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...***

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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 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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#52 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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#53 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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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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#55 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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#56 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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#57 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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#58 Concur
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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#59 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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#60 Mac962
April 04 2013, 04:50PM
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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]

Good one, chocked on my first of a couple pre-game beers.

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#61 Harlie - Team Admiral Hallsy
April 04 2013, 06:41PM
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Wax Man Riley wrote:

lol RossCreek! Wheres he been???

And what about Commander Ender?

They are probably out on Brownlee Patrol - SIUTBOHC of anyone who called out Gagner previously.

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#62 Darrell
April 04 2013, 06:42PM
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10:30 EST start - cheers to a long (DSF BLOWS) day tomorrow!

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#63 Harlie - Team Admiral Hallsy
April 04 2013, 08:03PM
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Guys, this is the chump change fans we are going up against...pull out your tinfoil hats!

Apr 4, 2013 2:02 AM in response to: sportsnet_ca

Re: Commodore takes shot at Canucks fans

The Canucks didn't lose because of Colin Campbell. They lost because of Jeremy Jacobs, Gary Bettman, Colin Campbell, Mike Murphy, Brian Burke, Terry Gregson, Stephen Walkom, Kelly Sutherland, and lingering support for Stephane Auger in the officiating community.

Their sheer corruption wouldn't have been possible without the tacit support of the CBC and its pro-Boston commentary from Milbury, Stock, Cherry, McClean and even Simpson.

The lone voice of reason was Jim Hughson but he got drowned out by the rest of them. It was a travesty.

LINK: http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/commodore-takes-shot-at-canucks-fans/

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#64 ginganinja
April 04 2013, 08:19PM
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You had to ask mullet. You had to ask.

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#65 Clyde Frog
April 04 2013, 08:28PM
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Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things wrote:

Did you actually watch the end of Moneyball?

The point was that you actually CAN build a very effective team by relying solely on advanced stats because the anecdotal evidence doesn't paint the whole story.

Sure they lost an important game, but I'm pretty sure in the epilogue text it talks about the fact that their system was so effective that every team in the league now uses it.

But baseball is 100% different statistically...

You can isolate each individual interaction and those interactions have a very high correlation coefficient.

IE each pitch is an individual statistical point, each subsequent action can be broken down by the outcome of the pitch, etc.

Hockey isn't like that at all; at best you are relating items that actually have very little to do with each other and projecting from that.

For instance look at a players shooting percentage versus a goaltender during a game. Look at the 100 different factors that contribute to those numbers...

Where did the shots occur from, who was the players linemates, where were they? Who was the opposition on the ice? Where were they? Was there traffic in front of the goalie? Was the puck recently passed? Did the player deke? Was he being stick checked?

Now an advanced stats blogger will tell you those will be washed out in the averages, but at the same time they lament their statistical sample sizes.

How do they compensate? They divide stats by each other to come up with different looking numbers that they feel reflect reality better...

Then fully understanding that one shot is completely unrelated to another in a way that is completely impossible to mathmatically model, they try to regress performance to a mean they build by jumbling every possible player together.

In conclusion: Advanced stats in hockey is a joke, it mostly guess work and drawing conclusions from numbers they artificially create as apposed to modeling anything through math.

Don't believe me? Ask them for the R squared value of their model, then ask them to define it as it relates to the work they did.

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#66 Wax Man Riley
April 04 2013, 08:41PM
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NewAgeSys wrote:

The Dynasty Oilers played an adjusted hybrid for the first three years and then they evolved into a more NHS style of system based 100% on Gretzkys brain. They played an aggressive stand-up defense and used an fast explosive backchecking forward style to dominate the neutral zone, you didnt dare give it up in the n-zone because everyone was a finisher and they all played defensive roles so they got more pucks than other offensive guys, people wont aknowledge the hard work double-shifting or PKing is on offensive players.

The System is so important because it contains as a core component a philosophy that influences everything it does on and off the ice. The system catalyses the tactics and decisions of the players coaches and managers and ensures they are all working together in a paralell direction and in unity. The system is the glue that bonds and the Gates of the City to defend, the system itself can vary techniclly but dyamiclly there is a winning template that must be followed for it to produce consistant wins and championships,there is not just one system tha can potentially win, there is of course a superior system. The system is the tatoo that everyone on the team has somewhere on their bodies either hidden or visible as per personal taste or Scars on the visible areas. It is where you fall back to to regroup and reenergise so you can reengage in battle.

Top of the scale is a superior system, bottom is a team of players who are ALL NHL average min. skillsets, now just find your spot on the scale where those two factors balance in your room and you are accurately assessing yourself for optimal potential resultswise.

So the old school Oilers use the NewAgeSystem?

Not that New Age is it?

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#67 Oilcruzer
April 04 2013, 09:58PM
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This board needs a 140 character limit on posts.

