GDB 66.0: A FASTH START

Jason Gregor
March 11 2014 11:58AM

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Viktor Fasth stopped 19 of 21 shots in regulation and three in the shotout to win his NHL debut 3-2 over Nashville on January 26th, 2013. He went on to win his first eight NHL games with a dazzling .934sv% and a 1.87 GAA.

During his next twenty starts, 15 last year and 5 this year, he's compiled a 9-8-3 record with a .901sv% and a 2.45 GAA. Tonight in Minnesota, he'll get his first start as an Oiler and his first NHL start since November 18th, 2013.

He is excited about the opportunity to compete for the starting job in Edmonton, but he'll need to be very good down the stretch to match Ben Scrivens.

Fasth should have ample opportunity to impress the coaching staff and his teammates. The Oilers have been out shot in 11 of their past 12 games by an average of 36.4 to 25.3. The only game the Oilers weren't out shot was in a 3-0 loss to Minnesota with both teams firing 21 shots.

Fasth will need to play like he did last January and February if he hopes to play as much as Scrivens. Scrivens has been exceptional in ten starts with the Oilers. He is 5-5 with a 2.30 GAA and a sparkling .938sv%.

LINEUP

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

Marincin-Petry
Fraser-J.Schultz
Klefbom-Ference

Fasth

Gagner's line played very well vs. LA. Hall has four points in his last two games and Gagner is starting to show some offensive life. They will need to be very good again if the Oilers hope to start the road trip with a win.

The RNH line wasn't great vs. LA and individually they've struggled to score goals recently. Eberle has 1 goal and 3 points in his last 9 games. RNH has 0 goals and 3 points in his last 11 games, while Yakupov has 1 goal and 6 points in his last 10 games. Yakupov has at least produced some points, but these three need to score more consistently.

Oscar Klefbom makes his NHL debut. The 19th overall pick in 2011 has had shoulder issues for a few years. He only played 11 games last season, and he's dressed for 45 of 60 games in OKC this year. Hall and Nugent-Hopkins returned from shoulder surgery and haven't had any issues, but Klefbom is still having minor shoulder problems. The Oilers are hoping he can stay healthy, but you wonder if one more surgery would help him stay healthy?

Regardless of his shoulder problems, he adds much needed size, strength and mobility on the backend. If he stays healthy, I'd play him every game down the stretch. I don't need to see more of Philip Larsen to realize he isn't a long term answer.

QUICK HITS...

  • Ales Hemsky's comments yesterday in Ottawa had the Nation fired up. The Oilers management and players should take his comments to heart rather than brush them off. There are clearly some issues within the organization, and instead of saying Hemsky was never a leader, so he shouldn't be commenting on it, they must take hard look in the mirror and change some things.

    The young players need to be more competitive, and management needs to surround them with some veterans. No team wins with a top-six comprised of all young players. David Perron is the veteran of the group, but he's only been here for 65 games. They need a veteran skilled forward to help teach, challenge and mentor the kids, and of course they need to improve the backend. Neither acquisition will be easy, but that has to be Craig MacTavish main focus this summer.

  • I've said for years that rotating the 4th line or 6/7 D-men wasn't going to solve anything, and it hasn't. Hemsky was bang on with that assessment. I wish Hemsky would have shared these thoughts when he was here, and maybe he did privately, but considering how Sheldon Souray was treated after he voiced his concerns, I can see why Hemsky said nothing. Granted, Hemsky's comments weren't a direct attack on any person specifically, but I wonder if he feared being ostracized if he spoke out?

  • Scary situation in Dallas last night with Rich Peverley. Early reports suggest he is doing okay, but no one knows if he will play hockey again. There is a push to have every hockey rink in Alberta equipped with an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) in the coming years. We will discuss this on my show today at 4 p.m. The AEDs are very easy to use. I took a CPR course two weeks ago where we got to use one, and they are idiot proof (I figured out to use it), so any parent or spectator could use it safely and properly in case of an emergency. They save lives.

