NASHVILLE: DOUBLE FISTING FRIDAY

Jason Gregor
March 08 2013 12:15PM

*We encourage everyone to drink responsibly.*

Friday is one of the best days of week. The work week is over, you look forward to a few days off and you've usually got something planned. Most of you will watch tonight's game in Nashville despite how frustrated you were watching last night's game in Detroit.

That's what Oiler fans do. You're a veteran when it comes to dealing with hockey disappointment. You loathe the feeling, yet you still show up and watch the next game. Despite this seemingly endless cycle of losing, you still find the strength and courage to watch your beloved Oilers.

You went to bed last night with the intention to do anything but watch the Oiler game tonight. However, just like when you know that extra shooter at 1 a.m. will make you feel worse in the morning, you just can't say no, and tonight you will hunker down and watch the Oilers battle the Predators.

Don't worry you aren't alone. Thousands of Oiler fans feel the exact same way, and if you want company to drown your sorrows you'll find hundreds of Oiler fans watching at the Pint off Whyte tonight.

LINEUP

At this point does it really matter? Just ice 18 skaters who will play smart and with the intensity and passion necessary to compete in the NHL.

Ales Hemsky will be a game time decision after being hit by a puck last night. If he can't go Lennart Petrell or Ben Eager draw in. Not a great trade off.

Also Chris Vande Velde has been sent down to OKC, which is a bit odd considering Shawn Horcoff isn't ready yet. Moving Smyth back to C, where he has to skate more, on back-to-back nights is a tad perplexing.

This team's "Give-A-Crap" meter needs to increase, so who plays where is secondary.

Devan Dubnyk is a better goalie than Yann Danis. Dubnyk can handle playing back-to-back and on paper he gives them the best chance to win, which is why he'll start tonight. Many didn't like the first goal last night, and I can respect that, but until the Oilers produce some offence it is hard to blame the goalie.

It might not be fair, but Dubnyk has to stand on his head until the Oilers score the first goal of the game. If they score first they will have a chance.

QUICK HITS

Some have suggested that hitting can impact the outcome of games and some say it doesn't. 

It is hard to argue either side with any accuracy, since the statisticians/hit counters from building to building all judge a hit differently, but that is all we have to go on so let's take a close look at the Oilers record when they out hit the opposition and when they get out hit.

I didn't include the four games that went to SO, since winning or losing that way isn't "real" hockey. The Oilers went 2-2 in shootout.

Let's start with games the Oilers get out shot, but they out hit the opposition. 

Location Dec  Opp  GF  GA  SF  SA  HF HA
Road L MIN 2 4 21 43 16 15
Road L CGY 3 4 20 35 19 14
Road O CHI 2 3 19 34 42 29
Road W CBJ 3 1 14 40 26 13
Road L DET 3 0 22 28 26 15

Not great. They are 1-3-1 and the only win came when Devan Dubnyk was outstanding.

Here are games where the Oilers have out hit the opposition, but this time they out shot them or were tied in shots. Tied in shots or hits only happened once, so I chose to keep it in. 

Location Dec  Opp  GF  GA  SF  SA  HF HA
Home L DAL 1 4 36 29 26 25
Road W DAL 5 1 38 34 29 28
Home W COL 6 4 56 29 34 33
Home L MIN 3 1 28 28 34 19

Oilers went 2-2. What is interesting is that in the nine games the Oilers have out hit the opposition 6 came on the road and 3 came at home. Tyler Dellow wrote an article that illustrated how across the league the home building usually marks hits in favour of the home team, but so far this year that isn't the case with the Oilers.

In total the Oilers are 3-5-1 in games where they've out hit the opposition.

Here is the Oilers record when they've been out hit and out shot. 

