GDB 40.0: STAYING IN THE RACE

Jason Gregor
April 10 2013 01:11PM

At the start of the season the Oilers' goal was to be in the playoff hunt, and they are, but they need to win tonight to stay near the pack. So far, the Oilers are 0-3 in this stretch drive, and I suspect the players will be hungry to show they can win a meaningful game, not just play in them.

The first goal will be crucial tonight.

The Coyotes have been shut out in five of their last nine road games. Even Wanye doesn't get blanked that much during his final tour of the bar at two in the morning.

Lately both the Coyotes and Oilers are getting outshot. The Oilers have been outshot 256-202 in their last eight games, but they are 5-3. The Coyotes have been outshot 285-231, but they are 4-2-2. Neither trend will last, and the Oilers must take advantage of a team that lacks any serious offensive punch.

Prior to their loss in Vancouver on Monday the Coyotes had won three straight, with three different goalies registering the win. Mike Smith blanked Colorado 4-0 on Saturday, Chad Johnson beat Detroit 4-2 last Thursday and Jason LaBarbera made 39 saves to beat the Kings 3-1 on April 2nd.

Smith will get the start tonight, but due to injuries he has yet to find the consistency he had last year when he led the Coyotes to the conference final. The Oilers need to get after Smith and the Coyotes.

LINEUP

Hall/Nugent-Hopkins/Eberle

Paajarvi/Gagner/Hemsky

Smyth/Horcoff/Yakupov

Brown/Smithson/Petrell

 

Smid/Petry

N.Schultz/J.Schultz

Whitney/Fistric

Dubnyk

Ales Hemsky's foot is good enough to play, so he'll draw back in and Jones will sit. Dubnyk is 5th in SV% amongst goalies with at least 20 starts and he'll start his 32 game, good for 9th most in the NHL.

QUICK HITS

  • You wonder how much the uncertainty of their future impacts the Coyotes? Dave Tippett doesn't have a contract extension, and even though Gary Bettman says, "There is more interest than ever in purchasing the Coyotes," I won't believe it until a deal is done. That uncertainty has to wear a guy down eventually, no?
     
  • Dubnyk and Khabibulin each have a .923 SV%. The team SV% is .918 due to empty net goals and Yann Danis' 110 minutes of .881SV%. The only teams with a better SV% than the Oilers are: Ottawa, .934, Boston, .926, Chicago .922 and the Rangers with .920. Those who believe goaltending is one of the Oilers' main issues need to realize that isn't the case. Goaltending isn't the problem in Edmonton.
     
  • The Oilers will re-evaluate Eric Belanger tomorrow and if he is healthy enough to play then Anton Lander will be sent to OKC. I doubt Belanger draws in for Smithson, but the Oilers want to have a centre around in case of emergency.
     
  • Justin Schultz is a lock to make the all-rookie team, but he will need an excellent final 9 games to be a finalist for the Calder I suspect. In a short season, nine games is almost 19% of the season so how he finishes will play a big role in voting.
     
  • The Oilers outshot the Ducks 11-2 in the first 11:49 on Monday, but then the Ducks had 17 consecutive shots. The Oilers next shot didn't come until 4:55 into the 2nd. They went 13+ minutes without a shot, and gave up 17. The Ducks did have two powerplays during that time, but the Oilers can't afford unproductive stretches like that if they plan on beating top teams.

DO YOU HAVE THE CHOPS?

Are you good at karaoke? We will find out who is the best on May 17th. Submit a short video of you skills and the top-12 will perform May 17th at On The Rocks. Send video to gregor@theteam1260.com. The top-12 will compete with a few special "celebrity" guests. It will a be a great night, and the winner will also perform on stage with the band after being crowned King or Queen of Karaoke. No ballads allowed.  Tickets will go on sale tomorrow for this  charity event.

TONIGHT....

GAME DAY PREDICTION: Both teams are desperate for a win, and instead of playing it safe they play run and gun to the delight of the crowd. Oilers win 5-4.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: With last change Krueger will get even better matchups for the 4/93/14 combo and they will combine for three goals. Hall picks up three points to move into a tie for 6th place in NHL scoring.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: After nailing two NSOGDP (Flames quote and Nick Schultz goal) on the four game road trip, it will be difficult to accurately predict the unexpected...However....

