GDB 45.0: OILERS/DUCKS ROUND TWO

Jason Gregor
April 22 2013 11:36AM

I'd love to see the NHL implement back-to-back games involving the same teams in the same city on a regular basis. You can't do it all the time, but three or four times a year would be a welcome change. The Oilers and Ducks will faceoff again tonight after Anaheim won 3-1 last night.

If the Oilers were in a playoff race, not a draft positioning race, these two games would have been great, but I still think we will see a bit more animosity and emotion tonight, than if the Oilers were playing another team.

It is tough to get motivated for meaningless games. While the Oilers will say all the right things; "playing for pride," "we owe it to the fans," "or we want to impress the coaches and management," the reality is that it is hard to bring your "A" game when you know that in six days your season will end prematurely.

At least the Oilers should have some anger pent up from last night, and they will have a chance for revenge tonight. They will need something different to motivate them. I thought Taylor Hall's early goal last evening would give them the boost they needed, but they were unable to build on it.

LINEUP

Hall-Gagner-Eberle
Hartikainen-Lander-Yakupov
Smyth-Horcoff-Jones
Smithson-Belanger-Brown

Eric Belanger will play because Magnus Paajarvi has a foot injury. The Oilers had an optional skate, so they didn't run lines, so those are just my best guess as to what they will look like. Belanger is a bit concerned about re-aggravating his groin injury, but he will dress.

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

Khabibulin

Whitney draws in for Fistric, while Khabibulin draws in for Dubnyk.

QUICK HITS

  • With four games to go the Oilers are in 25th place. I don't think many expected that, and to make things worse the Calgary Flames moved ahead of them yesterday. Fans can say it is better to tank it now and get a higher draft pick, which makes sense, but Oiler fans must be getting sick of being worse than the Flames.
     
  • The Oilers haven't finished ahead of the Flames since 2003.
     
  • Jordan Eberle finished tied for 15th in league scoring last season, and Taylor Hall is currently tied for 14th with John Tavares with four games to go.
     
  • Doug Weight was the last Oiler to crack the top-ten in scoring when he finished 8th in scoring in 2001 with 90 points. He also finished 11th in 1996 when he totalled 104.
     
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkin's agent Rick Valette explains their thought process regarding RNH's surgery. Read here.
     
  • I received a few sweet audition tapes for our King/Queen of Karaoke contest. If you want to submit an entry or know someone who should, read here.
     
  • The Oilers traded prospect Tobias Reider to Phoenix for Kale Kessy on March 29th, and then signed him to a three-year entry level deal on April 6th. Kessy isn't a big point producer, but he's having an excellent playoffs with Kamloops in the WHL. Kessy has 11 goals in 12 playoff games. He'd be a 3rd line NHL player at best most likely, but the Oilers must be pleased watching a prospect excel in the postseason.  
     
  • Frankie from the Oilersnation.com hockey team raised over $3,000 last week for Alzheimers, and in the process he won a pair of seats in the Christensen Development suite for tonight's game. He wants to auction them off with all the proceeds going to Alzheimers. Good guy. So you can bid on two seats in the suite, all your food and booze included. You can bid in comment section or better send an email to gregor@theteam1260.com with your bid. Auction closes at 3 p.m. Thanks for donating.

TONIGHT....

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers will bend over backwards to try to avoid the sweep, but the Ducks will win a feisty affair 4-3.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: After hitting the the goal post twice while shooting at the empty net last night, Andrew Cogliano scores early in the first period.  Former-Oiler curse continues.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: In the midst of his longest goal-scoring drought of his career, 28 games, Ryan Smyth gets a surprising boost when he plays a shift with the Belanger Triangle. Smyth and Belanger combine for a 2nd period goal and then the hashtag NSOGDP will be trending on twitter. Stranger things have happened Nation readers.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
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 ghostofberanek
April 22 2013, 11:48AM
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I'm gonna get crazy here and say 4-1 for the (not so mighty) Oil. I just got me a feelin'.

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#2 Rama Lama
April 22 2013, 11:52AM
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Great news that Belenger is back! With him in our line-up moving up in the draft is a guarantee.