Location Dec  Opp  GF  GA  SF  SA  HF HA
Road L STL 2 4 17 30 16 27
Home L LAK 1 3 24 38 17 32
Road L DET 1 2 24 30 14 24
Road L COL 1 3 26 40 16 25
Home L SJS 3 6 29 31 11 13
Home O VAN 2 3 25 40 17 19
Road W PHX 2 1 21 28 24 44
Home W COL 4 1 27 38 25 26

The Oilers are 2-5-1 and not surprisingly these games were some of their worst efforts of the season.

Lastly, here is the Oilers record in games they've been out hit, but out shot the opposition.

Home W LAK 2 1 39 31 12 18
Home O DAL 2 3 29 28 10 12

The Oilers went 1-0-1. Also of note they were out hit in 6 home games and 4 road games. When you consider Dellow's article about home bias, it means either the Oilers stats guys call it as they see it, or they used their bias just to make it look close. Likely the former.

TOTALS

The Oilers are 3-5-1 when they've out hit the opposition and are 3-5-2 when they've been out hit. Basically they have the same record whether they out hit a team or get out hit. They lose either way, which is the most concerning.

I don't believe the majority of hits have a direct factor in the outcome of most games, the odd big hit that leads directly to a goal can, but most are used to hopefully wear down the opposition or make them rush a pass that could lead to a scoring chance.

When I suggest the Oilers need to be grittier and tougher it isn't just about hits, far from it actually. I've never said they just need a guy who can hit. I wrote yesterday why I think they added Mike Brown, because he'll be an improvement over Ben Eager. Brown won't be taking minutes away from more "skilled" players.

Make no mistake, when I talk about the need for grit and toughness it is more about a dedication to out working the opposition. Stop turning the puck over at the offensive blueline (mental toughness), don't be afraid to take the puck to the net and win more one-on-one battles. Some of those battles will involve body contact, but many  will just be a flat out battle to get the puck. The Oilers need to start winning more of them and start playing smarter.

The bigger concern for the Oilers is their inability to get shots on net. Not surprisingly the Oilers are 2-8-2 when they've been out shot and 3-2-1 when they've outshot the opposition. Again, just using shot totals as the main factor in losses would be deceiving as well, but it does give you an indication of how the game will end.

Take last night for instance. The Oilers were outshot 28-22 which doesn't look awful, but David Staples had the scoring chances were 22 to 6. That's brutal.

Either way the Oilers need to improve many aspects of their game, but suggesting that hitting hurts the Oilers is misleading. They have much bigger concerns that if they are hitting too much.

POSITIVE FRIDAY

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The good news is that the Oilers can't possibly play worse than they did last night, and last year they crushed the Predators 6-2 and 6-3 in Nashville. I see a better effort, but it results in a 3-2 SO loss.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The sight of Adrianna Lima gets you in a better mood. Sometimes you just need some "Lima-Time." With Horcoff's return getting closer, many will say how much the team misses him. Of course this means the end of the world is coming, but at leat you got to see Lima one more time.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Lima will read this post and send me a tweet thanking me for the support. She also offers to mail 100 Nation readers a never-been-seen-before-behind-the-scenes calender of her most recent photo shoot if the Oilers win. Just when you thought a loss couldn't hurt anymore than it does now.... 

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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#151 Ole
March 08 2013, 08:45PM
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I think I might actually be pissed off if the oil beet Chicago next game and break the streak. And I'm a diehard oilers fan.

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#152 Paul
March 08 2013, 08:46PM
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Crispy wrote:

1990

Hahaha good point! Well that and 2006 playoffs I guess.

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#153 geeker99
March 08 2013, 08:47PM
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vetinari wrote:

His job is meaningless if the players around who are paid to score, don't, and the goalies can't stop a volleyball. You don't get a car moving by changing its spare tire... you gotta be where the rubber hits the road.

Yeah no argument there, he is an upgrade on hordi but it doesn't matter when the top 2 lines can't score. Something big has to happen to shake this mess up. Oh wait Horcoff should be back soon.

