GDB 46.0: BLUES ON A HIGH NOTE...

Jason Gregor
January 07 2014 01:02PM

Ken Hitchcock's St. Louis Blues come to town on a five-game winning streak, and they are the 2nd highest scoring team in the NHL. That's right, the Blues are no longer just a great defensive team; they are a scoring machine.

The Blues have scored 150 goals and they are averaging 3.56 goals/game. Only five teams in the NHL score 3 goals/game: Chicago is at 3.62, the Blues 3.56, Anaheim 3.27, Pittsburgh 3.16 and San Jose is at 3.14.

The Oilers are in the midst of playing those five teams in a span of six games. Ouch.

The lost 5-1 and 5-2 to the Sharks and Ducks last week, and they face the Blues tonight, Pittsburgh on Friday and Chicago on Sunday.  When you are the 29th place team, every game is a challenge, but you can make the argument that the Blues are currently the best team in the NHL.

Not only are the Blues the 2nd highest scoring team, they are the 3rd best defensive team in the league allowing only 2.27 goals/game.

The Blues are a league-best +55 in goals for/against.

The Oilers are currently -39 in goals for/against, only Buffalo is worse at -44.

On paper this is a major mismatch, and when they met on December 21st the game on the ice mirrored the stats. The Blues crushed the Oilers 6-0, and outshot them 28-9 in the final 40 minutes.

The Blues don't need many shots to score. They are 18th in SF/game at 29.1, yet they are 2nd in the league in goals.

Some statisiticians will argue that the Blues can't keep scoring at this pace.

Backes has a 21.3 SH%.
Steen is at 20.5%.
Schwartz is at 17.9%
Stewart is 16.9%
Tarasenko is at 15.7% and even 4th liner Ryan Reaves is at 20%.

Boyd Gordon leads the Oiler at 17.1%, while David Perron is at 13.5%.

The Blues are getting some puck luck, but they also score a lot of goals from in close. The Oilers blueline will be in for a huge challenge, literally and figuratively, tonight.

Look at the size difference between the Blues forwards and the Oilers defence.

 

Blues Forwards    
Chris Stewart    6' 2"  231
Ryan Reaves    6' 1"  224
David Backes "C"   6' 3"  221
Vladimir Tarasenko    6' 0"  219
Patrik Berglund    6' 3"  217
Maxim Lapierre    6' 2"  215
Adam Cracknell    6' 2"  210
Magnus Paajarvi    6' 3"  208
Brenden Morrow    6' 0"  205
Vladimir Sobotka    5' 10"  197
Jaden Schwartz    5' 10"  190
T.J. Oshie "A"   5' 11"  189
Derek Roy    5' 9"  184
     
Oilers D    
Nick Schultz    6' 1"  203
Jeff Petry    6' 3"  195
Brad Hunt    5' 9"  188
Martin Marincin    6' 4"  188
Justin Schultz    6' 2"  188
Andrew Ference    5' 11"  187

The Oilers have one D-man over 200 pounds, while the Blues have eight forwards, who will dress tonight, who are 205 pounds or more. That makes a significant difference when you are trying to battle for pucks in the corner or move guys from the front of the net.

LINEUP

Hall-RNH-Eberle
Perron-Gagner-Yakupov
Smyth-Gordon-Hemsky
Gazdic-Arcobello-Jones

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

Bryzgalov

It is clear that Bryzgalov has become the starter. Eakins said they plan to play him a lot leading up to the Olympic break. What does this mean for the Oilers moving forward?

Both Bryzgalov and Dubnyk are UFAs. Will they re-sign one of them, none or both? No chance both are back and how they play in the final 40 games will decide if one of them returns. It is going to be interesting to see how the goalie position unfolds over the next eight months.

Many have said the Oilers should go after Jonas Hiller in the summer. That makes sense, but why would Anaheim let their proven starter leave for free agency? I know they have depth in goal, but none of Fasth, Andersen or Gibson is a proven NHL starter.

If you were the Ducks, would you let Hiller, who turns 32 in February, walk away for nothing and start the season with three unproven goalies? I don't see why you would. I think the Oilers have a better chance of acquiring Fasth than they would Hiller in the summer.

QUICK HITS....

  • Taylor Hall shouldn't fell bad he didn't make the Canadian Olympic team, when you look at some of the other names who didn't make it.  Marty St. Louis has scored the most points, 271, of any Canadian player since the start of the 2010/2011 season and he didn't make the team. Claude Giroux has scored the third most, 255, and he also was snubbed.

