GDB 57.0: LOVE THAT DIRTY WATER

Lowetide
February 01 2014 08:16AM

After setting a modern day record for saves in a shutout since expansion, things should get tougher for Ben Scrivens. That's the life of an Edmonton Oilers goalie. 

OILERS-BRUINS CONNECTIONS

The history of the two teams is connected in so many ways, and of course they've met in the grandest games of all, the Stanley Cup Finals.

  • Oiler connections from the Bruins 1972 team: Ted Green (who would coach for the Oilers); Johnny Bucyk (from Edmonton, played for the Edmonton Flyers before going to the NHL); Garnet Bailey (scouted for the Oilers, also served as a minor league coach)
  • Bruins connections from the Oilers 1990 team: Glen Sather (began his NHL playing career as an Bruin); Ted Green (a top defenseman for the Bruins); Garnet Bailey (began his NHL playing career as a Bruin); Lorne Davis (played for the Bruins in the 1950's); Craig MacTavish (began his NHL playing career as a Bruin); Bill Ranford (began his NHL playing career as a Bruin)

Of course there are many other connections, but the two clubs are tied together by more than those two Stanley Cup finals.

SCRIVENS!

You've no doubt heard of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly? The Oilers coverage this season has been a whole lot of ugly, and the defensive side of the puck is job one in the coming off-season. However, Ben Scrivens stole a game the other night, one of a very few performances this season where the Oiler goalie ripped the heart from their opponent (Bachman!).

An NHL team needs that, especially a team like the Oilers. This season has been a lot about poor goaltending and a shameful power play, but the Scrivens acquisition is a good sign for the future.

Sign that man!

LINEUP

 

After that San Jose game, we know the name of the starting goalie. After that, I assume there will be changes, especially in light of the Mark Fraser pickup.

Andrew Ference may draw back in—I can't imagine wild horses keeping him away—so a 'best guess' at the lineup might be this:

Hall-RNH-Eberle
Perron-Gagner-Yakupov
Hendricks-Gordon-Jones
Gazdic-Smyth-Joensuu

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

Scrivens

Things I'm looking for today:

  • better coverage. Wow, man, they can't be that bad.
  • less running around in their own zone. The Oilers style of chasing the puck is much harder than positioning, surely they've learned this (over and over again).
  • a sleepy first period. This early game business usually results in a sputtering start.
  • Taylor Hall. That is all.
  • Boyd Gordon doing his usual spectacular work with little or no credit on the game broadcast.
  • That second line surprising with solid play.
  • A big crunching hit from Fraser in which he does not take a penalty and does not lose position.
  • A power-play goal from the Russian.

GAME DAY PREDICTION

  • GAME DAY PREDICTION: Boston, 6-3-1 in their last 10, might have a tough time with the upstart Oilers, 4-5-1 in their last 10. The Bruins have their share of wonky blue, and there aren't many Taylor Hall's in the eastern conference. A 3-2 OT win for the home team. 
  • OBVIOUS: Bruins physically dominate the Oilers, Chara scores, Lucic scores, Iginla scores and it's a 5-0 whitewashing that drives us to the malls shortly after noon local time.
  • NOT SO OBVIOUS: The Oilers skaters, shamed by the San Jose performance, return to the responsible play of the previous two games and win it in overtime, 3-2. Scrivens first-star again!

Do the Oilers leave a defenseman behind in Boston? We wait.  

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Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
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#51 emonkee
February 01 2014, 12:18PM
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yes there is a god...that was a kicking motion from Kreiji, phew

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#52 Andrew
February 01 2014, 12:19PM
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I hate to see the Oil overwhelmed. The "B's" are such a physical force. Even with the coming changes the Oil need to size up the top 6 and the trick will be to balance speed with strength and grit.

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#53 emonkee
February 01 2014, 12:22PM
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the 4th line is pretty bad today, hope Eakins scale down their minutes

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#54 Dan
February 01 2014, 12:22PM
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Ari Gold wrote:

Yes the refs are the reason the Oilers have only take 6 shots half way through this game.

Well then in your opinion the refs must have a shot quota before they call penalties. Makes sense.

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#55 kale
February 01 2014, 12:27PM
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man the oilers are seriously lacking hockey IQ today, low percentage passes, giveaways, playing Gagner....

