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

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
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#101 Kaihl
March 06 2014, 08:53PM
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Can we bring up the entire barons team? If not, can sportsnet atleast stop showing oiler games. It's emberassing to have this junk on my tv all the time, year after year after year after year after year after year

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#102 Sailge
March 06 2014, 08:54PM
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It is unbelievable how terrible of a hockey player Snowpants is.

Jaw excuse is not even close to valid anymore. It's been 50 games of crap now.

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#103 Rod from Viking
March 06 2014, 08:54PM
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This looks like a 1979-80 game between the Oilers and the Islanders, Islanders were the best in the league then and the Oilers an expansion team. Brutal as hell.

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#104 Zamboni Driver
March 06 2014, 08:55PM
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Our economy is strong.

Full house to watch this absolute mess.

Crappy vs. Couldn'tgiveash*t.

Hope they raise loads of dough for Charity in the 50/50.

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#105 Rod from Viking
March 06 2014, 08:58PM
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Sailge wrote:

It is unbelievable how terrible of a hockey player Snowpants is.

Jaw excuse is not even close to valid anymore. It's been 50 games of crap now.

I think Clifford would have been an overpay for LA, at least he is tough and knows how to defend.

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#106 Zamboni Driver
March 06 2014, 08:58PM
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Someone please put Principe out of everyone's misery.

When Rogers rules the world I hope he gets assigned to Bantam C Ringette coverage.

What an embarrassment.

Also get a frickin' haircut.

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#107 Dave
March 06 2014, 09:01PM
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Gagner and this years 1st rnd pick to anyone for a 5th rounder

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#108 vetinari
March 06 2014, 09:01PM
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How many 3 on 1s and 2 on 1s are we going to give up? Great swarm, OilerBarons...

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#109 Anton
March 06 2014, 09:01PM
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Scrivens is doing too well for this crappy team.

Fire Eakins! Fire Eakins! Fire Eakins!

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#110 Sam
March 06 2014, 09:02PM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

Someone please put Principe out of everyone's misery.

When Rogers rules the world I hope he gets assigned to Bantam C Ringette coverage.

What an embarrassment.

Also get a frickin' haircut.

Give the guy a break. Poor guy has to cover the oilers.

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#111 A rye morning
March 06 2014, 09:02PM
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Dave wrote:

Gagner and this years 1st rnd pick to anyone for a 5th rounder

Only if you retain half the salary

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#112 Rod from Viking
March 06 2014, 09:03PM
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Dave wrote:

Gagner and this years 1st rnd pick to anyone for a 5th rounder

He will end up getting bought out and will play somewhere else and between the Oilers and the new team(KHL) will be making 6mil/yr.

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#113 Dave
March 06 2014, 09:04PM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

Our economy is strong.

Full house to watch this absolute mess.

Crappy vs. Couldn'tgiveash*t.

Hope they raise loads of dough for Charity in the 50/50.

At the game. I would say 10 percent empty.

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#114 Zamboni Driver
March 06 2014, 09:07PM
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My favourite thing about watching the Oilers is seeing all their young "talent and skill with huge upside".

Also I enjoyed the "dentist" this morning.

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#115 Lofty
March 06 2014, 09:08PM
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Do I smell another home ice shutout?

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#116 Alsker
March 06 2014, 09:10PM
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Lofty wrote:

Do I smell another home ice shutout?

Don't jinx it!!!

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#117 Dave
March 06 2014, 09:11PM
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Rod from Viking wrote:

He will end up getting bought out and will play somewhere else and between the Oilers and the new team(KHL) will be making 6mil/yr.

Playing juniors with Kane was his winning lotto ticket

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#118 Gk1980
March 06 2014, 09:11PM
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I'm at the game and it's brutal. Mactavish better pull off a miracle this summer. Gretzky is in the house, maybe he would like to suit up for one more year.

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#119 vetinari
March 06 2014, 09:11PM
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Lofty wrote:

Do I smell another home ice shutout?

Deadline pressure is off them so they can now return to sucking in epic proportions...

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#120 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
March 06 2014, 09:12PM
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Anyone here attend Oil Kings games? Would you have any insight as to why Broissoit who led the Oil Kings to the Memorial Cup was drafted in the 6th Round whereas Tristan Jarry was drafted in the 2nd Round? Is Jarry really that much better?