  • No radical rule changes have emerged from the annual GM meetings, but there is an appetite to lower the amount of SO games. I'd love to see 3-on-3 after five minutes of 4-on-4, but the easiest change could be for them to switch ends. When teams have the long change we see more goals.

    NHL teams have scored 1492 goals in the first period, 1844 in the second period and 1792 in the third. The difference between the 2nd and 3rd period isn't much, but clearly most teams feel their way into games in the first. Switching ends in the SO might increase scoring a bit, but I'd like to see them do that and play four minutes of 3-on-3.

  • I'd love to see the NHL adapt a new point system that rewards teams for winning in regulation, three points, but right now the league, sadly, has no interest in it.

TONIGHT....

girlsgonewild

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers' struggles in Minnesota continue. They are 2-14-3 in their last 19 visits to the Excel Energy Centre, and they pick up their 15th loss in their last 20 trips by a 3-1 score.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers get out shot. The good news is the Wild don't generate many shots so it will only be about 25-22.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Klebom levels Dany Heatley with a solid check in the second period and instantly becomes a fan favourite.

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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#1 james_dean
March 11 2014, 04:40PM
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Princepe has to go. His garbage is old.

Also bye bye kypreos bye bye lawton

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#2 Sean17
March 11 2014, 12:10PM
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I have a hard enough time sitting through a regulation time game. Unless they can speed up the regulation time, they shouldn't be looking to add additional time at the end of the game.

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#3 The real minnow
March 11 2014, 12:23PM
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Obvious gameday prediction: Look for the Oilers to get SMASHED tonight. Victor Fasth will get the hook after the first. This team does an excellent job of not showing any heart, and making themselves harder to watch than a Sarah McGlauchlan SPCA commercial 6-0 wild

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#4 Dave
March 11 2014, 07:39PM
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FireKLowe wrote:

Day and night difference between Sportsnet's coverage of Oiler games and TSN's coverage. TSN actually breaks down the Oilers' horrendous play whereas Sportsnet not so much. Still can't believe the stupid NHL signed the deal with SN.

I can not stand Cuthbert !! Kevin is better IMHO.

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#5 **
March 11 2014, 08:14PM
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the oilers should change their name to the Edmonton Golfers

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#6 Anton
March 11 2014, 09:04PM
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Hall for first star!

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#7 Rick Stroppel
March 11 2014, 08:34PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Hemsky wasn't going to re-sign with the Oilers, even if they wanted to sign him.

He needed a change. He was mentally beaten down. I think his surge in Ottawa is due in part to his skill, but also the things that were weighing him down here have likely disappeared now that he is in Ottawa. Just a fresh start for him.

AMATEUR SHOW

IMHO part of Hemsky being "mentally beaten down" was turning on the radio one day to hear the new GM announce to the whole world that he couldn't wait to dump him and Horcoff. A smart GM might have said "we have a new coach, new players...let's see if we can maximize the value of these veteran players".

Has anyone ever heard of a GM in hockey (or any other sport for that matter) saying PUBLICLY, about veteran players under contract, we really want to get rid of these guys?

This franchise is an amateur show from top to bottom. Things are not bound to change in a major way until they get rid of Lowe, MacTavish, Eakins, Buchberger, Smith, and most of the scouts.

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#8 RexHolez
March 11 2014, 03:57PM
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They still have to play?? Seems unfair to make this team play games they have no chance of being remotely competitive in

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#9 Butters
March 11 2014, 07:33PM
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Still better than being a Canucks fan.

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#10 Anton
March 11 2014, 08:44PM
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...how the thug like Cooke that league is still allow him to play...

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#11 Dan 1919
March 11 2014, 12:39PM
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You want to increase offence, make an OT win worth 1 point, OT loss 0 points.

The teams will go for it in the third period and try to put up goals to get the full 2 points (the only way to actally make up ground v.s idiling in the standings)

Interested to see the Trash or Props of this one?

