NO JOKE...IT IS APRIL AND OILERS ARE IN THE MIX

Jason Gregor
April 01 2013 11:02AM

One of the best April Fools Day jokes I remember was when the Edmonton Journal had a sidebar piece stating Bo Jackson was going to become a three-sport athlete and play hockey. I remember reading it and thinking, "If anyone can do it, Bo can." He was such a freakishly good athlete, but after my brother and I discussed it for about 20 minutes we realized there is no way he could be a good enough skater. Or could he?

Nowadays it is much more difficult to come up with a good prank, since numerous "fun sponges" on social media and blogs remind everyone to be aware.

The good news for Oilers fans is that you woke up today, looked at the NHL standings, and realized the Oilers are actually in the playoff hunt. No joke.

Here is a quick look at where the Oilers are at:

Western
  Western DIV GP W L OT P ROW GF GA Diff Home Away S/O
1  * - Chicago CEN 34 26 5 3 55 22 116 74 +42 12-3-1 14-2-2 4-3
2  * - Anaheim PAC 35 23 7 5 51 18 107 90 +17 13-4-0 10-3-5 5-3
3  * - Minnesota NW 34 21 11 2 44 17 97 86 +11 13-3-1 8-8-1 4-1
4  Vancouver NW 35 19 10 6 44 15 92 90 +2 10-5-3 9-5-3 4-5
5  Los Angeles PAC 35 20 12 3 43 19 103 88 +15 12-4-1 8-8-2 1-2
6  San Jose PAC 34 17 11 6 40 11 85 84 +1 11-1-4 6-10-2 6-3
7  Detroit CEN 35 17 13 5 39 15 91 92 -1 9-6-3 8-7-2 2-2
8  Columbus CEN 36 15 14 7 37 11 87 97 -10 11-4-5 4-10-2 4-4
 
9  St. Louis CEN 33 17 14 2 36 15 94 93 +1 8-7-1 9-7-1 2-1
10  Dallas PAC 34 16 15 3 35 15 94 103 -9 8-8-2 8-7-1 1-1
11  Edmonton NW 34 14 13 7 35 12 87 95 -8 7-5-4 7-8-3 2-3
12  Nashville CEN 35 14 14 7 35 12 87 96 -9 9-3-4 5-11-3 2-5
13  Phoenix PAC 35 14 15 6 34 11 94 101 -7 10-7-1 4-8-5 3-4
14  Calgary NW 33 13 16 4 30 13 93 114 -21 10-6-2 3-10-2 0-3
15  Colorado NW 34 12 18 4 28 11 84 108 -24 10-6-1 2-12-3 1-1

The Oilers have 14 games remaining, eight at home and six on the road

Only five of those games are against non-playoff teams; Calgary three times including tonight, Wednesday and next Wednesday, Phoenix and Colorado.

The Oilers need to sweep the Jarome Iginla-less, 14th place Flames this week, and if they do that they'd only have to go 7-5 in their final 12 games to reach 54 points. That isn't unrealistic. It would be difficult for sure, but far from impossible.

OPPONENTS

Date Visitor Home
Mon, April 1st Flames  Oilers
Wed, April 3rd  Oilers  Flames
Thu, April 4th  Oilers  Canucks
Sat, April 6th  Oilers  Kings
Mon, April 8th Oilers  Ducks
Wed, April 10th Coyotes  Oilers
Sat, April 13th Flames  Oilers
Tue, April 16th Wild  Oilers
Fri, April 19th Oilers  Avalanche
Sun, April 21st Ducks  Oilers
Mon, April 22nd Ducks  Oilers
Wed, April 24th  Blackhawks  Oilers
Fri, April 26th Oilers  Wild
Sat, April 27th Canucks  Oilers

THE COMPETITION

7th place Detroit: 13 games remaining, 6 at home and 7 on the road. Five games vs. current playoff teams.

8th place Columbus: 12 games remaining, 4 at home and 8 on the road. Eight games vs. current playoff teams.

9th place St. Louis: 15 games remaining, 8 at home and 7 on the road. Nine games vs. current playoff teams.

10th place Dallas: 14 games remaining, 6 at home and 8 on the road. Thirteen games vs. current playoff teams.

12th place Nasvhille: 13 games remaining, 8 at home and 5 on the road. Ten games vs. current playoff teams.

