CRYSTAL BALL 2013-14

Lowetide
August 24 2013 04:16PM

It's tough to see everything that's going to happen in a hockey season while sitting on a deck drinking the Nation brew during August, and God knows I haven't been in tune with Craig MacTavish this summer.

That all changes now. If you simply cannot wait to see what's going to happen with your Edmonton Oilers this winter, click through and read. However, if you read this and then the season seems anticlimactic because you found out in August, don't blame me! You've been warned!!!

THE VERY GOOD

  1. The Edmonton Oilers make the playoffs! Nothing crazy. The club grabs the final playoff spot, wins a couple of games in the opening series against Los Angeles and vows to return stronger for 2014-15.
  2. Tayor Hall scores 35+ goals and 80+ points and is voted to the end-of-season All-Star team. More importantly--as this happened last season--he is also named to the post season All-Star team.
  3. Jordan Eberle and Nail Yakupov also come close to 30 goals next season.
  4. RNH comes back earlier than expected and posts a point-per-game season.
  5. David Perron scores 20.
  6. Boyd Gordon becomes a crowd favorite, for his faceoff prowess, his exceptional PK ability and his in-your-face style.
  7. Ryan Smyth turns back the clock for his final season and delivers a quality effort.
  8. Justin Schultz has a fine year offensively and impresses with defensive improvement. Andrew Ference is given much credit for the turnaround.
  9. Anton Belov and Denis Grebeshkov win jobs out of training camp and post solid seasons.
  10. Oscar Klefbom and Martin Marincin both make their NHL debuts.
  11. Devan Dubnyk strengthens his hold on the starting job.
  12. Dallas Eakins has moments of difficulty, but is given credit for employing a more effective coaching strategy, especially in regard to even strength play.

THE NOT SO GOOD

  1. Oiler fans will not like the choice of pre TC deal for Toby Petersen.
  2. Oiler fans will not like TC invite list that includes Ty Conklin and Lauren Pronger.
  3. The Oilers will not get off to a good start.
  4. The lack of depth in the organization at center will be a season long issue.
  5. Oiler fans will be disappointed when the club is unable to add significant quality at the deadline.
  6. Oiler fans will be disappointed when Ales Hemsky is signed to a three-year deal.
  7. Oiler fans will be 'weirded-out' by season ticket holder who looks like Ralph Krueger and sits behind the Oiler bench all year.
  8. Shawn Horcoff scores a hat trick in his Rexall return.
  9. Yakupov draws the wrath of Don Cherry with a Celly that involves a cartwheel, doves, and Nail screaming 'now go get yer shinebox' in broken English.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

The Edmonton Oilers have had a very interesting summer, but the die was cast for this coming season long before draft day. The Oilers will make or break this winter on the fortunes of Hall, Nuge, Ebs, Yak City, Schultz the younger, Gagner and the other under 25's.

I'm picking them to make the second season. Everything else is window dressing.

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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 Team 1260.
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#2 YFC Prez
August 24 2013, 04:50PM
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@Brian

Will the inane comments go away when the season starts? My guess is no.

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#4 steelymac
August 24 2013, 05:41PM
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The Good News:DSF goes on PROZAC and becomes a OILER fan.

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#5 Ari Gold
August 24 2013, 04:54PM
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Rather than a Horcs hattrick, I'll predict the nickname of 'Maniac' being hailed to Taylor Hall as he drinks the blood of Tyler upon Dallas' first visit. His wrath will finally put a true ending to the debate.

Furthermore, in this savage act, Hall gains Seguin's power/skills and becomes a first line C.

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#6 book¡e
August 24 2013, 05:35PM
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My prediction is that Hall plays 16 games at centre through the early part of the season where the team has an Eastern conference heavy schedule. The hockey writers then go on to vote Hall to the all star team in both the centre and left wing position.

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#7 DSF
August 24 2013, 05:46PM
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steelymac wrote:

The Good News:DSF goes on PROZAC and becomes a OILER fan.

I take Prozac because I WAS an Oiler fan.

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#8 DSF
August 24 2013, 05:37PM
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LT drinks a lot when his wife is watching the Riders beat the Eskimos.

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#10 extroy
August 24 2013, 05:03PM
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The kids take over the league, Duby shines, D not as bad as many think... Bam!! Playoff bound, back to respectability

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#11 Reg Dunlop
August 24 2013, 09:27PM
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@DSF

A quick, rough statistical analysis of a CanuckArmy thread about Eddie Lack starting yesterday at noon until the present time: about 75 comments, 25 of which come from an individual called NM00, each post criticizes all things Canuck, each rebuttal is argued endlessly and the trash numbers are substantial. Even the style of writing is all too familiar. I don't mind BSers, or exaggerators but liars... are you sure you don't spend time infuriating everyone at the Army?

