GDB: BATTLE OF ALBERTA

Lowetide
March 01 2014 09:50AM


800px-Bench_Pigeon_Lake_Alberta_Canada_02A

It's an ill will she blows this morning, ladies and men. We are stone cold frozen, indoors, outdoors and in the western conference. The blues aren't blue enough, the country tear-jerkers can't find the lines, the poets can't stop the clocks in rhyme. 

The Battle of Alberta is desolation row. 

BUT WE'LL GET THERE BEFORE THEM!

bubbling under

Really? REALLY? The tortoise and the hare had a point to their story, I'm not sure 'one frozen bubble against another one' will galvanize our collective spirits in Alberta province. 

Is there ANY good news? And don't tell me the draft! 

CALGARY FLAMES PROJECTED LINEUP

  • TJ Galiardi-Mikael Backlund-Jiri Hudler
  • Mike Cammalleri-Sean Monahan-Joe Colborne
  • Lance Bouma-Matt Stajan-David Jones
  • Paul Byron-Markus Granlund-Kevin Westgarth
  • TJ Brodie-Mark Giordano
  • Kris Russell-Derek Smith
  • Ladislav Smid-Dennis Wideman
  • Reto Berra

The Flames have some good hockey players heading out tonight, and some of them will be playing their last game with the fiery C. Mike Cammalleri should get significant interest, young Backlund has once again overcome major obstacles and the all-Canadian Monahan looks sharp in every photo. The Flames Corsi for % 5x5 is 45.2%, fourth worst in the league but there are some champions in the group:

  • Galiardi 50.8%
  • Giordano 50.5%
  • Backlund 49.4%
  • Brodie 49.3%
  • Cammalleri 49.2%

The complete list is here   and it is worth noting Calgary has only three position players who have been on the ice for more than 300 minutes while posting a sub 43% Corsi for 5x5 %. 

lake wabamun

EDMONTON OILERS PROJECTED LINEUP

  • Hall-Nuge-Hemsky
  • Perron-Gagner-Eberle
  • Hendricks-Gordon-Joensuu
  • Jones-Smyth-Gazdic
  • Marincin-Petry
  • N Schultz-J Schultz
  • Ference-Belov
  • Bryzgalov

Nail Yakupov's injury isn't considered serious, but it's also likely they hold him back for tonight's game. Do the Oilers have some good news, something similar to the Flames' men who are close to 50% or better Corsi for 5x5?

The Oilers Corsi for 5x5% is 43.3%, they are one below Calgary in the race (don't you laugh, Toronto  only Buffalo saves you!)

  • Martin Marincin 50.2%

The numbers are here.  Edmonton has five players who have been on the ice for more than 300 minutes while also posting a sub 43% Corsi for 5x5 %.


SOME SWEET DAY

lake louise

History tells us this will not last. Calgary will have a fine trade deadline, add some picks and prospects and live to fight another day. Edmonton appears to have invested heavily in hiring a new coach each season, so the only impressive thing is the number of first overall selections on their roster. 

Calgary and Edmonton are driving toward that goal this summer, first overall. In that race, Edmonton is judge, jury and executioner. For Oiler fans, the promise of a first overall pick is like a kick in the junk, a stomach turner, a false spring. 

The Flames should learn the lesson presented to them by Edmonton—it's pretty damn hard to come back quickly from scorched earth, even when good soil lies all about you. 

GAME DAY PREDICTION: Flames and Oilers play to a 1-1 tie and no one can score in the shootout. Finally, Ladislav Smid drives in over the blueline and goes shelf on a very surprised Ilya Bryzgalov.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Flames win 5-1, on 5 shorthanded goals. All by Smid. 

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: CBC's After Hours becomes trade central as both Mike Cammalleri and Ales Hemsky are sent to Pittsburgh right after the game. 

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Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on TSN 1260.
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#351 Rod from Viking
March 01 2014, 09:35PM
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RexHolez wrote:

Remember when people were saying the oilers are getting better and will chase down and pass the flames in the standings.... Guess we can put that dream to bed. I hope the oilers finish last, lose the lottery and pick 5th. They don't deserve anything else

Flames how about catching Colorado by Olympic break.

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#352 Rod from Viking
March 01 2014, 10:03PM
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On the bright side Marincin is having a good game.

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#353 vetinari
March 01 2014, 10:43PM
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Three point game... whoopie...

