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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#151 camdog
January 03 2014, 03:50PM
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@reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)

Lowe tried to sign Glencross, however the two had a disagreement/arguement during contract negotiations. That's where Mact defended Lowe for not getting the deal done, by telling the media that players like Glencross are a dime a dozen. I don't know why, but that quote always stuck with me. More than anything it's a symbol of the bond between Lowe and Mactavish.

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#152 Sisyphus
January 03 2014, 03:53PM
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RexHolez wrote:

I'm curious, out of all the comtracts with limited no trade clauses where the player gets to give a list of teams he can't get traded to, i wonder how many Edmontons on

All of them. But seriously, I mean ALL OF THEM. Can you imagine a player who wouldn't include them. Makes the job of fixing things via trade much harder. No one with a NTC/ltd NTC is going to waive it for Edmonton.

Keeping that in mind, how many FA's do you think would rather take a lesser offer from a team OTHER than Edmonton, just to avoid having to come here? Or take a PTO with another team, rather than signing on here. Definitely no FA is signing more than a one-year contract here until there are hints of light at the end of the tunnel

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#153 Gaz
January 03 2014, 03:56PM
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@BaconWrapped

That was awesome.

Cooooooostanza!

Does anyone else get the sense that MacT and Eakins are George and that Lowe is Mr. Wilhelm?

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#154 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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#155 Yaz
January 03 2014, 04:05PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

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

2 goals seems optomistic.. Hopefully now that Christmas is over and more ineptitude has been displayed with the year over year digression despite a better lineup and a year older players that Eakins is shown the door. He is in way over his head and he is ruining whatever talent we have left. He lost the room weeks ago..Admit the mistake and get it done !!

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#156 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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#157 Primo
January 03 2014, 04:10PM
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Chet134 wrote:

Sorry as a 17 yr old.

Man are you patient or have you lost your perspective on the spirit of sports which is all about winning! The Oilers fans have been waiting 8 years. Enough of waiting and destroying young players dreams. Get on with the business of firing Kevin Lowe then this franchise can move on with perhaps a leader that has a vision and will deliver on accountability!

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#158 EP
January 03 2014, 04:13PM
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RexHolez wrote:

I'm curious, out of all the comtracts with limited no trade clauses where the player gets to give a list of teams he can't get traded to, i wonder how many Edmontons on

Much like a morality clause is standard language in any NHL contract, I'm sure a NTC to Edmonton will soon be included.

Player - "I would like to include Edmonton in my NTC."

GM - "Of course, that's a given. It's already in the contract. Now pick 5 more teams you want included."

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#159 Sisyphus
January 03 2014, 04:25PM
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pkam wrote:

Do the Oilers have the most trade request from players in the past decade too?

I can also see the other GM try to freeze our management in trade discussion. Honestly, I would too if I am the GM of a NHL team.

So we can't sign UFA unless we overpay. Most players if not all are refusing to be traded here. When there is a few who have no NTC, we have to give more to make trade with other teams. Then some of our players are requesting trade after we sign them to a juicy contract or being traded here.

I find it funny that fans seem to understand all the challenges our management are facing, yet they keep complaining that our management is not doing a good enough job.

Obviously I can't speak for all fans, but it seems to me the reason there is so much complaining is this:

Given how truly BAD this team is, at this point we'd rather see moves, even if they maybe dont work out (a risk anytime a move is made), rather than continuing status quo. Because that leads to more of the same, for at least several more years.

DO SOMETHING. At this point, I literally cannot think of a player that I would be opposed to sending out of town, if it brought something we really needed back. That includes RNH and Hall. If we got something back that we really, really need now, I'd be okay with it

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#160 Oliveoiler
January 03 2014, 04:57PM
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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.

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#161 pkam
January 03 2014, 04:58PM
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RexHolez wrote:

can we take out hall and put in eberle??

You sure can try, but I don't know if this is good enough for Poile though.

I wish Poile will just take Klefbom/Nurse + Eberle for Weber. Unfortunately it takes two parties to make a deal.

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#162 Sisyphus
January 03 2014, 05:28PM
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pkam wrote:

You are okay with Hall/RNH + Klefbom + 1st rounder for Weber, but is Poile okay with that? Is Weber willing to come to Edmonton?

I believe Poile will be okay with both Hall + RNH in the package (not 100% sure as Poile may think he can squeeze us more), but will Weber be happy to come here?

I know Weber's contract doesn't have a NTC, but will he ask for a trade after he arrives, like Pronger and Souray did to us?

Would "fill in the player" be happy to come here? What makes you think the players already here are happy here? You're worried about guys we might trade for asking for another trade out of town---why on earth do you seem to think that Hall, RNH, etc. won't want trades out of town for themselves if this kind of embarrassing excuse for a team continues?

If you want to build a team based on who wants to be in Edmonton right now, you'll find that very hard to do. I'd hazard a guess that none of the current players on the team want to play for Edmonton right now--I'm sure if there was a way Hall or RNH or Eberle, etc etc could get a trade out of town, they'd be thrilled with it (for anywhere but Buffalo).