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#154 Paul
March 08 2013, 08:48PM
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Dennis wrote:

I appreciate the effort, however I think it will end up being completely pointless.

I tried.

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#155 Spydyr
March 08 2013, 08:50PM
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Ole wrote:

I think I might actually be pissed off if the oil beet Chicago next game and break the streak. And I'm a diehard oilers fan.

Beet them?

How do you do that feed them too much Borscht so they can't even skate?

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#156 Mike Krushelnyski
March 08 2013, 08:52PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Beet them?

How do you do that feed them too much Borscht so they can't even skate?

There are not enough beets in the world. They'd be all "thanks for the borscht losers" while scoring and dropping beet farts in our faces.

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#157 Dennis
March 08 2013, 08:52PM
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Well, that was a kick in the pills...again. I'm out. Might as well go drown my sorrows with some beers. Night all.

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#158 HOFFFF
March 08 2013, 08:53PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Beet them?

How do you do that feed them too much Borscht so they can't even skate?

Av's are making Borscht out of them right now....

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#159 Spydyr
March 08 2013, 08:54PM
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Dennis wrote:

Well, that was a kick in the pills...again. I'm out. Might as well go drown my sorrows with some beers. Night all.

You have some catching up to do.Enjoy.

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#160 Nuge-Nukem
March 08 2013, 08:54PM
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Lochenzo wrote:

They need Patchs O'Hollihan to throw wrenches at them during practice. "You gotta get angry! You gotta get mean!"

just dont say that to devon dubnyk.

"if you can dodge a wrench u can dodge a puck" although it did look like dubey was playing a good ole game of dodge puck.

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#161 Kevin
March 08 2013, 08:55PM
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By the end of the weekend Tambo and Lowe should have another last place team.....this calls for a news conference Monday where they announce signing of nuge to a 30 million contract extension. Tambo states the importance of securing the core group for the future while he still assesses the team.

BTW- I'm watching the Avs and would take their roster over the Oilers any day of the week.

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#162 Newj
March 08 2013, 08:58PM
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@vetinari

With the greatest of respect, blow me? Awesome oxymoron!

I was thinking the guy was referring to all the recent Oiler wannabes ready to abandon ship.

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#163 TonyT
March 08 2013, 08:58PM
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Am I the only one who is beginning to think that if we (the fans) are this pissed off, how pissed off are the players with the organization. For example, last year Tambellini says playoffs are a real goal and after the season Lowe goes out and publicly states that the playoffs were not a goal. If I were a player knowing that management didn't expect (let alone think) they could win would absolutely eat at me... #FTNF #Souray

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#164 Naky
March 08 2013, 08:58PM
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Anyone else remember when Krueger said that this team would be a team with high octane offense that would compete hard every night?

Yeah.

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#165 Oilers4ever
March 08 2013, 09:00PM
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Any other morons who think this Oilers team is good... Top line pushed around with no energy.. Ryan Whitney shows again why he has no business being on the ice.. Dubnyk showing again why he isn't the starter this team needs.. Center ice and in.. really.. I could have stopped that shot and I only play net in ball hockey for god's sake.

This teams sucks monkey's balls. No energy, no drive, no desire... even Hallsy had no drive tonight. This team needs a shake up... starting with the GM.. Fire his arse and get someone in here who will then actually do something to shake the team up cuz Namby Pamby will never do a damn thing.

Ridiculous... not even going to waste my time with Sunday's game against the Hawks.. probably be 9-0.

This teams an embarassment to think they are an AHL team, never mind an NHL team. No passion, no energy drive, and really don't seem to give a damn. Thanks for ripping off season ticket holders yet again.

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#166 Gilmore Tuttle
March 08 2013, 09:00PM
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Kevin wrote:

By the end of the weekend Tambo and Lowe should have another last place team.....this calls for a news conference Monday where they announce signing of nuge to a 30 million contract extension. Tambo states the importance of securing the core group for the future while he still assesses the team.

