GDB 55.0: BACK-TO-BACK ON EVEN GROUND

Jason Gregor
January 27 2014 01:54PM

For the second time this season the Oilers will face a team where both of them of are playing on consecutive nights. The Oilers lost 5-4 to the Blackhawks earlier this season. Last night while the Oilers were dominating the Predators 5-1, the Canucks defeated the Coyotes 5-4 in OT, and tonight the Oilers will look to improve their ugly record in back-to-back games.

The Oilers are 1-5-2 in the second game of back-to-backs while the Canucks are 5-4-2. Dallas Eakins will play the odds and give Ben Scrivens the night off, despite a solid performance last night, and start Ilya Bryzgalov. I understand why he is going with Bryzgalov, most goalies Sv% is lower the second night, but I thought he might roll the dice and go with Scrivens.

Scrivens played back-to-back once this year with LA, winning both games and posting a shutout on the second night. Last season Scrivens played consecutive games once, shutting out Florida the first night, but then he allowed 4 goals on 13 shots in 46 minutes vs. Tampa the following night.

Those are the only two times in his career he's started back-to-back, and while the odds say it is better to give your goalie a rest on the 2nd night, I would have went with Scrivens, mainly due to Bryzgalov's brutal play so far in 2014.

In six starts in 2014 he is 1-4-1 and his numbers in those starts aren't very good:

January 03rd vs. Ana... 5-2 L with a .865Sv%
January 05th vs. TB..... 5-3 W with a .889Sv%
January 07th vs STL.... 5-2 L with a .862Sv%
January 14th vs. DALL.5-2 L with a .862Sv%
January 18th vs WGP.. 3-2 L with a .923Sv%
January 24th vs. PHO. 4-3 L with a .862Sv%

He has an ugly .877 Sv% in his last six games, and he needs to find some consistency in his game. I haven't seen anything from Bryzgalov that would suggest the Oilers will be interested in re-signing him, and if he has aspirations of signing with another team in the summer he needs to improve.

He will need to be much better tonight if the Oilers want to win two straight for the first time in a month.

While Eakins is playing the odds, the Canucks will start Roberto Luongo for the second straight game.

Luongo has started both games of a back-to-back twice this season, and he's 1-1 and played great in both. He had a solid .931 SV% in a 2-1 loss to Chicago and a sparkling .951SV% in a 6-2 drubbing of the Bruins. 

It is interesting to note that Luongo and his back up, Eddie Lack, have almost identical number, yet the Canucks will go with the veteran. 

In 37 starts Luongo has a .922Sv% and a 2.23 GAA.
In 20 appearances Lack has a .922Sv% and a 2.18 GAA.

With Chicago coming to town on Wednesday, I wonder if the Canucks feel tonight is a game they must win, thus going with their starter? Prior to this season the last time Luongo started on consecutive nights was November 20th and 21st of 2010. He got pulled the first game vs. Chicago, and then lost the next night vs. Phoenix and both games his sv% was below .890.

Under Tortorella he has played very well in the 2nd game, albeit a very small sample size of two games, so it will be interesting to see which coach looks better after the game. Eakins for playing the odds or the Canucks for going with their starter.

LINEUP...

Hall-RNH-Eberle
Perron-Gagner-Yakupov
Hendricks-Gordon-Jones
Gazdic-Smyth-Joensuu

Marincin-Petry
N.Schultz-J.Schultz
Belov-Potter

Bryzgalov

Smyth's line had a very strong game last night. They were very good on the cycle and gave the Oilers an early boost on the J.Schultz goal. We'll see how often Eakins uses them tonight, but if they get off to a good start he'd be wise to give them 8-10 min of ES time.

Martin Marincin continues to play very well. He is poised, smart and usually he has very good positioning. It was only a few months ago that people were ripping Stu MacGregor for his draft picks outside of the top-ten. I've mentioned it many times, but it is worth repeating, you usually wait five years after a draft class to accurately evaluate picks outside of the first round. If Marincin keeps playing like this, and Pitlick keeps developing, the 2010 class could turn out to be outstanding. We'll see.

QUICK HITS...

  • I asked Smyth his thoughts if MacTavish approached him about a trade. "It is out of my control, because I don't have a no-trade clause, but if he approached me I'd listen. It would be tough, because I love playing in Edmonton, but..," said Smyth.

