GDB 29.0: SHOW UP AT HOME

Home ice advantage has been a mirage for the Edmonton Oilers so far this season.

The Oilers are 3-8-0 at home this year. They’ve been outscored 38-23. They’ve allowed 3+ goals in 9 of the 11 home games and they’ve scored once or been shutout seven times. There is no other way to say it, they’ve been awful on home ice, and it’s about time they start giving their fans something to cheer about.

In 2010, on their way to drafting Taylor Hall at least they were competitive at home, 18-19-4, and 9-28-4 on the road.
In 2011, they were pretty much the same team at home on and on the road; 13-22-6 at home and 12-23-6 on the road.
In 2012, they were 18-17-6 at home, and 14-23-4 on the road.

Last year, the Oilers won more games on the road than they did at home, 9-11-4 at home and 10-11-3 on the road.

There is no reason the Oilers should be this horrendous at Rexall Place, and it has to change. The games are still announced as sell outs, but I know some fans are wasting their tickets and not showing up. The Oilers must be aware of this.

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When that many fans elect to just "waste" their tickets, Oilers management better take notice. This happened in the early 90s, and once the team wasn’t competitive, 1993-1996, the fans stopped buying tickets. The Oilers shouldn’t be naive enough to believe that couldn’t happen again.

Fans have been incredibly loyal and patient, but if the Oilers don’t start winning some home games soon, I sense we could see even more empty seats as the season progresses.

LINEUP

Hall-RNH-Eberle
Perron-Arcobello-Yakupov
Jones-Gagner-Hemsky
Smyth-Acton-Joensuu

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

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Dubnyk

Ryan Jones has played with desperation since coming out of the pressbox, and Eakins rewarded him by bumping him up the lineup. Eakins moved Yakupov back to the right wing, and put Perron on the right side with him and Arcobello in hopes of creating two scoring lines.

I’m curious to see if Eakins starts to try and get better matchups at home. Will he try to give "softer" minutes to Arcobello’s line so they can produce offence, or will he do that with the Gagner trio?

Joensuu has to play with the same passion and determination that Jones did to earn a promotion. I think Joensuu has more to offer, and he needs to start showing it.

TUESDAY TIDBITS…

  • It will be back next week, but this week we incorporated into the GDB.
     
  • Ray Ferraro had an interesting take on my show regarding Taylor Hall, when I asked him what change Hall should make in his game that would help him become a more dominant player.

    I think there is one thing he could do that would elevate his game and he could do it quickly. If he would learn, or accept, that he is not the best option on the ice all the time, I think that could help him a great deal.

    I will give you an example. When he gets the puck, and when he gets moving, if he would give it up a little quicker and separate, because no one is going to catch him, and then get it back; that small change to his game would change his game immensely. He loves to lug the puck. At times he looks like a punt returner. He gets it in his zone and is going to go as far as he can with it, and he can because he’s that talented.

    I think if he takes a couple of strides and moves it to a centreman — and obviously in Edmonton he is playing with talented players so the puck will come back to him –now he is moving again. If he moves it to the middle the defenceman has to take a step to the middle, because he has to defend the centreman, and that will give Taylor another five feet when he gets the puck back. Now the D-man has to cross over and come back, and I like Hall’s chances better if he has that much more room to skate, than if he was just lugging the puck all the time.

    I think it is a small change, and if he can get his head around it and try it, he would find that he is going to get more room on the ice than he already creates with his speed.

     

  • Ferraro knows a thing or two about creating offensive chances. Ferraro is currently the 99th highest scoring player in NHL history. Ferraro admitted it isn’t easy for players to make sudden changes to their game, and while he said it was small, it would take some time to adapt properly. Hall has carried the puck his entire career, and he’s had success with it, so any change is tough, but it makes a lot of sense. Hall’s speed already scares D-men, and if he gain a quarter or a half of a step advantage he could be even more dangerous.
     
  • Sidney Crosby will play his 499th game tonight, and he’ll play his 500th game vs. the Sharks on Thursday. Crosby already has 701 points in 498 games and whatever points his picks up in the next 72 hours will put leave him with the 6th most points in NHL history through 500 games.

    Wayne Gretzky is first with 1,186.
    Mario Lemieux tallied 971.
    Peter Stastny had 759.
    Mike Bossy scored 757.
    Jari Kurri is 5th with 730.

    Crosby will join a very elite crew, being only the 6th player in NHL history to score 700+ points in his first 500 games.
     

  • In case you are wondering, Alex Ovechkin had 643 points in his first 500 games, including 309 goals.
     
