GDB 53.0: HOME COOKING...BAD

Jason Gregor
January 24 2014 12:48PM

The Oilers have played 23 home games. They have only won eight of them.

Last year they won 9 of 24 home games.  The last season the Oilers and their fans left Rexall place in a good mood more often than a bad one was in 2007/2008 when the Oilers won 23 of 41 home games.

Since October 2008, the Oilers have played 213 home games and they've won 86.

The Oilers have 18 home games remaining this season, and hopefully for their sakes and the fans, they can find a way to start winning on home ice.

When the Oilers finished dead last in 2010  they were at least competitive at home winning18 and losing 23 (OT loss is still a loss for me), so there is no reason this team shouldn't be able to match 18 wins or better it.

It won't be easy with 14 of the 18 games against western opponents.

They play the Kings, Ducks, Sharks and Flames twice and the Coyotes, Avalanche, Wild and Canucks once. The Senators, Rangers, Islanders and Sabres will visit from the East. Ten of those games will be against teams currently in the playoffs, but if the Oilers are going to start improving eventually they need to be a few playoff caliber teams, especially at home.

The Oilers won't make the playoffs, but they need to start building a foundation for the future, and one of those bricks needs to be molded into a good home team.

Of the current 16 playoff teams, only the Rangers have a losing record at home winning 12 of 28. Of the 14 teams not in the playoffs only three, Washington, Phoenix and Dallas have won than half of their home games. Winning at home doesn't guarantee you a playoff spot, but it increases your chances significantly, especially if you can be a dominant team at home.

The Oilers need to start creating winning habits at home, and since I highly, highly doubt Dallas Eakins gets fired at the end of the season, it is up to him and his team to start finding a winning formula on home ice.

HITS...

After Tuesday's loss to Vancouver Dallas Eakins made reference to "the perfect game."

Do you know what the perfect game is? The perfect game is no hits. Do you know why that is? It’s because you have the puck. You don’t have to hit anybody; you have the puck. 

That statement got some people excited. Many believe hitting doesn't help you win games, mainly due to the reason Eakins outlined above. In theory that makes sense, however, practicality and reality often offer up different outcomes.

There is no such thing as the perfect game, no hits, and many successful teams use their physical play to help them win. Here is a hit chart for this season. Playoff teams are in bold.

Hits Team Hits/game
1768 Toronto 33.3
1662 Los Angeles 31.9
1569 Ottawa 30.7
1519 Columbus 30.3
1397 Winnipeg 26.8
1323 Phoenix 26.4
1263 Buffalo 25.7
1263 Colorado 25.7
1300 Pittsburgh 25.4
1313 Philly 25.2
1232 Boston 25.1
1307 NYR 24.6
1298 NYI 24.5
1264 Anaheim 23.8
1181 Washington 23.6
1153 Carolina 23
1178 Edmonton 22.6
1093 Florida 21.8
1076 Calgary 21.1
1048 St.Louis 20.9
1047 Montreal 20.9
1049 New Jersey 20.5
1030 Dallas 20.1
1029 Tampa Bay 20.1
1030 Nashville 19.8
1015 Vancouver 19.5
963 San Jose 18.8
1001 Detroit 18.5
898 Minnesota 16.9
888 Chicago 16.7

I think we all agree that hit charts from building to building can be subjective. The Leafs have 1099 hits in 28 home games, but only 669 in 25 road games. Are they magically that much more physical at home or do the statisticians in Toronto consider every rub out a hit?

That being a team like Columbus has virtually the same amount of hits on the road as they do at home. I'd say it gives us a general idea of which teams are more physical than others.

The chart proves that some teams win by being more physical, while others don't need to.
Nine of the top-14 teams in hits are in the playoffs, while seven of the 11 teams with the fewest hits are currently in the postseason.

My issue with Eakins comment is that he tried to deflect the issue of contact and brought up the unattainable "perfect game" scenario. No team is perfect, but the suggestion that being physical will automatically decrease your chances of winning is somewhat misleading.

Of course you want your team to have the puck, but both teams want it, and I find many of the successful teams are not only good at controlling the puck, they are excellent at getting it back.

Many consider Pittsburgh to be a puck possession team, and they are, but they also are top-ten in hits/game. Delivering a hit hasn't hurt them, and clearly they win despite not playing a "perfect game."