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#3 Harlie
April 22 2013, 11:53AM
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LFL!!

And that's one way to check to see if you remembered your wallet..

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#4 The Beaker
April 22 2013, 11:53AM
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ghostofberanek wrote:

I'm gonna get crazy here and say 4-1 for the (not so mighty) Oil. I just got me a feelin'.

i hope not, I never want to see the Oilers lose (so I just wont watch! Ha!) but a win tonight would ruin my hopes for Barkov.

If we end up in 26th and are drafting 5th I can pray that will be enough to get barkov or to trade up one spot to get him. Then I can go to just hoping and team in 30th-27th wins the lottery.

If we are higher than that then I have to pray to tambellini that we can win the lotto.

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#5 The Beaker
April 22 2013, 11:55AM
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Rama Lama wrote:

Great news that Belenger is back! With him in our line-up moving up in the draft is a guarantee.

We just need Carolina to win one more. (they have a tough 3 games left though) I dont see us moving up the lotto ladder any higher than that.

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#6 Will
April 22 2013, 11:57AM
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Ugh, what is there left to cheer for? Yakupov running up some more points and making a case for Calder? Hall cracking the top ten? The Oilers tanking to pick up Barkov? Not that a bigger rookie centre is going to make this team better anyway.

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#7 madjam
April 22 2013, 12:08PM
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Oilers contemplating signing mean Suarez to take a bite out of the opposition next year, literally . On a serious note - take Nicushkin and wait on him if necessary .

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#8 Will
April 22 2013, 12:19PM
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The Beaker wrote:

i hope not, I never want to see the Oilers lose (so I just wont watch! Ha!) but a win tonight would ruin my hopes for Barkov.

If we end up in 26th and are drafting 5th I can pray that will be enough to get barkov or to trade up one spot to get him. Then I can go to just hoping and team in 30th-27th wins the lottery.

If we are higher than that then I have to pray to tambellini that we can win the lotto.

If we win the lotto though, wouldn't that mean taking Seth Jones? And if so do we need him more or a big second line centre more?

Klefbomb, Jones, J.Schultz sounds like a pretty sweet D core moving forward. But finally having some size in our top six would also be nice. But if we win the lottery, they will draft BPA, and that is Seth Jones.

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#9 Six Rings
April 22 2013, 12:22PM
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I will be planning my visit to the Stollery to visit Nuge asap!

Just have to find what room he is in.

GDP: 3-2 OT win for the Ducks.

Looking forward to seeing Mac T back at TSN studios for the lotto.

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#10 Bucknuck
April 22 2013, 12:24PM
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I think I am turning on my Hockey blinders a little early this year. I always find the playoffs hard when the Oil aren't in it, and this year is even worse, since I had a crazy little thing called hope. I was very silly to hope.

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#11 etownman
April 22 2013, 12:24PM
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Suck on it Trebek! Suck it long & suck it hard!

Fistric should be in lineup but I can totally understand having too much physicality in play :-)

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#12 leadfarmer
April 22 2013, 12:26PM
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I think the NHL should implement the back to back games against the same opponent next year so the new teams can get to know and quickly hate their new divisional rivals.

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#13 HardBoiledOil
April 22 2013, 12:35PM
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i dunno, if we keep sinking, who knows who we might end up with at the draft? right now, at 6th overall, we'd be likely looking at C Elias Lindholm or D Rasmas Ristolainen or Darnell Nurse. guess tanking at the end of the season ain't all that bad?

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#14 DigDeepNBleedBlue
April 22 2013, 12:40PM
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Embarrassing game last night. I attended. Everyone can blame whichever player they want, but the coaching is a major problem. It's ugly out there. JMO

A few things:

Defence trying to break out of their own end. One play has them by their goalie and looking to make a breakout pass. The forwards are at the opps. blue line. WTF! They do try to make a 90ft pass and, yes, it doesn't work.

The fourth line gets matched up against Anaheim's first. There are no young players on the fourth, so who's gonna learn what?

It's ugly what's going on.