  • The Penguins ability to throw out two dominant centres makes life much easier for head coach Dan Bylsma. While Crosby had a "slow" month, picking up 15 points in 15 games, Evgeni Malkin was on fire with 25 points in 15 games. After a slow start Malkin is now 2nd in league scoring, 35 points, and he’s only one back of Crosby.
     
  • I was perplexed in the summer when some people didn’t have Corey Perry on the Olympic team. He was great in 2010, and I don’t think his foot speed is an issue. He and Ryan Getzlaf are off to a great start, with 29 and 31 points respectively. For me, both of them are locks to make the squad.
     
  • I wonder if the St. Louis Blues are concerned about how they match up vs. the Sharks and Kings. The Sharks have beat them 6-2 and 6-3 this year, while the Kings dominated the Blues for 55 minutes last night, before two late goals made the 3-2 final look more respectable.
     
  • The Blues need a pure finisher, and Marian Gaborik is a UFA at the end of the season. The Blue Jackets likely won’t re-sign him, and he would fit perfect in St. Louis. Gaborik won’t lead your team to the Cup, but he could be an excellent complementary player in their top-six. With David Backes and Alex Steen down the middle, the Blues don’t need a defensively responsible scorer. They need a finisher. The Blues have about $2 million in cap space at the deadline, and if they are willing to spend it, they could fit Gaborik under the cap, by moving out a small salary.
     
  • The Coyotes have scored the 5th most goals in the western conference, but only Calgary and the Oilers have given up more goals. Mike Smith has a .307 GAA and a respectable .910 SV%. He hasn’t played as well as they would like, but the Coyotes are giving up way too many shots. The Coyotes, 34.5, are giving up four more shots against than the Oilers, 30.5.
     
  • Dave Tippett’s Coyotes aren’t playing as defensively as they have in the past.

TONIGHT…

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Coyotes have lost four of their last five, and they’ve given up 4 goals in each loss. The Oilers finally give their fans something to cheer about as defeat a playoff team for only the 2nd time this season. Oilers win 4-1.

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OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Hemsky picks up a point. He has 34 points in 33 career games vs. the Coyotes.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Justin Schultz becomes the first Oiler D-man to score two goals in a game since Corey Potter did it late last season. After reading the previous sentence, many of you are stunned that Potter was the last Oiler D-man to score two goals in a game. I was too. Entering tonight the six blueliners have played a combined 2,118 NHL games, and Andrew Ference is the only one to have a multi-goal game. He scored twice on January 5th, 2004. J.Schultz’ two goals will indeed be a rare occurrence.

DAY FOUR…MONTH OF GIVING…

Yesterday we raised another $2,500 for Santas Anonymous. Thanks to Ken for the bid and especially to Robert for re-donating the Messier jersey.
 

It includes:

You can bid by calling 780.444.1260 or 1.800.243.1945. All the proceeds will go to the Christmas Bureau. Thanks in advance to all of those who make a bid.

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RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR 


  • Spydyr

    Congrats to Kevin Lowe & Darryl Katz!!!!
    Oilers are the first team to reach 100 GA!!!
    Great vision for management!!!
    I can hear the kids demanding a trade anytime now!!!
    Can you say bye bye Deadmonton Oilers, welcome Seattle Oilers?
    Good riddance.

  • Doctor Smashy

    Why doesn’t any of the D-men pass to hemmer when he’s flying up the right side into the offensive zone, this happen like 20 times this year, hemmer is waiting and wanting the puck but the D pass it to the center or left wing all the time.

    I remember when we started the rebuild and the oil didn’t score for like five games, then hemmer came back from a injury and scored our first goal in how many games in his first shift.

    PASS TO HEMPSKY!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I wanna be entertained.

  • 24% body fat

    Well the argument for arcobello as a better defensive option and a second line center replacement is being put to sleep tonight.

    I like the guy but you cant make a stupid presumption after 20 game sample/

  • Arius Mumin

    I doubt that Dubnyk would be a good goalie in the AHL.

    If Egins thought Arco had a bad game: I would love for someone to ask him what he thought of Gagner’s.

    What exactly did Egins work on in practice with his PP units? Those combinations and efforts are a joke.

    The thing that I’m most excited about for the rest of the season is the positive spin the local MSM will try to take while this sh!t show keeps unfolding before out eyes. As soon as the Olympics are done, they will start selling us on how excited we as fans should be at seeing Hall and Eberle at the2018 Olympics. Meanwhile CrushBoys will continue to cycle the puck to no avail on the 1st PP unit.