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#121 Rod from Viking
March 06 2014, 09:15PM
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I sure wish Wang was our owner and Garth Snow was our GM, I know quit dreaming.

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#122 oilerman53
March 06 2014, 09:20PM
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I finally see this swarm defense starting to come into fruition. Its on full display tonight, we enter the zone lose the puck on the offensive blueline and the other team swarms our goalie. By the Trident of Poseidon!

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#123 dougtheslug
March 06 2014, 09:20PM
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I love Gregor's comment that "...the Islanders won't be very competitive. Tavares is injured while Vanek and MacDonald were traded...".

Actually, Gregor, as the saying goes, hard work beats skill when skill doesn't work hard. Although after a few seasons of this bilge, I am wondering about the actual skill level here.

All I know is that for most pro hockey players, a game in the NHL is a rare privilege, and there seem to be more than a few Islanders tonight playing with the attitude that this might be their only chance at the big leagues.

On the other hand, with the attitude fostered here, these entitled, sulky young adults (they aren't kids anymore) wearing Oiler colours, look as if we the fans are lucky to be watching them break a sweat.

Every time I think we've hit bottom, they open a trap door.

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#124 RexHolez
March 06 2014, 09:24PM
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So is this game yet another learning experience?? Is it me or are these guys real slow learners??

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#125 Anton
March 06 2014, 09:29PM
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RexHolez wrote:

So is this game yet another learning experience?? Is it me or are these guys real slow learners??

The only thing that I learned from this game is that Oilers really want the title for most SHA.

Fire Eakins! Fire Eakins! Fire Eakins!

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#126 RexHolez
March 06 2014, 09:33PM
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Anton wrote:

The only thing that I learned from this game is that Oilers really want the title for most SHA.

Fire Eakins! Fire Eakins! Fire Eakins!

The only thing I learned from this game is that the rink they suck in seems to be a good enough rink for them to suck in. Not sure why were paying for a new arena for them to go suck in when they suck just fine in this one.

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#127 Anton
March 06 2014, 09:34PM
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Actually, I don't see many wearing Oilers jersey in the stand, are we finally running out jerseys to toss?

Fire Eakins! Fire Eakins! Fire Eakins!

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#128 albertabeef
March 06 2014, 09:38PM
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Rod from Viking wrote:

I sure wish Wang was our owner and Garth Snow was our GM, I know quit dreaming.

If they made a movie about Kevin Lowe and Garth Snow, they would have to cast Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels.

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#129 Anton
March 06 2014, 09:39PM
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RexHolez wrote:

The only thing I learned from this game is that the rink they suck in seems to be a good enough rink for them to suck in. Not sure why were paying for a new arena for them to go suck in when they suck just fine in this one.

With new arena, maybe we can finally lure a real NHL team to come.

Fire Eakins! Fire Eakins! Fire Eakins!

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#130 This is Painful
March 06 2014, 09:39PM
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dougtheslug wrote:

I love Gregor's comment that "...the Islanders won't be very competitive. Tavares is injured while Vanek and MacDonald were traded...".

Actually, Gregor, as the saying goes, hard work beats skill when skill doesn't work hard. Although after a few seasons of this bilge, I am wondering about the actual skill level here.

All I know is that for most pro hockey players, a game in the NHL is a rare privilege, and there seem to be more than a few Islanders tonight playing with the attitude that this might be their only chance at the big leagues.

On the other hand, with the attitude fostered here, these entitled, sulky young adults (they aren't kids anymore) wearing Oiler colours, look as if we the fans are lucky to be watching them break a sweat.

Every time I think we've hit bottom, they open a trap door.

I could be wrong, but doesn't the ~ mean sarcasm.

I'm hoping it was meant as a joke…kind of like this organization.

Has it ever been this bad? I'm sure it felt like it in 2010 and 2011 and 2012, but this is pathetic.

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#131 Dave
March 06 2014, 09:40PM
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You should add Fire Lowe! Fire Buchberger! And Fire Smith!

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#132 Air on Egg blood
March 06 2014, 09:41PM
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Buffalo won tonight.

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#133 oilerman53
March 06 2014, 09:43PM
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Dave wrote:

You should add Fire Lowe! Fire Buchberger! And Fire Smith!