Ducks are a big team. Fistric's minutes get cut back. Why? Because he's a heavy hitter. He was on for shifts where they had the Ducks pinned in their own zone.

Brown takes a ugly slashing penalty and his minutes are cut back. This just looks like petty coaching. People make mistakes. Highlight them, but when you need some muscle use what you have.

Coaching needs to be addressed. No more excuses.

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#15 Rocket
April 22 2013, 12:46PM
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If it's hard for fans to watch these last few games, it must be even harder for the players to show some passion against these tough teams.

Hopefully The Oilers give us something good to watch.

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#16 Keg on Legs
April 22 2013, 12:49PM
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The Flames are winning with their kids down the stretch, why? Because they aren't playing old veterans to slow them down. Is there any reason to have Smyth etc playing? Only plus is our farm team is still in the playoffs

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#17 Quicksilver ballet
April 22 2013, 12:50PM
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Bucknuck wrote:

I think I am turning on my Hockey blinders a little early this year. I always find the playoffs hard when the Oil aren't in it, and this year is even worse, since I had a crazy little thing called hope. I was very silly to hope.

It's not so bad, watching the playoffs with no emotion involved. The playoffs can be just as enjoyable when the weight of expectation of your team isn't at stake.

I've always found, the hockey that matters is still enjoyable while the spring turns into summer. We then live and die with the Eskimos for a few weeks till it all starts over again in the fall.

5-zip Duckeroos please...

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#18 bdiddy18
April 22 2013, 12:55PM
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LoSETH Jones !! one more 1st overall pick and we are officially a dynasty at the draft table.

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#19 Rocket
April 22 2013, 01:01PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

It's not so bad, watching the playoffs with no emotion involved. The playoffs can be just as enjoyable when the weight of expectation of your team isn't at stake.

I've always found, the hockey that matters is still enjoyable while the spring turns into summer. We then live and die with the Eskimos for a few weeks till it all starts over again in the fall.

5-zip Duckeroos please...

I don't normally do fantasy hockey during the regular season but usually take part in a playoff pool. It's a weird feeling watching the playoffs with an almost detached enjoyment; not really caring who wins & just wanting entertaining games.

And if I do well in my pool picks, all the better.

Still, I wish The Oilers made the playoffs every 5 years or so.

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#20 The Real Scuba Steve
April 22 2013, 01:02PM
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@Bucknuck

I hear you, you get that split sec excitement when the game starts and crowd is roaring but it is not as fun watching them without your team.

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#21 dougtheslug
April 22 2013, 01:34PM
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Awesome!The Mactavish regime shows its committment to continuity by playing Belanger in a must lose situation. Tambo used to have Cam Barker in his arsenal to accomplish that but Belanger is a suitable replacement. The Mark Off for Barkov continues.

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#22 Ryan2
April 22 2013, 01:36PM
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I will still watch the Cup finals, and cheer against the Habs, Nucks and, if they make it, Wild. LOL

That being said, the Nucks and Wild look ripe for first round eliminations this year.

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#23 Ducey
April 22 2013, 01:41PM
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No Nuge? No MPS? Whitney? Bulin? Belanger!

That should be enough for another loss.

Come on Ducks! We've got some drafting to do.

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#24 dougtheslug
April 22 2013, 02:23PM
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Ducey wrote:

No Nuge? No MPS? Whitney? Bulin? Belanger!

That should be enough for another loss.

Come on Ducks! We've got some drafting to do.

Holy Cow, I didn't even notice Whitney was dressed! They are really pulling out all the stops for this one, to make sure that the Class A Oiler fans get their money's worth. After the Fall for Hall, Not Tryin' for Ryan, the Fail for Nail, and now the Mark Off for Barkov, its good to see, that even with regime change(?), the Oiler Commitment to (something less than) Excellence is a tradition we are preserving.

What NHL GM would trade his roster for this one, Mr. Lowe? Heck, right now I'd trade this one for Calgary's. At least they understand the meaning of the word "Integrity".

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#25 Rob...
April 22 2013, 03:17PM
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God I love that last picture, thanks Jason. It helps distract from the absolute lack of interest I have in anything that happens on the ice at Oilers games right now.

