GDB 48.0: The End of the Road

Jonathan Willis
April 27 2013 12:59PM

The Oilers’ season will once again end at the same time as the NHL playoffs begin. Edmonton plays its final game tonight against the “Vancouver Canucks” – with third place locked up, the Northwest Division champs will rest a bunch of players against the Oilers, underlining the fact that this game is almost entirely meaningless.

The Opposition

There will be no need to worry about the Sedin twins putting on a passing clinic tonight.

Also taking the night off are one or two players of note.

So: the Canucks will be without their three ice-time leaders on the blue line, and of their three ice-time leaders at forward two will be scratched and one will be playing on the fourth line. Frank Corrado (nine games of professional experience) led the team in even-strength ice-time one game ago and is likely to repeat the feat against the Oilers.

The Oilers

Presumably the Oilers use more or less the same forward combinations they played against Minnesota, but the defence is where things might get interesting. Mark Fistric left the game against the Wild early, Ryan Whitney has a leg injury, and Theo Peckham has mono, meaning the Oilers only have five healthy defencemen.

Yesterday’s lines:

  • Taylor Hall – Shawn Horcoff – Nail Yakupov
  • Magnus Paajarvi – Sam Gagner – Jordan Eberle
  • Ryan Jones – Eric Belanger – Anton Lander
  • Ryan Smyth – Jerred Smithson – Mike Brown
  • Ladislav Smid – Jeff Petry
  • Nick Schultz – Corey Potter
  • Mark Fistric – Justin Schultz

Devan Dubnyk will start for Edmonton.

Predictions

Game day prediction: Yesterday I predicted a dull, soul-crushing affair for the Oilers. They won 6-1. Since that worked out so well, this game’s going to be even more lopsided – a 4-0 Vancouver victory, with Frank Corrado scoring his first NHL goal.

Obvious game day prediction: In keeping with the above, by the end of May Oilers Nation will be flooded with complaints that the 4-0 score on the website’s “last game” marker is depressing.

Not-so-obvious game day prediction: Cam Barker will have a strong night on Vancouver’s third pairing. Jay Feaster, watching the game because Calgary’s season is already over, will be struck by Barker’s draft pedigree (mentioned on the broadcast), puck-moving ability, and size, then click over to NHL Numbers to see that he’s an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year. The Flames will sign him to a two-year deal on the first day of free agency and Barker’s agent will just be one team away from filling out his Northwest Division clubs bingo card.

Recently around the Nation Network

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Jonathan Willis is Managing Editor of the Nation Network. He also currently writes for the Edmonton Journal's Cult of Hockey, Grantland, and Hockey Prospectus. His work has appeared at theScore, ESPN and Puck Daddy. He was previously founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue. Contact him at jonathan (dot) willis (at) live (dot) ca.
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#1 15w40
April 27 2013, 09:05PM
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Question for the moderators...

I am all for debate - not everyone on the board has to be a Oilers' disciple or cheerleader, but at what point where every post that is started ends up in the ditch because of one member, does the purpose of this site begin to fail the majority of the population of this site?

Invariably no matter what the subject matter of the original post it ends up in a complete waste of space argument about bad drafts, bad management, bad coaching, bad players.

Some or all of which may be somewhat accurate.

If the main objective is to roll up the post counts then carry on I guess.

There are the usual "ignore the troll" posts that pop up but sifting through all of the irrelevant, "Oilers R Bad" posts and the "I am rubber U R glue" crap is becoming really tedious.

IMHO

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#2 wiseguy
April 27 2013, 10:38PM
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I will enjoy looking at this score all summer on this site.

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#3 Rod from Viking
April 27 2013, 09:05PM
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A couple of posters on this site have gotten completely out of hand, when 1 out of 3 posts are by the same troll that I am sure got kicked off the Novice hockey team at age 16 for pissing in the water bottles.I thought the real Oiler fans were going to ignore what ever it is that is wrecking this site,it is getting worse than HB for stupid comments and bickering.

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#4 messyEH!
April 27 2013, 01:27PM
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DSF wrote:

NSOGDP:

Justin Schultz, standing on the tee at the 18th hole, is only 2 shots behind the leader and has a chance to take home the Green Jacket.

At -19 he better win that jacket...

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#5 Wäx Män Riley
April 27 2013, 01:44PM
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DSF wrote:

The Canucks will be playing without their entire top 6 D unless Bieksa, who is coming off injury, plays.