After watching N. Schultz light up the Ducks on Monday Ryan Smyth is inspired. Smyth hasn't scored in 23 games, the 2nd longest goal-scoring drought in his career -- he went 25-games between Oct 20th-Dec 15th, 1998--, but he ends that tonight. Smyth has more points vs. Phoenix than any other franchise, 59, and he picks up his 60th point and 26th goal vs. Phoenix. It will be a patented wrap around.  

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 Slats
April 11 2013, 12:44AM
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Mr. Common sense wrote:

There is only one man that can rally the group, smash bodies, come to Hall's defence, crash the net and be a true leader, everything the oil need.

Steve ott

i'd prefer Morrow

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#52 Walter Sobchak
April 11 2013, 02:44AM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

Good to see Hall and Yakupov dishing out some punishment. Hacking and whacking their way to earning a little more space out there. Both willing to issue the first blow without regard for what may come back the other way. A small subtle sign these kids are more willing to go to war together.

It starts with sticking up for themselves, their teammates seeing that can't help but follow their lead. In a yr or two, Taylor Hall will be one nasty prick to go up against. Good to see him getting his timing down pat when it starts getting chippy. Be nice to have a chippy SOB on the blueline as well. Edmonton could sure use a Bieksa type.

Or Weber!

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#53 DrunkGuyTy
April 11 2013, 06:47AM
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Do all you Dubnyk bashes think Roy or Brodeur or Sawchuk or Dryden.... never let in bad goals or had bad games. What about Fuhr and Moog?

We have a relatively young goalie who stops among the highest percentage of shots that he faces - and he faces almost more than anyone. He is still on the upswing of his career.

GAA has always been the defining stat for goalies for a reason. Our pussified world steers everyone to find a scapegoat but in this case, but he is among the least of our worries.

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#54 outdoorzguy
April 11 2013, 08:18AM
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Reagan wrote:

A little too late for the Oilers last night. Could have stayed the game off that way last night. What I find interesting is that phoenix played a cheap game and never once took a call all night long. Hemsky's penalty was dumb. He was clearly being interfered with him trying to avoid the hit his stick Flys up then knocks the guy head. And mihalek cross checking and roughing up Taylor Hall on the boards, then doesn't expect Hall to slash or do something back? Goes show you what kind of team Phoenix is. Anyways the Oilers needed that game last night.

This season is over. I'm still shocked that they could put themselves in awesome position, then choke so freaken hard....

What's the awesome position the Oilers put themselves in? This team has potential. We need a coach who can actually coach at this level. We need a management group that has some ability to assess what is not working and will attempt to improve the team. We need ownership who is less interested in surrounding himself with life size hockey cards of his favorite players... And finally...we need the fans to start voicing and showing their displeasure at how this organization is satisfied with mediocrity at best!

I heard Gregor say yesterday on his radio show that it was time for the Oilers to take advantage of the bottom feeders. Well guess what? The Oilers are not only bottom dwellers, they're one of those species that gets found every decade or so that nobody has ever seen before and nobody ever thought could survive for that long living on the bottom.

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#55 non descript
April 11 2013, 08:35AM
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quite the collection of competitors tambo has assembled.

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#56 BigE91
April 11 2013, 01:04PM
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DSF wrote:

Just wanted to point out that there is a discussion over at Lowetide about raising funds to take out a full page ad in an Edmonton newspaper which would be an open letter to Katz about changing management of the team.

Why not just flush your money down the toilet? Which is not so different from buying Oilers tickets......

Katz has his toy, he's got all his little buddies to play with it. They sit at the house, talk about the good old days and don't have a worry in the world. Why mess with a good thing? There is no such thing as accountability to the fans unless we are willing to stop buying tickets. It would be a simple waste of money.

At one point I thought that Daryl Katz onwership would be a good thing for Edmonton. The longer this goes on the more I question that thought.

With the downtown arena ticket prices are GOING to rise. Parking will be atrocious and expensive. $8 heroin beers at Rexall will be a fond memory. Maybe the team will provide an exciting season once they make the move but I wouldn't hold my breath.