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#354 BingBong
March 02 2014, 01:08PM
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Harry wrote:

I can see Eakins getting the rest of the season then 20 games next year. If he sh'ts the bed after Macs supposed bold roster makeover during that 20 game stretch hes FIIIIIIIIRRRED!!

I agree. MacT will make some moves this off-season - maybe bold, maybe not. Then Eakins will be on a VERY short leash to start the year. If they struggle the first 20-25 games, he'll be the next George Burnett.

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#355 Zarny
March 02 2014, 01:52PM
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Enjoyed the gold medal game in the Bahamas and come back to the same drivel about coaching.

Yes, the US and Sweden were muted by Canada's "systems" not one of the sexiest bluelines in history. Babcock is truly a virtuoso on a magic marker board.

Hitchcock's 'x' at 3:43 of the 3rd period was surely the key to shutting down Kessel; not the ability of the players to win virtually every 1 on 1 battle, or their dedication and commitment to not cheat the system and play as a unit.

If only the Russians knew the secret was an excitable coach who makes lots of facial expressions after every goal.

Surely a better coach and a marker set with more colors would have convinced all of Russia's highly skilled and very similar forwards to play less like individuals and not cheat for offense. Belov and Markov could have been a shutdown tandem for the ages if only they had better systems.

Curious after Crosby and Poulin's goals how Babcock and Dineen casually walked down the bench without a twitch of expression. Imagine their potential if they learned to lose their composure and imitate someone with tourettes.

And what was with Toews and Crosby praising the commitment and work ethic of the players to be disciplined and responsible instead paying full homage to the coaching staff's "systems"? Without Hitchcock there is no way Crosby could have been that defensively responsible. Jon and Sid made it sound like players make decisions on the ice or something. Crazy talk.

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#356 Jeffff
March 01 2014, 12:35PM
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@Spydyr

Then we agree.

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#357 coachedpotatoe
March 01 2014, 01:33PM
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If the flames lineup is correct it will be interesting to see Granlund play with Monahan. The third line with 3 NHL vets might be interesting as well.

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#358 Rick Stroppel
March 01 2014, 03:27PM
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admiralmark wrote:

No i didn't miss the trade news. Perhaps you missed the news that Buffalo was open to flipping Stewart to another team? And of course as an Oiler fan I cant help but dream of some functional toughness in the top 6. Simmonds/Stewart a fan can dream can't he?

OK, now I get it.

Further to your original post, I agree that Myers is intriguing, albeit risky with his sketchy play since his rookie season.

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#359 cccsberg
March 01 2014, 05:41PM
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Spydyr wrote:

OK flames fans I'm a lifelong Oiler fan and I'm saying my team is better at tanking a season than yours?

Rebuttal?

Yeah, you 're right. And with the Oilers ingrained win-by-losing defeatist mentality you'll still be saying that 5 years from now while setting NHL records for futility...

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#360 spliff
March 01 2014, 06:52PM
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Spydyr wrote:

If playing sound defensive hockey bores you it is a good thing you are an Oilers fan.

From the very first game on I was impressed with Team Canada every player made the right play at the right time it was almost surreal. Throughout the entire tournament Canada"s players were always on the right side of the puck and man defensively.The entire team made no more than a handful of errors the entire tournament.

It was amazing to watch.That team was the best coached ,best defensive hockey team I have ever witnessed.

Perhaps the best hockey team in history.

Team Canada was awesome, no denying that. However the big ice surface is lame, and is a great example of Europeans taking a perfectly good product and changing it - and making it worse.

The big ice results in too much space, too much needless skating, less hitting and less intensity.

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#361 Loweblows
March 01 2014, 07:02PM
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Spydyr wrote:

He did say sabbatical but do you think he would have been welcomed back?

Not by the fans, but history shows what the fans think is completely irrelevant

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#362 MichaelD
March 01 2014, 08:20PM
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Berra gives me a heart attack

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#363 Mason Storm
March 01 2014, 08:56PM
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Any of you Flames fans have Rico Fata's number?

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#364 MichaelD
March 01 2014, 08:57PM
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@Kent Wilson

Come on don't be sarcastic about it. He's under contract to play a game he loves, and I hope he can keep playing after this. I'll be proud if it's in a flames jersey.

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#365 **
March 01 2014, 08:58PM
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REXALL: The Bolshoi of the prairies

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#366 Mason Storm
March 01 2014, 09:41PM
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vetinari wrote:

Oilers lead the league in SO's... against... sigh...

