GDB -2: PLAYERS WILL DECIDE WHO MAKES THE TEAM

Jason Gregor
September 24 2013 12:29PM

Prior to yesterday's 2-1 victory over the Jets, Dallas Eakins stated the players will decide who makes this team, based on how they play. He admitted the final cuts will be difficult, but in most cases the players will play their way off, or on, the team.

In certain cases a veteran on a one-way deal might get the benefit of the doubt over a young player on a two-way contract, but the majority of the players who are here next week will have earned their spot.

I'd say 16 of the final 23 roster spots are locks, while the rest look pretty clear.

Forwards (9):

Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Nail Yakupov, David Perron, Ales Hemsky, Ryan Smyth, Boyd Gordon, Jesse Joensuu and Steve MacIntyre.

Joensuu's play in the preseason has guaranteed he'll start the season here, but he'll need to continue his strong play when the games count to stay a regular in the lineup. By adding MacIntyre the Oilers told the league they were sick of teams taking liberties with their players, if he isn't in the opening night lineup, then claiming him on waivers was pointless.

D-men (5):

Justin Schultz, Andrew Ference, Jeff Petry, Ladislav Smid and Nick Schultz.

Goalies (2):

Devan Dubnyk and Jason LaBarbera

That leaves seven roster spots, four for opening night and three extra skaters.

The battle for the seven remaining spots, won't be as suspenseful as some thought a few weeks ago.

Three forward positions: two centres and one winger.

Marc Arcobello benefits from Sam Gagner's injury and unless the Oiles make a waiver claim on a centre, he'll be in the opening lineup. Neither he, nor Anton Lander has played exceptionally well thus far, but he's been the best of the two. He'll need to play better than he has to be a factor in the regular season. 

Will Acton played well last night, and he's done more than Lander, but it's almost like he will win the 4th line job by default. Acton will need to play much better to remain in the lineup when Gagner returns.

Acton and Arcobello's biggest challenge will come from the waiver wire. If a veteran centre is exposed, I think Craig MacTavish will seriously consider claiming him.

Lander hasn't had a strong camp. He hasn't stood out in any game and I think he's destined for OKC. I doubt any Oiler fan thought the Oilers would enter the season with a weaker centre depth than they did last year, but today that's how it looks.

Mike Brown, Ryan Jones, Ben Eager, Ryan Hamilton and Tyler Pitlick are battling for the 12th forward spot on opening night.

Pitlick has played well his last two games, but you have to consider the opposition when grading him. The lineups he played against weren't NHL caliber, and that is a factor. He'll need to be incredible tonight to be here next week. I'd rather see him play top-line minutes in the AHL than be the 12th, 13th or 14th forward.

Brown has been the most consistent of the remaining four. He isn't going to bring much offence, but he knows his role and he'll crash and bang every shift.

Jones started well, but he's been average the past week. Eakins said he's been happy with Jones intensity, but he'd like to see him produce some more points.

Eager had a good game in Vancouver, but he didn't do much last night. Eakins likes his speed, while his size and ability to play physical will get him another game. He needs to make an impression or he will be in the pressbox on opening night.

Hamilton started well, but hasn't done much the past few games. I think his two-way deal will have him starting the season in the AHL.

My guess is Brown, Jones and Eager make the final roster, and who is the 12th forward will depend on the next two games.

D-MEN

Denis Grebeshkov is out with a groin injury, so that means Anton Belov, Philip Larsen and Darnell Nurse will battle for sixth spot. Belov has looked good, although he'll need to move the puck quicker. It will take him a few more games to get accustomed to the speed of the NHL. Everything happens faster on the smaller ice than it does in the KHL, but he's a smart player and he's got the potential to become a solid NHL D-man.

Nurse was great in Vancouver, and okay at home. Unless he plays incredible tonight and Friday, if he's dressed, I think the Oilers will let him continue to develop in junior. Fedun only has one year of pro experience, he needs more seasoning.

Larsen has been up and down thus far. He struggled in Calgary, was great in Winnipeg and he was solid again last night. He moves the puck very well, and I think the next two games will decide if he or Belov will start against the Winnipeg Jets on opening night.

