GDB 37.0: DOWN TO THE DIRTY DOZEN

Jason Gregor
April 04 2013 09:19AM

The Oilers took care of business and swept the Flames, two games they had to win, and now the real games begin. Nine of the Oilers remaining 12 games are against playoff teams, and this is the scenario the Oilers desperately wanted their young team to experience.

The intensity will increase, and the youthful Oilers will need to match the consistency, smarts and veteran savvy of the Canucks, Ducks, Blackhawks, Wild and Kings.

These games matter. The players know it, management knows it and the fans know it. This should be fun.

You can sense the excitement in the city and on the Nation. Fans are jacked up. The scar tissue you've obtained from seven seasons of watching an over-matched, under-talented, uninspiring team is starting to breakdown. You actually look forward to the games, because you believe your team has a legitimate chance to win.

If you are under 30 it is likely a feeling you've never truly experienced during the regular season. The Oilers are still a few players short of being a dominant team, but their first line is the hottest line in the NHL, and when one line is that good you have a chance to win any game.

During this five-game winning streak Taylor Hall has 14 points, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has 10 and Jordan Eberle has 8. They've combined for 32 points, and the scary part is that they've missed some glorious chances. Their speed, skill and smarts are a deadly combination right now, and it will be interesting to see how Alain Vigneault, Darryl Sutter and Bruce Boudreau try to slow them down on this road trip.

LINEUP

Hall/Nugent-Hopkins/Eberle
Paajarvi/Gagner/Hemsky
Jones/Horcoff/Yakupov
Brown/Smyth/Petrell

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

Dubnyk (Although Krueger hinted he hasn't made up his mind and Khabibulin might play. I don't see any reason not to play Dubnyk)

Magnus Paajarvi is banged up, but Krueger said this after the game last night, "It's not a serious injury, it's a manageable one. He's probable for tomorrow." Hemsky has been playing with a minor knick, and I suspect Paajarvi will dress tonight. If the injury is more about pain-tolerance than impacting his play he'll go. Players can play hurt, but it isn't wise to play injured, especially if the injury will limit your performance.

Jerred Smithson, acquired yesterday from Florida, will be in the hospital today as his fiance is scheduled to give birth. He told me yesterday that if things go as planned, he'll join the team in either Los Angeles or Anaheim. "Family comes first, once we get the baby figured out, I'll join the team as quick as I can. I can't wait to play in Edmonton," Smithson told me on my radio show yesterday.

I'd play Smithson when he gets here. He shoots right and his FO% the last four years is: 54.8% in 2013, 56.1% in 2012, 57.4% in 2011, 54.9 in 2010, 52.6% in 2009. He can win draws, and you can use him and Horcoff on different sides.

QUICK HITS

  • The Oilers nine remaining games against playoff teams are all against the top-six teams in the west. They will have to play one of them in the playoffs if they make it, so they might as well get used to it.
     
  • The Oilers are 8-2-2 since Shawn Horcoff called a player's only meeting and returned to the lineup in Chicago. I know the 4/93/14 line is carrying this team offensively, but Horcoff's message sunk in. The Oilers have cut down on their turnovers in the defensive and neutral zone. And they rarely turn it over at the offensive blueline anymore. Those plays were killing them early in the season.
     
  • The other big change is their willingness to drive the net. Guys without the puck are finally going to the net and creating havoc. 
     
  • The Oilers are 2nd in combined special teams at 108.3. They are 3rd in PP effeciency at 23.8% and 7th on the PK at 84.5%.
     
  • It is hard not to like Roberto Luongo these days. His twitter feed is hilarious, and yesterday, when the Canucks made the idiotic decision to make him hold a press conference to discuss why he wasn't traded, he was very honest and classy. When asked why he wasn't traded he replied, "Cause my contact sucks. If I could rip it up now I would."
     
  • You could tell not playing is killing him. He's handled this situation extremely well, and when the Canucks finally trade him to the eastern conference I suspect many fans will be cheering for him. Tonight of course, you hope the Oilers light up him and Corey Schneider.
     