    In the past few weeks I've exchanged texts with a few GMs and scouts and asked their thoughts on Smyth.  "He could add some depth in your bottom six. He can kill penalties and he is still good in front of the net on the PP. I think he's better when you monitor his icetime," said one scout.
     
  • Smyth should benefit nicely from the Olympic break. He'll have a chance to rest, and I believe a few teams will inquire about him. Last year many scoffed when the Blackhawks picked up Michal Handzus at the deadline, but he ended up playing top-six minutes for them in the playoffs and was a valuable asset during the Cup run.

    I don't see Smyth playing top-six minutes, but teams love experience and guys who know how to compete every night. Smyth does that, and I could see him being moved before the deadline likely for a mid-round pick. 
     
  • A player people need to go watch and potential free agents....Read here.

TONIGHT...

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers struggles in back-to-back games continue with a 4-2 loss.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Eberle continues his recent hot streak and scores on the PP.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Early in the second period Bieksa fires a shot from the point and it deflects off a stick into Zack Kassian's grill. He is bloodied and as he skates back to the Canucks bench, Sam Gagner stands up on the Oilers bench, stares at Kassian but says nothing and sits down. David Perron leans over to talk with him, and you can see Gagner say, "Karma."

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR 

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#1 GDP
January 27 2014, 02:37PM
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Super Obvious Game Day Prediction - Kassian takes his extra small balls to the bench every time he sees Gadzic take a shift.

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#2 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
January 27 2014, 11:42PM
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Perron made a comment saying that Yak is a great guy to play with "when he's moving his feet". It is so true! When Yak is moving his feet good things happen and it looks like he may be realizing this.

I hope Eakins keeps Perron and Yak together.

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#3 Tikkanese
January 27 2014, 02:48PM
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I'd love to see Smyth win a Cup but he should retire an Oiler. Tough call.

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#4 Johnnydapunk
January 27 2014, 03:14PM
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The situation with Smyth is perhaps a bit difficult, I guess if I was playing "GM" I would ask him if he wants to be traded to a Cup contender just for the chance and sign him next season so he would be a glorified rental, let him finish his career as an Oiler.

He isn't a top 6 anymore for sure, but I think Smyth is good enough for a roster spot and I realise that sentiment is not an ingredient to make a winning club, but he is the type of player that is an Oiler true and true.

I may get trashed for saying this, but I can't think of any other player who represents the Oil and Edmonton like he does, he is a hardworking player who doesn't p*ss about and just gets the job done, he plays for Canada at the drop of a hat, and is refreshingly old school. I have gained a lot of respect for Mullet over the years. It's also a massive bonus in my books that he requested a trade from LA to Edmonton, I mean name a player that has ever requested a trade to Edmonton!

I would let him make the decision on his future, I think he deserves it.

Saying all that and guessing the way 6Rings works, he will be traded for a 4th round pick and not offered a new contract just because...

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#5 A-Mc
January 27 2014, 02:50PM
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Tikkanese wrote:

I'd love to see Smyth win a Cup but he should retire an Oiler. Tough call.

Hire him as an offensive coach to teach proper board play and play around the net.

When the Oilers win the stanley cup in 6 years, Smytty will get his name on that cup as an Oiler.

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#6 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
January 27 2014, 11:09PM
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Just curious.....who would take Sean Monahan over Darnell Nurse if you had a choice right now?

Trash this if you'd take Monahan Prop it if you'd take Nurse.

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#7 Reg Dunlop
January 27 2014, 10:00PM
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Marincin as a beanpole rookie is not looking overwhelmed. We are looking at the first real home grown piece of the future, proof that OKC is doing it right. For the first time this year I am optimistic. Go oil.

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#8 Rick Stroppel
January 27 2014, 11:38PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

Just curious.....who would take Sean Monahan over Darnell Nurse if you had a choice right now?

Trash this if you'd take Monahan Prop it if you'd take Nurse.

HOW CAN YOU POSSIBLY ANSWER THIS QUESTION NOW?

In 1980, Edmonton drafted Paul Coffey 6th overall and Vancouver drafted Rick Lanz (who?) seventh, another defenseman. The plan was to send Coffey back to junior after eight games. Coach Bryan "Bugsy" Watson allegedly lost track of the number of games played, resulting in Coffey having to spend the entire year in the NHL. By Christmas, Lanz was totally outplaying Coffey, who looked awful. I DISTINCTLY remember people phoning the phone in shows and lambasting the Oilers for taking Coffey when could have taken Lanz. At the end do their rookie years, Coffey had 32 points and Lanz had 29.

