GDB 39.0: JUST WIN

Jason Gregor
April 08 2013 01:14PM

At the start of this four-game road trip the Oilers needed two wins. It didn't matter how, when or where, but they needed at least two victories. They won in Calgary, lost in Vancouver and LA so that leaves them with no choice but to win in Anaheim.

Simple. Just Win.

Of course, winning in the NHL isn't that easy.

I could bore you with percentages and how many wins the Oilers need down the stretch to keep their faint playoff hopes alive, but I don't see the need. Someone smarter than I came up with the saying "Keep It Simple Stupid," and that rings true today.

A win puts the Oilers two points back of Detroit with 9 games remaining, and 7 of those 9 games will be in Edmonton. A win gives Edmonton a chance.

The Ducks played last night, so obviously the Oilers should win. The Ducks have to be fatigued don't they? That was the reason the Oilers lost in Vancouver on Thursday wasn't it?  They were tired from the night before. So based on that theory the Oilers should take advantage of a tired team tonight.

LINEUP

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

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

Dubnyk

Ales Hemsky is out with a foot injury, he's been playing injured for the last 10 days, so Ryan Jones will take his place in the lineup. Mark Fistric take Corey Potter's place on the 3rd pairing and he will play his first game since March 25th.

Ryan Getzlaf is also a game time decision. Getzlaf loves playing the Oilers, registering 27 points in 23 career games, and obviously it would be better for the Oilers if the Ducks elect to give him another day to rest.

QUICK HITS

  • If you want to see how many people wrote off Alex Ovechkin this season, type in Ovechkin vs. Crosby in the twitter search box. Ovechkin has 20 goals and 33 points in his last 23 games. That is unreal. The hilarious part is how the anti-Ovechkin crew are now suggesting he only scores vs. non-playoff teams. Of course when he scored 9 points in three games vs. Winnipeg and New Jersey both teams were in the playoffs, but because they aren't in today that crowd suggests he feasts on weaker competition. That is a creative way to use the stats in your favour. Either way, Ovechkin is back to being one of the most exciting players to watch.
     
  • Crosby is better overall, but Ovechkin is a better goal scorer and he's still one of the best forwards in the game. Adam Oates got him to switch wings this year, and now that Ovechkin is comfortable on his new wing he is lighting it up.
     
  • Sheldon Souray was also written off by many, yet he's having a great year in Anaheim. Souray has 16 points, is playing 21 minutes a night and he is tied for the league-lead at +26 with Sidney Crosby. Souray adds a lot of toughness and swagger to the Ducks as well. Harsh reality in sports is you can't let personal feelings get in the way of business. Oilers needed to get something for Souray, but never did.
     
  • Theo Peckham will never be as dominant as Sheldon Souray, but I see similarities in how they've been handled. Peckham screwed up royally by not staying in shape, and I applauded the organization for sending him a strong message. But that was six weeks ago. Now all they are doing is lowering his trade value, which wasn't that high to begin with, and they will have to qualify him or loss him for nothing. Peckham received the message loud and clear. He deserved to be sent to the minors, but when he returns to the NHL he'll be a decent contributor. If the Oilers let him walk for nothing, that will be another example of bad management.
     
  • I don't understand why the Oilers have Anton Lander sitting in the pressbox rather than playing in the AHL. He hasn't played a game since he scored 6 points vs. the Rockford Icedogs on March 30th. How can the Oilers possibly believe sitting in the pressbox, and practicing twice in a week is helping his development. I understood why they recalled him when Belanger was hurt, but once they traded for Smithson I don't see the value in him not playing.
     
  • I'm guessing Justin Schultz will be booed regularly tonight. Ducks fans are still livid he shunned them and signed with the Oilers. I wonder if they can maintain that all game, the way Oilers fans have voiced their displeasure with many ex-Oilers or Dany Heatley.
     
  • How awesome is Sunday TV right now. Mad Men and Game of Thrones are back, and The Good Wife has another few weeks before their season is over. Excellent way to wind down the week.
     
  • Andrew Cogliano leads the Ducks with 11 ES goals. He's having a solid campaign with 12 goals and 22 points.  Cogliano wasn't going to fit in Edmonton long-term, once they drafted Ryan Nugent-Hopkings, but he's a solid NHLer for the Ducks. He's never missed an NHL game, and tonight he will play his 450th consecutive game.