The Katz blueprint is less of a plan and more akin to Jay Feaster's comment of wandering in the desert for X number of years.

It's sad really. To have seen an organization crumble the way this one has. Especially with the potential of the kids, they will be here just long enough to watch Tambellini start another rebuild after 1 miraculous run to the playoffs and a 1st round exit.

~I'll be at the High Level Bridge if anyone needs me~

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#57 Dave lumley
April 11 2013, 01:27PM
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Everyone should take a pill. For God's sakes we are in the 3rd year of the rebuilt. Taylor Halls third year, which followed our first overall pick, which was the year tambo started to clean house. To argue any different would be to say that the Flames rebuild started in 2009, the year they missed the playoffs and started cleaning house with the Phaneuf trade.

THE BIG DILEMA. Edmonton is the most northerly city in the NHL and certainly not a destination. We have seen that players we trade for want to get moved; Pronger, Vishnovski, Gilbert(?). We have to overpay for free agents ; Souray, Belanger, Eager, and many of whom don't want to be here at all Heatley, Hossa, Nelander etc... and probably many whom we never hear about.

As tambo said, in Edmonton we have to build with the draft and then develop, create competition below to push the guys above. That is our choice. As we get close to winning only then can we add some players. IT SUCKS, but that is our reality.

Any major moves come at a heavy price to our cap which will seriously affect the ablility to keep a descent team together.

Like Tambo or hate him, he at least has not sold out the rebuild for a cheap fix and has stuck to his guns. I don't know if I like him or not but I agree that, for Edmonton, this is the way we need to build the team. Regretfully IT SUCKS, but it is the way it is.

Hoping for a top ten pick this year, the lower the better. Did I mention that IT SUCKS.

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#58 Dave Lumley
April 11 2013, 02:04PM
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@GVBlackhawk

Like I said, saying the Oilers rebuild started with signing Horcoff, Khabibulin and drafting Gagner is like saying the Flames rebuid starteed with missing the playoffs and trading Phaneuf. Rediculous.

The Flames did not learn anything from what happened up here. How much they sucked was covered up by Kiprusoff play. The first year of thier rebuild will be next season.

For Edmonton a traditional rebuild is the only way to go. What do you want to do? Fire everyone and start again and relearn the lesson YOU should have already learned. We can not buy or trade our way to a winner, not in Edmonton at least.

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#59 Racki
April 10 2013, 01:25PM
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There's no question our goaltending is good enough -> pretty good for a 48 game season. I really like Khabi and Dubnyk both individually.. but this isn't a good tandem for 82 games. Khabi can barely keep it together in the 9 games he's played, let alone once we're back to 82 games. Dubnyk so far has shown pretty reliable for a 40+ stretch, but he isn't going to pick up the whole load when Khabi inevitably falls apart on us next year (if we bring him back).

This is good enough to finish this season though. I'd question whether it'd be good enough for a deep playoff run, but queue Jim Mora here re: that, anyways.

It really is too bad that Khabi's health is such a problem. There's still a good goalie in there. But 9 games and 30-40 games are a completely different animal, even if it is spaced out over a greater length.

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#60 Oil spill, I mean change.
April 10 2013, 01:35PM
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The Oilers will not make the playoffs. But it's okay because we can take the positives from this season and use it as a learning experience ... Blah, blah, blah. Ya we heard it before. Story's starting to get old. Either get it done, or find somebody who can.

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#61 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
April 10 2013, 01:36PM
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Ducey wrote:

Sorry, but this is one of the dumbest things I have read in a while. You would prefer if he stops the "soft" ones but lets in the hard ones?

He stops the 5th highest percentage of shots in the league. That's all there is to it.

I think the Coyotes will trap and clutch and grab and the Oilers will play right into it by turning over the puck in the neutral zone. The fans will be frustrated and boo and that will cause more turnovers.

4-2 PHX.

No. You misunderstood. I prefer he stops ALL OF THEM.

But if I had to choose, I'd start with the easy ones.

