GDB: 58.0: FAMILIAR TERRITORY

Jason Gregor
February 03 2014 01:12PM

Once again the Oilers find themselves in a battle for the basement of the NHL standings. For the fourth time in the last five seasons the Oilers will spend February, March and April jockeying for draft positioning rather than a spot in the playoffs. Fans are frustrated of watching it, we are fatigued of writing about it, and I'm certain the players are tired of living it, but ultimately it will be up to them to avoid this scenario next season.

You need skill to compete in the NHL, but you also need a strong desire to battle and compete, because every team has skill. It is obvious the Oilers still don't have the winning combination of players to push for a playoff spot, and Craig MacTavish will need to rectify that, but the players who are here can't keep waiting for new recruits to save them.

They need to play smarter, stronger and with more passion on a nightly basis.

Tonight must be about pride. The players know the situation. They know Buffalo is the only team in the NHL below them in the standings, so I'd hope they want to keep it that way. They need to show some pride, some passion, some desire and play like a team that won't accept losing.

I'm sure most of you have seen the highlights of yesterday's Montreal/Winnipeg game. Brandon Gallagher is listed at 5'9, 180 pounds, but did you see him battling with Marc Stuart in front of the Jets net. He didn't give an inch and Stuart, 6'2, 213 pounds, couldn't move him away from the crease. Gallagher refused to give up his space on the ice despite a significant weight and height disadvantage.

And Gallagher does that all over the ice. He plays incredibly hard and ferocious and he refuses to make the game easy for his opponents.

When was the last time you saw an Oiler battle like that?

If the Oilers aren't willing to take a physical pounding now and then to win a battle, then this team is never going to win. The organization will continue firing coaches, bringing in new fringe players and hoping that eventually things will change. I believe it is up to the players, especially the core group, to turn this around.

Gallagher has proven you don't need to be huge to compete. I understand you do need some big, skilled players to counter the size of other teams, but until the Oilers acquire those players this group needs to play with more hunger. They need to instill a higher level of accountability within the dressing room. Winning teams demand a lot of one another, and this team needs to start doing the same.

Tonight is a game they shouldn't lose. They need to approach it like a playoff game, even though the outcome is more about pride than the standings.

If the Oilers lose tonight, they open the door to the possibility of entering the Olympic break on a four-game losing streak and sitting in 30th place. None of the players want that and I'd hope their effort reflects that.

LINEUP...

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

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

Bryzgalov

Eakins hinted the D pairings could be switched up, so I'd guess we'll see Ference back with J.Schultz, and N.Schultz move to the right side with Fraser, or possibly have Potter come in for N.Schultz.

I'm surprised Scrivens isn't getting the start. He has a .960 SV% over the past two games, and this is an important game for the team. Why not let Scrivens play tonight? I see him being part of the future much more than I do Bryzgalov so I'd have went with Scrivens and see how he and his teammates responded.

QUICK HITS...

  • Up front the Gagner line needs to find the game they had in Vancouver, because since then they've really struggled. When Perron and Yakupov play greasy they play better. They seem to be at their best when they are emotionally invested in the game.
     
  • The Sabres won four of their first 20 games and scored 1.65 goals/game and allowed 3.15 goals/game before hiring Ted Nolan. Since taking over, Nolan has won 11 of 34 games and their offence and defence has improved a bit up to to 1.94goals/game and down to 2.76 goals/game.

    The special teams pre-Nolan were: 13.5% for PP and 81.1% for PK.
    Special teams with Nolan are: 15.3% for PP and 81.3% for the PK.
     
  • Changing coaches has helped the Jets, they are 8-2 under Paul Maurice, while the Sabres' improvement has been marginal. I firmly believe until you have enough good players the coach won't make that much of an impact. If you look closer at the Jets' games under Maurice they won two games where they were dominated in shots by Chicago and Anaheim. As we've seen in Edmonton, changing coaches doesn't help much if your core group is essentially the same.
     
  • Justin Schultz will play his 98th NHL game tonight. He has been forced to play way more minutes than most other young defenders. People should be more patient regarding his progress.
     