  • Derek Roy will help the Canucks. They desperately needed a 2nd line centre, and he will give them some much-needed secondary scoring.
     
  • I liked the Columbus decision to acquire Marian Gaborik, especially because it didn't cost them any of their three first-round picks. Even if they don't make the playoffs this year, the Blue Jackets added a proven sniper. Basically, the deals between the Rangers and Blue Jackets look like this...Nash, Brassard, Dorsett, Moore and a 6th for Gaborik, Dubinsky, Erixon, Anisimov and a 1st rounder. I'd still say the Blue Jackets did well.
     
  • Very interesting move by George McPhee to trade away Filip Forsberg, 11th pick in 2012, for Martin Erat. The Capitals will win the South East this year, because they are rolling and the Jets and Hurricanes are on the skids, but how will this trade look in a few years. I've gotten very differing views from scouts. Some really like him, while others think he'll never produce more points than Erat. Time will tell. Caps win trade today, but Preds could benefit greatly in the future.
     
  • Don't look now, but the Oilers playoff chances, according to sportsclubstats, are up to 42.1% after last night's victory. Before the five-game winning streak they were at 4.1%. That is quite the jump. Detroit is at 72.7% and St. Louis 70.4%, but the Oilers have closed the gap considerably.

MIRROR, MIRROR ON THE WALL....

GAME DAY PREDICTION: Have to go with the hot team considering I've picked them to win the last four. I know how superstitious the Nation can be. Oilers win in OT, 4-3.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Hall, RNH, Eberle line combine for six points.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION:  Ryan Smyth ends his 20-game goal scoring drought with a deflection early in the 2nd period. Smyth does a triple combination fist-pump, look-to-the-heavens, glove-slide-on-the-ice celebration afterwards. His young teammates love the "celly," especially Yakupov who says to Smyth, "Prunes is going to love that and use it during Hockey Night in Canada,"

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR

***This will be a DSF comment free section today. From your quiet editor/tech producer who needs a break from it all. Any comment with mention of him will be quietly deleted. Enjoy the game and one free day...***

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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#51 Mac962
April 04 2013, 12:14PM
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If Beiksa is cheap shoting tonight thats a good thing, it means the Oiler are up. One day, Hall will take of things himself and that needs to happen, not by fighting but a god cross check in the lower back or one in the face for the matter will tone him down. Perhaps Nuge will have enough and do it. One of these days its coming.

Have fun taking penalties Nucks- with the confidence this team has now you will be eaten.

You still demand respect Nuck and i give you that but you know what ? We aren't scared anymore. Beware.

ROCK EM EDMONTON OILERS !!

You have made me proud lately, keep it up win or lose.

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#52 Mac962
April 04 2013, 12:16PM
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Sorry for the grammer - cant type - dog bit my finger taking his bone away... do i blame him ? nope.

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#53 Romulus' Apotheosis
April 04 2013, 12:16PM
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The playoffs are still a huge longshot. keep your enthusiasms in check, but enjoy them.

a win tonight would be huge.

also... the Oil will never have a calder. the league will never let them have all the major awards.

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#54 2004Z06
April 04 2013, 12:18PM
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...I really don't care if the Oil make the playoffs. If they do...great, but that is not what this season was supposed to be about. It was supposed to be about improvement and playing meaningful games in the spring. It seems they have met those targets in spades. The team has improved 11 spots in the standings this year. That in itself is staggering. The Canucks on the other hand have fallen 9 spots since their Presidents Trophy performance. If I am a Vancouver fan, I am quickly realizing the window has slammed shut.

Imagine where the Oil would be if Eberle and RNH were on the same pace as last year? This team would be ahead of Vancouver in the standings for sure.

Thank you for continuing to point out the negatives of what should be considered a significantly positive step for this organization.

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#55 Romulus' Apotheosis
April 04 2013, 12:31PM
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West wrote:

Points per game is irrelevant in the Calder trophy chase. Otherwise RNH wins last by being around 0.21 PPG better than Landeskog. Oh yeah, you can skip the part about Landeskog winning because he was a more complete player.