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#26 dougtheslug
April 22 2013, 03:26PM
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Hey Gregor,I'm still trying to digest that comment that Belanger is worried about reaggravating his groin injury. Trying to picture in my mind what a tentative Eric Belanger will look like. How will we be able to tell??

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#27 messyEH!
April 22 2013, 03:31PM
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I always like "not winnin for Mckinnion" Or "in ruin for Drouin", or "sucking bones for jones."

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#28 messyEH!
April 22 2013, 03:43PM
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What are the chances of Lazar falling to the second round. If we got Monahan and Lazar we could have some decent depth.

I need to start cheering for a new sport. Any chance of slam ball coming back? Sigh....

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#29 Oiler Al
April 22 2013, 03:45PM
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Paajarvi on one leg is still better than Belanger on two,,, but you got to do what you have to do to get the Lotto picks...

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#30 Rob...
April 22 2013, 04:02PM
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messyEH! wrote:

What are the chances of Lazar falling to the second round. If we got Monahan and Lazar we could have some decent depth.

I need to start cheering for a new sport. Any chance of slam ball coming back? Sigh....

If Calgary keeps its picks I don't see Lazar slipping past them. Luckily the Flames are 'going to make the playoffs' next year, so they'll trade those picks for whatever they can get in pursuit of that goal.

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#31 madjam
April 22 2013, 04:04PM
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Revamping bottom six : Parros.938, Orr 1.0 , Boll 1.050 ,Fiddler 1.8 ,Nystrom 1.4 ,Sobotka 1.3 ,Talbot 1.75 ,Sutter 2.0 ,Dupuis 1.5 ,Henrique .854 . Defence : Franson 1.2 , Alzner 1.25 , Del Zotto 2.55 , Stralman 1.7 , McDonagh 1.3 , Sbisa 2.18 , Morris 2.75 ,Pysyk .87 , Bogosian 2.5 .

Some reasonable upgrades to round out bottom 6 , and maybe even defence . Contract amounts are respectfully small . Any you can see that are both an upgrade and fill the need to be grittier ?

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#32 Ducey
April 22 2013, 04:10PM
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dougtheslug wrote:

Holy Cow, I didn't even notice Whitney was dressed! They are really pulling out all the stops for this one, to make sure that the Class A Oiler fans get their money's worth. After the Fall for Hall, Not Tryin' for Ryan, the Fail for Nail, and now the Mark Off for Barkov, its good to see, that even with regime change(?), the Oiler Commitment to (something less than) Excellence is a tradition we are preserving.

What NHL GM would trade his roster for this one, Mr. Lowe? Heck, right now I'd trade this one for Calgary's. At least they understand the meaning of the word "Integrity".

Integrity?

They just called up 7 guys from the farm. They are outshot every game. The GM is doing his best to lose; lady luck is doing otherwise.

I wouldn't trade the whole Calgary roster for Taylor Hall. That team is destined for another decade of balancing on the playoff bubble.

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#33 laughing pug
April 22 2013, 04:11PM
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The cynicism in here i unbelievable! How can you call yourselves true fans if this is th.......BLARRGHHHHH OH MAN WE ARE SO BAD!!

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#34 Walter Sobchak
April 22 2013, 04:32PM
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The Beaker wrote:

We just need Carolina to win one more. (they have a tough 3 games left though) I dont see us moving up the lotto ladder any higher than that.

The Hurricanes, Predators and the Lightning win just two games and the Oilers lose there remaining games, that puts the Oilers in third place in the lottery position and all but guarantee's Barkov with an outside shot at Mackinnon.

ELPH with Yakupov getting points in the last few games.

Yak city for Calder.

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#35 Time Travelling Sean
April 22 2013, 04:56PM
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Go Oilers, give me some entertainment please.

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#36 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
April 22 2013, 05:06PM
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Islanders..ERRR Oilers lose tonight sorry but it isnt gonna be fun. Any way Lowe can get another promotion?

