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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#101 Alsker
February 03 2014, 06:41PM
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Nice goal by Jultz, funny I was in the middle of a ranting bout Gags not going the net with the puck when he scored. So back to snowpants, no one around him and he passes off into a crowd. And why you ask: FEAR!!!!! Like Klown, Gags must go.

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#102 Sevenseven
February 03 2014, 09:24PM
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@Oasis

The defense is garbage, they should address that first. Plus Scrivens and bryz is miles ahead of dubnyk and labrabera. If they could improve their defence that much, scrivens and bryz would be adequate.

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#103 BingBong
February 03 2014, 10:15PM
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Wow, kind of irrelevant who won that game. Two BAD teams. That first period wasn't much better than the average ECHL game.

Mostly bad but I thought Eberle, Hemsky and Smyth looked absolutely horrible. Bad hangovers maybe?

I actually thought Petry and Schultz looked ok although both play too many minutes.

One huge problem for us is when the D dumps it round the boards, out forwards hardly ever win that battle to get the puck out. And the few times we DO get it out we end up turning it over with a weak cross-ice pass.

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#104 The Real Scuba Steve
February 03 2014, 01:22PM
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Exciting last place hockey!!!

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#105 They're $hittie
February 03 2014, 03:03PM
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OILERSNATION IS A COLLECTION OF LOCAL MEDIA GUYS WHO ARE ACTUALLY PAID FOR AN OPINION OUTSIDE THE SITE AND BY CREDIBLE MEDIA, and ALONG SIDE A FEW FANS WHO CREATED THE SITE WHO HAVE FUN WITH THEIR ARTICLES.

Copper and blue is a bunch of amateur blow hards, who are only paid based for their opinions based on website hits and was awarded the rights to post on SB Nation probably because the editor bought the rights.

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#106 Chainsawz
February 03 2014, 03:05PM
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"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?"

You don't get the best chance to pick first overall by accident... unless you're the Penguins.

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#107 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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#108 Oasis
February 03 2014, 06:02PM
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Dave wrote:

Can we rethink this whole new arena thing over again??

NO !!!!!!!!

-Darryl Katz

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#109 I hate stats
February 03 2014, 06:37PM
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With all the stats out there, the most obvious one would be a puck battle stat. Seems 9 times out of 10 the team facing the oil come out of the corner with the puck. Do 89 or 14 EVER win those?

Maybe this is old school, but the great lines in the past had a passing centre (trottier/99) scoring winger (bossy/17) and a guy who could go get you the puck (gillies/27). The oil don't have that guy.

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#110 Kane
February 03 2014, 07:03PM
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Just wondering - would the Jets trade Evander Kane straight up for Eberle? or would the oil have to add to the pot? He has a crappy attitude, but perhaps a change of scenery will help him grow up.

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#111 Dangilitis
February 03 2014, 09:55PM
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Probably Derek zona he's a real loser. Works for dicks sporting goods in Pittsburgh and obviously the stores name suits him. Most arrogant foolish blogger and between him and chapman they have completely turned people away from their site, me included. Jason I wish you could have seen the debate we had on their site but you won't be able to because that prick took it down because it made him look bad. He argued that RNH was mishandled and i told him that he has no medical knowledge, and more importantly, no inside knowledge of RNH's recovery nor the condition of his shoulder. He called me an idiot and then I proceeded to show him why he was wrong, using my experience as someone who has had a labral shoulder repair and has assisted in the OR as a medical student. He then told me my experiences were irrelevant and called me a proctologist. I then showed him journal articles suggesting RNH's recovery was within reasonable expectations and that, in fact, some players can recover in 4 months to competitive sport. He then called me a dentist and I told him to stick it. Don't take it personally, there are some good people writing there but the rest are jealous and insecure. Hating for the sake of it, and hating people who don't agree with them for the sake of it. Tyler Dellow, you name it. I stopped reading them months ago and I suggest everyone else do the same.

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#113 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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#114 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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#115 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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#116 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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#117 Oasis
February 03 2014, 05:57PM
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Wow, Sabres are getting better scoring chances on our power play than us. Bad play by Eberle........Yak is too deep in the zone to make that pass, turnover and it's in the back of the net. You're probably right, staple Yak to the bench. At least he got back and took his man.

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#118 vetinari
February 03 2014, 06:34PM
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Oasis wrote:

The game is only half over so it's pretty early to make a guarantee but I am going to do it anyways.................

I smell an Oilers moral victory

THAT smell is not a moral victory...

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#119 vetinari
February 03 2014, 07:01PM
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It's sad when Buffalo can register 30 shots against you after two periods and you have given up over 130 shots in the last 8 periods of play.

Our forwards do 'flybys' on opposing players in our own defensive zone, defencemen don't push forwards out of the way in front of our net and opposing defencemen don't fear pressure at the blueline for forced turnovers...

