GDB 71.0: THE BEST TEAM WON

Jason Gregor
March 20 2014 11:52AM

defeat

Sometimes you just need to accept that your competition is better. Twenty days ago the Buffalo Sabres had 44 points and the Oilers had 48. The Sabres had two games in hand and some wondered if the Oilers could grab 30th spot once again.

In a short span of 20 days, the Sabres have shown they are much more deserving of a 30th place finish. It was a close race less than three weeks ago, but the Sabres desire, commitment and determination to finish 30th was too much for the Oilers to overcome. The Sabres have lost seven straight and now have a 13-point cushion on the Oilers in the "Be Bad of Ekblad" sweepstakes.

Give them credit, when the race for 30th heated up the Sabres ran away with it. They've earned their position, and on April 15th they will have the best chance, 25%, of winning the draft lottery.

No team has won four Stanley Cups in five years since the Oilers in 1984-1988. It is extremely difficult to achieve, and no one should have expected the Oilers to pick first overall for the 4th time in the last five years either. It was unrealistic, and while they will still have a chance to pick first via the lottery, 18.8% if they finish 29th, 14.2% if they finish 28th and a 10.7% shot if they end up 27th, their odds are diminishing by the day.

The Sabres commitment to winning the lottery has been solid. By trading Ryan Miller, Matt Moulson and Steve Ott they've taken a stranglehold on 30th and they won't relinquish it. They are so committed to having the best odds in the lottery that they could have the lowest point total in the NHL since the Islanders finished with 52 in 2001. The Sabres need 7 points in their final 13 games to pass the Islanders, but 9 of those games are on the road and they've only won 7 road games all season.

Meanwhile, the Oilers are 10-4-3 over their past 17 games and are now in a fight with Florida, New York and Calgary for 29th to 26th.

Despite a banged up offensive unit, tonight is a must-win game for the Oilers. A loss to Buffalo would make the past 10 victories meaningless in my opinion. They can't afford to take steps back against bad teams.

LINEUP

Hall-Gagner-Perron
Lander-RNH-Pitlick
Hendricks-Gordon-Smyth
Gazdic-MacIntyre-Jones

Ference-Schultz
Marincin-Petry
Fraser-Klefbom

Scrivens

Eakins suggested he will keep rotating his goalies, but he will switch things up so Fasth can face the Ducks and Scrivens can battle the Kings.

Eberle and Yakupov weren't on the ice this morning and both are out for tonight. Eberle did not have an MRI, and the team feels he doesn't need one. He is day-to-day. I doubt we will see the aforementioned 4th line with MacIntyre at centre, but you might see Smyth in the middle with the two massive bookends for a shift or two.

Eakins suggested he might play dress 7 D-men, so we won't know until game time who is in.

Many wondered why the Oilers recalled MacIntryre instead of Arcobello or Horak. The Oilers desperately want the OKC Barons to make the playoffs, and they need those two down there more than up here, although Arcobello tweaked something last game and is day-to-day and might not play vs. Texas. The Barons are 3 points back of 8th place and 4 back of 6th. It makes sense to keep their two leading scorers down there for the weekend.

MacIntyre knows his role and his limitations as a player, but I've never encountered a guy who truly appreciates his time in the NHL like MacIntyre. He is living a dream, and he'll cherish every moment that he is with the big club. It is easy to cheer for a guy like that. It is a refreshing change from some of the players who seemingly take the NHL lifestyle for granted.

QUICK HITS...

  • It is amazing how one goal can change the psyche of a player. Schultz took three slapshots last game, and I don't think he'd taken three in the previous 69 games. He ripped one off the crossbar and two others led to scoring chances. I asked him why he suddenly decided to use his slapshot. "I don't know. I couldn't tell ya. It was one of those things, I scored last game from shooting the puck and it gives me more confidence. I think I'm finally starting to realize that is the way we are going to score goals and get chances for our team."

    Schultz is a pass-first type of player, and shooting quickly or often doesn't come natural to him. He'll need to fight the urge to pass and keep shooting. If the does, the PP should have more success in the future.

  • The CHL regular season is over and now the playoffs begin. Here is a quick look at how the Oilers prospects did ranked by total points.

    Greg Chase: 7th rounder in 2013. 70-35-50-85. Calgary finished 3rd in east division of WHL. Tied Edmonton for most points in east. Chase had the 9th most points of any player in his draft class. That doesn't include the 7 picks who are in the NHL, but for a 7th rounder he had a fantastic season.
    Mitch Moroz: 2nd rounder in 2012. 70-35-28-63. Edmonton finished 1st in WHL east divsion. A very strong season for Moroz, who likely will go to AHL next season.
    Jackson Houck: 4th rounder in 2013. 69-34-27-61. Vancouver finished 7th in west division in WHL.
    Darnell Nurse: 1st round 2013. 64-13-37-50. Sault Ste. Marie had 4th most points in OHL. 2nd seed in western conference.
    Jujhar Khaira: 3rd rounder in 2012. 59-16-27-43. Everett finished 5th in WHL west division.
    Kyle Platzer: 4th rounder in 2013. 66-22-14-36. Was traded from London to Owen Sound and will face Nurse in the first round of the playoffs.
    Marc-Oliver Roy: 2nd rounder in 2013. 39-14-21-35. Blainville-Broisbriand Armada finished 5th best in QMJHL.
    Ben Betker: 6th rounder in 2013. 68-7-14-21. D-man helped Everett finish 5th in WHL west division.

