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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#51 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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#52 Serious Gord
January 03 2014, 02:01PM
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Very hard to see how the oil get even one point let alone two tonight. The ducks would have to completely lie down, Bryz would have to play out of his mind and at least some oilers would have to come out of their coma and play with heart. That and a crap load of luck.

6-2 ducks.

Something's got to give before the Olympic break. Doesn't it?

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#53 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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#54 Ed in PV
January 03 2014, 02:38PM
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camdog wrote:

Either Klefbomb is hurt, he's been benched or he went home for Christmas. He didn't play in the Barons last game.

I'm guessing he hasn't been called up because well he isn't ready.

There was a post a couple of days ago stating that Klefbom had been a healthy scratch in OKC. You would have hoped that a "professional" media person would have been up to speed that Klefbom is not playing in OKC before he wonders why Hunt and not Klefblom.

Hopefully it is a minor injury and not being sat due to poor play.

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#55 tileguy
January 03 2014, 02:43PM
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Positive Prediction

Eakins will show some emotion tonight, when he goes into that blank stare his eyeballs will pop out.

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#56 RexHolez
January 03 2014, 02:44PM
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Chainsawz wrote:

You are thinking of Marty Reasonor.

Leave poor Toby alone, what he did to deserve the ridicule of so many Oiler fans is beyond me. The effort he put in every night isn't matched by many Oilers today.

We need more Toby Petersons

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#57 Ed in PV
January 03 2014, 02:46PM
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RexHolez wrote:

We need more Toby Petersons

I think we do have plenty of smurf forwards.

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#58 vetinari
January 03 2014, 02:55PM
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More positive predictions:

I am positive that we will get smoked tonight and I will be better served giving the remote to the TV in the family room to my wife and watch some chick flick instead of this turkey.

I get being outplayed and being beaten by a better team, but for every game that the Oilers look like they are trying, there are three of them looking like they are totally indifferent to the outcome.

I wonder how many players, if asked and guaranteed that their responses would be anonymous, would actually say that Eakins is the best man to coach the Oilers and that they totally support him?

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#59 camdog
January 03 2014, 02:55PM
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Chainsawz wrote:

You are thinking of Marty Reasonor.

Leave poor Toby alone, what he did to deserve the ridicule of so many Oiler fans is beyond me. The effort he put in every night isn't matched by many Oilers today.

I always liked the effort that Toby and Liam put in game after game. I never understood the hate for players who played their heart out each and every shift, while the skilled players coasted through those seasons, only to find themselves regulated to the minor leagues and Europe once they left the Oilers organisation.

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#60 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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#61 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
January 03 2014, 03:32PM
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Lochenzo wrote:

There's nothing wrong with Dallas Eakins. He's had success bringing along young players and getting them to play at a high level. But it took time to build that with the Marlies and it will take time here.

I don't understand why some people want to start at the beginning again with a new coach and new system. I guess you could argue that the Oilers are still learning the basics so systems do not matter at this point.

I hear Jon Cooper's name mentioned as a coulda-shoulda-woulda. But Jon started with the Admirals so a lot of players currently on the TB roster learned to play the pro game under Jon's system. I think Jon's success is attributable to that.

Eakins is quoted saying he isn't here to develop he is here to win. 0 for 2

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#62 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
January 03 2014, 03:34PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

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.

THANK YOU!!!!!!!

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#63 Chet134
January 03 2014, 03:34PM
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RexHolez wrote:

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

Valid point however I think we lose any trade with Eberle or our number one pick cuz we won't get a subban type defenseman back. There's very few of those type players unless u draft them. No one will give them up. Management put us under the eight more than people think. from day one I thought we going to be a bottom feeder again cuz we didn't fix the problem. Soft, small, too many young kids in a leading role and defense.

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#64 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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#65 RexHolez
January 03 2014, 04:12PM
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Chet134 wrote:

I will be shocked if weber gets traded in the next four years. I can't see it. For sure I don't trade Nug or hall. Sorry my opinion is we draft Ekblad and only Ekblad if hes available cuz I think were screwed. We won't get that type of d man.

of course you draft Ekblad, but we cant pin our hopes on him. MacT needs to find a dman. doesn't have to be named subban or Weber but he needs to be able to play in the NHL, kinda like how Smid did

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#66 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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#67 pkam
January 03 2014, 06:09PM
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RexHolez wrote:

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

But you believe Weber will be happy to come here?