Should be guaranteed win night for the Oilers.

Guaranteed win night?

Have you even watched the Oilers play?

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#6 Alsker
April 27 2013, 10:47PM
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Eddie Shore wrote:

What was "Jr's" +/- tonight?

Oh, its plus 4, must be a misprint, Im sure DSF will have the real number soon.

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#7 dougtheslug
April 27 2013, 05:45PM
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keilan wrote:

Sam Gagner a serviceable NHL player? Do you watch anyone other than the Oilers?

Sam Gagner picked up another two points last night and wasn't noticeable at all, take away his 2nd assists and try if you can to isolate big goals and meaningful 1st assists when the game was on the line. That total is quite small.

Sam is over-paid now and of almost no trade value yet guys like you keep beating his drum......most over-rated player since Smyth joined the Oilers.

These types of serviceable NHL players are the reason the Oilers have stunk for the past 20 years....

Go ahead and list Sam's hockey skill-set but 1st here's my list

Win draws - no

Physical - no

Hard-on-the-puck - no

Playmaker - no

Good skater - no

Good shot - no

Good defensibly - terrible

Intimidates opposition - I'm laughing now

Hits the opposition - no

He was a better player his 1st year and that was 6 yrs ago. You want to compare Parise to Gagner? Get a grip.

Sam Gagner 3.2 million 14 goals 23 assists 37 points

Zach Parise 7.53 million 17goals 20assists 37points

Pretty magical for a guy who isn't physical, can't skate, can't pass, can't shoot, can't hit. Wow. How does he do it?

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#8 dougtheslug
April 27 2013, 08:31PM
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DSF wrote:

Don't be so whiny.

Some of us are hockey fans.

Basing your love for the game on the worst franchise in the league just makes you look like a loser.

I can be a fan of the game (and I am), without deliberately and maliciously insulting, berating, needling, and angering other fans. In fact, I think that's called being a good sport. I feel sorry for you that you think the way you do. It is a sign of deep unresolved problems that you always seem to feel the need to get in the last word.

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#9 2 AM
April 27 2013, 09:07PM
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DSF wrote:

You, of course, have the choice to be a fan in any way you so choose, and I will defend your right to do that.

Being a mindless idiot who supports a team no matter their results doesn't get much respect from me.

They're a dreadful hockey team, led by a dreadful band of losers and you're continuing support for the gong show says much more about you than it does about me.

If you don't like my opinion, you've obviously mistaken me for someone who cares what you think.

okee dokee, DSF, you have reached the end of the line here. I have admittedly felt the temptation to go to a flames fan site and prod them for as long as the site admins would let me do it. But i had those thoughts as a passing joke to myself. You've actually done it for some reason... Pretty much what youve told everyone here is that you are a bandwagoner. Only cheers for winners,

"a mindless idiot who supports a team no matter their results"

guess what lite bright its called being a fan... completely ridiculous. you probably will be an oilers fan once they start winning. I hope the community steers you a wide berth, cause if i met you on the street, thats what i would do. I wont respond to a reply from you, and others shouldnt either.

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#10 m3sh
April 27 2013, 10:30PM
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DSF wrote:

I agree.

We need to silence the voices of dissent.

We musn't allow anyone to have another view.

If they won't shut up, we should just shoot them.

Same ol' strawman argument bs from you.

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#11 Eddie Shore
April 27 2013, 10:45PM
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What was "Jr's" +/- tonight?

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#12 SrCain
April 28 2013, 12:42AM
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DSF wrote:

Whether or not they "wrecked the team" is likely not the issue.

The fact remains they did NOT build a winner while working together.

You may point to MacT's coaching record as "pretty strong" but in fact it's dismal.

301W - 308L - 47T

That's a record that will keep you out of the playoffs in perpetuity.

If you then move the goalposts and blame Lowe and Howson for not giving MacT the players he needed to win...why exactly are Lowe and Howson still involved in the process?

There is no record of success from any of this triumvirate....none.

Why are they in charge of fixing the mess THEY created?

actually it's 301W 252L 47T. A very respectable record, especially considering the roster he had. cherry pick stats all you want, but flat out lying makes you look desperate.

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#13 ItsTheBGB
April 27 2013, 01:04PM
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SUPER FIST OILERS WIN!!!!

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#14 DSF
April 27 2013, 01:18PM
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NSOGDP:

Justin Schultz, standing on the tee at the 18th hole, is only 2 shots behind the leader and has a chance to take home the Green Jacket.