LINEUP

Smyth-Hall-Hemsky
Perron-Arcobello-Eberle
Jones-Lander-Pitlick
Eager-Acton-Hamilton

The Rangers aren't dressing many of their skilled forwards, but they are dressing three guys who can fight: Aaron Asham, Derrick Dorsett and Mike Haley.

If the Oilers are serious about wanting to protect their players, then they should dress Eager and Steve MacIntyre. MacIntyre arrives in Edmonton this afternoon, and you know he'll be pumped to play. In all my years covering the NHL I've never met a player who was more excited an appreciative to be in the NHL. MacIntyre knows his limitations and I still remember talking to him after his first NHL game. He almost cried he was so overwhelmed, especially because his father got the chance to watch him live. I know MacIntyre would love to dress tonight.

If the Oilers, and specifically Eakins, are serious about protecting their stars and being more aggressive, then tonight is the game they need to dress both Eager and MacIntyre.

Nurse-J.Schultz
Fedun-Petry
Belov-Larsen

Belov and Larsen are in a great battle for the 6th spot, and tonight's play will impact who starts next Tuesday and who is in the pressbox.

LaBarbera will start in goal.

RANGERS LINEUP

Pouliot-Brassard-Zuccarello
Kreider-Miller-Asham
Hrivik-Lindberg-Kristo
Haley-Moore-Dorsett

McDonagh-Girardi
Staal-Allen
Johnson-Hughes

Talbot
Biron

QUICK HITS

  • Eakins said the 94-4-83 line has been his best line thus far and he has no intention of breaking them up. He'd like to have a scoring threat on his top-three lines, and that's why we will likely see Jesse Joensuu-Boyd Gordon-Nail Yakupov as the 3rd line on opening night. All of those who wrote of Ryan Smyth, might need to retract their obituary.
     
  • Linus Omark was put on waivers today, and if he isn't claimed he'll fly with the team to OKC tomorrow. The Oilers will spend three days in OKC. Eakins feels the team needs some time outside of Edmonton to bond and get focused for the season.
     
  • Omark didn't so much in preseason, and according to Eakins he tried to do too much on his own. Not in a selfish way, but Eakins suggested Omark needed to use his teammates more.
     
  • Final thought... David Clarkson gets a 10-game suspension for leaving the bench. He didn't throw a punch when he entered the melee and basically played peacemaker, but he received a ten-game suspension. Meanwhile Zack Kassian broke Sam Gagner's jaw with a careless and gutless slash, but he only got five games.

    I don't have an issue with the NHL having a set suspension for leaving the bench. You do the crime, you do the time. But is it possible they could look at implementing similar minimums for stick infractions. If you slash a guy in the face it is 10 games. The end result shouldn't matter. If you chicken wing/elbow a guy in the head it is an automatic five-game suspension.

    I know the end result is different, and some slashes or elbows are worse than others, but if Clarkson had thrown five punches he'd still be sitting out ten games. He threw none, yet he's out 10 games.

    Why not just set a guaranteed suspension for other infractions?

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR  

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#51 Racki
September 24 2013, 05:15PM
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Why does this website look like a Flames blog now?

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#52 Dennis
September 24 2013, 08:24PM
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Hahahah! Way to go Crazy Eyes!

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#53 MattL
September 24 2013, 09:29PM
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I wonder if Nurse has any interest in playing 2nd line centre.

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#54 Peachy
September 24 2013, 01:12PM
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"I know the end result is different, and some slashes or elbows are worse than others, but if Clarkson had thrown five punches he'd still be sitting out ten games. He threw none, yet he's out 10 games.

Why not just set a guaranteed suspension for other infractions?"

It might not have the impact you imagine...

Take Keith's suspension for slashing Carter in the mouth; he got one game despite all sorts of factors that pointed to a longer suspension being reasonable. If the league was given the choice of suspending for five games or none at all, which route do you think it would have taken?

Jumping off the bench is a really easy event to distinguish, and hence suspend objectively for. Slashing and the like, not so much.

With all of that said, I think "mandatory minimums" are the right way to go, but are likely to be detrimental unless the league actually puts a professional disciplinary apparatus in place first.

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#55 Pouzar99
September 24 2013, 01:16PM
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Belov and Larsen are both playing better than Nick Schultz, who was particularly woeful last night. Thanks to John Chambers for the first literary allusion I've seen on Oilers Nation. And it is 5 games for Kassian, as missing exhibition games is meaningless.