And shorthanded goals given up

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#367 admiralmark
March 01 2014, 09:55PM
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RexHolez wrote:

Remember when people were saying the oilers are getting better and will chase down and pass the flames in the standings.... Guess we can put that dream to bed. I hope the oilers finish last, lose the lottery and pick 5th. They don't deserve anything else

Funny as that is. Its not technically possible. Finish Last= at worst 2nd overall pick.

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#368 Harry
March 02 2014, 11:50AM
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big slick wrote:

Eakins has to be fired. This year has been WAY below expectations. Player changes from last year was mixed. Some hits (Perron), some misses. But Eakins was a clear mistake. If the Oil were anywhere near last year's results I would say yes keep Eakins, not too bad. But how can you argue with the results of this year? Terrible, given the starting point. The coach has to be held accountable. If they can't finish ahead of Calgary, again given the starting point, this whole season is on the coach.

I can see Eakins getting the rest of the season then 20 games next year. If he sh'ts the bed after Macs supposed bold roster makeover during that 20 game stretch hes FIIIIIIIIRRRED!!

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#369 Harry
March 02 2014, 11:45PM
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Zarny wrote:

Enjoyed the gold medal game in the Bahamas and come back to the same drivel about coaching.

Yes, the US and Sweden were muted by Canada's "systems" not one of the sexiest bluelines in history. Babcock is truly a virtuoso on a magic marker board.

Hitchcock's 'x' at 3:43 of the 3rd period was surely the key to shutting down Kessel; not the ability of the players to win virtually every 1 on 1 battle, or their dedication and commitment to not cheat the system and play as a unit.

If only the Russians knew the secret was an excitable coach who makes lots of facial expressions after every goal.

Surely a better coach and a marker set with more colors would have convinced all of Russia's highly skilled and very similar forwards to play less like individuals and not cheat for offense. Belov and Markov could have been a shutdown tandem for the ages if only they had better systems.

Curious after Crosby and Poulin's goals how Babcock and Dineen casually walked down the bench without a twitch of expression. Imagine their potential if they learned to lose their composure and imitate someone with tourettes.

And what was with Toews and Crosby praising the commitment and work ethic of the players to be disciplined and responsible instead paying full homage to the coaching staff's "systems"? Without Hitchcock there is no way Crosby could have been that defensively responsible. Jon and Sid made it sound like players make decisions on the ice or something. Crazy talk.

A+ in sarcasm good sir. Well done

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#370 Marcus
March 03 2014, 07:10AM
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Hockey Problems wrote:

Tell Bob Stauffer to tune the dial up to TSN 1260. The truth shall set him free. The Oiler propaganda he spews daily must be unbelievable now even to him. This team will never win with these sissies we've got in the top 6. Barely one heart between all 6 of em. Eberle needs to be shown the door sooner rather than later. Weak, no puck battle winning muffin.

Never watched Eberle play junior. Lately I've been watching a few Regina Pats games. It's amazing watching WHL players shift in, shift out battling for pucks. Did Ebs do this as a junior?

I suppose the difference is these young guys are gunning for draft positions and playing for self and team pride. Ebs and the gang are now rich, spoiled brats.

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#371 ?
March 01 2014, 10:56AM
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Spydyr wrote:

Bring out DSF he will stir things up.

Yea, he'll piss off all the Oilers fans lol

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#372 Jeffff
March 01 2014, 10:56AM
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@Spydyr

1 question for you.

Did you realize the Blue line is closer to the Goalie redline on olympic size ice?

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#373 Spydyr
March 01 2014, 06:52PM
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Loweblows wrote:

I thought he offered to take a sabbatical? Meaning he'd go on a long vacation and let the heat die down. He should resign! meaning quit, walk away and never come back! Katz would have no say in that

He did say sabbatical but do you think he would have been welcomed back?

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#374 ChinookArch
March 01 2014, 07:00PM
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I have a self imposed moratorium where I don't make fun of the Oilers until the hit top 25 or better. Even if I did allow myself, I could not pile on as bad as the Oiler fans are.

BLEAK.

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#375 Rod from Viking
March 01 2014, 07:05PM
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MontanaMan wrote:

A few thoughts:

1. Eberle, Hall, Yak and Nuge are disinterested and don't appear to want to stay with the Oil.

2. Eakins is a brutal coach and has no idea how to run a bench or motivate a team.

3. With Tambellini gone and MacT floundering, one has to wonder if they are both incompetent GM's or if the interference from above (Lowe, Katz) hamstrings the GM.

