GDB 14.0: SAMWISE RETURNS

Sam Gagner returns to the lineup after missing the first 13 games of the season with a broken jaw. He should give the Oilers special teams a boost.

Gagner was tied for the team lead in PP points last year with 15. He can move the puck quickly and accurately. He also was on the PK last year, and he should help a floudering PK unit, by having the experience to be in the right lane on the PK.

Where will Gagner play? For the past ten days we’ve speculated where Gagner plays when he returns. Marc Arcobello has filled in admirably for Gagner scoring 10 points in 13 games, averaging 17:48 TOI and winning 52.7% of his faceoffs.

For tonight, Arcobello will move to the wing and Gagner will play centre.

LINEUP

Yakupov-Gagner-Eberle
Perron-RNH-Arcobello
Jones-Gordon-Hemsky
Gazdic-Acton-Eager

Smid-Petry
Belov-J.Schultz
Ference-N.Schultz

Bachman

Eakins felt Gagner has earned the right to play centre, and that’s why he will be in the middle of Yakupov and Eberle. Gagner also sat in on the PK meetings this morning, so expect to see him on the PK.

Ales Hemsky had a great start, but his production has dropped off with only one point in his last six games. Hemsky has produced some quality chances, but he needs to start shooting again. He did have three shots vs. the Kings, but in the previous five games he only had four shots combined. He was averaging two shots a game through his first seven games, and he needs to get back to that pace.

The fourth line has been much better since Ben Eager replaced Mike Brown. They need another strong game tonight against a physical Toronto team.

THE OPPOSITION

The Leafs are winning with solid goaltending and special teams and timely goals. The Leafs have been outshot in ten of twelve games, but they are 6-4 in the games they’ve been outshot and 2-0 when they had more shots.

The Leafs’ PP is 3rd in the NHL at 26.7%. They’ve scored 12 goals on 45 attempts. The Oilers PP is 24th with 6 goals on 45 attempts.

The Leafs are 6th in PK at 85.1%. They’ve allowed 7 goals on 47 kills. The Oilers are 29th in PK, 75.5%, having allowed 12 goals on 49 attempts.

Joffrey Lupul will be a game time decision for the Leafs.

PROJECTED LINEUP

Van Riemsdyk-Kadri-Kessel
Raymond-Bolland-Clarkson
Ashton-McClement-Lupul
McLaren-Smith-Orr

Gunnarsson-Phaneuf
Rielly-Franson
Ranger-Gardiner

Reimer

If Lupul can’t play Troy Bodie will draw in. 

QUICK HITS…

  • The Oilers have surrendered the most ES goals in the NHL this year, 31. They are 6th in goals for at 5-on-5 with 25, but they need to be better at ES. Of course, some of those goals were attributed to bad goaltending early this season.
     
  • Eakins feels his team is starting to play with more structure, especially defensively. He admitted that he’s asked his D-men to do things on the PK that they aren’t used to, but feels they are starting to feel comfortable with the changes and expects the PK to improve. If the forwards can get in proper lanes, then teams won’t be shooting as often. The Oilers are allowing way too many shots at 4-on-5.
     
  • Ryan Smyth could be ready Saturday vs. the Detroit Red Wings. His groin feels better, but they don’t want to rush it. It looks like he will play either Saturday vs. the Wings or next Tuesday in Florida.
     
  • The Oilers need to create more second chances on the PP. If you watch the good PPs, most of the best chances are off of rebounds or the second scoring chance. The Oilers have to start moving the puck quicker and get some traffic in front.

    Eakins might have to look at using Ryan Jones or Boyd Gordon on the 2nd PP unit to have a body in front. David Perron will go to the net on the first unit, but they can’t have five perimeter guys on the 2nd unit.
     

  • Devan Dubnyk’s ankle is still bothering him, so Jason LaBarbera will be the backup tonight.
     
