DUCK HUNTING

Jason Gregor
January 03 2014 01:24PM

After a 5-1 attack by the Sharks last night, things don't get any easier for the Oilers tonight when they will try to hand the Ducks their first home regulation loss of the season. The Ducks are 15-0-2 at home, and have outscored their opponents 65-31. The Ducks have allowed three goals twice and four goals once in 17 games, so don't expect much offence from the Oilers tonight.

The harsh reality is that the Oilers are severely overmatched heading into tonight's match. While they try not to think about that, I'm sure it is impossible not to have those thoughts creep into their head. If the Ducks score early, things could get ugly.

LINEU...updated

Hall-RNH-Perron
Yakupov-Gagner-??
Smyth-Gordon-Hemsky
Joensuu-???-Gazdic

Ference-J.Schultz
Marincin-Petry
Hunt-N.Schultz

Bryzgalov

Eberle has a knee injury and won't play.  It sounds like Jones and Arcobello will return, so we won't know the exact lines until later. If it is me I put Hemsky with Yakupov and Gagner. Yakupov has more success playing with Hemsky than he does any other forward.

The Oilers have recalled D-man Brad Hunt from OKC, and he'll be a game time decision. Maybe an Oiler D-man is banged up, or maybe they want to put someone in the pressbox. Martin Marincin has played well enough to stay in the lineup, and it would be odd to take him out and insert 5'9" Hunt against the Ducks.

Quick scouting report on Hunt... "Smart player. Moves the puck well and fires it hard. Not overly fast, but makes up for it with hockey sense."

Why was Hunt recalled and not Klefbom some wonder? Fair question, but it happened because Hunt is playing better right now, and partially because it is best to keep Klefbom away from a losing environment. Klefbom is also still dealing with an injury, but even prior to that he was only playing okay according to coaching reports.

Either way, the Oilers need a strong effort from all 18 skaters if they have a hope of being competitive tonight.

QUICK HITS

  • Oilers are so far away from the elite teams in the league it is scary. It illustrates just how far they have to go. I don't see a quick fix over the summer.
     
  • I might be in minority, but I think J.Schultz has improved his defensive game a lot the past two weeks. He's making smarter decisions with and without the puck. He's only played 83 NHL games, so he likely needs at least another 100 before he's really solid, but he's been one of the few positives recently.

TONIGHT...

GAME DAY PREDICTION: Many will ask who is that? It is Nina Agnal, and with -30 weather coming to Edmonton and a likely 4-1 loss to the Ducks tonight, I felt Oilers fans needed a small "pick me up."

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Oiler fans will watch, and some will be infuriated when the Oilers make a bad play. I love the passion and the fact fans still have hope that things will change. God love you.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The entire comment section will be full of positive posts. They will only focus on the good plays in hopes that that will change the fortunes of the Oilers. Pointing out every bad play hasn't helped the Oilers, so posters elect to channel their inner "George Costanza" and write the opposite of their first thoughts.

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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#201 dobiezeke
January 03 2014, 10:36PM
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Duby and the Dubious wrote:

I'm glad Dman #2 has own signature 3rd period pass to send an opponent on a breakaway. The Petry Dish.

I thought we got rid of Gilbert...

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#202 camdog
January 03 2014, 10:36PM
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RexHolez wrote:

Who stitched the numbers on the back of jerseys?? I havnt seen a single number fall off the jersey of any player this year!! good job number stitchers!!

http://oilersnation.com/2010/4/23/oilers-fire-trainers

Credit goes to Tambelini here, he identified a problem and fixed it! lol

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#203 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
January 03 2014, 10:36PM
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So......anybody got any ideas what's wrong with the Oilers?

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#204 RexHolez
January 03 2014, 10:38PM
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RexHolez wrote:

Who stitched the numbers on the back of jerseys?? I havnt seen a single number fall off the jersey of any player this year!! good job number stitchers!!

Say what you want about this team, but atleast none of the lids on the water bottles fell off yet! #GottaBeDoingSomthingRight

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#205 Drowning in Oil
January 03 2014, 10:38PM
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RexHolez wrote:

good job equipment staff! way to wash those jerseys tonight!! lets build on this guys, OilerPositives!!! the tape the guys are using seems to be sticking on their sticks !! good job hockey tape manufacturers

Credit should also be given to who ever cleans the boys visors. Bang on job whoever you are.