Stop worrying about what players want--they want to win. Or at very least not feel like a disgrace. You're never going to get that if your plan is to wait until prospects can fill the holes.

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#163 pkam
January 03 2014, 05:38PM
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Sisyphus wrote:

Would "fill in the player" be happy to come here? What makes you think the players already here are happy here? You're worried about guys we might trade for asking for another trade out of town---why on earth do you seem to think that Hall, RNH, etc. won't want trades out of town for themselves if this kind of embarrassing excuse for a team continues?

If you want to build a team based on who wants to be in Edmonton right now, you'll find that very hard to do. I'd hazard a guess that none of the current players on the team want to play for Edmonton right now--I'm sure if there was a way Hall or RNH or Eberle, etc etc could get a trade out of town, they'd be thrilled with it (for anywhere but Buffalo).

Stop worrying about what players want--they want to win. Or at very least not feel like a disgrace. You're never going to get that if your plan is to wait until prospects can fill the holes.

I don't know if Hall, Eberle, and RNH already want to leave and ask for a trade. If they already did, then the management is probably working on it.

However, I heard rumors that Weber wasn't even interested in discussing an offersheet with the Oilers 2 years ago. So if he has a NTC, do you think Oilers will be included? It makes it very likely that he will ask for a trade.

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#164 K_Mart
January 03 2014, 05:38PM
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camdog wrote:

Souray didn't demand out of Edmonton he demanded out of the Lowe/Mactavish circus. If they would have both been fired Souray would have been happy to play in Edmonton.

Now Visnovsky on the other hand fits your example perfectly. He signed a no trade clause with LA and was traded here in bad faith.

I remember Souray showing up at camp asking to wipe the slate clean and stay with the team. Tambellini did everything in his power to squander the value we had there, forcing souray out of town.

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#165 pkam
January 03 2014, 05:53PM
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camdog wrote:

Souray didn't demand out of Edmonton he demanded out of the Lowe/Mactavish circus. If they would have both been fired Souray would have been happy to play in Edmonton.

Now Visnovsky on the other hand fits your example perfectly. He signed a no trade clause with LA and was traded here in bad faith.

MacTavish was already gone when he bad mouth the organization.

In one statement, he complained that Lowe kept asking him when he can returned when he didn't feel he was ready, Then in another statement he was complaining the Tambellini didn't follow up with his status. So damned if you do and damned if you don't?

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#166 pkam
January 03 2014, 05:56PM
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Sisyphus wrote:

Would "fill in the player" be happy to come here? What makes you think the players already here are happy here? You're worried about guys we might trade for asking for another trade out of town---why on earth do you seem to think that Hall, RNH, etc. won't want trades out of town for themselves if this kind of embarrassing excuse for a team continues?

If you want to build a team based on who wants to be in Edmonton right now, you'll find that very hard to do. I'd hazard a guess that none of the current players on the team want to play for Edmonton right now--I'm sure if there was a way Hall or RNH or Eberle, etc etc could get a trade out of town, they'd be thrilled with it (for anywhere but Buffalo).

Stop worrying about what players want--they want to win. Or at very least not feel like a disgrace. You're never going to get that if your plan is to wait until prospects can fill the holes.

camdog just reminds me of Jeff Carter.

Isn't it a great trade for the Columbus?

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#167 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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#168 Primo
January 03 2014, 06:41PM
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K_Mart wrote:

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

WTF..if I wanted to read a book I would go to the library!

Ever heard of paragraphs? They have a purpose! wow.

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#169 RexHolez
January 03 2014, 06:41PM
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K_Mart wrote:

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.

Agreed!! We also need defencemen that can put the puck on a forwards stick as hes breaking out, and a coach that wont put the blame on a 20yr old 1st overall pick when the puck comes at his feet

We need a lot of things. that's why I raise the question, what exactly have we rebuilt in 4 years other than being pathetic and picking 1st every year?

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#170 K_Mart
January 03 2014, 06:44PM
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@Primo

The paragraphs and breaks were there, not sure what happened. Tried to fix it... didn't work.

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#171 D-Unit
January 03 2014, 07:21PM
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So, is it not the GDB anymore to distract us from how many games the Oil have sucked in, and for those of us who can do simple math, how many more the Oil will suck in?

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#172 K_Mart
January 03 2014, 07:41PM
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Here's an anomaly.

We lose the possession game by a massive margin pretty much every game, so we should be leading the league in hits should we not? I know toronto and edmonton both get outshot horribly pretty much every game so we should be at the top in the league in hits right?

http://www.nhl.com/ice/teamstats.htm?fetchKey=20142ALLSAAAll&sort=homeHits&viewName=realTimeStats

.... hmm 25th in hits at home for a team that never has the puck. Sounds like we must be the easiest team to play against.

Vancouver and San Jose are at the bottom and that makes sense because they always have the puck. We are at the bottom because nobody on our team hits. If we did, we'd probably find the puck on our stick a little more often.

When you're evaluating your team, if they get horribly outshot, they should be outhitting the opposition drastically so at least it shows they were busting ass. If you out shoot the opposition and dominate the possession game, that is the only time it is acceptable to not have more hiTS.