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#68 Chet134
January 03 2014, 06:22PM
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@Primo

I'm with u that Kevin Lowe should be fired however that won't change things. We won't get that number one defenseman unless we draft that player. Teams won't make those trades. Finding a number one defenseman that's young with term that will gel with the core players. Then he ll resign here. Impossible trade.

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#69 RexHolez
January 03 2014, 07:26PM
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Just thought of a wonderful business plan for Katz:

He should set up a system so either a private individual or a large group of investors can pay 100,000g to be g.m for a week. Give them free range on trades, contracts, draft selection, coaching decisions...Etc

That would net him a tidy 5.2 mill a year and an on ice product that would almost certainly be better than it currently is

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#70 jake
January 03 2014, 07:45PM
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Oliveoiler wrote:

I'm angry, depressed and sick and tired of this. I love my team, but cannot for the life of me raise ANY enthusiasm for this gong show of a team. I believe MacT is trying his hardest to sign D men, he's not sitting up in his glass penthouse (unlike POHO) and reminiscing about 6 rings. What I am mostly sick and tired of hearing from coaches AND players is "we know what we have to do to win" Well IF they KNOW, why the hell aren't they doing it? I have 4 tix for the upcoming Preds game and 4 for the Kings in March game. Have tried almost giving them away, no-one wants them, and I certainly can't/wont sit through another 60 minutes of agony, and have to pay for the privilege. I'm looking forward to NEXT season and hope the merry-go-round stops and this losing is over.

There must be 4 to 8 kids out there in Edmonton who have never been to a game and would be absolutely over the moon to go.....seek them out somehow.

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#71 Quintana
January 03 2014, 08:39PM
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BingBong wrote:

Isn't Hiller supposed to be the best of the UFA goalies this year? On to plan B...

I hope Mac-T sign Bryz ASAP. Give him 3 years @ 3.5 overpay if necessary..

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#72 **
January 03 2014, 09:02PM
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bbbb wrote:

dude channel 302....get with the program

909 if u have telus

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#73 dobiezeke
January 03 2014, 10:20PM
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S cottV wrote:

Just continue to be awful in their own end. RNH unforced giveaway on the first, Hall's failure to pick up the d man trailer on the 2nd and 3rd and Gagner floating around without doing anything deliberate on the 4th.

That is becoming Hall's signature move...he is clueless when it comes to picking up the trailer coming back to his end. But hey, he really skates fast up the boards.

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#74 outdoorzguy
January 03 2014, 10:22PM
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Eakins actually think this team has the ability to come back from 3 down with an empty net and 6 minutes left? No wonder this guy SHOULD be fired! He's clueless.

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#75 Drowning in Oil
January 03 2014, 10:33PM
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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.

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#76 DisappointedFan
January 03 2014, 01:30PM
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A little George for you all...not as cute as the lady above.

http://seinfeld-fan.net/pictures/george/george_costanza015.jpg

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#77 **
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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#78 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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#79 Puck JammeR!
January 03 2014, 01:38PM
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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.

This should be the pre-game video at Rexall

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#80 O REALLY NOW
January 03 2014, 01:49PM
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Eberle isn't in tonights line up. Something to do with his knee.

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#81 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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#82 I tried it at home
January 03 2014, 01:52PM
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We want 10!! We want 10!! Because it would be really super special to have a the longest streak in anything, and hey, missing the playoffs is still a record, gosh golly. Now, if you'll excuse me, its 5 o'clock somewhere...

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#83 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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#84 S cottV
January 03 2014, 01:54PM
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RNH will likely be manhandled by Getzlaf about the same as Thorton did last night, so the first line will lose that battle.

With Gagner and Yak playing on the second - they are sure to give up at least one in the back of our net.

So - probably a repeat of last night, with better goaltending.

4 to 1 Ducks.

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#85 Zamboni Driver
January 03 2014, 01:56PM
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@Rick Stroppel

Excellent post.

Though honestly Dude, cable not working is a sign from the lord above.

Do not add insult to injury by LISTENING to the debacle that is in the offing.

