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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#1 Zamboni Driver
January 03 2014, 01:29PM
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It's a brilliant move for the Oilers to get smaller against the biggest team in the NHL. I see no reason someone listed at 5'9" from the farm can't excel, nay THRIVE AND SUCCEED against those bums Perry and Getzlaf.

Hugs and kisses,

George

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#2 Dave
January 03 2014, 01:36PM
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I want to take this opportunity to agree with LT when he wrote:

"Finally, I do think we’re at a point where it’s reasonable to talk about the entire coaching staff being replaced. No fun in that, epic fail as a matter of fact. I believe Dallas Eakins is a good coach lacking experience, but the results continue to disappoint. Not just wins and losses, but Corsi and breakouts and communication and “I assumed that we knew what traditional d-zone coverage was” and calling out the kid when 10 other things ghastly happened on the same play.

My Dad always had this phrase he’d use at times like this: if you’re not for me, you’re against me. I wonder how many Oilers are for Dallas Eakins this morning. When I watch this team, I don’t believe the answer is 23."

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#3 Rick Stroppel
January 03 2014, 01:51PM
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I AM REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO THE RADIO BROADCAST

My cable isn't working so I am going to have to listen to the game on the radio. I am really looking foward to these gems from Bob Stauffer:

1. He will remind us, for the 437th time, that he predicted, before the season began, that Dustin Penner would have a great year.

2. Bob will say the NHL has scheduled the Oilers for two road games on back-to-back nights against really good teams. They don't do this to other teams! They are just trying to screw us!

3. The Ducks are starting Jonas Hiller, who is white hot! They are trying to screw us too!

4. Bob will say, "Have you ever noticed how nobody starts their # 2 goalie against the Oilers, always #1. They are all out to get us!"

PS: Don't ask Bob Stauffer about his prediction that Ralph Kreuger would win coach of the year while coaching the Oilers. That would be rude!

PPS: They tried to explain this "unbeaten streak" nonsense last night, but they are still wrong. They could have said "unbeaten IN REGULATION in four games" or "points in four games". Oilers broadcasters are the only ones in the league who treat an OT or SO loss as a victory. A LOSS IS NOT A WIN.

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#4 papler
January 03 2014, 02:18PM
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Ducks win 6-1. The only Oilers goal is scored by Bryzgalov on a clearing attempt, while Hiller has left the ice. He assumed the game was over as he hasn't seen on Oiler in his zone for 5 minutes. Postgame Eakins blames Yakupov for not playing on the same line with Hall-RNH-Perron

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#5 Mac962
January 03 2014, 02:17PM
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What i dont understand is why no one, MACT - KBLOWE-KATZ None of them address the die hard paying and non paying tier 1 and 2 fans. WTF is going on , what are your intentions ? Do something for crying out loud, talk to the fans. I have bleed Orange and Blue since the days of the Alberta Oilers in the WHA and this lack of respect towards US THE FANS ! and the only reason this league exists. But not a word, MacT , Have you gone into that dressing room and tore a strip off this dwarf of a team, i somehow doubt it. You sit and hide and do nothing but cash your cheque.

Never , ever in my wildest dreams did i think the Oilers would ever be in this state, Yeah, we are a small market team, but the rink is packed night in and night out because we are fools who love our hockey, our city and our team. And you have done this to us ??

Man up Katz you recluse SOB Weirdo, rich or not, you dont deserve this team. Lowe ? Get out of town please and never ever come back. MacT , Grow a spine - show the core players [ all 3 of them] you will do something. BE Bold, show us you are trying, if you make a move that backfires, we can deal with that, but show some balls.

Our Edmonton Oilers - the Joke of the NHL. I cannot believe it.

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#6 Rick Stroppel
January 03 2014, 09:09PM
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pkam wrote:

He didn't apologized for what he did to the organization.

What will you do if you are the boss and one of your employees embarrasses you and your company in the public, then he asks to wipe the slate clean without even an apology?

What will you do? This is what you will do. You will recognize that you have a very valuable asset (at that time) in Sheldon Souray. Big, experienced defenceman are coveted by SMART organizations. So you figure out a way to get him back into your lineup OR you trade him to another NHL team and get a valuable piece in return.

Instead, the Oilers buried him in the minors for a couple of years. They showed him! They showed us...that they are bush league! Ranks right up there with the brilliant move to trade Comrie...if he paid his bonus back.

And speaking of apologies, gotta love Lowe's "apology" after the "six rings" speech. He apologized...like Rob Ford and Todd Bertuzzi apologized. He apologized with a big smirk on his face. He apologized like he was talking about something his grandfather did.