    Based on Canada's decision to keep Nash, all Giroux or Hall need to do is light it up at the World Championships for the next few years and they are a lock to make the team. That is the only explanation why Rick Nash is on the squad.
     
  • Canada has a lot of depth. For fun this is who could be on Canada's B team:

    Goalie: Crawford, Fleury, Ward

    Defence: Beauchemin, Boyle, Campbell, Giordano, Letang, Phaneuf, Seabrook, M. Staal.

    Forwards: Couture, Eberle, Giroux, Hall, E.Kane, Ladd, Lucic, M. Richards, Neal, Seguin, Skinner, St. Louis, E. Staal, Thornton.
  • The Blues have won five straight without their leading scorer. Alex Steen hasn't played since December 21st. 

TONIGHT....

GAME DAY PREDICTION: Oilers keep it respectable, but lose 4-2.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Hall continues his hot streak with another two points. He had 13 points in 9 games entering tonight.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: In their last meeting David Backes challenged every Oiler and none of them did anything about it. Tonight the Oilers will at least show some push back. Ference engages with Backes to show the kids you can't let teams intimidate you even if they are bigger and stronger. Sadly, very few of his teammates will follow his lead.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR 

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#51 Mac962
January 07 2014, 04:16PM
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Trading now in the grand scheme of things, does not matter, no other team is desperate yet. They will be. Playoffs are out of the question for us so don't give anything away. Just hope that the pieces we will probably move don't toss the last half of the season away. I hate to say it, but Mact is doing the right thing and waiting. Ever Crosby and Weber would not turn this season around now. Trades are a must, but right now makes no sense from an organizational perspective. Just us fans want to see change and change now. We have to be Patient. If there is any left. I know i am like all of you. Sick of it. But tossing Bucky and Smith can not hurt, they will be gone next year anyway. Or they better be.

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#52 pkam
January 07 2014, 04:21PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

Eakins has a bunch of thorobred racehorses trying to pull a cart.......for the love of God Eakins..........let the horses run.

We do not have the type of players that can grind, so making them play a defensive system without taking chances, seems plain stupid. If for one believe that the best defense is good offence just like the Oilers of old.

I for one cannot understand why Belov and Potter are not playing, when we are playing a large team like Gregor pointed out?

Potter has groin injury. And from Eakins, Belov's needs some rest. KHL only plays 2 games a week and about 50 games a season. So Belov is not used to the heavy NHL schedule the Olympics this year makes it even worse.

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#53 pkam
January 07 2014, 04:26PM
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Mac962 wrote:

Trading now in the grand scheme of things, does not matter, no other team is desperate yet. They will be. Playoffs are out of the question for us so don't give anything away. Just hope that the pieces we will probably move don't toss the last half of the season away. I hate to say it, but Mact is doing the right thing and waiting. Ever Crosby and Weber would not turn this season around now. Trades are a must, but right now makes no sense from an organizational perspective. Just us fans want to see change and change now. We have to be Patient. If there is any left. I know i am like all of you. Sick of it. But tossing Bucky and Smith can not hurt, they will be gone next year anyway. Or they better be.

You will win but you don't get immediate help by selling at trade deadline because what you get from buyers are future prospects or draft picks.

However, we may turn around what we get during the trade deadline to immediate help during the draft and off season.

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#54 Giant
January 07 2014, 04:35PM
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Mac962 wrote:

Speaking of Katz ... is there a more uninvolved Owner in professional sports ? When was the last time he spoke ? Asking his wife what he is worth now does not count. Some Edmontonian [ Former ] you are Katz. We were better off with the 467 owners we had before. At least they cared.

Time for a BLOG strictly on our crap owner. The bottom line is he makes the final call on all things Oilers right ?? oh - wait , i forgot that why he has The Master Mind - The legend in his own Mind, the one, the only Kevin " 6 RINGS" Lowe.

Wonder how it feels walking around town Lowe knowing what pretty much everyone is thinking about you when they look at you. I'll tell you incase you didnt know. We wish you were a Calgarian.

Katz is locked away somewhere in a dark closet. Seriously, every time that guy speaks to the public he says something incredibly stupid and kills his own cause. (Arena deal anyone?)

