GDB 33.0: BATTLING THE BRUINS

The Boston Bruins are not only good on the ice; their marketing team is pretty solid off the ice as well. The Bruins have produced some humourous commercials the past five seasons, and this is one or my favourites. The Oilers aren’t a divisional rival, but many Bruins fans have told me they have a healthy disdain for the Oilers due to two Stanley Cup Finals losses in 1988 and 1990.

The Bruins and Oilers are at opposite ends of the NHL standings, and have been since 2007/2008, and the Oilers will need to play their one of their best games of the season tonight, just to keep it close.

The Oilers might catch a break with Tukka Rask battling the flu, but the Bruins are stacked and they haven’t lost in Edmonton since October 17th, 2000. That night Dan Lacouture and Brian Swanson scored their first NHL goals in a 6-1 thrashing of the Bruins. Since then, the Bruins have won four straight games in Edmonton including a 3-2 victory in their last visit to Edmonton on February 27th, 2011.

It is hard not to respect the Bruins.

They have skill, size, experience, solid two-way players, great goaltending and they are the toughest team in the NHL led by their captain Zdeno Chara. They don’t have any weaknesses, and once again they are sitting first in the Eastern conference with a 21-8-2 record.

The Oilers are playing their best hockey of the seasons, 7-3-1 in their last 11 games, and while they didn’t beat up on the top teams in the league, they did grab 15 of a possible 22 points. That is a solid stretch of hockey, but tonight will be a much more difficult task for the Oilers.

The Oilers will need to use their speed, and be disciplined with the puck. They can’t continue to turn the puck over, especially on the powerplay, or the Bruins will skate them out of the rink.

LINEUP

Perron-RNH-Eberle
Hall-Gagner-Yakupov
Joensuu-Arcobello-Hemsky
Gazdic-Lander-Jones

Boyd Gordon still isn’t healthy enough to play. Ryan Smyth is also banged up, and he’ll be a game time decision. Eakins will switch up the PP units. They’ve been really hot or really cold, similar to the overall play of the team. Since November 5th, the PP is 17 for 71 (23.9%) so it’s not like it has been terrible. The production has been great, but the bad giveaways are the issue. 

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

Jeff Petry has been cleared to play. He’s an upgrade on Potter, and the Oilers need their best lineup against the Bruins.

Dubnyk

QUICK HITS….

  • It was a subtle message, but Dallas Eakins didn’t play Taylor Hall in the final five minutes on Tuesday after Jeff Skinner tied the game. You might say it was only five minutes, but it was the most important time of the game, and I’m sure Hall got the message. I’m curious to see how he responds, especially in the defensive end.
     
  • Eakins did put Hall out for the PP in OT, which was a smart, but not being on the ice for the final five minutes of regulation should get Hall’s attention.
     
  • It was interesting to note that Hall got a short stint on the bench, but Sam Gagner, despite some equally bad defensive decisions never missed a shift. Eakins must be giving him some leeway due to the injury, or he wants to keep throwing him over the boards with the hope it builds his confidence.
  • Firing Feaster today makes sense. There is no point waiting until the end of the season to can him, if the Flames knew he wasn’t their guy moving forward. You can also expect the Flames’ new GM to fire Hartley before the start of next season. The Flames should look at Oilers to see that firing coaches frequently doesn’t change much, if you don’t give the new coach better players.
     
  • Good luck to all of you in Fantasy Football playoffs…whether you are going for a championship, or trying to avoid losing the Toilet Bowl. Good luck. I have Manning, Decker and Moreno on my team…Please don’t pick tonight to have an off night.

TONIGHT….

GAME DAY PREDICTION: Because everyone expects them to lose, the Oilers stun the Bruins with a 4-3 victory. P.S… I put the team logos in front of my son, and whichever one he touches, I go with that team to win. He is 8 days old, and his record is already 2-0.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers lineup has a combined four career goals vs. the Bruins; Hemsky, Perron, RNH and Ference each have one goal. Two Oilers will score their first career goal against Boston tonight.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Now that he isn’t a member of the Calgary Flames, the Oilers will give St. Albert native, Jarome Iginla a healthy cheer when he announced over the PA. Iginla will be honoured, and he’ll return the favour by scoring a second period goal. After the game, Oilers fans collectively decide never to cheer for an opposing player, who never played for the Oilers, ever again.

DAY TEN…MONTH OF GIVING

Yesterday we raised another $2,800 for Santas Anonymous.

Today we have an excellent and very generous package that was donated to us by The Home Matchmaker Michelle Derk from Remax Elite.

  • Up for grabs is the seller’s commission for your house. (In a regular sale half the commission goes to the seller realtor and half to the buyer. So this is $3.5% on the first $100,000 and $1.5% on the balance).

On a $500,000 house that is a value of $9,500.00 just to give you a reference point.

You can bid on this package by calling 780.444.1260 between 2-6 p.m. today.

Thanks in advance.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR 

  • Admiral Ackbar

    Gagner was garbage again. Arco is getting better every game. He’s hitting more, skating faster, stronger in the dot.