BTW- I'm watching the Avs and would take their roster over the Oilers any day of the week.

You mean Tambex announces they have resigned Horcoff and Rehab to 8 year extensions securing the foundation of leadership for the future. Lowe then announces that they have signed Petr Klima and Shayne Corson and Tom Poti as assistant coaches.

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#167 geeker99
March 08 2013, 09:05PM
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TonyT wrote:

Am I the only one who is beginning to think that if we (the fans) are this pissed off, how pissed off are the players with the organization. For example, last year Tambellini says playoffs are a real goal and after the season Lowe goes out and publicly states that the playoffs were not a goal. If I were a player knowing that management didn't expect (let alone think) they could win would absolutely eat at me... #FTNF #Souray

And anything worth keeping on this team were important players on winning junior teams, they must be wondering what the hell they have gotten themselves into. only fans see that?

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#168 Oilers4ever
March 08 2013, 09:06PM
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At least Calgary is losing a buck and a half in already. :)

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#169 EP
March 08 2013, 09:06PM
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I need someone to hold me and tell me everything's going to be okay.

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#170 Paul
March 08 2013, 09:07PM
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Oilers4ever wrote:

At least Calgary is losing a buck and a half in already. :)

Silver lining?

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#171 Oilers4ever
March 08 2013, 09:09PM
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And one final thing.. GDP... can't possible play worse than Detroit.. how about 1000 times worse... This team's a ^%$#@ing joke.

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#172 Paul
March 08 2013, 09:09PM
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Naky wrote:

Anyone else remember when Krueger said that this team would be a team with high octane offense that would compete hard every night?

Yeah.

Yep, I seem to recall something like that.

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#173 Ales Hallsky
March 08 2013, 09:12PM
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I bet mike brown would rather sit in the press box as a leaf than be a part of this...

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#174 EP
March 08 2013, 09:14PM
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Naky wrote:

Anyone else remember when Krueger said that this team would be a team with high octane offense that would compete hard every night?

Yeah.

He must not have been referring to game nights.

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#175 DrunkGuyTy
March 08 2013, 09:33PM
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I even feel ripped off cause of the $50 bucks I spent on Centre Ice to watch these guys. The bad part is we/they know they can all be so much better. We've seen it from each of them as individuals the odd game when they play up to their potential. Does that mean it's a chemistry issue?

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#176 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
March 08 2013, 09:39PM
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Just a reminder to season ticket holders. The last payment is due on your account next week, so avoid any late payment fees before it's too late. Management continues to work extremely hard to provide this market with premium hockey entertainment.

If there was ever a team that was wandering aimlessly in the desert, this is it. Feaster 1 Oilers 0.

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#177 Ari Gold
March 08 2013, 09:46PM
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This is a complete disgrace. This is unacceptable from ANY Oiler team. There should be in-game demonstrations for this. Get everyone chanting together the way they did for game 3 of the conference semifinal against SJ when everyone sang the US anthem perfectly in unison. Draft a chant slamming management and boo the whole game. We deserve to be rewarded for spending money on this team.

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#178 Time Travelling Sean
March 08 2013, 09:51PM
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I always thought KLowe had a knack for finding quality NHLers at a cheap price. Guess when the gold is off your head you rust.

Look at Colorado, they have the 2nd lowest? payroll in the entire league and they do quite well.

Brian Burke sounds nice, hire him please.

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#179 Crispy
March 08 2013, 10:00PM
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Don't hire Burke! He will offer sheet someone and we'll lose our next few years of top 3 draft picks!

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#180 Time Travelling Sean
March 08 2013, 10:08PM
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@Crispy

Offer sheet whom? And if it's a big enough prize what does 3 20-30th overalls mean? Some 4th liner, some lost cause in Sweden, and a strong NHLer, 5 years down the road, with still not a shadow of the impact a 7-8M cap hit player could bring.

