GDB 73.0: HOW WILL THEY RESPOND?

Jason Gregor
March 25 2014 02:18PM

Flickr-2993662670

Be positive -- it can't get any worse than Saturday, can it? If Saturday was the low point of another frustrating, disappointing season, then theoretically tonight should be better. I understand that is setting the bar very low, but when you're sitting in 29th place you need realistic expectations.

The Sharks might be a bit fatigued. They lost 2-1 in Calgary last night, Logan Couture is doubtful after blocking a few shots and San Jose clinched a playoff berth with the OTL loss. San Jose is 4-1 in the second game of a back-to-back when they win the first game, but they are only 1-1 after they lose the first game.

The Oilers, meanwhile, are 6-3-1 this season when they lost the previous game by four or more goals.

We could focus on the negative -- they've had eleven losses of 4+ goals -- but today is the 65th anniversary of the completion of Joseph Lake Oil Well #1 (that is some obscure New Sarepta trivia for you), so let's focus on the positive.

The Oilers have shown they have the ability to get blown out, but they've also shown they can rebound with a much better effort during the next game. It won't take much to better Saturday's pathetic performance, and I'd also be willing to bet Ben Scrivens won't have to face 59 shots like he did on January 29th vs. the Sharks.

LINEUP 

Hall-Gagner-Perron

Lander-RNH-Eberle

Hendrick-Gordon-Pitlick

Gazdic-Smyth-Jones

Ference-Schultz

Marincin-Petry

Fraser-Klefbom

Scrivens

Viktor Fasth hurt his neck in practice yesterday when Anton Lander collided into him. Fasth is day-to-day and former Oil Kings goalie Laurent Brossoit has been recalled. Expect Scrivens to start every game until Fasth is ready. The OKC Barons are in a must win situation tonight vs. San Antonio and they wanted Richard Bachman to start, if you are wondering why Brossoit got the call ahead of him.

QUICK HITS...

  • I still don't think the Hall-Eakins water bottle situation is a big deal, but after I spoke with Hall yesterday, something good might come out of it. "Sometimes I get frustrated and that is the worst part of my game. I am working on controlling that," Hall told me. Hall is an emotional player. He drives the play more than any other Oiler. You can tell when he's excited and when he's frustrated. Hall will get better at controlling his frustration, but I'd much rather have to try and tone down a player than beg him to get fired up.

  • Nail Yakupov is still out with a fractured ankle. There is no reason to rush him back. He'll want to play, but letting players come back before they are healthy enough to contribute rarely works out well.

  • If Brossoit gets into a game he'll be the 7th goalie to play. He is the 8th goalie to dress for a game. Kurtis Mucha dressed but didn't play. Scrivens, Fasth, Dubnyk, Bryzgalov, LaBarbera and Bachman have all stood between the pipes this year.

  • I'd like to see more from Tyler Pitlick. He has a glorious opportunity to show Eakins what he can do. I want players who realize the opportunity in front of them and will do anything to keep their spot in the lineup. He needs to do something to get noticed.

  • I've liked Klefbom's game. His biggest asset right now is that he has the strength to battle big forwards. He will only get stronger as he matures, but even now you can see he has the strength and skating ability to contribute. He has played a very simple game, similar to Marincin's first 10 games, and I wonder if we'll see him become more comfortable and assertive with the puck the more he plays.

TONIGHT....

6-29-12-inspirational-funny-quotes1

GAME DAY PREDICTION: Dwight Schrute should be a motivational speaker. I am taking his advice and picking the Sharks to win 3-1.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The 50/50 is a season-low $45,000. You know the fans are annoyed when they pot is under $50 grand. 

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS-GAME DAY PREDICTION: If the Oilers shock us all and win, then Ben Scrivens will add to the shock value even more. When he skates out of the tunnel after being announced as the first star he will take off his jersey and toss it to a young fan in the crowd. In his post-game interview he states, "I don't want young kids thinking the jersey doesn't matter. It does. Win or lose we should be proud of it." He instantly becomes the new fan favourite.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR:

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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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#151 Gk1980
March 25 2014, 09:44PM
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I'm happy with getting one goal. That's pretty good in my books. Who is everyone gonna be cheering for in the playoffs?

