GDB 64.0: DRAFT LOTTERY DUEL

Jason Gregor
March 06 2014 03:03PM

NHL+Draft+Lottery+Drawing+rUw9tl3F1-cl

Now that the playoff roster deadline has passed, the focus, unfortunately for Oilers fans, once again turns to the draft lottery.

The Oilers are virtually guaranteed to finish in the bottom five, and unless one of the teams finishing 17th-25th wins the lottery, the Oilers will have another top-five pick.

24  Carolina M 62 27 26 9 63 26 154 175 -21 15-12-5 12-14-4 1-3 3-7-0 Won 1
25  Nashville C 62 26 26 10 62 25 151 188 -37 15-14-4 11-12-6 1-7 3-4-3 Lost 2
26  NY Islanders M 64 24 32 8 56 18 176 217 -41 9-16-8 15-16-0 6-4 3-7-0 Won 1
27  Calgary P 62 24 31 7 55 20 145 186 -41 13-15-3 11-16-4 4-3 6-4-0 Won 1
28  Florida A 62 23 32 7 53 16 152 201 -49 11-13-4 12-19-3 7-5 2-8-0 Lost 1
29  Edmonton P 63 21 34 8 50 19 157 206 -49 11-15-3 10-19-5 2-2 6-2-2 Won 1
30  Buffalo A 61 18 35 8 44 12 124 183 -59 12-17-5 6-18-3 6-4 4-5-1 Lost 1


Tonight's game is critical, if you believe a higher draft spot guarantees the Oilers a better player, because a win puts the Oilers within four points of the Islanders, while a loss puts them eight points back.

Let the race begin.

The Oilers are 6-2-2 in their last ten games, with only Minnesota and Philadelphia picking up more points during that stretch. They've been out shot in 9 of those games, and were tied in the other one, a 3-0 loss to Minnesota.

Ben Scrivens and Ilya Bryzgalov have been exceptional in goal, and during the two regulation losses the Oilers were shutout out both times. They are winning due to goaltending which hasn't happened regularly in quite some time.

The offence has only scored 10 goals in the last seven games, and their top-six forwards need to play better.

Hall, Eberle, Perron and Yakupov have one goal each over the last seven games, while Nugent-Hopkins and Gagner have none. These six need to start producing goals.

LINEUP

Hall-Gagner-Yakupov
Perron-RNH-Eberle
Hendricks-Gordon-Joensuu
Gazdic-Smyth-Jones

Ference-J.Schultz
Marincin-Petry
Fraser-Larsen

Scrivens

I like the decision to play Gagner with Hall. The Oilers need Gagner to play well down the stretch for various reasons. If they don't trade him they him need to regain some confidence, and if MacTavish is looking to move him then he needs 89 to play much better. It will be difficult to trade him for anything of value if he keeps struggling, so play him with Hall the rest of the year and hope he gets going.

I thought they might start Fasth. Usually coaches play players against their former team, and with the Kings coming in on Sunday I thought Scrivens would play then, but Eakins said he told Fasth to prepare that he is playing Sunday.

Fasth's last NHL game was November 18th. He missed 37 games with a muscle inflammation/lower body issue, but he did play four games in the AHL in February and told me on Tuesday that he is 100% healthy and ready to play.

It is hard to argue against playing Scrivens because he has been outstanding, so it does make sense to stick with the hot goalie.

Fasth is looking forward to battling for the starting job. "It is good to have two goalies competing for the job. I think it helps a team to have two guys who want to start and are capable of it," he told me Tuesday.

I love his attitude. This team needs more competition. The second line should be competing with the first line for PP and ES time. Same thing on the blueline, and it would refreshing if Fasth's attitude towards competition was embraced by all the players and the organization. 

The management, coaching and the players have to show they don't accept losing. It is easy to say you don't, but actions speak louder than words and it is time that everyone in the franchise displayed a winning attitude.

QUICK HITS...