Though I'd take Jack Michaels over Kevin Quinn every day and twice on Sundays. Debrusk and Stauffer are both... *remembering to Costanza this* are both insightful, well spoken and eminently qualified for their jobs.

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#86 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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#87 camdog
January 03 2014, 02:16PM
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Either Klefbomb is hurt, he's been benched or he went home for Christmas. He didn't play in the Barons last game.

I'm guessing he hasn't been called up because well he isn't ready.

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#88 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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#89 Serious Gord
January 03 2014, 02:23PM
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RexHolez wrote:

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.

If the team continues to fail at the current clip rexall/Rogers place will not be able to flood the ice with all of the jerseys covering the ice.

Something has to be done.

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#90 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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#91 loweblows
January 03 2014, 02:28PM
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On a positive note it is 23C in Anaheim :(

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#92 RexHolez
January 03 2014, 02:30PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

If the team continues to fail at the current clip rexall/Rogers place will not be able to flood the ice with all of the jerseys covering the ice.

Something has to be done.

I can only hope you're right, but I just see it as Lowe & MacT have filled Katz's head with fantasies of building another dynasty and just need more time.

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#93 Chet134
January 03 2014, 02:33PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

If the team continues to fail at the current clip rexall/Rogers place will not be able to flood the ice with all of the jerseys covering the ice.

Something has to be done.

I agree but it has to make sense or wait til the draft. I say that cuz I don't trust this management. Would u trade Dustin brown/kyle Clifford/tyler toffoli for Eberle.

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#94 RexHolez
January 03 2014, 02:36PM
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Chet134 wrote:

I agree but it has to make sense or wait til the draft. I say that cuz I don't trust this management. Would u trade Dustin brown/kyle Clifford/tyler toffoli for Eberle.

I'm of the belief that you can't trade Eberle for anything other than a Defenceman. If the plan is to wait for Nurse and Klefbom this team is I'm worst shape than I thought

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#95 Chainsawz
January 03 2014, 02:38PM
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Brian wrote:

Where is Toby Peterson when we need him? Wasn't he the guy MacT said was Sakic-like? That enough should have should have warned us all about his judgment and kept him far away from a GM office.

You are thinking of Marty Reasonor.

Leave poor Toby alone, what he did to deserve the ridicule of so many Oiler fans is beyond me. The effort he put in every night isn't matched by many Oilers today.

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#96 loweblows
January 03 2014, 02:46PM
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RexHolez wrote:

I'm of the belief that you can't trade Eberle for anything other than a Defenceman. If the plan is to wait for Nurse and Klefbom this team is I'm worst shape than I thought

No UFA D man in his right mind would sign here next year. The chance of acquiring a legitimate 1 or 2 D man is slim with the increasing cap. There are no true legitimate shutdown D man in the system other than say Nurse and potentially Klefbom. So ya that is probably the plan. And in a heartbeat I would trade Eberle for Brown and maybe Toffoli.

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#97 RexHolez
January 03 2014, 02:52PM
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loweblows wrote:

No UFA D man in his right mind would sign here next year. The chance of acquiring a legitimate 1 or 2 D man is slim with the increasing cap. There are no true legitimate shutdown D man in the system other than say Nurse and potentially Klefbom. So ya that is probably the plan. And in a heartbeat I would trade Eberle for Brown and maybe Toffoli.

I agree, no Dman would sign here unless his options were limited and we overpay. That's why you gotta trade for 1. You can't expect Nurse or Klefbom to come in here and have a big enough impact to change the teams fortunes around in the next 4 years. Especially without anyone capable to eat up the hard minutes. Go make a hockey trade

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#98 Roadhouse
January 03 2014, 02:53PM
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@loweblows

KATZ hearts "Cotten Eye Joe"!

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#99 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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#100 Soccer Steve
January 03 2014, 03:14PM
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etownman wrote:

I wouldn't be so quick to write off the future Gregor! Bad contracts ending, trades, experience of one more year, FA signings can change things very quickly! I for one trust MacT when he says he's impatient to win & I do understand he needs to be in a better position to make meaningful trades & signings! I'm pretty sure everybody knows the type of players the Oilers need, let's just give MacT a good opportunity to make it happen! He hasn't had that opportunity yet to make his mark!

You forgot "if that's ever a concern."

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