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#152 The Soup Fascist
March 25 2014, 09:44PM
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RexHolez wrote:

why are people still in the stands?

Two words ..... Fifty fift .... Ok technically one word - twice.

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#153 RexHolez
March 25 2014, 09:45PM
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it would be hard to put together such a sad and useless team if I tried!

im at the point where im curious too see just how long and how bad they have to get to make changes at the top

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#154 The Soup Fascist
March 25 2014, 09:47PM
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kale wrote:

Ya I do but Bennett and Reinhart are ranked ahead of Drasaitl on most boards but the Oilers like Drasaitl

The guy has been crazy good since Christmas and seems to be using his size. Would seem to be a good fit. Better than the smaller centres.

Ekblad would be tough to turn down if he is available though.

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#155 Alsker
March 25 2014, 09:47PM
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Another moral victory...we're only down by a field goal!!! No surprises tonight other than Florida picking up 2 points.

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#156 Jakester
March 25 2014, 09:50PM
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Gk1980 wrote:

I'm happy with getting one goal. That's pretty good in my books. Who is everyone gonna be cheering for in the playoffs?

Hopping on the blue jackets bandwagon for the playoffs but also wouldn't hate it if the bruins won just because of iggy. As a St. Albert man I would love to see that happen.

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#157 kale
March 25 2014, 09:51PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

The guy has been crazy good since Christmas and seems to be using his size. Would seem to be a good fit. Better than the smaller centres.

Ekblad would be tough to turn down if he is available though.

Ya I agree, but Reinhart keeps performing too. I am going to the game on Saturday here in Cranbrook, they just beaat the hitman 5-4 to tie the series. I dont want the oilers to take Reinhart though

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#158 Naky
March 25 2014, 09:52PM
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If the Oilers end up picking third and lose out on both Ekblad and Drasaitl, they need to go off the board and pick the next best, big player ready to play now if we can't turn that pick into an NHL veteran. No more Bennets or Reinharts, we need some frigging size down the middle. Without size, we're never going to compete in the west. Continuously out powered and out muscled.

Sad thing is, I can definitely see both Ekblad and Drasaitl being chosen with the top 2 picks if Edmonton were to pick third, assuming someone else wins the draft and Buffalo drops to second and us to third. A team winning the draft doesn't necessarily need to pick the BPA and the Oilers are a prime example of a rebuild failing if you choose skill without size.

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#159 Anton (still waiting for playoffs)
March 25 2014, 09:52PM
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More hats!

I changed the channel after the second goal, and just change it back for final minutes and want to see if anything else will be tossed onto the ice.

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#160 The Soup Fascist
March 25 2014, 09:52PM
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kale wrote:

Ya I agree, but Reinhart keeps performing too. I am going to the game on Saturday here in Cranbrook, they just beaat the hitman 5-4 to tie the series. I dont want the oilers to take Reinhart though

How would one go about drafting Joe Pavelski?

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#161 Serious Gord
March 25 2014, 09:54PM
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Two games in a row there are visitors hats on the ice.

I'd rather see a jersey.

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#162 Captain Ron
March 25 2014, 09:55PM
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Stay tuned for your nightly jersey tossing moment haha!

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#163 The Soup Fascist
March 25 2014, 09:56PM
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kale wrote:

Ya I agree, but Reinhart keeps performing too. I am going to the game on Saturday here in Cranbrook, they just beaat the hitman 5-4 to tie the series. I dont want the oilers to take Reinhart though

Doesn't sound like it will be hard to get a ticket. Not sure what attendance was tonight but why is it that the Ice can't draw 2000 fans for a playoff game?

It's a shame. It seems to be an entertaining series.

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#164 RexHolez
March 25 2014, 09:57PM
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we should trade hall. id like to see how good hed be in the playoffs and on an nhl team

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#165 RexHolez
March 25 2014, 09:57PM
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we should trade hall. id like to see how good hed be in the playoffs and on an nhl team

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#166 Captain Ron
March 25 2014, 09:57PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

How would one go about drafting Joe Pavelski?