We're better off if he just stays hidden away, pays the bills, and lets PR do the talking.

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#55 ToppsSmith
January 07 2014, 04:36PM
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Belov is a huge loss on the blue line tonight, but Potter...Ehhh I was never on the Potter Band wagon. I always thought he was over rated. However he is the best we have at the moment, so i'll keep quite on that. What Edmonton needs to find is a guy who can make that first pass out, I'm sick of looking at the D fire the puck blindly up the boards while the other teams D-man knows its coming and blocks the clearing attempt. A guy who can make the first pass out wont fix the team as a whole, but it will start them in the right direction.

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#56 Sisyphus
January 07 2014, 04:49PM
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This may be totally off-base, but I don't think its too far off. I truly think the reason so many Oilers fans are having absolute fits, and are demanding, screaming, begging for trades, moves, DO SOMETHING NOW, is that they don't have any patience left. It's been a long road, and their patience is gone--no more "wait, hold on, patience fans" for them.

And what makes that the case? The fact that they were sold a bill of goods, that with 3 #1 picks, with this huge injection of fantastic youthful players, that we would be in the hunt for the Cup before you know it. However, the years keep passing, and the Oilers are no closer to the Cup than they were when they started picking those #1's.

Who is to really say that even if the Oilers faithful reach deep, and find that patience to hold out for another 2-4 years, until the youthful fantastic D starts to arrive, that the Oilers won't STILL be terrible? Given how things have gone with the great picks/young studs so far, I dont think its too far out of line to question whether it wont be more of the same in 4 years "Just hold on, wait for Player X and Y to arrive, and then we'll really be something"

Enough is enough. The Oilers need to start winning, and ASAP. No more finishing in the basement. Frankly, I'd consider finishing in any less than the top half of the league next year an indictment on the current plan of patience & hope.

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#57 pkam
January 07 2014, 05:03PM
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Sisyphus wrote:

This may be totally off-base, but I don't think its too far off. I truly think the reason so many Oilers fans are having absolute fits, and are demanding, screaming, begging for trades, moves, DO SOMETHING NOW, is that they don't have any patience left. It's been a long road, and their patience is gone--no more "wait, hold on, patience fans" for them.

And what makes that the case? The fact that they were sold a bill of goods, that with 3 #1 picks, with this huge injection of fantastic youthful players, that we would be in the hunt for the Cup before you know it. However, the years keep passing, and the Oilers are no closer to the Cup than they were when they started picking those #1's.

Who is to really say that even if the Oilers faithful reach deep, and find that patience to hold out for another 2-4 years, until the youthful fantastic D starts to arrive, that the Oilers won't STILL be terrible? Given how things have gone with the great picks/young studs so far, I dont think its too far out of line to question whether it wont be more of the same in 4 years "Just hold on, wait for Player X and Y to arrive, and then we'll really be something"

Enough is enough. The Oilers need to start winning, and ASAP. No more finishing in the basement. Frankly, I'd consider finishing in any less than the top half of the league next year an indictment on the current plan of patience & hope.

I am one of those odd fans.

I look at the Pens rebuild. Didn't they draft MAF in 2002-2003, and after drafting 4 top 2 picks 4 years in a row, they still finished 2nd last and drafted Jordan Staal?

And if you look at Chicago, when they drafted Cam Barker 3rd overall in 2004, they already drafted Keith (2002) and Seabrook (2003). Then they made their 1st playoff in 2009, 7 years after they drafted Keith, or 5 years after they drafted Barker.

We are in the 4th year of the rebuild and we didn't have our own farm team to develop our young players before 2010. So what makes you think we can rebuild faster than the Pens and Hawks?

You can complain about the 4 years of no playoff before 2010, unfortunately it will not speed up the rebuild. If we can't make the playoff in 2015-16, then I will consider this rebuild a failure.

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#58 pkam
January 07 2014, 05:06PM
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Mac962 wrote:

Speaking of Katz ... is there a more uninvolved Owner in professional sports ? When was the last time he spoke ? Asking his wife what he is worth now does not count. Some Edmontonian [ Former ] you are Katz. We were better off with the 467 owners we had before. At least they cared.

Time for a BLOG strictly on our crap owner. The bottom line is he makes the final call on all things Oilers right ?? oh - wait , i forgot that why he has The Master Mind - The legend in his own Mind, the one, the only Kevin " 6 RINGS" Lowe.