PS: Strange how few people are posting tonight. It is as if those of us who are totally down on the team (myself included) do not know what to say when the team wins. BIG PROPS to the Oilers for two solid games in a row!

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#9 27Ginge
January 27 2014, 02:20PM
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GDP: Oilers win 5-4 in OT. OGDP: Smitty gets two goals, none of which touch his stick. NSOGDP: Perron stirs things up in front of Luongo and Bieksa summons the courage to step outside his weight class and fight Gagner and his busted jaw. TSN and CBC rave about Bieksa's leadership calling this the second gutsiest move of his Hall of Fame career next to grabbing Westgarth and letting him go to fight Smid.

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#10 dougtheslug
January 27 2014, 11:06PM
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Am I imagining things or is that 2 pretty good games in a row for J Schulz?

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#11 Jonathan Willis
January 27 2014, 02:44PM
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It only makes sense to give the second half of back-to-backs to the No. 2 goalie: he has to play some time and it might as well be when the starter is tired.

Good on Eakins for following the evidence.

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#12 @Oilanderp
January 27 2014, 10:04PM
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Smytty tricked Joensuu into thinking this was a pre-season game.

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#14 bazmagoo
January 27 2014, 11:41PM
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The more I see the more I think MacT pulled some wizardry when trading for Hendricks. Not too many times you can get two players for the price of one. The second player I'm referring to is Jones, loving his play since that trade. Loving that 3rd line since that trade. G'oilers! Forget Ekblad, let's win some games and get some freakin' confidence in the organization.

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#16 MessyEH
January 27 2014, 03:10PM
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Spaceman Buzz should rebound tonight.

Gadzic pummels Kassian. Hendricks takes him in the next round.

Gagner is about due for a fight.

Actually I hope Tonight is a chippy one. If you can't beat Em, Beat Em.

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#17 Let's party!!
January 28 2014, 03:24AM
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Harry wrote:

When was the last time you got laid?

Last night with your mom... Was kinda boring...

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#18 book¡e
January 27 2014, 01:59PM
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Starting Bryz is the right call mostly because Scrivens is a young goalie you hope to re-sign here. So you want to protect him and give him opportunities to succeed.

Second, given the stats on goalies playing back to back, I would suggest that we will get a similar level of goaltending from Bryz at present as a back to back Scrivens. If the two points were critically important to the team, I would go with Scrivens, but they are not.

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#19 kale
January 27 2014, 10:07PM
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The only thing that would make this game better was if it was not on sportsnet

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#20 @Oilanderp
January 27 2014, 10:50PM
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SUCK IT CANUCKS!

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#21 Mason Storm
January 27 2014, 02:19PM
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Bryz has been consistently awful. He's not even worth giving starts anymore unless they are delibarately tanking. It's obvious he has nothing left and needs a stellar d in front of him.

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#22 Dave
January 27 2014, 03:03PM
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OGDP - the game is over before 9pm MST and I willingly give my wife the remote to watch the Bachelorette. At least there are a few players on that tv show worth watching.

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#23 @Oilanderp
January 27 2014, 08:55PM
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Perron's a beaut.

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#24 Dan
January 27 2014, 10:58PM
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Best game this season. Every guy was playing hard and standing up for themselves. Vancouver could only manage two fluke goals. Nice to see kassian give up the puck to give perron his hat trick and Finish the nucks. Sweet stuff. It's too bad it took a whole season for Eakins to learn how to coach in the NHL.

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#25 Quinn the Eskimo
January 27 2014, 11:41PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

So I wonder what it is? ......a lot of guys have looked a little better lately......J Schultz, Jones, Yak, Marincin,....even Smitty........what's up?

Yeah, well, perhaps we freakin genius fans may not know everything. Let's have some patience and maybe MacT slowly turns this barge around for ol' 6-Rings. For sure the kids are getting harder to beat, and as an Oiler fan marooned in Van, tomorrow is gonna be a fun day at work..

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#26 dougtheslug
January 27 2014, 11:56PM
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@Rick Stroppel

Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

PS: Strange how few people are posting tonight. It is as if those of us who are totally down on the team (myself included) do not know what to say when the team wins. BIG PROPS to the Oilers for two solid games in a row!

Stunned silence, I guess. I for one feel like we've been down so long we have to reach up to touch bottom. So I'm not going to let a little fact like this is only Oilers second win this season against a Western Conference playoff team stop me from an outburst of irrational and totally unwarranted optimism.