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#173 RexHolez
January 03 2014, 07:53PM
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jake wrote:

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.

Don't let our kids go and raise them to support failure.

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#174 Walter Sobchak
January 03 2014, 07:55PM
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8 years, worst record out of the 8 years.

Nuff said.

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#175 Bryzarro World
January 03 2014, 08:11PM
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THAT was awesome....

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#176 Bryzarro World
January 03 2014, 08:14PM
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K_Mart wrote:

The paragraphs and breaks were there, not sure what happened. Tried to fix it... didn't work.

Same excuse Dally uses with the swarm D...

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#177 BingBong
January 03 2014, 08:18PM
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Considering that we're gonna lose this game bigtime, I view our 12 second lead as a moral "victory".

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#178 BingBong
January 03 2014, 08:21PM
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I honestly don't think we've ever looked more like an AHL team than these last few weeks; the good teams don't even bother playing their "systems" and they still just walk all over us.

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#179 BingBong
January 03 2014, 08:29PM
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When did we trade Dubnyk to the Ducks?

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#180 **
January 03 2014, 08:29PM
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Dammit, yakupov scored, now he is going to do something that will cost the oilers the game. I love how Gagner slid into frame at the last second for the picture.

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#181 BingBong
January 03 2014, 08:36PM
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Isn't Hiller supposed to be the best of the UFA goalies this year? On to plan B...

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#182 BingBong
January 03 2014, 08:38PM
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And don't even get me started on J. Schultz. He must regret his decision every time he hears those boos.

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#183 cain
January 03 2014, 08:44PM
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Another great goaltending effort tonight...

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#184 I tried it at home
January 03 2014, 08:47PM
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Did doobie leave his "goaltending for dummies" book out for Bryz to read? WTF, Comrade Bryzgalov??

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#185 Gk1980
January 03 2014, 08:47PM
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Quintana wrote:

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

Why would he want to sign here? This team is pathetic. I sure hope mact knows what the heck he is doing. If this team wants to compete in this division they have a LONG way to go. No light at the end of this tunnel.

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#186 Anton
January 03 2014, 08:49PM
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Since Gregor wants some positive comments, guess we should be focusing on how Oilers did not get shutout tonight. Nice hustle by Gordon and Yak to get those 2 goals. Petry played most minutes so far and is sitting at +2. Oilers are also winning most of the faceoffs. They have a perfect PK so far. We should also ignore the fact that both Hall and Nuge are both -3.

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#187 RexHolez
January 03 2014, 09:01PM
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Hey look the oiler games on..... On second thought, I always wondered how many noodles come in a package of Lipton noodle soup. I'm sure I'd be happier spending my time counting noodles then watching this game

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#188 vetinari
January 03 2014, 09:02PM
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Missed the first period and just stopped by to check in-- have we given up yet and started mailing it in or are we still fighting?

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#189 Robert (AKA Hockey Fan)
January 03 2014, 09:03PM
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Looks like Lovejoy is in love with the Oilers these days......

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#190 **
January 03 2014, 09:04PM
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well at least it's an entertaining game, about as much as one can hope for with these toilets.

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#191 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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#192 Robert (AKA Hockey Fan)
January 03 2014, 09:11PM
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@Rick Stroppel

Sign me up for Oilers Dunce school!

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#193 Low
January 03 2014, 09:15PM
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Hey Jason

Is Nina your sister in law???

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#194 outdoorzguy
January 03 2014, 09:37PM
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If things play out like they SHOULD, McTavish right about now will be opening his Skype account and getting ready to speed dial Eakins number!!!

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#195 Nowuknow
January 03 2014, 09:37PM
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Coilers are under siege here on the second. Boys vs men, it looks like ducks are on power play for the whole period...ducks just scored... Guess who was on D number 2 again!!!

I know about losing if is there any concern!!

6 rings

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#196 Quintana
January 03 2014, 09:39PM
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So is Jersey Ice Night on the Rexall with the Tampa Bay coming to town?

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#197 Duby and the Dubious
January 03 2014, 09:43PM
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Stuck in camp don't have those have those channels but thanks for info. Shames feed went the Soilers just in time to catch the 4th goal. Jason your sister was in my nine drama class.

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#198 EP
January 03 2014, 09:43PM
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That's it. I'm switching over to ch. 431 (telus) to watch '40yr old Virgin.' The chest waxing scene will be less painful to watch than this gong show.

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#199 BingBong
January 03 2014, 09:46PM
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Man, I'm never giving up on the Oilers, but for the first time ever I've reached the point where I just can't watch the games anymore. That’s saying something considering how bad we've been for the last 8 years. I just feel too guilty watching the games; I know my time could/should be better spent.

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#200 Hockey fan 1976
January 03 2014, 09:49PM
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So for the second game Hall/Nuge and Petry are sucking goat, do one of them get the press box against Tampa? Nope, it will be Yuk because he should have not celebrated the way he did on his goal. Fire Eakins and take KBlow with you!!!

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