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#12 Oilers42
August 24 2013, 04:56PM
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I'd be okay with this at under 3.5

6.Oiler fans will be disappointed when Ales Hemsky is signed to a three-year deal.

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#13 Mike
August 24 2013, 10:21PM
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What I'm not understanding is why all these post and articles by everyone is so negative to what mactavish had done. People seem to have short term memory and little to no faith. If we had added ference and Gordon last year at the deadline when we were in 8 th place would people be complaining that that's not enough change? I don't think so. We almost made the post season last year with Hemsky on the second line and no fourth line center so now with Hemsky on the 3rd line a mediocre 4th line center, N Shultz on the 3 rd pairing, Gordon subbing for horcoff, Perron added to the mix people still see us not making it or not adding enough? I dunno to me our chances have improved more than a little and I didn't even say ference yet. I think this year will be surprising for most

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#14 Reg Dunlop
August 24 2013, 09:07PM
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DSF wrote:

Please feel free to go over there whenever you like.

I don't spend much time there although they have a couple of very good writers.

I was just visiting the Army and lo and behold your insufferable peace-disturbing alter ego(NM00) irritates Vancouverites there. You sure you don't post there often?

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#15 Quicksilver ballet
August 24 2013, 06:18PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

"Jordan Eberle and Nail Yakupov also come close to 30 goals next season."

Define "come close."

"David Perron scores 20."

Goals?

"Ryan Smyth turns back the clock for his final season and delivers a quality effort."

Results?

Ebs nets 38, and Yakupov pots 41. Close enough to 30 each, me thinks.

Perron has 21 goals by the Olympic break.

Smytty laces them up for 82 games and contributes 35 pts to the coffers.

Oil miss the playoffs by 10 pts this season due to the lack of support/depth and subpar goaltending. Injuries/too few Mike Riley types on the squad.

That's my quota as far as this optimism thing goes for the year.

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#16 Brad 21
August 25 2013, 09:51AM
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I am sick and tired of the Dubnyk bashing the kids a stand up goaltender. Didn't he win Canada a Spengler Cup last year? I guess that means he can't play in pressure situations. The guy has made improvements every single season. Mark my words when Team Canada is picked in February he will be in the conversation. Most underrated goalie in the league. He will have a lot to prove this year after Mactavish tried to acquire another goalie. I have a feeling Mactavish will be eating Crow by the end of the year. Only goalie in the league that has a .920 save percentage in the league and his fans want him thrown to the Sharks.

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#17 OilDieHard
August 24 2013, 04:20PM
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an injury free 20 goal season from Perron would be a bonus for sure. and no doubt Horc will score at least a couple of goals upon his return here.....just wait for it.

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#18 Ari Gold
August 24 2013, 07:42PM
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@DSF

So.... We cool if I come down to Canuck Army to generally ruffle your collective feathers once in a while? You seem to enjoy the attention you get here...

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#19 Jimmer
August 24 2013, 04:51PM
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Need Dubbie to have a season like Mike Smith did in PHX. If that doesn't happen...we will be doomed for anywhere from 10th - 12th. AGAIN.

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#20 JitanPren
August 24 2013, 11:35PM
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719 wrote:

This team won't go anywhere. All the moves are window dressing, lateral moves, or in some cases just plain bad.

Maybe next year...

Somebody get this guy a bin.

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#21 Dave
August 24 2013, 11:54PM
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Ty Conklin is an automatic selection for Oilers Goats Hall Of Fame. Look up Goat on Wiki and there is a Ty Conklin link.

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#22 Brian
August 24 2013, 04:41PM
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When the season starts inane articles might go away. Feel your pain, Lowtide, trying to come up with something good in August. Keep swinging.

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#23 extroy
August 24 2013, 05:12PM
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Oh ya,.. Hall and Eb's make the Olympics

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#24 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
August 24 2013, 06:43PM
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I honestly have no clue how this season's gonna go. If the kids find another gear under Eakins, we should be in the mix come April based on scoring alone.

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#25 OilDieHard
August 24 2013, 08:54PM
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^I signed up in the Canuck and Flame forum, but have yet to find anything worth commenting on....maybe I'll wait for the regular season to start?

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#26 Racki
August 24 2013, 09:48PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

"Jordan Eberle and Nail Yakupov also come close to 30 goals next season."

Define "come close."

"David Perron scores 20."

Goals?

"Ryan Smyth turns back the clock for his final season and delivers a quality effort."

Results?

There was far too much positiveness in this article... this is an Oilers forum! I ain't got time for optimism.