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#62 Bucknuck
April 10 2013, 01:39PM
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If the Oilers play as bad tonight as they have been the last few games, I wouldn't be surprised to see Kreuger get a little "Tortorella" on the team.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=WSSp9NbWsFY

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#63 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
April 10 2013, 01:55PM
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Bucknuck wrote:

Did you watch the Anaheim game? Those weren't easy shots. I don't know if it would have been physically possible to stop them. I haven't seen him let in a softie for a while.

I watched. And I agree with you.

It doesn't happen every game. But it happens. And I prefer my goalie stopped them.

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#64 Oiler Al
April 10 2013, 02:00PM
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Oilers better come out flying, and not get lulled into Yote's snorefest game.!Have to get the first goal for sure.

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#65 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
April 10 2013, 02:01PM
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Clarko wrote:

Also, despite Crosby's 56 points in 36 games, I don't think he scores on nearly all the chances he should.

Talk about completely unrealistic expectations. If you don't like Dubnyk as a #1 goalie with a top 5 save percentage, then you will never like him.

WTF is going on here??

That Crosby comparison is completely out to lunch.

And you think it's unrealistic to expect your goalie to stop all the easy shots???

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#66 etownman
April 10 2013, 02:22PM
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Interesting to know if the Oilers could or would send Nuge, Hallsy, Ebs, MPS & Schultz back to the AHL for the playoffs? Thoughts? I personally don't see why they would at this point but it would be quite interesting to know if they could?

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#67 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
April 10 2013, 02:32PM
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book¡e wrote:

This 'soft goals' thing is simply funny. All that matters is performance and consistency over an extended period of time. How the goals look to you is irrelevant.

If I didn't know better, I would think that the 'soft goals' crowd simply are trolling for a response..

I'm not sure who's trolling here.

Critical part of being consistent is not letting soft goals in.

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#68 Spydyr
April 10 2013, 02:36PM
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book¡e wrote:

This 'soft goals' thing is simply funny. All that matters is performance and consistency over an extended period of time. How the goals look to you is irrelevant.

If I didn't know better, I would think that the 'soft goals' crowd simply are trolling for a response..

All goals are not created equally. What is more important a goal that ties or wins a game with seconds left or the 9th goal in a 9-2 game?

How many times have you seen a goalie make a big save at one end then the team go down the ice and score?

Soft goals change momentum .Just ask Steve Smith.

Watch the bench after a team battles back then the goalie lets in a soft one.

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#69 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
April 10 2013, 02:38PM
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Ducey wrote:

You are not helping yourself.

What difference does it make which shots he stops?

I've played hockey all my life. I hate when our goalie let's in sh*tty goals. Especially in close games.

If I, or any of my teammates, leave him out to dry and he has no chance, I don't blame him.

Nice try with the "stats are stats, bro" argument.

Get real.

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#70 Ducey
April 10 2013, 02:41PM
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Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy! wrote:

I'm not sure who's trolling here.

Critical part of being consistent is not letting soft goals in.

He said "If I didn't know better". He therefore wasn't suggesting you were trolling for a response.

He was suggesting you don't know what you are talking about.

Feel better?

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#71 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
April 10 2013, 02:44PM
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Clarko wrote:

My point is that if you dissect anybody's game, you are going to find faults. Looking at the pure stats, Crosby is having an amazing season, but I'm sure I could find 10-15 plays where he should have done better and maybe scored.

Same with Dubnyk...if you look at his numbers, he is having an amzaing season. If you break down and dissect every game, then sure, you can find room for improvement. I'm sure he wants to improve too. But if his numbers don't say #1 goalie, then again, you will never see a #1 goalie in Dubnyk.

I like Dubnyk. He's an interesting interview and looks to have the ability to be a good goalie. In short, I want him to succeed. If not for me, then for my Oilers.

But you absolutely have to dissect to improve. Sure his overall stats are good. But we've seen time and time again where NHL stats don't tell the whole story.

As much as I want to look at his stats and say, "that proves it right there, he's a legit starter", I can't because I've watched the games.

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#72 TDSM31
April 10 2013, 02:48PM
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Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy! wrote:

FIST!

Edit: Dubnyk is always good for a softy despite his excellent SV%. And that to me is a problem. I don't care where it ranks on the Oilers' totem pole of problems.

Also, Ochocinco is a multi-sport athlete?? Crazy!

