GDB 23.0: A DATE IN DETROIT

Jason Gregor
March 07 2013 01:15PM

The Oilers skate into Detroit hoping to match the effort they played with last Thursday in Dallas. Over the last 18 years the Stars owned the Oilers, but the Oilers dominated them last week, and tonight they face a Wings team they've only beaten 24 times in their last 73 meetings.

Can they slay the dragon for the second Thursday in a row?

It will be a daunting task, but few people expected the Oilers to get a point in Chicago and two in Dallas, and that's exactly why we will all be watching tonight.

LINE UP

Hall/Nugent-Hopkins/Hemsky
Paajarvi/Gagner/Eberle
Smyth/Belanger/Yakupov
Jones/Vande Velde/Brown

The top lines stay the same, while Chris Vande Velde draws in and Ben Eager takes a seat in the press box. Krueger stated this morning the need to get all four lines going, but realistically I think he'd settle for getting two going.

If you are wondering why Eager is out, and why the Oilers acquired Brown, take a look at these sobering numbers that Micheal Parkatti graciously sent me when I asked for them. Parkatti does a recap of every game at boysonthebus.com 

Name While on ice Game 1 Game 11 12 13 G14 G 15 G 16 G 17 G18 G 19 G 20 G 21 G 22 Totals
Eager Shots Attempts For 6 6 2 1 13 9 9 14 4 7 5 1 9 86
Eager Shots Attempts Against 14 11 5 12 12 13 11 12 12 15 23 13 11 164
Eager Net Shot Attempts -8 -5 -3 -11 1 -4 -2 2 -8 -8 -18 -12 -2 -78
Team Net Shot Attempts 0 -16 -19 -4 25 -31 -3 2 -37 -17 -19 -8 -7 -134

The percent of net differential while Eager is on the ice is a mind-blowing 58%.

For non-believers of Corsi, that is incredibly high considering how little time he spends on the ice. Keep in mind that includes all shots attempts; shots on goal, blocked shots and shots that missed the net.

Someone might look at Eager's +/- and suggest he's only -4, but that is in 13 games with only 9:36 of TOI/game. Either way you slice it, it is brutal. And it explains why the Oilers added Brown. Brown isn't perfect either, but he hasn't been a defensive liability along the lines of Eager, and his reputation suggests he's more consistent in his physical play.

I want to be clear that Eager isn't the reason the Oilers are losing, but obviously he isn't pulling his weight. Krueger will be looking for more consistency out of his 4th line and hopefully some production. Jones has proven in the past he can score in limited minutes, so we'll see if he can produce on the 4th line.

Realistically if the Oilers are going to win tonight, their top two lines need to be good, and their PP needs to awaken from its recent slumber. They are 3 for 25 in their last 7 games, and in the three games where they scored a PP goal they won twice and lost in OT.

The Oilers lack of finish with the man advantage in Columbus cost them a point. If they score on that 4-on-3, they win and Eberle had two glorious chances. We all saw his reaction after he couldn't lift the puck over Bobrovsky's pads, but that is a shot Eberle has to make. Ideally you don't want all the pressure to win on the shoulders of your young players, but that's how it is in Edmonton and I guarantee you Eberle is livid he didn't score in OT.

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

Petry has three goals and five points in the first five games of the road trip. He's had some luck by just putting pucks on net, and you wonder if his teammates follow suit. Whitney has two goals in the last three games and he's been much more involved offensively. The good news for the Oilers is that they are finally getting some production from their blueline.

Dubnyk

He is 2-0-1 with a 2.47 GAA and 0.931 SV% vs. Detroit. Yes, it is a small sample size, but he's got 5 of 6 points in his career v. Detroit. In fact, all three games have gone to OT. He's 1-1 in OT and 1-0 in the SO. His only start in Detroit he stopped 42 of 44 shots on March 11th, 2011.

QUICK HITS

  • Watched the entire Chicago/Colorado game last night. The Hawks are entertaining to watch regardless of who they play. They push the pace the entire game. They never sit back, and Toews has to be amongst top-five centres, if not higher, in the game. Very complete player.
     
  • If Patrick Sharp is out for any extended period of time, that would be a huge blow for them. He left midway through the 3rd favouring his shoulder. He'll miss some games, just not sure how many according to Quenneville.
     
  • If the Oilers continue their trend of turning the puck over at the offensive blueline, the Wings will dominate territorially and on shot attempts. Datsyuk is the best in the league at creating turnovers so the Oilers need to be smart with the puck.
     
  • Might only interest me, but in the limited games he's played Chris Vande Velde has faced the 5th toughest competition amongst Oiler forwards. And really it is 4th because he didn't play when Horcoff was in the lineup.