13th place Phoenix: 13 games remaining, 6 at home and 7 on the road. Nine games vs. current playoff teams.

Detroit has the easiest schedule on paper, while Dallas has the most difficult and a very quirky schedule this week. They play Anaheim three straight times. Tonight at home and then Wednesday and Friday in Anaheim.

QUICK HITS

  • Nail Yakupov has an exceptional first three strides, but he needs to work on his top-end speed before he becomes a major threat on the rush. He doesn't beat many D-men one-on-one with his speed, which isn't a major surprise considering he is only a rookie. Sam Gagner has had a break out year mainly due to his increased speed and improved balance. Yakupov will need to increase his top-end speed this summer. He isn't close to Paajarvi, Hall, Hemsky or even Eberle at this point. Todays' game is all about speed, and I suspect the Oilers will want him to improve his during the off-season.
     
  • I'm not surprised the Oilers re-signed Smid, and I don't think it matters that it was done today and not two weeks ago. He is signed for the next four years, and at a workable cap hit of $3.5 million.
     
  • Taylor Hall picked up his third career  regular season hat-trick on Saturday. That moves him into a tie for 9th all-time with Petr Klima and Alex Selivanov. Wayne Gretzky is first with 43, Jari Kurri and Glenn Anderson have 20, Mark Messier is 4th with 13, Esa Tikkanen and Ryan Smyth have 5, while Paul Coffey and Blair MacDonald have 4.
     
  • Krueger's two-shift benching off Taylor Hall in the 3rd period vs. Columbus clearly got Hall's attention. He was exceptional on Saturday and I'd expect that to continue tonight. Hall has 34 points in 31 games and he is 10th in the NHL in points-per-game at 1.10. *Joffrey Lupul, 1.44, is currently 2nd, but he's only played 9 games.
     
  • Jordan Eberle has yet to score a hat-trick, and even his own father likes to juice him about it. "He knows that Hallsy and I are competitive so he just subtly text me, 'I see Taylor got another hatty, is that 3 now?' Eberle was quick to point out that it is a friendly competition, and in no way a negative thing, but you know that it rips him that his buddy is up 3-0 in career hat-tricks. I love that his father can give him a friendly chirp. They clearly have a close relationship.
     
  • Anton Lander was recalled yesterday, but no word if he will play tonight. I will send an update when I get to the rink.
     
  • Due to our on-going bet with flamesnation.ca they get to do the GDB today, because the Flames won the last game between them. Just another reason the Oilers better win tonight... but keeping with tradition, here are some predictions...

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers keep rolling with a solid 5-1 win over the Flames. Hall stays hot with a pair of goals.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Curtis Glencross scores a goal, and most Oiler fans will rant over the Oilers not re-signing him FIVE years ago. It might be time to let that one go....

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Mike Brown scores a goal, adds an assist and delivers two big hits early in the first period. He has a solid game, meanwhile Magnus Paajarvi shocks everyone and gets into his first NHL scrap, but registers no points. In keeping with recent tradition Paajarvi will be named the 3rd star and not Brown.

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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#1 Spydyr
April 01 2013, 11:53AM
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@ DSF

MIN - 99.2 (Who could have seen that coming?)

And it only cost 96 Million.

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#2 oliveoilers
April 01 2013, 11:04AM
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Happy fist of April

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#3 Time Travelling Sean
April 01 2013, 03:44PM
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@DSF

Gudbranson has 0 goals and 4 assists while playing 20 minutes a game and is a nice -17.

Schultz not getting a lot of points probably has to do with transitioning from 40 games a season to 80 games while playing against more physical men. Most college players hit a wall at the 40-50ish game mark and Schultz has played 66? games this season.

Landy missed games with injury while RNH was playing through an injury, and we all know that Landy was supposed to be a better player in the short term because Landy was NHL ready and RNH was 160 lbs, and still 4-5 months younger.

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#4 Hemipower
April 01 2013, 11:26AM
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I just love how people have bitched and moaned all season that the sky is falling, yet on April 1st, I find the oilers right where I thought they would be at the begining of the season.

If we make the playoffs - cool. If not, at least we are progressing.

The young guy's are looking good and perhaps we can add some better veterans in the off season. Overall, I am pleasantly pleased with the re-build so far.