It's hard to say what is relevant here...

We don't get to hold an autopsy on these kinds of decisions.

I'm guessing the majority of the voters thought of Landeskog as the more "NHL ready" player. he looked, and looks, more like an adult really.

RNH gives the impression of being a child in a man's game (one who is destroying that game, but appearances mean everything).

I also suspect the injury and how weird it was hurt RNH.

At any rate, IMO the competition was a saw off... anyone suggesting either is clearly better is simply expressing a preference. It's way too early to tell and both are magical players.

also... always remember how many great directors, artists etc never won an Oscar or Grammy...

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#56 oilerjed
April 04 2013, 12:36PM
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It was also the goaltending that helped them get into the spot they are in was it not? I wouldnt be giving any Hitchcock team to much credit unless its your bag to watch slow boring hockey with out a pulse. Same for the Nucks, no scoring, ok d, and good-great goaltending. You give to much credit to these teams and not paying close enough attention to what is going on NOW. Get with the program DSF or get the *&%^ off the bus.

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#57 Romulus' Apotheosis
April 04 2013, 12:47PM
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oilerjed wrote:

It was also the goaltending that helped them get into the spot they are in was it not? I wouldnt be giving any Hitchcock team to much credit unless its your bag to watch slow boring hockey with out a pulse. Same for the Nucks, no scoring, ok d, and good-great goaltending. You give to much credit to these teams and not paying close enough attention to what is going on NOW. Get with the program DSF or get the *&%^ off the bus.

no, no, no... a thousand nos.

look where they are in shots for % (3rd overall)

http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/teamstats.php?disp=1&db=201213&sit=5v5&sort=SFPCT&sortdir=DESC

goals for % (12th overall)

http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/teamstats.php?disp=1&db=201213&sit=5v5&sort=GFPCT&sortdir=DESC

shooting % (11th)

http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/teamstats.php?disp=1&db=201213&sit=5v5&sort=SHPCT&sortdir=DESC

save % (28th)

http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/teamstats.php?disp=1&db=201213&sit=5v5&sort=SVPCT&sortdir=DESC

They are in the spot they are DESPITE well below average goaltending.

for reference last year their save % was 1st overall:

http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/teamstats.php?disp=1&db=201112&sit=5v5&sort=SVPCT&sortdir=DESC

that's the difference. it makes all the world.

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#58 West
April 04 2013, 12:48PM
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@Romulus' Apotheosis

I agree with what you are saying, but I think the missed games due to injury should irrelevant. Look at it this way, if RNH had been called up after 21 games of the season and ended up winning rookie scoring race, the media would have been all over that "amazing performance". And the Oilers would have a great big ONE Calder trophy.

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#59 ginganinja
April 04 2013, 12:49PM
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@oilerjed

What made the Blues so great last year, and for stretches this year was system and size paired with consistent (not incredible) goaltending. This year the goaltending has gone from consistent to bad. Also Halak has been injured throughout the year. But I agree it's super boring to watch. However it sucks that it's them we need to catch because they almost never get outplayed and as long as their goalie plays o.k., they have a good shot at winning every night. I think we have a better shot at beating out the Wings IMHO.

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#60 Romulus' Apotheosis
April 04 2013, 12:52PM
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gabe's QC:

http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?ds=11&f1=2011_s&f2=5v5&f4=C+LW+RW&f5=COL&c=0+1+3+5+11+12+13+14+15+16#

top on the team (forwards only)

RNH was 4th (forwards only)

http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?ds=11&f1=2011_s&f2=5v5&f4=C%20LW%20RW&f5=EDM&f7=50&c=0+1+3+5+11+12+13+14+15+16

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#61 Romulus' Apotheosis
April 04 2013, 12:56PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

Had RNH not got hurt the point differential would be too great to get around.

RNH is not as bad defensively as you make him out to be, in fact, in a couple years and he maybe better.

The fact is you don’t know.

