OGDB 5.0: ONE WORD

Jason Gregor
February 21 2014 01:00AM

Just win

Today, the outcome is all that matters.
It doesn't matter if only Drew Doughty and Shea Weber score, as long as Canada wins.
It won't matter if Sidney Crosby is held pointless, as long as Canada wins.
Shots totals won't matter, as long as Canada wins.
It won't matter that through the first 4 games USA has 20 goals and Canada 13, as long as Canada scores more today.

The WIN is all that matters.

All of us hockey fans love to analyze the game, especially in Edmonton where we've had to suffer through eight seasons of losing hockey. Man's natural instinct is to solve a problem, and that is why OilersNation is the busiest site of the NationNetwork family. You've been focused on finding a way to end the losing, but today is one of those rare occasions where your inner fan will block out the need to analyze.

At 10 a.m. MST we will sit down and watch "our boys" dominate the United States of America.

Today's game is all about pride for our country and enjoying every heart-pounding moment.

We could break down shots for/against, powerplays, penalty kills, goals and more, but the previous four games have zero impact on today's game. How Canada played against mainly inferior opponents means little in how they will attack the Americans.

I've thoroughly enjoyed the Sochi Olympics. I'm an extremely proud Canadian, and I've had a mixture of emotions watching the games thus far.

WINNERS...

small5

February 8th:

I was pumped watching Regina's Mark McMorris win our first medal, Bronze in Slopestyle.

Later that day, I almost teared up watching the Dufour-Lapointe sisters, Justine and Chloe, win Gold and Silver in moguls. It was the first time two Canadian siblings stood atop the podium, while their older sister Maxine finished 12th, but she beamed with pride when her younger sisters received their medals. Sharing that moment with your sibling must have made it incredibly special.

February 9th:

Kevin Reynolds had the skate of his life to help secure Canada a Silver in Team Figure Skating. It was great watching athletes who usually compete on their own or in pairs, get to be in a team atmosphere. You could tell they loved being part of a team and cheering for each other.

February 10th:

Charles Hamelin raced to Gold in the men's 1500m in long track speed skating. Many felt it would be the first of many medals for Hamelin, but sports can be cruel and Hamelin never reached the podium again. He fell in the 1000m and 500m and his brother slipped in the 5000m relay. You realized afterwards how special the 1500m win was for him.

Then Alex Bilodeau made history by becoming the first person to win back-to-back Gold medals in moguls. Watching him brought back fond memories of his 2010 victory in Vancouver. He was the first Canadian to stand at the top of the podium on home soil, and I remember his interview with Brian Williams where he talked so passionately about his inspiration; his older brother Frederic, who has Cerebral Palsy. Winning a Gold medal is incredible, but to defend your title four years later is truly amazing.

Bilodeau's teammate Mikael Kingsbury won Silver that night, and he will be a favourite in 2018. It was special to watch the present and future of men's moguls share the podium.

February 11th:

Our Gold medals kept coming as Dara Howell won Slopestyle skiing and her teammate Kim Lamarre won bronze. In the first four days we had multiple winners on the podium in three sports. It was awesome.

February 12th:

The great stories kept coming. Gilmore Junio made a very selfless decision by giving up his spot in the men's 1000m long track to teammate Denny Morrison. Morrison didn't let him down and won Silver. Afterwards Morrison suggested Junio should carry the flag in the closing ceremonies. I agreed then and I still do now. He was the ultimate teammate.

February 13th:

Patrick Chan won the Silver in figure skating, but he missed a great chance to win our first ever Gold in men's singles. I felt for him, but I thought he handled the post-skate pressers and subsequent interviews with class and maturity. I'm sure he was devastated inside, but it never showed, and for me that illustrated his character. Top notch.

February 15th: Morrison was back on the ice and won his second medal, this time a Bronze in the 1500m. The Dutch have dominated the long track events this year, except when Morrison was on the ice. Hopefully he inspired some young Canadians to put on a different pair of skates.

February 16th: Dominique Maltais had a great race in my favourite winter Olympics sport, Snowboard Cross, and won a Silver. It is like Nascar on ice. The crashes are spectacular and you need to be fearless to win. I love this event.

