OLYMPIC HANGOVER

Brian Sutherby
February 28 2014 07:14AM

Olympichangover

Well it’s safe to say, I miss watching Team Canada play in the Olympics for gold.  I found last night's game incredibly boring and I’m sure many felt some sort of emotional letdown.  If you didn’t right away, surely a 3-0 loss to the Minnesota Wild did the trick.

FIRST GOAL

Just a lack of communication here, generally the defenseman will play the puck carrier and try to step up while the forward coming back is responsible for filling in behind the d-man, picking up another guy or retrieving the puck if chipped to the corner. Obviously the exchange near the blue crossed everyone up, but they need to talk more. Too easy.

SECOND GOAL

This one is all on the forwards in my opinion. Veillieux finds a little soft spot on Eberle but where are Gagner and Hemsky going?  Eberle is clearly the first forward back and takes his man to the net. He probably should have released to Ference a little sooner but regardless, Gagner just sort of floats into the left side of the zone. Even worse Hemsky can see the whole ice and also floats back to the left side, not trying to fill Eberles wing where the eventual goal was scored from at all.  

THIRD GOAL

Just as the Oilers were making their usual third period push when trailing, the Wild put the nail in the coffin.  A lost battle on a contested puck keeps the puck in the zone and eventually a goalmouth scramble allows fan favorite Dany Heatley to make it 3-0.

TEAM PLAYERS

Last night midway through the first period Nugent-Hopkins got into a scrum with Keith Ballard where they exchanged more than a couple cross checks and face washes.  On the other side of the net Taylor Hall was being confronted by Matt Cooke.  Neither guy backed down which was great to see, but where was everyone else?

I read somewhere the other day Dallas Eakins wanted five guys involved when things like this occurred, yet the two defenseman on the ice Petry and Belov just stood on the blue line watching their best players get pushed around. For what, an offensive zone draw in the middle of the first period?

When it’s your best players in a situation they likely shouldn’t be in, it doesn’t matter who you are, you get involved and stick up for one another.

POWER PLAY

It was once again a struggle as they were really unable to sustain any kind of pressure. To add to the misery, it was nice of Belov (who was on for every goal against as well) to nonchalantly give Minnesota a glorious opportunity late in the third on the PP.  He looked very concerned about turning it over too. Watching effort like that is so frustrating.

MATT HENDRICKS

Olympichangover3

While many were still on break last night, how can you not like what this guy has brought to this team since coming over from Nashville? He’s not flashy, he’s not going to score a ton, but he knows his role and you don’t have to worry about him showing up to play every night.

Other teams have to be aware of when he is on the ice because he will finish every check. How many guys can you say that about the last few years around here?

Anyways...Bring on the Flames.

C76a4c69c9026575581a01d4ac34111c
A Moose Jaw Warriors alumnus and veteran of 460 NHL games with the Capitals, Ducks and Stars—Sutherby is here to regale us with tales of the WJHC, life as an NHL player and much more from a Pro’s perspective. Co-Host's the Jason Gregor show on TSN1260 on Tuesday's from 3-5 and Coaches at www.proconnectionhockey.com Twitter:@briansutherby
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#1 HardBoiledOil
February 28 2014, 07:27AM
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it was good to see Gazdic and Hendricks mixing it up last night, but they seemed to be the only ones that showed any emotion. i know the playoffs are a memory now, but this team plays like it's dead in the water too many nights. i was so bored watching last night, that with 14 minutes left in the 3rd, i changed the channel. when i switched back after my half hour show was over, nothing much had changed with about 2 minutes left. MacT has to do something to inject a little life into this team by the trade deadline or we're all going to be watching some awfully boring hockey the remainder of the season!

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#2 Loweblows
February 28 2014, 07:46AM
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If Eakins is serious about the Oil competing down the stretch then why was Smyth on the first power play? FIRE THIS USELESS COACH NOW!