Wonder how it feels walking around town Lowe knowing what pretty much everyone is thinking about you when they look at you. I'll tell you incase you didnt know. We wish you were a Calgarian.

Please tell me how many owners of the 30 NHL teams speak about their teams in public?

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#59 Bucknuck
January 07 2014, 05:08PM
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I am going out tonight so will miss the game. Part of me thinks that might be a blessing. The 6-0 thrashing scarred me a little.

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#61 Walter Sobchak
January 07 2014, 05:27PM
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I'm curious to see if there is a drop off in play from Hall or Hemsky?

I know players are pro's, but a part of me felt this was the only thing Hall & Hemsky really had left to play for (Oly team selection).

It's got to be painfull for the guys not to have anything to play for.

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#62 Naky
January 07 2014, 05:37PM
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Jason, are you sure you didn't accidentally swap your Obvious and Not So Obvious predictions around? Because that was my initial thought when I read them.

I would think it's fairly obvious that Ference/Gazdic would demonstrate push back tonight but that nobody else would, whereas I think I'd be surprised if Hall did get two points tonight. Or anyone else for that matter. This team isn't built to handle the heavy, skilled teams and their lack of an ability to score against them lately kind of proves that.

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#63 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
January 07 2014, 05:38PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

I'm curious to see if there is a drop off in play from Hall or Hemsky?

I know players are pro's, but a part of me felt this was the only thing Hall & Hemsky really had left to play for (Oly team selection).

It's got to be painfull for the guys not to have anything to play for.

If what you're saying is true......then there's a character problem.....they should be playing for professional pride.....striving each and every day to get better.....getting better a little each day now is how you position yourself to compete for a playoff spot 15 months from now......anything less and you don't deserve to have your name on Stanley. If they don't absolutely HATE being in the bottom 5 then we're screwed!

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#64 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
January 07 2014, 05:44PM
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Jason, missed the show today....what's the most interesting one or two things KLowe said about the current state of the Oilers or the plan moving forward in you opinion?

.p.s. When you come to a fork in the road...take it!

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#65 Rama Lama
January 07 2014, 05:48PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Not sure we saw the same thing. Backes yelled at him, "What are you going to do, what are you going to do." He didn't backdown or wilt away.

Gadzic just talked, and talk is cheap in that situation. I like Gazdic, but he nor any Oiler stood up to Backes.

Gazic is totally on his own out there most nights. He never complains about being the only tough guy defending the rights of all our small non-physical players.

Outside of Gazdic, we have no one else that will willingly play this role. Backes know this and is trying to take advantage of the situation .........in fact I contend every team know this and takes advantage of this. Gazic has to be intelligent and pick his spots, which he does very effectively.

I for one would never criticize his willingness to defend his team-mates..........sometimes these guys have reasons ( sore knuckles/shoulders/back) not to fight. There is enough criticism that can and should be placed on other players ........IMHO NOT Gazdic.

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#66 Oilerz4life
January 07 2014, 05:49PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

Oilers management were trying to outsmart the rest of the league by bringing in smaller skilled players for the new no clutch and grab NHL. It didn't work out...and now there is a price to pay.

The fix will be painful, the pain may come in the form of waiting several more years for youth to develop, it may come in the form of overpaying for what we need (overpaying meaning trading away the Yaks and Eberles and J. Schultzs and Klefboms) but make no mistake, there is a price to be paid and the pain is coming.

And it's not 2 or 3 bodies....it's 8 bodies minimum...probably 10. And it's not just positional, it's character.

I think we're going to start seeing empty seats at some point. It seems like the Edmonton fans have been such a consistently strong market that the Oilers organization has taken that for granted. Its painful to watch the opposition cycle the puck in our end at even strength and it looks like we're on the penalty kill, like trying to swat the puck away or sort of push against the puck holder. Hit somebody.

There is a short supply of character players in this current Oiler's line-up. I agree that the roster still needs major overhaul with Phanuef type players. But, when you say a price to be paid I wonder if that is also going to come in the form of empty seats at some point, because it doesn't seem like there's much patience left within the fan-base.

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#67 Zarny
January 07 2014, 05:54PM
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Until the Oilers have a couple of top 4 D and top 6 F who can play physical against 6'2" 225 lbs they'll struggle against the top teams. No point flogging a dead horse.