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#15 GVBlackhawk
April 27 2013, 07:41PM
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DSF wrote:

You're assuming that the hockey operations staff don't talk to each other and collaborate on personnel decisions.

I think that's a pretty specious assumption.

Howson had 5 years in Columbus to build a winner and, only after his departure has the team had any success.

You may give him partial credit for the resurgence of the Jackets but 5 years is a bigger body of work.

You just described your hero Brian Burke.

Ouch.

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#16 @Oilanderp
April 27 2013, 10:55PM
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Dear Deliberate Stats Fudger,

Suck it. Suck it Canucks. Suck. It.

We destroyed Vancouver's team of 3rd and 4th liners. I don't care. Now until October I get to see EDM 7 VAN 2 AHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHA

*drool* *pant*

It's the little things in life.

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#17 messyEh
April 28 2013, 05:05AM
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ubermiguel wrote:

Actually, it's 301W - 252L - 47T - 56OTL.

Looking at the stats there's a pretty clear moment when the team really tanked: after the '06 Cup run.

The Pronger-fiasco and over-payments to Horcoff and Pisani really killed the team.

You take that back. Pisani should have statue in front of new arena.The over pay was a reward for all the extra coin katz made off of his back. The Oilers should hire Fernando to be VP of all things magical and awesome.

Note* the statue should be of Pisani riding Seabiscuit.

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#18 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
April 28 2013, 07:43AM
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DSF wrote:

Sam Gagner is a defensive disaster and has once again gone in the tank save for a couple of second assists on a night when his team scored 6 goals.

Justin Schultz is even worse.

gagner went in the tank and still somehow managed to tie Parise. if you recall, you went all DSF pissy good grief style at about the 10 game mark at the thought of such a thing even taking place.

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#19 Butters
April 27 2013, 01:16PM
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Here's hoping Yak gets some points and wins the rookie scoring race. At least that would be something...

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#20 The Soup Fascist
April 27 2013, 05:20PM
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DSF wrote:

Why do you think so Jon?

Lowe, MacTavish and Howson had years together to build a winner and failed miserably.

Did they get a lot smarter or did MacT learn how to build a winner based on one year in the Canucks' organization?

Same old, same old.

".... Learn(ed) how to build a winner based on one year in the Canucks organization. "

Please enlighten me. Obviously I am suffering from amnesia. What did these Canucks you speak of win, exactly?

Because before I obviously bumped my head, this same Canucks organization couldn't build a good sandwich, let alone a Stanley Cup Winner.

If there is a God, the Canucks get the Kings in round 1. Ouch, that is gonna hurt!

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#21 Cheap Shot Charlie
April 27 2013, 05:47PM
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@DSF

You always make me think of Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory. You're so FUNNY!!!

I love you, man! *HUG*

-Random OilersNation poster "Man, the Oilers suck!"

-DSF "No. That's where I sit"

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#22 dougtheslug
April 27 2013, 08:12PM
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DSF wrote:

Minnesota wins.

Feel bad for the Columbus team and fans.

A great run.

So why, then, don't you go on a Columbus fan site and commiserate with your Blue Jacket buddies. Why post that here? Why take such glee in reported Jonathan Huberdeau's point total? Why does it give you such satisfaction rubbing it in? This is an Oilers fan site - and all of us are acutely aware of the team's lack of success? Who bullied you in kindergarten that you have to visit this site and take such delight in piling on? What is wrong with you?

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#23 GVBlackhawk
April 27 2013, 08:41PM
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DSF wrote:

Minnesota wins.

Feel bad for the Columbus team and fans.

A great run.

With the win, Minnesota locks up first place in the Western Conference. Who saw that coming?

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#24 NewAgeSys
April 28 2013, 08:23AM
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Oiler Al wrote:

Jonathan, Thanks, for your creative and ambitious efforts this Oiler season.I think you are one of the best Oiler bloggers around. Keep up the good work.Its always fresh and interesting!

Its is unfortunate, at least from my point of view, that people like DSF and NAS, continually attenuate your efforts with their detached screed.

Please try not to lump DSF and I into the same Nugget there pal.

Oh, I know I know, I am having a chuckle just like you are this is cyber-space,but please shut the hell up and dont pick fights with people you dont know,its just not polite.

Just be a nice oxygen thief and go suck air from someone elses Happy Place,ya little suck-hole.