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#3 Rdubb
February 28 2014, 07:53AM
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nothing better than getting an ex-nhl'er to say what is what... when your best guys are in a scrum, taking cross checks & the such guys should be trying to jump off of the bench to help, so why did the guys on the ice not help? another case of Edmonton getting around... In all honesty, I am getting sick and tired of hearing & reading about how Gagner's defensive prowess caused another goal, this is happening WAY TO MUCH!!! His little bit of offense just doesn't cover up for his defense. Either drop him to 3rd or 4th line C, move him to the wing and leave him there or trade him? It seems that whomever plays with Gagner goes into the gutter offensively and his +/- drops like a stone...the last time Sam moved to the wing it didn't last more than 2 or 3 games, why? because he pouted, played poor and Eakins moved him back. Sam MUST GET IT THROUGH HIS HEAD that HE IS NOT AN NHL C!!!His stats alone sat that. Hell, I don't think that my +/- would be much worse if I suited up, and that's saying something... peck

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#4 ColourMeImpressed
February 28 2014, 08:04AM
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Wow, that's not a very good article.

You praise Hendricks, who took a boatload of stupid penalties and should have had 5 and been booted for that first-period boarding, then give Belov crap for giving up a power play chance with Hendricks in the box.

Olympics hangover? There's no hangover. A hangover implies being in a sub-par mental state. Last night was the Oilers being the Oilers.

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#5 CaptainLander
February 28 2014, 08:04AM
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This has been happening for years with the same results against this team. I stopped watching Wild games in 2010.

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#6 NsxZero
February 28 2014, 08:06AM
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Watching Team Canada was such a treat during the Olympics. What I was most impressed by wasn't the skill they had, but their effort. It was constantly guys hard on the cycle, blocking shots, and clearing the front of the net.

Yesterday was just a sad return back to reality.

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#7 vetinari
February 28 2014, 08:12AM
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The difference between last year and this year (besides a change in coaching and a shortened season) is that the players didn't completely give up after the first month.

It seems like when we fell apart in October, the players collectively resigned themselves to "next year" before this year even really started. Sure, they've rebounded for a few stretches, like before the Olympic break, but generally they've showed no emotion or passion at all.

How do you motivate these guys if they can't motivate themselves? Trading them isn't a threat-- who wouldn't want to move on to a more successful organization?

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#9 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
February 28 2014, 08:15AM
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One of the local radio stations had Jocelyne Larocque from the Olympic Women's team on this morning for a quick interview.

She was talking about the gold medal game - specifically the physical elements in the game.

Playing defence, I had no idea that the women can get an additional minor for leaving the blue line to engage in a dust up down low. Jocelyne was talking about how the linesman in the game was telling her to stay out of it while all 5 American women wailed on the 3 of the smallest Canadian forwards on the team. She basically said F that, got right in there and grabbed the first woman she could get her hands on, and evened things up a little bit.

Oh how I wish I could see that from the Oilers night in and night out.

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#10 Sevenseven
February 28 2014, 08:18AM
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Does anyone else wish the oilers were just moved to seattle? We could just start fresh with new ownership and a new nhl team? No kevin lowe, no katz, no more terrible assistant coaches year after year. No more terrible music at rexall. The boys on the bus should be thrown under it. Maybe some real nhl gms, coaches and players?

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#11 Sevenseven
February 28 2014, 08:18AM
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Does anyone else wish the oilers were just moved to seattle? We could just start fresh with new ownership and a new nhl team? No kevin lowe, no katz, no more terrible assistant coaches year after year. No more terrible music at rexall. The boys on the bus should be thrown under it. Maybe some real nhl gms, coaches and players?

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#12 Max
February 28 2014, 08:18AM
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Well, back to the usual, shut out in front of the home crowd, and Hall doing his usual "hey guys, here I come blasting around the boards, no worries, I wont dump the puck, just hang on, wait for me, you can take it away from me when I get there" act again (constantly.)

He has to be the most selfish puck hog on the team - doesn't he LISTEN OR LEARN??

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#13 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
February 28 2014, 08:21AM
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Sevenseven wrote:

Does anyone else wish the oilers were just moved to seattle? We could just start fresh with new ownership and a new nhl team? No kevin lowe, no katz, no more terrible assistant coaches year after year. No more terrible music at rexall. The boys on the bus should be thrown under it. Maybe some real nhl gms, coaches and players?