  • Anton Lander was sent back to OKC this morning. Tyler Pitlick had a full length leg brace on this morning. No official word on how long he’ll be out for, but don’t expect him back very soon. 

MIRROR BALL….

 GAME DAY PREDICTION: Gagner’s return sparks the Oilers to a 5-3 victory. 

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Leafs score on the PP, and the Oilers PK continues to struggle. The atmosphere at Rexall will be great as Oilers fans try to drown out the Leafs fans.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Nick Schultz has scored a point vs. every NHL team except Toronto and his former team Minnesota. Schultz ends that drought tonight when he threads the needle to a streaking Nugent-Hopkins, who then beats the defender and James Reimer for his team-leading 5th goal of the season.

REMINDER…

When: Friday November 22nd, be there before 7:30 p.m.
Where: The Pint Off Whyte (81ave and Calgary Trail)
Theme: Bad Christmas Sweater Party….
Why: It is fun and we raise money for the Inner City Children’s Program
Cost: $30 and in return you get free drink at the door, $20 GC from Oodle Noodle and $20 GC from the Pint.

A huge thank you to Russ Dratwa from Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management for being the Title Sponsor this year.

We sold 70 tickets yesterday. Awesome. If you want to go be sure to secure your spot. It will sell out fast.

You can purchase your tickets here.  

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR 

  • vetinari

    Oh, one last thing before I tune out until 2015….

    Is anybody out there still laughing at Brian Burke for trading 2 first round picks for Kessel?

    Now THAT was BOLD…..

  • 24% body fat

    So people are trashing Gagners -4, but no one is criticizing eberles -4.

    Yet gagner was 70 plus on the dot.

    The goals were the fault of defenseman giving the puck away, out of position or caught on a pinch. Not because of the forwards.

    The gagner line also created the most scoring chances for the night.

    They were not the reason we lost.

  • DSF

    ok brutal game. Just brutal. Yeah Burke looks like a genius by trading those picks for Kessel… look at our potential doing jack. I think we gotta face the facts and start rebuilding the rebuild. I’d work around Hall and Eberly and the Nugent. The rest of the small dudes package up for 2 or 3 more decent defencemen. Hope Dubnyk can be ok and try to grind it out 2-1 games. Go with one scoring line and a bunch of grinders. keep it close and hope you get a decent power play. 5 on 5 just keep out of the net. That’s it. Didn’t LA win a cup like this? We are not gonna be the Pens or Chicago with this bunch of soft players. Start trading Hemskey tomorrow and Gagne asap. Please do something!

  • DSF

    does anyone know what a body check is on this team??

    They should of brawled when RNH got his knee taken out. Oh ya, we are a team of little wimps.

    See you in 2015 suckers!!

  • S cottV

    How long does Mr Katz put up with being a laughing stock owner? No billionaire is going to put up with this much longer. Lowe hires a rookie GM – who hires a rookie Coach – to Coach a rookie team, that hasn’t made the playoffs in 7 years. Wow = it’s all very curious to say the least. Brian Burke Calgary Flames will surpass the Oilers – mark my words – if something doesn’t change – in a hurry. Sorry but Eakins doesn’t look good. Cute deer in the headlights, way in over his head without street cred to pull out of this

  • vetinari

    Things for MacT to do
    1. Fire Eakins
    2. Waive LaSuckbra

    3. Trade Yakupov (Nothing against Yak just think hes the best option to trade) for a top d man
    4. Make himself the coach
    5. Take the C away from Ference and give it to Hall or Gagner (the guy has a Bruins tattoo for f**k sakes)

  • 2004Z06

    I have wasted so much money on this team in the last 6 seasons (has it been 6 or 7? I can’t even remember.). why? Why? WHY?

    I can’t help but wonder – was our fair team cursed when a tearful Smytty flew out of town in ’07? Will we wander the desert for 86 years?

    At least we still have sudoku.