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#181 Reg Dunlop
March 08 2013, 10:48PM
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There have been some dreadful teams in the post expansion NHL; the '70 Kings, the '73 Isles, the '75 Caps, the '81 Jets, the '90 Nords, the '93 Sens and Sharks... In most cases these seasons were low points followed by improvement after 1, 2, 3 or 4 years.

For a 6 year stretch I challenge anyone to come up with a more pathetic team than the '07-'12 Oilers. It is mystifying that heads have not yet rolled.

For the critics of Mike Brown, he is doing his job. No one else is and that is why we are filtering to the bottom of the trench once again. At the trade deadline there will be more inquiries about him than any other available oiler.

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#182 voom04
March 08 2013, 10:49PM
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see the biblethumpers are out again tonite,it has nothing to do with religion freak

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#183 voom04
March 08 2013, 10:54PM
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bring in McSorley and clean house, MARty,MARty, MARty

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#184 Old Retired Guy
March 08 2013, 11:05PM
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On the one hand one is always hoping/cheering for the win.....and always concerned about the emergence of the "culture of losing".......

On the other hand, given the orgnaizations seemingly inexhastable patience with the rebuild mentality and the glass is half full attitude.....Maybe several good beat downs and a bottom 4 finish to the season is what's required to FORCE the trades/changes that many here are hoping for???

On the other hand......( wait....that's 3 hands....whose F*#king hand is that...)...Whitney is starting to look good enough that someone might actually want him in a trade...and Hemmer may make it to the end of the season in good enough health to also be moved....

I'm predicting we'll be getting Ryan Clowe, a Blue Jackets defenseman, and a Big Center in the Draft.....

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#185 Old Retired Guy
March 08 2013, 11:13PM
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Also.....Love Mike Brown......couldn't give a S**t if he ever scores a point....his abilty and willingness to kick ass is a frigin godsend.

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#186 The Oilers Shot Clock
March 08 2013, 11:16PM
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I thought we hit rock bottom already, now I don't even know if this is it.

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#187 VK63
March 09 2013, 12:09AM
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Would it be possible to poll who is more mentally fragile.

the team or the fan base?

Also, any thoughts on the brier attendees behaviour.

Humorous? Classless? Shameful? Irrelevant?

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#188 Bonvie
March 09 2013, 12:14AM
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Yeah I am not so annoyed at the Mike Brown trade anymore at least we can win a fight now, in this case the GM finally did something even if he could have probably got the same player off the waivers earlier. Brown is one more guy on the club that looks like he would like to win a hockey game. In one of those games when hockey wise you look at the scoreboard at least the Oilers can win at something, before they got bullied and lost every fight and got their asses handed to them at the game of hockey. Mike Brown and MPS are about my only positives right now.

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#189 Bonvie
March 09 2013, 12:25AM
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Spydyr wrote:

Time to trade some talent for some heart.

This sums up what needs to be done I have been a big booster of Colin Wilson for the last three years hoping the Oilers would pick him up, mentioned it in this forms many times. Unfortunately I think his stock has now risen where he won't be available for anything reasonable, as he is really starting to hit his potential. However we need to find ourselves this type of player, and trade one of our skilled guys for him.

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#190 Walter Sobchak
March 09 2013, 12:37AM
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Reg Dunlop wrote:

There have been some dreadful teams in the post expansion NHL; the '70 Kings, the '73 Isles, the '75 Caps, the '81 Jets, the '90 Nords, the '93 Sens and Sharks... In most cases these seasons were low points followed by improvement after 1, 2, 3 or 4 years.

For a 6 year stretch I challenge anyone to come up with a more pathetic team than the '07-'12 Oilers. It is mystifying that heads have not yet rolled.

For the critics of Mike Brown, he is doing his job. No one else is and that is why we are filtering to the bottom of the trench once again. At the trade deadline there will be more inquiries about him than any other available oiler.

The 86 to 94 Nordiques.............but the won it all a few years later.