4. Oiler fans have given up, just like their team.

5. Flames resigned Stajan - enough said.

6. Westgarth gets a regular shift with the Flames. He wouldn't get a regular shift in a beer league that plays at 11:30 PM on Sunday nights.

7. Brian Burke looks like a drunk that just came off a three day bender.

8. Neither team appears heading in the right direction. Frightening times in Alberta.

Players most interested in over achieving include Cammalleri, Gagner, Hemsky and Wideman. All should busting their butts to increase their chances of leaving this misery.

Agree on all points, when the camera went on Burke at the Olympics he looked like he had maybe been on back-back 3 day benders, which is very sad if true.

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#376 RKD
March 01 2014, 08:20PM
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Doesn't matter to me if the teams are bad, sure I'd love to see them meet in the playoffs. However, if the hockey is entertaining and so far we've had end to end action I'm all for it. This is a storied rivalry, at least the players get up for this just the commentators here tonight.

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#377 vetinari
March 01 2014, 09:09PM
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RexHolez wrote:

Agreed!! The Latvian woman's team would walk all over these losers! You meant the woman's team right??

The woman's team likely has more testosterone than Monahan and the Nuge put together... and they can grow facial hair!

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#378 RexHolez
March 01 2014, 09:14PM
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BingBong wrote:

He's got me worried. Previously when he's struggled or been hurt he was still getting chances, just missing. But lately he's just been invisible. Creating nothing.

He's only affective when he gets the puck on the rush or time with the puck. Since our d can't make a pass and other teams pressure, he's pretty much good for nothing

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#379 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
March 01 2014, 10:22PM
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Good god, as laughably bad as both these teams are, we CAN'T lose to the Flames tonight.

Kent, even if you're the big cheese of the Nation network these days, don't forget that your boss is an Oilers fan. Muahahahaha!

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#380 Wonger
March 02 2014, 10:20AM
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Wonger wrote:

I agree, I saw him stand up to Big John SCOTT in his last fight! Deryk Engelland!!!

EndlNd was spell checks fault and too much beer and rum!!! Colionies ! Palle!!! Balls!!! You never listen to Rocco Rompamaro!

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#381 Butters
March 02 2014, 11:56AM
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Harry wrote:

I can see Eakins getting the rest of the season then 20 games next year. If he sh'ts the bed after Macs supposed bold roster makeover during that 20 game stretch hes FIIIIIIIIRRRED!!

MacT has dialed down the bold moves talk. I suspect he is learning on the job. The cap will go up, and there isn't much out there. Let the other teams massively overpay for garbage. We will likely be in the running for McDavid next year That's both good and bad I suppose.

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#382 Butters
March 02 2014, 12:20PM
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Harry wrote:

This mess is not going to be fixed through free agency or the draft. MacT has to pull his balls out from his wifes purse and make a big trade this offseason.

Trade whom? This team need D. They do not have a any redundancy at forward except for Hemsky, and I am not sure they will get a lot for him. If you think they need to change the makeup of the forwards it might help, but the holes are in the D imho.

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#383 Spydyr
March 01 2014, 10:59AM
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Jeffff wrote:

1 question for you.

Did you realize the Blue line is closer to the Goalie redline on olympic size ice?

Yes

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#384 Christian Roatis
March 01 2014, 01:14PM
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What do you mean a sensible BOA pre game article not centred around the how much of the teams suck?

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#385 MessyEH
March 01 2014, 02:08PM
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Bottoms up?

Sigh...

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#387 Rod from Viking
March 01 2014, 06:56PM
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Chambers wrote:

She is actually my wife. Her lips are a bit dry these days.....

Chaffed lips are common in this dry cold weather.

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#388 M22
March 01 2014, 07:44PM
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Hockey Problems wrote:

The Oilers have been accused of tanking on purpose in order to secure the #1 overall pick. IF that is true (and all we can really do is speculate considering no one here is privy to the closed door meetings of Lowe and his cronies) Tavares and Stamkos would have been better players to aim for. Mackinnon and McDavid also project to be better than all three #1's the Oilers have. That is what I meant about "tanking right".

Yes, I understood your post. I quoted your post to "chambers" because his was contextually relevant to yours, not mine. Anyway, we will have to wait a couple years before we can call our three-in-a-row busts. Nothing we do or have look all that great, been that way for too long, but hopefully (REALLY, REALLY hopefully), Hall/Nuge/Yak turn out to be players we can justify as #1 selections.