We need a couple of angry, nasty defencemen on the blueline who get their jollies from carving opposing forwards in half and at least three forwards who will run over opposing players and crush guys in the corner.

Sigh. Three more years? Four more? Before we can home grow some of these guys and make the playoffs?

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#120 vetinari
February 03 2014, 07:07PM
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A SH goal???? For us??? We CAN get those too???

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#121 vetinari
February 03 2014, 07:16PM
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If we win tonight... and I mean "if"... it will be because of our role players and the goals from our blueliners because RNH, Hall and Eberle are nowhere on the score sheet despite primo 1st line minutes.

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#122 #ThereGoesTheOilers
February 03 2014, 10:37PM
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Sharing a laugh with my 8 year old son that watching these teams is like watching a hockey clinic on what not to do.

Not too much later we've watched two shorthanded goals.

My son says, 'wow dad you were right'.

I wish I wasn't my boy, I wish I wasn't.

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#123 mouthbreather
February 03 2014, 11:07PM
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#ThereGoesTheOilers wrote:

Sharing a laugh with my 8 year old son that watching these teams is like watching a hockey clinic on what not to do.

Not too much later we've watched two shorthanded goals.

My son says, 'wow dad you were right'.

I wish I wasn't my boy, I wish I wasn't.

ha ha ha my 7 yr old says to me during the 2nd period..."Dad, this game is boring, can I play on your iPhone?"

Put him to bed early in the third without even a fight. These guys are boring!

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#124 Copper n Poo
February 03 2014, 02:00PM
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6-1 Oil.

Besides the excellent Jon Willis, Copper N Blue is intolerable.

Very much up their own collective ass.

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#125 HardBoiledOil
February 03 2014, 02:33PM
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They're $hittie wrote:

Does anyone actually still respect copper and blue.

All there writers have the same opinion and Zona wont hire one with a different opinion. Every article is about Omark and Gilbert. No fresh material. Corsi this, corsi that.

They want a better oiler team but dont want to trade Anyone. They think that omark on the fourth line would win games.

They think that all swedish defensman prospects in the top ten are the next nick lidstrom.

Get some new articles and quit dwelling on the omark and Gilbert trades. They are horrible players and it is in the past.

i have read the opinions on that board and oh good lord it's so one sided! seems that if anyone has a differing opinion that the bloggers do, they are hacked to bits. i actually feel sorry for the very few posters on there with differing opinions and i refuse to post on there. i did notice that they seem to go on and on there about the Hartikainen and Omark trades there and seem to think they would make this team better somehow? i'll stick to Oilersnation and a few others that don't have such one sided opinions!

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#126 Rama Lama
February 03 2014, 02:52PM
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GriffCity wrote:

Agreed that Gallagher is how our smaller fwd's should play. Tenacious is the word. Good luck finding that tenacity in Gagner, Eberle and the lot. The only player who battles for space on the Oilers is newly acquired Hendricks and he only does so while jockeying for position on the 4th line -not ultimately effective. I have liked Hendricks game thus far, he certainly isnt flashy but he plays positional hockey where he doesnt get beat and he is TOUGH TO PLAY AGAINST. We have been saying if all year, actually for a couple fo years that Oilers are small, soft and easy to play against -and its true! By far one of the easiest teams to stare down at and not be intimidated. Gazdic has done what he can with his fists, which isn't a lot and Hendricks brings that element of functional toughness the Oilers so desperately need. Perron plays with an edge but he's more lippy and cheap than he is tough. We could certainly use a guy like gallagher to show these panmzies that you don't have to be big to play big. Guess they will have to take their notes from Ference although I like Gallaghers game much more. Did I mention Gallagher is a local kid from Edmonton?

We have our own Brendan Gallager his name is Mark Arcbello !

He hits, skates, and does all the small thing right and his reward is being sent to the minors.

Yes I get that we are showcasing the new "Horcoff" that being Sam Gagner. If we do not move this guy for something now, we will be talking about this for the next four years. Same goes for Ryand Smyth as well as Hemsky.

We need to move these guys so that other more deserving get a chance to play. Hanging on to talent for far too long has become the Achilles heel of this organization. I hope Mac T keeps going and does his part ........he is the only one in management that seems to get it.

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#127 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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#128 Hockey fan 1976
February 03 2014, 06:41PM
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Anyone who thinks the Boston game was the low point of the season, think again!! Buffalo the " worst team" in the league is making the crappy Oilers look like the real AHL team they are.

Funny how the Oilers are the only team where the captaincy actually means nothing as Ference really has no impact on the game EVER!!

Never again paying for a ticket to watch these losers until Blowe, Mc Crap and Dickins is gone.

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#129 Reg Dunlop
February 03 2014, 07:22PM
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Lucky break for JSchultz. Manhandled by Foligno, then he elects to go behind the net rather than following the sabre to the front where, God forbid, some physicality may be necessary. Good thing his offence is coming around or he would be completely useless.