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#12 vetinari
March 11 2014, 01:25PM
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I'd like to start a petition now to ban Geno from using Fasth's name for bad puns during broadcasts. In particular, I would suggest that he banned from using:

"Fasth and Furious"- to describe frantic action in front of our net

"Pull a Fasth One"- to describe an exceptional save by our goalie

"Fasthing" - to describe when we allow very few shots on net (yeah, right!)

"Fasth Start" - to describe a quick lead

"Fasther, Quicker" - to describe that day when we inevitably play the Kings and these guys are the starting goalies

"Lightning Fasth Reflexes" - to describe an exceptional glove save

"Fasth Food" - to describe any of his eating habits

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#13 Vinotintazo
March 11 2014, 04:54PM
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I dont mind principe's stuff, now Quinn and Debrusk, thats a whole different story.

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#14 Zarny
March 12 2014, 12:09AM
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@Reg Dunlop

You mean like how last year the 9th overall pick didn't get NJ Cory Schneider?

Or perhaps Carolina didn't trade the 8th overall pick with Brandon Sutter and Bryan Dumoulin for Jordan Staal?

A top 6 pick is certainly worth a player. A very, very good player. Who is ready now; not in 4-5 years.

And never assume top players aren't available. Seguin, Schneider, Richards, Carter...you never know how a GM really feels until you plop a juicy prospect on their lap.

For the right package Garth Snow might give us Tavares.

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#15 2015Playoffs?Nope!
March 11 2014, 01:33PM
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I think its blantantly obvious what the rest of the seasons GDP look like: Oilers Lose.

I stand by my arguement that the 3-0 game the Oilers lost to the Wild in Edmonton was the worst game i have ever seen in my life. Not one player tried, and the energy in Rexall was equivalent to that in a hospital. Only at least in a hospital, there is a lot of hope! Hard to ever cheer or watch (for that matter) a team that cares so little as this franchise.

Frankly, i couldnt give a sh1t what the score is or who gets what for points. Hard to care when its been so meaningless for 8+ years...

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#16 GoCanadaGo
March 11 2014, 03:46PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Yakupov and RNH are still 21.

The call him Sid the Kid, so I think he was referred to a kid a few times..ha

The difference in Toews and Crosby was that they have veteran leaders amongst their forward group. Crosby learned from Lemieux. They also had Roberts and Guerin around when he won...

Hossa and Sharp were with Kane and Toews. Having skilled veterans makes it easier to adapt.

Stamkos had Marty St.Louis. I believe it helps having skilled leaders to learn from.

Hemsky was most skilled fwd they had, but he was pushed to side quickly, before younger forwards had proven they were better, IMO.

They haven't had highly skilled guys to shelter them in Edmonton, and I feel the young players haven't worked hard enough to become leaders. It is hard.

Ok fair enough. But what about the point of not calling them "kids" anymore. 18-20 can be a "kid". Even the 2 youngest at 21 have been playing with and against men for a few years now.

If the media and fans continue to use that term with them, it does more harm that good for their reputation. The NHL isn't an old mans league anymore, yes there are some exceptions, but a lot of teams build their core and try to win around those in their mid 20's.

No longer are they kids, at least lets use the term young men if anything.

This relates to what Hemsky said. If the core is treated like children they won't progress from being children. They each have been leaders of their previous teams so its not like leadership is a new thing to them. The letters on their sweaters and the dollars on their pay stubs are what they are because of the expectation to be leaders in the room. (Hate to bring up contracts, but they are what they are.)

And I'm pretty sure Crosby will be "Sid the Kid" till he retires... a nickname is a wee bit different than how he's viewed in regards to age.

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#17 Smokey
March 11 2014, 05:56PM
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Hemsky sure looks like a follower lately? Sens fans are pretty damn happy with our loss. Hemsky was a good soldier, sorry to the guy who hates the reference. I expect the Oilers will miss his ability to enter the zone and maintain possession. Horrible to loose quality players with no replacement, and his departure is sad because you can't replace a guy who brings the abilities he has to the table.