If we fire Bucky and Smith then whose gonna warm up the cars for Lowe and MacT?

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#134 Anton
March 06 2014, 09:43PM
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Dave wrote:

You should add Fire Lowe! Fire Buchberger! And Fire Smith!

HAIL TO THE MULLET!

Fire Eakins! Fire Eakins! Fire Eakins!

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#135 Randaman
March 06 2014, 09:43PM
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I don't really care what everybody seems to think of Frazer, at least the front of the net is off limits when he is on the ice. Thought I would point out at least one positive. Other than that, this team is absolutely pathetic and it is obvious they want Eakins fired. Holy sh!t. We actually scored. Now Smytty can retire hopefully.

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#136 75ers
March 06 2014, 09:45PM
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Well I think we're only 5 or 6 players away from contending for playoff spot. Sign Smyth long term!

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#137 Randaman
March 06 2014, 09:46PM
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albertabeef wrote:

If they made a movie about Kevin Lowe and Garth Snow, they would have to cast Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels.

Now that's Funny!! LOL Dumb & Dumber. Which is which? Never mind, I just checked the standings. Go Sabres

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#138 Rod from Viking
March 06 2014, 09:46PM
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Rod from Viking wrote:

He will end up getting bought out and will play somewhere else and between the Oilers and the new team(KHL) will be making 6mil/yr.

I meant with the 4.8 from the Oilers and the 1.2 from the KHL.

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#139 Anton
March 06 2014, 09:47PM
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75ers wrote:

Well I think we're only 5 or 6 players away from contending for playoff spot. Sign Smyth long term!

Maybe have him as part of coaching staff? At least he can teach bunch of tin men to find hearts.

Fire Eakins! Fire Eakins! Fire Eakins!

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#140 dougtheslug
March 06 2014, 09:49PM
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This is Painful wrote:

I could be wrong, but doesn't the ~ mean sarcasm.

I'm hoping it was meant as a joke…kind of like this organization.

Has it ever been this bad? I'm sure it felt like it in 2010 and 2011 and 2012, but this is pathetic.

I hope it was sarcasm. But it was also accompanied by a game prediction of a 6-1 Oilers win.

Has it ever been this bad? I keep asking myself the same question. And I keep getting the same answer.

No. But it still keeps getting worse.

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#141 Dave
March 06 2014, 09:52PM
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Atleast smytty scored. It'll help Stauffer argue how amazing this team is gonna be. He'll probably tell everyone that Eakins is gonna win the jack Adams next year

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#142 Randaman
March 06 2014, 09:57PM
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dougtheslug wrote:

I hope it was sarcasm. But it was also accompanied by a game prediction of a 6-1 Oilers win.

Has it ever been this bad? I keep asking myself the same question. And I keep getting the same answer.

No. But it still keeps getting worse.

I have been a loyal supporter since 1978 and NO it has never been this bad. Not even close!

Note: anybody that thinks Smyth should be resigned forfeits the right to criticize the organization of nepotism. Time to retire and do community relations work. Cue the trash button...

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#143 Anton
March 06 2014, 09:58PM
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That was a nice set up by Smytty too, I feel sad about that he is getting too old. He is the heart and soul for Oilers, only if the youngsters can learn from that.

Fire Eakins! Fire Eakins! Fire Eakins!

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#144 Randaman
March 06 2014, 09:59PM
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Larson scored. Send him down

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#145 Dave
March 06 2014, 10:02PM
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Overtime- lets just hope they don't get a powerplay

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#146 kale
March 06 2014, 10:05PM
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Even if the oilers win they should be so embarrassed by this effort.

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#147 Rod from Viking
March 06 2014, 10:06PM
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Dave wrote:

Overtime- lets just hope they don't get a powerplay

There powerplay is better with the 1-2-1 (lol)

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#148 Anton
March 06 2014, 10:09PM
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Is it just me or Gagner just kept tossing the puck to the open ice with no one around within a mile?

Fire Eakins! Fire Eakins! Fire Eakins!

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#149 Rod from Viking
March 06 2014, 10:12PM
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I love Ganger, what a steal of a contract, f#%k me.

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#150 tabs
March 06 2014, 10:15PM
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@Rod from Viking

That win could cost the Oil a higher draft pick, meaningless win.

55 minutes of horrible hockey

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