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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#51 tabs
March 06 2014, 10:33PM
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Rod from Viking wrote:

I know, I was being sarcastic, they are going to trade Gagner, Yakapov,Gernat and this years #1 for Tavares so it doesn't matter if they win.(lol)

No problem I caught the sarcasm in your original post. Gawd I hate this group of players, don't often call for a coaches head but Eakins needs a buy out at the end of the season.

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#52 bazmagoo
March 07 2014, 12:49AM
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So for the 50th or so game this season the Oilers come out with no fire. Then the competitive spirit in the players takes over, they avoid a deflating unlucky bounce, and they come back and win. And yet people still come on this site and say coaching isn't the issue. Why can't Eakins get this team playing to it's potential for 60 minutes every night?! Fire Eakins, it's so freakin' obvious he isn't the guy for the job.

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#53 Dan
March 06 2014, 04:33PM
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Sevenseven wrote:

Its been a dark season, im just cheering for a bright ending.

It's been a dark decade

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#54 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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#55 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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#56 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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#57 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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#58 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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#59 Oilers4ever
March 06 2014, 11:15PM
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You people talking about firing Eakins make me sick. This organization has had enough of the coaching carousel. These players will NEVER get better if the damn systems change every year. Fricking suck it up and deal. He's better than Quinn and Renney in my books. This team is now 7-2-2 in their last 11. I'm not saying they dont still have issues but Eakins said from the start he expected half a season or more till results started showing. Well imagine that. If we'd had Scrivens and Bryz to start the season we'd probably have 10 more wins cuz Dubynk blew that many games; thus why he's on the Habs farm team. This team wi get better. Lucky tonight sure. Give them a bit more size top 6 and a top 2 dman and they'll be fine. I doubt any of you fire the coach whiners could do a better job. You'd be coaching instead of whining if you could...

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#60 **
March 07 2014, 12:31AM
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"you can taste the difference quality (goaltending) makes"

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#61 Walter Sobchak
March 07 2014, 04:15AM
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Oilbaron wrote:

seriously stop posting.

did you even watch the game or were you on your computer the whole time?

The team is finally starting to buy in and you want to fire the coach? You must really want McDavid.

I don't think you really understand hockey. This team has not had a real NHL coach since Mac-Tavish, and they haven't had a real GM since I don't know. Now they have both and if you can't see the changes you really aren't looking very hard.

Take a deep breath, everything will be ok. This team will get better

Did you watch the game…………..

The Oilers were outshot again and badly out played for two straight periods.

Scrivens and his remarkable 950 SV % is the ONLY reason the Oiler's won.

Think about those three things for a second............

The Oilers rode luck here.

As for past coach’s……

I suppose Babcock and Holland think so little of Renney that the went out of their minds making him Co-coach of the Red Wings, or Babcock going out of his way to single Krueger out for his contribution to the coaching staff, or Canada hiring Krueger to scout the opposition for them and giving the coaching staff advance scouting and prep work on the other teams systems and players?

Ya………….Terrible coach’s.

This team may get better, but right now, in the present, they are not!

Think about the fans who buy season tickets at 8-K a season over the last 8 season's......... or the fans that purchase Oilers merchandise, food, beer, parking, or those fans that drive hours to game, Take a deep breath of that.

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#62 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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#63 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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#64 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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#65 Anton
March 07 2014, 03:15AM
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Oilbaron wrote:

seriously stop posting.

did you even watch the game or were you on your computer the whole time?

The team is finally starting to buy in and you want to fire the coach? You must really want McDavid.

I don't think you really understand hockey. This team has not had a real NHL coach since Mac-Tavish, and they haven't had a real GM since I don't know. Now they have both and if you can't see the changes you really aren't looking very hard.

Take a deep breath, everything will be ok. This team will get better

I watched almost every game this season, the team did not buy into Eakins, it was mostly due to the great performance of Scrivens! Don't tell me the many times of 3-on-1 or 2-on-1 were part of players buying into his crap. His mistake is such a long list throughout entire season that I doubt there will be many GMs out there will ever hire him as HC.

Seriously, the 2 loses on Scrivens were both shutouts. During the 11 game stretch that Oilers gave up avg 35 shots per game! Bryz also did a wonderful job for 4 of those games. If you believe that Eakins is the reason behind the 7-2-2 stretch then you clearly give him way too much credits and give Scrivens too little. It is not coincidence that Oilers got better ever since Scrivens' arrival. Just on the contrast, the longer they keep Eakins as coach, the better chance we will get McDavid.

I do think that Mac-T is doing all right to fill up the roster but the one huge mistake is he hired Eakins. Once more, just we want some consistency, doesn't mean we have to settle with BAD consistency. The so-called "a real NHL coach" statement is so laughable, Eakins NHL coaching experience was being assistant to losing Leafs behind Maurice and Wilson. Then he coached 4 seasons at AHL for Marlies. He had two good seasons out of four with AHL Marlies. So the NHL HC experience is the 64 games he has with Oilers so far. The other so-called NHL experience that he has is 150 games played for 8 different teams. I don't think he has a clue about how NHL is actually like and this guy is coaching in NHL?

As matter of fact, for all years during MacT's stint in Edmonton, I always like him as a player and a coach. His NHL resume is so long that I do believe he will figure it out about how to be a good GM, so far I like most of his moves other than hiring Eakins. I will give credit to the one who deserve the recent resurgence, it is MacT and Scrivens. Eakins? He may want all the credits, but he should take some of those blames too. He is neither hard or soft coach, he is a gimmick coach, he is one trick pony. At nowadays that NHL players shipped out of town faster than your post service, you can't expect to have the same players on roster to run the gimmicks.