Also, man games lost to injury is also not an excuse; if it were both Ottawa & Detroit would have imploded a long time ago.

Florida is just that bad!

RNH's 2-way play has bloomed massively this year. better than you seem to think.

he plays the toughs and is keeping his head above water:

http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?ds=11&f1=2012_s&f2=5v5&f5=EDM&c=0+1+3+5+4+6+7+8+29+30+32+33+34+45+46+63+67+11+12+13+14+15+16#

the visual:

http://somekindofninja.com/nhl/usage.php?f1=2012_s&f2=5v5&f3=&f5=EDM&f4=C%2BLW%2BRW&f7=10-&bubbleType=corsiRel&yAxis=qoc&update-filters=Update+Results

he is going to be a very, very elite #1 C.

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#62 Romulus' Apotheosis
April 04 2013, 01:00PM
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West wrote:

I agree with what you are saying, but I think the missed games due to injury should irrelevant. Look at it this way, if RNH had been called up after 21 games of the season and ended up winning rookie scoring race, the media would have been all over that "amazing performance". And the Oilers would have a great big ONE Calder trophy.

I actually think the kinds of media narratives you mention matter way more than anything else.

players in small markets get shunned, players who play well early and falter later suffer vs. the opposite, etc.

oddly another thing is the psychological impression tying Landeskog probably made. a single point more than him and RNH probably would have won... it makes that big a psychological difference.

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#63 Romulus' Apotheosis
April 04 2013, 01:02PM
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ginganinja wrote:

What made the Blues so great last year, and for stretches this year was system and size paired with consistent (not incredible) goaltending. This year the goaltending has gone from consistent to bad. Also Halak has been injured throughout the year. But I agree it's super boring to watch. However it sucks that it's them we need to catch because they almost never get outplayed and as long as their goalie plays o.k., they have a good shot at winning every night. I think we have a better shot at beating out the Wings IMHO.

last year they had the best team sv% in the league. they are a good team, but that made them a force.

last year: #1 this year: #28

goaltending.... impossible to predict. matters more than most else.

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#64 Will
April 04 2013, 01:12PM
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It is great to that Nuge looks to be back on form. It's also been fun watching Hall improve his passing game. That guy is becoming a more complete player every game.

Yakupov is 5 points from the rookie scoring lead, and Hall is 5 points from second in the league. That is Bananas. Then to consider we have Nuge, Eberle, Gagner, and J. Schutlz on the team as well. I don't know, I'm starting to believe this might all be enough to not only make the playoffs, but make some noise while we're there.

Kicking St. Louis out would be especially sweet as that means Calgary only get two first rounders this year.

I remember the last game against the Canucks when Vinuelt said after that he just had no answer for our top line.

Further, does anyone think Whitney might actually be getting back to form? Defensively he's still weak but his overall is getting much better.

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#65 ginganinja
April 04 2013, 01:15PM
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@Romulus' Apotheosis

Completely agree. I just wonder sometimes to what degree the team's system inflates a goalie's save percentage. (See the Sens this year). Or are the goalies just playing that well? It's interesting for sure. Maybe the Blue's keepers are being screwed by a system that gives nothing up but grade A chances? I don't know. Whether it's the Blue's system or keepers that should be blamed, let's hope the one at fault continues bombing down the stretch here.

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#66 Romulus' Apotheosis
April 04 2013, 01:24PM
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ginganinja wrote:

Completely agree. I just wonder sometimes to what degree the team's system inflates a goalie's save percentage. (See the Sens this year). Or are the goalies just playing that well? It's interesting for sure. Maybe the Blue's keepers are being screwed by a system that gives nothing up but grade A chances? I don't know. Whether it's the Blue's system or keepers that should be blamed, let's hope the one at fault continues bombing down the stretch here.

this has been a huge question in the adv. stat. community

people have crunched the numbers on

team effects:

http://objectivenhl.blogspot.ca/2011/05/team-effects-and-even-strength-save.html

zone start effects:

http://hockeyanalysis.com/2012/04/26/zone-start-effects-on-goalie-save-percentage/

score effects:

http://hockeyanalysis.com/2011/01/06/score-effects-on-save-percentage/

shot quality:

http://vhockey.blogspot.ca/2009/07/shot-quality-fantasy.html

and so on.... it's an interesting topic

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#67 John
April 04 2013, 01:34PM
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Sorry Gregor, didn't see the DSF asterix

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Man this koolaid has been tasting so sweet lately that I'm gonna need a dentist soon.