Get him on your fantasy team like I did!

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#167 G-Unit
March 25 2014, 09:58PM
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Appropriate to have this father-son game at the end of the season.

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#168 admiralmark
March 25 2014, 09:59PM
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Naky wrote:

If the Oilers end up picking third and lose out on both Ekblad and Drasaitl, they need to go off the board and pick the next best, big player ready to play now if we can't turn that pick into an NHL veteran. No more Bennets or Reinharts, we need some frigging size down the middle. Without size, we're never going to compete in the west. Continuously out powered and out muscled.

Sad thing is, I can definitely see both Ekblad and Drasaitl being chosen with the top 2 picks if Edmonton were to pick third, assuming someone else wins the draft and Buffalo drops to second and us to third. A team winning the draft doesn't necessarily need to pick the BPA and the Oilers are a prime example of a rebuild failing if you choose skill without size.

Bennet is tougher to play against the Drasaitl is. Plays a more physical and meaner game. People focus on size too much sometimes. I would be stoked with Bennet as the pick even over Ekblad but I know i'm in the minority.

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#169 kale
March 25 2014, 09:59PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

Doesn't sound like it will be hard to get a ticket. Not sure what attendance was tonight but why is it that the Ice can't draw 2000 fans for a playoff game?

It's a shame. It seems to be an entertaining series.

The arena is empty which is awful given tickets are only 22.00 for a great seat

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#170 Jordan1126
March 25 2014, 10:01PM
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Imagine what hall could do on a good team.....

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#171 Reg Dunlop
March 25 2014, 10:01PM
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Hall is a good player. He is like Mike Gartner. Fast skater, good shot, 1st line wing on a perpetually bad team. Not very physical. Mike never won anything but he scored lots. Hopefully Hall eventually is part of a winner because he will never score 700 goals.

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#172 RexHolez
March 25 2014, 10:01PM
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G-Unit wrote:

Appropriate to have this father-son game at the end of the season.

lol, this is a "take your kids to work" game for the sharks

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#173 Joe
March 25 2014, 10:02PM
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Drasaitl = Steve Kelly

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#174 The Soup Fascist
March 25 2014, 10:04PM
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kale wrote:

The arena is empty which is awful given tickets are only 22.00 for a great seat

Too bad. The team has been pretty solid for a few years.

Maybe some bad hockey Karma for the Chynoweth family who pulled a bit of a shady deal over the Mah group in the 90s here in Edmonton.

Feel bad for the kids playing their guts out in front of crickets. The players deserve better. Enjoy the game. Would love to see an upset.

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#175 Reg Dunlop
March 25 2014, 10:04PM
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Ahh, my eyes! Just say 'NO' to chunky cheerleaders.

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#176 RexHolez
March 25 2014, 10:04PM
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admiralmark wrote:

Bennet is tougher to play against the Drasaitl is. Plays a more physical and meaner game. People focus on size too much sometimes. I would be stoked with Bennet as the pick even over Ekblad but I know i'm in the minority.

I like Bennet too much to hope the oilers pick him. he deserves better

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#177 G-Unit
March 25 2014, 10:06PM
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kale wrote:

The arena is empty which is awful given tickets are only 22.00 for a great seat

Any chance it's because the same group owns both teams? It doesn't affect me, but I wonder. Or because the building is depressing to walk up to. It would be interesting to see what attendance would be with just walk up

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#178 The Soup Fascist
March 25 2014, 10:08PM
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Joe wrote:

Drasaitl = Steve Kelly

Other than the fact they both played for PA ....... How so?

Seem like two totally different players to me.

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#179 admiralmark
March 25 2014, 10:08PM
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admiralmark wrote:

5-2 Sharks. Which considering the team the Oilers have is a score to be proud of. What i'm curious about is how many fans are going to wear their Jersey inside out? It would be intresting to see how security would react to 40-50 fans with an inside out Jersey.