A major benefit from being physical is that your aggressive play will force teams to move the puck quicker than they want, which often leads to turnovers. Having players who can separate opponents from the puck through body contact is also valuable and a significant part of the game.

The problem with the Oilers is that their overall skill isn't good enough to be a puck possession team, and right now they aren't very good at retrieving the puck once the opposition has it.

I'm sure Eakins will strive to build his team to become more of a puck possession team, but I'd hope he realizes that until they become great at protecting the puck and not turning it over, they will need to improve their puck retrieval skills at the same time, and often pressuring the puck carrier, hitting and being physical is the best way to create turnovers.

I respect that he wants his team to have the puck, but I felt bringing up the notion of the "perfect game" was an attempt to deflect attention away from an area of their game, physicality and aggression, that has been lacking for years.

LINEUP...

Hall-RNH-Eberle
Smyth-Gagner-Perron
Hendricks-Gordon-Jones
Joenssu-Arcobello-Yakupov

Ference-J.Schultz
Marincin-Petry
Belov-Potter

Bryzgalov

Hemsky is still nursing a deep bone bruise, but Nail Yakupov returns to the lineup.

The optics don't look great having Yak on the fourth line and Smyth on the second, but I doubt they stay that way very long. They were hoping Hemsky was ready and he'd be playing there.

Gazdic hasn't had a fight in 13 games and while Eakins stressed being a healthy scratch wasn't performance-related, I wonder if his lack of aggressiveness recently is the reason he is in the pressbox? If your job is to play physical and get the opposition's attention, then you have to find a way to do it. However, Eakins defended him in the post-game presser on Tuesday saying he tried to do his job.

So either he isn't doing it well enough or he is sitting because Phoenix rarely dresses a tough guy. What do you think?

QUICK HITS...

  • I would have liked to see Eakins put Gazdic on the ice more often against Kassian. I never expected him to jump him, but had he been on the ice more often the chances of a "heat of the moment" altercation would have been higher.
     
  • I don't buy the Bertuzzi/Moore argument as a reason why Gazdic couldn't have done something to Kassian. That happened a decade ago, and since then many teams and players have found ways to send a message to the opposition without being suspended.

    Andrew Ference didn't ask Lee Stempniuk to fight earlier this year. He dropped his gloves and Stempniuk had no choice but to eat a few rights or defend himself. In the past week I've seen Milan Lucic and Tom Sestito go after Jordan Nolan instead of waiting for him to politely oblige their request to fight.

    Sestito and Lucic went after Nolan after he hit one of their teammates earlier in the game. Had Gazdic been on the ice for more than one and a half shifts against Kassian, he would have had a much better chance of engaging him.
     
  • I wouldn't have worried about Gazdic taking an instigator or even worse a 7-minute penalty like Sestito did in LA last week. Was getting the win that important in the overall picture? The Oilers are in 29th, had the won they'd still be in 29th and out of the playoffs in late January.

    Whether they like it or not, the perception from players around the league is that teams can take liberties with the Oilers skilled players without fear of retribution. If Gazdic had got a hold of Kassian and landed a few shots that wouldn't have stopped every team from trying to hit the Oilers in the future, but at least it would show that if you do there will be some consequences to your actions.

    If the Oilers were in a battle for a playoff spot, I could understand being worried about giving up an extended powerplay, but that wasn't the case on Tuesday and it won't be the rest of the season. I'd hope the next time someone cheap shots one of the Oilers skilled players, Eakins will at least give his physical players an opportunity to try and even the score; in a manner that won't lead to a suspension like Lucic or Sestito managed to do. 
     
  • It is smart not to rush Hemsky back. You want him healthy for the deadline.

TONIGHT...

GAME DAY PREDICTION: I'm taking a night off. The first person to tweet @jasongregor their GDP I will add it to this post. Look deep into your crystal ball.

Update...Courtesy of @JaredGorbahn GDP: Oilers 4-1. Bryz forced to stand on his head and Hall adds 2 assists.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Yakupov and Arcobello combine to score and many will suggest they should be playing with Perron.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Eberle ties a career-high with goals in four consecutive games, but it is his game celebration that surprises many. After the game he sends Wanye a tweet, "I know yesterday was difficult for you with the Biebs' arrest. Don't worry I won't let you down. I'm not getting traded." Wanye promptly retires from twitter saying his life can't possibly get any better. 

