ANSWER THE PHONE

Lowetide
May 06 2013 06:58PM

Dear NHL: As an industry, you are badly overlooking the Edmonton Oilers. I have a request: keep doing what you're doing.

Right now, the NHL and the industry that surrounds it doesn't really take these young Oilers seriously. Taylor Hall gets benched by Lindy Ruff at the World Hockey Championships, Nail Yakupov doesn't get enough votes to qualify for the Calder, and on it goes. This is nothing new, hell the Oilers have been in the second division so long there are likely some NHL men and media who can't name 10 Oilers.

Keep it up. Keep going. Keep taking this Oiler team for granted.

One day soon, the rag-tag Oilers will come in to your town and you'll contemplate giving away the tickets, or you'll give them to a staff member who hasn't seen a game in a decade. Go for it. The Oilers have been down so long the amount of respect they get is somewhere between slim and none and slim just left town.

Sent in your awards votes early? No worries, it's only the Oilers, it's just Yakupov out in the cold (on a 33 degree day).

 WHO CARES ABOUT THE OILERS?

Exactly. WHO CARES ABOUT THE OILERS? Oh sure, they were almost in the playoffs for a minute there, but then they realized they were the Oilers and stepped back in the elevator shaft. Who can blame Lindy Ruff for running Matt Read out there instead of Hall--after all, what has Hall ever done, aside from pushing the river at 5x5 since he arrived from the draft and (this past season) finishing in the league's top 10 scorers? It was a SOFT top 10, right? SURE.

Keep. Doing. What. You're Doing.

THE PLOT TWIST

Mark my words, NHL. One day your teams will come to our city, good old "2 points in the bank" Alberta and you're going to get a wake up call. All over. And when it gets very bad, you'll be dialing 9-1-1 and will hear the operator say "if you'd like to make a call, please hang up and try again!"

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

The Oilers have been out of the playoffs so long my kids don't really remember what this city looks like when excitement rules the spring and summer.

Oh brother, they will. And Lindy Ruff will know what Taylor Hall can do, and the Calder votes that didn't go to Yakupov (and Nuge and Hall and Eberle before him) will all be cashed in one glorious movie climax.

Answer the phone.

C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on TSN 1260.
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#1 jerod
May 06 2013, 07:00PM
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Hall was playing poorly in the game maybe he should not be benched, but minutes cut made sense to me

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#3 jerod
May 06 2013, 07:09PM
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Do you think Matt Duchene has a chance to make the olympic team?

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#4 clyde
May 06 2013, 07:12PM
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jerod wrote:

Do you think Matt Duchene has a chance to make the olympic team?

Very good question. There will be a lot of second guessing when this team is picked.

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#5 bwar
May 06 2013, 07:21PM
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jerod wrote:

Do you think Matt Duchene has a chance to make the olympic team?

I absolutely think he has a chance. He is an extremely gifted hockey player and I'm actually a bit sad we won't be seeing the Avalanche as much in the future because most nights it is a pleasure to watch him play.

I'm very interested to see how the Olympics team shakes out because I honestly have no clue who's going to be on it.

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#6 clyde
May 06 2013, 07:30PM
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Lowetide wrote:

Sure, agreed. The entire team was off and Ruff was trying to shake things up. Still, I don't think Hall gets close to the respect he deserves.

Other than this benching, explain why you do not think he is respected. He was drafted at 1, has played major minutes every year and was Canadian Junior Player of the Year.

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#7 Butters
May 06 2013, 07:30PM
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It's been so long for us here in Edmonton, we don't even know how to spell palyoffs.

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#8 Darrell
May 06 2013, 07:35PM
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Butters wrote:

It's been so long for us here in Edmonton, we don't even know how to spell palyoffs.

Don't know whether to laugh or cry ....

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#9 Sliderule
May 06 2013, 07:37PM
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Ruff benching Hall was sending a message to team.

Quit turning the puck over.

The whole team was making a lot of bad plays but Taylor made more than any with two weak pass turnovers a patented failed toe drag and then a weak check turnover right in front of bench.

If Taylor wants to help the oilers to get to the next level he has to simplify his offensive game and mark a man in the defensive zone.

