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

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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 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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#52 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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#53 Harlie
April 22 2013, 07:47PM
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Nice penalties Komrade Horcov.

Now pay dat myan his myoney.

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#54 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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#55 a lg dubl dubl
April 22 2013, 07:56PM
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The higher the draft pick this year the higher the trade value it has, trade it please!! the team needs better NHL caliber defence.

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#56 Quicksilver ballet
April 22 2013, 07:57PM
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C'mon Anaheim, won't you atleast let the Oilers touch the puck!

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#57 Harlie
April 22 2013, 07:59PM
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That didn't take long..

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/04/22/jarome-iginla-calgary-house-for-sale_n_3134251.html

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#58 JL
April 22 2013, 08:02PM
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how's the never ending rebuild oiler douche ?

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#59 Quicksilver ballet
April 22 2013, 08:07PM
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Yowsa, Oilers got away with one there. Horc easily could've easily got a delay of game when he lead that 3 on 2 across the Ducks blueline.

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#60 Time Travelling Sean
April 22 2013, 08:22PM
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Just make Hall the captain, it's so obvious.

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#61 clyde
April 22 2013, 08:26PM
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Time Travelling Sean wrote:

Just make Hall the captain, it's so obvious.

Every time he loses the puck at center and slams his stick and coasts back, it becomes even more obvious to me as well.

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#62 RexLibris
April 22 2013, 08:30PM
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Patience now, Oilers faithful.

Lowe gets one free year for every Cup Ring (be it in Edmonton or otherwise) plus one for that near-miss in 2006.

So, by that math then, next year....

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#63 Reagan
April 22 2013, 08:36PM
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Whos eating their time with the rest of the season? Waiting for draft and free agency....

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#64 TonyT
April 22 2013, 09:11PM
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Remember that time when people thought that Horcoff was valuable to this team winning? No that he's a bad player, but given the Oilers lineup bringing Rob Brown and Louie Debrusk down from the booth would give this team added value. Having said that, I'd be pretty disappointed if Horcoff didn't give up the C this summer.

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#65 Fresh Mess
April 22 2013, 09:24PM
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I suspect Horcoff will be moving on to a cap-basement team this off season. His actual annual salary over the next two years will average 3.5 million. His cap number is 5.5 million, giving a basement team 2 million in free cap hit.

Add to that his no movement clause downgrades to a limited no trade clause for 2013-14. So Horc has to provide the oilers a list of ten teams he would accept a trade to. He could also be waived, which I think is more likely than him being traded.

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#66 clyde
April 22 2013, 09:36PM
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cogliano used to score at the same rate as eberle, gagne, hall and nudge when he was first an oiler too. lol

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#67 TonyT
April 22 2013, 10:14PM
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K Lowe's going to hate this but I turned the game off midway through the 2nd. Anyways, anyone know if the Oilers got the Bronx cheer tonight?

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#68 Rod from Viking
April 22 2013, 10:39PM
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Reg Dunlop wrote:

Bear with me, folks. I want to run down the list of this season's positives.

1) Taylor Hall recovered completely from shoulder surgery.

2)

2)Tambo got fired

3)

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#69 oilerjet
April 22 2013, 11:37PM
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Rod from Viking wrote:

2)Tambo got fired

3)

3) 'Meaningful' games in April

4)

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#70 Westcoastoil
April 23 2013, 06:17AM
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oilerjet wrote:

3) 'Meaningful' games in April

4)

4) Whitney is a UFA

5)

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#71 NewAgeSys
April 23 2013, 07:05AM
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Ouch! That one stung a little.

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#72 messyEH!
April 23 2013, 02:57PM
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Westcoastoil wrote:

4) Whitney is a UFA

5)

5) Schultz choose us.

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