  • The NHL's decision to lower the Devil's punishment regarding cap circumvention looks awful. Did Lou Lamoriello think this was possible at the 2012 draft, when he elected to keep the 29th overall pick instead of forfeiting it? Maybe, but today that decision still looks foolish. Currently the Devils own the 11th overall pick, and depending how the final 19 games unfold they could forfeit a top-ten pick.

  • Hemsky played junior in Hull, just outside Ottawa, but I don't think that will be enough of a reason for him to not test free agency. This year's crop of free agents forwards isn't very deep, so he could fetch a good contract in July.

  • I wrote above that yesterday was the playoff roster deadline and not the trade deadline. NHL teams can still make trades today, but the players traded aren't eligible for the postseason. If the Oilers and Sabres wanted to make a trade today or next week they could.

  • I don't understand why the NHL only allows four callups from now until the end of the season. The lottery eliminates teams from guaranteeing themselves the first overall pick, but even if they put in a rule that said you could only have three call ups on an NHL roster at one time, baring injury, after the deadline would make more sense.

    The Oilers would like to see Anton Lander, Tyler Pitlick, Taylor Fedun, Oscar Klefbom and maybe even Marc Arcobello, but based on the rules only three of them can be recalled, unless the Oilers get into serious injury troubles. (If I read CBA correctly, I think Larsen counts as one -- can anyone confirm? -- which leaves only three recalls left.) If there are only three recalls remaining, then Klefbom, Lander and Pitlick would be the three I'd want to see.

    Playing one or two NHL games can be a great learning tool for young players. It gives them a taste of the league, but more importantly they can find out how challenging the league is and what they need to work on in the off season. Players always tell themselves what they need to work on, but when they actually get to play in a game, they have a better sense of how hard it actually is and what they need to improve on to stay in the NHL.

  • The goalie situation in Calgary, Vancouver and Edmonton is very even. Today the Oilers' goalies have 79 career NHL starts, the Flames' duo has 68 career starts while the Canucks tandem has started 59 NHL games.

    Out of those six goalies: Scrivens (51), Fasth (28), Ramo (66), Ortio (2),Markstrom (38) and Lack (21) which one do you think emerges as the best goalie?

  • The Edmonton Oilers need to change their practice habits. Earlier this year Ladislav Smid said he was surprised at how intense the Flames' practices were. Today, after his first practice in Minnesota, Ilya Brzygalov said Minnesota's practices have "a way faster pace." Compile that with Barry Trotz ripping Devan Dubynk's techniques, and Ken Hitchcock saying Magnus Paajarvi needed to learn the game, I'd say this is an organizational issue. Paajarvi, Dubnyk and Smid were all here before Eakins, so the lack of intense practices and attention to detail has been an issue this year and in previous seasons.

    The Oilers, specifically MacTavish and Eakins,  need to listen to these comments from former players, take them to heart and improve the situation. If they don't improve how they practice, it will be hard to improve on game day.

TONIGHT...

fish

GAME DAY PREDICTION: Both of these teams would love to eventually jump into the big boys fish bowl and compete for the playoffs, and tonight the Oilers show they are at least closer to getting there than the Islanders with a 6-1 victory (they have to score at some point).

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: ~The Islanders won't be very competitive.~ Tavares is injured while Vanek and McDonald were traded in the past 48 hours. That is three of their top-six scorers.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers sell out streak ends tonight. Of all the remaining home games none are less attractive to hockey fans than tonight. The surprise is that the Oilers announce that it isn't a sell out.

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 RexHolez
March 06 2014, 06:09PM
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** wrote:

And.....here come the stupefied Vancouver fans. One thing we have learned is that the Gillis school of management runs franchises to the ground. Tambellini was his disciple right?. Vancouver is now left with a bat $hit crazy coach, the Sedin sisters, and a bunch of goons/dirty sacks. Kesler will be out in the summer and Edler will probably jump ship too.

And yet they'll still be better than this pathetic team

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#52 **
March 06 2014, 06:13PM
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RexHolez wrote:

And yet they'll still be better than this pathetic team

Will they?. Let's revisit this conversation at next season's trade deadline. For starters, this season they are missing the playoffs.