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#56 CaptainLander
September 24 2013, 01:35PM
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I think I have seen enough of Belov, he is on my team. Moves the puck very well and is already the second best choice to play on the PP behind J. Schultz. Also like Larsson's play but if I have to pick I take Belov. Size does matter. In fact I don't have an issue keeping both in the starting roster.

Ference J. Schultz Smid Petry Larsson Belov N.Schultz

On a side not there is so much concern about the Oil center position that it has been a while since there has been mention about the Oiler's defensive issues. Must be things have improved there. Was this not the Oilers biggest issue coming into the off season?

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#57 Time Travelling Sean
September 24 2013, 01:37PM
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Preseason isn't very important, compared to the Reg. season. It may be more important to that guy who wanted to elbow Hall in the head, but not for Kassian, not based off of Kassian's play btw, but simply because of his draft pedigree, and what Gillis gave up for him.

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#58 Simpsonite
September 24 2013, 01:45PM
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You are all assuming that Kassian was going to be playing all those pre-season games...which I doubt. Suspensions are about pay cheques (with a q) whether we agree or not. Kassian got 5. Clarkson got 10. Pre-season is a wash. Hell Clarkson, before the suspension may have only played one of those pre-season games anyway.

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#59 TonyT
September 24 2013, 01:46PM
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Totally agree on standardized suspensions. Removing the grey area will make Shanahan's job easier and give his office credibility.

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#60 Darrell
September 24 2013, 01:52PM
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DSF wrote:

What would you have given Taylor Hall when he deliberately targeted Clutterbucks knee?

Good point ! Plus Hall also made him look like a pussy and get traded ...

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#61 Dog Train
September 24 2013, 01:54PM
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It looks like Eakins might be trying some lines that he is considering for opening night. I can't see Ryan Hamilton making the lineup and Pitlick's odds are still long at best. If nothing else, Pitlick has put himself back on the map as a legitimate prospect this season. Hopefully he can find his offense in the AHL.

I'll say 4-2 Oilers. Goals by Perron, Smyth, Arcobello and Larsen.

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#62 oilerman53
September 24 2013, 01:56PM
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I used to get slammed at the notion of dressing a feared enforcer for the Oilers! Now after the Kassian and Weise incidents people are praising the the return of SMac. Van has been one of those teams who has constantly taken runs at the Oilers over the years. It always seemed the Oil were the bigger team and walk away. Whether it be Bieksa running the kids or Kesler snd Burrows doing their best dives. I hate Vancouver with passion, gutless and arrogant team. I hope SMac goes out and delivers a bone shattering check to one of the Sedins just to show we aint effing around anymore.

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#63 michael
September 24 2013, 02:01PM
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oilfan in yyc wrote:

Uhhh, Star Wars wasn't space launched nukes, it was about stopping inbound nukes, which is what I guess you're hoping for with Smac

Your right. Thanks for the correction. The funny thing is that it wasn't apparently even being built. It was in the concept stage. The Russians were aware though of the Stealth Bombers and fighters that the US had developed. They had no answer.

I see the Oilers acquisition of Smack more as a deterrent than as an actual enforcer. His minutes will be limited. His effect will be on the ice with the skill players. Guys like Hall etal will hopefully not have to deal with the opposing teams pukes. I have no issue with Smack ragdolling a couple of pukes to ensure the message is clear and consice.I want to see less of our stars on the IR and more of our stars with their arms in the air after scoring goals. Smack's greatest asset is his ability to make others feel safe.

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#64 Wäx Män Riley
September 24 2013, 02:22PM
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NJD signed Damien Brunner.... anyone think they'll pick up Omark?

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#65 oilfan in yyc
September 24 2013, 02:22PM
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@michael

I agree, I hope he can be a deterrent, I think for him to be effective though he may have to drop some of his principles and beat up some guys under his weight category, only taking on other heavyweights won't do the job.

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#66 Scott in Grande Prairie
September 24 2013, 02:26PM
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oilfan in yyc wrote:

Uhhh, Star Wars wasn't space launched nukes, it was about stopping inbound nukes, which is what I guess you're hoping for with Smac

You beat me to the correction on this one. Kudos.

Star Wars was the media's nickname for Reagan's Strategic Defence Initiative, which was definitely designed to shoot down incoming nukes, not destroy Moscow, Leningrad or Alderaan with the sophisticated heat beam known as a "laser."