Face it. There is no way to rationalize most of the moves of this confederacy of dunces.

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#7 Cody anderson
January 03 2014, 02:05PM
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Can we fire Eakins yet?

The last thing this team needs is another coaching change, but the lines and player usage this guy goes with completely baffles me.

Perron and Yak both being played on their off wings.

The 2 forwards that are the worst defensively are being played together and not seeing heavily sheltered minutes.

Belov and J Schultz are often played together.

My kid could draw up better lines, and provide better line matching.

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#8 RexHolez
January 03 2014, 02:15PM
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All hope is lost. Eakins will remain head coach next year. Lowe will still be here, Dubnyk will get "another look", MacT will sign another couple bottom 6 forwards and a new D. But all in all things will be the exact same next year as they have been for years.

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#9 Old Timer
January 03 2014, 03:26PM
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N.S.O.G.D.P. Oilers win 6 - 1

After the game a disgruntled Ducks GM Bob Murray announces to the press that the Ducks are going to have to find a way to get smaller and softer to be able to compete with teams like the Oilers.

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#10 kale
January 03 2014, 10:19PM
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I cant believe yakupov wasnt out on the six on three but snowpants was

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#11 Zamboni Driver
January 03 2014, 01:39PM
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** wrote:

Here's my game day prediction:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XExum0-u8wI

Hint: Oilers are the team in green.

Sure it was 31-2, but I bet the team in green had a better Corsi! Because that's a thing.

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#12 blue31
January 03 2014, 01:53PM
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Prediction: Many camera views of Anaheim Ducks players laughing during the game.

5-1 again.

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#13 michael
January 03 2014, 02:02PM
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Happy New Year. Welcome to January where the weather is cold and the hearts of Oilers fans grow even colder.

Listening to Lowetide and Mcurdy today was like being at a wake before the body has arrived.

I am not naïve. I am not a at all costs kind of guy. Nor am I an eternal optimist. I am realist. And what we've so far from Dallas Eakins instills me with no confidence in his ability to coach this team to the next level. Regardless of the players MacT puts on the ice.

Rookie head coach. Rookie mistakes. I have no confidence in him. At all. Last night was bizzare. Saying nothing during the timeout. His body language and facial expressions are all wrong. He exudes anger. Its like he is pissed off all the time. Its not contusive to teaching young players. At all.

Instead of taking the time to teach. Eakins just stares off into space. Silence can certainly send a message in the dressing room. But on the bench during a timeout, during a game? Please anyone correct me if I am wrong. Is that not inappropriate.

The message I think it sends is I can't be bothered to say anything because you all just won't listen to me anyways.

MacT should step up to the podium after this season is over and announce another new coach for next season. Someone with NHL experience as a head coach.

The proof is in the win/loss column. This train wreck will continue for another 40 games. I have never/ever wished for a season to end as much as I do this year. I see very little in the way of positives. MacT provided the players. What we did not expect was that the coach was wearing the Emperors new clothes. Did not see that coming. At all

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#14 Danger Pay
January 03 2014, 02:36PM
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Anaheim has more Home Wins, than the Oilers Total Wins. Ouch.

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#15 RexHolez
January 03 2014, 03:02PM
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Waiting for Ekblad or Nurse or Klefbom to turn this team competitive is not the way to build a contender. Bringing them in slowly into a competitive environment is. This team needs a Dman

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#16 loweblows
January 03 2014, 01:56PM
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Cant wait to get back to the confines of Rexall Place so we can hear Wooly Bully again. Cant someone buy Katz an ITunes card and he can give it to whatever stiff is manning the DJ booth? My suggestion is put Buchberger, Lowe and Smith in the DJ booth. At least we might hear some hits from the 80's.

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#17 outdoorzguy
January 03 2014, 03:44PM
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I pray to any God that by noon tomorrow we have a new coaching staff. An entire new management team would be nice but I think that's asking too much on short notice. Can you imagine how the fans in Montreal, or Toronto or Detroit would deal with this dogs breakfast? The media would have a feeding frenzy. But not here, it's call them all by their first names and try to be the players best friend.

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#18 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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#19 nick
January 03 2014, 01:37PM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

It's a brilliant move for the Oilers to get smaller against the biggest team in the NHL. I see no reason someone listed at 5'9" from the farm can't excel, nay THRIVE AND SUCCEED against those bums Perry and Getzlaf.

