for Taylor Hall. I'm very disappointed in his play this year. He makes terrible decisions in the offensive zone time after time, trying to pass through legs and split defenders with no results.

Don't get me wrong, I was as excited as anyone else when they drafted him, but in my eyes he's just not progressing. Is it just me?

Gotta disagree there. Hall has progressed a lot in my eyes and is by far the the best player on this club. Say what you want about him falling or making a bad pass but he creates more chances than anyone and puts up the numbers to support it even with some bad shooting percentages this year.

Put him on a line with Bergeron and Marchand, with Chara and Seidenberg on D and people would be talking about him as a top player in the league I think.

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#42 Butters
March 26 2013, 02:51PM
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I hate the Oilers right now just as much as any die-hard Oilers fan, but I will be watching tonight nonetheless. I will still cheer for this squad, because when our day comes, and it will come, I will have one of the best seats on the bandwagon. (I will save a spot for DSF, our prodigal son) Bring the Scotch DSF, thanks.

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#43 Sanaa Montana
March 26 2013, 02:59PM
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Ducey wrote:

Hall is tied for 35th in the league in points, despite playing fewer games than most others.

He is tied with Patrice Bergeron, Zach Parise, Corey Perry, Ilya Kovalchuk, Brad Boyes, and Daniel Sedin. Thats good company.

He is also a Corsi machine. He is about 35th in shots taken.

He HAS progressed into one of the top 30 wingers in the game.

Top 30 winger on the Top 30 team.

110th in scoring.

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#44 GVBlackhawk
March 26 2013, 03:00PM
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ghostofberanek wrote:

For the life of me, I can't understand the love for Taylor Hall. I'm very disappointed in his play this year. He makes terrible decisions in the offensive zone time after time, trying to pass through legs and split defenders with no results.

Don't get me wrong, I was as excited as anyone else when they drafted him, but in my eyes he's just not progressing. Is it just me?

Criticize the guy who is providing some modicum of offense and pressure.

Ignore the guys who don't provide any offense 5v5: Ryan Jones, Eric Belanger, Lennart Petrell, Mike Brown.

Ignore the putrid defense.

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#45 ghostofberanek
March 26 2013, 03:00PM
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@French Toast Mafia

I do see him creating chances, but about 70% of the time he just throws it away with a play that has no chance of working. Last night he tried to pass between a Preds d-mans legs. The d-man was 40 feet away! How about a far side, low shot for a rebound? (that doesn't miss the net for a change) I know the game isn't as simple as it looks on TV, but that's pretty basic stuff.

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#46 ghostofberanek
March 26 2013, 03:05PM
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GVBlackhawk wrote:

Criticize the guy who is providing some modicum of offense and pressure.

Ignore the guys who don't provide any offense 5v5: Ryan Jones, Eric Belanger, Lennart Petrell, Mike Brown.

Ignore the putrid defense.

The difference is, I actually expect Hall (a first overall pick) to provide some production, not just "pressure". The putrid defence is just that, I happen to like what Petrell, Jones and Brown have done (for the most part), and who expected Belanger to do anything at all this year?

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#47 GVBlackhawk
March 26 2013, 03:07PM
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Gregor,

I do not agree that the Blues were too big for the Oilers or that the Oilers couldn't handle the size of the Blues.

The Oilers did not play with any desire or effort that last game versus St.Louis. They would have lost to a team of dwarves playing that way.

Additionally, it was St.Louis's forecheck that the Oilers had problems with, not necessarily the size of their players.

TJ Oshie, who is not a big player, made the Oilers look foolish. He was skating hard and playing smart -- something the little Oilers could do and have some success.

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#48 GVBlackhawk
March 26 2013, 03:12PM
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ghostofberanek wrote:

The difference is, I actually expect Hall (a first overall pick) to provide some production, not just "pressure". The putrid defence is just that, I happen to like what Petrell, Jones and Brown have done (for the most part), and who expected Belanger to do anything at all this year?

But Hall IS providing production...even with poor puck luck and an astonishingly low shooting percentage. He is set for regression in that department and his production will climb even higher.

Pressure is important. Pressure leads to shots, leads to scoring chances, leads to goals, leads to wins. Simple really.

My point was that Hall is the LEAST of the problems. Please direct your ire towards management for not addressing the lack of depth at center (or bottom 6) and the AHL level defense corps.

Teams need secondary scoring to be successful -- the Oilers have none.

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#49 Eulers
March 26 2013, 03:12PM
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Awww...

Cheer up, chums!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmENMZFUU_0

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#50 ghostofberanek
March 26 2013, 03:18PM
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GVBlackhawk wrote:

Gregor,

I do not agree that the Blues were too big for the Oilers or that the Oilers couldn't handle the size of the Blues.

The Oilers did not play with any desire or effort that last game versus St.Louis. They would have lost to a team of dwarves playing that way.

Additionally, it was St.Louis's forecheck that the Oilers had problems with, not necessarily the size of their players.

TJ Oshie, who is not a big player, made the Oilers look foolish. He was skating hard and playing smart -- something the little Oilers could do and have some success.

I absolutely agree with this. Even the smaller Blues were having their way with the Oilers in that game. Size is overrated, they need to show some heart.

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