Reagan ended with the nickname Ronnie Ray-gun because of the SDI.

Another fun Cold War technology fact: The cruise missiles that are regularly used by the U.S. to deliver big explosives to low-level targets over long stretches of land ... were first field-tested in ... (drum-roll please)... the Peace Country in Alberta.

Specifically, the Peace River and Fairview areas, because the terrain was thought to be quite similar to much of Russia (barren farmland in the winter with moderate tree cover).

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#67 gord962
September 24 2013, 02:29PM
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DSF wrote:

Nope.

Wrong again.

Clarkson can play pre-season games while Kassian has to sit out 3 pre-season and 5 regular season games.

Clarkson, thus, got 2 more games than Kassian.

I have ignored the troll too long but here is the difference. There was no way that Kassian was going to play all 3 remaining preseason games. On top of it, preseason is meaningless so who cares how many preseason games someone missed? The onlything that REALLY matters is one misses 5 regular season games and the other misses 10. I'm sure Clarkson would throw in the remaining Toronto preseason games onto his suspension as most vets don't want to play preseason games anyway.

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#68 Will
September 24 2013, 02:33PM
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Cody anderson wrote:

I hope they send SMAC on a mission first game against Van. Nothing sends a clearer message then having the stretcher brought out for Kassian after his reckless play hurts one of our top players.

I don't think SMAC needs to play in order to be effective. Having him dressed sitting at the end of the bench with a very clear mandate that nothing is tolerated will be noticed and remembered.

Every dirty hit, cheap stick, or knee is met with a vicious beating on the offending party. His job should not be to fight the other team's heavyweight unless it was the heavyweight that stepped out of line. The "code" is fine in staged fights, but the enforcers job should be to protect his teammates against all enemies. He should not give a dirty player the option to fight. He should attack, and keep beating him until the refs pull him off.

Kassian will still be on suspension for that game, so unless he dies of boredom in the press box, he will not be leaving the game on a stretcher.

What we should do is run the other team's skill, what I think happens is that we do. The Sedins, just like our Hall's and Eberle's, get run every single game.

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#69 nunyour
September 24 2013, 02:35PM
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I don't think Eager,and Jones care to fight anymore.

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#70 oilerjed
September 24 2013, 02:48PM
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DSF wrote:

But Clarkson makes 10 times much as Kassian.

Duh.

You must be bored this afternoon. Your arguments are making no relevent points about the suspensions. What the player makes is besides the point when determining a suspension. The point is that a player who broke a rule that carried an automatic suspension gets 10 games while not actually inflicting any damage to anybody. On the other hand you have a player that semi intentionally swung his stick at anothers head and broke his jaw in two places and got 5 games. Pre season games should not count. How many games did McSorely get? If you try and say that Kassian didnt intentionally swing his stick to hit Gags, then the question is how didnt he expect to hit gags or anyone else skating by. 6'long stick and another 3' of arm. That is a 9' kill zone in which he is swinging his stick with full strength. IMO If the NHL is giving 10 games for leaving the bench, the severity of other suspensions should start from that point. If it is more violent more then 10 games and vice versa.

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#71 Racki
September 24 2013, 03:10PM
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Time Travelling Sean wrote:

I've only seen one preseason game, but Smyth hasn't looked awful, quite the contrary he's played well I think. Hemmer has seemed invisible some shifts and good some others, Jones has played awful.

If you've only seen one preseason game perhaps your opinion on Hemsky needing to be cut is worth a jar of piss. He has been very good with Hall so far. Even Smyth looks good so far. I think they've made Hall at C a lot more possible. People need to check their previously formed opinions at the door. Clean slate. FYI, I wanted Hemsky traded this off season but he looks great so far. They push the play and allow other scoring lines better opportunity to score too since they can go power vs power. As for Jones, you did get that one right, and I do like him, however. He is going to likely lose his job here.

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#72 Papamike
September 24 2013, 03:23PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

A Trophy and a Hooker!

That is funny right there! I liked how Hall did that (the knee) as I am old school. Alas the times are a changing. I think the league needs to hand out more serious punishment if they want to truly stop the stoopid injuries. And yes, the Kassian was stoopid. It will be interesting to see how Shanahan works this year

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#73 tileguy
September 24 2013, 03:25PM
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TonyT wrote:

Totally agree on standardized suspensions. Removing the grey area will make Shanahan's job easier and give his office credibility.