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#18 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
March 11 2014, 06:59PM
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Men against boys.

To be expected. Helps our draft status.

Reader Poll: if you're a Man Prop this, if you're a Boy Trash it!

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#19 Jordan1126
March 11 2014, 08:15PM
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Oilers can't fire 6 rings because then they would have to change the city of champions signs =)

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#20 Brian
March 11 2014, 08:47PM
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Rick Stroppel wrote:

AMATEUR SHOW

IMHO part of Hemsky being "mentally beaten down" was turning on the radio one day to hear the new GM announce to the whole world that he couldn't wait to dump him and Horcoff. A smart GM might have said "we have a new coach, new players...let's see if we can maximize the value of these veteran players".

Has anyone ever heard of a GM in hockey (or any other sport for that matter) saying PUBLICLY, about veteran players under contract, we really want to get rid of these guys?

This franchise is an amateur show from top to bottom. Things are not bound to change in a major way until they get rid of Lowe, MacTavish, Eakins, Buchberger, Smith, and most of the scouts.

Agree with all you say with one exception : keep MacT. His remarks about bold moves and a couple of players were that of a rookie GM antsy to make an impact. He is smart, measured and will be ok IMHO. Made mistakes and will make more as he learns the job. But he has done more to help than hurt so far. Do the question is; who is better and available.

But this summer, run Bucky, Smitty, pro scouts and 6 Rings out of here . Tahr a hard look at Stu and his scouts.

Your welcome.

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#21 mayorblaine
March 11 2014, 12:07PM
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he'd better be.

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#22 Czar
March 11 2014, 12:08PM
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I'd rather they switch ends and go to 10 min OT rather than 3 on 3.

Nice smorgasbord of women Gregor!

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#23 Dan 1919
March 11 2014, 12:43PM
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3 on 3 would be worth a shot, what do they have to lose? A shootout is already a circus act (entertaining circus act that I enjoy), what would be wrong with doing a 3 on 3, maybe it would end up being more entertaining than the shootout itself... A constant exchange of odd man rushes with only 6 guys on the ice sounds pretty fun to me.

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#25 Anton
March 11 2014, 08:36PM
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If Oilers win tonight, Ference should be the first star.

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#26 Johnnydapunk
March 11 2014, 09:16PM
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As much as I am an Oil fan, the better team lost.

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#27 Fresh Mess
March 11 2014, 12:20PM
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Just get rid of the loser point.

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#28 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
March 11 2014, 12:26PM
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Are Hemsky's comments really a surprise? If you can't see guys like Eberle and Gagner consistently put just enough effort in to make it look like they're trying, you're simply not ready to face reality.

If MacT really does want difference makers, he'll find them a new home.

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#29 northof51
March 11 2014, 01:17PM
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My wife, who is as interested in hockey as I am in any show on TLC, will actually watch OT. When the shootout comes on, she leaves. I personally love the 4 on 4 OT, and I think they just need to extend it to 10 mins.

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#30 McScotterson
March 11 2014, 01:21PM
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dmac4532 wrote:

In regards to Hemsky perhaps not voicing his insight to managment in light of what happened to Souray I can't help but wonder about this posibilty. I would suspect that in Detroit ( because we always use them as the model) The players input is used to help make the team better. I have a hard time believing their players would be scared to voice their opinions.

Could not agree more,...the mishandling of Souray was ridiculous. That would never of happened to a team properly evaluating the going value of any player in their system. Sending him to the AHL for anything other than a conditioning stint shows ineptitude.

Losing Money and a tangible asset? In the private sector if you this happens your fired. They may even call this a near miss and allow all parties to voice what happened so that id never happens again. Something newer business need to do very often, how old are the Oilers?

