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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#1 Andrew
February 01 2014, 08:56AM
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Pairing Fraser with Schultz sr. for his first audition may be difficult for Fraser to play his best before his new coach and GM. Nick Shultz would be an epic fail if he was paired with Orr. I like the recent moves to bring players in who know their own game and play it out each shift.

Mac is still only nibbling at the efges of the problem. The size, speed and skill of the top six must be dealt with. They are mostly boys playing against men. The question is when is the best time to deal with it. Now or the off-season ? I wonder if Mac actually thinks he can get away with buying a cashmere sweater with a red dot on it and expect no one to notice? There are too many AHLer's on this team already. Jerking around 6/7th D and the bottom 6 forwards will not build a credible contending team. IMO.

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#2 God
February 01 2014, 08:34AM
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The Oil matchup terribly with a team like the Bs. I still wonder why the team is so obviously bad on the boards, in all zones! I think the Bs will eat them alive today. It'll be a blood bath.

Who's the girl??

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#3 Serious Gord
February 01 2014, 10:39AM
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All signs point to a bruins win;

Dreadful play by oil last game cannot be masked by Scrivens twice in a row. Big vs small Afternoon in Boston

5-2 bruins.

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#4 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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#5 vetinari
February 01 2014, 08:26AM
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I really, really don't which Oiler team is going to show up on this road trip... The scrappy, talented underdogs or the passive, defense-challenged pylons?

GDP: somewhere between 6-1 Bruins to 4-3 Oilers

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#6 wintoon
February 01 2014, 09:11AM
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Looking at the projected line up for Edmonton and aside from the obvious weakness on defence, I am overwhelmed by the black hole that is 2C. This player has one year of experience 7 times, can't/won't play effective defensively, can't win a face off and is a marshmallow on skates. On top of that he plays "cutesy hockey". A drop pass here, a drop pass there. The problem is that the young players on the Oilers see him doing these things and they start to do the same. MacT - please trade him.

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#7 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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#8 Retsinnab5
February 01 2014, 08:44AM
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The Professor does it again!

3-1 Oilers

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#9 "Frank the dog"
February 01 2014, 08:49AM
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I'm asking for commitment today mixed with a healthy amount of discipline - short, crisp passes, good positioning, strong back checking, limited passes to the opposition. All of this by the Oilers.

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#10 Drowning in Oil
February 01 2014, 09:20AM
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About to begin my Edmonton Oiler game day ritual.

Before the game...... Believe there is hope. Crack a beer.

After the 1st period...... Believe in a comeback. Bring out the rum.

After the 2nd period...... Just pray for something positive in the 3rd. More liquor.

After the game....... Recite Dennis Green in his famous "Bears" quote. "they are who we thought they were", and keep drinking to kill the pain.

Here's hoping!!

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#11 Robert Fraser
February 01 2014, 10:54AM
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Even though I'm not related to Mark Fraser I predict his grit and nastiness will make a huge impact on the game and get the boys in Copper and Blue to start getting more physical. Only way to beat the Bruins is to beat them at their own game.....Speed, grind, grit, and determination.

GO OILERS!

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#12 Romanus
February 01 2014, 11:08AM
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Gene's puns are wearing very thin on me. Hope we get a new crew next year.

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#13 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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#14 God
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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#15 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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#16 Johe
February 01 2014, 08:44AM
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The Oil outplayed the Bruins last time around. Here's hoping we see more of the same today. And watch out for Hall. I think he's about to explode.

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#17 TayLordBalls
February 01 2014, 08:56AM
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We learn wisdom from failure much more than from success.

We often discover what will do, by finding out what will not do; and probably he who never made a mistake never won a Stanley Cup.

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#18 oilerjed
February 01 2014, 09:18AM
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Oilers tweeted Fraser in Hemsky back and Ference back in. Oh yeah and Acro was sent down.

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#19 Spydyr
February 01 2014, 09:20AM
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Ginny wrote:

Amy Adams, who can actually act when she's not just sitting around looking good.

Yeah, her boobs starred in American Hustle.