    The Oilers have other prospects in Europe and the NCAA, but I'll feature them in another article. Chase, Moroz and Nurse had the best seasons. Roy was good when healthy.

  • Day two of the Gregor MS Bike Tour WSOP poker event is already 60% sold out in less than 24 hours. If you want to enter call 780.643.4060. Details on buy in and winnings is here.

TONIGHT....

bar-refaeli-photoshoot

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers keep rolling with a 5-2 win.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Hall picks up three points. Hall needs 16 points in his final 12 games to reach 80. He'll need a few three point nights to have a chance, and with Buffalo using their 4th string goalie tonight is one of those games

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Luke Gazdic scores. With all they talk surrounding MacIntyre, Gazdic, who has done very well in fights this year, shows the organization he has some offence.

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
Avatar
#101 SlaveLake
March 20 2014, 10:22PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
10
cheers

I think you're projecting. I would sleep with every single one of those Octane girls. I hate the Dallas chearleaders, don't have a chance in hell with any of them.

Avatar
#102 Anton CP
March 20 2014, 10:22PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
10
cheers
kale wrote:

Does anyone for a second believe Gagner is on a roll with his 9 points in 8 games...what I see is someone else does all the work and he just happens to be there to pick up a point

That was much the same as Eberle. Those are called Kovalchuk strategy: park yourself in neutral zone and wait for puck to roll your way.

Avatar
#103 SRELIOFAN
March 20 2014, 10:24PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
9
cheers

I hate everything...

Avatar
#104 SlaveLake
March 20 2014, 10:24PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
7
cheers
Anton CP wrote:

That was much the same as Eberle. Those are called Kovalchuk strategy: park yourself in neutral zone and wait for puck to roll your way.

I wish it was Kovalchuk strategy. With the minutes that guy played he could play defence and forward for this pathetic team.

Avatar
#105 hockey fan 1976
March 20 2014, 10:25PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
20
cheers

Maybe Eakins should coach the cheerleaders instead and put them on a non-doughnut diet and strictly carrot one...good lord!

Then again, after losing to the 30th team and getting outworked he might not be here long enough to make an impact on the ladies either LOL

Avatar
#106 majin_oil
March 20 2014, 10:28PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
12
cheers
hockey fan 1976 wrote:

Maybe Eakins should coach the cheerleaders instead and put them on a non-doughnut diet and strictly carrot one...good lord!

Then again, after losing to the 30th team and getting outworked he might not be here long enough to make an impact on the ladies either LOL

LMAO

Like seriously, did they hold auditions at Bonanza or what?

Avatar
#107 Anton CP
March 20 2014, 10:30PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
16
cheers

C'mon ON, we have 9 more home games to get that "Fire Eakins!" chant going!

Avatar
#108 hockey fan 1976
March 20 2014, 10:33PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers
majin_oil wrote:

LMAO

Like seriously, did they hold auditions at Bonanza or what?

not Bonanza...haven't you noticed 118th ave seems emptier lately?

Avatar
#109 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
March 20 2014, 10:39PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
8
cheers

Man, you guys must really hate those cheerleaders. Dallas Cowboys quality they are not, but they're also not decrepit hags, you know.

Avatar
#110 Oiler Al
March 20 2014, 10:53PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
14
cheers
Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

Man, you guys must really hate those cheerleaders. Dallas Cowboys quality they are not, but they're also not decrepit hags, you know.

Same scouts that pick the Oiler players, pick the Octane Girls.

Avatar
#111 Quicksilver ballet
March 20 2014, 11:07PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
14
cheers
Wildcard wrote:

When you say stuff like this, you deserve a loser team. It suits you well.

If it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck.........then, it's probably a duck, no?

The last place team in the league just came in our own barn and outworked and outwanted it more than the Oilers. Mr.Balloon, meet Mr. Pin.

2 games above .500 for the last 18 games might have you celebrating in the streets. But, there's no denying this team needs Ekblad or Bennett more than a few meaningless wins on this 5th annual death march.

You know the Oilers will get outworked again on Saturday, don't you, eh, nudge nudge wink wink, i'll say na more...

Avatar
#112 **
March 20 2014, 11:18PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers
SlaveLake wrote:

I think you're projecting. I would sleep with every single one of those Octane girls. I hate the Dallas chearleaders, don't have a chance in hell with any of them.

