GDB 74.0: LAST CHANCE TO SEE A LEGEND

Jason Gregor
March 28 2014 12:15PM

Teemu Selanne burst onto the NHL scene on October 6th, 1992. He tallied two assists in his first game vs. Detroit, a 4-1 victory, then he scored his first goal two days later in San Jose and on October 14th he tallied his first hat-trick against, you guessed it, the Edmonton Oilers.

In only his 5th NHL game, Selanne had his first of 22 hat tricks. Selanne has 49 goals and 91 career points in 82 games against Edmonton, but in his rookie season he absolutely dominated the Oilers. Selanne had 7 goals and 19 points in 9 games (yes, they played 9 games in one year) as the Jets went 8-1 against Edmonton.

Even though he's lit up the Oilers over the years, I've yet to find an Oiler fan who doesn't like Selanne. He is truly one of the greatest players the NHL has ever seen and tonight could be the last time Oilers fans get to watch him live.

I know the Ducks are back in Edmonton on April 6th, but Selanne might not play that night. The Ducks play in Vancouver tomorrow, and then they play in Vancouver again on April 7th. Selanne is playing tonight, but he will sit out tomorrow, and I'm guessing he will sit in Edmonton on the 6th and play in Vancouver on the 7th.

The Ducks have played 10 sets of back-to-back games so far and Selanne has only played in both games once, and I doubt we see him play both next week, so if you want to see The Finnish Flash one final time in Edmonton, I recommend going tonight.

Selanne is a guaranteed Hall of Famer, but he is a better person than he is a player. He is extremely genuine. I've spoke to thousands of visiting team players over the years, and none have been as nice as Selanne. He treats everyone with respect, and 22 years after he entered the league he is still extremely excited to come to the rink, hangout with his teammates, talk to the media and play the game. I'm not sure I'll meet another player who matches Selanne's class and grace. He is a true gentleman.

Even though he's lost half a step, he is still one of the best skaters in the league, and I hope we see a few flashes of brilliance tonight.

Andrew Ference mentioned the element of Selanne's game that likely gets overlooked,"He comes right back at you if you hit him or stand up on him or try to be tough on him in the corners. He doesn't back away or shy away from driving the net or hitting you back or getting in on the forecheck or even giving you a quick little shot. You don't score that many points without earning your space on the ice, and you were never going to get the upperhand on him competitive-wise."

The young Oilers should read that quote, and then blow it up and put it on their fridge so they can read it every day. I find Hall is the closest one to having that style of game, but all of the Oilers skilled forwards must learn that you need to battle all the time if you want to be an elite, consistent scorer in the NHL.

You will notice Dallas Eakins was on the ice for Selanne's record-breaking goal and he actually dropped the glove that Selanne tossed. "For me it was a Forrest Gump moment, what am I doing there," said Eakins. Tie Domi assisted on the goal, so that is two guys you wouldn't expect to be on the ice during that play.

LINEUP

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

Ference-Petry
Klefbom-Schultz
Marincin-Belov

Scrivens

Gagner didn't practice yesterday, but he'll play tonight. This has been a season to forget for Gagner, and he's trying desperately to end the season with a glimpse of positivity. He needs to find his game soon.

Klefbom will move to his natural left side and play with Schultz. I think Schultz has improved a lot away from the puck the last few months. I've watched him closely in the defensive end, and while he'll never be a shut down guy he has become better positionally. Klefbom is the steady defensive guy and the Oilers are hoping they can become a solid pairing in the future.

Belov has played the right side before and he told me he is comfortable playing either side, so he'll play with Marincin.

COGLIANO...

Andrew+Cogliano+Anaheim+Ducks+v+Chicago+Blackhawks+Q2Av3alwuyYl

Andrew Cogliano has 21 goals, and all of them are at ES. Brad Marchand has 21 goals and they are the only two players in the NHL with 21 or more goals, but none on the PP. Cogliano has flourished since moving to the wing and I asked him why he thinks he's having more success not playing centre.

"Wing gives me the opportunity to be ahead of the play more, be first on the forecheck and not have do as much down low in D zone. I also don't have to focus on faceoffs and use a lot of energy in the dot. I'm able to anticipate where pucks are going more from the wing and I can use my speed more to get to pucks."

He admitted that when he was in Edmonton he felt he was better suited to play centre. "I was stubborn, I thought I'd never get the puck with speed if I played the wing, but that isn't the case. The wing is better for me. I've had to play centre a few shifts this year, and to be honest, now I hate it."

Cogliano isn't very big, but he forechecks hard and his speed allows him to get on D-men quickly, pressure them and often that leads to turnovers. Cogliano also shared with me that he changed up his off-season routine this past summer.

"I worked a lot on the mental side of the game this off season. I worked on getting my confidence back, believing I could make plays and score. It has worked very well. I feel like I'm hungrier to score now. I believe I can do it," Cogliano explained.