Jan Hudec ended a 20-year drought for men's Alpine skiing with a gritty Bronze medal effort in the Super-G. Hudec could barely walk a few weeks ago due to a herniated disc, but he persevered and restored the "Crazy Canuck" title.

February 17th: Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue skated beautifully and won a Silver in Ice Dance. They could have bought into the conspiracy theories of fixed judging, but instead chose to relish their medals and congratulate the winners. Classy.

February 18th: Sherwood Park's Mike Riddle won Silver in the inaugural ski halfpipe. He won his medal in snowy conditions and he scored a 90 on his 2nd run facing immense pressure. It is always inspiring to see athletes embrace the pressure rather than let it beat them.

Marie-Eve Drolet, Jessica Hewitt, Valerie Maltais and Marianne St-Gelais raced to a Silver in short track 3000m relay. St-Gelais and Maltais had crashed in their individual events, but they responded when their teammates needed them most.

February 19th: Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse defended their Gold medal in bobsled. They were 2nd heading into the final run, but they put down a great time and put the pressure on the American team. They couldn't match Canada's consistency and finished .10 behind. It turns out this wouldn't be our last repeat performance.

February 20th: Jennifer Jones and her team of Kaitlyn Lawes, Jill Officer, Dawn McEwen and alternate Kirsten Wall went 11-0 en route to their Gold medal in curling. It was Canada's first gold medal in women's curling since the late Sandra Schmirler won in 1998. It was nice to see Canada's curlers back where they belong: at the top of the podium.

Our women's hockey team completed the 4-peat with a dramatic come-from-behind 3-2 victory over the USA. The best part about sports is how unpredictable they can be. USA led 2-0 with less than four minutes to play, but the women scored twice to send it to overtime, before Marie-Philip Poulin scored the OT winner. Poulin scored the tying goal and she had two goals in the Gold medal win in 2010. In hockey circles we call that "clutch."

February 21st: For the 3rd time in Sochi we won Gold and Silver in the same event. Marielle Thompson and Kelsey Serwa led from start to finish in women's ski cross. They dominated their preliminary heats as well, and this was one of the rare times in ski or snowboard cross that you could relax and see Canada skiing to victory. Thompson and Serwa had great starts and were never in trouble. 

Hopefully it was foreshadowing to what will be a great Friday for Canada.

EXCITEMENT....

I honestly won't feel more pride when (yes I said when, not if) we win Gold in men's hockey, than I did watching our other athletes win, but I do admit it is a different feeling.

In the other events there is a massive rush of nerves and excitement for anywhere between 30 seconds and five minutes, but in hockey your angst and excitement lasts over two hours. That is what makes it so exciting and nerve wracking. I don't rate the hockey medals any higher, but due to the length of the games they have a way of penetrating our system for longer periods of time, and I think that makes the victories feel bigger.

We have already won 22 medals, and Brad Jacob's curling team should have another Gold before puck drop, and we have four Canadians in contention on the last day of short track speed skating.

I've really enjoyed these Olympics so far, but the passion, excitement, nervousness will intensify once the puck is dropped, and I can't wait.

LINEUP

Kunitz-Crosby-Bergeron
Benn-Getzlaf-Perry
Marleau-Toews-Carter
Sharp-Duchene-Nash
St.Louis

Keith-Weber
Vlasic-Doughty
Bouwmeester-Pietrangelo
Hamhuis

Price

I don't see any reason Babcock should juggle his lines now. He will shuffle during the game, mainly to get St.Louis involved, but as Theo Fleury told me earlier this week, "This is an easy game for a coach. Don't give the players too much information, just let them do what they do best. Motivation will not be an issue."

The main reason Canada wins today is because their blueline is significantly better than the Americans. It isn't close.

TODAY...

p80800711

GAME DAY PREDICTION: Canada wins. That is all that matters.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Canada wins.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: After another tough loss to Canada at the Olympics the Americans decide to change from Fahrenheit to Celsius. They realize that in order to be a true hockey Nation you have to experience minus temperatures, not 10 or 12 degrees Fahrenheit.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR 

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#51 Mark
February 24 2014, 12:31AM
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@GoCanadaGo

You think any fan can host a radio show? You know nothing about the industry then. You have no idea how to interview or do prep or likely know all the stats off the top of your head. Your ignorance to what it takes to do the job is quite laughable.