Coaches like Ruff will help him get there

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#10 A Big Deal
May 06 2013, 07:39PM
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what is this you call playoffs? Please explain

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#12 clyde
May 06 2013, 07:52PM
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Lowetide wrote:

All kinds of things. Hall finished in the league's top 10 scorers, and his 5x5/60 was sixth best--2nd in western conference

http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?ds=20&f1=2012_s&f2=5v5&f7=20-&c=0+1+3+5+4+6+7+17+18+19+20

As for lack of respect

http://www.hockeywilderness.com/2012/8/23/3261721/final-jeopardy-answer-taylor-hall-shane-doan-contracts-and-kevin

http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/04/27/taylor-hall-plays-his-heart-but-whats-with-this-meaningless-games-business-peter-adler-says/

And I do think benching Hall shows a lack of respect by Ruff.

This is a natural right of passage thing and happens in every sport. Unfortunately for Hall he went for 0 points in the 6 game losing streak at the team's most important time. He also has a very bad habit of turning the puck over in neutral ice. If this benching helps cure him of this, you will thank Ruff. With all that being said, he is young and has an opportunity to change, develop and earn respect. Remember when they were young, Lemieux was too soft, Gretzky and Crosby were whiners, Ray Bourque couldn't win, etc, etc. How are they remembered and/or looked at now? This isn't new and goes with the territory.

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#13 madjam
May 06 2013, 07:55PM
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When the going got tough our team folded . Seeing the size and physical play with the teams in the playoffs , I wonder how long it will be before we get there if todays team is still much intact ? We got the respect we deserved , and we'll have to do a lot better to earn that respect we seek/cry out for .

Out team and especially our smallish and young youth are not ready to excel at the physical level being exhibited in the playoffs just yet . Another year and a toughened core and then maybe .

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#14 JackBauer
May 06 2013, 07:59PM
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If I remember correctly Ralph Krueger did the same thing to him earlier this season and Taylor came out and played the game of his season against Detroit.

Im not worried about Taylor Hall.

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#15 Jasmine
May 06 2013, 08:12PM
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@jerod

Giroux cost Canada a goal but wasn't benched. More proof that Lindy Ruff hates the Oilers. This idiot ran up the score on the Oilers and played his #1 PP united when the score was 10-2. Lindy Ruff is classless.

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#16 Jasmine
May 06 2013, 08:14PM
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@clyde

Oilers are still getting bashed for drafting Hall instead of Seguin.

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#17 Senhor
May 06 2013, 08:15PM
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World Hockey Championchip? Seriously? Does anyone care? It's spring break for them. Nice little trip. Hall was probably happy to sit. Some no name can't take his knee out in the press box.

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#18 Jasmine
May 06 2013, 08:15PM
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@Sliderule

Giroux cost Canada a goal and Hall didn't but Giroux didn't get benched but Hall did. More proof Hall gets no respect and Ruff is clueless and a lousy coach.

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#19 clyde
May 06 2013, 08:16PM
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Jasmine wrote:

Oilers are still getting bashed for drafting Hall instead of Seguin.

I really like Seguin. Oiler fans wouldn't have been upset with that.

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#20 Jasmine
May 06 2013, 08:16PM
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@Sliderule

Ruff is a lousy coach. Wouldn't be surprised if Ruff decides he won't dress Hall in the next game. Ruff has no class.

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#21 Jasmine
May 06 2013, 08:23PM
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@clyde

What happens if the idiot Ruff decides not to dress him in any of the remaining games because he hates him. Players Ruff hate can do nothing to please him as he'll continue to give him low ice time. Same thin in first game.

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#22 oilers2k10
May 06 2013, 08:23PM
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Lets get Taylor Hall on the cover of EASports NHL 14! Mad Respect!

http://covervote.nhl.com/#/ballot

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#23 Naky
May 06 2013, 08:23PM
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Hall doesn't get enough respect? Respect is earned, not given and that's on every new team you're put on. Hall hasn't earned Ruff's respect yet and that's fair to say. Maybe we're all so used to crapping on coaches here in Edmonton that's we're starting to get dangerously close to questioning a coach of prime pedigree and experience as we've never had ourselves when he starts doing the things he really should be doing to our star players and that's a pretty crappy thing to be doing. I, for one, am not going to question Ruff yet - not with his track record.