Precisely! I had to laugh during the Ducks game when Kevin Quinn screamed "Great save!", only to have the shot kicked directly into the slot on Dvoraks stick and in the net. That was a routine shot that most goalies would have directed into the corner. The first goal was not much better. He does this almost every game.

Habby has the same exact same save percentage but I don't see everyone singing his praises the way they do with Dubnyk. Tencer tweeted about Doobies SV% putting him in the same class of goalie as Niemi and Lundqvist but it can be a very misleading stat to use to measure the quality of a goalie.

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#73 Clarko
April 10 2013, 02:48PM
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Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy! wrote:

I've played hockey all my life. I hate when our goalie let's in sh*tty goals. Especially in close games.

If I, or any of my teammates, leave him out to dry and he has no chance, I don't blame him.

Nice try with the "stats are stats, bro" argument.

Get real.

How about the other way around. What if you're in Dubnyk's position and you know if you let in 2 goals, your team is probably going to lose because the team can't score to save their lives. The most important 3 games of the entire season and your offense can only muster up 2 goals TOTAL!

The fact of the matter is during March and April, Dubnyk has a GAA of 2.36 and a .925 save percentage. That includes 17 total games...the team has only won 6 of those games.

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#74 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
April 10 2013, 02:53PM
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Ducey wrote:

Ah, the fallback to "I have played all my life argument". Nice.

There is no way logic can deal with that.

Awesome.

I love when people think they're smarter than you. That's a sign of immaturity, if not stupidity.

Fact: I've played organized hockey since 8 years of age. I'm 31 now. Still play beer league.

Fact: I graduated from U of A with an Engineering degree. I've learned something about logical thinking along the way.

Logic my d*ck.

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#75 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
April 10 2013, 03:11PM
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Glad to see some people are seeing it my way. Makes me feel less crazy.

Ryan Miller is considered one of the best goalies in the league. His SV% has been over 0.920 once.

Also, f**k Millhouse. I hope I meet him one day.

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#76 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
April 10 2013, 03:19PM
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northof51 wrote:

You are arguing for intangibles, and you have provided ZERO logic to defend your argument. I've been playing COMPETITIVE hockey for longer than you have been playing hockey, and I have 2 degrees, so does that make me more right than you? (See what I did there?)

I wish Dubnyk stopped everything too, but the reality is that he is better than average and he is affordable.

I've got buddies (who talk a lot like you) that are big fans of bringing Lou in - for what? His big salary and a ridiculous loss of talent at other positions. I'd like to see what you and everyone else would say bout Lou's (cough) .904 save percentage vs. what Dubnyk is achieving.

As Gregor said, goaltending is NOT the issue with the Oilers. It's that we get horribly out-shot and out-chanced

I agree 100% with you. Dubnyk is better than average, and by a quite a bit too. And he's definitely a bargain.

I also agree with you that Lou is not a good idea for the Oilers. Or most teams for that matter because of his contract.

At the beginning of the season, the question was: Is Dubnyk good enough to start in the NHL?

My answer now is: Almost. Soft goals have got to go.

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#77 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
April 10 2013, 03:20PM
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Mark-LW wrote:

And lots of goalies have had SV% over 0.920 more than once.

What is your point?

EDIT: No one is talking about long term performance. And does anyone here consider Ryan Miller one of the best goalies in the league? The point is that Dubnyk is keeping the team in games (save for maybe two) more often than the other way around.

SV% doesn't tell the whole story.

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#78 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
April 10 2013, 03:22PM
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Mark-LW wrote:

You realize that most people here are in the same situation you are but with varying degree disciplines right?Saying you've played hockey all your life doesn't exactly differentiate yourself from a crowd of Canadian men.

I've played hockey my entire life as well and i think you're stance on Dubynk is crazy

EDIT: I have actually been playing hockey since I was 6, so by your reasoning my opinion on hockey means more than yours

That's not what I was getting at.

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#79 mr. sense common
April 10 2013, 03:28PM
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can the oil still realistically make the playoffs? (im being serious)...they have to win all their games and det lose half?

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#80 Dog Train
April 10 2013, 03:48PM
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Looking forward to watching the last game every between the Edmonton Oilers and the Phoenix Coyotes. Long overdue because as bad as their attendance is, it's inflated by Canadians vacationing in the desert. Good riddance.