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#25 Quicksilver ballet
April 28 2013, 10:20AM
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Replacing Shawn Horcoff this summer with Kyle Wellwood would be a step in the right direction i'd have to think. That has to be a near 4 million cap hit savings per season right there. Wellwood had 16 pts this season compared to Horcs 12 pts. That savings would be a good start towards a top pairing blueliner if it happens this summer.

Didn't mean to blow your mind there DSF, with Gagner and Wellwood possibly being on the same team and all...

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#26 judgedrude
April 27 2013, 01:27PM
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"In keeping with the above, by the end of May Oilers Nation will be flooded with complaints that the 4-0 score on the website’s “last game” marker is depressing."

So....this isn't just me then.

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#27 messyEH!
April 27 2013, 01:41PM
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There are a lot of panthers looking to win that Jacket.

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#28 JR
April 27 2013, 01:48PM
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Wäx Män Riley wrote:

Guaranteed win night?

Have you even watched the Oilers play?

No kidding. Like when the Oil lost to the Abbotsford Heat a few games back....guaranteed win.

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#29 pezman
April 27 2013, 02:30PM
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Maybe before we get a new arena, we should fist get a hockey team.

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#30 Quicksilver ballet
April 27 2013, 03:02PM
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Fresh Mess wrote:

Still not a word from Tambo. Are any reporters even phoning him?

He was given/agreed to a 1 yr severance package when/after he was fired, hush money. He has to co-operate with this debacle if he hopes to collect these funds. They sure take care of their own well, in those circles.

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#31 dougtheslug
April 27 2013, 04:34PM
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DSF wrote:

Why do you think so Jon?

Lowe, MacTavish and Howson had years together to build a winner and failed miserably.

Did they get a lot smarter or did MacT learn how to build a winner based on one year in the Canucks' organization?

Same old, same old.

I was about to point out the hopeless inaccuracy of this post but I see JW beat me to it. Howson was with the Oilers from 2002-2007, leaving after the Stanley Cup final appearance. He was fired in Columbus 10 weeks ago, but he has to be credited at least in part for the Blue Jackets surprising resurgence this year . MacT was a coach, not in management, and thus was not in a place to build the team. His coaching tailed off as the talent on the roster tailed off. That leaves KL. Yes, same old there.

Your kicking people when they are down act is getting so tiresome, DSF. But I notice you have been awful silent about last years favourite target, Sam Gagner - I wonder if that is because he has turned into a serviceable NHL player who currently is tied in scoring with none other than Your Hero, Zach Parise. I hope next year you will be just as silent about Justin Schulz. Or, better still, just silent.

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#32 Wäx Män Riley
April 27 2013, 06:08PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

I wonder if Mac-T starts trading as soon as the playoffs start?

Give a real sign of things to come.

I would be right in there with TB trying to pry that pick out of Yzermans death grip!

Bring on the lottery let's see where we finish this Sh!t show!

I'm with Quicksilver on this one, Weber will be a nice addition to the defesive corps next year.

To bad Gagner had to go though.

+/- so overrated.

@Quicksilver

I know you guys love Weber, and I know that anything is possible, but please stop.

Weber is not coming here because #1 defensemen are so rarely traded.

There is nothing we can give up short of Taylor Hall that would get Weber.

You would not give up Weber unless a stupid amount was coming back.

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#35 15w40
April 27 2013, 07:26PM
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MWA-MWA-MWA-MWA-MWA-MWA..........

DSF, where the Peanuts teacher and white noise converge......

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#36 PeOiler
April 27 2013, 07:27PM
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Calderpov tonight?

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#37 Darrell
April 27 2013, 08:20PM
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dougtheslug wrote:

So why, then, don't you go on a Columbus fan site and commiserate with your Blue Jacket buddies. Why post that here? Why take such glee in reported Jonathan Huberdeau's point total? Why does it give you such satisfaction rubbing it in? This is an Oilers fan site - and all of us are acutely aware of the team's lack of success? Who bullied you in kindergarten that you have to visit this site and take such delight in piling on? What is wrong with you?

I am not sure of his motives but one thing he knows is that Oilers-nation get him attention. I try not to give him the attention he seeks but its impossible as an Oiler fan not defend the Nation. My goal is to stay off the Nation until free agency and the draft and hope the powers that be put him in his place as there is no room for him here.

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#38 michael
April 27 2013, 08:21PM
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W? Is Samantha King our official anthem singer now? I ask because she has been a regular. I like her. She can actually sing the anthems. They had a few that sounded so bad that even the players on ice were groaning. She is pleasing to the ear and does her thing and does not try to reinvent the wheel. Its sing the songs and move on. Hope its a permanent gig for her.