Not if they have to rule on intent. Go to canucks army and read all the posts about it being an accident. I'm biased but there was real intent to slash, maybe just not to the mouth. (or was there?)

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#74 Papamike
September 24 2013, 03:31PM
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tileguy wrote:

Not if they have to rule on intent. Go to canucks army and read all the posts about it being an accident. I'm biased but there was real intent to slash, maybe just not to the mouth. (or was there?)

That was no accident by any means. The only problem (excuse) was the hight differential between the two men. The suspension should have been longer as it was no where near what anyone would consider it a "hockey play"

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#75 Papamike
September 24 2013, 03:32PM
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Papamike wrote:

That was no accident by any means. The only problem (excuse) was the hight differential between the two men. The suspension should have been longer as it was no where near what anyone would consider it a "hockey play"

edit, I cannot spell at all with this broken keyboard...sorry

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#76 Racki
September 24 2013, 03:33PM
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Time Travelling Sean wrote:

Are you responding to someone else? :c

Oh Crap, I am. Haha. My bad.. Carry on! Nothing to see here. My excuse.. Working on cell phone. I combined your post with oiler al's and misread part of yours. Complete goof up by me. Thanks for not smacking me down in your reply. Lol

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#77 gord962
September 24 2013, 03:34PM
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tileguy wrote:

Not if they have to rule on intent. Go to canucks army and read all the posts about it being an accident. I'm biased but there was real intent to slash, maybe just not to the mouth. (or was there?)

Intent to strike Gagner or not, there was intent by Kassian to swing his stick. Players are accountable for what their stick hits.

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#78 Lochenzo
September 24 2013, 03:37PM
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Eager should be a good forechecker with his combination of size and speed. He needs to bang and crash to stick. Asking Ben to fight now is not good for Ben and not good for the team if he spends half a season on IR.

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#79 Rob...
September 24 2013, 03:37PM
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tileguy wrote:

Not if they have to rule on intent. Go to canucks army and read all the posts about it being an accident. I'm biased but there was real intent to slash, maybe just not to the mouth. (or was there?)

Pay them no mind. They're the same people who think Bieksa is a clean player. They also think that we are comparing Gagner to Sedin, instead of us wanting the Oilers targeting skilled players in retaliation for the Canucks targeting skilled players.

I think that the ocean air rots their brain.

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#80 gord962
September 24 2013, 04:29PM
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Greg Steinke wrote:

Like Eakins said I think he was trying to hard. He didn't focus on what he does well. He wanted so badly to make the team that he was trying to play Eakins game rather than his game, which is playmaking and passing. I don't think the dump and chase game is his best game even though he is often pretty good along the boards. I hope Eakins can bridge the two in the future if he ever gets a chance again. Notice that when Pitlick and Acton were interviewed they were focussed on playing their game and doing what they do well. I think Omark got off track on that. If he had focussed on only doing what he does well, I think we would all be talking about it.

But he didn't. He looked horrible. I wish he could make the club as he is a player than can get all 16k+ fans out of their seat with his skill, but he chose not to do what was required to make the team. Hopefully he has a great start in OKC and he can land a spot when the next round of inevitable injuries hit the big club. But that will only happen if he figures out what is required in the AHL. He has to be able to suceed at whichever role is given to him, not have a role created for him to suceed. Good luck, Linus!

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#81 Dave Lumley
September 24 2013, 04:34PM
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pkam wrote:

I really don't understand the love of Omark. He may have some skill and protect the puck pretty good consider his size. But he is a solo player and hang on the puck all the time. 80% of the puck cycle dies once he has the puck.

This is the type of player I hate to have on my line. Once he get the puck, you are most likely waiting to start the defense.

The love of Omark is, to some degree, the Oilers history of cutting guys like Miro Satan, Ray Whitney and Martin Ruschinsky adrift. I don't think anyone would mind Omark having great success somewhere else but we would all like to see a little something in return. Not basically nothing which we got for the other three. Giving talented guys no real chance has a long history here and is a bit of a sore spot.