I don't care what our odds are, I want to see us win. We've done enough sucking. Fan appreciation night? All I want from the team is a win.

I'll say 4-2 Oilers. Hall leads the way with 2 goals and an assist.

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#81 Clarko
April 10 2013, 03:50PM
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mr. sense common wrote:

can the oil still realistically make the playoffs? (im being serious)...they have to win all their games and det lose half?

If the Oilers go 7-1-1, they would have to hope Detroit goes 5-4-0. Hoping Detroit does less than that would be stretching it for sure.

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#82 Flynn
April 10 2013, 03:52PM
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Doobie has come a long way, there's no doubt. his rebound control is night and day from last season. The soft goal syndrome will be overcome as well with some more time.

Like most goalies he struggles when he plays to deep in his net but this doesn't happen nearly as often these days.

Does make me nervous when playing the puck behind net. just stop it for your dman and get outta the way! lol.

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#83 NewAgeSys
April 10 2013, 04:00PM
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Congratulations on the N Schultz Crystal Ball call, nicely done.

I agree with you on Smytty but methinks he will use the rarely seen and often forgotten but statisticlly very sucessfull Ryan Smyth slapshot!!

I expect a multi-pointer from Gagner tonight. He has been playing like a man possesed, he created at least 5 clear penalty dynamics last game through incredible hardnosed work in dirty areas and was snakebitten by the refs, in fact in the 3rd period he was ripping up the middle and two guys literally tackled him and there was no call at that critical point after he had done the exact right things. Gagner is very respectfull of the refs and has been his entire career, he takes incredible punishment and doesnt complain much, I believe we will see this dynamic balance itself out and that Sam also knows things balance out in the end and he will be working extra hard tonight hoping this is the game the balance happens in.

Yakupov seems to be getting stronger and stronger out there and I think has earned a stay of execution from Ralph and he should be on the 2nd line with Sam and MPS.

Ralph has really outdone himself, he has avoided the lines of Hall--Nuge--Eberle

MPS-Gagner-Yakupov

Smyth-Horcs-Hemsky

In that order all year long, he has specificcly avoided these combos, Ralph sure found a way to dance around them all year long and I have harped on him relentlessly for it since game 3 of this year.

Get over it Ralph because I will not let you forget the record as you yourself chose to write it this year, be accountable. Ralph Krueger still refuses to put Hemsky on the 3rd line as a zone entry specialist and Yakupov on the 2nd as a sniper with MPS as his zone entry specialist as they belong, he has kissed his own sister with tonights lines but he just refuses to buckle under to the reality I have been jamming down his throat since game 3, that these lines I list are and will be our proper dynamic fits.

Until we make personell changes these will ALWAYS be the optimal lines because there is a SYSTEM behind my choices, there is a Program being utilised, it isnt guess work or gut feelings, it is NewAge Hockey System catalysed Intuative Dynamic Managment being expressed.

Simply switch Hemsky and Yakupov and we are set, Gagner is hot on the trigger right now and Yakupov has been passing like Dougie Weight lately. Someone please show Yakupov some Weight footage so he can see his own future ASAP, the Kid is a Weight clone, I bet he can really "Do The Dougie" from three feet into the o-zone just above the half-boards, weights old wheelhouse. I bet a hundred bucks that if you just showed Nail Weights footage for an hour before the game we would see patented moves tailormade for Nail but executed by Weight.

There is no one on our team who has the skillset to pass the puck with Yakupovs velocity and accuracy to teach Nail the NHL perspective to match his skillset, his passes are borderline shots every time, it is beautiful to watch and the last Oilers I saw with that ability was Doug Weight. So show Nail how another elite passer who his skillset exactly replicates operates at the elite level and give him some videos of exact situations and lanes Dougie used to break his linemates into the net area and set up the onetimer safely without getting turned around.

The coaches seem to have designed the playaction to keep Nail in Douglases wheelhouse and they are a near-perfect match in stature,physicality,and skill levels, so lets let Nail "Do the Dougie" and have Gagner and MPS shoot it up, Magnus on the one-timer crossice, and Sam on the redirections and scoop-shots from those crispy passes to the middle. Weight embraces the NHS so lets celebrate his history here and teach Nail all of his old tricks, what better mentor for Yakupov to have from the Oilers closet of teachers.