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#56 Dan
February 01 2014, 12:29PM
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kale wrote:

man the oilers are seriously lacking hockey IQ today, low percentage passes, giveaways, playing Gagner....

Yeah its funny how they are giving Gagner way more ice time than he deserves to try to showcase him for a trade. But the only thing they are doing is making him look worse and giving up chances. Not many teams look at his play lately and think man that's the guy we need for 4.8 bills.

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#57 emonkee
February 01 2014, 12:30PM
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not sure if everyone is watching the game like me....that PP we just had...1st unit did ok..2nd unit stepped on..hemsky can't control the dump-in, puck got sent down, next possession, after the dump-in, puck was sent around to gagner on the right side, he can't control the puck, lost the zone, next possession, ference slaps the puck in from left side, with 3 oilers on the left side and only hemsky on the other end...why would ference do that? Then Hemsky spun around and try to do a behind-the-back pass to ference, kreiji picked off and create 3 on 2 chance...so many bad plays within 1 minute!!!

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#58 Dave
February 01 2014, 12:33PM
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I wish I could go back in time and listen to Gregor this past fall arguing that you don't need to build a winning team around a great goalie.

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#59 emonkee
February 01 2014, 12:34PM
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holy @#$@, just as I typed the last post, these guys keep making bad plays one after another...hall is deep enough in the zone in the PP, did a stupid drop pass all the way to JSchultz, hard to blame him coughing up the puck when someone is charging at him, thank goodness Scrivens defended the breakaway...this team just never learn...nothing Eakins can do....just plain lack of awareness of simple plays by the oilers, sigh!

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#60 Randaman
February 01 2014, 12:36PM
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Alsker wrote:

Wow they got an obvious one right!!! Question is how is he allowed to stand there all alone?

Three guesses. Gagner again on his knees because any type of defence escapes this idiot. I'm to important to play defence and my teeth might get worse. Trade this fool for a bag of pucks and move on. I HATE Gagme!!!

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#61 Johnnydapunk
February 01 2014, 12:37PM
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Slats wrote:

Any live stream for the Bruins game?....

Cricfree is pretty good too, pretty well every sport you can think of there and as a bonus, all English :-p

Cricfree TV

It's has all the UK and Canadian sports channels and other stuff too.

Enjoy!

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#62 Dan
February 01 2014, 12:49PM
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Randaman wrote:

Three guesses. Gagner again on his knees because any type of defence escapes this idiot. I'm to important to play defence and my teeth might get worse. Trade this fool for a bag of pucks and move on. I HATE Gagme!!!

The only way the Oilers will get rid of Gags is if they eat more than half his contract. Seems like that might wake katz up when he has to pay over 10 mill to fix a mistake.

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#63 dougtheslug
February 01 2014, 12:53PM
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i'm thinking they could play this game until next Tuesday and the Oilers wouldn't get a good scoring chance, let alone a goal

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#64 Dan
February 01 2014, 01:08PM
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Nice to see gagner chewing on his mouth guard and trying to get his stick in the way instead of taking the body on Hamiltons goal. He has turned into the weakeat oiler ever.

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#65 Ari Gold
February 01 2014, 01:13PM
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This is painful to watch. I have an overwhelming sense of embarrassment while watching this team. It's almost unbearable yet I can't look away.

How can they be so bad?

How come they aren't learning?

Can't they figure it out by playing these great teams like SJ and Bos?

Where is this problem originating from?

I'm so happy I'm a Seahawks fan too.

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#66 Newj
February 01 2014, 01:14PM
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Randaman wrote:

Three guesses. Gagner again on his knees because any type of defence escapes this idiot. I'm to important to play defence and my teeth might get worse. Trade this fool for a bag of pucks and move on. I HATE Gagme!!!

Last game when the shut out was on the line (but the win seemed locked up) I was beside myself whenever Gagner was on the ice. I figured for sure he was good for a give away that would nullify the shut out. He did manage to throw it up the middle but Scrivens saved his ass once again.

The guy is a bloody turnover machine.

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#67 Randaman
February 01 2014, 01:15PM
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Dan wrote:

The only way the Oilers will get rid of Gags is if they eat more than half his contract. Seems like that might wake katz up when he has to pay over 10 mill to fix a mistake.