Don't wish for this. I know you're frustrated, but what you've got in Edmonton is better than no NHL hockey at all. I moved to Winnipeg from St. Albert in 1997 and had to go 15 years without seeing anything better than an exhibition game.

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#14 ColourMeImpressed
February 28 2014, 08:27AM
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Brian Sutherby wrote:

You can have Belov and his laziness and complete lack of care.

I'll take the guy all day on my team that cares and maybe crosses the line for being too intense from time to time

I'm not defending Belov in particular, I'm pointing out that you're criticizing Belov for making a mistake on a PK that would never have happened if Hendricks hadn't pulled a bush league play for the second time in the same game. I honestly figured, as a former player yourself, you'd be more than a little upset with Hendricks for his dangerous plays. Careers end on hits like the one Prosser took.

And if we're going to slam Belov for not caring, how about Taylor Hall on that first goal? Lazily skates back on the backcheck, still has time to impact the play but doesn't cover the wide open guy he can clearly see ahead of him.

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#15 Denise Rex
February 28 2014, 08:29AM
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Everybody is always complaining about Smitty on the power play or other but if the rest of these young humps would have his work ethics even at his age of 38 the team would be a playoff contender. He is a real role model and does anything to help the team while never complaining. Hell, he was once the face of the Oilers, was screwed over by Lowe yet came back and we treat him like this? I hope he gets traded and wins the cup because he deserves better then this crap. All the bitchers are the young meth upped screw balls that hate their lives because Mommy and Daddy are divorced and their peers are out to prove how much we hate our lives. YIKES!!!

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#16 Frank the dog
February 28 2014, 08:57AM
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Is there one hockey player on this team or in the NHL that wants to be on this team next year?

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#17 Ed in Edmonton
February 28 2014, 08:57AM
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Max wrote:

Well, back to the usual, shut out in front of the home crowd, and Hall doing his usual "hey guys, here I come blasting around the boards, no worries, I wont dump the puck, just hang on, wait for me, you can take it away from me when I get there" act again (constantly.)

He has to be the most selfish puck hog on the team - doesn't he LISTEN OR LEARN??

It does seem that Hall is on a solo mission very often when he comes across the opponents blue line. I'm beginning to wonder if the problem is that RNH can't keep up with him so Hall is left solo. Maybe Hall will be more Gretzky line in time and learn to hold the puck until the troops arrive.

For RNH to become a true 1st line center he needs to find another step.

P.S. Many people often refer to the Oilers as being a fast team. But outside of Hall Yak and Hemsky are there any other Oiler forwards who could be considered above average skaters in the NHL? (Perron skates pretty well but I am more impressed with his strength on his skates than his flat out speed)

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#18 HardBoiledOil
February 28 2014, 09:08AM
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CaptainLander wrote:

This has been happening for years with the same results against this team. I stopped watching Wild games in 2010.

it doesn't help that the Wild over the years have been one of the most boring teams to watch. you'll never see me buy a ticket to watch that team, i may as well stay home, paint the wall and watch it dry!

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#19 Jeffff
February 28 2014, 09:09AM
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Olympic hockey was boring on the big ice. Canada USA was the only entertaining game.

And please don't talk about Women's hockey, it is unwatchable on the big ice.

And yes Oilers are unwatchable, but this is nothing new.

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#20 Zenoil
February 28 2014, 09:09AM
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On the second goal Ganger is doing what Ganger does best. Floating. This piece of crap could float on the top of a tornado. Mac T does not have the brains to fix this broken wheel. Daryl Katz favorite John Lennon line "I'm just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round how I love to watch them roll" Oilers fans want some heads to roll, time for more protesting.

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#21 oilerjed
February 28 2014, 09:18AM
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@ Brian

How did you get my picture in my blog. I fell asleep in that exact position somewhere half way through the first, woke up in the middle of the night and but the game back on to put me back to sleep. I hadnt realized I had aged that much watchiing the OIl this year.