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#5 DonDon
April 01 2013, 12:48PM
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@Jackson

Your April Fools joke is the Oilers trade their first round pick?

Not doing so has been one of the few smart moves by Tambellini.

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#6 rubbertrout
April 01 2013, 12:54PM
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Spydyr wrote:

@ DSF

MIN - 99.2 (Who could have seen that coming?)

And it only cost 96 Million.

And cap hits until the end of time.

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#7 MarcusBillius
April 01 2013, 05:35PM
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Can you all just stop responding to him?

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#8 DonDon
April 01 2013, 11:31AM
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The back-to-back games vs the Flames are the Oilers' litmus test to determine whether they are pretenders or contenders for the playoffs. And if their Saturday night 4 - 0 shutout vs the Canucks was a sign of good performances to come or a one-off.

The remaining three-game series vs the Ducks will determine if they actually get into the playoffs and in what order.

In the meantime, what does Tambellini do between now and trade deadline? Dither, screw-up or surprise us all and make a few sound decisions on the roster.

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#9 They're $hittie
April 01 2013, 11:59AM
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Its funny how DSF thinks he is bob mckenzie and reports stuff on here that we all get on twitter. Its a con to make himself seem credible.

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#10 The Soup Fascist
April 01 2013, 12:15PM
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"Due to our on-going bet with flamesnation.ca they get to do the GDB today, because the Flames won the last game between them. Just another reason the Oilers better win tonight... but keeping with tradition, here are some predictions..."

NSOGDP: No GDB is put forward by our friends from the City of Cows. No keyboards are functioning city-wide due to saltwater damage from the tears of Flamers, emotionally overcome by memories of Iggy.

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#11 RexLibris
April 01 2013, 12:16PM
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Here's hoping the Oilers sweep this back to back by an aggregate score of 28-1. Khabibulin gets a shutout and the Oilers deal he and Abney to Toronto for Gardiner.

It is April Fools Day, right?

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#12 NewAgeSys
April 01 2013, 12:44PM
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My gameday prediction is that we will trade two quick goals and then we will overpower them and have a 3 goal lead by the first intermission and in the 2nd period Glencross will cheapshot one of our kids and Downtown-Brown will knock his block off, he has had it coming for a long time, after the beatdown or huge hit Curtis will develop an "undisclosed upper body{heart} injury" and be neutralised for the rest of the game by Browns threat.

Calgary will play a simple but aggressive game early on, it will still be a process breaking them down, we need to simply be as prepared as we have been the last three games, with the exception that tonight we might need to adjust on the fly because I am sure with Iggy gone their entire system has been adjusted in huge dynamic ways that will make them very vulnerable to sustained and consistant pressure, the exact thing we have been consistantly doing accurately the last 3 games.

We give them nothing, and take everything!! The song remains the same till we lock a playoff spot.

I have seen an unprecedented evolution with both Ralph AND the Players for some recent and unknown reason, I am just planning on watching them maintain that pressure on themselves to execute the system so consistantly. Call it whatever you want, I like what the team has cooking these days. As a fan it is starting to take the sting off of the lockout, just being in the running for 8th is enough to do that these days.

I still think we are going to land in 6th place. If you are the Oilers and are going to win it all you are going to win it hard and long, and really nothing else will do, we are due for a ten game undefeated streak. For us to initiate a Cinderella Run we need that type of streak coming in regardless, so its full steam ahead with no added pressure, just one game at a time. We are not behind the 8-ball here we are an improved team that is competing for an NHL playoff spot, but from day one there was never any doubt in anyones mind that it would take a special group effort for this team to make the playoffs under the best of circumstances.

Bring on the Flames, our Young wolves are young and growing and verrryyy hungry for Red Meat, and as much of it as they can sink their teeth into. We will have some Wild/Duck and some Coyote later this month to keep the pack healthy and growing. We need to feed this beast we are creating.

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#13 Rob...
April 01 2013, 12:47PM
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If DSF was capable of bringing an A-game he would have posted an April fools day post apologizing for his ridiculous behaviour and promising to go away forever. That would require some imagination and a sense of humour though.