Fire Eakins! Fire Eakins! Fire Eakins!

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#66 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
March 06 2014, 04:06PM
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Dan wrote:

I don't understand why the NHL even allows these losers to play in the league. They pride themselves on being the best league in the world, so why do they let these bums lower the quality

Totally.

Relegate teams and payrolls down to ECHL level.

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#67 Shredder
March 06 2014, 04:37PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

And who says the losing culture doesn't start at the top here in Edmonton.

The arrogance of this organization has been long established. Intensity during practice/games isn't a concern/job of Lowe and MacTavish, they hired Eakins to oversee the day to day acceptable practice habits. They obviously feel they're already doing more than their part, being near Hall of Famers I guess.

I was going to run one of those prop this if you want Ekblad/regulation loss, or trash this post if you want the Oilers to win, but I wouldn't want to wish this organization upon any kid entering into his NHL dream.

I only trashed because I want the Oilers to win as much as possible...you want to get rid of a losing culture? STOP LOSING!

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#68 Quicksilver ballet
March 06 2014, 05:04PM
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@Shredder

Lowes plan is simple. Keep this team at, or next to last in the league, until they draft a kid who makes them all look like winners.

They won't find a Weber type to come to this ship show, so securing Ekblab is their best option. And that starts with another loss tonight to the Islanders. Losing is clearly the intended/acceptable outcome under Kevin Lowes watch.

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#69 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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#70 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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#71 Dave
March 06 2014, 09:40PM
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You should add Fire Lowe! Fire Buchberger! And Fire Smith!

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#72 Comrade GT
March 06 2014, 11:01PM
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After this much losing I don't care how it comes, I just like seeing us win.

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#73 Loweblows
March 07 2014, 07:05AM
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Oilbaron wrote:

seriously stop posting.

did you even watch the game or were you on your computer the whole time?

The team is finally starting to buy in and you want to fire the coach? You must really want McDavid.

I don't think you really understand hockey. This team has not had a real NHL coach since Mac-Tavish, and they haven't had a real GM since I don't know. Now they have both and if you can't see the changes you really aren't looking very hard.

Take a deep breath, everything will be ok. This team will get better

I watched the whole game. I dont think you understand hockey. Eakins has been an absolute failure. The powerplay was again a glaring reason why Eakins must go. Fire Eakins.

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#74 Ivan Drago
March 06 2014, 04:28PM
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Dan wrote:

Pretty sure Vancouver and toronto are laughing harder at this sad sack of losers we call oilers

Why? What have Toronto and Vancouver ever won? Are they contenders this yr?

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#75 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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#76 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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#77 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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#78 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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#79 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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#80 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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#81 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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#82 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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#83 Rod from Viking
March 06 2014, 10:21PM
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tabs wrote:

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

55 minutes of horrible hockey

I know, I was being sarcastic, they are going to trade Gagner, Yakapov,Gernat and this years #1 for Tavares so it doesn't matter if they win.(lol)

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#84 Gk1980
March 07 2014, 06:04AM
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Couple things I noticed at last nights game: - it was dead quite all game, fans not into it. Only when gretzkys face was shown - Fraser played mean, best game as an oiler - Larson is fast, maybe karlson type? - Kids invisible - Scrivens is a battler! So far so good! - Hendricks is an awesome character guy, during warm up would hoot and holler and acknowledge the fans. Cool guy!

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#85 Sevenseven
March 06 2014, 03:57PM
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I think we did WAY better than the islanders this deadline. I can honestly see this team finish 20th next year, but still in the hunt till close to the end. I think Mac T is slowly, but wisely, changing this team for the better. Eakins will be around next year, but with a whole new coaching staff. The oil are 6-2-2 all you people saying how bad they are. That is a huge improvement If we can keep that up down the stretch it would be better for the team. No Ekblad, but any trade assets will be valued higher on a team crushing it down the stretch.

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#86 Anton
March 06 2014, 04:15PM
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Who knows, maybe Gillis is trying to pull an all-time heist by tanking the team just in time for the five star prospect McDavid. Either way, the bright spot for this team this year has been not getting many injuries in exchange for a very bad record.

And, from now on until he is finally gone, I will end every post with:

Fire Eakins! Fire Eakins! Fire Eakins!

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#87 Racki
March 06 2014, 04:17PM
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cccsberg wrote:

Perhaps if they did they'd get the fast train out of town for questioning the management/team leadership, e.g. Smid

I was thinking maybe they'd get the Full Metal Jacket, soap-in-a-sock beatdown by teammates for making practice harder. But really, there has to be a guy that is too proud to sit and take it easy in practice like Gordon, Ference, Smytty etc. So it sounds a little far fetched in a way too unless it just happens that those other two teams have a crazy pace. I don't know. Just odd this is suddenly news now.

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#88 The Real Scuba Steve
March 06 2014, 05:04PM
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How many lotto picks will it take for the Oilers to compete for the playoffs?

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#89 **
March 06 2014, 05:46PM
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The Real Scuba Steve wrote:

How many lotto picks will it take for the Oilers to compete for the playoffs?

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.

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#90 **
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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#91 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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#92 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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#93 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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#94 Lofty
March 06 2014, 09:08PM
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Do I smell another home ice shutout?

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

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#96 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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#97 ubermiguel
March 07 2014, 06:19AM
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Interesting tweet last night:

Dustin Nielson ‏@nielsonTSN1260 "Lots of yelling with coaches and players after the 2nd, in a good way, like brothers" - Perron

So they have a little passion left, and it showed in the third. If Perron's onto something and they start working together like 20 brothers-from-another-mother we might have a team next year.

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#98 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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#99 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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#100 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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