Everybody always balks at the thought of using the one buy-out remaining but this must be used on Gagner. He is dragging this team down because he only shows some effort in the offensive zone but absolutely zero effort in the defensive zone. This and he still gets the ice time. This has to be getting noticed by others on the bench. How is that good for the team. He has to be gone before next year or this team will go nowhere. That I am willing to guarantee! Oh, and fire Smith & Bucky. They look so lost back there. Sad

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#68 Randaman
February 01 2014, 01:17PM
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Ari Gold wrote:

This is painful to watch. I have an overwhelming sense of embarrassment while watching this team. It's almost unbearable yet I can't look away.

How can they be so bad?

How come they aren't learning?

Can't they figure it out by playing these great teams like SJ and Bos?

Where is this problem originating from?

I'm so happy I'm a Seahawks fan too.

I only trashed you because I'm a Bronco's fan

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#69 Dan
February 01 2014, 01:17PM
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What happened to Eakins accountability statement. It seems like gagner is getting more minutes than anyone this game. Every time I look he's on the ice.

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#70 dougtheslug
February 01 2014, 01:19PM
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These games fill me with despair. They just show how far Oilers are from being a mediocre team, let alone a team with aspirations to being a cup contender.

Sure they can beat San Jose when they give up 100 shot attempts and get a once in a decade goaltending performance.

But watching how effortlessly the Bruins are able to deal with this team, it really seems hopeless.

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#71 Randaman
February 01 2014, 01:21PM
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For the people that trash the negative posts about Gagner, please enlighten me as to what he brings to the team at all. I challenge you to find a positive. Just one! Good luck

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#72 emonkee
February 01 2014, 01:21PM
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nothing scrivens can do on that broken play...

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#73 Randaman
February 01 2014, 01:23PM
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@Dan

This isn't Eakins call. MacT is calling that one so he can try to correct his screw up with that contract and verbal NTC we hear about.

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#74 Johnnydapunk
February 01 2014, 01:26PM
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And it's back to the Oil I know...

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#75 emonkee
February 01 2014, 01:27PM
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HORRIBLE job by jones, he tried to slide and block the puck, instead he slid past the D, got trapped, and bam bam bam...score....gonna stop watching now...

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#76 dougtheslug
February 01 2014, 01:29PM
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Just going outside to see if I can throw my Oiler jersey from here to Boston

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#77 Johnnydapunk
February 01 2014, 01:34PM
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It's games like this that only emphasise the issue the Oil have, even with a stellar goalie (Scrivens played fine) they will still lose because their defence is pants.

I guess the only thing that this game was good for is exposing the weakness the Oil have, making it once again, glaringly obvious.

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#78 emonkee
February 01 2014, 01:36PM
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Johnnydapunk wrote:

It's games like this that only emphasise the issue the Oil have, even with a stellar goalie (Scrivens played fine) they will still lose because their defence is pants.

I guess the only thing that this game was good for is exposing the weakness the Oil have, making it once again, glaringly obvious.

I agree, defence from forwards and defensemen were atrocious....wonder if these guys ever sit in the video room going over their own mistakes...

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#79 Mason Storm
February 01 2014, 01:36PM
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There's those 41 shots that San Jose missed the other night. Scrivens must be tired by now. I've seen better beer league defences. Ference should expect some sympathy texts after this debacle

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#80 Randaman
February 01 2014, 01:40PM
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I did something new and muted the sound so I didn't have to listen to Quinn & his monkey call the game. Best decision of the weekend so far. Three more before the break. Three more losses before the break. I can't wait for the Olympics to watch some real hockey. We deserve it after this sh!t show we get to watch day in and day out

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#81 cubsfan
February 01 2014, 01:43PM
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hahaha......why do opposing teams and gene keep talking about talented oilers players.....i watched this game and didnt see any such thing.....a couple above average......maybe....then, a lot of less than mediocre players.....ive lik alot of mac T moves,,,,but that gagner contract now looks like a big mistake. we r stuck with him.....ill give him the benefit of doubt.....and chalk it up to him not being the same since his jaw was crushed....

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#82 freelancer
February 01 2014, 01:48PM
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Watching that game, once again it could have easily ended 5-0 for Boston. Can't blame Scrivens for any of those, second was kind of unfortunate. I think MacT has to make a bold defenseman signing before he has any chance of re-signing Scrivens.