  • Gentleman and Ladies of the Nation...Valentine's Day is fast approaching and you can win a Silver Heart Pendant with a Canadian Diamond centre if you tweet @Oilersnation or @ParisJewellers a story of the worst Valentine's Day gift you've ever given or recieved. Good luck.
     
  • I have no problem with people disagreeing with my opinion or views on the game. Debate is great and usually you can take something from the other side. However, I do take issue when people make boldface lies to try and discredit me. Here is what I tweeted out following the Fraser trade on Friday. 

Like I said, I have no problem if people want to state opposing opinions on topics or disagree with my view, but don't make up stuff and flat out lie to try and disparage someone.

It's immature, unprofessional and ignorant. The ironic part is that the person running their twitter should be well-versed in the Internet. If they were, they could have done a quick search of Oilersnation to see what I wrote about Joensuu. I've never written an article about him, nor have I ever claimed he was the answer to the woes of the Oilers. The only full article dedicated to Joensuu was penned by Jonathan Willis, who used to write for C&B. Here is JW's article. Would the nameless twitter person at CB call that "hanging from his nuts?" I doubt it. I don't care if they don't like me, but I will defend myself to blatant lies.

Here are articles where I have mentioned Joensuu.

This one came after opening night. This came during the preseason. Only mention of him is the final bullet point. Here is a GDB where I mention him under "Quick Hits". You'll notice I'm really pumping his tires.

Tweets like the one above makes their site look childish, which is unfair to a writer like Ryan Batty who blogs there. Batty and I have disagreed on many things over the years, but as you see in this article from him, he doesn't resort to name calling or fabricating things. He digs into the question and comes up with a reasonable and well thought out alternative view. I've read much of his stuff over the years, and he brings up good points and shows you can do so without cutting up the other side's viewpoint.

Note to C&B. Do what you want with your twitter, but don't lie. It makes you look foolish and unprofessional.

Lastly in the tweet they mentioned that Omark produces way more than Joenssu. Omark does, but mainly because he gets PP time and Joensuu doesn't.

To date, Omark has had 1,115:50 of TOI while Joensuu has had 987:13.
If you take away Omark's PP minutes their ES icetime is 961 for Joenssu and 934 for Omark. During those ES minutes Joensuu had 18 points and Omark 22. Not much of a difference.

Their point differential comes from PP time. Omark has 10 PP points in just over 181 minutes of PP time, while Joensuu has 1 point in 25 minutes. If you pro-rate Joenssu's PP time to make it equal to Omark's TOI he'd have close to 8 points. So their production to icetime ratio isn't as wide a gap as earlier suggested. It is always more beneficial to do research instead of making up lies to defend your stance.

UPDATE..

It was pointed out to me that I did tweet this out in September. I guess saying it is a stretch Joensuu might be a big, skilled guy to help the top-six is really pumping his tires. Hilarious.

 TONIGHT....

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers must win this game and their top line carries them to a 4-2 victory.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: With some eastern team's scouts in attendance, Ales Hemsky has a strong game picking up a goal and an assist. 

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Omark and Yakupov drop the mitts in the 2nd period. In a spirited featherweight tilt both land some good blows, but Yakupov surprises everyone and finishes the scrap with a solid right. After the game he says he asked Luke Gazdic for some tips after the Winnipeg game just in case he had to defend himself in the future. It looks like he is a fast learner.

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 GriffCity
February 03 2014, 03:45PM
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I for one cannot wait until puck-drop. This should define to the league who is in fact the worst team. If BUF manages to win, which I don't suspect they will, KLowe should resign and move to Siberia. I mean honestly Kev, you're in year 4 or 6 or 8 of the "rebuild" and in 29th spot. A loss to the last place team in an already softer Eastern conference is the ultimate slap in the face and the ultimate sign of total failure. If the Oilers lose tonight it will symbolize just how badly this rebuild has gone and just how terrible the team in fact is. Not something a defensemen or two can just swoop in and POW!! Playoffs! I surely hope the Oil win this game because if they do not, I don't know how Klowe and associates can consider themselves worthy of retaining their positions with this hockey club.

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#52 OilDieHard
February 03 2014, 03:47PM
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Duke wrote:

Omark?