JUST BECAUSE

 

GAME DAY PREDICTION: Just when you think the Oilers are done, they surprise you with an effort like tonight. 3-2 win.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Datsyuk will have you sitting in awe at least once with one of his "sick" dangles.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Tootoo Train and Moustache Mayhem will collide at centre ice for one of the best hits of the season. The great part is that neither one will have had the puck, and neither fanbase will know who initiated the contact.

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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#51 DSF
March 07 2013, 05:53PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Okay, okay........okay, i got one.

After many hours of reseach, i've come up with a decent trade proposal. Ryan Jones and Linus Omark to Anahiem, in exchange for 21 minute and night +13 d'man Sheldon Souray......since the Oilers are still paying him anyways?

You should see his Corsi Rel!

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#52 The Other Ron Burgundy
March 07 2013, 06:29PM
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I'm a Scientist! wrote:

God I love her. That is all.

Who is her?

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#53 steelymac
March 07 2013, 06:50PM
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Rumour has it Detroit has interest in Whitney.If thats the case we need TOOTOO the guy is a prick out there and we need some of that.A Eager Tootoo Brown could be tough to play against.Your thought DSF cause your sure to have one.

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#54 Oilersfan4
March 07 2013, 07:18PM
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Plain and simple, the Oilers are brutal

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#55 m3sh
March 07 2013, 07:20PM
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I am growing so tired of watching this team. Struggling to find any real differences to last year's team - not surprising since it's pretty much the same roster. But still.

Another second period of no compete.

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#56 Shaun Doe
March 07 2013, 07:38PM
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I have to wonder what it would take for the Oilers to board leave Michigan with one of Abdelkader, Miller or Helm. Could we dare to dream?

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#57 pelhem grenville
March 07 2013, 08:07PM
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...is there a link to watch? & should I ?

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#58 vetinari
March 07 2013, 08:09PM
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pelhem grenville wrote:

...is there a link to watch? & should I ?

There may be one... but no... definitely no... save yourself the time and trouble. It's on SportsNet West and it's time I'll never have back again...

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#59 Poolanov
March 07 2013, 08:12PM
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Looks like a case of bad puck luck tonight, we really don't look that bad

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#60 Butters
March 07 2013, 08:18PM
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This BLPH is making barf.

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#61 OILERSORDEATH
March 07 2013, 08:18PM
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Holy cow 0 goals for our Oil! Shocking!!!

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#62 Butters
March 07 2013, 08:19PM
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I mean, this BLPH is making me barf.

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#63 moe
March 07 2013, 08:21PM
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SO im gonna throw it out there ! we loose next game there will be a coach change. I can't even get mad anymore i just expect a weak effort every night . Maybe these bums should move to seattle. All they bring too edmonton is shame . !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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#64 pelhem grenville
March 07 2013, 08:25PM
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...mercifully its all but over 2 zip...no highpowered offence tonite?

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#65 MOe
March 07 2013, 08:25PM
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Kruger is fire for sure. RuFF RUFF RUFF RUFF

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#66 Harlie
March 07 2013, 08:26PM
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Lottery, lottery....I declare a lottery.

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#67 vetinari
March 07 2013, 08:27PM
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Final - Wings 3 Oilers 0

Thank god we traded for Mike Brown and fixed our fourth line because it made ALL the difference in the world, Tambellini...

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#68 Quintana
March 07 2013, 08:31PM
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Krueger has to go!!! now.

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#69 David S
March 07 2013, 08:36PM
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Quintana wrote:

Krueger has to go!!! now.

C'mon dude. It's not Krueger. Take a look at our roster compared to the Wings. Buncha young guys and scrubs on the bottom 6 for us.

Wings? SLIGHTLY better.

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#70 Serious Gord
March 07 2013, 08:37PM
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"she" is Megan (ahem) Fox.

...

"Gazing up into the darkness I saw myself as a creature driven and derided by vanity; and my eyes burned with anguish and anger."

James Joyce - Araby. It applies to the above and what follows below... ... With the loss tonight we drop to 14th and have an approximate .408 record.

another game where the oil loss occurred regardless of the team's makeup - it was the quality of the effort.

And it's hard to see how they pull out of this funk without a major change.

And the only change that makes sense is the coach...

And it is ridiculous to do that without removing the GM - especially if the GM is going to be removed in the off season. The New GM should be the guy who picks the coach.

And looking for a GM in mid-season means you are picking from a fairly limited list as most employable GMs are... employed right now.

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#71 The Dude
March 07 2013, 08:37PM
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Fricken Quintana....that creep can roll, man.