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#53 Rick Stroppel
March 06 2014, 06:13PM
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NEW JERSEY PENALTY KERFUFFLE

The main reason the NHL gave New Jersey a break is because Kovalchuk went back to Russia, leaving NJ holding a big bag o' doo doo. Nobody will admit that. NJ tried to deke out the NHL, then Kovalchuk deked out NJ. The NHL decision is not very principled, but it is understandable. The NHL should have acted a lot sooner to stop those lengthy bogus contracts. Funny that a supposedly brilliant lawyer (Bettman) signed off on a system that had a loophole so big you could drive a truck through it.

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#54 Butters
March 06 2014, 06:15PM
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I'm an Oiler fan. Someone remind me who I should be cheering for. Thanks

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#55 **
March 06 2014, 06:18PM
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Butters wrote:

I'm an Oiler fan. Someone remind me who I should be cheering for. Thanks

Kenny, cheer for Kenny.

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#56 Rod from Viking
March 06 2014, 06:22PM
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I am sure getting tired of this broken record, after two months of the season nothing to look forward to but the trade deadline, after a less than inspiring deadline time to talk draft with a lottery position, then after the lottery draw more draft, then the draft and possible trades that don't happen and then free agency where we can only sign 3rd/4th liners with too much term or bottom pairing d-men with the same overpayment. I sure hope this summer will be different.

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#57 Sammy D
March 06 2014, 06:25PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Umm...If the Devils miss the playoffs it is good chance they have a top-ten pick or close. They won't use that pick.

Had they forfeited their 29th pick in 2012 then they would use this year's pick, and they wouldn't be picking 30th. Thus they could forfeit a top-ten pick.

From TSN:

The Devils will keep the first-round draft pick they were scheduled to forfeit this year, and the league will reduce the $3 million fine assessed against the team for circumventing the NHL-NHLPA collective bargaining agreement

The league said the Devils will be entitled to the 30th selection overall -- the last pick in the first round -- in the 2014 draft. They will not be permitted to trade or transfer its right to that pick.

So they get the last pick of the 1st round and it doesn't matter where they finish in the standings.

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#58 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
March 06 2014, 06:26PM
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** wrote:

Same as the number of licks it takes to get to reach the center of a tootsie pop. No one really knows, but they'll sure keep licking.

Oilers management prefers to suck their Tootsie Rolls, not lick them.

So no one really knows, but they'll sure keep.....?

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#59 RexHolez
March 06 2014, 06:33PM
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** wrote:

Will they?. Let's revisit this conversation at next season's trade deadline. For starters, this season they are missing the playoffs.

Haha sounds like you think the oilers will improve. I don't see that happening anytime soon

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#60 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
March 06 2014, 06:34PM
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Call me bad fan....I don't care....after suffering through this brutally crappy year I want a top three pick....GO ISLANDERS!

Samwise with a goal from his knees and we loose 2-1.

Calgary already stole Monahan from us....we need one of Ekblad, Reinhart, or Bennett.

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#61 **
March 06 2014, 06:45PM
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RexHolez wrote:

Haha sounds like you think the oilers will improve. I don't see that happening anytime soon

Of course I do, otherwise why bother to post here and follow them?, that would just be torture or stupidity. The Oilers have nowhere to go but up, whereas Vancouver is on full free fall mode. Cheer up though, at least the Canucks can say they know the feeling when it comes to losing game 7 of the Stanley cup. West coast Canada NHL: The little teams that could.

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#62 Rod from Viking
March 06 2014, 07:10PM
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** wrote:

Of course I do, otherwise why bother to post here and follow them?, that would just be torture or stupidity. The Oilers have nowhere to go but up, whereas Vancouver is on full free fall mode. Cheer up though, at least the Canucks can say they know the feeling when it comes to losing game 7 of the Stanley cup. West coast Canada NHL: The little teams that could.

Canucks down 3-0 to the Stars after 1st period, for everything else there's Mastercard.