Seriously?

We're still talking about Omark?

Stop, please, in the name of all that's holy.

The European Robbie Shremp.

or Robert Nilsson 2.0? i don't believe "we" are here talking about Omark much at ON, but C&B seems to be fixated on it from what i have read.

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#53 China town man
February 03 2014, 03:55PM
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Can you see john Scott in oilers uniform? Oh wait we have one one those in the minor

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#54 David S
February 03 2014, 04:00PM
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Damn this "work" thing. The comment thread is disjointed and the text boxes in the article are bleeped out, which means all hell broke loose here this morning AND I MISSED THE WHOLE DAMN THING!

#SadGagnerFace

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#55 DisappointedFan
February 03 2014, 04:00PM
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@OilDieHard

Yah...let's call it "luck"

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#56 S cottV
February 03 2014, 04:04PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

I don't think the coach has lost the room. If he has lost the room this quickly then I'd be more worried about the players than the coach.

I don't think he has.

I don't think the room is dysfunctional, moreso their level of accountability from within needs to increase.

Until they deem is unacceptable to make blatant turnovers or blatantly lose one-on-one battles, I'm not sure they can win. That accountability has to come from within the room, and not just from the coach.

I don't know Jason.

There comes a point in time where the coach must reach the player group, regardless of whether its fair, unfair or indifferent.

Don't see a lot coming together or worse yet, don't really see anything coming together.

That is unusual, even allowing for the possibility of a great coach that is in tough short term, where a turnaround is inevitably around the corner.

You would see things - parts of things, starting to take shape.

The coach has to take the player group given - sell them and or coerce them into a buy in to his vision and extract over achievement.

While a tough player group - no question, it can still over achieve. Defining what over achievement for this group might look like is subjective but one thing is for sure; there, isn't much of it going on.

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#57 Spydyr
February 03 2014, 04:08PM
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They're $hittie wrote:

Players that need to go

Gagner - Gone, playing terrible needs fresh start

Eberle - Gone, overpaid, no back checking no passion, core needs to be mixed up

Hemsky - Needs fresh start, Gone

Smyth - Plays Ok this year but is out of gas, gone

Jones - Will never see north of 10 goals again let a lone 20, gone

Schultz Sr - Done, Gone

Acton - Should have never been on team when Luke Adam was available for free, gone

Arcobello - tough one, he is worth his pay, but too small for the oilers to like him, Gone

Belov - KHL Bound probably, Gone

Grebeshkov - back to Siberia, Gone

Bryz - Gone

#SUMITUP

2 good players not palying defensive hockey and living up to their contract, 1 good player who is contributing but is no help because the rest of the team doesnt, to many useless bottom 6 forwards and 6-7 dman =

#ONE$HITTYHOCKEYTEAM

Could not agree more,time to change the dynamic.Make the team hard to play against.

No more easy nights against the Oilers.

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#58 Spydyr
February 03 2014, 04:11PM
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OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: This one is to easy.Omark scores the game winner in the shootout with a spinorama move.

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#59 toprightcorner
February 03 2014, 04:12PM
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The main reason Gallager plays so hard is that he has always had to play hard to get to the NHL, its in his DNA, if it wasn't he probably wouldnt be in the NHL today.

5 of our top 6 were skilled 1st round picks, 4 were top 6 picks, Ebs was 22nd. For the most part, these guys have always been the starts of their teams and were very successful as they could just think offence and their team would succeed, they didn't have to play gritty. The 6th, Perron, has always played with a chip on his shoulder and you see that grittyness in his game that Gagner, Ebs, Nuge and Yak.

This does not work in the NHL and have yet to be taught it properly. That is why Gagner has played the same way for over 6 seasons, he has either not been taught or refuses to change. I see the same thing in Eberle, and potentially the same for Yakapov.

Hall is a bit different in that he has that high compete level, he just needs to be taught the defensive part of the game.

Not everyone needs to play gritty but you need a couple in your top 6 so they need to replace one of the not gritty guys with a gritty guy. Gagner is probably the first choice but may not get much in return, Eberle would likely be the second choice because he would bring a lot back in return.