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#14 Chipper
April 01 2013, 01:38PM
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@DSF

SC5

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#15 dougtheslug
April 01 2013, 01:40PM
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NewAgeSys wrote:

My gameday prediction is that we will trade two quick goals and then we will overpower them and have a 3 goal lead by the first intermission and in the 2nd period Glencross will cheapshot one of our kids and Downtown-Brown will knock his block off, he has had it coming for a long time, after the beatdown or huge hit Curtis will develop an "undisclosed upper body{heart} injury" and be neutralised for the rest of the game by Browns threat.

Calgary will play a simple but aggressive game early on, it will still be a process breaking them down, we need to simply be as prepared as we have been the last three games, with the exception that tonight we might need to adjust on the fly because I am sure with Iggy gone their entire system has been adjusted in huge dynamic ways that will make them very vulnerable to sustained and consistant pressure, the exact thing we have been consistantly doing accurately the last 3 games.

We give them nothing, and take everything!! The song remains the same till we lock a playoff spot.

I have seen an unprecedented evolution with both Ralph AND the Players for some recent and unknown reason, I am just planning on watching them maintain that pressure on themselves to execute the system so consistantly. Call it whatever you want, I like what the team has cooking these days. As a fan it is starting to take the sting off of the lockout, just being in the running for 8th is enough to do that these days.

I still think we are going to land in 6th place. If you are the Oilers and are going to win it all you are going to win it hard and long, and really nothing else will do, we are due for a ten game undefeated streak. For us to initiate a Cinderella Run we need that type of streak coming in regardless, so its full steam ahead with no added pressure, just one game at a time. We are not behind the 8-ball here we are an improved team that is competing for an NHL playoff spot, but from day one there was never any doubt in anyones mind that it would take a special group effort for this team to make the playoffs under the best of circumstances.

Bring on the Flames, our Young wolves are young and growing and verrryyy hungry for Red Meat, and as much of it as they can sink their teeth into. We will have some Wild/Duck and some Coyote later this month to keep the pack healthy and growing. We need to feed this beast we are creating.

Best NAS post yet. Still a little wordy. Keep 'em short and keep 'em coming.

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#16 Time Travelling Sean
April 01 2013, 02:08PM
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@DSF

Yea that's nice, putting up points when your down 4-0 in the third is nice, try putting up points when it counts.

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#17 Time Travelling Sean
April 01 2013, 02:57PM
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@DSF

In the context of the game they were playing sure they mattered, it isn't like we're down 6-0 and they scored 2 quick ones to end the game, they might have 1 or 2 points in a 4-3 loss, but the goals and points they got were important at the time.

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#18 Butters
April 01 2013, 03:43PM
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DSF, Parise is 28, Hall is 21. I will go out an limb and predict that Taylor Hall will be killing penalties by the time he is 28.

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#19 Time Travelling Sean
April 01 2013, 04:01PM
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@DSF

Kadri is going to get paid 5.5-6M this season or next... He certainly won't get 7.5M for 8 years.

I'd rather have someone outscore my 42M dollar man than my 98M dollar man btw.

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#20 Time Travelling Sean
April 01 2013, 04:03PM
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@DSF

Smid was a 9th overall pick, not a 3rd, and when they did draft Gudbranson they were hoping for offense with a mean streak, Shea Weber comparisons were thrown out there for him.

He has room to turn it around, wouldn't be the first time, esp for a D-man.

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#21 messyEH!
April 01 2013, 05:14PM
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DSF wrote:

Then why did YOU bring him up?

I brought MPS up. Keep it straight jackass. So Huberdeau as a #1 centre is ok to score less than Sam Gagner, a draft bust, by your own declarations. I do not think so.

Don't you look silly with all your incorrect predictions. See Justin Schultz free agency. Sam Gagner breaking 50 pts in a season. Sam Gagner has more points than Parise and kills penalties. At 3.5 million a season.

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#22 hunkybill
April 01 2013, 05:47PM
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This really all is a circular discussion. Happy April Fools all.

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#23 Romulus' Apotheosis
April 01 2013, 06:15PM
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Do you guys ever wonder why no credible hockey conversation ever involves randomly comparing various players irrespective of any meaningful context whatsoever?

think about it.

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#24 Ogie Oilthorpe
April 01 2013, 11:17AM
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I'm still seriously concerned that management actually signing Smid to a good contract is a April Fool's Day joke.. Seriously, I am impressed, it hurts to say that.