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#206 outdoorzguy
January 03 2014, 10:39PM
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Drowning in Oil wrote:

I am so sick of this crap. Our advanced stats show we are a playoff team and yet here we sit in last place... Oh sorry 29th place. Again we outplay another team and again we lose........... I hope you can tell I'm laughing. I know Mac T is really into his advanced stats..... News Bulletin!! Mac T, you ain't Billy Bean.

Advanced stats!! What the hell is that? A loss is a loss. This IS a lousy team. The only stat that matters is wins in professional sports. This team isn't capable of winning. Advanced stats???? Give us a break.

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#207 Walter Sobchak
January 03 2014, 10:39PM
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Eakins takes a time out, pulls goalie, has a 6-3 & the team passes it around the perimeter without so much as a single shot on net?

Has no pure shooter on that PP, his second unit finally gets on for the last 30 seconds.

This guy would rather lose then use Yakupov correctly.........amazing!!

Out scored & outshot about 15000 to 35 in the last three games.

He's going to do his passive aggressive post game, " I thought we started out good, but those defensive turnovers by our defence killed us" .

The Oilers get to fly home & play TB who will be waiting for them.

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#208 camdog
January 03 2014, 10:42PM
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camdog wrote:

http://oilersnation.com/2010/4/23/oilers-fire-trainers

Credit goes to Tambelini here, he identified a problem and fixed it! lol

http://www.edmontonsun.com/sports/columnists/terry_jones/2010/04/23/13700786.html

For more laughs...

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#209 outdoorzguy
January 03 2014, 10:42PM
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I wonder when Loser Lowe will call Katz to tell him we lost 2 games in 2 nights quite easily. Maybe he won't. Maybe Katz doesn't care. Ah, who cares?

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#210 Kr55
January 03 2014, 10:42PM
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Oilers are now on pace for a 58 point season. That would be their worst season ever. We've also used up a lot of our games against easy eastern teams. I think the 2nd half of the season is against tougher teams than the first half. This might get a lot uglier.

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#211 dobiezeke
January 03 2014, 10:44PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

Eakins takes a time out, pulls goalie, has a 6-3 & the team passes it around the perimeter without so much as a single shot on net?

Has no pure shooter on that PP, his second unit finally gets on for the last 30 seconds.

This guy would rather lose then use Yakupov correctly.........amazing!!

Out scored & outshot about 15000 to 35 in the last three games.

He's going to do his passive aggressive post game, " I thought we started out good, but those defensive turnovers by our defence killed us" .

The Oilers get to fly home & play TB who will be waiting for them.

Yak has the hockey sense of a 10 year old ringette girl...no surprise he isn't playing on the PP.

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#212 dobiezeke
January 03 2014, 10:46PM
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outdoorzguy wrote:

I wonder when Loser Lowe will call Katz to tell him we lost 2 games in 2 nights quite easily. Maybe he won't. Maybe Katz doesn't care. Ah, who cares?

Katz is more concerned about Rexall's flu shots.

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#213 RexHolez
January 03 2014, 10:46PM
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Drowning in Oil wrote:

Credit should also be given to who ever cleans the boys visors. Bang on job whoever you are.

why stop there? who makes those towels? they seem to wipe clean with no lint or streaking left on the visor whatsoever, AMAZING!! but who was the genius that suggested we use those towels? Kudos to those people!

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#214 Greg the Hammer Valentine
January 03 2014, 10:49PM
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Anybody still belive they should keep Eakins at all costs, in the name of stability?

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#215 outdoorzguy
January 03 2014, 10:50PM
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RexHolez wrote:

why stop there? who makes those towels? they seem to wipe clean with no lint or streaking left on the visor whatsoever, AMAZING!! but who was the genius that suggested we use those towels? Kudos to those people!

That would probably have been a decision made by Howson. Something like this is to be taken seriously and not trivialized. That's what a Senior VP of Hockey Operations does. Right?

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#216 dobiezeke
January 03 2014, 10:52PM
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Greg the Hammer Valentine wrote:

Anybody still belive they should keep Eakins at all costs, in the name of stability?