The mental part of the game is huge, but it is something that can't be tracked in stats or by simply watching the game. It is the huge wildcard in sports, and it will always have a major impact on how players perform regardless of what we see or track.

Cogliano is 3rd on the Ducks in shots on goal this year. He is getting more chances, but he said much of that is a direct result of the mental work he did this summer. He believes he can score so he is wiling to shoot more.

TONIGHT....

octane

GAME DAY PREDICTION: Ducks win 4-3. Selanne scores his 50th career goal vs. the Oilers and the fans give him a standing ovation.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Cogliano, a former Oiler, scores his 22nd of the season and takes over the lead for most ES goals without a PP goal.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers manage two powerplay goals. They haven't scored two PP goals in a game since January 26th.

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
#51 Taylor Gang
March 28 2014, 05:13PM
Trash it!
9
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers
oilers wrote:

Nope. Garner is not quick enough to be a significant player in this league.

Cogliano quick, but not as skilled. But because of the quickness could play the role he needed to succeed at.

Oilers Lowe et Al. Mact q's coach could not recognize the difference nor were smart enough to develop the talent.

This is why we are in the 3rd rebuild, with a 4th, 5th, 6th... to come as long as management stays the same.

Time to speak up loudly oilers fans.

Fire Lowe chants at game!

Anyone who understands the game knows that the most valuable asset a player can have is speed. Skill is useless if you just get caught up to all the time.

Avatar
#52 james_dean
March 28 2014, 05:13PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
33
cheers

I bought the ex a cogs jersey in 09.

She text me today sayin shes wearin it to the game tonight.

Hopefully this new guy is rich. She drinks ALOT

Avatar
#53 D-Unit
March 28 2014, 05:27PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
9
cheers
The Sultan wrote:

I believe Cogs ironman streak was at 587 straight games when the Ducks played the Flames. Why did the Oilers trade this guy again?

Regardless of why they traded him, would the Oilers be much better off if they didn't? I say no.

Avatar
#54 DrunkGuyTy
March 28 2014, 05:27PM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
17
cheers

What would it take to get her to throw her sweater on the ice?

Avatar
#55 D-Unit
March 28 2014, 05:32PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
18
cheers
Old Timer wrote:

The Oilers traded him because the fans demanded someone be traded to improve the team.

Kind of like when they demanded that Jason Arnott be traded.

Or when they demanded Jaret Stoll be traded.

Or when they demanded Gagner and Yak be traded.

The fans always know best don't they.

Well, first off as a fan, I do not know best.

Secondly, if the management could build a good team, in a reasonable amount of time, fans wouldn't be so demanding. Related to this point, a GM with a backbone should not be making trades because fans want them.

Avatar
#56 ubermiguel
March 28 2014, 05:43PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
8
cheers
Taylor Gang wrote:

Anyone who understands the game knows that the most valuable asset a player can have is speed. Skill is useless if you just get caught up to all the time.

You never saw Brett Hull or Nick Lidstrom play did you? I'll take a player that knows how to position himself over a guy that needs to be fast because he's always in the wrong spot. Combining the two is ideal of course.

Avatar
#57 shanetrain
March 28 2014, 06:01PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
7
cheers

You know Cogs is going to pot one tonight. It seems to be the Oiler way.

Avatar
#58 Jakester
March 28 2014, 06:02PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
7
cheers

"Jeff in lethbridge" states that he wouldn't trade Paul Byron for yak.. Okay, I've officialy heard it all now.

Avatar
#59 Loweblows
March 28 2014, 06:21PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

GDP: Oil lose. Give an F meter pegs to max rating.

Avatar
#60 vetinari
March 28 2014, 06:21PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
7
cheers
Jakester wrote:

"Jeff in lethbridge" states that he wouldn't trade Paul Byron for yak.. Okay, I've officialy heard it all now.

Jeff is in Lethbridge, and not managing the Oilers, for a reason...

Avatar
#61 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
March 28 2014, 06:29PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
6
cheers

@Jakester

If I'm thinking of the right guy, 'Jeff In Lethbridge' is as smart as your average Flames fan. So, you know, not.

Not to be confused with 'Rod From Viking', who usually posts good stuff.

Avatar
#62 He Who Knows
March 28 2014, 06:31PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
8
cheers

The Finnish Flash, one of the greats ever!

Avatar
#63 Oilcruzer
March 28 2014, 06:50PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
8
cheers

I will be there just to salute a legend. Not many remember, he would have been an Oiler if Winnipeg didn't trade up at the last second, one spot ahead of Edmonton.

First ballot. No brainer.

Avatar
#64 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
March 28 2014, 07:44PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Wow. This game is going to be an absolute s**tshow.

Avatar
#65 6 ring circus
March 28 2014, 07:45PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

Well that didn't take long for Anaheim to score !!!!

