BOA Round 214: Flames at Oilers

Ryan Pike
March 22 2014 03:10PM

Ladies and gentlemen, tonight is the fifth meeting of the season (and 214th meeting overall) between the Calgary Flames and the Edmonton Oilers. It's their last meeting until next season, too. I'd say the season series is up for grabs, as each team has won twice - the road team always won - but the Flames needed overtime in both wins at Rexall. The Flames need a win to tie the season series in terms of points earned.

That's about as far as this game goes in terms of "significance."

Calgary has 63 points and 12 games left. Edmonton has 59 points and 11 games left. The gap can close considerably with an Edmonton win, while a Calgary win probably cements their draft placement.

THE HOME TEAM

It goes without saying that it's been a disappointing year in Edmonton. I don't think they spent time and money bringing in Dallas Eakins to lead the club to 29th place. The Oilers lost two nights ago to Buffalo, but have been playing solid lately, winning five of their last 10.

Lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Hall - Gagner - Perron
Lander - Nugent-Hopkins - Eberle
Hendricks - Gordon - Pitlick
Gazdic - Smyth - Jones

Ference - Schultz
Marincin - Petry
Klefbom - Fraser

Fasth

Viktor Fasth gets his first Battle of Alberta start. He was 2-0-0 with a shutout in two games against the Flames while with Anaheim.

The Oilers obviously have some skilled players (that top line, that second line) and are starting to figure out the "depth role player" riddle. That third line is actually pretty solid. But the defense is a bit dodgy, so you can figure out why they are in the general area that they are, standings-wise.

Oddly, Edmonton has the edge on Calgary on the power-play, the penalty kill and in five-on-five goal differential. How come Calgary's higher in the standings? Probably because Calgary's gotten some big contributions from their back-end (Giordano & Brodie, primarily) and some from their depth guys, while Edmonton remains top-heavy.

But if they can ever build something around that top group, wowzers. Granted, we've been saying this for years, but the Oilers could be scary-good if the guys building the team had a plan besides "draft high."

THE ROAD TEAM

The Flames are smarting a bit after last night. On one hand, they scored five goals! On the other, they gave up six. To Nashville, who rarely scores. Yikes.

Lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Cammalleri - Backlund - Byron
Glencross - Stajan - Hudler
Agostino - Monahan - Bouma
Westgarth - Colborne - McGrattan

Giordano - Brodie
Butler - Russell
Smid - Wotherspoon

Ramo

Karri Ramo returns after being out since before the Olympics with an MCL sprain. Joni Ortio returns to the AHL and Joey MacDonald is the back-up for the rest of the year.

Now that they're getting healthy, the Flames are rapidly beginning to resemble an NHL team. Kenny Agostino makes his Battle of Alberta debut after making his NHL debut last night, playing 12:40 in the loss to the Preds. Returning to the line-up is Kevin Westgarth - slotting in for T.J. Galiardi on the bottom line - and God, I hope Westgarth doesn't try to fight Gazdic again.

The Flames have also won five of their last ten games, so they're about as "hot" as the Edmonton Oilers right now.

SUM IT UP

It's a late-season game between two teams that are well out of the playoff picture! The best each club can hope for some emotion in this tilt, as each group tries to gain some momentum to close out the year.

Let's hope that this time next season, these games have a little bit more significance in the standings, because hockey's better when the Flames and Oilers are both doing well and Alberta is a place visiting teams fear to tread.

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Ryan Pike is a Calgary native and FlamesNation's managing editor. He's covered the Flames and the NHL since 2010. His work can also be found at The Hockey Writers and The Wrestling Observer.
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#301 BingBong
March 22 2014, 09:32PM
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Why did we start Dubnyk tonight? I thought he was finally down in the AHL?

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#302 Serious Gord
March 22 2014, 09:40PM
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Loweblows wrote:

Shut up

Why did we trade him? I forget.

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#303 kale
March 22 2014, 09:41PM
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Did I just hear Stauffer right? Smith's services will no longer be required and there is a press onference on monday?