You need to get out more. Travel.

Avatar
#113 geeker99
March 21 2014, 12:23AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

The time to care of Kassian was when he was poking fun at Gagner's full shield. I think Shanny would of went light on anyone reacting to that moron. Shanny would of went ballistic in his day.

Avatar
#114 Quicksilver ballet
March 21 2014, 12:27AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers
SlaveLake wrote:

I think you're projecting. I would sleep with every single one of those Octane girls. I hate the Dallas chearleaders, don't have a chance in hell with any of them.

Sleeping isn't required. Todays women rate you, and if your phone doesn't ring within a week, then you know how you rated.

Cashiers at Southgate, every last one of them. Hardly worth the price of admission nowadays I'm sure.

You do have sumfin in common with Taylor Hall though. He also likes them diamond in the rough types. Only Hallsy likes two girls for most occasions.

Avatar
#115 majinator
March 21 2014, 07:49AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

@ majin_oil

"wrote:

LMAO

Like seriously, did they hold auditions at Bonanza or what?"

Majin_oil, really? making fun of people that can't defend themselves?

Holed up in mommy's basement waiting for her to cut the crust from your sandwiches and do your laundry before you fantasize again about all the girls that wouldn't give you a second look because you're king of Loserville?

I'm sure the Nation's advertisers value you as one of their customers. Any moderators on this board? Ever?

Avatar
#116 majin_oil
March 21 2014, 08:23AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
majinator wrote:

@ majin_oil

"wrote:

LMAO

Like seriously, did they hold auditions at Bonanza or what?"

Majin_oil, really? making fun of people that can't defend themselves?

Holed up in mommy's basement waiting for her to cut the crust from your sandwiches and do your laundry before you fantasize again about all the girls that wouldn't give you a second look because you're king of Loserville?

I'm sure the Nation's advertisers value you as one of their customers. Any moderators on this board? Ever?

Nah, my girlfriend does all that for me. You know, a girlfriend, that thing you'll never have ;)

Avatar
#117 Spydyr
March 21 2014, 08:28AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers
Craig1981 wrote:

"Make it up too him next contract.Give him a sweet one way deal for being a good solider" Spydyr

Offering to do this for him is the same as telling him.

The New Orleans Bounty Scandal. Its an example of a professional North American sports team bending league rules to injure players. It seems pretty relevant as it is what you are suggesting

That only was only if and when he received a suspension.If you don't think teams pay for players suspensions one way or the other you are naive.All it would take is pay him for a commercial.

Avatar
#118 Ryan2
March 21 2014, 09:00AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers
Johnnydapunk wrote:

If that was Scrivens having a go at Conacher for the hit on The Nuge, that is a very good sign as I've never seen the Oil have that kind of mentality before.

I don't know what changed with the Oil, but is good to see.

I actually found it sad that it was the goalie that had to do that......

Someone else should have laid Connacher out for that.

Avatar
#119 Ari Gold
March 21 2014, 09:10AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
hockey fan 1976 wrote:

Maybe Eakins should coach the cheerleaders instead and put them on a non-doughnut diet and strictly carrot one...good lord!

Then again, after losing to the 30th team and getting outworked he might not be here long enough to make an impact on the ladies either LOL

Someone else saw them too! Homely bunch, no?

I took a peak at their promo on the Oilers site, they look terrible there too.

Is the cheerleading team like an affirmative action team? They leave off the good looking girls? Every time I return, I see that the city does actually have attractive women...

Avatar
#120 Ari Gold
March 21 2014, 09:17AM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
SlaveLake wrote:

I think you're projecting. I would sleep with every single one of those Octane girls. I hate the Dallas chearleaders, don't have a chance in hell with any of them.

I'm glad that guys that you exist. You know, the kind that believe that they deserve mediocrity.

Seriously, cheers. Yours is a thankless job.

Keep drooling over the Oilers hags.

Avatar
#121 Wildcard
March 21 2014, 09:34AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Quicksilver ballet wrote:

If it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck.........then, it's probably a duck, no?

The last place team in the league just came in our own barn and outworked and outwanted it more than the Oilers. Mr.Balloon, meet Mr. Pin.

2 games above .500 for the last 18 games might have you celebrating in the streets. But, there's no denying this team needs Ekblad or Bennett more than a few meaningless wins on this 5th annual death march.

You know the Oilers will get outworked again on Saturday, don't you, eh, nudge nudge wink wink, i'll say na more...

Why would you care if the team got outworked? You clearly want the team to lose for a higher draft pick.

That's a loser mentality that suits you. I care about the team winning games, not tanking for a higher draft pick. Which is all that you seem to care about year in year out.

Yes, a loser team is just right for you. Keep cheering for the draft lottery. It's pathetic.

Comments are closed for this article.