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#23 Puck JammeR!
February 28 2014, 09:31AM
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In Edmonton, you can pay a dominatrix to tie you up and make you watch an Oilers game. Costs like $800 but so hot.

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#24 Sevenseven
February 28 2014, 09:52AM
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Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things wrote:

Don't wish for this. I know you're frustrated, but what you've got in Edmonton is better than no NHL hockey at all. I moved to Winnipeg from St. Albert in 1997 and had to go 15 years without seeing anything better than an exhibition game.

I know. But year to year this orginization keeps looking worse! For 8 years straight. Just when I think it cant get worse it seems to. 1 step forward, then 3 back :/

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#25 Jeffff
February 28 2014, 09:57AM
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Women's Hockey is like watching paint dry. I know the press and NHL players say they like it and it is exciting. But they would get roasted if they said what they really think. It is low level hockey compared to men's hockey. PC police

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#26 He Who Knows
February 28 2014, 09:59AM
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Petry and Belov, enough said. Just when you think this team has balls with guy like Hendricks and Gazdic....we get the pillsbury dough boys.

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#27 GriffCity
February 28 2014, 09:59AM
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The reason the defense did nothing to support their guys during that scrum is that Belov is a Russian and although I liked a couple of big hits he threw out in the game, he is not a scrappy guy in fact, he shy's away from it. Petry is the biggest softy on the team and thats saying something. He hits like he's ringing a doorbell and time after time he get out muscled and outworked. He wanted no part in a scuffle because he no doubt knows what a pussy he is and didnt want to embarrass himself like the one time last year where he sort of dropped his gloves - worst fight ever.

Hall played a terrible game, constant turnovers and created little to no offense. While we are at it, Ference also had a bad game and I am very concerned about his contract especially since its a given that he will not get any better with age. He has been ok at times this year and poor at times this year, more bad than good i'd say and that does not bode well for this team.

Meanwhile i thought Hendricks was one of our best guys last night. Yes he took a couple penalties but i love his tenacity and work ethic. He almost got a lucky one off his foot while being a presence in the crease as well but the puck wasn't bouncing in favor of the Oil last night.

Scrivens looked pretty human last night as well.

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#28 Guy Lafleur
February 28 2014, 10:00AM
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Brian Sutherby wrote:

You can have Belov and his laziness and complete lack of care.

I'll take the guy all day on my team that cares and maybe crosses the line for being too intense from time to time

Amen too that !!!

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#29 Spydyr
February 28 2014, 10:00AM
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Puck JammeR! wrote:

In Edmonton, you can pay a dominatrix to tie you up and make you watch an Oilers game. Costs like $800 but so hot.

So, cheaper then going to the game.

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#30 Spydyr
February 28 2014, 10:02AM
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He Who Knows wrote:

Petry and Belov, enough said. Just when you think this team has balls with guy like Hendricks and Gazdic....we get the pillsbury dough boys.

Every scrum Belov is checking that his skates are tied. He is scared.

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#31 Felt
February 28 2014, 10:07AM
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Ha Ha Ha Oilers

3 number 1 picks and Nathan Mackinnon is better than all of them.

Oilers can't even tank in the right year.

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#32 HardBoiledOil
February 28 2014, 10:07AM
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maybe this goes against what most feel on here, but i wouldn't be upset if Petry and Belov were gone next year.

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#33 ColourMeImpressed
February 28 2014, 10:20AM
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Brian Sutherby wrote:

I don't know what play you are talking about but the Oilers were on the PP and Belov skates to retrieve a puck with Parise and sort of kicks it behind him to the middle of the ice then goes for a skate and Parise almost burries the billionth shorty of the season against the Oil.

That is a complete lack of care and really doesn't matter if they are even on the PP or PK anyways. Very telling IMO of a guy that doesn't really care given he had already been on for 3 goals against.

Hendricks hits were questionable yes, but he's a stand up guy,answers all challengers and plays hard nosed hockey. He's not a chicken running around.

If you think this team has weaknesses, turning away from checks and being soft is one of them. When you play his style you will cross the line on occasion. I can live with that.