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#60 Buke
February 03 2014, 04:17PM
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Last night's NFL Super Bowl was the league's best offense vs. the league's best defense.

Tonight's NHL Toilet Bowl features the league's worst defense vs. the league's worst offense.

Time to go to the pub, order a beer and watch the carnage.

Go Oil!

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#61 Spydyr
February 03 2014, 04:21PM
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Buke wrote:

Last night's NFL Super Bowl was the league's best offense vs. the league's best defense.

Tonight's NHL Toilet Bowl features the league's worst defense vs. the league's worst offense.

Time to go to the pub, order a beer and watch the carnage.

Go Oil!

Every time you say WTF Gagner order a shooter,Trust me you will not even remember the game.

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#62 Walter Sobchak
February 03 2014, 04:23PM
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S cottV wrote:

I don't know Jason.

There comes a point in time where the coach must reach the player group, regardless of whether its fair, unfair or indifferent.

Don't see a lot coming together or worse yet, don't really see anything coming together.

That is unusual, even allowing for the possibility of a great coach that is in tough short term, where a turnaround is inevitably around the corner.

You would see things - parts of things, starting to take shape.

The coach has to take the player group given - sell them and or coerce them into a buy in to his vision and extract over achievement.

While a tough player group - no question, it can still over achieve. Defining what over achievement for this group might look like is subjective but one thing is for sure; there, isn't much of it going on.

Excellent points.

You would like to see some progression in the team game, but for the most part this has been a full year of regression but why?

So let's look at individuals with the exception of RNH & Eberle, I thinks it's straight across regression by every player in almost every category including Hall?

This can't be a coincidence, if your told to change your game to fit this playing style, then the change should come from each individual but the team game should improve if everyone is on board........it's not getting better.

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#63 Randaman
February 03 2014, 04:24PM
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S cottV wrote:

Really dislike that Perron, Gagner, Yak line.

Makes no sense to play Gagner and Yak together. With the odd blue moon exception, they are awful together.

Break up the top line and come up with combinations that keep these guys apart.

It not like Hall, RNH and Eberle are lights out great - anyway....

Gagner & Yak do not play together. Yak is always benched as Gagner coasts around the ice like he is at a seven year olds birthday party. Eakins is an idiot and Gags sucks!!

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#64 toprightcorner
February 03 2014, 04:31PM
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The lack of 2 way play in the top 6 is a huge reason for the team's struggles, only Nuge has a good 2 way game. This was mainly caused by improper development of these players.

The failure of the past coaches (assistants more specifically) is that they let these players continue to play only utilizing their strengths instead of working on improving their weaknesses. In other words, they came into the league as offensive talents so that is all the coaches focused on.

Hall, Ebs and especially Gagner should have progressed further in their defensive game if they were coached properly from the start.

Nuge focused on his 2 way play last year which caused a dip in points but made him a much better player and the points are coming more this year while still improving his defensive play. Not sure if this was a personal focus or a coach focus, I would lean towards personal as this has not been seen in any of the other young guys.

Yak, in his 2nd year, is being taught that 2 way game this year and held accountable for it instead just allowing him to focus strictly on offense and he will be better for it in the long run.

A big reason for the Sophmore slump in offensive players is that coaches start to hold them more accountable on their 2 way play and their offense struggles, just like Yak this year.

None of Gagner, Eberle and Hall had a sophmore slump, Ebs had his best offensive season and Halls offense jumped dramatically. A lot of that has to do with their coaches allowing them to focus only on offense and not work on their 2-way game.

When they officially started the rebuild, when they drafted Hall, they knew they were not going to be a good team for a few years so they should have groomed their core guys to become the best all around players possible within 3 years. Because they didn't do that, Eakins is forced to take a step backwards to try and develop the teams 2-way play so he gets more heat then he probably should.

Failure to focus on the all around play of their young guys is one of the biggest reasons the team continues to struggle and they will continue that trend until they teach them these skills.

When a team with only 2 rookies (Arcobello and Gadzic), as stated by Eakins after 10 games, all had a different idea of basic defensive play, that tells me they were never taught proper 2-way play by any of their previous coaches or existing assistant coaches.