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#63 RexHolez
March 06 2014, 07:23PM
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** wrote:

Of course I do, otherwise why bother to post here and follow them?, that would just be torture or stupidity. The Oilers have nowhere to go but up, whereas Vancouver is on full free fall mode. Cheer up though, at least the Canucks can say they know the feeling when it comes to losing game 7 of the Stanley cup. West coast Canada NHL: The little teams that could.

If this team gets less emberassing it will be inspite of coaching and management.

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#64 Alsker
March 06 2014, 07:41PM
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Looking at our line up, it's obvious that if it ain't broke-don't fix it! Epic. Simply epic.

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#65 Rod from Viking
March 06 2014, 07:47PM
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Alsker wrote:

Looking at our line up, it's obvious that if it ain't broke-don't fix it! Epic. Simply epic.

Where else could you find a defense like that, look on the bright side it has to be improved this summer.

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#66 bulldog12
March 06 2014, 07:53PM
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Joensuu already looks better than Hemsky. Probably out score him the rest of the year to.

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#67 Alsker
March 06 2014, 07:57PM
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Rod from Viking wrote:

Where else could you find a defense like that, look on the bright side it has to be improved this summer.

At this point I'm not that optimistic. Pretty sure that's what we said this time last year. Here's hoping.

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#68 Alsker
March 06 2014, 07:57PM
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Holy f*ck, have we got that shorty thing down pat. Must practice it a lot.

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#69 Anton
March 06 2014, 07:58PM
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Gagner made a nice move which became a SH...11th of season.

Fire Eakins! Fire Eakins! Fire Eakins!

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#70 Jakethesnake
March 06 2014, 07:59PM
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Frieken 89. What a joke. Worse player on the team

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#71 dobiezeke
March 06 2014, 07:59PM
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please lord...let Gagner disappear this summer.

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#72 Alsker
March 06 2014, 08:01PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

Call me bad fan....I don't care....after suffering through this brutally crappy year I want a top three pick....GO ISLANDERS!

Samwise with a goal from his knees and we loose 2-1.

Calgary already stole Monahan from us....we need one of Ekblad, Reinhart, or Bennett.

Pretty sure Sam was on his knees praying that wouldn't be a shorty...good call on your part.

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#73 Rob F
March 06 2014, 08:01PM
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Calgary won the other day, buffalo won And we let up a shorty

The plan is coming together

See scrivener disgusted face and 89 and 4 digging it back

Disgusting. With the 1st pick in 4of last 5 years the Edmonton Oilers select..?

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#74 Butters
March 06 2014, 08:02PM
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Alsker wrote:

Holy f*ck, have we got that shorty thing down pat. Must practice it a lot.

They practice it, but not uptempo,

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#75 Anton
March 06 2014, 08:03PM
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The only No.89 plays in C that I remember was Mike Comrie.

Fire Eakins! Fire Eakins! Fire Eakins!

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#76 Alsker
March 06 2014, 08:06PM
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Another PP, so does Gags get sat for his play(accountability), do we decline it, give the fourth line a shot?

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#77 dougtheslug
March 06 2014, 08:07PM
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With all due respect to Dallas Eakins (which, at this point, is none), is that 1-3-1 power play set up not a set up for a 2 on 1 the other way? Is there a reason why no other team uses it? Newsflash, Dallas - this is the NHL. AHL tactics, no matter how brilliant and original you think they are, don't work here.

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#78 Alsker
March 06 2014, 08:11PM
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Good job by Perron, no shorty opportunity. Seriously that sucked tho not as bad as our PP does. Dougtheslug hit the nail right on the head.

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#79 dougtheslug
March 06 2014, 08:12PM
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Wow. With Buffalo winning tonight, Oilers may be looking at a 30th place finish, if they hold off a hard charging Vancouver Canucks, who are getting hammered tonight. Gawd, am I sick of watching hockey this way - watching the out of town scoreboard, hoping to see if a bottom five team has fluked off a point or two.

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#80 Rod from Viking
March 06 2014, 08:13PM
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Anton wrote:

The only No.89 plays in C that I remember was Mike Comrie.

Fire Eakins! Fire Eakins! Fire Eakins!

How many of the 11 SH goals have been scored with Gagner on the ice?