As much as I love Hall's style of play, he's a turnover machine who HAS to learn how to play better if he is to be a bigger benefit to his team overall. Ruff had the experience, and more importantly the luxury of, benching Taylor Hall when he started back to his bad habits. That's a luxury that Krueger just isn't allowed on a team like the Oilers that needs Hall on the ice as much as possible, warts and all.

Hey, this isn't anything new, even Hall admitted it was a problem area in his game in the end of the year interviews. Maybe seeing a player like Matt Read getting more ice time while he's stapled to a bench will be yet another wake up call to motivate him to start playing a more well rounded game and I promise you that if he does and we start winning more games cuz of it, we'll all be sending thank you cards to the Ruffs house.

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#24 Jasmine
May 06 2013, 08:24PM
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@JackBauer

Krueger didn't bench him like the clown Lindy Ruff did. Lindy Ruff hates Hall and Ruff will probably not dress Hall in the remaining games.

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#25 Quicksilver ballet
May 06 2013, 08:25PM
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It matters little if the Oilers make the playoffs again. What does matter to the NHL is the fans have purchased hope at an unprecedented rate. Seats are full and the Oilers contributions to revenue sharing are maxed out. It could very likely will be another 2-3 yrs before Rexall sees a playoff game, if at all, and only then if the Oilers can hang onto players like Taylor Hall for that long. Just when it appears to get turned around here, it'll all come crashing down into the crapper again.

In case we haven't already noticed, this market is second/third class as far as players are concerned. Our Oilers are a developemental team, a place where players come to get established as legitimate players and earn the right to call their own shot and go to more desireable destinations. If 6 ringer Kevin Lowe can't get this turned around, nobody can.

If it's from the 780 Mr. Bettman, just ignore them, they've got nothing better to do.

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#26 Time Travelling Sean
May 06 2013, 08:26PM
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@Jasmine

I don't really like Ruff either, he had Hasek then had Miller and could barely make the playoffs year in and year out with either of them.

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#27 Jasmine
May 06 2013, 08:27PM
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@Naky

Hall will never ever get the respect from the clown Lindy Ruff. Team Canada blew it by hiring a clown in Lindy Ruff to coach Canada. Don't be surprised if Lindy Ruff decides he won't dress hall in the remaining games.

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#28 clyde
May 06 2013, 08:28PM
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Jasmine wrote:

What happens if the idiot Ruff decides not to dress him in any of the remaining games because he hates him. Players Ruff hate can do nothing to please him as he'll continue to give him low ice time. Same thin in first game.

Ruff is a good coach who wants to win and is very respected. He will ice the best line up.

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#29 David S
May 06 2013, 08:32PM
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Jasmine wrote:

What happens if the idiot Ruff decides not to dress him in any of the remaining games because he hates him. Players Ruff hate can do nothing to please him as he'll continue to give him low ice time. Same thin in first game.

YAH! THAT CRAP WOULDN'T HAPPEN IF SLATS WAS RUNNING THE BENCH!

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#30 greg marthinsen
May 06 2013, 08:37PM
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who cares about Ruff, what did he ever do except ride Miller to a Stanley cup final most over rated coach ever

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#31 Naky
May 06 2013, 08:43PM
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Yeah, who cares about a coach that worked with a money strapped team for years and still managed to make them competitive every year no matter what mediocre lineup given to him.

Oilers fans, there are three coaches we should be killing to have on our side: Ruff, Trotz, and Tippett because these three are experienced guys that can make virtually any team come together, work hard, and stay competitive. This is something we can't say about our team even now. So sniff away in disdain all you want, but these three guys are widely respected around the league for a reason and we should consider ourselves lucky to have them working with our kids in any capacity.

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#32 jerod
May 06 2013, 08:45PM
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Do you think if Alain Vigneault gets fired this week Oilers will pull the trigger and hire him as head Coach.