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#83 Eulers
February 01 2014, 01:49PM
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Well, the only thing good about that game was streaming it on NHL Gamecenter Live over Roku on an actual TV. I'd only watched on a laptop or on a TV with a laptop-quality stream before and the difference was amazing. Such is the life of an ex-pat Oiler fan. Now, I can see every brown spot as the Oilers soil the sheets!!

Anyone going to the Buffalo game? Just got 1st row seats for 68$ on stubhub. This is less than the last row prices in Chicago at least. Should be fun! You can watch the Super Bowl on Sunday followed by the Toilet Bowl on Monday night!

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#84 kale
February 01 2014, 01:55PM
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"we are disappointed and thats the key"...seriously Steve?...no the key is to score goals and win...it is no wonder...

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#85 madjam
February 01 2014, 02:00PM
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Unfortunately , we looked like a last place team today . Totally looked outclassed and never into the game . Really makes you wonder if we can ever become a top notch club with the fab 5 with Gagner and Hemsky . Games like these make it seem that mix is never going to work down the line . Getting very apprehensive about our commitment to fab 5 , they just don't seem to have it against the bigger stronger teams . maybe they should split them up ?

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#86 Johnnydapunk
February 01 2014, 02:06PM
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emonkee wrote:

I agree, defence from forwards and defensemen were atrocious....wonder if these guys ever sit in the video room going over their own mistakes...

It's like the Oilers are combining the defensive skills of the 80s Oil, with the offensive prowess of the 90s Devils, and it's so many levels of wrong.

If the forwards don't want to play defence, they better score. I don't care of the Oil allow 40 shots a game and let in 6 goals, as long as they score 7, I'm fine with that.

I don't want to jump on the Bandwagon, but the Oil need to trade a kid for a proper D man and try to sign another one. Spend the money on keeping Scrivens, bring up Bachman, and with the money saved, that should be enough to overpay a defenceman to come here.

It's early, but from what I have seen, Scrivens is fine, it doesn't matter who is between the pipes when the defence is this bad.

And while I'm on this rant, Ference comes back, Oil lose and he is -2, I was alright with the signing in the summer, but now I also see how good the Bruins defence was/is collectively and Ference is being badly exposed now.

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#87 oilersd
February 01 2014, 02:13PM
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@dougtheslug

No the Oilers did not look very good today. But Give Boston credit. They are probably the most structured defensive team in the league. They are very very good at isolating opponents to create turnovers and taking away lanes in the middle of the ice. Besides being big and heavy they are ridonkulously disciplined in their positioning. I think it still comes down to the Oilers upping there own focus and discipline within the system they play. That requires experience. The other thing they need is "man strength". Also takes time to acquire. That and couple of those bold moves by the gm. It will come.

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#88 The Last Big Bear
February 01 2014, 02:31PM
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Looks like its time for another overpaid defence-only bottom-6 addition. Probably another depth defender too.

Not quite time yet to panic and bring in another backup goalie, but things could reach that point by as early as the offseason.

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#89 D-Unit
February 01 2014, 02:43PM
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Randaman wrote:

Everybody always balks at the thought of using the one buy-out remaining but this must be used on Gagner. He is dragging this team down because he only shows some effort in the offensive zone but absolutely zero effort in the defensive zone. This and he still gets the ice time. This has to be getting noticed by others on the bench. How is that good for the team. He has to be gone before next year or this team will go nowhere. That I am willing to guarantee! Oh, and fire Smith & Bucky. They look so lost back there. Sad

Would have to be a standard buy out.

Per Elliotte Friedman this week:

29. I haven't done it publicly, thank goodness, but I believed teams could use compliance buyouts on any player under contract. That's not true. Anyone signed post-lockout is not eligible. Adjust your wagers accordingly.

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#90 cccsberg
February 01 2014, 03:53PM
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Andrew wrote:

I hate to see the Oil overwhelmed. The "B's" are such a physical force. Even with the coming changes the Oil need to size up the top 6 and the trick will be to balance speed with strength and grit.

Absolutely, the Oilers were completely manhandled by the B's. They didn't/weren't able to use their speed and were generally flicked off puck battles all night.

This core is uncompetitive against the best teams out there and no amount of tinkering around the edges is going to change that.

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