Hugs and kisses,

George

Just when you thought the Oilers coaches and management couldn't get any dumber they pull off another magic moment. A 5'9" defenceman, just brilliant, next to the 5'9" centreman they got (Horak) for Smid this team is really bulking up. Stupid is as stupid does and between KLowe, MacT and Eakins it is hard to tell which one is stupid.

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#20 RexHolez
January 03 2014, 01:48PM
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Positive Post: oilers get blown out 6-1, a rain of oiler jersey's fall on the Anaheim ice. Katz sees this and fires KLowe and hires new assistant coaches to appease the fan base. Oilers immediately go on a 6 game win streak.

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#21 Rama Lama
January 03 2014, 03:20PM
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I'm getting ready ahead of time:

Oilers get blown out.....as usual.

Penner gets a hatty. Souray crushes one of our Smurfs.

Eakins calls out Yaks as being the culprit, yet again.

Final score Ducks 8 Oilers 2

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#22 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
January 03 2014, 03:25PM
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Brief and to the point article. I like it. The Chick is hot. Haven't watched a game since the loss before the Jets game. After looking at the scores and reading about the efforts am I ever glad. I now take joy in their misery cause I know deep down Lowe and MacT are dying inside. They have to be or they aren't human.

last point and saw it on another thread MacT said that Glencross was replaceable when they didnt try to re-sign him. MacT said Brodziak and Chimera weren't NHL caliber players. This is the guy making the teams personnel decisions(except Lowe still has his hands all over it)...enjoy.

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#23 K_Mart
January 03 2014, 06:33PM
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@RexHolez

I'm a terrible story teller. I'll admit it.

Let me sum up my post.

We are soft as butter and need to play as if hockey were a contact sport, despite our size.

The end.

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#24 cubsfan
January 03 2014, 03:02PM
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Gameday prediction: I dont care anymore

I'll be enjoying the Mizzou vs Oklahoma st (cotton bowl)

and later Clemson v OSU Orangebowl

Not so Obvious game day prediction:

Andrew Cogliano, Dustin Penner, Mark Fistric and Sheldon Souray all get points tonight.....hmmm what do they have in common

Obvious prediction.....Oilers get shutout.....Bryz stands on his head....loses it and snaps at someone for another give away that leads to a goal......Anaheim 3 - Oilers 0

Bob Stauffer opines that the Oilers played well considering its a back to back game against 2 good opponents......and he knows how that feels because he once played a back to back at the Soiuth Side athletic club

I actually like bob....but its fun busting his chops

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#25 **
January 03 2014, 01:34PM
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Here's my game day prediction:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XExum0-u8wI

Hint: Oilers are the team in green.

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#26 Chet134
January 03 2014, 01:34PM
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The Oilers r bringing a knife to a gun fight however show up. Battle, compete, show some pride. That's all we ask.

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#27 Walter Sobchak
January 03 2014, 10:10PM
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Boy, it sure would be nice to have a player like Cogliano............Too soon?

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#28 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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#29 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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#30 TURNOVER
January 03 2014, 02:27PM
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They are exactly what the record says. Awful. Embarrassing, Disgrace to Edmonton. Disgrace to Canada. Disgrace to hockey. Disgrace to people who "work" for a living. Their is not one player in that sad group who deserves the money they so shamelessly accept. Not one. ...By the way Eakins....when you said "we will be competitive", before the start of the season, did you know you were a liar back then? ...Come on, tell me....i'm out... that's two of us out...the jersey tosser and me....all we need is 4 more outs, and we'll have a better team then the Soilers.

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#31 michael
January 03 2014, 02:28PM
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Dave wrote:

I want to take this opportunity to agree with LT when he wrote:

"Finally, I do think we’re at a point where it’s reasonable to talk about the entire coaching staff being replaced. No fun in that, epic fail as a matter of fact. I believe Dallas Eakins is a good coach lacking experience, but the results continue to disappoint. Not just wins and losses, but Corsi and breakouts and communication and “I assumed that we knew what traditional d-zone coverage was” and calling out the kid when 10 other things ghastly happened on the same play.

My Dad always had this phrase he’d use at times like this: if you’re not for me, you’re against me. I wonder how many Oilers are for Dallas Eakins this morning. When I watch this team, I don’t believe the answer is 23."

That is what is bothering me too.The numbers should be improving. But they aren't overall. Delete individual performances like Boyd Gordon's FO% and a few other stats and what were seeing is a disaster of Oiler proportions. Its not just a fail. Its an Epic fail. How do we go from a top 10 PP to a middling PP in the course of a season? The players are the same.