Seriously though the team's looking really good lately. I'm hoping I don't need to drink the koolaid too much longer. No need to hope and believe when the team is actually playing well.

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#69 DigDeepNBleedBlue
April 04 2013, 01:37PM
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Watching Luongo's press conference yesterday has me thinking they're fragile right now. I thought tears were gonna roll down his cheeks.

The locker room must be a mess right now.

Never kick someone while they're down? I'm a freakin' neanderthal and I say kick away! Hard!

Go for blood!

A few thoughts from last nights game.

Whitney played a good game. For Whitney. But I'll give him some props.

Fistric should draw in for Potter.

On the Nuge: Did you cats see him go into the corner and do a little junk and jive on a doused Flame defender. It looked like he was on one side, I think I blinked, and then he was on the other side of the guy and had the puck. He's slippery, mang! And, he's just a kid. Whoa!

Nice to see that line together again. Wicked fun!

Win and you're in! Keep gravy train flowing, boys. Lets go, Blue!

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#70 ginganinja
April 04 2013, 01:39PM
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Anybody see Boyle's "goal of the year"? If that's goal of the year, Jay Feaster is the best thing ever happened to the Lames.

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#71 ginganinja
April 04 2013, 01:53PM
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@DigDeepNBleedBlue

On the Nuge: I'm not sure if we're thinking about the same play but there were a few times last night where it really just looked like nuge could contort his body anyway he wants while keeping possession of the puck somehow.

At the beginning of the season we saw glimpses of how good he might be, but in the last ten or so, my goodness he's a wizard

Nuge and Ebs should get some real props for Hall's recent explosion as well, those three are playing like one unit right now.

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#72 DigDeepNBleedBlue
April 04 2013, 01:56PM
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One other note:

I haven't seen Eager play since he was demoted, but I'm thinking the Oil are gonna need some more meat.

The games are getting rough. Me like.

Call him up! This is the type of hockey God wanted Eager to play.

Just my word, yo.

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#73 DigDeepNBleedBlue
April 04 2013, 02:08PM
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ginganinja wrote:

On the Nuge: I'm not sure if we're thinking about the same play but there were a few times last night where it really just looked like nuge could contort his body anyway he wants while keeping possession of the puck somehow.

At the beginning of the season we saw glimpses of how good he might be, but in the last ten or so, my goodness he's a wizard

Nuge and Ebs should get some real props for Hall's recent explosion as well, those three are playing like one unit right now.

Contort. I like that. He's slippery, a freakin' contortionist, does magic tricks in between periods, just plain good. And, He's only going to get better. I'm loving this sh*t!

There were a few plays where he made Cowtown players look silly. He's sick, mang!

How about that crowd, ginganinja? Cowtown has turned! I was laughing. It was good. My beer tasted great! I just look at it like they've begun to see the light. Good for them.

Have fun wandering in that desert. Big smile. BIG SMILE! lol

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#74 mlcsellil
April 04 2013, 02:10PM
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Jason, your final comments on your last two blogs are brilliant. Kudos to you for that. Besides ClydeFrog and his excellent writing, you are the only other one that can muzzle the big mouthed self appointed genius. Thank you for letting us celebrate the Oilers success and extend our well wishes to them, without negativity from a certain poster.

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#75 Bucknuck
April 04 2013, 02:13PM
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What!? A GDB that isn't dominated by one person slamming the Oilers all day long. SWEET. They have been terrible enough the last six years without having to put up with that on an Oilers site.

I will be watching Gagner tonight. Is it just me, or has he started to let up a little the last few games (I noticed he had two pts last night). I wish the guy could get consistent with faceoffs, but other than that I have been so impressed with him this season.