I just have this mental picture after tonight - two escalators - Oilers on the Up Escalator, and Canucks on the Down Escalator. And tonight, I can just see them starting to cross paths.

Yeah, it's late, I've had too much root beer, and I'm nuts. But I can still hope.

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#27 SlapSchtick
January 28 2014, 01:03AM
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@kale

There is nothing worse than SN Pacific's play-by-play is there?? They are bigger homer's than Dimitri on Canucks Army... it's almost difficult to listen to these two dunces talk about their socks for 10 seconds while a game in being played. ugh!

I miss Alberta :(

lol

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#28 Dog Train
January 27 2014, 02:34PM
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The back-to-back is not an excuse tonight because the 'Nucks also played last night. We were ran out of the building both times that we played in Vancouver this season so let's change that tonight. The Canucks are very beatable but we haven't matched up well with them so far this season.

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#29 mlselli
January 27 2014, 04:00PM
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The only thing I want to see tonight is Kassian getting his bell rung. I don't care who does it, but somebody needs to knock that a55hole. OMG, to have that happen in his own barn would be epic. Go Oilers!!!

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#30 Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate
January 27 2014, 04:03PM
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I would LOVE to see

Gadzic Versus Kassian

But Zack is chicken

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#31 @Oilanderp
January 27 2014, 10:34PM
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Jones saves a goal.

Why did it take so long to blow the whistle there?!?!?!?

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#32 Harry
January 28 2014, 02:13AM
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Let's Party!! wrote:

Following is a list of notable players who have either been suspended or have had an encounter with the NHL's policy in its various forms.

1978 Don Murdoch: New York Rangers winger suspended for the 1978-79 season after his arrest for possession of cocaine. He was reinstated after 40 regular-season games.

1983 Ric Nattress: Montreal Canadiens defenseman suspended for the 1983-84 season for possession of marijuana and hashish. Nattress was reinstated after 40 regular-season games.

Sept. 4, 1986 Borje Salming: Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman suspended for the 1986-87 season for admitting previous use of cocaine in a newspaper article. Salming was reinstated after eight games.

March 4, 1989 Bob Probert: Detroit Red Wings winger suspended for life for smuggling cocaine into the U.S. After serving a 90-day jail sentence, Probert was reinstated on March 9, 1990 and played four games.

Sept. 27, 1990 Grant Fuhr: Edmonton Oilers goaltender suspended for one year for admitting prior substance use. Fuhr was reinstated on Feb. 4, 1991.

Sept. 2, 1994 Bob Probert: Chicago Blackhawks winger suspended indefinitely without pay and immediately ordered into a league-supervised treatment center in California. It is believed to be the first time the league has assisted in a player's rehabilitation. Probert was reinstated in April 28, 1995.

Nov. 1, 1997 Ken Daneyko: New Jersey Devils defenseman became the first player to publicly announce his voluntary participation in the NHL's new substance abuse program, which was adopted in Sept. 1996. After missing 45 games, Daneyko returned to the NHL on Feb. 7, 1998.

1997-98 Brantt Myhres: Phildelphia Flyers winger voluntarily enrolled in NHL's program at the start of the season because of alcohol dependency. Myhres re-entered treatment in Sept. 1998 when he was a member of the San Jose Sharks.

Jan. 23, 2000 Kevin Stevens: New York Rangers winger arrested in a suburban St. Louis motel for felony drug possession of crack cocaine and is admitted to the NHL's treatment program. It is the second time he has been a participant. "I was involved before this happened," Stevens told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "I had been sober for 18 months." Stevens missed the remainder of the season and signed as a free agent with the Philadelphia Flyers on July 7.

March 8, 2000 Ed Belfour: Dallas Stars goaltender arrested for assault and resisting arrest after a fight at a Dallas hotel. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest and was enrolled in the NHL's program. After missing the Stars next five games, he returned to the lineup on March 18.

Feb. 28, 2001 Theo Fleury: New York Rangers winger voluntarily enrolled in the NHL program. According to a Sports Illustrated report, Fleury sought help from the same program after the 1999-2000 season.

August 16, 2002 Jere Karalahti: Nashville Predators defenseman suspended six months without pay by the NHL for a third violation. Left the NHL to play in Finland.

When was the last time you got laid?