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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#1 RexHolez
January 24 2014, 09:15PM
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RexHolez wrote:

how is this an epic fail? were we gonna make the playoffs with Dubnyk in net?

we got Hendricks for Dubnyk you knucklehead. we're a better team with Hendricks and without Dubnyk in the long run than we were if we kept Dubnyk and got nothing for him when we let him walk at the end of the year as a free agent. Think a little bit before you blab nonsense.

Final warning…one more personal non-sports post and you will be blocked. Signed, Nation Editor.

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#2 outdoorzguy
January 24 2014, 01:25PM
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Gregor I don't get you. On your show yesterday you were pretty much little girl hysterical for wanting Gazdic on the ice in a one goal game just to scare or shadow Kassian? It would then become a two goal then a three goal game. I just don't get it. Do you want to attempt to win or do you just want to see Kassian get pummelled and we lose the game?

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#3 I AM KEVIN L.
January 24 2014, 03:41PM
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Oilers have decent forwards. Now, finally they may have decent goaltending. Let's revamp the D. Bold move #1--> Eberle, Darnell Nurse & our the 2014 2nd round pick to Montreal for PK Subban & Josh Gorges. Any takers???

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#4 Rick Stroppel
January 24 2014, 09:06PM
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HEY BRYZGALOV FANS!

About a month ago I posted my opinion that by the end of the year, Bryzgalov's numbers would be as bad as Dubnyk's. Did I get trashed! "Bryzgalov is MUCH better than Dubnyk" they said. "Bryzgalov gives us a chance to win".

If he loses tonight, that gives Bryzgalov THREE WINS IN SIXTEEN STARTS. That's quite a chance to win!

Another EPIC FAIL for MacTavish.

BTW: Dubnyk playing in Calgary tonight, Nashville up 3-1.

HAPPY TRAILS, BRYZ! GOOD LUCK IN THE KHL (or the Swiss League)! SO LONG, SPACEMAN!

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#5 rectal place
January 24 2014, 10:15PM
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Great game from the oil. Finally pushed back. How about nuge and yandle?!

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#10 RexHolez
January 24 2014, 09:12PM
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Rick Stroppel wrote:

HEY BRYZGALOV FANS!

About a month ago I posted my opinion that by the end of the year, Bryzgalov's numbers would be as bad as Dubnyk's. Did I get trashed! "Bryzgalov is MUCH better than Dubnyk" they said. "Bryzgalov gives us a chance to win".

If he loses tonight, that gives Bryzgalov THREE WINS IN SIXTEEN STARTS. That's quite a chance to win!

Another EPIC FAIL for MacTavish.

BTW: Dubnyk playing in Calgary tonight, Nashville up 3-1.

HAPPY TRAILS, BRYZ! GOOD LUCK IN THE KHL (or the Swiss League)! SO LONG, SPACEMAN!

how is this an epic fail? were we gonna make the playoffs with Dubnyk in net?

we got Hendricks for Dubnyk you knucklehead. we're a better team with Hendricks and without Dubnyk in the long run than we were if we kept Dubnyk and got nothing for him when we let him walk at the end of the year as a free agent. Think a little bit before you blab nonsense.

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#12 Serious Gord
January 25 2014, 12:04AM
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RexHolez wrote:

1.85 is peanuts in today $$$. we're below the cap and are gonna shed contracts in the offseason. whats your other argument?

Do the math. With the amount of money dedicated to the young guns there really isn't much left to get all the pieces needed - the new cap space is a mirage - all teams get it and will inflate all new contracts going forward.

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#13 Ricky
January 24 2014, 02:54PM
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I'll tell you what is the perfect game.

The perfect game is not seeing your smug face Dallas at the game.

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#14 Robert (AKA Hockey Fan)
January 24 2014, 07:06PM
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@J.R.

Eakins blows deer balls......

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#17 Curcro
January 24 2014, 02:39PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Did you mention the team that is 2nd in hits won the Cup in 2012.

And the point is that winning the game wouldn't impact the standings of future of the Oilers. You feel the Oilers should never send a message. You're entitled to that, but I feel last game but show me the guarantee that playing Gazdic vs. Kassian would have automatically resulted in them losing worse?

So hitting is irrelevant to winning is what you are saying. There is no direct correlation.

Some teams use it to win. Some teams use alternative strategies.

Based on how the Oilers are built which is going to win them more games?

Sending a message is kind of pointless, makes for good radio shows, but show me a player in the NHL that is chicken &&&& and I'll show you a player in the AHL. Find me one player that lays off a hit because he is scared...