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#304 Boo!
March 22 2014, 09:51PM
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About Petry, when you're engaged in the game you don't think twice about getting in the scrum.

Petry is more interested in skating around the rink tonight than playing hockey.

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#305 -30-
March 22 2014, 09:53PM
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Two out of three aint bad.

The Rush and Oil Kings are playing great.

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#306 Mason Storm
March 22 2014, 10:26PM
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-30- wrote:

I guess you can't put this one on Yak!

Damn right we can. If he wasn't hurt he could have scored 6 and we, still would have lost. I guess you're right, we can't blame him.

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#307 Jason
March 22 2014, 10:33PM
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Too bad Yakupov is not in this game

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#308 dw
March 22 2014, 10:34PM
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Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

"If he's not allowed, then how are other tough guys in the league doing it?"

Are you... Are you serious? You really can't read, can you? I already explained the reason why he can't. The grandfather visor rule that was just put in place? The rule that says any player new to the league in 13/14 has to wear a visor? The fact that Gazdic WAS NEW TO THE LEAGUE IN 2013?

Here,let me give you bullet points, it's easier to digest:

-NHL/NHLPA agree any player entering the league in 13/14 and beyond must wear a visor

-Gazdic enters the league in 13/14

-Gazdic must wear a visor

Got it? I don't usually get mad at people on the internet, but the thought of you actually reproducing kind of pisses me off.

He is speaking of the practice where each fighter takes off their helmet at the same time prior to fighting. However, I don't agree that Gazdic is obligated to remove his helmet in order to be in compliance with "the code". Another good example of Don Cherry being a moron.

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#309 Jase
March 22 2014, 10:35PM
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Ironic Hall has a DEFENCEman's number, Lowe must be proud!

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#310 Serious Gord
March 22 2014, 10:47PM
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Loweblows wrote:

Katz doesnt run the oilers like a normal business. Its a hobby. A toy thing. Its common knowledge that Katz has been buds with KLowe for years. Success will never start from the top down when you cant fire your buddy.

Then there will never be success.

I will say it again - go look up Phillip Wrigley.

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#311 Quintana
March 23 2014, 12:40AM
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If Only HIs Name Was Olli Postandin wrote:

Call them what you want. They`re the same guys that handed your plethora of first-overall picks an a$$-whuppin tonight (in your own barn no less). Seriously, with fans like you that persistenly trump out the so-called glory years as a defense mechanism for all things hockey, I now get how Lowe and company repeatedly get away with incompetence.

So Stajan, Glencross, Hudler, Byron and Cammy are the new rebuilding for you guys..........26th place. pffffff

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#312 Jeff In Lethbridge
March 23 2014, 12:36PM
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Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

You guys can't let it go, huh? I was arguing with the guy because he kept saying Gazdic should take his visor off. He meant Gazdic should take his helmet off prior to fighting, I thought he meant Gazdic should remove the visor from his helmet and play without one, which he can't do. Shenanigans ensued.

Got it?

look who can't let it go! hahahaha

it's nobody else's fault that you made yourself look so stupid by insisting that he can't take his visor off, when everyone in the world new what he meant. Of course Gizdik can take it off. yes, the rules don't allow it, but the rules don't allow fighting either. are you really thiat bright, or just arguing cause your team is... well, you know...

For Gazdick, a giant of a man who is in his own right very tough, to start fights and then keep his helmet/visor on is pathetic. How are the other guys supposed to fight him??? As Cherry pointed out - guys CAN and DO take them off.

Any real hockey fan, regardless of the team they root for, would agree with Don Cherry on this one - very dishonorable... and we aren't talking one accidental event where the heat of the moment took over, we are talking of a huge man who is actively starting in or engaging in fights, who wears a shield every time.

You are going to defend that? if so, then you sir are the true example of blind homerism. of course, anyone who has had the painful opportunity of sharing a game day blog with you realizes this.

Even Wesgarth showed himself to be a real man, while Gazdick continued to show himself a tool. Just like his one supporter. (hint hint).