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#33 Ales Hallsky
January 27 2014, 01:57PM
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Yay...pffftt

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#34 Johnnydapunk
January 27 2014, 07:20PM
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meh... wrote:

It would be impossible for me to disagree with you more, on ANY of the points you bring up.

Smyth is old. His legs are gone. He was given his current contract (at an over-payment) as a "thank you" for times gone by. The "thank you" has been paid. Thanks a bunch, love ya, good bye.

Most fans are in agreement that culture change and player changes are needed to resurrect this mess from irrelevance. "The Old Boy Club", is detested, and needs to be dissipated and a new start is needed. The "Club" is mocked on this very site on a DAILY basis!

Yet the "Holy Grail " of Ryan Smyth has some people getting all sentimental and wanting to hire him as an assistant coach,or sign him to another contract because he once was a good player for the team.

I ask you, is that not THE EXACT thing that has Oilerland up in arms with frustration???? Do you want to change things or do you want to put up another statue and create another position for another ex-player that used to be good, and continue to live in the past?

Because ya damn sure can't have it both ways...

Thing is, it's not like players are busting to come to Edmonton, the Oil aren't in a position to be that picky, it's usually a case of a player needing to be overpaid to come here.

Smyth plays a role with the Oil, and if we were to even look at his stats without the " Holy Grail Halo" he has put up the same number of points as Yakupov with close to the same minutes, he has more points than Gordon, and looking around the NHL, he is on par with Eller, Stajan, Berglund and Dupuis. Whilst they aren't exactly Crosby or anything, they are decent enough players and he is making less than they all are with the exception of Eller. He is being relatively productive for the money he makes.

I wouldn't consider myself a fan of the Old Boys club and I'm rarely the sentimental type, but giving him the options and being nice about it can only help in attracting players. If he was to go to another team and it was against his wishes, I'm sure he will talk and it won't be all sunshine for the Oil, if you give him the choice and he wants to be traded, I can imagine him talking about the Oil in a positive light which makes it that much easier to bring players over.

The Oil need all the help they can get and getting rid of him if it was against his wishes just for the sake of eliminating the Old Boys club is a bit pointless. His stats still show he has something to offer and as long as it's not a stupid long overpriced deal, I don't think there is any issue.

Who knows, maybe he wants to retire.

Btw fair play in being polite in disagreeing, sometimes I find that people here can at times be a bit impolite and resort to name calling and bitter crap, and your points were nicely put out, even if I disagree.

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#36 Maggie the Monkey
January 27 2014, 07:20PM
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When I see the letters "B r y z g a l o v" I'm starting to read "Khabibulin".

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#37 Brian
January 27 2014, 08:47PM
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Maggie the Monkey wrote:

When I see the letters "B r y z g a l o v" I'm starting to read "Khabibulin".

Reminds me of the Czech hockey player taking an eye exam reading one of those wall charts from 15 feet away or so. Doctor asks him, "Can you read the bottom line?" Czech player says, "Read it? I know him."

Sorry.

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#38 Sailge
January 27 2014, 09:15PM
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2-2 game Perron with 2 and Potter with 2.... Into our own net.

Corey Potter, you are unbelievable.

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#39 Romanus
January 27 2014, 10:27PM
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meh... wrote:

Smyth...2 minutes for holding because time has passed him by and he can't keep up.

BS. He was try to squeeze by a guy. Refs got that one wrong.

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#40 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
January 28 2014, 12:49AM
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Harry wrote:

Very impressed with the third line. Where did Jones all of a sudden get this mean streak from. Love what im seeing from him Hendricks and Gordon.

Alson liked thr hustle from Yak. He was back when he had to be and didnt ry to do to much when the puck was on his stick.

Negatives for me were Smyths turnovers and I wish Eberle would shoot more.

All in all a great game and a big win for the Oil

Any chance Ryan Jones could/will play like this consistently if we signed him to a one year deal? Or is he just playing unsustainably desperate right now?

Trash this if you think he's just playing for a contract.

Prop this if you think he would play this well/physical on a regular basis if we resigned him.

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#41 Spydyr
January 27 2014, 06:20PM
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If Smyth is offered another contract "the braintrust" here is even worse then I thought.

I did not think that was possible.

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#42 @Oilanderp
January 27 2014, 09:15PM
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Man, Taylor Hall is fast.

Potter is unlucky tonight.

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#43 K_Mart
January 27 2014, 11:01PM
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Jones with the game saver in the third. Jones is such a beauty. Love that guy.