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#76 oilerjed
April 04 2013, 02:14PM
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@Romulus' Apotheosis

Damn a thousand no's! Thats alot of no's :0 Ill except the goaltending then, I was using GA% which is really a team stat and not a very good tool for measuring goalies. That being said the rest still stands, where we are at now is more important then where we were a month ago. Nothing matters but the next 12 games.

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#77 Spydyr
April 04 2013, 02:20PM
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11 points for the kid line last night. Hall was a beast.

GAME DAY PREDICTION :Tonight he adds to the early legend of The Hallinator. and destroys Bieksa in the corner.Leaving him a crumpled mess.At the post game interview he says i was just trying to knock the puck free.

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#78 DigDeepNBleedBlue
April 04 2013, 02:23PM
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Bucknuck wrote:

What!? A GDB that isn't dominated by one person slamming the Oilers all day long. SWEET. They have been terrible enough the last six years without having to put up with that on an Oilers site.

I will be watching Gagner tonight. Is it just me, or has he started to let up a little the last few games (I noticed he had two pts last night). I wish the guy could get consistent with faceoffs, but other than that I have been so impressed with him this season.

I have always been on the fence with Gagner, but he is playing himself into the equation. Just like you would want to see from every young player that comes here.

Good on him.

Things I like about him away from the technical aspect of the game:

He plays with emotion, passion, he's got heart. When he scored he just worked the crowd. It was cool.

He goes out with the young cats when the do an interview. When he speaks, he says the right things. His leadership qualities are burgeoning.

He needs to get a little dirtier, nastier. But, this playoff drive, IMO, will unleash that in a lot of these young cats.

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#79 OILERSORDEATH
April 04 2013, 02:25PM
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I hope they sit Potter and dress Fistric. Potter turned the puck over many times last night that I noticed. Please Krugs! dress the Fist!!

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#80 vetinari
April 04 2013, 02:25PM
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As we've gone further and further on this 5 game win streak, the team looks more comfortable playing as units, rather than individuals. I do note that we average a billion "toe drag" plays a period but they do work once in a while to gain separation around a defenceman. The kids are getting strong enough to withstand initial contact by defenders and keep possession of the puck longer and the secondary lines are adding some points to take the heat off. Look forward to the game tonight.

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#81 Walter Sobchak
April 04 2013, 02:29PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

RNH's 2-way play has bloomed massively this year. better than you seem to think.

he plays the toughs and is keeping his head above water:

http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?ds=11&f1=2012_s&f2=5v5&f5=EDM&c=0+1+3+5+4+6+7+8+29+30+32+33+34+45+46+63+67+11+12+13+14+15+16#

the visual:

http://somekindofninja.com/nhl/usage.php?f1=2012_s&f2=5v5&f3=&f5=EDM&f4=C%2BLW%2BRW&f7=10-&bubbleType=corsiRel&yAxis=qoc&update-filters=Update+Results

he is going to be a very, very elite #1 C.

"Better than you seem to think" ????

I thought I said he was good, and would only get better?

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#82 Will
April 04 2013, 02:31PM
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Bucknuck wrote:

Is "douchebaggary" a word? It should be. If it is I wonder if Websters has "see troll" in the comment somewhere.

Under "troll" I can think of a few names that could be referenced for sure. Someone who posts chiefly to upset people and get a reaction would be the gist of it. It would make me sad if some of them actually believed the drivel they are typing and they truly considered themselves fans. I would prefer to believe that they are just trying to get a reaction, rather than them being truly that arrogant and stupid.

It's just really good that the Oil have it within their power whether to make the post season or not. They do not have to rely on other teams losing. It's just great to be in the mix. And the games are going to be intense and that is exciting for me. I have wanted to watch them play "meaningful hockey" for a long time.

Ha! Not sure about its current status awaiting Webster's approval. I actually feel a little bad as I didn't read the last part of Gregor's blog.

