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.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#101 Darrell
April 27 2013, 08:02PM
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Darrell wrote:

I play off your previous BS dude - it's entertaining .....

Congrats - enjoy Chicago :)

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#102 DSF
April 27 2013, 08:04PM
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Minnesota wins.

Feel bad for the Columbus team and fans.

A great run.

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#103 DSF
April 27 2013, 08:19PM
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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?

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.

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#104 NewAgeSys
April 27 2013, 08:21PM
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Nice play on the shot by Hall, nice zone entry and pass back. They are willing to give us that one so we should jam it to them.

Dubby is looking solid so far,he isnt getting many second shots on net.

Hall looks dialed in again.

It seems as long as they keep it simple the Oilers execute so fast that it is effective,simple but high speed.

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#105 DSF
April 27 2013, 08:30PM
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michael wrote:

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.

That's it!.

The Oilers have fired everyone except the anthem singer.

Get on that MacT!

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#106 NewAgeSys
April 27 2013, 08:38PM
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I think the Nucks goalie is vulnerable to long range re-directions and tips from the side, lets lay off the onetimers and go more for the re-directions from the side,lets make Louie move side to side and shoot at his elbows so he drops us nice rebounds.

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#107 NewAgeSys
April 27 2013, 08:42PM
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It looks like all our guys are holding their sticks at waist level across the board, maybe someone ought to let them know to drop them down where they belong.Maybe high sticks mean a little cheating and more penaltys,and low ones on the ice mean hard skateing and more work..

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#108 NewAgeSys
April 27 2013, 09:10PM
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Nice job of Gagners line to move it around and get lots of touches, lets get Nail some assists,lots of touches give and gos that close on the net so we can collapse.Nice controlled zone entrys,not always full speed and more laterally balanced using the middle as we hit the blueline.

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#109 NewAgeSys
April 27 2013, 09:17PM
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They ARE tapping it off the glass every time,we COULD take advantage of that and attack off of it,it seems to be an across the board tactic,the keep it simple program.Lets see if we can take advantage.

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#110 NewAgeSys
April 27 2013, 09:24PM
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I am not seeing Yakupov shooting enough,shoot at Luongos elbows already,stop trying to go high on him,and try deflections from the sides,mid-range redirections from the sides,not so much crossice,more passes from J Schultzes wheelhouse to wingers postured in Horcoffs old spot to the side below the dot.

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#111 NewAgeSys
April 27 2013, 09:37PM
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Ok,lets switch it up to dump and chase ,let them get to it first and lay some big hits on them,we might as well change it up on them. Lets make the game faster for the 3rd period.

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#112 NewAgeSys
April 27 2013, 09:54PM
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Very nice mid-range deflection by Ebbs,well played.gentelmen.

Now lets see the old dump and chase every second possesion ,lets run them down in the 3rd. Dump it in and send the forwards in two deep gapped about ten to fifteen feet with the support coming in upspeed.Let the d-man get to the dump in and hammer him with the first man in so the support can beat his partner to the pucks and take it right to the net to jam it in as everyone collapses on Luongo who has had a pretty easy night so far.

Remember that under pressure they are going glass-out,so be ready to pound it back in at them,anticipate that puck route and be ready with the support coming from the wide side to be in position to stop that clear,they will be trying to go glass-out from deep if we use a dump-in catalysed from deep in the n-zone and softly placed behind their net.If we dump in to hard we cant use the two man pressure tactic as well.The support man or second man needs to be angleing in from the halfboard area with good speed to make this two man stack work right ,that is the pressure relief route from deep for their d-men.They may spit it up the middle under pressuure but I doubt it.

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#113 DSF
April 27 2013, 09:57PM
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2 AM wrote:

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.

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.

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#114 NewAgeSys
April 27 2013, 10:22PM
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Now that we have established a cerebral muscle memory with the dump ins,lets go back to the 3 man lateral controlled zone entry immediatly and finish the game that way,no more dump-ins to them, lets switch gears on them again and shake another goal loose.

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#115 NewAgeSys
April 27 2013, 10:26PM
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Lets go back to a slower paced controlled 3 man lateral o-zone entry,we need to slow it down now and not give them the end to end action from the dump-ins,shut the door now,keep the puck on our sticks as long as we can.

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#116 R-Dawg
April 27 2013, 10:28PM
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It won't matter if Yak scores 5 goals and 3 assists he won't win the Calder!! After the celly against the Kings he's out.

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#117 Mikey
April 27 2013, 10:31PM
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Yak wins Calder?

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#118 michael
April 27 2013, 10:33PM
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1 more pointy for the rookie scoring lead. Go Yak go.feedtheyak

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#119 NewAgeSys
April 27 2013, 10:34PM
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Could there possibly be a sweeter end to this season considering the circumstances,two more for Yak and he makes someone a millionaire. keep the pedal down nail,whooooooo!

Nice coaching job tonight fellas,good solid adjustments.

Lets go guys this is getting seriously cool.I sense a Calder coming this year.Yakupov is showing them whay he could have done with the ice time a few others got. This man has some serious Voo-Doo,Nail is going to score 5 goals sooner than anyone believes,he might force Safeway to end the 1,000,000$ promotion.

Great job by the team to help the Rookies put up some numbers.

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#120 Mikey
April 27 2013, 10:38PM
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My bet is Gallagher wins it, being from the east and all.

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#121 Darrell
April 27 2013, 10:41PM
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Yaks hatty and Luongos playoff performance makes for a fun night. I'd be interested in DSF take on the Calder and who starts the playoffs ...

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#122 NewAgeSys
April 27 2013, 10:41PM
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Nice finish boys.I guessed 8-2 Oilers,dam close to end the year.See ya all next year.