Calling out Yak over and over is so 1980's coaching. Please. Dallas's "philosophy" is about accountability. Sure. How about applying a little of that to himself. If I communicated with my co-workers the way Dallas does I would be canned so quick it would make my head spin like Beetlejuices.

Perhaps Dallas,MacT,Klowe and DK need a sit down during the Olympic break and get a few things straight. Because believe you me there are probably 23 men in that dressing room now who after last night feel hung out to dry.

What is the old saying. A plan only lasts until the bullets start flying. They were flying right from the start of the game and the coach let his players just take it on the chin. Sitting RNH/Hall/ for 12+ minutes because he saw that they were struggling 5x5 against SJ's top line was for me stupid. Your benching them because of your mistake. What? Eakin's should have recognized the mismatch and adjusted his lines accordingly along with his d pairings. Instead we angry Dallas and the Oilers get buried deeper. Where is the teachable moment? You don't leave your best horses in the barn.

Dallas Eakins is out of his league and regardless of who MACT brings in this train wreck will continue.

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#32 6 ring circus
January 03 2014, 06:05PM
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I have been coming in late for the past 8 years at work,some days I just don't even bother to show up,I have used up all my sick days and whenever something goes wrong, I have an excuse,when customers call and complain I tell them that there are two types of customers and that they don't know WTF they are talking about because I have been a screw up for the past 8 years and they still keep using my company and my boss keeps giving me raises and keeps promoting me.I have hired a lot of my friends and we sit around and do nothing on most days we go out of our way to piss off our customers, nobody ever gets fired around here, no matter what they do wrong,if we really get pissed off, we go on strike, we have had 2 in 8 years.Our competition keeps getting better every year, some even win international awards every year and their customers really appreciate their customer service.Our current owner doesn't even live in Edmonton anymore, he only comes to visit a few times a year but he could care less what our customers think,our original owner, we ran him out of town , things were different then, our company was at the top every year,we won international awards and customer service was our focus, we had a really good president and General manager (he was the same guy), our old owner really cared about the performance of the company because he relied on it for money,this new owner he has forgotten how to run a business, if things do not change soon, I can see most of our customers going to other companies ,I know quite a few have gone already, but its okay, we keep telling our existing customers that there is a awaiting list to deal with us, and you want to know what the best part about our company, we have raised our prices for the past 4 years and our customers keep paying and coming back to use us LOL!!!!

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#33 cain
January 03 2014, 08:31PM
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F@ck I hate Gagner.

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#34 Soccer Steve
January 03 2014, 03:02PM
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Serenity Now Serenity Now Serenity Now Serenity Now

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#35 outdoorzguy
January 03 2014, 04:14PM
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I hope Yakupov scores tonight. I like watching guys make fools of themselves. When you're down 4-0 and you score, you don't celebrate like it was the cup winning goal. You put your tail between your legs, skate back to center ice for the face off and try and do it again.

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#36 He Who Knows
January 03 2014, 03:56PM
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Im so choked. Katz is a POS owner. this is what dystopia is. Old boys club has damaged the heart of Oilers fans. Cal Nichols please please comeback with your posse and fix this up.

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#37 Randaman
January 03 2014, 04:03PM
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Mac962 wrote:

What i dont understand is why no one, MACT - KBLOWE-KATZ None of them address the die hard paying and non paying tier 1 and 2 fans. WTF is going on , what are your intentions ? Do something for crying out loud, talk to the fans. I have bleed Orange and Blue since the days of the Alberta Oilers in the WHA and this lack of respect towards US THE FANS ! and the only reason this league exists. But not a word, MacT , Have you gone into that dressing room and tore a strip off this dwarf of a team, i somehow doubt it. You sit and hide and do nothing but cash your cheque.

Never , ever in my wildest dreams did i think the Oilers would ever be in this state, Yeah, we are a small market team, but the rink is packed night in and night out because we are fools who love our hockey, our city and our team. And you have done this to us ??

Man up Katz you recluse SOB Weirdo, rich or not, you dont deserve this team. Lowe ? Get out of town please and never ever come back. MacT , Grow a spine - show the core players [ all 3 of them] you will do something. BE Bold, show us you are trying, if you make a move that backfires, we can deal with that, but show some balls.

Our Edmonton Oilers - the Joke of the NHL. I cannot believe it.

^ This. Bravo Sir!!!

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#38 RexHolez
January 03 2014, 05:21PM
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John wrote:

Wonder if Hall has already warned Nurse to wear his best fake selfie smile when he's paraded on stage during the pick. " ... And Darnell, don't ruffle the Katz kids hair on the way up ; he fricken hates that!"