I sense a high scoring game from both teams, so I call it 8-7 Oilers in OT. I think both teams will be scoring 5on5 and that special teams will be working for both as well, it will be a Runaway Train I believe.

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#84 DSF
April 10 2013, 04:22PM
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Clarko wrote:

If the Oilers go 7-1-1, they would have to hope Detroit goes 5-4-0. Hoping Detroit does less than that would be stretching it for sure.

You appear to be forgetting that Dallas, Columbus and Phoenix all stand between the Wings and the Oilers.

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#85 TDSM31
April 10 2013, 04:23PM
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Lochenzo wrote:

@ TDSM31: I disagree. If you watch Dubnyk's head, he was clearly searching for the puck, meaning that screen in front of him was effective. He just got down in time to get a pad on the puck. And you want him to control the rebound on top of that?!?!? Maybe Dubnyk can hand deliver hot tea and biscuits to your door between periods too!

I dunno man. I watched the replay of the goal a few times on the Oilers website and I don't see Dubynk struggling to see the shot. To me it looks like his head is always focused in the same direction towards the shooter. The Anaheim player by the net is clearly to Dooby's side and he sees the shot the whole way.

There's no doubt he makes big saves during games but I feel he has more of a propensity than other no.1 goalies in this league to let in the soft goal. A soft goal will do more damage to a teams confidence (and to his own confidence) that a goal that went in on a great play by the other team.

Bottom line is I'm just not a big fan of his style of play and I don't think he's in the top half of no. 1 goalies in this league. I don't like using stats from 32 games either....lets see if he has a 923 sv% over the course of a normal schedule of a no. 1 goalie of 60 games or more.

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#86 northof51
April 10 2013, 04:24PM
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One last point about the goal tending - if Dubnyk isn't a true #1, as is being argued by some, who is? How do we acquire said #1? Will that goalie make us better?

I personally think that we are weakest within our top 4 dmen, and then everything else is complementary. Good goaltending (the same that Dubnyk has provided) and good D can turn also-rans into really good teams. With our burgeoning superstars up front, this team could really be something with another top tier defender.

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#87 Rama Lama
April 10 2013, 04:40PM
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Hey we have absolutely nothing to worry about........we won five games in a row and Tamby told the world, he has faith in the current group of players.

Now if RK can deliver his " I live in a van down by the river speech" , then we will win all the rest of the games, make the playoffs, and win the stanley cup!

Everything is fine.

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#88 wiseguy
April 10 2013, 04:41PM
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Oil spill, I mean change. wrote:

The Oilers will not make the playoffs. But it's okay because we can take the positives from this season and use it as a learning experience ... Blah, blah, blah. Ya we heard it before. Story's starting to get old. Either get it done, or find somebody who can.

Man I wish I had the inclination to go back in all the fan forums here and elsewhere over the last 3-4 years. It would be remarkable how it sounds the same every year. Same old, same old.

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#89 match16
April 10 2013, 04:41PM
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Unhealthy scratch wrote:

If a soft goal deflates the team, why didn't Anaheim fold after Schultz threw that frisbee into the net on Monday from the left hashmarks?

DD's save percentage puts him in the top half of the league's starters. His team doesn't score enough goals, and doesn't prevent enough shots. So they lose, despite his contribution.

If you don't understand the problem you are no better than Tambellini. That's all we need, misguided encouragement for ST to downgrad the goaltending like he has every other position.

Identify the real problem, don't fix what isn't broken.

Well, it also depends what position your team is in. If you're up 5-0 and your goalie lets in a soft one late, teammates can laugh about him ruining his shutout. On the other hand, if you're down 1-0 and your team is making a push for the tie, then your goalie lets in a softie, it can really deflate the team.

I don't think he's saying Dubnyk is bad, just that always being focused and ready and not letting in those softies is what separates the elites from the above averages.

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#90 Ogie Oilthorpe
April 10 2013, 04:47PM
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@NewAgeSys

I can't even include your quote in the reply it was so freakin long.