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#68 ToppsSmith
January 07 2014, 05:56PM
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Zarny wrote:

Until the Oilers have a couple of top 4 D and top 6 F who can play physical against 6'2" 225 lbs they'll struggle against the top teams. No point flogging a dead horse.

I always thought they were missing a 3rd line also. One they con put out and go toe to toe with a top line and not have to worry about it hurting them

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#69 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
January 07 2014, 06:01PM
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Zarny wrote:

Until the Oilers have a couple of top 4 D and top 6 F who can play physical against 6'2" 225 lbs they'll struggle against the top teams. No point flogging a dead horse.

I think it will take a lot more than that to contend....... And I'm old but the horse is not dead yet, and until it is I plan to continue flogging it.

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#70 Arius Mumin
January 07 2014, 06:06PM
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@Jason Gregor

I have a feeling Tyler Myers will be an Oiler sooner than later.

What do you believe the Oilers could get him for? Would they?

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#71 Oilerz4life
January 07 2014, 06:13PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

I think it will take a lot more than that to contend....... And I'm old but the horse is not dead yet, and until it is I plan to continue flogging it.

Speaking of dead yet, what happened to DSF, is he still alive?

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#72 Walter Sobchak
January 07 2014, 06:19PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

If what you're saying is true......then there's a character problem.....they should be playing for professional pride.....striving each and every day to get better.....getting better a little each day now is how you position yourself to compete for a playoff spot 15 months from now......anything less and you don't deserve to have your name on Stanley. If they don't absolutely HATE being in the bottom 5 then we're screwed!

I believe there is some truth in that, just as there is some in what you mention.

However, look at it from there point of view! The individual player is getting better( In this case Hall) it's not really about there character, if you've played your best but your team still sucks there is very little consolation in that.

After four years & your team is actually worse then when you first got drafted there is no doubt that complacency, apathy, & drive will be affected, it's human nature. I'm by no means saying that they will throw there hands up and give up, I'm just saying it's got to be extremely hard not to play for anything but pride.

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#73 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
January 07 2014, 06:22PM
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Oilerz4life wrote:

Speaking of dead yet, what happened to DSF, is he still alive?

Speaking of the one whose name can not be spoken....I'd guess 1) he's exhausted 2) he's posting on another site or, 3) he feels his job here is done....most posts here these days are anti-oiler establishment. I'm not missing him...you?

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#74 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
January 07 2014, 06:25PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

I believe there is some truth in that, just as there is some in what you mention.

However, look at it from there point of view! The individual player is getting better( In this case Hall) it's not really about there character, if you've played your best but your team still sucks there is very little consolation in that.

After four years & your team is actually worse then when you first got drafted there is no doubt that complacency, apathy, & drive will be affected, it's human nature. I'm by no means saying that they will throw there hands up and give up, I'm just saying it's got to be extremely hard not to play for anything but pride.

I agree with you Wes...it's a human nature thing.....I just think that the great one(s) had a drive that most don't....an obsession to be better...they seemed unrelenting.....but then I would be guilty of comparing Taylor Hall to some pretty rare birds....

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#75 Sisyphus
January 07 2014, 06:33PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

I agree with you Wes...it's a human nature thing.....I just think that the great one(s) had a drive that most don't....an obsession to be better...they seemed unrelenting.....but then I would be guilty of comparing Taylor Hall to some pretty rare birds....

At what point does this obsession to be better, to continually improve, drive someone to request a trade? Because you have to think that if Hall possesses this unrelenting, must-be-better spirit, that sooner or later he's going to realize the Oilers are just flat out BAD, and not getting any better. And if you really want to bring the compete every day, eventually you're going to get sick of losing all the same, and want to go somewhere where there is something to show for all your hard work and effort, more than just holding onto your dignity

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#76 Serious Gord
January 07 2014, 06:33PM
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gm_armchair wrote:

I see the Oilers win tonight..gonna go with 6-4, Hatty from Yakupov and another 2 goal game for Eberle.

Side note - Why can't countries ice more than one hockey team for the Olympics? Your allowed to do it with any other sports there so why not with Hockey? Canada could probably ice 3 very legit teams, go for Gold, Silver, and Bronze.

Not true. In all team sports only one team per nation is the rule.

Were I Barbados I would allow instant dual citizenship to a Canadian B team...

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#77 Serious Gord
January 07 2014, 06:36PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

4 man bob sled

But the team races as one entity...