TOLDJYAH! :P

Look for my Sports handicapping website coming soon. ;)

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#180 kale
March 25 2014, 10:09PM
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G-Unit wrote:

Any chance it's because the same group owns both teams? It doesn't affect me, but I wonder. Or because the building is depressing to walk up to. It would be interesting to see what attendance would be with just walk up

Attendance is always bad at Kooteney Ice games. There is never a problem getting a ticket, and like i said, they are dirt cheap

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#181 keats
March 25 2014, 10:10PM
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So Katz needs a new arena in Edmonton so he can fill it with his overpriced, defective product? I'm not an economist but I would think that would cause most businesses to go broke.

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#182 G-unit
March 25 2014, 10:10PM
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If Smyth does get the record I hope it comes in a game like this . Where his penalty changed the tide for the opposition.

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#183 crusty_grit
March 25 2014, 10:11PM
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@Joe

At the draft that day...

Total shock after the "Doan...Doan...Doan..." chant. Kelly never had a chance to begin with.

Epic Fail

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#184 bazmagoo
March 25 2014, 10:15PM
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Yes the Oilers are still bad. The stank was only masked by some out of this world goaltending for 10-12 games, unfortunately that isn't sustainable. Was happy to see Nuge, Hall and Eberle play together in the 3rd, hope Eakins has the sense to keep them together more often. I won't be holding my breath.

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#185 bazmagoo
March 25 2014, 10:16PM
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Gagner and Petry to Buf for Tyler Myers. Prop if you think it's a good idea, trash if you think it's a bad idea.

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#186 The Soup Fascist
March 25 2014, 10:20PM
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bazmagoo wrote:

Gagner and Petry to Buf for Tyler Myers. Prop if you think it's a good idea, trash if you think it's a bad idea.

It would be colossally bad idea for the Sabres.

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#187 kale
March 25 2014, 10:20PM
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bazmagoo wrote:

Yes the Oilers are still bad. The stank was only masked by some out of this world goaltending for 10-12 games, unfortunately that isn't sustainable. Was happy to see Nuge, Hall and Eberle play together in the 3rd, hope Eakins has the sense to keep them together more often. I won't be holding my breath.

Ya see i dont get that about Eakins...he says he knows Hall, Nuge and Eberle can cause damage when he plays them together but he rarely ever plays them together..I dont get it

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#188 bazmagoo
March 25 2014, 10:22PM
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@kale

Eakins is an idiot. The only people who look dumber at this stage are the clowns who hired him.

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#189 bazmagoo
March 25 2014, 10:25PM
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@The Soup Fascist

I've been a defender of both Gagner and Petry, but at this stage I would think it would be best for the Oilers to part ways with both players. Hoping they can get something acceptable in return if MacT sees it as well.

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#190 RexHolez
March 25 2014, 10:28PM
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bazmagoo wrote:

Gagner and Petry to Buf for Tyler Myers. Prop if you think it's a good idea, trash if you think it's a bad idea.

how about gagner and Petry to Buf for a few more stadium security guards??

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#191 The Soup Fascist
March 25 2014, 10:30PM
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bazmagoo wrote:

I've been a defender of both Gagner and Petry, but at this stage I would think it would be best for the Oilers to part ways with both players. Hoping they can get something acceptable in return if MacT sees it as well.

I am not a hater of either. Petry is a talent who seems to lose focus at times and does not play as physical game as he could.

Gagner is miscast here but could be a contributor elsewhere. Never recovered from the kASSian debacle.

I would roll the dice on Myers and his contract. 24 year old D men who are 6'7" and can skate are worth the risk.

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#192 Naky
March 25 2014, 10:31PM
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Bennett plays a more physical and gritty game you say? Playing physical in junior isn't the same as being physical in the NHL. Guys are bigger and stronger than you. That's where the size makes a difference. Honestly, if we just want a player to bounce off bigger guys all the time we can just sign Acrobello again. "Physical" with skill, right? Sure, maybe he fills out. When's that going to happen, four or five more years? Fantastic, see you then.

Cripes guys, size matters. Even if they don't use it as much as you want them to. We spent years complaining that Penner didn't use his size to play heavier and now that he's gone we're practically desperate to have that big body back even if it's not used as much as we'd like. There's just no comparison between a bigger guy who can keep puck possession and push guys off over a smaller guy who can be knocked off the puck easy cuz he's got 6 less inches and 45 pounds less in weight than you. We need players that can be effective right now, not players that might be most effective half a decade away.