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#130 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
February 03 2014, 07:25PM
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exsanguinator wrote:

Not actually watching the game because the Oilers enrage me but have they even tried to dump the puck in least once? Or are they STILL trying to carry the puck over the line and hoping for the best?

Although I suppose if you dump the puck in someone has to go and get it...

Yeah....winning puck battles isn't our thing.

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#131 ?
February 04 2014, 12:03AM
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1 more note. That's 144 shots against in the last 3 games, if my mediocre math skills are correct.

That's an average of 48 a game. That's embarrassing. So basically, the Oilers would need Ben Scrivens channeling his SuperMojo to even have a shot at winning some games at this rate.

Yup, sounds about right

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#132 tileguy
February 04 2014, 09:53AM
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We have seen so many bizzare line combinations this year might I suggest a couple more.

Lets put some beef(chicken) on each line, perhaps Hendricks on the first, Gordon on the second, Gadzic on the third. Might make the small guys play a little bigger knowing somebody has there backside.

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#133 Tha Legion
February 03 2014, 03:22PM
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little over the line re C&B by some of the posters. Just because they aren't paid doesn't make them poor writers, now granted I don't read C&B because I don't care for the way they conduct themselves online. But I wouldn't attack their work. It's usually pretty good.

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#134 GriffCity
February 03 2014, 03:38PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

We have our own Brendan Gallager his name is Mark Arcbello !

He hits, skates, and does all the small thing right and his reward is being sent to the minors.

Yes I get that we are showcasing the new "Horcoff" that being Sam Gagner. If we do not move this guy for something now, we will be talking about this for the next four years. Same goes for Ryand Smyth as well as Hemsky.

We need to move these guys so that other more deserving get a chance to play. Hanging on to talent for far too long has become the Achilles heel of this organization. I hope Mac T keeps going and does his part ........he is the only one in management that seems to get it.

With respect, Arco is no Gallagher. Arco was a pleasant surprise for the first half of the year but is neither as skilled as Gallagher nor as tenacious. So apples to oranges, we do not have enough functional toughness in our line-up.

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#135 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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#136 God
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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#137 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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#138 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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#139 Alsker
February 03 2014, 06:36PM
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vetinari wrote:

THAT smell is not a moral victory...

You beat me to it.....

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#140 ?
February 03 2014, 08:12PM
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They're $hittie wrote:

Does anyone actually still respect copper and blue.

All there writers have the same opinion and Zona wont hire one with a different opinion. Every article is about Omark and Gilbert. No fresh material. Corsi this, corsi that.

They want a better oiler team but dont want to trade Anyone. They think that omark on the fourth line would win games.

They think that all swedish defensman prospects in the top ten are the next nick lidstrom.

Get some new articles and quit dwelling on the omark and Gilbert trades. They are horrible players and it is in the past.

If Oilers management has the same ineptitudes that you show in judgement of players, it makes perfect sense why this team is so bad.

I guess Hendricks will be this team's salvation

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#141 risto siltanen's slapshot
February 03 2014, 09:41PM
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I'm with the guy who complained that the nation has nuthin' new to bit che about. omark and gagner r yesterday's news. let's talk about how good a line of gadzic Hendricks and glencross would look. ;)

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#143 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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#144 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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#145 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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#146 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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#147 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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#148 S cottV
February 03 2014, 06:19PM
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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.

Shortened season last year but they did play meaningful games in the new year. Special teams were better and you just did not get the same unstable feeling surrounding the way the club played.

As I write - the Oilers just gave up another short handed goal.

It's leadership that keeps things on the rails.

The coach(es) supply much of it and they elect player representatives to provide the bulk of the rest.

If the coach thinks he is providing effective leadership then he has to question the decisions he made about player captains, if things are off the rails for extended periods.

At the end of the day - though, the coach is responsible.

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#149 Jakethesnake
February 03 2014, 07:10PM
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Louie debrusk sucks. Was a terrible player and fighter and is a worse broadcaster At this point I would rather have Peter labaudious.

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#150 Rob F
February 03 2014, 07:10PM
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vetinari wrote:

It's sad when Buffalo can register 30 shots against you after two periods and you have given up over 130 shots in the last 8 periods of play.

Our forwards do 'flybys' on opposing players in our own defensive zone, defencemen don't push forwards out of the way in front of our net and opposing defencemen don't fear pressure at the blueline for forced turnovers...

We need a couple of angry, nasty defencemen on the blueline who get their jollies from carving opposing forwards in half and at least three forwards who will run over opposing players and crush guys in the corner.

Sigh. Three more years? Four more? Before we can home grow some of these guys and make the playoffs?

Brilliant

We are no longer the Edmonton Oilers

We shall now be called. The Edmonton Fly Bys

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