Now Eakins is forced to do what should have done 2 years ago. That will in turn add 2 years to this neverending rebuild. Firing Eakins will not change the fact that this needs to be done and he has proven success in teaching players what it takes to succeed in the NHL.

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#65 NJ
February 03 2014, 04:34PM
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Brilliant Gregor. Apparently nobody has informed you that you never win when you battle with a moron. They simply drag you down to their level and beat you with experience. I don't care about your personal verbal spars with mindless tweeters. I would suspect ON shares my feelings though I could be wrong.

Next: oilers and pride is almost non-existent. If Mac T would rock one of the youngsters out of town, maybe they'd try harder. And no, I don't care who. Except Yak. He at least TRIES. Send anyone else out, ruffle their feathers. Ideally you'd send one to Buffalo or Calgary so they realize "oh crap life CAN get worse".

Whatever.

/signed bitter oilers fan

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#66 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
February 03 2014, 04:35PM
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We want coaching continuity, but Eakins doesn't appear (in my eyes, anyway) to be an NHL calibre coach. Firing him would send the message that it's not the players' fault, keeping him on could possibly be detrimental to the team's development.

Just another day in the Nation.

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#67 BobbyCanuck
February 03 2014, 04:41PM
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Scrivens will be a UFA, he is playing the best he can in order to attract attention from all the other teams, he has been in the locker room, he has seen the culture, and he will only sign in Edmonton for $5-7M/year for 2 years. I would have retired at 29 if I had $10M in the bank, would you? If he does not retire after that, he can still go play elsewhere.

I would love to see Yak drop the gloves! He has been thrown under the bus so often this year, I would not be surprised if he refused to report to training camp (do not know the legal logistics of this move)

I am actually hoping Oil get it handed to them tonight. I feel one of the biggest problems with mgmt. has been these 3 odd game winning streaks we get on once a month or so. These streaks have a habit of giving Oil brass the optics that we are oh so very close to having a complete club. Come on Oilers! I really want to change my avatar

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#68 madjam
February 03 2014, 04:42PM
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Konopka and Leino out of Sabers lineup , and they are playing their 2nd string goalie Enroth against us . Either they figure we are easy , or maybe they are trying to throw the game ? Ingredients for a possible though improbable win perhaps ?

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#69 toprightcorner
February 03 2014, 04:54PM
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Most people seem to blame the players for not working hard enough, not being gritty, not playing a 2 way game, yet it seems those same people are the ones who want to fire Eakins ASAP.

Firing Eakins will once again show that the players are not held accountable for their poor play on the ice. This reinforces them to continue playing the same way because it is not their fault which means the team will not get any better thus resulting in a bad team again next year.

This cycle must be stopped. Until the players are held accountable and understand that they need to change what they do on the ice, this team will always struggle.

Eakins may not be the best coach for the team, but until the players change their attitudes, no coach will improve this team. Heck, Scotty Boman would not make this team better if the players continue to play like this.

Once the players start to hold themselves accountable and are committed to their play and responsibilities then the focus can be put on the coach and whether or not he is the guy that can get the best results out of the players he has. Until then a coaching change is futile.

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#70 Sketchy
February 03 2014, 04:55PM
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Can someone please explain to me why I still read articles, somewhat watch games for as long as I can and listen to talk radio about this team??? I don't understand why I still give a deuce about this team. It's emberassing to be a fan of this organization

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#71 BobbyCanuck
February 03 2014, 05:00PM
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@Sketchy

Because it is minus 30 outside, and you are bored. If Edmonton had other options for you spend your hard earned brain cells on, you would. Alas, all we got is 'a nice place to raise your family', $50/hr jobs for high school grads, and the MALL

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#72 Reg Dunlop
February 03 2014, 05:09PM
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Man, Principe acts like a fool. Amature hour at the local YMCA, fitting I guess for this edition of the oil. The best thing is for the oil to stomp the sabres but since the 20 heart transplants haven't been performed yet, sabres win 3-2 which kick-starts meaningful change in the top 6 oil forward group. Bye Sam, see ya Yak.