TONIGHT... (just for you LT)

GAME DAY PREDICTION: Just like they did four weeks ago the Oilers will win a game few expect them to. After back-to-back shutout loses the Oilers went into Chicago and won 6-5. Tonight after uninspired losses in Van and LA the Oilers will entertain you with a 5-4 victory.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers score 3 PP goals. The Ducks PK is 22nd and they've given up the 6th most PP goals in the league.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Nick Schultz loves playing the Ducks. Five of his 26 career goals have come against the Ducks. He has 26 goals in 801 games, but he has 5 in 40 games vs. the Ducks. In the 2nd period Schultz jumps up in the play and scores his first of the season.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#1 GVBlackhawk
April 08 2013, 02:13PM
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When did Lennart Petrell get hired to play Brienne the female knight on Game of Thrones?

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#2 dawgtoy
April 08 2013, 01:18PM
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Just win!!!

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#3 Lowetide
April 08 2013, 01:27PM
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OH. MY. GOD.

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#4 Shredder
April 08 2013, 03:41PM
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I hate how everyone is talking about how Souray was thought of as a guy who couldn't play in the NHL anymore...that's not how I remember it. I remember a guy who was our best defenseman but who got ticked off at management and called them out, then went all prima donna and wanted out of town. Management didn't send him to Hershey because he couldn't play in the NHL, they sent him there because he was cancer in the locker room. We got Taylor Hall with him on the team but injured, then RNH with him in Hershey. It was the rest of the league who thought he wasn't a NHL'er when they decided not to take him on re-entry waivers.

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#5 The Soup Fascist
April 09 2013, 12:08AM
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DSF wrote:

No.

All you have to do is be smart enough to look at the moves made by good GM's and assess the chances of those moves succeeding.

I'm guessing that is beyond your pay grade.

Right. Explain to me again how Dale Talon is a genius GM? I mean he did blow his wad and get Florida into a round of playoffs last year. This year .... Not so much.

I know, poor guy, only team in the league with injuries. And that little oversight of forgetting to qualify an entire group of RFAs a few years ago in Chicago. Could happen to anyone.

This year Chuck Fletcher is the genius, or is it Dean Lombardi, no wait Doug Armstrong. If not him Ray Shero. Nonis? Oops, i mean Mike Gillis. Whoever it is that wins the cup, DSF knew it, sage hockey fellow that he is. Even a broken watch is right twice a day.

Pretty sure you are the same guy extolling Feaster's moves to position themselves for the upcoming treasure trove of UFAs and that they are only one year away from being competitive.

Either senility has taken full hold or the new mushroom harvest is under way on the Island.

Sad, really.

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#6 Bucknuck
April 08 2013, 02:03PM
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Lowetide wrote:

OH. MY. GOD.

I had the same reaction to the pic of that cute little kid. I love the FIRE in his eyes. Win, Oilers WIN!!!

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#7 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
April 08 2013, 04:04PM
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Ha! Speaking of winning...

I was harassing a guy in my keeper pool for B. Schenn pretty much all year. Made him multiple trade offers.

One day he came back with a counter offer out of the blue:
To me: Ovi
To him: Pietrangelo, Skinner

This was March 4th. 27 points in 19 games since.

The poor bastard gave up on him just like everyone else.

I WIN!

#JUSTWIN

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#8 Ducey
April 08 2013, 05:28PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

It's an expression of support for a player that in my mind did as good of a job on a weak team, as any player could.

Please feel free to explain how we won in handling this player the way we did?

It was a joke (or an attempt at one). I am pretty sure you are not an owner of an NHL team.

You forget Souray had two seasons for the Oilers where he was basically hurt all the time. He went thru waivers twice. It was only once he was bought out that Dallas took a flyer on him and paid him just $1.6 million for one year.

He didn't handle himself with class. Classy people don't blast their managers in the media.

It was a bad contract which the Oilers overpaid to bring in a big name. He gave them one good year, and two bad years. His injuries and conflict with management likely would have got him bought out a few places.

I think odds of you knowing 3 years ago he was going to have a year like this year are about the same as you being an NHL owner. That makes it 20/20 hindsight.

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#9 The Soup Fascist
April 08 2013, 10:46PM
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Alsker wrote:

Dvorak...again... really, really, really,

It's in the NHL rulebook. Rule 30.1 g:

"Players released, traded, bought out or otherwise exiled by the Edmonton Oilers shall, no matter how marginal in talent or late in their career, score against their former team. Further, should the players in question not have scored in dozens of NHL games prior to said game versus the Oilers, they are obligated to score multiple points."