As Eakins said early it is a bigger boost for your own team.

I think you'd rather create good habits as a coach, if I told a player this year to go psycho on Kassian - then again later in the season on Ladd, then later on Giordano... suddenly you have a habit formed. Next year when the results matter, he does something stupid because the habit is there. There is a big chance at some stage he does a Thornton, pushing it to far to get revenge.

Yes, you guys have a story to write about that sells your brand of journalism, but the player suffers, and the coach could pay a price as well (Hartley recently).

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#18 Serious Gord
January 24 2014, 09:30PM
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RexHolez wrote:

how is this an epic fail? were we gonna make the playoffs with Dubnyk in net?

we got Hendricks for Dubnyk you knucklehead. we're a better team with Hendricks and without Dubnyk in the long run than we were if we kept Dubnyk and got nothing for him when we let him walk at the end of the year as a free agent. Think a little bit before you blab nonsense.

In the long run the oil gets a dead dog contract for an ahler @ 1.85 mill for three years. Absolutely awful deal for the oilers n

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#19 I AM KEVIN L.
January 24 2014, 03:50PM
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I AM KEVIN L. wrote:

Oilers have decent forwards. Now, finally they may have decent goaltending. Let's revamp the D. Bold move #1--> Eberle, Darnell Nurse & our the 2014 2nd round pick to Montreal for PK Subban & Josh Gorges. Any takers???

Trashes for a bold move!!!! Wow. What do you guys want? A winner? Or a loser? We all know that Edmonton WILL lose again tonight. Status quo = loser. Improve your D = winner.

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#20 I AM KEVIN L.
January 24 2014, 05:07PM
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Hair bag wrote:

If we're going to dream we might as well go for Shea Weber....

No bold moves are agreed upon from the arm chair GMs..... We have the team that we deserve... STOP COMPLAINING!!!

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#21 J.R.
January 24 2014, 01:13PM
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Yakupov getting fourth line minutes again....Way to go Eakins.

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#22 papler
January 24 2014, 01:52PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Pretty simple to see.

The Oilers lost. Is losing 3-1 worse in the standings than losing 2-1. At some point I would say it is time to send a message.

The Oilers still lost the game, and the message to rest of league is that it is still okay to cheap shot their stars. So tell me what did they gain from not putting Gazdic out against Kassian? Rather than resort to immature comparisons to a little girl, maybe try to focus that losing 3-1 is no worse than 2-1 in the standings.

Except that during the game no one knew what the score will be at the end.

if they are down 3 goals then fine, let Gazdic run amok on Kassian. But in a close game? It should always be about winning and not retaliation.

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#23 Rick Stroppel
January 24 2014, 02:46PM
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DisappointedFan wrote:

Gregor, if you could ask for one 'bold move' what would your bold move be with the Oilers?

MACTAVISH SHOULD DO NOTHING

This is an interesting question. But in my opinion it would be very foolish for MacTavish to try to make any kind of major trade before the amateur draft.

We all remember the "impatient, bold moves" speech. I am sure that MacTavish regrets saying that. But he had at least two good reasons for saying that at that time. First, he wanted to distinguish himself from Tambellini. Secondly, like many other people, he thought that one big move might put this team in the playoffs (or at least contend).

To make money in the stock market, you buy low and sell HIGH. The value of players like Gagner and Yakupov is probably the lowest it will be in their career. The people calling for an Eberle trade want a big trade for the sake of a big trade.

So MacTavish should ride it out and PRAY that Ekblad falls into his lap. If not take the best BIG forward and work on a trade for a defenceman.

I also don't buy the "losing culture" argument. After about five years of total suckitude, a few more months of losing is not going to kill anyone. The players are intelligent young men and they will figure that out.

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#25 Larry
January 24 2014, 04:55PM
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This website is still up? Why? Who cares?

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#26 Hair bag
January 24 2014, 05:03PM
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I AM KEVIN L. wrote:

Trashes for a bold move!!!! Wow. What do you guys want? A winner? Or a loser? We all know that Edmonton WILL lose again tonight. Status quo = loser. Improve your D = winner.

First off Montreal would never make the deal and second if we are going to go for a Number one and two d-man let's set our sites higher.....we need character to lead the young Oilers not a distraction like Subban (no matter how talented her is) who even pisses off even his own teammates...