I believe he would be an excellent coach for the Oilers, I would feel bad for Krueger but these things happen. Lowe might not want this to happen he would lose some control.

As much as people hate the Canucks they did build a team to win the cup. Unfortunately or not they played a great team in Chicago and lost, and played against a very good Boston team with great goaltending.

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#33 Rocket
May 06 2013, 08:53PM
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Playoffs!?! Playoffs? I just hope we can win a game!

(I know it's an old joke but I still think it's apt)

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#34 Eddie Shore
May 06 2013, 08:55PM
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@Naky

Fact is team Canada needed a goal and Hall would have given them a better chance to score than many of the other players on that team. Ruff benched Hall to send a message and his team lost. Hope it was worth it.

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#35 Eddie Edmonton
May 06 2013, 08:58PM
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jerod wrote:

Do you think if Alain Vigneault gets fired this week Oilers will pull the trigger and hire him as head Coach.

I believe he would be an excellent coach for the Oilers, I would feel bad for Krueger but these things happen. Lowe might not want this to happen he would lose some control.

As much as people hate the Canucks they did build a team to win the cup. Unfortunately or not they played a great team in Chicago and lost, and played against a very good Boston team with great goaltending.

Kevin Lowe wouldn't hire him.

These things won't happen because Alain is not qualified to hold Lowe's jock strap. Kevin Lowe is control, and Alain is just some guy who coached a soft Vancouver team.

The Canucks didn't build a team to win the cup, because the Canucks didn't win the cup.

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#36 Rocket
May 06 2013, 08:59PM
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Eddie Shore wrote:

Fact is team Canada needed a goal and Hall would have given them a better chance to score than many of the other players on that team. Ruff benched Hall to send a message and his team lost. Hope it was worth it.

^ This

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#37 marty62
May 06 2013, 09:00PM
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Naky , I agree with you on Tippett, but I don't want to watch or cheer for team that plays Ruff or Trotz's style of hockey

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#38 marty62
May 06 2013, 09:02PM
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As for Alain as coach.... WTF???? we are Oiler fans, no??? who the hell wants any reject from the frikken CAnucks??

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#39 jerod
May 06 2013, 09:03PM
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Eddie Edmonton wrote:

Kevin Lowe wouldn't hire him.

These things won't happen because Alain is not qualified to hold Lowe's jock strap. Kevin Lowe is control, and Alain is just some guy who coached a soft Vancouver team.

The Canucks didn't build a team to win the cup, because the Canucks didn't win the cup.

The Oilers have been the worst team in the NHL since the season-long lockout of 2004-05. In the eight seasons since, they’ve only won 255 of 622 games. The organization likely doesn’t want to hear it, but the team’s on-ice performance has been worse than the New York Islanders (259 wins), Columbus Blue Jackets (262), Florida Panthers (266) and Tampa Bay Lightning (278)."

Well done Kevin

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#40 Eddie Edmonton
May 06 2013, 09:04PM
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@jerod

Alain who?

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#41 DrunkGuyTy
May 06 2013, 09:09PM
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I'm not as big a fan of Ruff as many. I think he did ride the coat tails of hot goalies a few times. Other than that, I never really thought of a Sabres team as a powerhouse at all.

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#42 Rocket
May 06 2013, 09:12PM
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DrunkGuyTy wrote:

I'm not as big a fan of Ruff as many. I think he did ride the coat tails of hot goalies a few times. Other than that, I never really thought of a Sabres team as a powerhouse at all.

In 2006 injuries in the playoffs did them in or they could have won the cup. A lot more deserving than The Hurricanes.

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#43 geno
May 06 2013, 09:44PM
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I count the days til the oilers get even a little respect.

Maybe with additions like Bickell, Stalberg, Horton, Svedberg/Khudobin, and/or (insert top 2 minute eater D man) they'll actually contend next year!!

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#44 Gret99zky
May 06 2013, 09:47PM
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Love the optimism!

Put me in the "show me" camp.

If the Oilers don't turn things around here in a hurry, river pushing Taylor Hall is going to ask for a trade out of "2 points in the bank" town.

They are a long ways away.

Horrible defense. Zero role players. Non-factor vets. The most ineffective captain in the league. A culture of losing. And on and on.