Agents are already telling ekblad and Reinhardt to blow the oilers interview.... *If they ask you why you wanna play in the NHL, tell them its because you heard you can make lots of money

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#39 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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#40 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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#41 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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#42 Rama Lama
January 03 2014, 02:46PM
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I do not want anyone traded for anyone unless we have " fresh minds" at the table.

I for one do not trust anyone ( including Mac T) in acquiring players........they are still operating under the small, fast, player category and Brad Hunt is a perfect example. I do not trust Eakins in being able to coach anyone properly.

I'm still waiting for Eakins to put one of the forwards in goal as a new age coaching strategy.

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#43 outdoorzguy
January 03 2014, 04:08PM
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The one positive thing that comes out of this train wreck is that we will see Katz's son grow up before our eyes as he makes his annual trip onto the draft stage with daddy to make another first pick selection. I'm curious if he'll grow taller than his dad? We'll see in about 5 years.

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#44 K_Mart
January 03 2014, 06:28PM
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Off topic... but anyways. It's time we admitted Jultz isn't ever going to be a #2 like we'd hoped. He's basically going to be Dennis Wideman. Nothing more. A serviceable NHL defenseman against easy competition with powerplay time. And he's soft as butter, just like everyone else on this frikkin roster. Right now everyone knows the oilers' biggest problem(one of many) is the roster we have on D. But that isn't changing. Eakins needs to make a change that is easy and will have a MASSIVE and IMMEDIATE IMPACT. GET EVERYONE HITTING. EVERYONE. Eakins said "Usually when you out hit your opposition, it's because they had the puck all night, and that's not a good thing." First off, that's no excuse to loop away from a check, second, I guarantee you that ANAHEIM will have the puck more than us tonight, so we better be finishing our checks. 2 years ago I posted a long rant about how our top guys need to learn to finish their checks all the time even if they are small and that isn't "their game", because there is no cavalry coming. It didn't happen. Hall, Ebs, and Nuge have resorted to playing non contact hockey in a contact league. Game over. The oilers were out hit last night by a tally of like 25-10 and we NEVER HAD THE PUCK. WTF is that about?!?! During the five years that ron low was our coach, if we were on a losing skid he would always resort to having every player on the team just hit everything that moved. It made teams HATE coming into our building. Heck, Doug Weight practically lead the charge most nights. Sure we barely squeeked in to the playoffs, but every game was a battle for the opposition because we punished them. And we weren't that big either. The bottom line is that it hurts getting hit all game, even if it's by small players. I'm not saying ignore position in order to make a hit, but right now our team plays as if this is a non contact sport and that is unacceptable. Get Pitlick in this line up, he's better than Joensuu at everything. And he's a hitting machine. It's a start at least. When people say the oilers can't go into a game trying to be something they aren't and out muscle a team that is simply much bigger than them, it tells me the game is lost before it even starts. This is a contact sport. There's no way around that. No matter how smart our guys are defensively, no matter how skilled they are, if they give the other team a free ride physically all it's going to do is boost the opposition's confidence and make things that much worse. Knowing what kind of team you have, and completely abandoning a part of the game that is essential are two completely different things. If arcobello can wobble Chara, then every player on this team can deliver damage on a hit to any other player. I'm so sick of watching Eberle loop away from a body check that he should be finishing. Man does it suck. In my opinion, this is the easiest, and quickest fix that Eakins could implement right now. It's only one part of a plethora of problems, but the fact that it continues to be ignored drives me up the wall. FINISH YOUR CHECKS. FOR THE LOVE OF HOCKEY, JUST DO IT.

Here's Ron Low out coaching Ken Hitchcock and getting the Oilers to out muscle a seemingly bigger, stronger, and more veteran team. http://video.oilers....nsole?id=189953

Every Oiler from the first to fourth line finishes every hit in these highlights 1997 oilers v stars. Absolute classic

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#45 6 ring circus
January 03 2014, 08:16PM
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Eakins will blame Yakopov on the 1st Anaheim goal ,he should have been sitting on the bench in front of Smith not Buchberger.

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#46 Bryzarro World
January 03 2014, 08:27PM
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I want to slap the crap out of Samwise every time I see him sucking on his guard.... Douche

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#47 Rod from Viking
January 03 2014, 10:28PM
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Nice howitzer Ryan Smyth on the 3 on 2 rush, you scored once in 1997 on Andy Moog from there.

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#48 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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#49 outdoorzguy
January 03 2014, 11:02PM
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I hope McTavish has made the Skype call by now.

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#50 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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