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#72 Newj
March 07 2013, 08:38PM
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I thought Yak had a decent effort/game, but he doesn't get the opportunity to be on ice when they pulled the goalie?

I dunno....just getting very frustated by the lack of juggling line-ups to maybe try to find something that clicks or some chemistry.

Same old. Same old.

Quicksilver had a few interesting line combinations.

Do something different... PLEEEASE.

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#73 Tiredofthis
March 07 2013, 08:44PM
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GOOD BYE, NOT WATCHING THIS CRAP ANYMORE. OVER 20 YEARS OF MEDIOCRITY, WITH A SPLASH OF SUCCESS THROWN IN IN 2006. OWNERSHIP IN EITHER CITY DOESN'T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT THE FAN AS THEY KNOW EACH BUILDING WILL SELL OUT NO MATTER WHAT. THE 80'S IN ALBERTA WERE TERRIFIC WITH EDMONTON AND CALGARY DOMINATING THE CUP FINALS. HOWEVER SINCE THEN SQUAT. AND VISITING THIS SITE AND FLAMES NATION IS LIKE WATCHING TWO CHIHUAHUA'S EACH CLAIM TO BE THE BIGGER DOG.

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#74 serious gord
March 07 2013, 08:48PM
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The Dude wrote:

Fricken Quintana....that creep can roll, man.

He's a pederast dude...

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#75 GVBlackhawk
March 07 2013, 08:49PM
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steelymac wrote:

Rumour has it Detroit has interest in Whitney.If thats the case we need TOOTOO the guy is a prick out there and we need some of that.A Eager Tootoo Brown could be tough to play against.Your thought DSF cause your sure to have one.

Eager-Tootoo-Brown would be a bad AHL line.

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#76 GVBlackhawk
March 07 2013, 08:52PM
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Quintana wrote:

Krueger has to go!!! now.

Yes, blame another coach. Don't focus your blame on the management.

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#77 GVBlackhawk
March 07 2013, 08:55PM
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Poolanov wrote:

Looks like a case of bad puck luck tonight, we really don't look that bad

Bad puck luck? Have a look at shots on goal, attempted shots on goal, and scoring chances. All heavily favour the Red Wings. Take off the Oiler goggles. They sucked again.

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#78 DSF
March 07 2013, 09:02PM
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Newj wrote:

I thought Yak had a decent effort/game, but he doesn't get the opportunity to be on ice when they pulled the goalie?

I dunno....just getting very frustated by the lack of juggling line-ups to maybe try to find something that clicks or some chemistry.

Same old. Same old.

Quicksilver had a few interesting line combinations.

Do something different... PLEEEASE.

Good grief...the Wings scored 2 even strength goals (not counting EN) and Yakupov was on the ice for both of them.

Kid can't play.

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#79 The Dude
March 07 2013, 09:02PM
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serious gord wrote:

He's a pederast dude...

Come on, man. I had a rough night and I hate the fricken' Eagles, man!

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#80 DSF
March 07 2013, 09:02PM
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GVBlackhawk wrote:

Eager-Tootoo-Brown would be a bad AHL line.

This.

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#81 Quicksilver ballet
March 07 2013, 09:04PM
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Wooo Hoooo!

2 pts out of deadlast boys, and one step closer to Jones or Drouin. Last place is a lock by the time these boys come home. Be great to see the Fire Lowe and Tambo chants reach a feverish pitch next week. Lets not be hating on the players.

Then finally, all of our wildest dreams will come true!

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#82 Newj
March 07 2013, 09:14PM
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DSF wrote:

Good grief...the Wings scored 2 even strength goals (not counting EN) and Yakupov was on the ice for both of them.

Kid can't play.

That's an astute assessment. Trade him for a bag of pucks then.

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#83 master of my domain
March 07 2013, 09:16PM
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the draft is more exiting than playoffs anyways

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#84 dougtheslug
March 07 2013, 09:17PM
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The Dude wrote:

Fricken Quintana....that creep can roll, man.

8 year olds, Dude

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#85 DSF
March 07 2013, 09:19PM
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Newj wrote:

That's an astute assessment. Trade him for a bag of pucks then.

No.

He has a lot of raw skill.

It's too late to send him back to junior and he can't play in the AHL because of his age so he'd better start next season in the AHL learning how to be a professional hockey player.

See Nazem Kadri (11G 14A 25P +12) for reference.

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#86 R-DAWG
March 07 2013, 09:20PM
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Well, now there are 3 things for sure in life. Death, Taxes, and my Oilers sucking hard! I hate being an Oilers fan!!

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#87 Romanus
March 07 2013, 09:21PM
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master of my domain wrote:

the draft is more exiting than playoffs anyways

We are building a dynasty in draft wins. Lets see if we can go 4 in a row. We can raise the banners at the start of next season.