You also think a play by play person is provided with stats. They spend hours prepping for the games and talking to players.coaches etc to get info. Thinking any fan could do it is ridiculous.

Again you show your ignorance by not understanding how the radio business works. Gregor doesn't work for the station. He owns his show. They don't pay him, he is a freelancer. This isn't a secret. He is the only guy talented enough or driven enough to do that.

Has no journalistic chops yet the Journal and Oilersnation hired him. Once again you don't seem to understand that means he has a good rep and is good at his job and other outlets want him writing for them.

Because none of the other ones have scoops on the Esks or other sports. Pretty simple to see, and if you don't like his stuff don't read it. Pretty simple

Now it makes sense…you are a fan boy of that other site, run by the amateurs who take pot shots at main stream media guys all the time. You fit right in. You have shown in four straight posts you don't understand the business or what it takes to do the job.

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#52 Fresh Mess
February 21 2014, 09:28AM
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Amazing job by the Canadian men's curling rink to bring home another gold. Canada is now second in medal standings with 9 gold. What an awesome showing by our athletes.

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#53 Gofucoffee
February 21 2014, 09:56AM
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Added incentive? Just heard loser has to keep Justin Bieber! Hahaha.

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#54 tabs
February 21 2014, 10:42AM
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@pkam

Great 1st period by the boyz, I thought Rick Nash & Jeff Carter and Shea Weber were exceptional

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#55 BringBackSlats
February 21 2014, 10:54AM
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Can anyone just run Kesler over... It would make my year. Doughty would be perfect.

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#56 james_dean
February 21 2014, 12:19PM
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Props up top.

Suck it kesler suck it kessel

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#57 toprightcorner
February 21 2014, 03:16PM
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Perfectly executed game by Canada, poetry on ice!

Watching that game showed everything the Oilers are not doing. Not only were there no turnovers at the blue line but they didn't even attempt a play that could potentially cause a turn over at the blueline or give up and odd man rush.

Less turnovers entering the offensive zone means way more possession time. Canada had the puck 65% of the time.

I can totally see why Hall was not on the team as he and Eberle constantly make high risk decisions entering the zone and turn it over giving up odd man rushes. Even if they have the zone they make risky choices near the blueline.

Sure, you may not like it or trash me but until Hall stops making risk plays that turn over the puck he will not be considered elite. I hope he noticed that watching the game today and realizes that difference.

He easily has what it takes, he just needs to focus on that and the next 25 games is the perfect time as the games mean nothing so forget the offence and focus on the smart plays.

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#58 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
February 21 2014, 04:12PM
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BringBackSlats wrote:

KLowe again on his Crackberry... It's uncanny. By my count for the 7 times they've flashed upstairs to The Braintrust, 6 rings has had his head down and on the phone. And every time Stevie Y is right behind him staring down at the ice like the way he'd look all those times he was about to take a faceoff against Sakic in a playoff battle. That guy does "know a little something about winning". I'm sure he's less than impressed with Kevin's focus. Maybe the man in the moulded Micron's is taking offers from half the GM's in the league wanting to trade their rosters for ours?

He's watching highlights of his career on a continuous loop.......but seriously, I hope every one of those occasions was MacT texting the details of a pending deal!

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#59 michael
February 21 2014, 05:23PM
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Zarny wrote:

Great performance. Showed how critical a top pairing D that can shut down the best F in the world really is.

That is what the Oilers are missing and need. Not different "systems" or coaching or someone else running the hot dog stand.

Couldn't agree more. Now Z name the team,the player and what you think it will take. Because here is my thought. Not a single GM with any brain will trade that guy away. Ever. And don't say Pronger. I want a dman you can name from the NHL today.

The Oilers will have to either develop one like Nashville has done by drafting a guy like Nurse/Klefbom/Marincin/Eckblad? and hoping to hell that they'll be a number 1 dman.

