THe Bottom Line on the 4th Line

Jason Strudwick
December 02 2013 10:04AM

Last week I posted this tweet on twitter:

"Note to Oilers fan....Worrying about the 4th line is like wondering if you left the toiler seat up while your house is burning down.
I am amazed at how much time we the media and fans spend discussing the Oilers fourth line. It actually baffles me! Why waste your time? In my opinion the fourth line for the Oilers has been pretty good most nights."

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December 01 2013 08:24AM

The Edmonton Oilers have been tightening their defensive play under coach Dallas Eakins and it does appear to be working. In the club's last 10 games, the goals-against average for DD and Bryz is 2.52 compared to 3.24 for the entire season. The goaltending has improved, but what about the defense? Is it getting better? How can we tell?

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November 30 2013 12:49PM

The Edmonton Oilers selected Darnell Nurse this summer in the entry draft, and then sent him out to junior after a strong showing in training camp. Nurse looks like the real deal—defense first, rugged player, a mean streak and he can move the puck—but it's going to take some time before he gets to the NHL and then even longer to be helping the team win games. With the Taylor Hall/Jordan Eberle payday contracts kicking in this season, what is the window for this group? How long do they have to wait for that complete defenseman? Is it worth waiting?

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November 29 2013 07:21PM

On about day two of the National Hockey League's existence, someone said to someone "we need more size" and began a quest that continues to this day. The size/speed/skill prospect trifecta is so rare that NHL teams can go a decade or more without having one—Edmonton sent their last complete power forward away on November 15, 2000—and spend dozens of draft picks in vain pursuit of a successor.

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Jason Gregor
November 29 2013 10:14AM

Ilya Bryzgalov couldn't have written a better script. In his first start as an Oiler, Bryzgalov 33 shots and picked up his first win and first shutout. Brzygalov is the first goalie to register a shutout in his first game as an Oiler since Jussi Markannen did it in 2001.

Does Eakins go back-to-back with Brzygalov or should he play a rested Devan Dubnyk?

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