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#82 Shredder
September 24 2013, 04:38PM
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Greg Steinke wrote:

Notice last year that the majority of his points were assists. He is a playmaker who is a great passer. I think he was trying to show himself as a good player in camp trying to do too much as Eakins stated. He should realize that he must focus on the passing game and the playmaking game in the context of working together with his teammates. It looks like he did a great job of it in Europe. He needs to bring out that ability here and he will make plenty of waves. Early in camp during the scrimmage, playing with Yakupov and Arcobello, Omark put on a show with great passing amongst each other. I wish they would have played that line together during the regular games. I think Eakins was hesitant because they are all smaller players. Maybe we could learn something from Zetterberg/Datsyuk/Brunner line in Detroit.

I've been to a couple of pre-season games and seen a few more on tv, and my take on Omark is that when he was playing with Yakupov, he couldn't get him the puck. Yakupov played a great team game, and did the give and go, set up teammates, and took a good hard shot when he was set up for one. Omark though...usually gave up the puck once he crossed the blue line, in fact just about every time...which meant that Yakupov was more than likely trying to get the puck back than really playing a good team game. Omark consistently lost puck battles, gave up the puck in every zone, made bad passes and relied on teammates to both finish the play (ie: shoot) or get the puck back for him.

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#83 LovableLinus
September 24 2013, 04:48PM
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Bobby Mac says Snowpants will be out for 2 months at least..

"Doctors who performed surgery on EDM F Sam Gagner's broken jaw believe he will be out of lineup for two months."

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#84 Rama Lama
September 24 2013, 05:19PM
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The NHL is NOT serious about stick infractions, or head injuries delivered from targeting the head.

If the league wanted to stop this sort of thing.......make the punishment fit the crime. That being your penalty/suspension should be directly linked to the injured player and how long he suffers from the injury.

Anything less will accomplish absolutely nothing.

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#86 Racki
September 24 2013, 05:32PM
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Wait a sec, Derek Dorsett.... how many people have forgotten about him already? Shouldn't MacIntyre be in the lineup to flex his muscle for that reason alone? I know it's been a couple years, but that might be your first example of why MacIntyre was brought in, and a way of spreading the Semenko-esque reputation around the league.

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#87 NJ
September 24 2013, 06:37PM
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@Jason Gregor

My mistake. You would know better than I would (re: Fedun) which is why I asked. I've played with Fedun and liked everything about him... Somehow I missed that in your article. I'd love to see him make it considering what he's been through, however he now needs to make the team based on his own efforts and merit, not past accolades (or an excellent recovery).

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#88 Mikey
September 24 2013, 07:53PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

So that means Sam won't be 100% again till around Christmas.

Yep and then comes the Olympic break. Sam Gagner probably won't have a good year.

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#89 Alsker
September 24 2013, 08:31PM
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another great game for Perron and a strong one so far by Belov. Physical and a good slash in close, maybe he can teach Petry that move.

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#91 Justino
September 24 2013, 09:45PM
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Great game for the oilers. Perron is gonna be great for us, nursekeeps making it difficult to be sent down. Jones continues his uselessness.

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#92 Alsker
September 24 2013, 09:52PM
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Justino wrote:

Great game for the oilers. Perron is gonna be great for us, nursekeeps making it difficult to be sent down. Jones continues his uselessness.

couldnt agree more other than blowing Belov's horn a little more. QSB had him above Smid on the depth chart, he might be onto something!!

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#93 madjam
September 24 2013, 11:09PM
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Racki wrote:

Wait a sec, Derek Dorsett.... how many people have forgotten about him already? Shouldn't MacIntyre be in the lineup to flex his muscle for that reason alone? I know it's been a couple years, but that might be your first example of why MacIntyre was brought in, and a way of spreading the Semenko-esque reputation around the league.

Nurse put a nice headlock on Dorsett and he did not seem to want to challenge him . Nurse had a bad first period , but was much stronger in 2nd and 3rd . Belov coming off as a pleasant surprise . Arcobello finally showed something this game - excellent first period . Petry played well this game . Overall we are playing much better as a team effort so far , but 3rd period offensive wows are concerning . Not to many players interested in challenging Nurse - must be his reputation from Junior ranks .

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#94 Joy S. Lee
September 25 2013, 05:56AM
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Mikey wrote:

Yep and then comes the Olympic break. Sam Gagner probably won't have a good year.