I can't wait for excitement to rule the spring and summer but until this team starts to "show me" it's all just HOPE for sale. As usual.

Maybe next year. rinse. repeat.

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#45 Naky
May 06 2013, 10:02PM
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@ Mikey

We can ride what-ifs forever. What if Hall wasn't benched, could we have scored? Here's another what if, what if Hall kept playing the way he was playing and the score was 5-2, no OT? We could do this all day.

Reality here will be this: Hall will get another chance to play in the next game and he (hopefully) will be mindful of not trying to cheat. This team is stacked with offensive talent and far more so than the Oilers. Hall needs to take a step back and be more patient and worry less about taking the game on his shoulders and more about playing a complete game and waiting for the opportunity to be earned through hard work. Cheating will get you nowhere, and in this case it literally did.

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#46 NewAgeSys
May 06 2013, 10:03PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

It matters little if the Oilers make the playoffs again. What does matter to the NHL is the fans have purchased hope at an unprecedented rate. Seats are full and the Oilers contributions to revenue sharing are maxed out. It could very likely will be another 2-3 yrs before Rexall sees a playoff game, if at all, and only then if the Oilers can hang onto players like Taylor Hall for that long. Just when it appears to get turned around here, it'll all come crashing down into the crapper again.

In case we haven't already noticed, this market is second/third class as far as players are concerned. Our Oilers are a developemental team, a place where players come to get established as legitimate players and earn the right to call their own shot and go to more desireable destinations. If 6 ringer Kevin Lowe can't get this turned around, nobody can.

If it's from the 780 Mr. Bettman, just ignore them, they've got nothing better to do.

All K-Lowe needs to do to turn this tugboat into a Destroyer is utilise the NHS and give Taylor and the rest of the kids a chance to turn the NHL upside down next year.

Ralph has some cutting edge coaching concepts he has been trying to incorporate but he isnt going to make any errors with his acumen and without a heavier more consistant stream of systemic data and tactics his new perspective will likely not evolve next year.

I believe we need to look to improve our bottom six by holding an Open training camp.

We need to learn to self-valute more accurately,we dont need to scrape the league for players, Players need to come here with a mission to earn and hold a spot on our roster,and we need to support this atmosphere by 86ing dead weight with no hesitation and making it a legitimate NHL playing field.The Oilers have literally wasted their farm roster for decades and absolutely black-balled everyone opportunity wise,giving them zero chance to really earn a spot on the roster thats not very Bold is it ?.

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#47 Jeffff
May 06 2013, 10:19PM
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@NewAgeSys

You've been educated past your intelligence.

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#48 Randaman
May 06 2013, 10:31PM
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@jerod

We all know the talent level Hall currently HAS! Maybe Ruff see's more and is sending a strong message because the way he was playing deserved what Ruff did. One dimensional, not passing to line mates neutral zone give aways, etc. Maybe if Krueger did the same thing once in a while the team would get the message and improve faster? That is why I think we need a stronger hand behind the bench with his own assistant's. Smith and Bucky need to be moved out. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. Mostly for the fans.

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#49 book¡e
May 06 2013, 10:38PM
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LT - Unlike the Hulk, I like you when your angry.

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#50 DSF
May 06 2013, 11:13PM
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You know I was thinking.

The Toronto Maple Leafs don't get much respect either.

It's likely because they missed the playoffs 8 years in a row and their management during those years could best be described as a gong show.

They also have this young player who is among the league leaders in PPG in the entire league over the last 3 seasons.

I'm sure you've heard of him.

His name is Phil Kessel.

He just finished a season where he scored 52 points in 48 games.

But he doesn't get any respect either.

In the playoffs, he's up against the Big Bad Bruins and the Octopus but he has managed to score 2 goals in 3 games.

I wouldn't think the Leafs have the depth or experience to take out the Bruins but maybe if they make the playoffs again next year, they'll start getting some respect.

So maybe, if the Oilers can make the playoffs in two consecutive years they'll get some respect too.

Oh, and that Taylor Hall kid might get more respect if he was able to outscore Phil Kessel in a season too.

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