So it is written. So it shall be.

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#10 Ducey
April 08 2013, 05:06PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

I never bought what management was selling when they decided that Souray was a bad apple, and needed to be a million miles from any player associated with the Oilers.

The only people that look STUPID now are the ones that bought all this horseshi_, about Souray not being able to play.........pure fictional nonsense.

He handled himself with class, called a spade a spade, and stuck up for his teammates when required. When was the last time a defenseman got into a fight with the current player we have??

He is making management look stupid because they helped him the whole way........he could play on my team any day.

Your team?

Right...and management are the ones that make things up.

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#11 TDSM31
April 08 2013, 06:31PM
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DSF wrote:

As someone who has some personal insight into the Souray situation, let me set some things straight.

Souray did not get along with Lowe.

Souray requested a trade 2 years before the issue became public. Souray very quietly requested a trade but Lowe wouldn't accommodate him because he was still reeling from his "Is it me" period.

Souray was pushed to be in the lineup despite injury because the management team would have looked silly if their prized acquisition wasn't playing.

When Souray finally vented to the the media, the Oilers decided to teach him a lesson and set about humiliating him by sending him to the minors.

The situation is very analogous to what occurred in Vancouver with Cody Hodgson but Gillis, wisely, decided to pump and dump Hodgson rather than publicly devalue his asset.

That the Oilers are still paying Souray is laughable. Some lesson.

38GP 7G 9A 16P +26.

How would that look on the Oilers blue?

What would it have been worth on the trade market?

Thanks for the 'insight' that was made public by pretty much every media outlet in the country.

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#12 The Soup Fascist
April 08 2013, 09:37PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

I agree, There is a huge difference between 10 and 6 spot.

Picking six gives the Oiler a tone of optioons and a much better player.

Any player / coach that intentionally tanks a shift, let alone a game - I want gone.

Now.

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#13 Hammers
April 08 2013, 01:49PM
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Now Yak is with Gags & Magnus it should stay that way putting Hemmer with Horc and Smyth when his back . Agree on your comments on Lander but to be honest management has screwed up consistently like not getting a 2nd or 3rd for Whitney . DUMB .

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#14 The Soup Fascist
April 08 2013, 02:36PM
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Bucknuck wrote:

I had the same reaction to the pic of that cute little kid. I love the FIRE in his eyes. Win, Oilers WIN!!!

Pretty sure I know what you meant, but PLEASE tell me your "OH. MY. GOD." is for a TOTALLY different reason than Lowetide's in reaction to Katie Heigl.

But the picture of the kid is pretty funny.

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#15 Obiwan Eberle - Team Silver Fox
April 08 2013, 03:47PM
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GVBlackhawk wrote:

When did Lennart Petrell get hired to play Brienne the female knight on Game of Thrones?

LOLZ...

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#16 vetinari
April 08 2013, 04:13PM
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The Oilers can't just make it easy for themselves, can they? One step ahead, two steps back. One step sideways, blow head off with shotgun. Stand up zombie style, shamble forward and repeat.

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#17 Jasmine
April 08 2013, 04:37PM
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Hammers wrote:

Now Yak is with Gags & Magnus it should stay that way putting Hemmer with Horc and Smyth when his back . Agree on your comments on Lander but to be honest management has screwed up consistently like not getting a 2nd or 3rd for Whitney . DUMB .

Once again Oilers fans do what they do best. Running players out of town and only wanting draft picks in return. Fans hate the playoffs but they sure love draft picks.

Fans are the reason players don't sign in Edmonton. They run players out of town.

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#18 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
April 08 2013, 04:41PM
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Jasmine wrote:

Well said. It's about time someone said it. Management is getting bashed way too many times.

Management was right to buy him out. Players shouldn't be allowed to walk all over management and expect to get away with it. Souray thought he could get away with bashing management and it failed. I bet there were many teams that applauded the Oilers for doing what they did to Souray.

Management has been bashed since Slats left. I remember people wanting Lowe fired when he made his first trade as GM. Fans had too much love for Slats and would bash anyone who became GM after Slats.

i bash would bash like bash to bash see bash a bash post bash of bash yours bash that bash didnt bash have bash the bash word bash bash in bash it bash.

bash

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#19 David S
April 08 2013, 07:44PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Edmonton needs to go 9-1 the rest of the way. They have to finish with more points than the Wings with them having the tiebreaker.