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#313 mesa
March 22 2014, 04:42PM
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i was hoping to see big MAC play today

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#314 Bean-counting cowboy
March 22 2014, 04:53PM
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cccsberg wrote:

Interesting construct. My main problem is the first two lines. Think RNH/Backlund/Monahan fairly interchangeable, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Backlund best defensively & possession(?), Monahan best scorer(?), RNH best overall... Hudler probably better on 2nd line and two small wingers on 2nd line also an issue, especially with another "smallish" centre. Overall not a great mix even between the two teams together.

I would not consider Backlund interchangeable with Monohan at all - not this year anyways. Backlund has better point per game numbers and is doing it facing the toughest competition on the team. It's really been a break out year for him.

I would almost be inclined to swap Backlund and RNH, as Backlund & Hall can at least face the toughest competition and still drive play.

As far as Hudler - I could get on board with moving him to the second line and swapping Backs & RNH as discussed, then give that 2nd line sheltered minutes and let the Glencross/Stajan/Eberle line face tougher comp.

"Overall not a great mix even between the two teams together" - soooo.... what would you change?

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#315 They're $hittie
March 22 2014, 05:27PM
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@BurningSensation

actually gagners minutes at the end of his rookie year were not cherry, and monohans points are majority pp points. Mono has the easier minutes

Sven is not in the NHL, nuff said

you just compared monohan to Hall, credibility lost

Geadreau has not played a pro game and flames nation has crown him an elite player, hahahahah

Yakupov has has a struggle this year agreed, he will bounce back,

My point with Gagner is that no matter how good you look in your first year its not set in stone, Ie. Monohan

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#316 Jeff In Lethbridge
March 22 2014, 07:29PM
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Mo Playoffs Mo Problems wrote:

Gazdic has to wear a visor. He's new in the league and falls under the visor grandfather rule.

you'll notice lotsa guys wear the straps loose enough that the helmets fall off or they take them off... Gazdick wears his so tight it's probably a two man job to get it off. can't you just be honest enough to admit what a bunch of sucker punchers the oilers are?

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#317 vetinari
March 22 2014, 08:26PM
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Iggyfan wrote:

Gazdic is cheating with that visor on

Take it up with the NHL, he has to wear it.

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#318 Mo Playoffs Mo Problems
March 22 2014, 08:38PM
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Clyde wrote:

He can unsnap. Heck,the young guy in Winnipeg takes his helmet off and was not called

So if I'm understanding you right, you're saying Gazdic should break an NHL rule because "some guy in Winnipeg" did it one time and didn't get an extra penalty?

Got it.

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#319 D-Unit
March 22 2014, 09:07PM
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If Westgarth was smart, he would learn to throw an upper cut. Visor don't protect a chin. But, he probably lost those brain cells last time Gaz KO'd him. A good fighter knows his opponent.

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#320 Burnward
March 22 2014, 09:11PM
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RKD wrote:

Any hi-jinx yet? Has Dallas Eakins attempted to enter the Flames dressing room?

I think he heard there were doughnuts in there.

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#321 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
March 22 2014, 09:15PM
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I'm still in awe at how stupid these Flames fans are. I would find it hilarious if I didn't have to share a province with them.

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#322 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
March 22 2014, 09:27PM
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@Rockmorton65

By this logic, no one entering the league after this season can fight. Flames fans.

Also, Gazdic would ragdoll you like a child. But everyone's ten feet tall and bulletproof behind the keyboard.

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#323 -30-
March 22 2014, 09:27PM
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Fire Eakins but keep Smith and Buchberger!

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#324 Serious Gord
March 22 2014, 09:43PM
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beloch wrote:

Whoever picks the music at Rexall is a freakin' sadist. Nobody deserves to be subjected to that kind of abuse.

Went to clippers game at staples center a few weeks ago. Scandalous how bad the entertainment package is in EDM (and Calgary) by comparison.