Tambellini has made piss poor move after piss poor move.

Can someone tell me why Renney was fired?

Krueger is sinking and Klowe and Tambellini will try and fire there 4th coach.

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#191 Crispy
March 09 2013, 12:43AM
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Time Travelling Sean wrote:

Offer sheet whom? And if it's a big enough prize what does 3 20-30th overalls mean? Some 4th liner, some lost cause in Sweden, and a strong NHLer, 5 years down the road, with still not a shadow of the impact a 7-8M cap hit player could bring.

Not sure who he would offer sheet, but I was thinking about how his last one turned out. I'd much rather have seguin and Hamilton on my team than kessel.

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#192 The Oilers Shot Clock
March 09 2013, 01:18AM
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Well get either the second or third overall pick. We should trade that pick in a package if need be for something that is immediate, and needed. If someone wants to draft both mackinnon and drouin, we might be the team they need to go through.

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#193 6 ring circus
March 09 2013, 01:20AM
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When Katz told Tambellini and Lowe he wanted the Oiler's to be like Detroit,he should have been more specific and told them the Red Wings, not the NFL Lion's!!!!

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#194 Walter Sobchak
March 09 2013, 01:24AM
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I said at the beginning of the summer camp , pre lockout and post lockout the Oilers would be picking 6-9, reason being I didn't feel the Oilers did enough to upgrade the team.

Wow was I off, the Oilers will be dead last again.

What player in the NHL right now would want to come to his team?

Forget getting any UFA's not unless its a clear massive overpayment.

What a gross origination.

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#195 Walter Sobchak
March 09 2013, 01:42AM
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The Oilers Shot Clock wrote:

Well get either the second or third overall pick. We should trade that pick in a package if need be for something that is immediate, and needed. If someone wants to draft both mackinnon and drouin, we might be the team they need to go through.

Only if it keeps the Oilers in a position to draft Barkov.

If I was on the scouting staff I would be telling Lowe, Tambellini and Mac-T.

The Oilers need an elite centre and a top pairing NHL ready D-man.

The D-man can be got through trade, but passing on a player like Barkov would be nothing short of insane.

He's huge, 6'3 210. Already playing a pro game, Mackenzie made comment that he could be the best player to ever come out of the Finish elite league.

So if you pass on Mackinnon, Drouin or Barkov, that player coming back better have a marque name, be young and he better play top pairing Defence or be an elite centre.

Cause you just passed on three players that will be.

Personally, I can see the Oilers doing some dumb ass thing like out thinking everyone else in the league and moving back in the draft to pick Lazar.

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#196 justDOit
March 09 2013, 01:43AM
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Double fisting indeed - and I'm not talking about drinking!

Ouch. That hurt.

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#197 The Oilers Shot Clock
March 09 2013, 03:09AM
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Didn't Boston like eberle at one point? Could we get krejci for him?

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#198 106 and 106
March 09 2013, 04:44AM
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I miss Shawn Horcoff.

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#199 Jay
March 09 2013, 05:59AM
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How can anyone be mad?This team isn't just the worst team in the NHL they're the worst team in professional sports. You gotta applaud them for being so talented at being such losers. It takes skill to suck this bad!

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#200 spliff
March 09 2013, 06:02AM
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When you see how competent managers operate, like Chiarelli in Boston, then you realize how piss-poor our "braintrust", which I call MacTamblowe, is. MacTamblowe is a product of cronyism of the worst kind, and should be taken out back and shot immediately. If Katz wants this franchise to gain respect he needs to change the management structure and get some proven professionals on board. There are many teams in the NHL with less resources and support then the Oilers, yet they are competitive and make the playoffs consistently. The goal of competing in the NHL is to win the Stanley Cup, and the first step to achieve this is to make the playoffs. Do MacTamblowe know this? I think their egos are so big they don't realize how amateurish and mediocre they are. Compare them to Chiarelli...OMFG

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