It's over. Tanking these last 10 games is in the Oilers best interest. Selecting 4th or 5th means someone else will do the Oilers scouting homework for them yet again. Prevent them from doing something stupid.

"The lowest level of achievement when it comes to the Oilers, is that of a fan. In that, the only opinions that matter are those of current season seat holders only. Management as well as the players couldn't give a rats arse what the fans say or think."

So we can assume you're not a season seat holder?

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#20 StHenriOilBomb
April 08 2013, 07:59PM
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@Quicksilver ballet

I don't understand this math. They have to beat Detroit by 3 points and Dallas and Phoenix by 1. There are 10 games left - it's happened before. If Detroit plays well, we're screwed. If Detroit loses a few there's a chance.

Don't throw around numbers unless they mean something. Explain your 9-1 please. Otherwise it's just another BS assessment thrown out there.

I don't think the Oilers make it, but I think this 9-1 number is just a bad guess. In a few weeks I wouldn't be surprised if we realize that 6-1-2 wolud have done the same thing.

But you're right, it's done.

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#21 NewAgeSys
April 08 2013, 09:06PM
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Nice level of physicality being brought by the Oilers, it is already taking its toll, they dont look willing to pay the full price of admission tonight, lets keep it up.

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#22 Eddie Edmonton
April 08 2013, 09:41PM
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This has a feeling of an afternoon game.

Oilers look just as lost out there as the girl who came to a Sportsnet game with a TSN sign.

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#23 The Soup Fascist
April 08 2013, 10:30PM
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Way to go Schultz! That should shut all those boo birds up ......... Wait ......... What?

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#24 vetinari
April 08 2013, 10:56PM
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I would love to hear Debrusk say something like "I hate you Tambellini" on TV

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#25 DSF
April 08 2013, 11:36PM
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Oh well.

There's always next year.

Or the year after that.

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#26 VK63
April 08 2013, 11:45PM
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DSF wrote:

Oh well.

There's always next year.

Or the year after that.

Yup.

Oilchange will have a longer run life than MASH.

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#27 The Soup Fascist
April 08 2013, 11:46PM
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DSF wrote:

Oh well.

There's always next year.

Or the year after that.

You are correct.

A more prudent strategy is, over an 18 month period, to at one point or another pick 80% of the teams in the league to be potential champions. Then pat yourself on the back when you are "right".

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#28 The Soup Fascist
April 09 2013, 12:27AM
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Eulers wrote:

Thatcher died today. Didn't you hear?

Who did this Thatcher guy play for? Right winger? What happened, tried to hit Lucic?

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#29 Eulers
April 09 2013, 08:35AM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

Who did this Thatcher guy play for? Right winger? What happened, tried to hit Lucic?

Yes, Maggie Thatcher was definitely a Right Winger!!

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#30 The Soup Fascist
April 09 2013, 09:16AM
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Eulers wrote:

Yes, Maggie Thatcher was definitely a Right Winger!!

Thanks for catching that. Nice to know someone is as old as me on this site.

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#31 Chet134
April 08 2013, 01:26PM
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That girl in the picture has beautiful eyes. Compete hard, win the battles and just win

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#32 OilersBrass
April 08 2013, 01:26PM
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Funny how Potter is out and not Whitney hey Gregor?

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#33 tileguy
April 08 2013, 01:51PM
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Did you see Phil and Luke from Modern Family invent a pancake that flips itself by adding popcorn kernels? How's that for Wednesday night tv?

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#34 Ducey
April 08 2013, 02:02PM
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@Lowetide

Just remembered that you left the stove on at home?

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#35 nunyour
April 08 2013, 02:03PM
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Is it going to be hard to trade Hemsky with that contract next summer?

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#36 RPW
April 08 2013, 02:03PM
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Lander should be playing big minutes in the playoff push in OKC. I think Potter should have been moved at the deadline, though not sure we could have got anything for him, rolling with Whitney, Fistric and Peckham as 5,6 and 7. Something in my head says don't give up on Whitney, though the damage may be done already. I just see him doin what Souray is doin now after everyone in the city decided that he couldn't play in the NHL anymore. Regardless of who is on the roster though, they need to win, win, win!!!

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I could've sworn Ovi was switched back after a week or two?

I too can't figure out what Lander is doing up here, but then again I don't know what Peckham has been doing on the 23 man roster for most of the year when they have little intentions of using him.

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#38 The Soup Fascist
April 08 2013, 02:32PM
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Ducey wrote:

Just remembered that you left the stove on at home?