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#78 Serious Gord
January 07 2014, 06:50PM
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GDP st Lou gets ahead early 3-0. Bryz then decides to mail it in 6-1 blues.

Neither dubnyk or Bryz should be signed. Start fresh there should be a few options out there.

Bonus GDP - jerseys will be thrown on the ice. Security will physically throw out the perpetrators and the oil will have a(nother) nasty PR mess on its hands.

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#79 hockey fan 1976
January 07 2014, 07:01PM
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Jersey Night!!! Jersey Night!!! say it with me Oilers fan...Fire Lowe!!! Fire Lowe!!! Jersey Night!!! Jersey Night!!!

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#80 Hauk15
January 07 2014, 07:05PM
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WHY IS BRAD HUNT PLAYING?? IS THERE SERIOUSLY NO BETTER OPTION THAN THIS 5'9 DEFENDER?? WTF!!!!! THIS ORGANIZATION IS REALLY STARTING TO PISS ME OFF!

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#81 Batfink
January 07 2014, 07:08PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Not sure we saw the same thing. Backes yelled at him, "What are you going to do, what are you going to do." He didn't backdown or wilt away.

Gadzic just talked, and talk is cheap in that situation. I like Gazdic, but he nor any Oiler stood up to Backes.

Strange, just talking isn't usually Gazdic's M.O. Not seen him back down from anyone yet...Even McGratten, who I think we can agree is tougher than Backes. Maybe following orders?

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#82 Freewheeling Freddie
January 07 2014, 07:22PM
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Big problem tonight you pummel Backes then Reaves will run roughshod over the rest Sit Gagner bring back Big Mac

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#83 Oilerz4life
January 07 2014, 07:31PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

Speaking of the one whose name can not be spoken....I'd guess 1) he's exhausted 2) he's posting on another site or, 3) he feels his job here is done....most posts here these days are anti-oiler establishment. I'm not missing him...you?

Not so much. Just wondering.

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#84 Zarny
January 07 2014, 07:34PM
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Neither Bryz nor Dubnyk are the solution in net; and it's time the Oilers get with the times.

Finland, Sweden and the US dominate G now and the Oilers are twiddling their thumbs with a Canadian drafted almost a decade ago. That doesn't mean ignore a G because he's Canadian; but when I go fishing I go where people have success. And the biggest fish in net these days aren't found in Canada. An unfortunate reality.

Hiller is sporting a 0.911 SV% on a team tied for 1st. He might be better than Bryz or Dubnyk but he also might not be good enough to win the Cup. Anh won't let him walk for nothing tho. Fasth might be easier and cheaper to get but Gibson is the real prize.

Regardless, the Oilers need to take a page out of Yzerman's playbook. He traded for Lindback and Bishop. One of them looks like a solution. Waiting for Brossoit isn't a plan even if he ends up a legit starter. Raanta, Lehner, Allen, Reimer, Fucale, Talbot, Jones, Lack. Even with Hiller go get one.

If there is one position a small market team that ranks above only Winnipeg and Buffalo for UFA destinations should focus on it's G.

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#85 Serious Gord
January 07 2014, 07:40PM
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Hitch needs to lose some weight or we are gonna lose hitch.

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#86 Serious Gord
January 07 2014, 07:46PM
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Blues = WoW

Just wow.

If the oil were this good there would be tailgate parties outside rexall and estate fights over bequeathed season ticket rights.

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#87 RexHolez
January 07 2014, 08:03PM
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Don't play too good tonight Stewart or you might end up here

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#88 Anton
January 07 2014, 08:04PM
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bwar wrote:

Every time I watch the Blues play I get a little bit closer to becoming a Blues fan. They have an unbelievable group of forwards and one of the best defensive groups in the game. They have hard working veterans mixed with youth that is talented and buying into the team. In my eyes I see them as a team built to win a Stanley Cup.

Blues will not win the Stanley Cup simply that if they have to play the same team more than twice at short stretch that other teams will figure them out.

Blues is a team full of overachievers but lack of a true leadership to take over the game when everything is on the line. Which is why they lost last year to Kings even when they had 2-0 game lead.

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#89 Serious Gord
January 07 2014, 08:12PM
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Anton wrote:

Blues will not win the Stanley Cup simply that if they have to play the same team more than twice at short stretch that other teams will figure them out.