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#325 Rob F
March 22 2014, 09:44PM
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only thing saving eakins job is bucky and smith getting fired....eakins will throw them under the bus.....somethings not rightnot sure if its players attitude or coaches attitude thats toxic

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#326 Gk1980
March 22 2014, 09:46PM
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Wow, just wow. Can someone give me an ETA when these guys decide not to suck anymore? They come put with an amazing powerplay then they just disappear? What's going on with this team?

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#327 beloch
March 22 2014, 09:51PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

Why did we trade him? I forget.

He (Glencross) walked as a UFA.

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#328 frantiskovy@msn.com
March 22 2014, 09:52PM
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Dallas and Taylor bear having a widdle argument about how to pway hockey. Worst thing I have seen all season. Nadir thy name is Oilers.

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#329 Serious Gord
March 22 2014, 09:55PM
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kale wrote:

I suspect with MacT's ego Hall's request for a trade is the only way MacTs hand will be forced to fire Eakins

Jesus I hope so. Even better if Lowe backed Eakins and Katz fires all three (one can hope)

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#330 Jackson
March 22 2014, 09:59PM
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Jeffff wrote:

They don't bring their A game. 82 game season is a long season.

Obviously Drago you have never played competitive hockey. With 82 games it is hard to get up for certain games. You don't want to lose but a team like LA plays harder against SJ than Edmonton. It is reality

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#331 Rod from Viking
March 22 2014, 10:01PM
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-30- wrote:

Two out of three aint bad.

The Rush and Oil Kings are playing great.

Don't forget the U of A hockey team.

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#332 Serious Gord
March 22 2014, 10:03PM
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kale wrote:

no coach Smith, it was quick so I am not sure

Ryan should make it a double header presser. They both played together. Thelma and Louise baby!!

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#333 Sevenseven
March 22 2014, 10:05PM
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Emir wrote:

One cup was rough work so the flames contracted the oilers top 6 to suck it all out

Lol top six defense or forwards? We got a horrible team. Just wait till we hire Brent Sutter as bench boss to turn this team around. What a beautiful day that will be, a sutter coaching the oilers to glory....

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#334 Rockmorton65
March 22 2014, 10:20PM
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Sevenseven wrote:

Lol top six defense or forwards? We got a horrible team. Just wait till we hire Brent Sutter as bench boss to turn this team around. What a beautiful day that will be, a sutter coaching the oilers to glory....

Holy crap! This DOES sound like the Flames from 5 years ago. Too funny.

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#335 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
March 22 2014, 10:38PM
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@dw

I'm like 99% sure he still thinks Gazdic is allowed to play without a visor, but chooses not to.

I can hear him mouth-breathing from here.

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#336 Bringbackslats
March 22 2014, 11:16PM
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@BurningSensation

Yeah and your rebuild after you passed on Martin St Louis and "Lost the cup to TB the next year" is going great?

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#337 Bringbackslats
March 22 2014, 11:35PM
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BurningSensation wrote:

It's 8-1 on Rexall ice great. Thanks for asking.

Yes a hearty congrats to you. Beating the 2nd worst team in the league could only make a true flames chump feel like a champ. We won the last cup more recently than you, and we'll be vying for the cup before you do again.

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#338 Oiler Al
March 22 2014, 11:39PM
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Taught there was a terrible smell on this site... then realized all the COWPIES on here.

What a bunch of hillbillies.

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#339 Rod from Viking
March 22 2014, 11:56PM
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BurningSensation wrote:

I can't hear you over the sound of how awesome your rebuild is going.

You should be able to hear out of one ear, there is only one cup ringing in an ear.

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#340 Loweblows
March 23 2014, 08:35AM
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LoweBlow wrote:

I'm embarrassed to call you a fellow Oiler fan. Tuck your tail between your legs and run. We just had our bums handed to us tonight. 8-1. There's no rebuttal.

Read the trash and take it.

Hats off, Flames fans.

The Edmonton Oilers should be relegated to the AHL.

Never will I submit to some flames fan taunt. I am ashamed to call you an oiler fan my friend.

