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:

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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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#51 Rod from Viking
March 28 2014, 03:26PM
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She has a visor, can already here "Grapes" saying she has to take it off, take it all off. (Sorry Bagged Milk)

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#52 oilers
March 28 2014, 03:58PM
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Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

Cogs is one tough little SOB. Has he missed a game yet?

Should have traded garner,. Traded the wrong guy. Good move six rings.

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#53 oilers
March 28 2014, 04:11PM
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TKB2677 wrote:

Gee, aren't Cogliano (when he was an Oiler) and Gagner almost twins? They are both small players who came into the league as "centers". Both struggle at faceoffs, both struggle with the responsibilities of the center and both are stubborn in the fact that they are reluctant to play the wing.

IN the brief times that Gagner "tried" playing wing, he didn't give it his best effort and admitted every time, he was "more comfortable" as a center even though he clearly doesn't have the skill set to be a good one.

It's too bad Gagner wouldn't do what Cogliano did and actually try playing wing. He might actual excel like Cogliano is doing now. Unfortunately for Cogliano, it took being traded and another team telling him he was a winger before it sunk in and he gave it a legit shot.

I'm going to assume that Gagner will be the same.

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!

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#54 ubermiguel
March 28 2014, 04:48PM
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You can't talk about Teemu's career without mentioning his storied Olympic numbers. 6 Olympics, 3 bronze, 1 silver, all-time scoring leader, oldest player to medal, Sochi MVP. Finland was always my #2 team in the Olympics because of this guy. When he accepted his bronze medal after beating the USA in Sochi I will admit I got a little misty eyed.

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#55 Taylor Gang
March 28 2014, 05:13PM
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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.

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#56 Total Points
March 28 2014, 07:45PM
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Ducks score first Gagner missed his man. What else is new

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#57 kale
March 28 2014, 07:51PM
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Loweblows wrote:

Anyone who watches the oilers should drink alot.

okay i will

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#58 Zarny
March 28 2014, 09:26PM
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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.

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#59 The Sultan
March 28 2014, 01:13PM
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@The Sultan

Well, it's not 587 but it's on the plus side of 500.

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#60 tileguy
March 28 2014, 01:33PM
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Hey Gregor

Are you going to tell us which Dman you voted for?

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#61 BIscuite
March 28 2014, 02:37PM
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Wow, look at all the hitting in that video!!!

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#62 Naky
March 28 2014, 02:48PM
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She might be mesa but she won't come with the hours of airbrushing applied to her, sadly.

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#63 Total Points
March 28 2014, 03:23PM
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The comments from Cogs regarding mental approach to the game are interesting.

There was guy on TV who stated that in any sport there are only a few players of superior talent ie NHL Hockey has about 600 players of which about 60 or a couple per team are of "natural talent" The rest must rely on the mental aspect of the game to excel.

That is why ownership, management, coaching, fan acceptance and media coverage are so important to most of the players to set the right mental tone so the players and team can excel.

How the players can show up at Rexall place and try to play under the current scenario, poor management, Poor coaches, hostile fans, media, etc. is beyond me.

The only Oiler of mental toughness is Taylor Hall. He brings it every game and his skills are improving every week, better defensive coverage, etc

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#64 oilers
March 28 2014, 04:14PM
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Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

Gagne I can understand, but Garner...?

Hate autocorrect! You got it.

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#65 6 ring circus
March 28 2014, 07:45PM
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Well that didn't take long for Anaheim to score !!!!

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#66 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
March 28 2014, 09:07PM
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In that Eberle "celly" commercial, I'm pretty sure the name on the logo is the "Toe Draggers". Oh the irony...

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#67 TonyT
March 28 2014, 01:35PM
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@baggedmilk

When I was a kid growing up in the 90s, my dad took me to a couple games a year. Took me 6 years to get a win and I hated Chelios. On the other hand, I am now undefeated on the road also on a 6 year or so run.

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#68 2015Playoffs?Nope!
March 28 2014, 02:45PM
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... totally forgot Yak is injured.

My bad

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#69 baggedmilk
March 28 2014, 02:45PM
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TonyT wrote:

When I was a kid growing up in the 90s, my dad took me to a couple games a year. Took me 6 years to get a win and I hated Chelios. On the other hand, I am now undefeated on the road also on a 6 year or so run.

I feel your pain, sir! We're all in this together.

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#70 mesa
March 28 2014, 02:46PM
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IF that girl on the cheer team i would not miss a game .is she?

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#71 Total Points
March 28 2014, 03:31PM
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Naky wrote:

Really? People are going to wax poetic about losing Cogliano now? Really? I remember these comments section when he was around and he was easily one of the biggest whipping boys around here. Cogliano joins a long list of players of the likes of Torres, Stoll, Greene, etc. who were strapped up by the wrists by fans and begged to be moved for a bag of pucks only to turn into fine players that this team actually requires right now down the line.

But of course, -you- weren't one of those people, right? No, sirree! *trashes comment to hide feelings of guilt* See? Always wanted him here, cried for days when he was gone.

The negative Oiler fans have a lot to do with the current situation. Canadian teams have suffered for years due to the negativity showed to them by media and fans.

This year only 1 CDN team will make playoffs

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#72 Bishai in the Benches
March 28 2014, 03:46PM
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baggedmilk wrote:

My missus is a saint and the most beautiful woman in the world! *please let her read the comments*

Good answer, you sir are a gentleman and a scholar.

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#73 mesa
March 28 2014, 04:07PM
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Glencross .cogliano.Brozdiak.maybe torris are the only oilers were traded and still playing good or may helped the oilers but the rest ? nobody the oilers traded away and you fell sorry for .so oilers black for talent?i do not think so ..but their problem is the scouting .

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#74 steve
March 28 2014, 04:40PM
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Selanne threw his own glove. It is plain as day in the video................

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#75 Sevenseven
March 28 2014, 10:31PM
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Scrivens. There you go. We got a number 1 defenseman. Now we just need a 2,3,4 defenseman.

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#76 Benny Botts
March 28 2014, 01:02PM
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baggedmilk wrote:

My missus is going to the game tonight and she's got a perfect loss record of 0-15. That's got to change at some point, right? RIGHT!?!

*sigh*

This was great

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#77 Bishai in the Benches
March 28 2014, 01:04PM
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@baggedmilk

BM is your missus the one in the picture??

*drools *immediately fixes all the stuff in your house that you've wrecked

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#78 Cold Hard Truth
March 28 2014, 04:11PM
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A lot of people here have pointed out how a number of players have flourished after leaving the Oilers. Is the team getting rid of the wrong players? Or is the team the reason why players don't flourish until they leave? Really makes you wonder.

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#79 Loweblows
March 28 2014, 06:21PM
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GDP: Oil lose. Give an F meter pegs to max rating.

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#80 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
March 28 2014, 07:44PM
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Wow. This game is going to be an absolute s**tshow.

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#81 Quicksilver ballet
March 28 2014, 04:37PM
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Everything you wanted to know about the weather but were afraid to ask....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkDvqQKGgDA&app=desktop

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