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#73 Oasis
February 03 2014, 05:09PM
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Gregor, you hit the nail on the head. This team needs some heart, some grit. When you find a player that brings it every night, you have to hold onto him. They don't need to be 6' 4", they don't need to score 20 goals every season because there are other intangibles that they bring.

I hate to bring up the past and bitter feelings but it makes me think of letting Glencross go. Sure he might have wanted a little more money than the Oilers wanted to pay, but he was/is the exact type of player this team needs and hasn't had for a long time. Glencross was a guy I would have overpaid for.

I am being lazy and don't feel like looking it up but is it possible that K Lowe was the General Manager who let him walk? I can't see that being the case as 6 rings knows a thing or two about winning.

Gah!!!!!!

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#74 Gary
February 03 2014, 05:11PM
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When will people understand that the Oiler organization is incompetent. I will be back in 3yrs and see what the fans are saying after 11 yrs out of the playoffs.

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#75 vetinari
February 03 2014, 05:11PM
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Finally!!! A team with a worse defence than us! 1-0 Oilers.

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#76 Stranger
February 03 2014, 05:17PM
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Does this game determine who gets bumped down to the AHL?

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#77 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
February 03 2014, 05:21PM
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The PP this year is horrific. There's no other word for it.

EDIT: How many unsportsmanlikes has Hall gotten this year? Dude must have a mouth like a sailor.

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#78 Cubsfan
February 03 2014, 05:21PM
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I turned off the volume while watching the game, and I'm playing Yakety Sax in the background. The game is more entertaining this way.

(for those that dont know....yakety sax....think Benny Hill)

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#79 james_dean
February 03 2014, 05:22PM
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Ill admit I get behind the facebook or twitter wheel after a few drinks and write stupid comments but...

I didnt know asprin before bed would work

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#80 vetinari
February 03 2014, 05:26PM
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Eakins should tell Smyth to tuck an extra Oilers jersey under his, and when he goes into a corner with Ott, quickly put the extra jersey on Ott and tell him to get back to our bench for further instructions...

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#82 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
February 03 2014, 05:32PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Could not agree more,time to change the dynamic.Make the team hard to play against.

No more easy nights against the Oilers.

I'm in for the overhaul. Clean house. No more Butter.

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#83 The Soup Fascist
February 03 2014, 05:33PM
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james_dean wrote:

Ill admit I get behind the facebook or twitter wheel after a few drinks and write stupid comments but...

I didnt know asprin before bed would work

As long as you don't get behind the wheel of your 1955 Porsche Spyder .... you should be fine.

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#84 vetinari
February 03 2014, 05:35PM
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First five minutes were fine and we even started to outshoot and outchance Buffalo but the last ten minutes or so, Buffalo has turned the tables.

EDIT: Also, I wonder what the "over/under" on the number of scouts in attendance are for tonight? 10? 15?

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#85 Johnnydapunk
February 03 2014, 05:38PM
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I don't expect anything until the defence gets sorted out. Unless the Oil forwards magically develop a deathly scoring touch, nothing will change until the Oil get some D through trades.

I don't expect any joy from the rest of the season, and once the trade deadline passes, I will be even more indifferent. But MacT seems to be active at least and I don't expect miracles by any means.

Hopefully this game isn't too much of a gong show.

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#86 james_dean
February 03 2014, 05:39PM
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Also I used to hit the copper n blue 3 or 4 hits a week.

im done with those busch league donkeys.

But I do have to admit I thought willis still wrote for them. Willis is a boss. Nuff said

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#87 Ari Gold
February 03 2014, 05:40PM
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After watching a hard-working, well-coached Seahawks win the Super Bowl last night, I can't tolerate this Oilers team. I'd rather watch re-runs.

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#88 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
February 03 2014, 05:40PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Curious if you felt they were coming together last year or the year before?

Oilers are showing better defensive decisions, but last game their PP passing was terrible, and that is on the players.

If they aren't being pressured they should be able to complete passes...that isn't coaching in my books. I've seen that happen too often the past few seasons to blame the coaches.

Basic consistent passing can't fall on shoulders of coaches. To me, the players need to hold one another to higher standards or execution.