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#341 rob
March 22 2014, 03:15PM
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bet a tie on your sports select,flames win in shootout,it sucks but true

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#342 Bean-counting cowboy
March 22 2014, 04:23PM
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beloch wrote:

Going by possession stats, you've actually put together a significantly worse blueline than the Flames are playing tonight. I'd include Marincin before Ference.

Lol. I was waiting for that comment. I was thinking that in my head when putting everything down, but was wanting to make the Oil fans feel better about themselves, cuz I just don't get any pleasure out of slagging them anymore.

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#343 Bean-counting cowboy
March 22 2014, 04:32PM
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ubermiguel wrote:

Soooo...between our two clubs you put together one moderately ok NHL team, and the top 6 is still too small. What happened to the Death Valley of the 80s?!

I like Smid more than Russell, but they're probably the 6/7 guy anyways.

Yep, both teams could use more size.

Russell has been our 3rd best defender this year IMO.

And I would agree with Beloch that Marincin may bump Ference down, or off this team completely after looking at those possession stats. Didn't realize it was that bad for Ference.

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#344 Chainsawz
March 22 2014, 05:28PM
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There's a BOA tonight? Been hard staying interested in who the Oilers are playing and when. Now I'm at least 6 tall boys behind and it's less than 3 hours till puck drop. Eat ____ Flames!

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#345 They're $hittie
March 22 2014, 06:16PM
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BurningSensation wrote:

Again, in the order you raised them;

- Believe me when I say this, I hope to God the Oilers continue to invest in Gagner. Seriously, it is the best possible thing for all Flames fans everywhere that you continue to employ him.

- Sven is indeed not in the NHL, he is in the AHL where he is developing a solid NHL game in all three zones. I completely understand that allowing prospects to develop in the minors is foreign to you, let alone having them develop good defensive habits.

- Actually it was you who compared Hall to Monahan - and I agree that it is unfair comparison given age, draft position, etc. Maybe next time you'll make a more valid comparison.

- Nobody has crowned Gaudreau an 'elite player'. Elite prospect, definitely (Hobey Baker, here we come).

- Yakupov will indeed bounce back (or rather, just get better, he's never been very good), once the Oilers trade him away for pennies on the $.

- As somebody already pointed out Monahan already has more goals in his rookie year than Gagner has ever scored in a full season. Please, keep him as your #2C, I'm begging you. While I'm at it, I'm writing a letter to Darryl Katz begging him to keep Kevin Lowe and Dallas Eakins forever.

So Yakupov has never been good huh?

I guess last years stats werent good, I guess that means by comparison Monohans are terrible.

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#346 kale
March 22 2014, 07:10PM
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JSR wrote:

Eakins should pull a page out of Hartley's book...start SMac and Gazdic on the wings, with Hendy at centre....

Naw then you would just have Hartley chasing after Eakins in the lockerrom hallway and that would just get ugly having to listen to PJ Stock talking about it

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#347 Rod from Viking
March 22 2014, 07:41PM
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@Jeff In Lethbridge

I meant he would not have a visor if he didn't have to and if the fighters were allowed to remove their helmets he would(new rule is a penalty and linesmen jump in), what good would it do to have a loose chin strap for everything but fighting? Its not like you can loosen it just before the fight, you probably don't watch many Oiler games when they aren't playing Calgary, you are wrong about Luke.

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#348 Mo Playoffs Mo Problems
March 22 2014, 08:20PM
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Did... the 1-3-1 just work?!?

I thought our PP was just supposed to give up 2 on 1s... I'm so confused...

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#349 RexHolez
March 22 2014, 08:26PM
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vetinari wrote:

Looking good Calgary! You're already in a hole. See you in 30th place next year...

come on Vet, youre better than this!! we all know youre an oiler fan, and oiler fans cant smack talk anyone

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#350 Clyde
March 22 2014, 08:42PM
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Mo Playoffs Mo Problems wrote:

So if I'm understanding you right, you're saying Gazdic should break an NHL rule because "some guy in Winnipeg" did it one time and didn't get an extra penalty?

Got it.

Unsnapping is not breaking the rule.

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