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#81 Dan
March 06 2014, 08:13PM
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Who put NHL jerseys on these echl teams?

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#82 kale
March 06 2014, 08:14PM
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@dougtheslug

2-0 against a team that has 6 offensive leaders gone...the future looks so bright

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#83 dougtheslug
March 06 2014, 08:18PM
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kale wrote:

2-0 against a team that has 6 offensive leaders gone...the future looks so bright

Out shot 13-4. The Edmonton Oilers - still searching for a bottom

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#84 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
March 06 2014, 08:19PM
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Can anyone help me out.....I can't remember of the five cups the Oilers have won, how many were won on home ice?

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#85 dougtheslug
March 06 2014, 08:20PM
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kale wrote:

2-0 against a team that has 6 offensive leaders gone...the future looks so bright

30 years ago the two top club teams in the world. I remember a time when Oilers-Islanders meant something. How the mighty have fallen!

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#86 dougtheslug
March 06 2014, 08:21PM
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@Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

4

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#87 Alsker
March 06 2014, 08:21PM
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4 shots on net at home, and the coaches adjust what? Man I actually miss the MacBlender. Where the hel[ are the guys from OKC? Who cares about AHL playoff crap, get some fresh blood in here and put a little fear into some of these guys here, not to mention add a little pressure to Eakins.

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#88 The Real Scuba Steve
March 06 2014, 08:23PM
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We loosing to the ISLANDERS!!! This is so sad.

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#89 Alsker
March 06 2014, 08:24PM
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dougtheslug wrote:

30 years ago the two top club teams in the world. I remember a time when Oilers-Islanders meant something. How the mighty have fallen!

Those nights of screaming at Billy Smith, cursing Gillies and Potvin, good times, good times. Damn I'm getting old.

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#90 RexHolez
March 06 2014, 08:27PM
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The Real Scuba Steve wrote:

We loosing to the ISLANDERS!!! This is so sad.

Islander fans are saying...."we're only up 2 goals on the oilers??"

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#91 kale
March 06 2014, 08:28PM
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I blame this on the fans, they are not cheering loud enough and supporting the team on their 1-3-1 powerplay

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#92 Butters
March 06 2014, 08:31PM
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Why is Gretzky in town? I missed the interview... Sod(snow) turning for the arena?

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#93 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
March 06 2014, 08:34PM
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Butters wrote:

Why is Gretzky in town? I missed the interview... Sod(snow) turning for the arena?

All he said was he was here to look after a small piece of business but mostly a pleasure trip, meeting with Dougy Weight who is his neighbour in the summertime.

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#94 Dan
March 06 2014, 08:38PM
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kale wrote:

I blame this on the fans, they are not cheering loud enough and supporting the team on their 1-3-1 powerplay

probably those lousy tier 2 fans again

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#95 dave
March 06 2014, 08:41PM
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Can't they just send Gagner to OKC ?

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#96 jl
March 06 2014, 08:43PM
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Easily the worst run franchise in sport ,

6 rings sat there and had the nerve to compare rebuild 2.0 with the avalanche team that had 3 first in their lineup in the 90s what a joke.

Its going on to rebiuld 3.0 , say what you want but the flames roster out competes this high end talent any day of the week, results matter not a roster on paper, a fit coach, and bold moves

In short we completely suck

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#97 Anton
March 06 2014, 08:43PM
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Maybe Gagner should shoot from blue line more often.

Fire Eakins! Fire Eakins! Fire Eakins!

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#98 Bonvie
March 06 2014, 08:45PM
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Butters wrote:

Why is Gretzky in town? I missed the interview... Sod(snow) turning for the arena?

He's paying his respects to the tragic loss of the Oilers competitiveness.

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#99 Swish
March 06 2014, 08:48PM
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Only the oilers can make the islanders without Tavares and Vanek look like contenders! What year if the rebuild is it?? Safe to say its not working??

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#100 vetinari
March 06 2014, 08:49PM
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That does it... I'm demoting myself to be a fan of the AHL's Barons... I've watched AHL hockey in the NHL all year long, so I might as well make it official.

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