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#28 MessyEH
January 24 2014, 02:54PM
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@Rick Stroppel

So when do you expect Eberle to have higher value? He's a redundantly butter soft winger, on a buttery soft team. Now is the time to trade him.

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#29 I AM KEVIN L.
January 24 2014, 04:12PM
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Just did my due diligence...............................................Looks like we have a 5th round pick that still belongs to us. LOL!

So... how about Eberle, Nurse & our 5th for PK and Gorges?

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#30 sassy
January 24 2014, 06:41PM
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#StayBadEvenWithEkblad

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#31 Zamboni Driver
January 24 2014, 08:59PM
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Totally think Hall and Eberle got jobbed not making the Olympic team.

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#32 Mrs Eakins
January 24 2014, 09:32PM
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Johnnydapunk wrote:

Eakins has the look of a guy who has just been left behind by his ride.

Gentlemen , I also have seen that look before. It was on our wedding night when I came out of the shower into the bedroom. He had that glassy eyed , WTF do I do now stare. As I approached him, he laid back, assumed the fetal position , and fantasized about the Toronto Marlies.

Best Regards.

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#33 RexHolez
January 24 2014, 09:37PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

In the long run the oil gets a dead dog contract for an ahler @ 1.85 mill for three years. Absolutely awful deal for the oilers n

1.85 is peanuts in today $$$. we're below the cap and are gonna shed contracts in the offseason. whats your other argument?

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#34 DisappointedFan
January 24 2014, 01:55PM
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@J.R.

You do have to admit, -31 is a pretty bad +/- statistic no matter how you want to try and play it off. On any other team he'd be in the minors right now or with a permanent pressbox station set up.

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#35 TayLordBalls
January 24 2014, 02:42PM
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Yes - Go Oilers

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#36 outdoorzguy
January 24 2014, 03:11PM
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MessyEH wrote:

I am looking forward to only one Oilers hit;

The one were Lowe hits the unemployment line.

Just to be clear, Fire Lowe.

I think the much more prudent move at this point is the coaching staff!!

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#37 Robert (AKA Hockey Fan)
January 24 2014, 07:06PM
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@J.R.

Eakins blows deer balls......

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#38 Gk1980
January 24 2014, 08:10PM
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I like Hendricks tonight! F Phoenix and their 20 fans and F the NHL!

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#39 Belieber
January 24 2014, 10:22PM
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Hey guys,

Do you guys think the Oilers can win the cup? I sure do! maybe even this year. They have awesome frikkin potential.

YakCity will lead us there along with Ebsy and Hallsy and Schultzie. Eakins and the eastern media hate Yakcity and try to keep him down, but it wont work. As a matter of fact, Yak would probably win the scoring title this year if not for the lousy assistant coaches.

High five guys. Go Oilers.

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#40 Cynic
January 24 2014, 11:02PM
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Oasis wrote:

I have a business so at least my tickets are a write off and I can give them away to employees/customers so it's not a huge loss.

Honestly, I really feel bad for people who pay out of pocket to watch this sh!t. I can't imagine shelling out thousands of after tax dollars to watch this crap and being eliminated from the playoffs 2.5 months into the season. I guess i am fortunate that I was only a Tier 1A fan.

How do you think taxpayers feel, subsidizing your entertainment choices. We're the one really and truly getting fkd.

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#41 Ed in Edmonton
January 24 2014, 01:03PM
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Gregor

On the weekend I got in Brownlee's bad books for suggesting your judgement may have been less than optimum when you stated the Oil would get between 40 and 46 points in the last half of the season. I think we would all now agree that 40 to 46 points is very unlikely.

I still think you are being unrealistically optimistic wrt the Oil's prospects. You state that " there is no reason this team shouldn't be able to match 18 wins or better it." That would mean you are calling for 10 victories in the last 18 home games. Six of these games are against the Kings, Ducks and Sharks. Teams the Oil have not been in the same league as this year. That could mean the Oil have to win 10 of the 12 "winable" games from here on in.

The Oil keep trending to the worst record ever and I can't see any reason to expect it won't happen

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#42 Slats
January 24 2014, 01:44PM
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I thought Oilers should have done "flames" opening brawlers line-up for the drop of the puck - consider the price of admission covered in the first 30 seconds!! To see the faces of the 3 Assistant Canuck coaches and players would have been priceless!

Edmonton has a bigger grudge for the Gagner incident than flames did - so not sure why Gadzic never did.