Avatar
#66 Total Points
March 28 2014, 07:45PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers

Ducks score first Gagner missed his man. What else is new

Avatar
#67 Zarny
March 28 2014, 07:46PM
Trash it!
6
trashes
Cheers
12
cheers

The lamenting over Cogs is bit comical considering he's only hit 40 pts once in his career despite never missing a game.

Gagner, by contrast, has topped 40 pts every season except last year where he had 38 pts in 48 games. That would be 2 more pts than Cogliano has this year in 72 games lol.

But perhaps Cogs can be a lesson for all those that have wet themselves this year. He's 26 now not 20-22. Surprise! His game has improved. Being in your prime will do that.

Avatar
#68 Loweblows
March 28 2014, 07:46PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
6
cheers
james_dean wrote:

I bought the ex a cogs jersey in 09.

She text me today sayin shes wearin it to the game tonight.

Hopefully this new guy is rich. She drinks ALOT

Anyone who watches the oilers should drink alot.

Avatar
#69 Zarny
March 28 2014, 07:50PM
Trash it!
9
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers
Total Points wrote:

Ducks score first Gagner missed his man. What else is new

Sorry bud, but that was Perron's man.

Or did you miss Perron's weak a** poke check on Bonino right before he scored?

Avatar
#70 Total Points
March 28 2014, 07:51PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers
Total Points wrote:

Ducks score first Gagner missed his man. What else is new

well at least Gag got it back. good job

Avatar
#71 kale
March 28 2014, 07:51PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers
Loweblows wrote:

Anyone who watches the oilers should drink alot.

okay i will

Avatar
#72 kale
March 28 2014, 07:54PM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
11
cheers
Zarny wrote:

The lamenting over Cogs is bit comical considering he's only hit 40 pts once in his career despite never missing a game.

Gagner, by contrast, has topped 40 pts every season except last year where he had 38 pts in 48 games. That would be 2 more pts than Cogliano has this year in 72 games lol.

But perhaps Cogs can be a lesson for all those that have wet themselves this year. He's 26 now not 20-22. Surprise! His game has improved. Being in your prime will do that.

Silly comparison given that Gagner gets the best minutes, power play etc and Cogliano plays on the third line

Avatar
#73 Total Points
March 28 2014, 08:24PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers
Zarny wrote:

Sorry bud, but that was Perron's man.

Or did you miss Perron's weak a** poke check on Bonino right before he scored?

Gags went to the wall where Hall was. Gags should have stayed in the middle. Peron had the other wall

Avatar
#74 Rod from Viking
March 28 2014, 09:06PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
6
cheers

Klefsbom looks better every shift, with a few more games under his belt he should pick up the physicality, I sure hope his injuries are behind him too.

Avatar
#75 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
March 28 2014, 09:07PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

In that Eberle "celly" commercial, I'm pretty sure the name on the logo is the "Toe Draggers". Oh the irony...

Avatar
#76 Rod from Viking
March 28 2014, 09:23PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
6
cheers

Mike Comrie wouldn't rebate part of his salary to be traded to Anaheim for Cory Perry. That was absolutely the worst and dumbest thing K-Lowe ever did, do you think he squirms a bit when the Oil play Anaheim or watches team Canada play.

Avatar
#77 Zarny
March 28 2014, 09:26PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers
Total Points wrote:

Gags went to the wall where Hall was. Gags should have stayed in the middle. Peron had the other wall

Perron came up the ice with Bonino, waved his stick at him in the high slot and let him skate in free to the net.

Gagner correctly supported the D being the first F back in the zone. Hall would have been responsible for the same side D that was coming into the zone.

Avatar
#78 wiseguy
March 28 2014, 09:51PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
8
cheers
Rod from Viking wrote:

Mike Comrie wouldn't rebate part of his salary to be traded to Anaheim for Cory Perry. That was absolutely the worst and dumbest thing K-Lowe ever did, do you think he squirms a bit when the Oil play Anaheim or watches team Canada play.

Lowe doesn't squirm or regret any moves he's made or not made because there's only one man in hockey today that has more rings than he does. He's also built a roster that half the league would die to switch with.

Avatar
#79 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
March 28 2014, 10:21PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers

Whoa, great footrace there from Hall and Cogs. I felt the wind from here.

Scrivens with the win.

Avatar
#80 Reg Dunlop
March 28 2014, 10:22PM
Trash it!
7
trashes
Cheers
8
cheers

Yes, I know the oil were outplayed much of the game. Outshot 2-1, I get it. But they battled, they didn`t mail in an effort like Saturday against calgary. I saw lots of positives now that my expectations have been tempered. Good job boys, next year thing will be different. Like George and Weezy, we be moving on up.

Avatar
#81 Sevenseven
March 28 2014, 10:31PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

Scrivens. There you go. We got a number 1 defenseman. Now we just need a 2,3,4 defenseman.

Comments are closed for this article.