  • 2004Z06

    And to fiss into the wounds, Leafs basically played their third and fourth line for most of the third period, and Oilers could not come up with even one goal !!!!!!

    Lets blame the goalie and the defense,but at the end of game the forwards could not generate one single goal… no snipers on this team and no one wants to hang around the goal, just taking shots on net from down town.

  • 2004Z06

    And to fiss into the wounds, Leafs basically played their third and fourth line for most of the third period, and Oilers could not come up with even one goal !!!!!!

    Lets blame the goalie and the defense,but at the end of game the forwards could not generate one single goal… no snipers on this team and no one wants to hang around the goal, just taking shots on net from down town.

  • 2004Z06

    And to fiss into the wounds, Leafs basically played their third and fourth line for most of the third period, and Oilers could not come up with even one goal !!!!!!

    Lets blame the goalie and the defense,but at the end of game the forwards could not generate one single goal… no snipers on this team and no one wants to hang around the goal, just taking shots on net from down town.

  • 2004Z06

    And to fiss into the wounds, Leafs basically played their third and fourth line for most of the third period, and Oilers could not come up with even one goal !!!!!!

    Lets blame the goalie and the defense,but at the end of game the forwards could not generate one single goal… no snipers on this team and no one wants to hang around the goal, just taking shots on net from down town.

  • 2004Z06

    And to fiss into the wounds, Leafs basically played their third and fourth line for most of the third period, and Oilers could not come up with even one goal !!!!!!

    Lets blame the goalie and the defense,but at the end of game the forwards could not generate one single goal… no snipers on this team and no one wants to hang around the goal, just taking shots on net from down town.

  • 2004Z06

    You bring in all these young annointed “stars”, turn up the PR machine (Oilchange), hand over the keys to the city and the bank vault while they are still teenagers!

    You insult every veteran on this team past and present because you have done this while the “kids” have proven NOTHING and are being compared to the boys on the bus. You wonder why you cannot get any of them to buy into a single coaches system? Why should they?

    They rule the roost in this town and haven’t done a single thing to EARN it. No wonder not a single veteran comes to their aid on the ice.

    6 mil a season for 7 years? Hell they’ve already retired!

    • Bleak Winter

      Don’t get me started. Oil Change is a bloody disgrace. It’s either misplaced ego, or the height of hubris, but it is basically begging for comeuppance. You don’t make such a fuss about the journey until you know you’re going to arrive at your destination.

      Anyone remember watching the NFL’s season retrospective of the 2W-14L 2012 Jacksonville Jaguars? What??? They didn’t make one of those???

  • 2004Z06

    Jezuz H, Eakins!…you’re in the NHL now…try instilling some fire behind the bench instead of looking like someone just stole your dog. I’m missing Ronny Low all of a sudden.

  • Spydyr

    Sometimes, we need to step back and think…
    What have we as Oilers fans done wrong??? We supported the team through theses years, we went through injuries after injuries, forgiving ourselves for playing poorly, giving up hope for being a playoff bound team, resting our dreams solely on kids who have done nothing to deserve millions upon millions of dollars in salaries, what else are we suppose to do????!!!!!

  • Mikey

    So what does Lowe actually do? Does he have any input on the team? I mean I don’t care if he gets fired or not, but do you really think it will make the team better? Or do you just want to see someone fired? Should we fire the accountant too?

  • srbuhr

    Try reading the article. It does say both – Gagner on the wing – but the lineup suggests otherwise. FYI don’t try to act smart – as MacT has said “that was an epic fail”.

  • Oilers Coffey

    Someone is posting as me…….Rama Lama! I did NOT write this and whomever is too cowardly to use their own name please read this slowly as It applies to you!

    I am sofa king wee todd did and a coward!

  • pkam

    Read the original posting ……..my Avatar is not even there.

    This was not me and I’m many thing but Liar is not one of them. You are right I can dish it out and I’m not afraid of punks like you!