I suppose the point I'm trying to make is that using biased stats to prove a point only really proves you're biased. And it is great to see that all the nay sayers who use any kind of stats for prediction purposes, are usually only half right half of the time.

Much like the end of Money Ball, you can't build a team around averages because night in and night out, averages usually don't amount to much.

To that effect, everyone looking at the record we need going forward to make it, is basing their prediction off the fact that the projected point total to get in is like 55 or 53, and that other teams around us in the standings, will continue their win loss pace for the rest of the season.

But hockey, and in fact most sports, do not work like that. Whose to say any of the current teams in the playoffs or the ones chasing won't go into a slump, or go on a hot streak? Clearly most of the league is structured so that almost every team has a chance, and that is currently being demonstrated by how tight the race is in both divisions. To say the Oilers will win and lose a certain number of games based on their competition completely undermines the fact they've beaten every single one of those teams at least once, and if they've done it before, they can do it again.

Banging away with stats, though useful to a point, kind of misses the point if that's all you look at. Show me the stat that demonstrates why we've done so well since Shawn Horcoff came back.

"The motivational speech to win ration increased upon Horcoff's return". Sorry for ranting but I'm sure anyone that has ever actually played hockey knows the infinite amount of intangibles that can't be tracked that go into winning and losing.

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#83 Metal&Oil
April 04 2013, 02:36PM
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How efficient have the Oilers been:

During Oilers 5 game win streak the teams has gone from 29th in Goals4 (74G) to 13th in Goals4(99) 25 freaking goals in 5 games & Hall was apart of 14 of em.

When we Nuke the Nucks tonight I'll be sold!!!

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#84 CDean
April 04 2013, 02:36PM
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People keep say that the playoffs are a long shot or that if they make that is all they want. I say the hell with that. Bring on the playoffs and if we are there I am cheering all the way. I want what was missed in '06. Any team can win and I will be on the Oiler bandwagon all the way. The goal is to win every game and to win the Cup every year. Aiming lower is a defeatist attitude that I don't subscribe to.

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#85 Bonvie
April 04 2013, 02:40PM
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michael wrote:

I agree that brown should not be left alone without any back up on the ice when faced with a lineup like Calgary put forth last night. If its me I call up Hordichuck and add him to the available list of players that Kreuger can call upon. Darcy is a willing guy and could provide the Oilers a secondary threat if need be on the fourth line. If I am Tambo I offer Darcy a contact next year for OKC. He'd be a great transitional player to have in the organization for a few years. He may not have have the skills or the wheels to be a legitimate NHL player on a nightly basis anymore but he definitely could fill a role in OKC. I think he brings experience,work ethic and intangibles that we dearly need to have on our farm team. We need guys like him to help the younger players develop work habits that can translate to the NHL level.You don't just throw good soldiers away like Darcy Hordichuck. Calling him up would show him that the organization still respects his body of work and his loyalty.

Agree that they should consider calling up a player to protect the skilled players in such games as these but disagree with the person you suggest, I would take Eager, Lizon, or Teubert before Hordichuk(not an enforcer and not that good a fighter). They should consider getting a real enforcer such as McGratton on Calgary, or my favourite McIntyre. This type of a player is a cheap insurance policy and just for games like these when the other team knows they are gonna lose, and just want to take liberties with your stars.

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#86 geoilersgist
April 04 2013, 02:47PM
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Just head from a friend that Khabby is starting tonight. Any truth to this?

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#87 27Ginge
April 04 2013, 02:48PM
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I hope Krueger splits up the top line. Need more balanced scoring. This idea that having one good line that scores a whole bunch goals has little to no merit. Since when does scoring goals help win games? Hockey is about systems and balance and equal ice time. Letting good players play lots and be creative is a recipe for disaster.

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#88 oilerjed
April 04 2013, 02:55PM
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@Bonvie

"Agree that they should consider calling up a player to protect the skilled players in such games as these but disagree with the person you suggest, I would take Eager, Lizon, or Teubert before Hordichuk(not an enforcer and not that good a fighter). They should consider getting a real enforcer such as McGratton on Calgary, or my favourite McIntyre. This type of a player is a cheap insurance policy and just for games like these when the other team knows they are gonna lose, and just want to take liberties with your stars."

