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 Paul
March 08 2013, 08:21PM
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keilan wrote:

Nuge is the best 19yo on the planet.

Sam struggles mightily to be a complete player after 5 years in the league. He is below average on almost all aspects of his position.

If you judge someone by points only you're gonna be wrong far more often then you're right.

Getzlaf signed today for 8 million per season and he scored 8 goals with 42 helpers last year. Guess what he might have gotten more had he held out. Getzlaf is the real deal, Sam is not.

Time to take the dog for a walk!

Dude I don't think you're reading skills are up to par. That's not what I got out of that post at all but hey each to their own. BTW, 8 goals and 42 helpers is 50 points, which isn't the same as 8 but I'm guessing you knew that. Haha!

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#152 Spydyr
March 08 2013, 08:24PM
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michael wrote:

4-0 . The 2-0 goal put a knife in us.Where did we hear that before? Shut out? I'd take the odds on that bet at 1-5.That the Oilers get shutout.Brutal. No finish. Best thing so far.Peckham and Brown showing some balls.On to Chicago and we'll be home and cooled soon. Once this team comes home there should be a funeral held for all the expectations that will need to buried including any hope of taking a step forward this season.The Slow Death for Seth and or the Not winnin for Makinnon draft will be the officail slogan of \oilersnation until June 30th. And the Oilers with the historic 4th number 1 pick in a row choose Seth Jones from the Portland Winter Hawks says GM Craig MacTavish.

How about a Gm that has not been fired once already.Someone who has actually paid his dues knows hockey and is not an ex-Oiler.

Try something unusual for this organization and hire the best candidate available.Not some old boy from the club.

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#153 EP
March 08 2013, 08:25PM
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This has to be the end of the road for someone. Tambellini, Lowe, MacT, or Kruger. Preferably all 4. It's time. This is brutal.

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#154 Shermanater
March 08 2013, 08:25PM
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Little better than a minor league team

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#155 geeker99
March 08 2013, 08:27PM
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No goals and no powerplays in 5 periods which is crazy for supposed "quick young team" wow nothing looks good, maybe Jersey Shore is on.

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#156 vetinari
March 08 2013, 08:27PM
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5 to 0 for Nashville now...

Thank god you traded for Mike Brown because that made all the difference in the world to this team, Steve!

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#157 andrewmk20
March 08 2013, 08:28PM
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I agree, it's time Edmonton cleans out it's management team. The only ones who should be left standing are Stu MacGregor and the amateur scouting staff.

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#158 DrunkGuyTy
March 08 2013, 08:29PM
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Feel free to join in...

B0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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#159 Dennis
March 08 2013, 08:31PM
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@Paul

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

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#160 Gilmore Tuttle
March 08 2013, 08:32PM
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Randy35 wrote:

The hospitals are going to be busy tonite with all the broken legs from the bandwagon jumpers.

They will have to wait in line behind all of you that have overdosed on the crapper and blow Koolaid.

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#161 Alsker
March 08 2013, 08:33PM
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Holy crap-sh^t batman, this is beyond embarrassing, this is worse than that fateful morning in Hartford so many years ago..that was a speedbump on the road to the cup this is....undefined

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#162 Oilersfan4
March 08 2013, 08:36PM
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Darryl Katz is just like the oilers management, neither have the BALLS to make a change.

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#163 vetinari
March 08 2013, 08:38PM
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geeker99 wrote:

really your going after Brown? he did his job tonight and is one of the only oilers with a little try in him. Not offensively gifted but hits to hurt.

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.

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#164 Spydyr
March 08 2013, 08:42PM
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Randy35 wrote:

The hospitals are going to be busy tonite with all the broken legs from the bandwagon jumpers.

The Oiler have been my team since before they entered the NHL.Most people here bleed Oiler blue.Go Trolloff!

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#165 Crispy
March 08 2013, 08:42PM
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Paul wrote:

When did we not suck? Haha!

1990

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#166 Dennis
March 08 2013, 08:42PM
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Not a single PP so far. Good grief this is brutal. We can't even draw a single penalty?

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#167 Dennis
March 08 2013, 08:43PM
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@Crispy

Ok I totally laughed at that. Gold, buddy!

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#168 andrewmk20
March 08 2013, 08:43PM
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@vetinari

I agree with you Vetinari, randy35 seems to be missing the point of all this displeasure. If we were bandwagon jumpers than we'd just not post at all because we would have stopped cheering and supporting our hometown team. The fact is we are all angry and complaining because we are fans. Passion is passion, and it can come out positively or negatively, and based upon how the Oilers are playing recently of course the fans passion is going to be reflected in a negative manner.

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#169 Spydyr
March 08 2013, 08:43PM
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EP wrote:

This is the 4th year in a row that I've said "this is rock bottom." Unfortunately, every year they manage to dig a little deeper.

Time to trade some talent for some heart.

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#170 Mike Krushelnyski
March 08 2013, 08:44PM
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Oilersfan4 wrote:

Darryl Katz is just like the oilers management, neither have the BALLS to make a change.

What's his incentive to make a change? Rexall will be sold out when the oilers get home.

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#171 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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#172 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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#173 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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#174 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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#175 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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#176 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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#177 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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#178 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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#179 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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#180 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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#181 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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#182 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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#183 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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#184 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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#185 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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#186 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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#187 Quicksilver ballet
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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#188 God
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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#189 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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#190 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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#191 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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#192 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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#193 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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#194 voom04
March 08 2013, 10:54PM
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bring in McSorley and clean house, MARty,MARty, MARty

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#195 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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#196 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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#197 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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#198 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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#199 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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#200 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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