Yes...keep Eakins, get rid of the trained monkeys that are the assistant coaches and bring in an experienced associate coach.

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#217 outdoorzguy
January 03 2014, 10:54PM
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dobiezeke wrote:

Yes...keep Eakins, get rid of the trained monkeys that are the assistant coaches and bring in an experienced associate coach.

Cause Eakins has proven he knows what he is doing?

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#218 RexHolez
January 03 2014, 10:56PM
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outdoorzguy wrote:

Cause Eakins has proven he knows what he is doing?

Eakins should have been Kruegers associate

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#219 Anton
January 03 2014, 10:57PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

So......anybody got any ideas what's wrong with the Oilers?

Short answer? Everything. Long answer, Expectation: Eakins was hired base on the assumption that he can turn this team into contender. Reality: the team were still under development, it needs a mentor coach to shape each individually into a legit star. Result: Expectation cannot meet with reality, the team was hastened and players are losing confidence.

Ring6 wants to see results to undo his past mistakes, MacT wants to have results to separate him from his predecessors, Wood&Water expects results to show that he belong in the big league. The results that we have is a young team on a bad streak and start losing confidence. They are killing kids professional careers because the managements failed to realize that it takes time for players to mature AND then you find a proper coach that can lead a team to become a contender. Pens did that with Michel Therrien and Dan Bylsma and Hawks did it with Denis Savard and Joel Quenneville.

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#220 Don W
January 03 2014, 10:58PM
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Greg the Hammer Valentine wrote:

Anybody still belive they should keep Eakins at all costs, in the name of stability?

I didn't watch the game but I've been watching the oilers for the last 4-5 coaches (not sure I've lost count). It is unlikely that the coach is the problem. This team is not good enough.

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#221 outdoorzguy
January 03 2014, 11:02PM
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I hope McTavish has made the Skype call by now.

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#222 RexHolez
January 03 2014, 11:05PM
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outdoorzguy wrote:

That would probably have been a decision made by Howson. Something like this is to be taken seriously and not trivialized. That's what a Senior VP of Hockey Operations does. Right?

Im not entirely sure such an important decision would of been left solely on the hands of a mere Senior VP of Hockey Ops.

I imagine Howson spent years researching this topic and went to Lowe with his findings for the final decision

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#223 RexHolez
January 03 2014, 11:10PM
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not a single blade fell off any of the skates tonight!! #OilerPositives! I know who my first star of the game goes to.... Give those equipment guys a raise already!

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#224 Anton
January 03 2014, 11:11PM
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Don W wrote:

I didn't watch the game but I've been watching the oilers for the last 4-5 coaches (not sure I've lost count). It is unlikely that the coach is the problem. This team is not good enough.

Even with the constant coaching changes doesn't mean that you don't fire the wrong coach when it is needed to be done.

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#225 camdog
January 03 2014, 11:12PM
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Lowe wanted the first round picks for Hall and RNH, but after that he wanted them to compete. This forced Tambelini into firing Renney too early. Renney and Krueger were a pretty good tandem. A tandem I liked a lot. Wasn't a fan of Krueger as a headcoach, but the players liked him.

Eakins is a rookie coach, with rookie hockey players and a rookie GM. He reminds me of Kavis Reed behind the Eskimo bench this season, except I don't get the impression the players love him in the same way they loved Reed. Both coaches mistakes have costed their teams many wins. I wouldn't be surprised to see Mact behind the bench in 2-3 weeks.

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#226 dobiezeke
January 03 2014, 11:12PM
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outdoorzguy wrote:

Cause Eakins has proven he knows what he is doing?

And the past four coaches have made a difference? We have had every type of coach from hard ass to cuddling the players. No change in how the team plays. The only consistent factor has been the clowns playing the roles of assistant coaches. How will bringing in a new coach change anything if you don't clear out the bench?

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#227 Sevenseven
January 03 2014, 11:15PM
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@ Jason Gregor

We can talk about the players, coaching, gm till we are blue in the face. We can talk about how top notch players may not want to sign here or how hard it is to get a number one defenseman. But at what point do you, or any other Edmonton media call out six rings, the common denominator of the past 8 playoff-less years. The man who orchastrates, to my amazement, a more disappointing organization year after year, after year?