Eberle and Yakupov each score 03 goals, which is the reverse of 30, which is pretty close!!

OK I honestly don't think they'll do anywhere near that bad. I figure they'll each be in the 20s though. 30 would be fantastic.. but I don't want to get too carried away with optimism for the eleventeenth year in the row only to set myself up for disappointment.

This should be "the year" that they make a big step and I think it will be, but I keep saying that every year. The only diff is I think this team is in a lot better hands, both with MacT, and with the young kids being older.. and hell, I even think it's in better hands with a more conventional, NA coach.

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#27 Robin Brownlee
August 24 2013, 05:32PM
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"Jordan Eberle and Nail Yakupov also come close to 30 goals next season."

Define "come close."

"David Perron scores 20."

Goals?

"Ryan Smyth turns back the clock for his final season and delivers a quality effort."

Results?

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#28 John Chambers
August 24 2013, 05:09PM
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Another to add to the list: in February MacT trades a d prospect and a first rounder for a top-pair defenseman that adds firepower to the back end and stifles the other team's top players.

Can this please happen?

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#29 DSF
August 24 2013, 08:28PM
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Ari Gold wrote:

So.... We cool if I come down to Canuck Army to generally ruffle your collective feathers once in a while? You seem to enjoy the attention you get here...

Please feel free to go over there whenever you like.

I don't spend much time there although they have a couple of very good writers.

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#30 madjam
August 25 2013, 07:32AM
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Oilers top six perhaps best in league this year . Bottom six needs to be a lot more proficient as a group than last few seasons , and should be the determining feature as to how well we do this season. Goal and defence should be a wash - neither winning or costing us games overall as a group . That still is an improvement over last few seasons , especially defensively .

Natural increase/improvement of youth , and speed of club with new commitment from coaches and players should lead to many more victories . Team play will pick up markedly . Suspect we could have 4-5 40 goal scorers this season , and as many as 2-3 in the thirty range . Offensively we should be number 1 this season .

The training wheels are off , time to get rolling !

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#31 Spydyr
August 25 2013, 09:37AM
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OilDieHard wrote:

^can I get the next winning 6/49 numbers too? seeing as you know how to predict the future and all....

Let me get this straight. If someone says they will make the playoffs that is cool. If someone says they won't they are clairvoyant?

Is that what you are saying?

By the way the title of the article is "crystal ball" if that helps you any.

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#32 OilDieHard
August 25 2013, 10:14AM
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Spydyr wrote:

Let me get this straight. If someone says they will make the playoffs that is cool. If someone says they won't they are clairvoyant?

Is that what you are saying?

By the way the title of the article is "crystal ball" if that helps you any.

it's easy to say they won't make the playoffs when they haven't, isn't it? then nobody gets let down it they don't, right? and like what Brad21 said....i'm just getting sick of the Dubnyk bashing, all this "goaltending will let them down" crap! the last 3 years the goalie that has sucked has been Khabby, and it's been Dubnyk's good play that has saved us from really having a gawd awful record. and adding Labarbara and Bachman to backup DD has likely improved our goaltending.

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#33 Reg Dunlop
August 24 2013, 05:56PM
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The bad news is the Flames won't be as bad against the oil as they are against the rest of the league. They still finish bottom 3 but the lost points against Calgary cost the Oil a playoff spot. 9th place heartache coming up.

Ryan Smyth is done. There is no turning back the clock. Belov will face huge suspensions if he makes the squad and pulls crap like trying to kick opposing players. Thinks he's Mikhailov.

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#34 TonyT
August 25 2013, 12:38AM
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In an ironic twist, as a result of successful experimentation at C Hall earns a first all-star nod, although many members of the media in the east vote for him at L, earning him a second L all-star selection. Ovechkin who would have made the second all-star team is left without a nomination...

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#35 Spydyr
August 25 2013, 11:01AM
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OilDieHard wrote:

it's easy to say they won't make the playoffs when they haven't, isn't it? then nobody gets let down it they don't, right? and like what Brad21 said....i'm just getting sick of the Dubnyk bashing, all this "goaltending will let them down" crap! the last 3 years the goalie that has sucked has been Khabby, and it's been Dubnyk's good play that has saved us from really having a gawd awful record. and adding Labarbara and Bachman to backup DD has likely improved our goaltending.

Your opinion of good goaltending differs from mine and Mac-T's. Live with it.

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#36 PeOiler
August 24 2013, 06:40PM
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Can Mike Riley play center? Solution waiting in the wings apres CFL season?!?

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#37 719
August 24 2013, 10:24PM
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This team won't go anywhere. All the moves are window dressing, lateral moves, or in some cases just plain bad.

Maybe next year...