Hi Jason,

You and I had a conversation a while back based on a question you asked which was " Do we believe the Oilers organization is on the right path" I said NO. You said they were at a crossroads and that if MacT made the right moves we'd be OK.

I agreed at the time. But I'm having less and less confidence that this is true. I think we have a soft core, not just a soft supporting cast, and don't see that changing under MacT. I think they are committed to the current kids and want to add toughness around them.

I don't think that approach will work. I think besides Gagner, that Ebbs may also have to go ( and I love Ebbs but the core is too soft)That and at least 6 or 7 more changes that add grit and compete.

So I think we are on the wrong road.

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#89 Sketchy
February 03 2014, 05:43PM
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Calling this an NHL game is like calling yesterday's football game a Super Bowl

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#90 Reg Dunlop
February 03 2014, 05:44PM
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If I have to watch Eberle toe-drag once more I will pour molten lead in my eyes. Either coach him up or trade him.

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#91 Rod from Viking
February 03 2014, 05:47PM
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What an awesome powerplay, 4-2 on 1's for Buffalo and #10 shorthanded goals, they could set a record.

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#92 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
February 03 2014, 05:47PM
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How is it even possible to give up this many shorties? MacT better call Krueger up and beg him to come back, he turned the PP into one of the most dangerous in the league last year.

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#93 Rob F
February 03 2014, 05:48PM
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I see Yak hustled back after Eberle bad pass. eberle dogged it back

I'm sure yak will get benched for that

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#94 FireKLowe
February 03 2014, 05:49PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Curious if you felt they were coming together last year or the year before?

Oilers are showing better defensive decisions, but last game their PP passing was terrible, and that is on the players.

If they aren't being pressured they should be able to complete passes...that isn't coaching in my books. I've seen that happen too often the past few seasons to blame the coaches.

Basic consistent passing can't fall on shoulders of coaches. To me, the players need to hold one another to higher standards or execution.

You call allowing the league highest goals against "showing better defensive decisions"? Pass me some of that kool-aid will ya?

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#95 Rod from Viking
February 03 2014, 05:49PM
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Reg Dunlop wrote:

If I have to watch Eberle toe-drag once more I will pour molten lead in my eyes. Either coach him up or trade him.

No didn't you hear Kevin Quinn,he just couldn't get the puck to settle down(lol), I don't know who is worse, the Oilers or the Sportsnet broadcast team.

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#96 They're $hittie
February 03 2014, 05:51PM
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eberle trying too much again, another pk goal against and eakins still wont go back to the pp that worked last year

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#97 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
February 03 2014, 05:52PM
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Hey Eakins.....forget the standings.....forget the two points.....nobody cares about the two points....GET PISSED OFF! Show your team that they need to react differently to losing.

MacT spoke about not using the "kids" excuse anymore. About ending the culture of losing, where losing is tolerated as though it's just "upsetting" but to be expected......you and your team are way to tolerant of losing!

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#98 FireKLowe
February 03 2014, 05:52PM
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Rod from Viking wrote:

What an awesome powerplay, 4-2 on 1's for Buffalo and #10 shorthanded goals, they could set a record.

If MacT doesn't fire these clowns after the Olympic break I'm done as an Oiler fan. How the fcuk can you allow 10 shorthanded goals and the season isn't even over yet? One shorthanded goal is too many IMO!

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#99 vetinari
February 03 2014, 05:56PM
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I think that we all expected the defence to be subpar when we started the season, but I don't think that we expected that the offence and special teams would disappear as well.

I thought that we'd be seeing a lot of 5-3 and 4-3 goal games, with us sometimes on top and sometimes on the bottom (close to 50-50), but we've had epic runs of being shutout, of giving up shorthanded goals and of losing streaks... what gives??? Is this a "concentration and attention to details" kind of thing or is it because our guys threw in the towel after they fell flat in October?

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#100 Rob F
February 03 2014, 05:57PM
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They're $hittie wrote:

eberle trying too much again, another pk goal against and eakins still wont go back to the pp that worked last year

Trying too much? Not trying ENOUGH

What happen to this guy. He's become lazier than me.

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