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#228 dobiezeke
January 03 2014, 11:16PM
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RexHolez wrote:

Eakins should have been Kruegers associate

Or visa versa...don't care. They should have done the associate coach and cleared out the assistants.

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#229 dobiezeke
January 03 2014, 11:20PM
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Sevenseven wrote:

@ Jason Gregor

We can talk about the players, coaching, gm till we are blue in the face. We can talk about how top notch players may not want to sign here or how hard it is to get a number one defenseman. But at what point do you, or any other Edmonton media call out six rings, the common denominator of the past 8 playoff-less years. The man who orchastrates, to my amazement, a more disappointing organization year after year, after year?

Lowe would have responded to your comment but he is out getting his flu shot.

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#230 cubsfan
January 03 2014, 11:29PM
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Andrew Cogliano +4

hall -4 rnh -3

'Its not the size of the dog in the fight, its the size of the fight in the dog'...Mark Twain

They should post that in the dressing rom.......there should be plenty of space since they took out all the past accomplishments.....Lord knows it will be a while until they fill it up again

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#231 Rod from Viking
January 03 2014, 11:33PM
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Sevenseven wrote:

@ Jason Gregor

We can talk about the players, coaching, gm till we are blue in the face. We can talk about how top notch players may not want to sign here or how hard it is to get a number one defenseman. But at what point do you, or any other Edmonton media call out six rings, the common denominator of the past 8 playoff-less years. The man who orchastrates, to my amazement, a more disappointing organization year after year, after year?

I am sure Jason had an article in the Journal that basically did say that a couple of months ago.

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#232 RexHolez
January 03 2014, 11:36PM
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#OilerPositives OodleNoodle properly boils their noodles

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#233 Nowuknow
January 03 2014, 11:36PM
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Sevenseven wrote:

@ Jason Gregor

We can talk about the players, coaching, gm till we are blue in the face. We can talk about how top notch players may not want to sign here or how hard it is to get a number one defenseman. But at what point do you, or any other Edmonton media call out six rings, the common denominator of the past 8 playoff-less years. The man who orchastrates, to my amazement, a more disappointing organization year after year, after year?

Ammen! Brother. I will say it again, as the Coilers management group cover each other's back so is the media group in this town. It is a mystery to me, that how a customers begs for a better product when they should have the upper hand...

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#234 Virtual_Xi
January 03 2014, 11:38PM
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something tells me "Aquila Productions' critically-acclaimed documentary series, Oil Change" isn't going to get renewed next season....

why the hell would you want to watch the oilers lose each and every game twice all season??

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#235 RexHolez
January 03 2014, 11:38PM
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Rod from Viking wrote:

I am sure Jason had an article in the Journal that basically did say that a couple of months ago.

Jason throws a lot of wet toilet paper against the wall and lives off what sticks

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#236 RexHolez
January 03 2014, 11:41PM
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#OilerPositives Some rare sightings of unburned jerseys are still being reported

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#237 Serious Gord
January 03 2014, 11:43PM
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So Eakins has been the coach of record now for the worst half season in oilers history. They are playing as bad now as they have played all season.

Clearly the only reasons for keeping him as coach for the rest of the season are the past - five coaches in six years - and MacT having staked so much of his reputation on what he thought was a steal of an addition - signing him to what I think is an unprecedented four years for a rookie coach.

So even though it is blatantly evident that Eakins should be fired by now he has not been fired because of VANITY and face-saving. Nothing else.

If this teams management is prepared to sacrifice this season and one year of these players careers for that shallow a motive then it is rotten to its very core. Either it is completely purged or we are looking at at least another lost decade.

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#238 Arius Mumin
January 03 2014, 11:43PM
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#@$% Eakins!

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#239 S cottV
January 03 2014, 11:48PM
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This pattern can't go on too much longer before MacT will be forced to fess up on Eakins.

Eakins doesn't look good. Looks to be out of answers and detached from the player group and Asst Coaches.

MacT might have to Skype him and take over the bench.

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#240 Quintana
January 03 2014, 11:49PM
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S cottV wrote:

This pattern can't go on too much longer before MacT will be forced to fess up on Eakins.

Eakins doesn't look good. Looks to be out of answers and detached from the player group and Asst Coaches.