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#123 Alsker
April 27 2013, 10:46PM
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Good game, awesome night for the Yakster although it is but another tease for us fans. As has already been stated it will be a lot easier to look at the last game score this summer than the last few. Could this be a sign...

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#124 Darrell
April 27 2013, 11:34PM
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Cheap Shot Charlie wrote:

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*

It would only be a snap shot - a Calder Trophy Yak snapshot between the ears !

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#125 wiseguy
April 27 2013, 11:51PM
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Mikey wrote:

Yak wins Calder?

It the Canadian way, Yak and Schultz split the vote from Oilers fans and neither one wins.

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#126 Fresh Mess
April 27 2013, 11:54PM
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ESPN is reporting that Dallas has fired Joe Neiwendyk. Jim Nill is apparently going to be named the new GM of the Stars.

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#127 Oiler Al
April 28 2013, 12:12AM
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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.

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#128 ubermiguel
April 28 2013, 01:01AM
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SrCain wrote:

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.

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.

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#129 madjam
April 28 2013, 06:12AM
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In the Mact. interview after game he was making reference to some personnel in the core that did not go the extra to help team play better . This was a shortened season , and too many were mailing it in to frequently . To many not playing a supportive or all around game with much frequency physically and otherwise . It did not sound as though he was excusing our youth either .

So whom of our roster was Mact. disappointed with and looking to replace for next season ? Remember this was a shortened season and we appear to have same problem refestering in room again that led to first gutting debauckle . Some on the squad have been noticed to losing their "competitive edge" .

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#130 a lg dubl dubl
April 28 2013, 06:26AM
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madjam wrote:

In the Mact. interview after game he was making reference to some personnel in the core that did not go the extra to help team play better . This was a shortened season , and too many were mailing it in to frequently . To many not playing a supportive or all around game with much frequency physically and otherwise . It did not sound as though he was excusing our youth either .

So whom of our roster was Mact. disappointed with and looking to replace for next season ? Remember this was a shortened season and we appear to have same problem refestering in room again that led to first gutting debauckle . Some on the squad have been noticed to losing their "competitive edge" .

Belanger,Whitney off the top of my head

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#131 madjam
April 28 2013, 06:29AM
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Who in the core was capable of giving more during ending losing streak and not giving the extra energy to help lead team to better results ? Lackadaisicle play on some at certain ends of rink displeased MacT.. May not be a major overhall some of us were expecting or hoping for , but definite changes are coming to weed out a few .

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#132 Gerald R. Ford
April 28 2013, 07:42AM
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Last year, the Oil won 39.02% of their games. This year, it was 39.58%. Is that even a baby step in the right direction? Glaciers move faster. BTW, last 4 nightmare seasons combined?

103W-191L, 35.03%.

Barf.

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#133 NewAgeSys
April 28 2013, 09:04AM
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madjam wrote:

In the Mact. interview after game he was making reference to some personnel in the core that did not go the extra to help team play better . This was a shortened season , and too many were mailing it in to frequently . To many not playing a supportive or all around game with much frequency physically and otherwise . It did not sound as though he was excusing our youth either .

So whom of our roster was Mact. disappointed with and looking to replace for next season ? Remember this was a shortened season and we appear to have same problem refestering in room again that led to first gutting debauckle . Some on the squad have been noticed to losing their "competitive edge" .

Hockey Smart - a man who is well versed in the acumen required to be a professional hockey player in the NHL and who uses this cerebral package to enhance his overall workability.

Hockey-wise - a man who is very experienced in the nuances of the game and understands how and where to pace himself to execute system duties with the least possible effort and enegry expenditure,,this type of man refuses to consider himself to be disposable and he is so well versed in the game that he can hide between the lines . He understands his role but refuses to accept it,his self-valuation is not in harmony with the systems valuation of his level of effort required nightly.

Below the top 6 EVERYONE is a nitro bottle,to be used up as the system sees fit, not as the player sees fit.Ralphs foot that must be on every mans pedal,every night for 60 mins.The coach PLANS to burn certain guys out to tailor his bench and system impact as games evolve, that is his ammunition and he can spend it how he sees fit,just screwing with this dynamic seizes up the entire system.

We micro-manage the top 6,we macro-manage the bottom six.

We do surgery with the top 6 and we smash bones with the bottom 6.

.Clarify system structure,clarify roles,then make changes,but first do the mangerial job properly as it hasnt been executed fully yet.

There is going to be a traditional Oilers style witch-hunt to defend the Oilers historiclly inferior system.When the same system should be burned in front of the entire roster to rebuild the teams self-image.Someone needs to take the fall here and its either the system or the players as usual.

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#134 Gaz
April 28 2013, 10:39AM
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@Quicksilver ballet

Oh my. KW is never the answer. To anything.

Oilers management stoopid, but not dat stoopid.

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#135 Quicksilver ballet
April 28 2013, 10:57AM
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@Gaz

Just thinking about transferring those dollars to the blueline. Lets face it, what can Horcoff do that Wellwood can't, for 1/4 of the price?

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#136 Quicksilver ballet
April 28 2013, 11:03AM
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wiseguy wrote:

I will enjoy looking at this score all summer on this site.

Be great if they could incoporate "Yak City you Vancouver biotches" on that panel somewhere as well.

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#137 DSF
April 28 2013, 11:22AM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Just thinking about transferring those dollars to the blueline. Lets face it, what can Horcoff do that Wellwood can't, for 1/4 of the price?

Not as crazy as you might think.

P/60 5V5

Horcoff - 1.39

Wellwood - 1.67

Gagner 1.88

FO%

Horcoff - 49.0

Wellwood - 55.0

Gagner - 43.9

Qualcomp

Horcoff - 10th

Wellwood - 5th

Gagner - 4th

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