GDP - 4-1 Oil

OGDP - Brown sends a message early that taking runs at their talent is unnaceptable.

NSOGDP: Ebs gets a hatty and tweets Taylor Hall from the dressing room after the game that he gets top bunk from now on. Hall and Ebs then get in a serious disagreement that ends up in a good ol fashioned locker box. And errant punch hits Jones in the eye and he sits out the rest of the season.

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#25 Will
April 01 2013, 11:19AM
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Unlike Oiler management, as a fan, it will always be hard to let go of Glencross.

I'm not looking forward to watching these games down the stretch, and watching as the Oilers lose to the teams they need to beat, and win against the teams that should have kicked the crap out of them.

I badly, badly want the team to make it into the playoffs, but I also badly, badly want them to draft a big centre will skill and edge. So just missing the playoffs would show how much the team has improved, fill a potential hole, and allow the team to dominate in the following years after a few key off season acquisitions.

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#26 Bucknuck
April 01 2013, 11:19AM
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My goodness I feel slow. It might still be some aftereffects from Saturday. Good lord did I ever have a fun night.

I hope the Oil take it to four straight today. After watching what they are capable of on Saturday, I feel pretty good about their chances of making the post season. I feel better after every win.

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#27 Spydyr
April 01 2013, 11:27AM
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Time to make the Flames our new whipping boy. The next decade will suffice.

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#28 dawgtoy
April 01 2013, 11:31AM
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NSOGDP:The Oilers trade for Curtis Glencross prior to the game, he makes the walk down the hall to his new/old dressing room and suits up for the Oil. Once and for all righting the wrong.

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#29 Clarence Oveur
April 01 2013, 11:38AM
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I'll let the Glencross mistake go as soon as the Oilers replace him.

They still haven't.

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#30 watkinator
April 01 2013, 11:46AM
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I hope to hell that the Oilers lace up the s--t kickers tonight and put the boots to the flaming-out C's. I told a kid in my class this year (in an Idaho university of all places) that this was the year Edmonton finished ahead of Calgary in the standings. That's definitely going to happen but the exclamation point on the season, playoffs or no, is going to be beating the Flames three times in a week to finish out this season series. It sends the statement "Our rebuild is over. Have fun with yours."

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#31 Will
April 01 2013, 11:46AM
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I wonder if they'd trade Glencross for Magnus straight up. Don't get me wrong, MPS has been great lately and could still turn into that excellent power forward we've been looking for. But Glencross upgrades our top six instantly.

This also helps Calgary int hat they get a blue chip / turning the corner in the right direction type of player.

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#32 DSF
April 01 2013, 11:48AM
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Chance in playoffs this morning:

CHI - 99.999

ANA - 99.99

MIN - 99.2 (Who could have seen that coming?)

LAK - 98.8

VCR - 97.5

SJS - 84.3

DET - 71.8

STL - 61.5

EDM - 23.8

DAL 19.9

CLB - 15.5

NSH - 15.0

PHX - 10.1

CAL - 2.4

COL - 0.2

It appears only the final 2 spots are up for grabs since SJS are playing their next 5 at home and have a record of 11-4 at home.

Detroit's next 3 games are:

VS. COL

@ PHX

@ COL

So, if they win those 3 they may be all but impossible to catch.

It comes down to outplaying STL for the last playoff spot.

6 of the next 7 games for the Blues are on the road where the Blues are 9-7-1.

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#33 northof51
April 01 2013, 11:58AM
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@DSF

You can tell it's April Fool's Day when DSF has a hint of optimism!

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#34 Jackson
April 01 2013, 12:13PM
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Trade Edmonton's first round pick 2013 to Florida for Dmitri Kulikov. Trade Oilers 2nd round pick 2013 + ? for one of Columbus's 3 first round picks 2013.

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#35 Will
April 01 2013, 12:14PM
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They're $hittie wrote:

Its funny how DSF thinks he is bob mckenzie and reports stuff on here that we all get on twitter. Its a con to make himself seem credible.

Also not sure he has the most current stats as Columbus currently sits in 8th do they not?

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#36 The Soup Fascist
April 01 2013, 12:23PM
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REALLY hoping that the Oilers don't take these next two (three in 13 days, actually) games lightly. Calgary still has professional hockey players on their team and the Oil are not good enough to win by just showing up.