Blues is a team full of overachievers but lack of a true leadership to take over the game when everything is on the line. Which is why they lost last year to Kings even when they had 2-0 game lead.

You are out of you mind.

The blues/kings playoff was one of THE great playoff series of the modern era. A true death match between two excellent,'physical teams. That one had to lose was a real shame and the winner was so banged up and exhausted that they couldn't go deeper into the playoffs.

The blues are in the top five. If they don't draw LA again they have an excellent to chance at winning it all.

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#90 RexHolez
January 07 2014, 08:17PM
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The Oilers have a Dman that's 200lbs? That's ludacris! Who is it? We need to get rid of him! He's probably too slow and can't pass the puck well enough!

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#91 Anton
January 07 2014, 08:17PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

You are out of you mind.

The blues/kings playoff was one of THE great playoff series of the modern era. A true death match between two excellent,'physical teams. That one had to lose was a real shame and the winner was so banged up and exhausted that they couldn't go deeper into the playoffs.

The blues are in the top five. If they don't draw LA again they have an excellent to chance at winning it all.

We will find out around June about if Blues are indeed a real deal or not just because they are playing against Oilers that made them look good.

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#92 RexHolez
January 07 2014, 08:30PM
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Can we bench Hemsky til the Olympics? He deserves better than to risk injury playing for this team.

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#93 Gk1980
January 07 2014, 09:05PM
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The laparrier goal went through the outside of the net! It should have been an 8-2 game not 9-2! What a bunch of bull!!!

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#94 Gk1980
January 07 2014, 09:05PM
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The laparrier goal went through the outside of the net! It should have been an 8-2 game not 9-2! What a bunch of bull!!!

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#95 **
January 07 2014, 09:09PM
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I would like to report a glitch in the Matrix.

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#96 Anton
January 07 2014, 09:11PM
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I have this question wondering for long time, why is Oilers' home ice referees for some reason just don't like Oilers?

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#97 Hauk15
January 07 2014, 09:12PM
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Everyone always says Oilers need new defense core, but I rarely see people discuss how bad our bottom six is. Oilers need a new bottom 6 with the exception of Boyd Gordon. Smyth's contract is up, time to retire. Hemsky is a top 6 player. Trade him for a tough player like Wayne Simmonds. Joensuu sucks. Jones is lazy doesn't play nearly as hard as he used to. Arcobello is small weak. We need big tough. Gazdic rarely finishes a check. Oilers need some Cal Clutterbuck or Steve Ott.

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#98 **
January 07 2014, 09:15PM
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RexHolez wrote:

The Oilers have a Dman that's 200lbs? That's ludacris! Who is it? We need to get rid of him! He's probably too slow and can't pass the puck well enough!

"That's ludacris!", yeah he's with his friends Vin Diesel and Tyrese!!!!

It is spelled ludicrous. Thank you, my work here is done.

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#99 Zarny
January 07 2014, 09:15PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

I believe there is some truth in that, just as there is some in what you mention.

However, look at it from there point of view! The individual player is getting better( In this case Hall) it's not really about there character, if you've played your best but your team still sucks there is very little consolation in that.

After four years & your team is actually worse then when you first got drafted there is no doubt that complacency, apathy, & drive will be affected, it's human nature. I'm by no means saying that they will throw there hands up and give up, I'm just saying it's got to be extremely hard not to play for anything but pride.

Except...the Oilers aren't worse than when Hall got drafted. That's actually quite silly to suggest. Indicative of losing all perspective in the midst of a perceived crisis.

The Oilers' top scorer in 2009-10 was Dustin Penner with 63 pts. Gagner and Brule were 2nd and 3rd with 41 and 37 respectively; although to be fair Hemmer had 22 pts in 22 games. Jeff Deslauriers started 48 games. Andrew Cogliano and Robert Nilsson were the other "prospects" on the team.

Step back from the ledge and stare into that abyss. That was ground zero. Soak it in to remember where this party started.

This year was unfortunate. We learned five 20 y/o with less than 200 games experience can't carry the worst blueline in the NHL and bad goal-tending.

Worse than 2009? Get a grip.

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#100 RexHolez
January 07 2014, 09:19PM
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** wrote:

"That's ludacris!", yeah he's with his friends Vin Diesel and Tyrese!!!!

It is spelled ludicrous. Thank you, my work here is done.

Hey thanks G bear! good know! Does the "G" stand for Grammar??

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