You seem to be confusing me with someone who in any shape, way, or form is defending Anton Belov's play last night, or even him in general.

It's wonderful that Matt Hendricks cares. I appreciate that. I just find it jarring to find an article praising a player who committed two idiotic plays in one game, one of which should have been 5 minutes and a game, for caring based on his physical play, while damning another player for not caring based on his sloppy play despite an abundance of physicality.

Hendricks had a better game but arguably shouldn't even have finished the first minute of the first period and had his team down by a man for five. Belov had a terrible game but by the same standards you set - his physicality - still cared.

Honestly, we're one blown call away from talking about how Hendricks took a boarding major 30 seconds into the game. I don't see why you're praising the guy after last night, never mind based on it.

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#34 tileguy
February 28 2014, 10:21AM
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Love how everybody from Spector, Brownlee and Sutherby pointed out Petry standing on the blue line while RNH gets pushed around.

This needs to be a MAJOR kerfuffle from MacT, Eakins, Lowe, Katz. Players need to be called out in public and the culture change starts now! Can't take the heat, then out the kitchen you go. NOBODY gets a pass on playing soft from here on end. You play soft you take a seat for all to see, that applies to everyone from Jones to RNH. Eberle, you take care of that cutting cutting in line at the theatre.

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#35 Ed in Edmonton
February 28 2014, 10:21AM
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HardBoiledOil wrote:

maybe this goes against what most feel on here, but i wouldn't be upset if Petry and Belov were gone next year.

I think there is a good chance you will get your wish.

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#36 Harry
February 28 2014, 10:34AM
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Man I cant wait until Petry Hemsky Gagner are off this team

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#37 HardBoiledOil
February 28 2014, 10:35AM
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tileguy wrote:

Love how everybody from Spector, Brownlee and Sutherby pointed out Petry standing on the blue line while RNH gets pushed around.

This needs to be a MAJOR kerfuffle from MacT, Eakins, Lowe, Katz. Players need to be called out in public and the culture change starts now! Can't take the heat, then out the kitchen you go. NOBODY gets a pass on playing soft from here on end. You play soft you take a seat for all to see, that applies to everyone from Jones to RNH. Eberle, you take care of that cutting cutting in line at the theatre.

true, but Petry doesn't like to get his hands dirty, so no surprises here. i appreciate talent as much as the next guy, but therein lies the problem, we have too many players like that and not enough that will stir the pot or stand up for the star players, and this has been happening for years! i remember Hall getting chewed out in his rookie year by LA's Drew Doughty before the start of the 2nd period at center ice as the players were skating before the puck dropped and nobody came to his defense....and this was on home ice to boot!! this MUST be addressed this off season, and stop chasing finesse-only players!

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#38 BingBong
February 28 2014, 10:45AM
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Felt wrote:

Ha Ha Ha Oilers

3 number 1 picks and Nathan Mackinnon is better than all of them.

Oilers can't even tank in the right year.

You obviously don't know much of anything if you think we won't finish last again next year!

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#39 BingBong
February 28 2014, 10:46AM
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BingBong wrote:

You obviously don't know much of anything if you think we won't finish last again next year!

My bad, I thought you meant McDavid.

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#40 Harry
February 28 2014, 11:01AM
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Jeffff wrote:

Women's Hockey is like watching paint dry. I know the press and NHL players say they like it and it is exciting. But they would get roasted if they said what they really think. It is low level hockey compared to men's hockey. PC police

No shi't its low level compared to.mens that doesnt mean its not good hockey. Narrow minded @$$hole

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#41 Fresh Mess
February 28 2014, 11:02AM
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Puck JammeR! wrote:

In Edmonton, you can pay a dominatrix to tie you up and make you watch an Oilers game. Costs like $800 but so hot.

classic

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#42 French Toast Mafia
February 28 2014, 11:09AM
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Jeffff wrote:

Olympic hockey was boring on the big ice. Canada USA was the only entertaining game.

And please don't talk about Women's hockey, it is unwatchable on the big ice.