...... frying pancakes filled with popcorn kernels?????

Circle of Life, friends.

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#39 Oiler Al
April 08 2013, 02:36PM
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This is probably the biggest game of the second half of the season !. This sets the tone and pace for the remaining two games against the Ducks. They must win at least two of the 3 games.

Stay out of the penalty box boys!.

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#40 DigDeepNBleedBlue
April 08 2013, 03:19PM
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Fistric back in....

Peckham hasn't played since the Romans occupied Jerusalem....

Hall, Ebs and RNH separated for 5-8 too many games....

Yup, there are a few decisions Coach has made that have me wondering WTF. There's more...

Tough season, though, for a young coach and a young team. No real practice time or time to reevaluate some personnel and coaching decisions.

Does that mean it's over? Hell, no! Need to win!

Win and you're in.

Keep it simple, boys. Lets do this!

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#41 Archaeologuy
April 08 2013, 03:29PM
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Was a big Cogliano supporter. They have him playing on the wing, I hope that 2nd rounder can turn into something usefull. 450 straight games is quite the accomplishment.

Game of Thrones is the only TV show that matters to me right now that isnt Oiler related. Love it. Tyrion Lannister is such a great character.

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#42 Gaz
April 08 2013, 04:00PM
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@Shredder

That's a very good point.

Now cue up the people who say "yeah, but it was his horrible contract, which the Oilers signed him to, that stopped teams from picking him up on waivers".

You've got to love the people who stop at nothing to bash management.

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#43 OilersBrass
April 08 2013, 04:10PM
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Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy! wrote:

Ha! Speaking of winning...

I was harassing a guy in my keeper pool for B. Schenn pretty much all year. Made him multiple trade offers.

One day he came back with a counter offer out of the blue:
To me: Ovi
To him: Pietrangelo, Skinner

This was March 4th. 27 points in 19 games since.

The poor bastard gave up on him just like everyone else.

I WIN!

#JUSTWIN

HAHAHAHAHA. Never count anyone out, he learned his lesson.

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#44 Pucker
April 08 2013, 04:20PM
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That's the coolest picture. Well they both are.

Just win baby.

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#45 Quicksilver ballet
April 08 2013, 04:23PM
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Hard to believe Tambellini is still spending some of Katz's money on Sheldon Souray to play for Anaheim. Here it is 3 yrs since Oilers management threw him under the bus, we're still a bottom feeder team in this league.

Sheldon Souray was right all along about this management group.

Can't see the Duck faithful booing Schultz this evening. Anahiem fans have a lot more to cheer about this season than to boo a kid they've never met/seen before. Probably more of the Justin Who? than the boo. More men against boys this evening, 5-1 Ducks.

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#46 Time Travelling Sean
April 08 2013, 04:29PM
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@Quicksilver ballet

We've shown, inconsistently albeit, that we can play against higher tiered teams, and play well, so change your prediction please, 3-2 Oil win/loss in a SO.

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#47 Will
April 08 2013, 04:33PM
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Hopefully this is playing on repeat in the dressing room down the final stretch:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYt6ZQ70FTw

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#48 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
April 08 2013, 04:34PM
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@Quicksilver ballet

Ah, Oil Change...

Can you imagine watching all the seasons at once?

"Isn't there supposed to be a climax eventually?"
"How long is this POS?!?"

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#49 Jasmine
April 08 2013, 04:35PM
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Gaz wrote:

That's a very good point.

Now cue up the people who say "yeah, but it was his horrible contract, which the Oilers signed him to, that stopped teams from picking him up on waivers".

You've got to love the people who stop at nothing to bash management.

Well said. It's about time someone said it. Management is getting bashed way too many times.

Management was right to buy him out. Players shouldn't be allowed to walk all over management and expect to get away with it. Souray thought he could get away with bashing management and it failed. I bet there were many teams that applauded the Oilers for doing what they did to Souray.

Management has been bashed since Slats left. I remember people wanting Lowe fired when he made his first trade as GM. Fans had too much love for Slats and would bash anyone who became GM after Slats.

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#50 Jasmine
April 08 2013, 04:39PM
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@Oiler Al

Would help if refs knew the rules. Penalties called on the Oilers are for some strange reason not called on the opponent.

Against the Kings, refs missed hitting from behind by the Kings on Potter, PRV and Justin Schultz. They also missed a high stick on Ryan Whitney. Whitney was bleeding but no penalty was called.

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