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#68 steelymac
April 04 2013, 10:13PM
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@NewAgeSys

Nice!!!shortest post you have come up with keep them this size.

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#69 ginganinja
April 04 2013, 10:29PM
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They look tired

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#70 michael
April 04 2013, 10:40PM
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I have seen this story more than once in the past few years. Keys to the game. Take care of the puck against the Sedins. Nope. Line match against theSedins and get schooled.Check. Take multiple penalties.Check.12 Shots on goal after 2 periods.Check

2-0 at the end of 2 periods. I am going to bed this one is over. The fat lady was singing after it was 1-0. The Oilers ever hope to make the playoffs they need to check that list and make sure they understand that if they don't want to see the same story everytime they play the Nucks in van city they need to takes care of buisness first.That means those 2 guys named Sedin.

enjoy the third boys I am done.

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#71 Rod from Viking
April 05 2013, 07:18AM
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We knew this team wasn't going to win 17 in a row and making the playoffs was going to be difficult so relax everyone. With this team being tired and the Canucks rested we were physically out matched. Vancouver's got a big talented defence that really outmatched us last night.I thought they should have played Fistric so someone would hit the Sedin sisters.Hopefully in the off season we can get a physical 2/3 defenceman,a top 6 forward with some size and an edge to his game,a tough 3rd/4th line forward that can play and another capable goaltender.

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#72 WaySouth
April 05 2013, 10:56AM
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Rod from Viking wrote:

We knew this team wasn't going to win 17 in a row and making the playoffs was going to be difficult so relax everyone. With this team being tired and the Canucks rested we were physically out matched. Vancouver's got a big talented defence that really outmatched us last night.I thought they should have played Fistric so someone would hit the Sedin sisters.Hopefully in the off season we can get a physical 2/3 defenceman,a top 6 forward with some size and an edge to his game,a tough 3rd/4th line forward that can play and another capable goaltender.

Right on. It's amazing how much the bandwagon has changed on a day-to-day basis this season.

The Blackhawks played like sh*t when the Oilers beat them earlier this season. Doesn't mean the hawks are a bad team, but even good teams are going to play bad games.

The Oil had to play against two very physical teams back-to-back, road games no less. What was everyone expecting, a blowout?

Calm down and see how they play after a day of rest against LA. They're not out of the playoff race yet.

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#73 John Chambers
April 04 2013, 10:07AM
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As much as I respect Minnesota for "going for it", they paid huge for Pomminville. Their top goalie prospect, an excellent C in Larsson, along with a first rounder is a steep price for a smallish forward with a 65 or 70 point ceiling.

However, with Suter & Parise's contracts, Minny really has a 5-7 year competitive window before those deals become onerous.

Probably a good idea that they loaded up.

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#74 Rama Lama
April 04 2013, 10:14AM
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In my eyes the Oilers management wasted a perfect opportunity to either add a player of significance or acquire draft picks.

Tambys pathetic rambling as to why he did not do anything is most preplexing.......something about not wanting to upset the locker room. Please Tamby we all see through your inability to do anything, stop with all the stupid excuses.

Washington practically gave away Forsberg for Erat.........hell we could have probably offered Jones and Belenger and got the deal done. No one can tell me that you cant build and convert useless talent at the same time........good teams do it all the time.

I'm just not buying the Tamby excuses for not doing anything.

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#75 Carlos Danger
April 04 2013, 10:20AM
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What makes your NSOGDP NSO is that he deflects the puck pretty sure Smitty is very determined to score his next goal on a wrap around.

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#76 Will
April 04 2013, 10:21AM
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I'm still having a tough time why Nashville traded away Erat. The only thing I can think of is that with the huge Webber and Rinne contracts, they needed to get under cap for next year, and getting a prospect like Foresburgh is a great return.

I am worried about Vancouver now that they have their second line centre. We are going to win or lose tonight based on secondary scoring, not the production of our top line, which will be played very hard.

I would like to see some toughness draw back in tonight, but that won't happen as we are winning games on our transitional play alone.

Now just imagine this team with Yandle instead of Potter. Or better yet, we win the lottery and take Jones. That is a good, albeit young looking D core.

Regardless, this is the most fun I've had watching the Oilers since the cup run.

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#77 Oiler Al
April 04 2013, 10:21AM
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Rick wrote:

I know Kreuger doesn't want to mess with a winning lineup but even so I struggle to see why he refuses to swap Potter out for Peckham when heading into situations like last night.

It's a little unnerving to see Jackman, Begin and McGratton lined up on one side and poor, undersized Mike Brown standing alone on the other.

The Canucks aren't exactly pushover's either, nor do they have the same crappy PK that the Flames have. Once the Oilers run into a game where the PP isn't clicking, the opposition will probably just grow another inch or two instead of pulling back.

I also wonder if now that the deadline has passed and the roster limits have changed, will the Oilers consider bringing Hordichuk or Eager back up, just to have them available should they find they are getting run a little to regularly?