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#88 keilan
March 07 2013, 09:24PM
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How long before Mike Brown stops hitting and begins playing like the rest of these stiffs?

Ryan Smyth needs to retire tonight. Make up any excuse at all and save some face. No Oiler in their history has been given more love and money and given back so little.

No try, no compete, no heart, no leadership, can't skate, can't pass, can't shoot. My all-time most un-favorite Oiler.

I hated that he was brought back at the time and voiced it. Guys jumped all over everything I wrote here because they don't understand anything about assessing talent.

I expected this team to finish 12th in the west but that could very easily be a lot worse. It's how they lose that is killing me......

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#89 2004Z06
March 07 2013, 09:28PM
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Megan Fox? Not even close! Try good ol Canadian Evangeline Lily. Not worth commenting on the game tonight.

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#90 Walter Sobchak
March 07 2013, 09:35PM
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DSF wrote:

Good grief...the Wings scored 2 even strength goals (not counting EN) and Yakupov was on the ice for both of them.

Kid can't play.

Both times was Belangers man, not even in the vicinity of Yakupov.

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#91 Walter Sobchak
March 07 2013, 09:37PM
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MOe wrote:

Kruger is fire for sure. RuFF RUFF RUFF RUFF

That's what your sister said!

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#92 dougtheslug
March 07 2013, 09:40PM
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"I don't care how shiny your Stanley Cup ring is Dean Lombardi, I wouldn't trade my three 1st overall draft rings for anything.' "(Steve Tambellini@ Fake Oilers GM on Twitter)

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#93 DSF
March 07 2013, 09:40PM
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@Walter Sobchak

So, did Yakupov produce enough offence to overcome the defensive deficiencies of his line?

No. No he didn't.

He can't help on defence and he doesn't score enough to compensate.

That's not an NHL player.

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#94 Naky
March 07 2013, 09:41PM
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This team is so comfortable with their losing culture that it's sickening. It's obvious how comfortable they are with it in how they play each and every game with a lack of passion, consistency, and anything remotely resembling heart. The words they say afterwards and the pouty faces they make may say otherwise, but deep down they simply have to be comfortable with it or they'd have truly done something about it by now. 'Cuz hey, the bank account's still pretty sweet whether you win or lose right?

I have to say one thing though - this constant problem of lack of 5 on 5 scoring isn't just bad luck by now, twenty something games into a 48 game season. It's either a flawed system implemented by Krueger that opposing coaches have figured out and completely adjusted for or a bunch of players who are completely ignoring the system to do their own thing. In either situation, this bodes ill for a rookie NHL coach whose team is not nearly living up to even low expectations.

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#95 Chaz
March 07 2013, 09:41PM
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Not blaming Dubnyk for the loss as that would be silly seeing that we didn't score, but letting in that first goal really deflated the team. They were playing well up until then I thought and that brutal goal seemed to take the wind out of their sails. It's obviously more than goal tending, but he's let in way too many weak goals this year to convince me he's an NHL starter. We keep saying to play him to see what we've got. Well so far, it's not a starting NHL goalie in my mind.

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#96 ShakyDS
March 07 2013, 09:45PM
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I would love if someone would find the ratio of scoring chances vs turnovers on Oiler drop passes....I have a pretty good idea which is greater

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#97 Hammers
March 07 2013, 09:48PM
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Sorry Chaz but Dubbie isn't the main problem . 1st Management 2nd coach who may be a great motivational speaker but his system isn't working 3rd 3 decent "D" 4th weak down the middle, need a center.

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#98 Walter Sobchak
March 07 2013, 09:49PM
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@DSF

Not playing him on the PP sure doesn't help! Playing him with the likes of Belanger and Vandevelde does nothing as well.

The kid needs to be coached better. Period.

This just occurred to me, why the Frick did Krueger have him on the ice during a defensive zone draw when the Wings were 80+% on draws?

Flabbergasted

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#99 Jakethesname
March 07 2013, 09:50PM
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Complete joke this whole team. Even Hall doesn't give a F anymore. What a fn joke

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#100 DSF
March 07 2013, 09:52PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

Not playing him on the PP sure doesn't help! Playing him with the likes of Belanger and Vandevelde does nothing as well.

The kid needs to be coached better. Period.

This just occurred to me, why the Frick did Krueger have him on the ice during a defensive zone draw when the Wings were 80+% on draws?

Flabbergasted

Playing him on the PP might inflate his numbers but it certainly won't compensate for his dreadful 5V5 performance.

I agree he needs to be coached but throwing him into the deep end in the NHL is a huge mistake.

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