I was talking to my wife today about Kate Smith. She had no idea who she was until I played some you tube video of her singing in Philly at the old Spectrum. She was wowed. We were taking about anthem singers today because that kid who sang the other night in Ottawa was just awful. He might have sold a lot of pop records but that does not mean you can do an anthem.

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#39 DSF
April 27 2013, 08:47PM
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dougtheslug wrote:

I can be a fan of the game (and I am), without deliberately and maliciously insulting, berating, needling, and angering other fans. In fact, I think that's called being a good sport. I feel sorry for you that you think the way you do. It is a sign of deep unresolved problems that you always seem to feel the need to get in the last word.

You, of course, have the choice to be a fan in any way you so choose, and I will defend your right to do that.

Being a mindless idiot who supports a team no matter their results doesn't get much respect from me.

They're a dreadful hockey team, led by a dreadful band of losers and you're continuing support for the gong show says much more about you than it does about me.

If you don't like my opinion, you've obviously mistaken me for someone who cares what you think.

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#40 Rod from Viking
April 27 2013, 09:30PM
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@2 AM

I agree with everything except the wide berth on the street, would probably be more like a b-line with a Hall on Clutterbuck type hit.

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#41 Mikey
April 27 2013, 10:40PM
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One last thing. I can't wait for the summer argument about Yakupovs shooting percent

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#42 Cheap Shot Charlie
April 27 2013, 10:54PM
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DSF wrote:

I agree.

We need to silence the voices of dissent.

We musn't allow anyone to have another view.

If they won't shut up, we should just shoot them.

Yup, this must be Canada when 5% of the population does 95% of arguing. And in Canada we have some great comedians! And you are the best!!!

I love you, man! *HUG*

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#43 Shaun Doe
April 27 2013, 11:22PM
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MacT ripping into the role players on After Hours. Little surprised to hear him being that candid but completely refreshed.

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#44 Geoff
April 27 2013, 11:35PM
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Best way to end the season :)

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#45 The Worrier
April 28 2013, 12:21AM
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I hope in the offseason Potter teaches J. Schultz how to take a slapshot from the point.

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#46 michael
April 28 2013, 08:31AM
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Yak with 3. JS +4.Hall with 50 points for the season only second behind Kane in Western Conference scoring. Lots of positives.Yak lead the team in scoring with 17 goals. The future is bright for these young Oilers.

MacT will add depth to this team. The kind of depth that will see the team compete.He won't tolerate the slackers. He won't give away 3 year contracts to fringe players. To players past their prime. To players who want a paycheque and entitlement and not give effort in return. The message was sent last night by MacT was clear. Say goodbye to at least 10 contracts this spring in the system. Make room for guys who will move this franchise forward.

I have said it before. We need to get our ugly on.We have our princesses. Now we need our ugly step sisters to give this franchise some balance.

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#47 EHH Team
April 28 2013, 11:27AM
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ubermiguel wrote:

Actually, it's 301W - 252L - 47T - 56OTL.

Looking at the stats there's a pretty clear moment when the team really tanked: after the '06 Cup run.

The Pronger-fiasco and over-payments to Horcoff and Pisani really killed the team.

I'll give you that the Pronger fiasco contributed to killing the team.

Granted that Horcoff and Pisani were overpaid following the 2006 run, but that had no impact on the downfall of the team. The Oilers have never been in cap trouble. Horcoff has always been a good team player. Pisani was brought down by illness after the signing.

The bigger failure has been the disappointing performance of players brought in by trades and free agent signings. This failure, I lay on the professional scouts, management, and bad luck.

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#48 DSF
April 27 2013, 01:32PM
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messyEH! wrote:

At -19 he better win that jacket...

Last night, in a 6-1 win, Schultz managed to end the night -1...the only player on the team to record a minus.

He's now at -20.

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#49 messyEH!
April 27 2013, 01:37PM
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The thing I cannot understand about Schultz's +/- is he's only -3 on the rd. He is actually worse when Krueger gets last change. It blows my mind if your trying to win you don't sacrifice the kid to the wolves... oh yeah right it was never about winning

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#50 Ales Hallsky
April 27 2013, 01:37PM
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I hope the oil win. I can't handle another 7-2 or 4-1 loss staring at me all summer in the "last game" column againg for the 47th summer in a row...

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