However, I agree. I don't understand why at home they don't swap Yak and Hemsky and give 91-89-64 some softer minutes and let the vet line take the toughs..

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#91 mr_nihilism
April 10 2013, 04:53PM
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Blood, sweat and tears:

It's all I ask for.

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#92 Will
April 10 2013, 04:56PM
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Dubnyk is kind of a weird situation. He has stood on his head some nights and completely stolen games. Vey few games has he flat out played poorly, I think both the stats and anyone that watches can agree on that. Which to my eye gives us a somewhat middle of the pack number one, that generally gives us a shot to win. That is all that I can ask for from our goalie right now after so many bad years of questionable goal tending.

However, it is very frustrating to watch him let in the softies. For a team that is consistently outshot, for him to let in those soft ones is the difference between fighting for a playoff spot and being in the show. However, the fact that he has the stats he does and plays on a team that gets so badly outshot is very encouraging.

So, instead of trying to replace Dubnyk, for now I would like to see some effort to upgrade our defence. Simply put, get Yandle, sign Fistric. When we become the team that isn't getting outshot, we will be a contender, plain and simple.

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#93 Pucker
April 10 2013, 05:00PM
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For me then main reason reason for frustration with the easy goals (Duby or Khabi) is because the team has such a problem scoring.

I think Duby is good goalie and he was outstanding vs Anaheim!

And to my eye, there are a lot less 'easy' goals this year vs last.

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#94 Rocket
April 10 2013, 05:02PM
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A little off topic but but I thought this might be interesting.

From Elliotte Friedman's 30 thoughts:

"27. Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin wouldn't comment on this story, but another source told me it was true, so I'm going with it. In 2006, when Chris Pronger asked to be traded from Edmonton, Chicago had a shot at getting him. Bergevin worked for the Blackhawks, who decided not to make the trade because they weren't ready to win. The deal included the draft pick that landed either Jonathan Toews or Patrick Kane (the source wasn't sure which). Can you imagine? Bergevin remembers that outcome and it shapes his philosophy. Don't swing for the fences unless your team has certain staying power."

Could you imagine Jonathan Toews playing for The Oilers? Wow.

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#95 Time Travelling Sean
April 10 2013, 05:12PM
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@Rocket

Was it happening in the off-season? Or was that the pick they got next year? Cause I think having Pronger would increase their win totals.

Besides we got Ebs and Smid for Prongs, doesn't seem like a bad deal, even considering we could have gotten Toews.

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#96 match16
April 10 2013, 05:29PM
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Unhealthy scratch wrote:

It's not about the score, it's about whether you know as a team that you are good enough to overcome a bad bounce, missed call or soft goal.

The Oiler skaters are not good enough, collectively. DD stops pucks for a living and he stops them at a respectable save percentage. The psyche of the team, and the causes of it, are up to ST to fix, not DD.

But let's say you are right, and the cure is to go get an elite goaltender. Who has to make that trade or sign that FA? The guy that does the trades and signs the UFAs today? Thanks but no thanks.

I wasn't necessarily saying in the Oiler's case. You asked why the Ducks weren't deflated from the weak goal Schultz scored so I was stating it can depend on the team's position.

Personally, I think Dubnyk is a legitimate #1 in the NHL and is still improving. I never said "the cure was to get an elite goalteneder."

Quit assuming things.

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#98 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
April 10 2013, 05:32PM
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Oil spill, I mean change. wrote:

The Oilers will not make the playoffs. But it's okay because we can take the positives from this season and use it as a learning experience ... Blah, blah, blah. Ya we heard it before. Story's starting to get old. Either get it done, or find somebody who can.

STARTING to get old??

The rash on my scrotum is starting to get old, this Oilers thing has been going for the better part of a decade.....

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#99 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
April 10 2013, 05:35PM
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Bucknuck wrote:

If the Oilers play as bad tonight as they have been the last few games, I wouldn't be surprised to see Kreuger get a little "Tortorella" on the team.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=WSSp9NbWsFY

What does Ralph spilling his pasta on team member have to do with anything??

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#100 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
April 10 2013, 05:36PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

As a committee member I second the motion.

I KNEW Wes was on that committee!!

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