The reality is Edmonton plays soft - the league knows this - even non-hitting teams come here knowing they can run Oilers Top 6, have no retribution (and no deadly PP to back it up), and get Edmonton off their game.

Jason I would like to see opposing "non-hitting" teams stats in our building I'm sure it would be telling.

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#43 papler
January 24 2014, 01:47PM
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"the suggestion that being physical will automatically decrease your chances of winning is somewhat misleading."

that is your personal takeaway from Eakins' answer I guess. But imho that is absolutely not what he was saying. What he was trying to say (imho again) is that hitting is not the key to winning a game or even competing in a game.

i loved the answer (and the eye roll) The only better answer I can think of would've been:

DERP

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#44 jonrmcleod
January 24 2014, 02:09PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Did you mention the team that is 2nd in hits won the Cup in 2012.

And the point is that winning the game wouldn't impact the standings of future of the Oilers. You feel the Oilers should never send a message. You're entitled to that, but I feel last game but show me the guarantee that playing Gazdic vs. Kassian would have automatically resulted in them losing worse?

Exactly. There are multiple ways to win games. The hits chart above seems to indicate that hits aren't all that important. (There are 7 playoff teams in the bottom half.) And didn't the Oilers lead in the hits department in the game against the Canucks?

Being in Edmonton, you seem to be infected by the losing. What's important is not how much you lose by but WINNING THE GAME. I'm saying the better way of sending a message to the Canucks is to win that game. Those points in the standings are vital to the Canucks.

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#45 Captain Obvious
January 24 2014, 02:16PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

I was at the presser. Not one reporter mentioned or infered that they run around with head cut off to make a hit. Again, I felt he tried to use examples that would stray attention away from issue.

Using "perfect game" and Bertuzzi examples did just that.

I watched the press conference.

Within every question is an implied argument. Eakins, appropriately, turned the questions around to identify what this implied statement was. Once identified, he responded to the intellectual core of the question.

This isn't distracting attention from the issue, it's called answering the question, and in answering the question in the way that he did everyone who was paying attention understood a little better what Eakins thinks leads to winning hockey and what Spector thinks leads to winning hockey.

Now, in terms of winning the media over to his side it may not have been effective (because no one likes to have their "show run" like Spector did) but as someone who wants people in sport to provide genuine and substantive answers, and who would prefer that the media be put in their place a little, it was a joy.

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#46 tileguy
January 24 2014, 02:17PM
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If the Oilers were in a battle for a playoff spot, I could understand being worried about giving up an extended powerplay, but that wasn't the case on Tuesday and it won't be the rest of the season.

It wasn't the case Nov. 2013. stay the course. Exactly what is the course, play miserable and draft high?

GDP... ho hum 4-1 desert dogs.

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#47 Captain Obvious
January 24 2014, 02:19PM
Trash it!
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Bottom line is that Eakins humiliated Spector. No one who watched that could conclude anything other that Spector was completely out of his intellectual depth.

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#48 pkam
January 24 2014, 02:50PM
Trash it!
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@JG,

"My issue with Eakins comment is that he tried to deflect the issue of contact and brought up the unattainable "perfect game" scenario. No team is perfect, but the suggestion that being physical will automatically decrease your chances of winning is somewhat misleading."

I have more issue with your statement that Eakins because your statement is more misleading than his.

What Eakins said is the number of hits is a direct result of how much time you don't have the puck. So when the number of hit is down, it is more likely your puck possession time is up. In other words, we should rather see the number of hits going down instead of going up.

Didn't we outhit the Canucks 28-13? Do you think it is a good sign or bad sign? I agree with Eakins, how much is enough? 40-6, 60-2, is this what you want to see?

If you look at the chart, none of the top 5 teams is puck possession team. You may argue the LA Kings are but I don't consider them a strong puck possession team. The bottom 5 are all strong puck possession teams, the only one questionable is the Wilds. A coincidence?

So what should Eakins focus more on improving? The number of hits or puck possession? I'll rather see our puck possession get better than the number of hits get higher.

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#49 Quintana
January 24 2014, 03:20PM
Trash it!
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Hayley Wickenheiser for Sam Snowpants and 3rd.

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#50 SylvanLaker
January 24 2014, 08:40PM
Trash it!
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@Robert (AKA Hockey Fan)

I will be surprised if he is not gone after tonight......VERY surprised

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