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#31 Sean17
March 11 2014, 02:12PM
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Cain wrote:

Maybe Track and Field or Drag-Racing is more your thing. They go really fast and you can stand up and watch any time you feel like it.

Hockey games tend to take a little while longer.

I don't think I explained my post. I love hockey. I actually even watch baseball. I loved watching the Olympics where the games were done around 2hrs 15mins. Instead of the bloated broadcasts we watch. How many times do I need to see the commercial about the chick who loves helping kids. I've seen it a million times and still don't know what it is for... It's a PSA so, it's not like it is huge money for the broadcaster. Cut the anthem to just the host team's anthem. Cut intermission down 1 minute. Cut one commercial break. Cut Glenn Healy altogether.

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#32 Cold Hard Truth
March 11 2014, 02:24PM
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Here's a letter Kevin Lowe sent out to season ticket holders when he was still GM:

Hi, this is Kevin Lowe.

After a very eventful week around the hockey club, I wanted to take a moment and communicate to you, our most valued customers, our continued commitment to success.

As I stated last week, our hockey club will always do what we feel is in the best interest of our fans, and in the best interest of building a Stanley Cup championship team here in Oil Country.

Right now, we have a core group of veteran players and a wealth of emerging young talent. Last week’s trade brought us two more young players in Robert Nilsson and Ryan O’Marra, and another first round draft choice in this year’s NHL draft. They will join players like Pouliot, Jacques, Stortini, Brodziak, and Schremp, just to name a few, as potential members of a championship Oilers club. Certainly, along the way, we will add to our roster through trades and free agency when the right opportunities are there, now that we have the resources to do so. Make no mistake; our plan is to return the Stanley Cup to Edmonton.

We have an exciting future ahead of us all, and we look forward to sharing it with you.

Thanks again for your ongoing support of Oilers Hockey.

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#33 NJ
March 11 2014, 02:26PM
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Veteran forward to surround the youngs uns? Principle focus for MacT? I would suggest, with all due respect, that a number 1 AND number 2 d man come in significantly higher on that list, and much more difficult to attain I might add. I have no doubt there's lots of teams that'd take Eberle off our hands for a "veteran mentoring top 6"...

Just my opinion.

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#34 Striker
March 11 2014, 05:15PM
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@Jason Gregor

"Hemsky was most skilled fwd they had, but he was pushed to side quickly, before younger forwards had proven they were better, IMO."

Do you think they should have re-signed Hemsky before the trade deadline. Then let one of the younger wingers try to prove they deserve that spot and try to supplant him next year?

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#35 Jackson
March 11 2014, 07:07PM
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I'm the only one here that said not to sign Gagner I got torched for saying they should trade him for Brandon Sutter. All you went on Brandon is a 3rd line centre. Well I'm back how is your 2nd line centre doing?

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#36 Anton
March 11 2014, 08:53PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

So just a theoretical question......if we pick fifth or sixth and we don't get Ekblad, Reinhart, Bennett, or Draisaitl....who do we pick?

Draisaitl will still be available at 7th if Oilers don't draft him.

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#37 Spoils
March 11 2014, 09:24PM
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Anybody else impressed with Eberle's shootout goal? wawaweewa can his hands move!

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#38 RexHolez
March 11 2014, 09:48PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Hemsky wasn't going to re-sign with the Oilers, even if they wanted to sign him.

He needed a change. He was mentally beaten down. I think his surge in Ottawa is due in part to his skill, but also the things that were weighing him down here have likely disappeared now that he is in Ottawa. Just a fresh start for him.

I think every single player on this team needs a "fresh start" on another team

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#39 Taylor Gang
March 11 2014, 12:03PM
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Really excited to see Fasth and Klef, but the Xcel Energy Centre is the Oilers' kryptonite. 4-0 shutout.

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#40 Cain
March 11 2014, 01:05PM
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Sean17 wrote:

I have a hard enough time sitting through a regulation time game. Unless they can speed up the regulation time, they shouldn't be looking to add additional time at the end of the game.