Number 1 dmen of Shea Weber ilk are once a generation. Its like finding a diamond in a mountain of cow poo.

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#60 Rod from Viking
February 21 2014, 06:48PM
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Watched the game at 7:00am local time in a bar in Waikiki, it was awesome 70% Canadian fans, 10% USA watching the game and 20% people from Asia watching the surfing and wondering what in the hell was wrong with us. Next up Sunday at 1:00 am for the gold. The defense Canada used was so simple, keep yourself between the puck and the opposition, come on Oilers, not that difficult.

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#61 Stamsky Hemkos
February 21 2014, 08:07PM
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Just 3 words... Suck it Burke!

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#62 toprightcorner
February 21 2014, 08:25PM
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Smokey wrote:

Watching todays game, all I could think of was how good Hall would of looked playing. Hall and Eberle would look alot better with a rock solid defence, and we got stop thinking they are selfish. All Hall has ever done here is tried to do is make plays often outta nothing. Put him in the right system and we are not talking about his selfish play and turnovers.

I never said that Hall or Eberle are selfish, they are both far from it. They just need to make the smart play entering the offensive zone or when inside the offensive zone and making plays close to the blueline. If there is a chance to give up an odd man rush then don't make the play. Make the safe play when at the blue line and you retain possession and opportunity for more scoring chances.

Perfect example from todays game is Getzlaf was on the half boards high near the blue line and was pressured, he could have pushed it back to Doughty but he wouldn't have had much room with the attacker coming or he could have went across the ice to Weber but there was another USA guy in the vicinity to potentially pick off the pass so he took the safe play and banked it off the boards to Perry, drawing the attacker low and Perry gave it back to Getzlaf who had more time and space and went to Benn in the slot who had a great scoring chance. Instead of taking a chance and giving up an odd man rush or even lose possession, the safe play created the scoring chance. Hall or Eberle would have (which they do a lot) is try the cross ice pass to the dman and sometimes they make it sometimes they are trying to catchup on the 2 on 1 they gave up.

Suter did a similar smart play on a PP wen he wanred to go across ice to a a player that was about 15' inside the line but Bergeron was up high and not likely to intercept the pass but a possibility, instead Suter played it safe and passed it across but banked it off the boards to ensure Bergeron would have no chance of a potential SH breakaway. They instead kept possession and Kessel ended up with a good scoring chance.

Smart plays to unsure continued possession can lead to more scoring chances and reduce give aways. Hall and Ebs try to force offensive plays that have low margin of success or disastrous results if picked off.

If Hall was on the Olympic team he would have never played because he is prone to unforced giveaways in the offensive zone. That prevents him from being elite but the great news is it is an easy thing to fix if he focuses on it for the rest of the season. If he fixes that he can be one of the top wingers in the game, right or left.

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#63 Wonger
February 21 2014, 08:43PM
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Is that Steve MacIntyre as a baby?

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#64 geeker99
February 21 2014, 11:48PM
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yeah that D is pretty sweet to watch, puck moving defence with tape to tape passes. if we had one of those maybe hall and nuge wouldn't have gone under the knife already. backwards rebuild.

I watched the Austria game and was embarrassed to be canadian. I quote craig simpson as canada was on a PK."maybe we should get another penalty to practice the 5-3 kill" Healy as Benn comes out of the corner"he looked like he was playing in the quebec peewee tourney". Then say that Austria has ten thousand players overall playing. Lets start a petition to get CBC west channel. Can't take it anymore. miss you bob cole

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#65 seanjohn667
February 22 2014, 12:03AM
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Spydyr wrote:

Team Canada has the best defence ever assembled.The current Norris winner cannot crack the lineup.The only American defencman that would make the team is Suter.Price seems in the zone.The team will play the first game against a team that will not collapse to the net and play not to get scored on. This should be the game the forwards break out.

GO CANADA GO!!!

76 Canada cup.

Robinson, Savard, Lapointe, Potvin, and this guy named Orr.