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#38 nunyour
August 25 2013, 11:05AM
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Gordon,Hemsky,Smyth,should be the best 3rd.line in the league,they are paid like it.

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#39 Fred
August 24 2013, 10:51PM
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8 isn't enough.

Take that to the bank.

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#40 DonDon
August 25 2013, 11:15AM
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The real test of goaltenders is during the playoffs; it is the time that we all witness who the great goaltenders are.

As the Oil haven't made the playoffs for seven consecutive seasons, we may not have seen the best of Dubnyk yet.

Things look promising on D, which should benefit goaltending.

If there are weaknesses in the roster, it is very evident where they are (not in goal). It starts with total lack of depth at centre, lack of complementary players at forward to balance skill and the less than desirable condition of the bottom six forwards.

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#41 OilDieHard
August 25 2013, 12:43PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Your opinion of good goaltending differs from mine and Mac-T's. Live with it.

I will. and i'm hoping you and MacT will be surprised when DD shows he actually has another level and has a great year!

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#42 Spydyr
August 25 2013, 08:31AM
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No playoffs for you!!!

Not enough depth, Goaltending will let them down.

Hope I'm wrong but that is what I see,

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#43 OilDieHard
August 25 2013, 08:40AM
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^can I get the next winning 6/49 numbers too? seeing as you know how to predict the future and all....

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#44 Rama Lama
August 25 2013, 12:03PM
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I can't wait to see Horcoff come back and bungle ever offensive opportunity presented to him.........we will all then realize what a master Mac T was in getting rid of this player.

Good person.......bad player!

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#45 OneWhoKnows
August 25 2013, 07:49PM
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ASHAM TOOTOO+ BIG JOHN SCOTT minus SMYTH minus JONES minus LANDER = 2014 Stanley Cup for Oilers. DOUGLAS MURRAY instead of Denise Grebeshkov for 1.5M would have helped a great deal as well!!! Lets get some serious toughness!!!! C'mon MACT!!!

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#46 Uks YA
August 26 2013, 08:51PM
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Brad 21 wrote:

I am sick and tired of the Dubnyk bashing the kids a stand up goaltender. Didn't he win Canada a Spengler Cup last year? I guess that means he can't play in pressure situations. The guy has made improvements every single season. Mark my words when Team Canada is picked in February he will be in the conversation. Most underrated goalie in the league. He will have a lot to prove this year after Mactavish tried to acquire another goalie. I have a feeling Mactavish will be eating Crow by the end of the year. Only goalie in the league that has a .920 save percentage in the league and his fans want him thrown to the Sharks.

is that you duby??

or did someone just smoke one....

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#47 DSF
August 25 2013, 10:18AM
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Reg Dunlop wrote:

A quick, rough statistical analysis of a CanuckArmy thread about Eddie Lack starting yesterday at noon until the present time: about 75 comments, 25 of which come from an individual called NM00, each post criticizes all things Canuck, each rebuttal is argued endlessly and the trash numbers are substantial. Even the style of writing is all too familiar. I don't mind BSers, or exaggerators but liars... are you sure you don't spend time infuriating everyone at the Army?

I'm sure.

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#48 madjam
August 25 2013, 11:50AM
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THE OLD UNICORN OFFENCE - Two by Two . What duets would fit in first three lines ? Hall, Eberle ? Hopkins,Perron ? Yakupov ,Gagner ? Hemsky a fill in obviously , but what other two could compliment those duets is the question ? Yes , I am breaking up top six into three lines instead of two ! What duets might you prefer if Oilers go this way ?

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#49 McFattie
August 25 2013, 06:08PM
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Better get BIG JOHN SCOTT or the Flames and Canuckleheads will devour these punks!!!! Bieksa, Kassian, Sestito, McGratten ( Only scared of Scott), Jackman ( would never make eye contact with Steve MacIntyre) and Shane O'Brien are gonna be runnin wild against the Oil skill. HELP!!!

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#50 Uks Ya
August 26 2013, 08:58PM
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McFattie wrote:

Better get BIG JOHN SCOTT or the Flames and Canuckleheads will devour these punks!!!! Bieksa, Kassian, Sestito, McGratten ( Only scared of Scott), Jackman ( would never make eye contact with Steve MacIntyre) and Shane O'Brien are gonna be runnin wild against the Oil skill. HELP!!!

Ben Eager, Anton Belov, Ben Gordon, Ryan Jones, Ladi Smid, Andrew Ference, Jesse Joensuu &&& MIKE BROWN!!! are all no push overs....Hall, Ebz, Gagz, Yak & Perron will stick you or chirp back if need be :)

heck old ballz smytty will be face washin steady this year lol

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