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#389 **
March 01 2014, 09:08PM
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beloch wrote:

It's difficult to say if Lavtia would score much, but they'd certainly crush any offense the Flames or Oilers could muster. I don't think either team could count on Latvia's goalie collapsing from exhaustion either.

Their top goalie couldn't play because of exhaustion from the previous game and the back up emptied his tank with about 5 mins left in the game. If that's not giving it all for your country, then I don't know what it is (except for the military, those folks give their lives).

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#390 Mason Storm
March 01 2014, 10:20PM
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Someone better win in regulation. I can't handle 5 more minutes of this. Not exactly high intensity, edge of your seat stuff.

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#391 kale
March 01 2014, 10:22PM
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Rod from Viking wrote:

I still think Mr Lowe was making those calls.

I totally agree, after the Heatley debacle Tambellinis mandate was to draft elite players. You dont do that unless you finish low in the standings

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#392 Butters
March 02 2014, 12:34PM
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Dan wrote:

Did you just say we "don't" have a y redundancy at forward? Haha redundancy at forward is the ONLY thing this team has

ha ha, I know what you mean, Most teams that trade players do so because they have replacements is the system or too much of this and not enough of that. The Oilers are not in either position imho.

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#393 Harry
March 02 2014, 11:38PM
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Butters wrote:

Trade whom? This team need D. They do not have a any redundancy at forward except for Hemsky, and I am not sure they will get a lot for him. If you think they need to change the makeup of the forwards it might help, but the holes are in the D imho.

Absolutely the D is just as much of a problem. I dont think selling the farm for a #1 right now.is the answer. I truly believe we have a future #1 in either Nurse Klef or Marincin. So I belive Mac shoild aquire sone solid 3,4,5 Dmen and groom the prospects weve suffered for as 1,2,3 Dmen.

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#394 Marcus
March 03 2014, 07:10AM
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Hockey Problems wrote:

Tell Bob Stauffer to tune the dial up to TSN 1260. The truth shall set him free. The Oiler propaganda he spews daily must be unbelievable now even to him. This team will never win with these sissies we've got in the top 6. Barely one heart between all 6 of em. Eberle needs to be shown the door sooner rather than later. Weak, no puck battle winning muffin.

Never watched Eberle play junior. Lately I've been watching a few Regina Pats games. It's amazing watching WHL players shift in, shift out battling for pucks. Did Ebs do this as a junior?

I suppose the difference is these young guys are gunning for draft positions and playing for self and team pride. Ebs and the gang are now rich, spoiled brats.

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#395 mesa
March 01 2014, 07:17PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

You realize functional & toughness are not part of Stewarts vocabulary.

It's like asking Penner to be just a little tougher, skate a little quicker, get just a little mad.

There is a massive reason why Stewart has been traded three times.

agree. 29 other GMs did make the flip for him yet.

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#396 Ryan Pike
March 01 2014, 08:03PM
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Flames starting Berra, Giordano/Brodie, and Galiardi/Backlund/Hudler line. Oilers go with Bryzgalov, Marincin/Petry, and Joensuu/Gordon/Hendricks.

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#397 **
March 01 2014, 09:05PM
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beloch wrote:

Hey, we should all appreciate what time we have left with Rexall before it's replaced with an arena that looks like a giant sperm.

I was making fun of the CBC broadcaster. In case you missed it, he said "welcome back to the Bolshoi" or something like that, he thought he was still in Sochi. And didn't they change the design of the new arena to a female pad?

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#398 BobbyCanuck
March 02 2014, 10:05AM
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michael wrote:

Healys comments tonight regarding Edmonton's interest in doing the same thing to New Rexall as they did to the arena in Socchi with the outside lighting on the building. Klowe/six rings/poho is looking into the technology.I for one loved it. What a great way to advertise and promote. I for one think it would look great in Edmonton.

Yes, that would be cool. But, I believe the new rink is a cost+ type of project, which means any change orders after the sign off on the draft plan means ye shall pay through the nose. Add perhaps $100M to the price?

If they do do it, it would just be a reflection on the over-all managements inability to research, and analyze the best product for the job

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#399 kittensandcookies
March 03 2014, 12:28PM
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BobbyCanuck wrote:

You sir, are a very rude. I guess your mom was not looking over your shoulder

These Oilers-Flames threads have become commiseration hangouts. I'm just trying to inject some of the ol' hate back.

Both teams have a looong way to go.

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