Maybe Track and Field or Drag-Racing is more your thing. They go really fast and you can stand up and watch any time you feel like it.

Hockey games tend to take a little while longer.

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#41 Fresh Mess
March 11 2014, 01:25PM
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Dan 1919 wrote:

You want to increase offence, make an OT win worth 1 point, OT loss 0 points.

The teams will go for it in the third period and try to put up goals to get the full 2 points (the only way to actally make up ground v.s idiling in the standings)

Interested to see the Trash or Props of this one?

^This is also a good idea.

There is absolutely no reason to have the loser point. It was brought in prior to the adoption of the shootout to encourage teams to 'go for it' in OT because too many games were ending in ties.

Once the shootout came in there were no more ties.

If you think it's a crappy way to lose a game, then score more goals than the other team in regulation time. Simple.

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#42 Bruner
March 11 2014, 02:34PM
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vetinari wrote:

I'd like to start a petition now to ban Geno from using Fasth's name for bad puns during broadcasts. In particular, I would suggest that he banned from using:

"Fasth and Furious"- to describe frantic action in front of our net

"Pull a Fasth One"- to describe an exceptional save by our goalie

"Fasthing" - to describe when we allow very few shots on net (yeah, right!)

"Fasth Start" - to describe a quick lead

"Fasther, Quicker" - to describe that day when we inevitably play the Kings and these guys are the starting goalies

"Lightning Fasth Reflexes" - to describe an exceptional glove save

"Fasth Food" - to describe any of his eating habits

You're just jealous he makes money off his word play...and you've probably wasted the better part of an hour doing his homework

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#43 Mike Krushelnyski
March 11 2014, 03:19PM
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Will wrote:

Is Gene Principe secretly the GM of the Oilers, choosing players he can make awful puns about?

GDP Fasth will make a great save prompting principe to yell, 'Not so Fasth." Much to the cringe of literally everyone.

Fasthen your seatbelts, Oilers fans!

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#44 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
March 11 2014, 07:23PM
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I made my mind up about his Fasth kid. I like him, I like him a lot! Just what we needed, right when we needed it.

This message sponsored in part by Aaron Ekblad, along with the Committee for a Better Oiler Blueline (CBOB) next season.

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#45 Anton
March 11 2014, 07:35PM
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Oilers don't deserve to have Scrivens and Vasth...hope the rest of the team will be as good as our goalies one day.

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#46 Anton
March 11 2014, 07:53PM
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Rod from Viking wrote:

No I just put my opinion on here like most everyone else without adding personal insults.

Ah, I see why now, I relied the wrong message. It was meant for "FireKLowe" on his comment about TSN and SN.

Sorry if I offended you.

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#47 Dave
March 11 2014, 08:54PM
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Anton wrote:

...how the thug like Cooke that league is still allow him to play...

Just before the hit I was thinking ..what is Gagner doing on the ice with a minute to go.

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#48 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
March 11 2014, 09:12PM
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Wow....all three stars are Minnesota players.....no Fasth? ÖÄÜ?

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#49 Zarny
March 11 2014, 11:20PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

So just a theoretical question......if we pick fifth or sixth and we don't get Ekblad, Reinhart, Bennett, or Draisaitl....who do we pick?

Michael Dal Colle, Hayden Fleury or Nick Ritchie.

Bob McKenzie has Dal Colle 4th so we could get Draisaitl at 5th or 6th.

I don't think it matters. No one in this draft is considered exceptional. This group is more like 2006 where Erik Johnson and Jordan Staal went 1-2 and NYI got Kyle Okposo at 7.

Of course, Toews went 3rd in 2006. Bennett might be that guy this year.

Avatar
#50 Zed
March 11 2014, 12:08PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
21
cheers

Other than the previous comments by Gregor, I have no background information on this Fasth fellow and will judge him purely on his last name.

This man will be a great goalie.

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