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#37 Harlie
April 22 2013, 05:09PM
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etownman wrote:

Suck on it Trebek! Suck it long & suck it hard!

Fistric should be in lineup but I can totally understand having too much physicality in play :-)

OK, Turd Ferguson..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aN6rjLcpBnI

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#38 Sliderule
April 22 2013, 05:16PM
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The oilers will need a new coaching team at end of this week.

RK will be in banking ,Smith will be in scouting and Bucky should be selling cars.

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#39 Hockeyfan_99
April 22 2013, 05:32PM
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So let's see... The Ducks can clinch the western title by beating us tonight. Why don't we help them out and start Dubnyk again?

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#40 Dog Train
April 22 2013, 05:33PM
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Colorado is out of it and playing hard. The Flames are out of it and playing hard. Why can't we? We lacked passion when we were in the playoff race so I am not buying the meaningless games argument. We don't have enough pure disdain for losing.

Ducks win 4-1.

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#41 michael
April 22 2013, 05:43PM
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Love the back to backs. I would really love it against those teams we play 4 games against in our conference.Go to St Louis play 2, Chicago 2 and the his Nashville for 2. The saving in travel cost and the wear and tear on the players would be so much better. THE Western Conference would really benefit form back to backs. The EC ? It would not matter but having Montreal in TBays back to back would certainly make for some nice travel packages. A week in Florida with Toronto and Montreal doing back to backs.Sweet for the Leaf and Canadiens fans. The NHL could market it as getaway packages.

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#42 madjam
April 22 2013, 06:01PM
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The team is playing hard , but we are simply not a good team yet overall . That should change for next season with any luck , and rebuilding of the core to compliment our youth . Youths development stunted this year by a poor supporting caste .

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#43 mouthbreather
April 22 2013, 06:06PM
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can't wait to see Captain Horcoff make another brain fart off the faceoff with 4 sec to go. JOKE.

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#44 DrunkGuyTy
April 22 2013, 06:32PM
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Thank goodness in this part of the world I can get caught up in the Jets' playoff race.

It was especially entertaining last night watching Petry trying to "check" Getzlaf. Getz looked like he was trying to shrug a fly off his back. He looked more annoyed than actually being worried about being stripped of the puck.

And the pic ...f.u.n.

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#45 Darrell
April 22 2013, 06:40PM
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Anyone else watching the wild close to an epic fall from the playoffs?

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#46 admiralmark
April 22 2013, 06:41PM
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I think rules state you cannot buyout a player that is injured... So how on gods green earth does it make sense to play Belanger when even he says he doesnt trust his groin? Unless....... OH GOD?!

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#47 madjam
April 22 2013, 06:59PM
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The trains off the track for ON . Why are you hoping to promote developmental players in the system when it looks like next years team is focused on acquiring a new core outside that ?

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#48 messyEH!
April 22 2013, 07:14PM
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michael wrote:

Love the back to backs. I would really love it against those teams we play 4 games against in our conference.Go to St Louis play 2, Chicago 2 and the his Nashville for 2. The saving in travel cost and the wear and tear on the players would be so much better. THE Western Conference would really benefit form back to backs. The EC ? It would not matter but having Montreal in TBays back to back would certainly make for some nice travel packages. A week in Florida with Toronto and Montreal doing back to backs.Sweet for the Leaf and Canadiens fans. The NHL could market it as getaway packages.

^^^^^^^best idea ever.^^^^^^^^^^

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#49 Harlie
April 22 2013, 07:47PM
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Nice penalties Komrade Horcov.

Now pay dat myan his myoney.

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#50 clyde
April 22 2013, 07:54PM
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Ducey wrote:

Integrity?

They just called up 7 guys from the farm. They are outshot every game. The GM is doing his best to lose; lady luck is doing otherwise.

I wouldn't trade the whole Calgary roster for Taylor Hall. That team is destined for another decade of balancing on the playoff bubble.

Taylor Hall? Really? He disappeared so quickly when it mattered it really wasn't funny. If Calgary is destined for another decade of futility, where does that leave the Oilers? I wouldn't trade Sven for the whole Oiler roster.

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