Drafting another 6 foot tall, 170 pound center is the last thing we need right now no matter how gritty he is among boys.

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#193 The Soup Fascist
March 25 2014, 10:34PM
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Naky wrote:

Bennett plays a more physical and gritty game you say? Playing physical in junior isn't the same as being physical in the NHL. Guys are bigger and stronger than you. That's where the size makes a difference. Honestly, if we just want a player to bounce off bigger guys all the time we can just sign Acrobello again. "Physical" with skill, right? Sure, maybe he fills out. When's that going to happen, four or five more years? Fantastic, see you then.

Cripes guys, size matters. Even if they don't use it as much as you want them to. We spent years complaining that Penner didn't use his size to play heavier and now that he's gone we're practically desperate to have that big body back even if it's not used as much as we'd like. There's just no comparison between a bigger guy who can keep puck possession and push guys off over a smaller guy who can be knocked off the puck easy cuz he's got 6 less inches and 45 pounds less in weight than you. We need players that can be effective right now, not players that might be most effective half a decade away.

Drafting another 6 foot tall, 170 pound center is the last thing we need right now no matter how gritty he is among boys.

Agree. Matt Dumba was a physical force in junior. He is a flea in the NHL. If he does not adapt his game he will have an unremarkable career I am afraid.

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#194 6 ring circus
March 25 2014, 10:39PM
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The more I see the oilers play,the more this rebuild is starting to look like Lowe copied the Atlanta Thrasers model of building a hockey team.

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#195 slats
March 25 2014, 10:44PM
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"The Oilers, meanwhile, are 6-3-1 this season when they lost the previous game by four or more goals."

. . . It's embarrassing we even have this stat

AND

10 games of it!

Please no more in this sample size! Although Taylor kept it from going to an 11 game sample. There . . . . Positive.

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#196 admiralmark
March 25 2014, 10:46PM
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Naky wrote:

Bennett plays a more physical and gritty game you say? Playing physical in junior isn't the same as being physical in the NHL. Guys are bigger and stronger than you. That's where the size makes a difference. Honestly, if we just want a player to bounce off bigger guys all the time we can just sign Acrobello again. "Physical" with skill, right? Sure, maybe he fills out. When's that going to happen, four or five more years? Fantastic, see you then.

Cripes guys, size matters. Even if they don't use it as much as you want them to. We spent years complaining that Penner didn't use his size to play heavier and now that he's gone we're practically desperate to have that big body back even if it's not used as much as we'd like. There's just no comparison between a bigger guy who can keep puck possession and push guys off over a smaller guy who can be knocked off the puck easy cuz he's got 6 less inches and 45 pounds less in weight than you. We need players that can be effective right now, not players that might be most effective half a decade away.

Drafting another 6 foot tall, 170 pound center is the last thing we need right now no matter how gritty he is among boys.

Bennet is 6ft 181 lbs at 17years old. Yes at 17 he cant throw his weight around with the 30 year old NHL'ers. Guess what all those players he's playing against now will grow just as he will. Chances are he will in 2-3 years fill into 6"1' 205 lbs. Think Gabriel Landeskog possibly. Has an edge and can score. So yah I'd take him. The idea is to continue to fill the prospect pipeline so if it takes him 2-3 years so be it. But I can guarantee he's a better player then Sam Gagner right now. Again size isnt everything. Ask Detroit. There's a lesson to be learned for the era when the Oilers were trying to gain size by drafting coke machines. And i'm not saying Drasaitl is that. I think he is a fine player. I just like the overall package Bennet brings.

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#197 Manfly
March 26 2014, 05:34AM
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Reg Dunlop wrote:

Ahh, my eyes! Just say 'NO' to chunky cheerleaders.

more to love....

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#198 jamesrob56
March 26 2014, 01:00PM
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TheresAlwaysNextYear wrote:

well guys im gonna have my paper bag mask ready for tonight.

Don't put an Oiler sticker on it. That'd get you kicked out.

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