    If Mac is going to keep pretending that Egins is an NHL coach, he should at least do the poor Yak kid a favour and trade him. In tonights game, while the Oilers were down by 2 goals in the 3rd period, Egins had Yak playing with Acton and Juonuouuo(whateverthe#@$%), while once again through thick and thicker the Crush Boys remained.

  • Spydyr

    OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: When two of your top three centres are Hobbits the outcome is not very good. Besides it is the first game home after a road trip.They never win those.Sad night as Oilers lose.

  • Slapshot

    I have been a long time season seat holder and the last few years its been getting harder to give tickets away,it takes six or seven calls before I can find anyone who want’s the tickets for FREE,I have them posted on Kijji and the Oiler’s site with no luck and they are posted way below face value,there have been a few games this year were no one wanted them at all,this is my last season subsidizing the Oilers,I am done supporting the old boy’s club Six rings and the gang!!!

  • TayLordBalls

    Oilers got to stop being soft, crashing into our goalies, throwing our 1st line around, coming into our barn and embarrass us in front of our home crowd. If I know hockey players you never allow anyone to come into your barn and steal the show. We have a ‘heavy’ 4th line that’s all we got when it comes to being solid. I mean Gagner scrapping showed some, but J Schultz watching garbage there smash into our goalie is lousy! Cowboy Up Oilers

  • I gave tonight’s tix away, still won’t be renewing for next year.

    I’m still saying the last 10 to 12 games are not a good sample of the reality that is the Oilers.

    Same team, same issues and mostly playing non-playoff teams during this stretch. The team looked good, not great and bloody awful mixed in for good times.

    The real Oilers will show up after the Avalanche game. After that, it’s going to be few and far between.

    OGDP – Oilers vs playoff team…….not a good night for fans.

  • Mo Playoffs Mo Problems

    I have been a season ticket holder for most of the past 35 years and have no intention of changing that despite my frustration at the Oilers team play, particularly on home ice this year. I make no judgement about those who plan to drop their season tickets, as it is their call. I gave my tickets up for two years after the Gretzky sale, but came back for the 1990 playoffs. My decision.

    I sit up with my mates in the front rows of the gallery and we have a pretty good time at $30 per ticket. Fortunately for me I can easily afford it. If you don’t want to go, stay home. Watch the games on TV or not at all. End of story. Spare me the lectures about how I should be following suit, however. This organization has made serious mistakes in recent years and I totally agree that some people need to go, but the suggestion that what the club needs is less support is, frankly, stupid.

  • Reg Dunlop

    How many times can we say FIRE KEVIN LOWE?

    Look at the results since the 2005 lockout.

    Liberals live in a world of intentions and reality smacks them in their face.

    How many smacks does Daryl need?

  • Puck JammeR!

    Trade one of Hall or Eberle this season. They know they’re untouchable as the first line wingers into eternity and it seems like every defenceman in the league has got a bead on their ticky-tacky, toe drag, over-handle the puck, no-hit style. The game they play isn’t going to work in the NHL and they’re never going to change it.

    • Puck JammeR!

      Hall & Eberle may not be perfect, but Hall has 123 points in his last 128 games. And Eberle has 136 points in his last 155 games. The stats say that these guys give NHL defensemen at least a little bit to worry about.

      They both need to be more consistent, but trading your two most offensively gifted players on an offensively-challenged team would be a big mistake.

      • Puck JammeR!

        How many of those last 155 games did their team win?

        We need to stop looking at any player as untouchable. This team is deeply and fundamentally broken.

        • Hockey Problems 101

          I agree that there isn’t anybody who is untouchable, but I don’t think the top two offensive players on the team are the major problem and trading them for more grit but less scoring will not help this team.

          This team has one of the worst defensive cores in the league with extremely inconsistent goaltending. Dubnyk looks like he could be a very good goalie on some nights and then totally looks like he would struggle on a beer-league team the next night.

          • vetinari

            And yet somehow MacTavish trades one of his better defencemen to Calgary for a small centre iceman playing in the minors and a prospect goaltender. What an idiot

        • Joe Mamma

          Excellent post Clarko, this team is so fundamentally broken it is irrepairable. Here is the biggest problem with the Oilers, the main guys and I do not include Hall in this comment only care about their points. Perron, Eberle, Gagner look at it as I got my points so I must have done good. Instead the thought process has to be if we win the game then if I contributed awesome if not we still won.
          It is a “ME” first attitude on the Oiler team and that is a true fact.

      • Puck JammeR!