Re quick hits; In looking at what Columbus did yesterday, considering how poorly they fared over the last...umm forever, in running Nash out by himself, have they not just taken a step back towards the same formula? Gave up depth but perhaps more importantly leadership and personality in order to bring in a single scorer.

That team will continue to live and die on Bobrovsky's play and that may be enough to get into the top 8 but I don't think yesterday's trade is going to be judged well by history when talking big picture/long term.

Re dessing some muscle for last nights game,I said it the day before they should dress Fistric or Peckham, as I could see the previous game the loogans were circling the wagons... no Krueger dresses Potter.. Its not like he would be a big loss.

Your right Brown cant handle all of this on his own... Cheap shot artist like Bieksa will be at it again.. needs taking care of.. Oilers wont get revenge by scoring, because this is a whole different team than Calgary.

Krueger wake up for a change! And while your at it wake up Hemsky from his slumber.

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#78 Will
April 04 2013, 10:29AM
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John Chambers wrote:

As much as I respect Minnesota for "going for it", they paid huge for Pomminville. Their top goalie prospect, an excellent C in Larsson, along with a first rounder is a steep price for a smallish forward with a 65 or 70 point ceiling.

However, with Suter & Parise's contracts, Minny really has a 5-7 year competitive window before those deals become onerous.

Probably a good idea that they loaded up.

I respect that they overpaid, especially in comparison of what was returned for Iggy and J Bo. But as an Oiler fan, it must really be nice for your team to finally be in a position to give up a little bit of your future to acquire one of the last pieces that could put your team over the top, and become a cup contender.

Personally, I still think Minny will get destroyed if they face off against LA in the first round. Or better yet the Sharks as they are on a roll again. But it's hard not to look at their team and be impressed by everything but their defence after the name Suter.

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#79 Will
April 04 2013, 10:31AM
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Clyde Frog wrote:

Well looking at the standings, we are 2 back of Detroit, 4 back of LA and 5 of the Canucks and the Wild all with the same amount of games played

St.Louis is 1 back of us but has 2 games in hand.

So who do we play? The Canucks and Wild twice and LA once.

That means if we win the remaining series against the Canucks or Wild we are effectively one point behind them...

2 points behind LA if we beat them and well only 2 back of Detroit right now.

The remaining schedule is tough, but we actually have a lot of control against 3 of the 4 teams we are battling with for a playoff spot.

This really is the best we could have hoped for heading in to the final 10 games of the season.

This is a great way to look at it. I think the old loser mentality would dictate we play bottom feeders and hope we get some help from other teams, but this way, playing mostly people above us, we can actually affect our place in the standings as oppose to just trying to get as many points as possible. I wonder if this is how Krueger is looking at it as well?

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#80 StHenriOilBomb
April 04 2013, 10:52AM
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Maybe with an 82 game season this team would have even more opportunity to make some noise. All of the experts thought that the 48 game season would be to the Oilers' advantage. Looks like it's the other way around.

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#81 Dave Lumley
April 04 2013, 10:54AM
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@Will

Will, a noble goal and the most worthy of all celebrations. I am looking forward to it.

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#82 michael
April 04 2013, 11:09AM
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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.

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#83 Dave Lumley
April 04 2013, 11:25AM
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Eddie Edmonton wrote:

The only concern with that is the recovery time if something was to happen to the entity that is Horcoff's nose. JJ

Bieksa is a goof.

or his knuckles.

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#84 oilerjed
April 04 2013, 11:50AM
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@I tried it at home

Who needs to drop the gloves, its Bieksa he's a flake. Run him into the corner with both your elbows up and your stick center of mass. He will go down and Horc/Jones/Petrell.... will hopefully only get two for roughing. Either way he leaves a bloddy mess:)

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#85 Bucknuck
April 04 2013, 12:08PM
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I wonder if some Stats guys heads will explode if the Oil win tonight.

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#86 Jay
April 04 2013, 12:11PM
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We got em right where we want em boys! Chase Schneider and get the nuckle heads in an uproar!!

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#87 ginganinja
April 04 2013, 12:12PM
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I'm not worried about the jackets but realistically, the fight is between us, the blues and the red wings. Red wings have a pretty cushy sched as far as which teams they play, and the blues are much better than they've been playing. One can only hope that Elliott and Allan are as bad as we think they are down the stretch. Or Datsyuk gets injured.

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#88 oldhippy
April 04 2013, 12:13PM
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Bucknuck wrote:

I wonder if some Stats guys heads will explode if the Oil win tonight.

One can only hope.

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#89 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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#90 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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#91 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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#92 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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#93 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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#94 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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#95 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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#96 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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#97 John
April 04 2013, 01:34PM
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Sorry Gregor, didn't see the DSF asterix

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#98 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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#99 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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#100 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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