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#20 oilerjed
February 01 2014, 09:26AM
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Hopefully Hemsky has a GREAT audition today, I would hate for him to miss a starring role in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

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#21 Johe
February 01 2014, 10:42AM
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Fraser with Ference. Schultz with Schultz. Marincin with Petry.

Hemsky with Gordon and Hendricks. Jones taking. Joensuu's spot on the fourth.

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#22 Dan
February 01 2014, 12:08PM
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Nice to see the refs giving gifts to Boston and ignoring blatant penalties by Boston.

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#23 Dan
February 01 2014, 12:22PM
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God 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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#24 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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#25 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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#26 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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#27 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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#28 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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#29 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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#30 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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#31 Ginny
February 01 2014, 08:50AM
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God wrote:

The Oil matchup terribly with a team like the Bs. I still wonder why the team is so obviously bad on the boards, in all zones! I think the Bs will eat them alive today. It'll be a blood bath.

Who's the girl??

Amy Adams, who can actually act when she's not just sitting around looking good.

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#32 Littleconer
February 01 2014, 09:18AM
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Chara will not score - he's a giraffe on skates. Easy to predict that Fraser will do his level best to change Don Cherry's opinion of The Oil. Also a given that the Oiler's defensive game will improve over the unmitigated disaster we witnessed two days ago. I'm hoping the fourth line earns more ice time, but no predictions on the play of any Oiler aside from Baby Nuge, Hall, Marty Marincin and Ben the Giant. I expect they'll have good games. The rest? Too damn inconsistent to make any individual predictions. I will go out on a limb and call a 4-3 win for the underdogs.

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#33 Spydyr
February 01 2014, 09:23AM
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OGBP: Someone bumps Scrivens, Fraser lets it be known that does not fly here anymore. He pummels the guy.

About f-ing time.

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#34 book¡e
February 01 2014, 10:26AM
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I think LT broke the rules, or at least good form, with his Game Day Prediction, OGDP, and NSOGDP.

I they all have to work together.

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#35 pkam
February 01 2014, 11:09AM
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LT,

Your GDP: home team win 3-2 OT. OGDP: Bruins physically dominate the Oilers and it's a 5-0 whitewashing. NSOGDP: the Oilers win it in overtime, 3-2. Scrivens first-star again!

Looks like you already have more beer than nunyour this morning.

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#36 kgo
February 01 2014, 11:18AM
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haven't seen a replay of the gazzy fight, but my hands hurt from clapping so hard when i saw thornton's blood

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#37 D-Unit
February 01 2014, 12:12PM
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5 shots on 25 minutes. Really how does that happen.

I am sure if someone in the media asks Eakins about it, he could put some sort of spin on it, to say a perfect game has no shots, cause you want to maintain puck possession, and when you shoot you give up possession. Like a perfect game has no hits.

But, no one ever seems to ask him tough questions. Or when they ask Eakins he spins the question like a politician and never answers what was asked, and the media doesn't try again or call him on it.

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#38 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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#39 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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#40 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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#41 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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#42 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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#43 Johnnydapunk
February 01 2014, 01:26PM
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And it's back to the Oil I know...

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#44 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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#45 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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#46 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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#47 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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#48 Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate
February 01 2014, 08:29AM
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Great, a morning start

*a shot for each turnover

I'll be drunk by Noon.

* part of the drinking game my buds and I play when we watch this team

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#49 John Chambers
February 01 2014, 08:32AM
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vetinari wrote:

I really, really don't which Oiler team is going to show up on this road trip... The scrappy, talented underdogs or the passive, defense-challenged pylons?

GDP: somewhere between 6-1 Bruins to 4-3 Oilers

All I really hope for is for this team to channel the teams from 96-99 and again in spring '08 when still outmatched the team could get by on scrappy, dutiful play and occasionally get a boost from spectacular goaltending.

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#50 Bi-Curious Gord
February 01 2014, 08:54AM
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Could be a chippy afternoon affair. Bruins were owned at home last game by the Habs. Lucic might be looking for a rematch with GAZDIC. Oil struggle with afternoon games. I'm expecting an ugly one...

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