Cant disagree more with you. Enforcers dont even fight out of their weight class due to the unwritten rules. (and the fact they would kill someone) The question should be why are they not putting Fistric in the lineup for these games?? He will stand up for the boys and can actually fill a roll on defense as well. I would love to see him pummel Bieksa tonight.

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@27Ginge

LOL props!

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#90 Bucknuck
April 04 2013, 02:57PM
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DigDeepNBleedBlue wrote:

I have always been on the fence with Gagner, but he is playing himself into the equation. Just like you would want to see from every young player that comes here.

Good on him.

Things I like about him away from the technical aspect of the game:

He plays with emotion, passion, he's got heart. When he scored he just worked the crowd. It was cool.

He goes out with the young cats when the do an interview. When he speaks, he says the right things. His leadership qualities are burgeoning.

He needs to get a little dirtier, nastier. But, this playoff drive, IMO, will unleash that in a lot of these young cats.

I love your listing of intangibles. I love his compete. He's already had a good run (400 games) and he's only getting better. He is a little nastier every season. I wonder what commentators are going to be saying about him in five years.

Ah to have a Crystal Ball... but that would take the fun out of it.

If he ever leaves town it better be someone like Anisimov coming back. He's a player.

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#91 DigDeepNBleedBlue
April 04 2013, 03:22PM
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Yeah, I've been impressed. Gagner has gotten better every year and seems to have turned a corner this season.

I think you're right it is more fun not knowing what his ceiling is. Keeps the suspense.

Tonight he plays against his Dad's team. I wonder if they are throwing sh*t at each other during lunch today.

Kid's got some fire in the belly. I want to see more, however. But, he's got it in him I think.

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#92 DigDeepNBleedBlue
April 04 2013, 03:23PM
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@Bucknuck

Forgot to hit reply, Bucknuck.

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#94 vetinari
April 04 2013, 04:01PM
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I had fun trash talking our Flaming counterparts last night, but what can we say about the Canucks for tonight?

*ahem

"Hey, Nuckleheads, your team is like the milk carton in my fridge... the best before date was October, 10 2009!"

[looks around, giving thumbs up to ON]

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#95 Will
April 04 2013, 04:14PM
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vetinari wrote:

I had fun trash talking our Flaming counterparts last night, but what can we say about the Canucks for tonight?

*ahem

"Hey, Nuckleheads, your team is like the milk carton in my fridge... the best before date was October, 10 2009!"

[looks around, giving thumbs up to ON]

I wonder if when Lu asked for a trade to Florida the headline on the Vancouver Sun read "Lu - Wanna - Go Home"?

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#96 Dennis
April 04 2013, 04:18PM
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How do we props the "quiet editor" cause that guy deserves some mad props! Cheers to you, kind sir!

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#97 kdunbar
April 04 2013, 04:19PM
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I would be really nervous if I were the Hawlks. The Oilers have matched up really well against them in the last year or so.

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#98 Eddie Shore
April 04 2013, 04:24PM
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What ever happened to the Ogden Brothers?

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#99 Shredder
April 04 2013, 04:25PM
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kdunbar wrote:

I would be really nervous if I were the Hawlks. The Oilers have matched up really well against them in the last year or so.

Let's not get ahead of ourselves. I for one believe that matchup would be great for us. That being said it could be just as easily Anaheim or out of the playoffs altogether. I for one like to believe, but let's take this one game at a time. We have a whole 25% of the season left to play.

Target: Canucks.

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#100 Dog Train
April 04 2013, 04:26PM
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It's a lot of fun being this excited for Oilers games again. There is a tangible goal right in front of us and you can definitely see the intensity level rising on the ice. This will be a real test tonight. A win tonight would set us up really nicely down the stretch. I'll say the Oilers keep it going and win 4-3 in a SO. GO OILERS GO!!

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