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#44 Quinn the Eskimo
January 27 2014, 11:48PM
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@Rick Stroppel

"PS: Strange how few people are posting tonight. It is as if those of us who are totally down on the team (myself included) do not know what to say when the team wins. BIG PROPS to the Oilers for two solid games in a row!"

Maybe we've just become an Oilersnation of bitching and moaning. I see progress. Not playoffs, but progress. I'm still on the wagon.

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#45 bazmagoo
January 27 2014, 11:50PM
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Quinn the Eskimo wrote:

"PS: Strange how few people are posting tonight. It is as if those of us who are totally down on the team (myself included) do not know what to say when the team wins. BIG PROPS to the Oilers for two solid games in a row!"

Maybe we've just become an Oilersnation of bitching and moaning. I see progress. Not playoffs, but progress. I'm still on the wagon.

Can't remember the last time the Oilers won back to back games in regulation. Winning is good, losing is bad. No matter what player you get at the end of losing, losing is bad.

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#46 Oilerz4life
January 28 2014, 03:38AM
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Post game media, Tom Gazzola asked Joensuu if it was nice to see David Perron score a hat-trick tonight. His response:

"Ya, well, when David is going to be a big name after he retires, somebody is going to ask him who scored that game winning goal in your hat-trick against Vancouver and that's gonna be me."

lol

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#47 Bloodsweatandoil
January 28 2014, 06:12AM
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The look on Kassian's face after Perron stole the puck from him for the open netter was priceless!

On the flip side, looking at St.Louis stats, Magnus Paajarvi, 31 games played, 6 points total.

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#48 Ed in Edmonton
January 27 2014, 02:31PM
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"Last night while the Oilers were dominating the Predators 5-1..."

Getting outshot 35 to 28 is dominating? The Oil capitalized on their chances and the Preds didn't. I didn't see any sustained domination.

Agree that Bryz hasn't been good enough. The Oil management (and I use the term loosely) need to plan what they want to do with the of goaltenders for the rest of the year. I would think they would need to confirm if either one of the two are worth giving an offer to after this season. I assume the Oil will need to go whale hunting for a real goaltender and these two are auditioning for the backup role. If this is the case then playing them both until they make up their minds makes sense.

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#49 Tikkanese
January 27 2014, 04:06PM
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Tikkanese wrote:

I'd love to see Smyth win a Cup but he should retire an Oiler. Tough call.

If they do trade him, I hope it is to a top contender like the Ducks or Bruins and not to someone trying to squeek into the playoffs.

How cool would it be to see Smytty passing the Cup to Iginla? I've always hated the Flames but that would be pretty cool to see.

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#50 meh...
January 27 2014, 06:39PM
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Johnnydapunk wrote:

He is 37, this is his last chance I think. I don't say let him dictate his terms but give him some options. I don't know him personally so I can only speculate, but it depends on what he wants. If he has that desire to try to win a Cup, then let him go and try and trade him for a draft pick or future considerations and offer him a contract in the summer. If he feels that the good ship Stanley has passed and he wants to play out as an Oiler, give him another deal, I wouldn't sign him to a 5 year contract, but I would go for a 2 year deal on low-ish money, or one year deals on a rotating basis.

I think he has a few good years left for him as long as his minutes are "monitored" as he hasn't had any major injury concerns so for a 37 year old that gets cross checked in the back, takes pucks off his body and has never scored a goal farther away that a foot from the crease, you have that 3-4 line player who can get the dirty goals in the power play and play the "garbage" minutes.

Bottom line is that he gets the choice, I don't think too many players in the NHL are deserving of that, but he is one of them.

It would be impossible for me to disagree with you more, on ANY of the points you bring up.

Smyth is old. His legs are gone. He was given his current contract (at an over-payment) as a "thank you" for times gone by. The "thank you" has been paid. Thanks a bunch, love ya, good bye.

Most fans are in agreement that culture change and player changes are needed to resurrect this mess from irrelevance. "The Old Boy Club", is detested, and needs to be dissipated and a new start is needed. The "Club" is mocked on this very site on a DAILY basis!

Yet the "Holy Grail " of Ryan Smyth has some people getting all sentimental and wanting to hire him as an assistant coach,or sign him to another contract because he once was a good player for the team.

I ask you, is that not THE EXACT thing that has Oilerland up in arms with frustration???? Do you want to change things or do you want to put up another statue and create another position for another ex-player that used to be good, and continue to live in the past?

Because ya damn sure can't have it both ways...

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