MacT might have to Skype him and take over the bench.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNHMXIeVmQ0

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#241 TDSM31
January 03 2014, 11:49PM
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dobiezeke wrote:

Does anyone in the league abuse the goalie crest the way Ryan Smith does...

No way that crest was abused...Smyttys shot has more of the 'finger in Pilsbury doughboys bellybutton' effect.

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#242 cubsfan
January 03 2014, 11:51PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

So Eakins has been the coach of record now for the worst half season in oilers history. They are playing as bad now as they have played all season.

Clearly the only reasons for keeping him as coach for the rest of the season are the past - five coaches in six years - and MacT having staked so much of his reputation on what he thought was a steal of an addition - signing him to what I think is an unprecedented four years for a rookie coach.

So even though it is blatantly evident that Eakins should be fired by now he has not been fired because of VANITY and face-saving. Nothing else.

If this teams management is prepared to sacrifice this season and one year of these players careers for that shallow a motive then it is rotten to its very core. Either it is completely purged or we are looking at at least another lost decade.

i'm not happy with eakins either.....but everyone complained that kreuger got a raw deal when he was let go with only a little more than 40 games in his tenure.....i agree he got screwed....

before we jettison off another disposable head coach......lets jettison the assistants and bring in a quality goalie coach to boot.....i think smith and bucky are more than culpable, and have been here way to long ... i think first things first....let eakins bring in his guys.......

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#243 Rod from Viking
January 04 2014, 12:02AM
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Do you think we could trade Gagner and a 2nd for Cogliano, did the Oilers ever pick the wrong player, one is fast, durable and a 200ft player, the other is none of these and vastly overpaid and has an NTC.

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#244 6 ring circus
January 04 2014, 12:03AM
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This isn't even funny anymore,when is Katz coming out of hiding and start cleaning house,you would think after 8 years of watching this organization implode ,that the owner would hold his management team accountable instead we are the laughing stock of the NHL ,Katz better do something sooner than later because Oilers fans have had enough of this gong show.

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#245 Anton
January 04 2014, 12:15AM
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cubsfan wrote:

i'm not happy with eakins either.....but everyone complained that kreuger got a raw deal when he was let go with only a little more than 40 games in his tenure.....i agree he got screwed....

before we jettison off another disposable head coach......lets jettison the assistants and bring in a quality goalie coach to boot.....i think smith and bucky are more than culpable, and have been here way to long ... i think first things first....let eakins bring in his guys.......

Kreuger did not do anything wrong, on the contrast that Eakins has not done anything right. Just because that we need some kind of consistency doesn't mean that we have to settle for a BAD consistency.

A list of things that I have never really like Eakins as a coach:

1. Conditioning the team that are already in tip-top shape. 2. Named a newcomer as the new captain. 3. No practice on game day. 4. Switching players up-and-down the line like playing Price is Right. 5. Overusing minor leaguers on top 6 because only underachievers will drink his cool-aid. 6. It is "never his fault" approach for everything that has happened to the team. 7. Complaint on national TV with some kid were hustling him for being suck (yeah, embarrassed him in front of his daughter, poor girl has to take it for her dad). 8. Start the season with Hall on C which clearly that he can't handle it. 9. Calling fan a quitter (can he read that was a sign of frustration?).

What else?

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#246 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
January 04 2014, 01:04AM
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Anton wrote:

Kreuger did not do anything wrong, on the contrast that Eakins has not done anything right. Just because that we need some kind of consistency doesn't mean that we have to settle for a BAD consistency.

A list of things that I have never really like Eakins as a coach:

1. Conditioning the team that are already in tip-top shape. 2. Named a newcomer as the new captain. 3. No practice on game day. 4. Switching players up-and-down the line like playing Price is Right. 5. Overusing minor leaguers on top 6 because only underachievers will drink his cool-aid. 6. It is "never his fault" approach for everything that has happened to the team. 7. Complaint on national TV with some kid were hustling him for being suck (yeah, embarrassed him in front of his daughter, poor girl has to take it for her dad). 8. Start the season with Hall on C which clearly that he can't handle it. 9. Calling fan a quitter (can he read that was a sign of frustration?).

What else?

Ok, but his redecorating skills can't be questioned, can they?

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