        Gotta give something to get something. Even 4 more Perron’s will not work, too much of the same. We need size, and grit and need to use our assets to obtain this, even if it means overpaying. Not doing anything is total disrespect to the fans.

      • Joe Mamma

        Unfortunately the Oil are also challenged in many other areas. There is a perception that the Oil have a number of players who have scoring ability. This perception and a high draft pick next year are the only items of value the Oil have which they might be able to leverage to address some of their weaknesses. IMO it is not if, but when will they turn their perceived strengths into assets that will address their weaknesses.

  • Arius Mumin

    As someone who was really excited to get a minnie pack, watching the Oilers at home has been a waste of money.

    I watched Dubnyk lose what was an otherwise good home opener. I watched back to back shut outs against Toronto and then Dallas. Then Finally, at long last, the last home game I went to was the 7-0 blow out against Columbus.

    Needless to say I am no longer going out of my way to get tickets.

  • Zamboni Driver

    By the way, the worst player on this team right now is Sam Gagner. How he isn’t benched is absolutely beyond me.

    “But he’s still a kid” – You’d think after 7 years in the NHL he’d have half a clue what to do in his own zone. He has none.

  • Word to the Bird

    lol, didn’t watch or go to the game tonight,
    just checked the box score. and when i looked at it it make me laugh. beating the oilers is as easy as 1-2-3.

  • Burnward

    its dumbfounding that Klowe is still here…

    and where the hell is Katz during all this? when is the last time anybody heard from that guy? i know we all beat up on Klowe for being the idiot that drove this team through the ground. hell if i was Klowe i wouldn’t quit. just show up and “run” a hockey team… get paid the big bucks… ive exhausted myself trashing Klowe on here. i think its about time i start directing all my hatred towards Katz. after all this is is product, and he’s the one stuffing is pockets during these, depending on how you look at it, horrible/terrific times.

  • Burnward

    Come on ON, can you not manage this idiot
    Mike Krusyshetsky… this is insane.. this is not a glich,, this guy is manipulating your site and you let him get away with it.

    PS.. unless unless you want to impress your advertisers with the number of hits.

    • Joe Mamma

      I am sure the mods and contributors to this site are passed out drunk, trying to drown the fact that they have to cover this team for the foreseeable future in copious amounts of booze.

  • Hockey Problems 101

    Does Yakupov mean pylon in Russian ? The kid is constantly standing still, watching the play in the D zone. Hey Yak, if you want to watch the game I’ve got some tickets in sec 122,row 11, I sell you for cheap. I’m not using them anymore.
    How do you forget how to play a game that you’ve played your whole life. Maybe we can loan him out to the KHL and dress Larionov instead.

    Somebody?

    Anybody ?

  • Hockey Problems 101

    I saw lots of empty seats. If ticket holders refuse to go at least find some kids that cant afford the NHL experience. Lots of kids enjoy the circus. Seriously find some kids worthy.

    • Hockey Problems 101

      No !!!!

      I’m “wasting” $20,000 a year on season tickets, this is the only voice I have left.

      Let them play in front of empty seats. That is what this organization deserves. Maybe if we stay away long enough, the Oilers will call to ask if we plan on coming back to the games.

      I’ll tell them to “just be patient” !!!

      That would be justice.

      • The Last Big Bear

        I know three season ticket holders that offer their tickets to us and other friends at cost for games. They have recently started to offer them below cost and are having a tough time to find any takers. Noone wants to spend the time and extra $$$ on going to the games to watch an inferior product. That speaks volumes to me, as I could only get one or two dates from them the past few seasons – maybe the non-season ticket holding fans’ patience has finally run out this year?

        The poor on ice performance is hurting the team with young fans as well. My son, an avid Oilers fan up until now, is now watching better teams (e.g. Chicago last night) play instead so he can learn something from the games. No matter how much he likes Hall, he is hitting the age where kids start to cheer for winners. When I was in elementary I can remember a large number of junior high and high school kids that were Canadiens or Islanders fans, even after the Oilers started winning Cups. On my son’s Novice team there are already a number of kids that cheer for teams other than the Oilers . Unless something changes fast, the team is going to lose a number of young potential season ticket holders going forward.

  • Hockey Problems 101

    Fire Eakins! If your too scared to make a trade fire the coach MacT. You gave him this mess and he couldnt even keep it close to 500. He was lost since day 1 and if the fans notice what do you think the players are thinking?

    Either Intern yourself until you find a replacement or let Tod Nelson have a shot at it. He cant do any worse than whats already been done the last 7 years.