That's an interesting assumption. I know, it's based on the idea that he won't be able to build the momentum necessary to have a good year, and that's a viable consideration, but you might also say he'll be perfectly fresh for the playoff run. I guess it'll all really depend on Sam, won't it? I'll make an assumption of my own, too: I'll bet he can't wait to get back in the lineup.

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#95 Mikey
September 25 2013, 07:19AM
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Joy S. Lee wrote:

That's an interesting assumption. I know, it's based on the idea that he won't be able to build the momentum necessary to have a good year, and that's a viable consideration, but you might also say he'll be perfectly fresh for the playoff run. I guess it'll all really depend on Sam, won't it? I'll make an assumption of my own, too: I'll bet he can't wait to get back in the lineup.

Whoa, first we need to make the playoffs. Thats a pretty big assumtion.

Youre right its all on sam, but he has been injured to start the season before, and never really got going. Different injuries for sure.

And yea of course he can't wait to get back in the line up. But that has nothing to do with how well he will play.

Don't get me wrong. I would love nothing more than for Gagner to play awesome.

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#96 Quicksilver ballet
September 25 2013, 09:03AM
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madjam wrote:

Nurse put a nice headlock on Dorsett and he did not seem to want to challenge him . Nurse had a bad first period , but was much stronger in 2nd and 3rd . Belov coming off as a pleasant surprise . Arcobello finally showed something this game - excellent first period . Petry played well this game . Overall we are playing much better as a team effort so far , but 3rd period offensive wows are concerning . Not to many players interested in challenging Nurse - must be his reputation from Junior ranks .

What could've been had Darnell dropped the gloves and cleaned his clock, what could have been...would have been one more con on the sending him back list.

Have to think Dorsett left him alone out of respect. Maybe felt it was a little early to unleash the Cracken on the kid.

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#97 pkam
September 25 2013, 10:23AM
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Greg Steinke wrote:

Notice last year that the majority of his points were assists. He is a playmaker who is a great passer. I think he was trying to show himself as a good player in camp trying to do too much as Eakins stated. He should realize that he must focus on the passing game and the playmaking game in the context of working together with his teammates. It looks like he did a great job of it in Europe. He needs to bring out that ability here and he will make plenty of waves. Early in camp during the scrimmage, playing with Yakupov and Arcobello, Omark put on a show with great passing amongst each other. I wish they would have played that line together during the regular games. I think Eakins was hesitant because they are all smaller players. Maybe we could learn something from Zetterberg/Datsyuk/Brunner line in Detroit.

I don't know if you watch any of his games.

This is what I observe from watching him play. Once he gets the puck, he will hang on to it, waiting for the opportunity to make a pass to his linemate in the front of net to finish off his pass. Seldom plays the give and take hockey with his linemates. When he is on ice, you hardly see any puck cycling but mostly puck battles near the board in the offensive zone.

I still remember one post game interview with Paajarvi after he scored a beautiful pass from Omark. Paajarvi told the reporter that Omark told him to go to net and wait for his pass. That is probably why Omark has many assists. The problem is 9 of 10 times he will turn an offense into defense once he has the puck in the offensive zone.

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#98 Rob...
September 25 2013, 01:12PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

What could've been had Darnell dropped the gloves and cleaned his clock, what could have been...would have been one more con on the sending him back list.

Have to think Dorsett left him alone out of respect. Maybe felt it was a little early to unleash the Cracken on the kid.

I didn't think I'd ever see the name Dorsett and respect in the same sentence on ON.

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#99 oilerjed
September 25 2013, 03:11PM
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Joy S. Lee wrote:

That's an interesting assumption. I know, it's based on the idea that he won't be able to build the momentum necessary to have a good year, and that's a viable consideration, but you might also say he'll be perfectly fresh for the playoff run. I guess it'll all really depend on Sam, won't it? I'll make an assumption of my own, too: I'll bet he can't wait to get back in the lineup.

Well on the plus side for Sam, he is usually a slow starter anyway and doesnt really heat up until mid season.

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#100 pkam
September 25 2013, 03:46PM
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oilerjed wrote:

Well on the plus side for Sam, he is usually a slow starter anyway and doesnt really heat up until mid season.

Not last year, he started off very well but cooled off in the last 10 games - the losing streak which killed our playoff hope.

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