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#66 Spydyr
February 22 2014, 04:32AM
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After that great 1-0 game maybe the people calling for Hall on the team will understand one bad turnover at the blue line could of cost the game.

That is why he is not there.Easy as that.

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#67 Mark
February 23 2014, 04:21PM
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@GoCanadaGo

Based on your comment you make it look like Gregor contacted you first. I doubt that. Why don't you show us the text you sent that got his original rebuttal. It makes no sense that he would just throw out team figure skating without any prior mention of it.

Also accusing him of copying TSN.ca is a pretty egregious accusation. Clearly he hurt your feelings so now you make up stuff. His words were clearly his own thoughts.

Again your last comment shows you know nothing about this site. He included every medal we won, because the article was about men's hockey, medals and the Olympics, yet you only focus on the figure skating one. Willis, Gregor and today Lowetide wrote articles about every hockey game. Are you seriously that ignorant not to notice this?

You sound like a jaded ex-lover...you save texts from him...odd, very odd. Stalk much?

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#68 Mark
February 24 2014, 09:02AM
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@GoCanadaGo

You base the validity of your point being the amount of props compared to trashes. You must not read the comments here very often. Usually some of the most inane ones get numerous props.

I have never met Gregor, and I'd say it is hard to take a personal shot at a no-name person on the Internet. I would have to know you to take a personal shot, but again you show your lack of basic comprehension.

Saying you don't understand things isn't personal, it is the truth based on your responses.

Also, you seem to be the one taking personal shots, you just called Specter a loudmouth.

I just felt the need to point out that your comments had no merit and made little sense. I made my point. Goodbye.

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#69 tabs
February 21 2014, 12:10PM
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Perfectly played game Canada!!

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#70 BringBackSlats
February 21 2014, 12:15PM
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Great 2 way game... Perry and Sid making sure to keep the puck deep and not give them chances going back. Great defence and Price was all that!!! Suck it Kesler

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#71 Shredder
February 21 2014, 12:58PM
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vetinari wrote:

Olympic hockey is so much better than NHL hockey... faster players... wider ice surface... no goons or fighting... great coaching... one-and-done playoff games... the intensity can't be matched.

Go Canada!!!!

Well it is a best on best tournament. Unlike the all star game something is on the line here too...

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#72 risto siltanen's slapshot
February 21 2014, 01:21PM
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that game was like watching the 84 Stanley cup finals.great teams need to know how to backcheck!!!watching nash and kunitz play their most complete game gives the braintrust something to be proud of. I'm not a naysayer anymore...now we just need klowe to learn from this and translate team first to our oilers.

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#73 Max
February 21 2014, 01:27PM
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I sincerely hope that the Oilers were watching this game, making notes, and learning how a GREAT hockey game is played. TEAM work guys.

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#74 Zarny
February 21 2014, 04:44PM
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Great performance. Showed how critical a top pairing D that can shut down the best F in the world really is.

That is what the Oilers are missing and need. Not different "systems" or coaching or someone else running the hot dog stand.

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#75 toprightcorner
February 21 2014, 08:37PM
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I read that the Oilers watched the game together after practice. I hope Eakins used that game to teach the team how to control the game and keep possession with no giveaways. The next 3 video sessions should be dissecting that game and the decisions that were made on the ice, why they were made and positive results of that decision.

Canada played with the least amount of mistakes as ay team could ever play, it was a thing of beauty and the type of game the Oilers need to strive to play. The proof is in the pudding.

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#76 Phil 'The Thrill' Kessel
February 21 2014, 09:35PM
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Watching the Team Canada defence play is a painful reminder of how poorly the Oilers have been built. Who builds a team with wingers first? If we had just of those D-men on our team...

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#77 Quintana
February 21 2014, 10:56PM
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Oscar with a goal and +2 tonight......

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#78 seanjohn667
February 21 2014, 11:53PM
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toprightcorner wrote:

I read that the Oilers watched the game together after practice. I hope Eakins used that game to teach the team how to control the game and keep possession with no giveaways. The next 3 video sessions should be dissecting that game and the decisions that were made on the ice, why they were made and positive results of that decision.