And yes Oilers are unwatchable, but this is nothing new.

You should not be watching hockey then. Go watch dancing with the stars

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#43 Jeffff
February 28 2014, 11:12AM
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Harry wrote:

No shi't its low level compared to.mens that doesnt mean its not good hockey. Narrow minded @$$hole

Boo Hoo

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#44 Oilerb
February 28 2014, 11:22AM
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@Felt

I actually like RNH a little better then him.

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#45 Reg Dunlop
February 28 2014, 11:30AM
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Losing a game because the puck bounces the other team's way is tolerable.

Losing a game because the other team has more talent is acceptable.

Losing a game because the other team outworks you is much less acceptable.

Losing game after game because your players lack the character to stand up for each other, lack the work ethic to try when they don't have the puck, and lack the self discipline to change their style of play... well these shortcommings lay at the feet of MANAGEMENT. Don't blame Hall for not passing, Petry for not scrumming and Gagner for not backchecking. Face it, these things are not in their nature. The oil are simply not very good and the blame should be directed at those who built the team. No one else.

As difficult as it is to accept, there are only a handful of NHL-calibre players on the oil now. 15 players are making major league dough only because they are employed here. No other NHL team would have them.

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#46 Oilerb
February 28 2014, 11:38AM
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By stats RNH is a better player then Mackinnon, RNH just gets injured a lot. RNH 62 games played 52 points in his first season, Mackinnon 59 games played 45 points.

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#47 BobbyCanuck
February 28 2014, 11:47AM
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He Who Knows wrote:

Petry and Belov, enough said. Just when you think this team has balls with guy like Hendricks and Gazdic....we get the pillsbury dough boys.

Give Belov some more time to figure out that he needs to response to aggression against our Telly Tubbies. I have never watched the KHL, but somehow I doubt that fighting for your teammates is something the system over there instills.

I cannot comment on Petry, some games he looks like a keeper, other games...

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#48 BobbyCanuck
February 28 2014, 11:54AM
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@French Toast Mafia

Thanks Jefff, I will one up you...I thought he Can/USA game was boring as well, but thats just because I prefer fire wagon hockey. I would rather watch a 6-5 game than a 1-0 game, but thats just me.

It is somewhat ironic, because back in the day, when the buds would go to the games, I never tagged along because I used to prefer tight one goal games. "No, I don't wanna go to the game cause Oilers are going to beat them 9-4." But Bobby don't you want to see Wayne get 5 points, and watch CementHead beat the crap out of however?

Regrets, I have a few

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#49 russ99
February 28 2014, 11:59AM
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Ed in Edmonton wrote:

It does seem that Hall is on a solo mission very often when he comes across the opponents blue line. I'm beginning to wonder if the problem is that RNH can't keep up with him so Hall is left solo. Maybe Hall will be more Gretzky line in time and learn to hold the puck until the troops arrive.

For RNH to become a true 1st line center he needs to find another step.

P.S. Many people often refer to the Oilers as being a fast team. But outside of Hall Yak and Hemsky are there any other Oiler forwards who could be considered above average skaters in the NHL? (Perron skates pretty well but I am more impressed with his strength on his skates than his flat out speed)

No, it's not that RNH can't keep up with Hall, its that too many players are cheating back, they're not going over the line as a cohesive unit and the defensemen aren't supporting, rather they're holding back worried about a turnover, which is sure to come if one skater is isolated moving into the zone.

Successful offense requires attention by all 5 skaters. This is on the coaching.

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#50 Walter Sobchak
February 28 2014, 12:30PM
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Good read Brian.

I dislike the term Olympic hangover though.

A team that basically had another training camp to go over systems, PP, PK & rest some injuries comes out like that is a direct reflection of the coaching staff and the orginization as a whole.

Those 20 to 23 year old kids should have been flying out there, instead I watched poorly executed dump in's for 2 hours.

It's kind of crazy but in our section there was only two other fellas who yelled at the Oilers to get in the scrum with RNH & Hall, apathy maybe?

Like Hendricks play, still should have been a 5 and a game, but hey, that's hockey.

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