I would hope they come out with a fire in their belly like they did vs. the Cansucks. If they don't - they will be in trouble.

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#37 Time Travelling Sean
April 01 2013, 12:27PM
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Trade our 2nd rounder for Glencross then trade Hemmer for some slightly better than average defenseman.

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#38 DSF
April 01 2013, 12:38PM
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They're $hittie wrote:

Its funny how DSF thinks he is bob mckenzie and reports stuff on here that we all get on twitter. Its a con to make himself seem credible.

How about those "Overpaid Wild"?

A lock to make the playoffs with 14 games to go.

Don't you look silly.

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#39 On the bandwagon
April 01 2013, 12:42PM
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I'm pumped for tonight's game, Oilers will crush them.

Hey Gregor I have to give you credit for bringing up good points that no one else mentions. You are correct with Yakupov's lack of pullaway speed. He can't do it yet, and that isn't a knock just a fact.

Also does anyone know less about hockey than David Staples. He suggested the Oilers trade Hemsky, because Omark could replace him. No way that happens. Omark can't carry Hemsky's jock strap...

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#40 Mac962
April 01 2013, 12:54PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

REALLY hoping that the Oilers don't take these next two (three in 13 days, actually) games lightly. Calgary still has professional hockey players on their team and the Oil are not good enough to win by just showing up.

I would hope they come out with a fire in their belly like they did vs. the Cansucks. If they don't - they will be in trouble.

Agreed- that crap team , like most with nothing to play for scares me. We must WIN these 2 games, Post the Flames record against the oil over the last 20 or so on the wall. Be motivated - whatever it takes and god damn it come out hard and dont give them a sniff. Because Oilers- you are good enough to do it now. Its Time for retribution Oilers.

You may not be contenders [yet] But Calgary is very ripe for some butt kicking, you have to want it.

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#41 DSF
April 01 2013, 12:58PM
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rubbertrout wrote:

And cap hits until the end of time.

Yeah, in about 7 years that will be an issue.

Except the cap will be well over $100M by then and it won't matter a pinch of coon excrement.

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#42 etownman
April 01 2013, 01:06PM
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Would really love to see the Oil re-sign Fistric to another contract! Perfect 5/6 d-man who isn't on the ice much with the first two lines but always has everyone with their head up! Moves the puck & skates much better than people give him credit for! Exactly what we need, get him signed already!

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#43 Butters
April 01 2013, 01:15PM
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Go Oil, that is all.

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#44 Jackson
April 01 2013, 01:18PM
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@DonDon

No joke

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#45 Butters
April 01 2013, 01:26PM
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The enemy of my enemy is my friend, go Wild. Need them to beat St. Loo.

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#46 The Beaker
April 01 2013, 01:50PM
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DSF wrote:

How about those "Overpaid Wild"?

A lock to make the playoffs with 14 games to go.

Don't you look silly.

Just like you and those expertly built Panthers?

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#47 DSF
April 01 2013, 01:55PM
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The Beaker wrote:

Just like you and those expertly built Panthers?

Half the team down with injury...it happens.

Speaking of the Panthers...did you notice Huberdeau has taken over the scoring lead among rookies despite playing on a dreadful team?

On pace for 30G 29A 59P over an 82 game season.

Pretty impressive.

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#48 Panther
April 01 2013, 02:04PM
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@DSF

Panther players like Campbell, Versteeg, etc. are way too overpaid. If that's how u want the Oilers to be run, I'm glad your not in charge. Building thru free agency is not the way to go. Case in point, the CGY Flames

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#49 Lochenzo
April 01 2013, 02:05PM
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Those last 5 games are scary. Hopefully all those teams will have nothing to play for by then.

Good observation on Yak. I think he needs to work with a power skating coach over the summer. Lurches forward too much. It feels like you're on your toes and into it, but really, you're not able to fully drive your skating legs when you bend your back.

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#50 Spydyr
April 01 2013, 02:07PM
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Lochenzo wrote:

Those last 5 games are scary. Hopefully all those teams will have nothing to play for by then.

Good observation on Yak. I think he needs to work with a power skating coach over the summer. Lurches forward too much. It feels like you're on your toes and into it, but really, you're not able to fully drive your skating legs when you bend your back.

And he holds his stick wrong too.

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