Canada played with the least amount of mistakes as ay team could ever play, it was a thing of beauty and the type of game the Oilers need to strive to play. The proof is in the pudding.

yeah, that was pretty much a perfectly played game. The States couldn't get anything going. Not a rebound in sight.

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#79 seanjohn667
February 22 2014, 12:00AM
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Phil 'The Thrill' Kessel wrote:

Watching the Team Canada defence play is a painful reminder of how poorly the Oilers have been built. Who builds a team with wingers first? If we had just of those D-men on our team...

then you add in that Jamie Benn was 5th round pick and you really want to bang your head against the wall. We haven't had a pick that low work out since... Kurri? (68th, i think 4th round back then)

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#80 Oiler Al
February 22 2014, 04:16AM
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toprightcorner wrote:

If your talking about Tambo, I agree. MacT is trying to fix his mistakes as well as build the team, unfortunately other than no brainer 1st round draft picks, the team MacT got was worse than when Tambo got it 6 years ago.

cleaning someone else's mess always takes longer.

jWas actually referring to Six Rings.

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#81 God
February 22 2014, 08:05AM
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That game was sublime beauty. Canada doesn't need to win 10-0. Their coaches finally respect the other countries and play defence first. Happy win. Go Canada. Bring home that gold.

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#82 Fresh Mess
February 22 2014, 08:13AM
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Spydyr wrote:

After that great 1-0 game maybe the people calling for Hall on the team will understand one bad turnover at the blue line could of cost the game.

That is why he is not there.Easy as that.

Agreed. Hall is not even close to that level right now. He can be if he gets his head screwed on right.

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#83 Spydyr
February 22 2014, 08:19AM
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Fresh Mess wrote:

Agreed. Hall is not even close to that level right now. He can be if he gets his head screwed on right.

I sure hope he does.After eight years we are all sick of losing.

This may be the biggest summer to re-tool the team in Oilers history.It is time to make some hard decisions.

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#84 Walter Sobchak
February 22 2014, 09:26AM
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toprightcorner wrote:

You just validated my comment by saying Hall tries to make plays out of nothing and that's why he turns the puck over too much. Take what is given, keep possession and the scoring chances will increase.

That's why his Corsi sucks, he makes risky plays and when they work, he puts up points, when they don't he gives up grade A scoring chances.

If he gets points out of nothing imagine what he can do if they keep possession and can make plays when they are there.

Actually his Corsi sucks more so because of the system the Oilers play, want some eye opening stuff read MC79 or Delow stuff on Hall & why his game and Corsi went south.

It's far more accurate then just saying he "turns the puck over"

Then you can see a correlation between all the players, not just Hall.

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#85 Joy S. Lee
February 23 2014, 11:00PM
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seanjohn667 wrote:

76 Canada cup.

Robinson, Savard, Lapointe, Potvin, and this guy named Orr.

Wow, eh? Jeez, when you point out those five guys from '76, that's pretty astounding. I appreciate the reminder; it was great watching Bobby Orr capture glory (tourney MVP, I think) for one last time, on two wonky knees.

I will say that this Canadian defense rivals it, though, in terms of sheer overall quality comparison to all other D-men the world over. Ours trumped everyone else's by a good margin, especially with our sizeable, defensive-minded forwards, which allowed our D to move or skate the puck out at will.

'76 was an unbelievable collection. '14 was an amazing overall collection of skillsets and specialties. Every aspect of a great D-man was represented to some degree by this group, from size to shot to passing to skating to defensive awareness...and so on.

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#86 Joy S. Lee
February 23 2014, 11:10PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Unfortunately Orr was playing on one knee.I did think of that team and I believe this one is better.

I think the one-kneed guy was chosen MVP of the tournament. I seem to remember some kind of acknowledgment for #4...but never mind, I remember him dominating that tournament on one knee, and it was probably hurting him while he was doing it.

Could you imagine a team of our greats at their all-time best? Messier-Gretzky-Lemieux with Orr-Coffey and Fuhr would probably be my picks, but oh what a joy to behold something like that would have been...

...ok, sorry. We Canadians should come with a warning label: Fantasizing about hockey greatness is an obsession around here...

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