    In the decision of who to keep, is ‘being a man’ in the criteria? If so, Arco wins hands down.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    With Dubey, Hemsky, N.Schultz and Gagner off the books later this season, the Oilers would certainly have some space to possibly bring in a top pairing blueliner or two.

    Offer Gudbranson a redonkulous 5 yr 22 million dollar leap of faith RFA offer sheet.

    Yeah, I’m desperate.

  • Noel May

    Arcobello over Gagner every day of the week.
    Gagner is not a good player and I wish we kept Cogliano instead of him to be honest. Arcobello has proven enough in my mind to have Gagner on the trading block especially this season since he has a NTC in the 2nd year of his contract. It is time to part ways with the most underwhelming “second line” center in the league.

  • **

    The Oilers are .333 winning % when outshooting the opposition.

    On a different subject, no Gagner’s fanboys show up when their boy lays a stinky one and it’s still fresh.

  • Wohin gehst du?

    Completely unrelated, I was just at the Barons site, and I saw that Ty Rimmer, the goalie who has just three games played, has more points than Will Acton, who has played four…

  • YAKCITY64

    I know this is totally obvious but Klowe needs to be fired just due to the fact that this management team has failed to develop and build the players within our system like guys like David Perron and Boyd Gordon. You have to give Mac T huge props for going after these type of players but the inability by the oilers to draft and develop players like this is right now the downfall of this organization.

  • camdog

    “We want black-and-blue hockey here,” Burke said. “That’s what we do in Alberta.”

    Burkie didn’t say that’s what we do in Calgary, no that’s what we do in Alberta. Burkie’s going to make it his mandate to beat the snot out of the Oilers.

      • camdog

        A) Burkie still ticked a Lowe for the Penner episode.
        B) Burkie thinks intentionally losing to gain high draft picks is wrong
        C)The Oilers pushed the Flames around earlier in the season and this will not be tolerated by a Burkie run team

        I think it’s safe to state that the Battle of Alberta has taken on a whole new meaning following todays shuffle in Cow-town.

  • bwar

    Remember that one time Eakins put out Hall-Gagner-Yakupov for a defensive zone faceoff against the Lucic-Krejci-Iginla line? Yeah that was a free goal for Boston.

    Remember that one time Dubnyk got scored on with a dump in? Yeah that was a free goal for Boston.

    TRADE EVERYONE AND FIRE EVERYONE (except for Perron, keep Perron)

    • bwar

      But coaching isn’t the problem, no, no, coaching couldn’t possibly be the problem… Defensive zone clearances aren’t a coaching issue… Crikey! Defensive zone clearances are an issue when you’re coaching U-12 girls’ soccer! Why does Eakins get a free ride from the Edmonton media???

      • bwar

        100% Eakins decision to put that personnel in that position. I’m not calling for Eakins head but I think that poor decision directly led to the loss tonight.

      • 2004Z06

        Unless you are in the room, or on the ice in practice, you can’t know for sure what the coach is teaching them.

        I am sure he isn’t teaching them to turn the puck over with lazy passes across the ice, toe drags at the line or the behind the back no look passes that end up in our net.

        These players are not executing the system, that is not the coaches fault. Every one of these first rounder’s got by on talent alone in jr. They all have some really bad habits that need to be broken.

        How about we give the guy a season before we hang him from the rafters?

    • Quicksilver ballet

      It’s difficult to fathom, the Blues opted out of David Perron, cast him adrift, sending him away, and he’s the Oilers best player…….a Blues cast off.

      • bazmagoo

        “Same place we are now I would say.”

        You’d have to hope some of the “young guns” wouldn’t have wanted to lose as badly as they would have if Perron’s production wasn’t replaced, lol.

        Personally I think the Oilers have actually done pretty well with RNH’s, Hall’s and Eberle’s contract, with the latest news about the cap. All 1st line talent with reasonable contracts and no, no trade clauses. Which of them gets our #1 d-man? The one we need so funking desperately.

  • bazmagoo

    It’s a real shame, which of these young guys is going to step up and take ownership of this team? I have to admit, I’m a little shocked. Thought Hall and Eberle would step it up this year, especially after being passed up for captain.

    Personally, I think that’s a big sign you need to split those guys up. Just my opinion.

  • Bryzarro World

    KLowe is a douche. Mac T had the best line in that battle anyway with the Wizard of Oz blast. Let Burke yap, with Mac T’s intellect I’ll take him anyday over BB and his hair.

    That being said I still think from the assistant pylons behind the bench to KBlowe himself should be fired and forgotten asap.

  • bazmagoo

    How about Eberle, Justin Schultz and a 2nd round pick 2014 (which we acquire at the deadline) for Kevin Shattenkirk and Patrick Bergland from St.Louis. I think the Oilers have a pretty good chance at winning that trade even though they lose the best player, by getting two above average NHL players in return/depth.

    Shattenkirk is first d minutes, throw Ference up there with him on the left, keep Petry second line minutes on the right with Belov on the left and you actually have a top 4 resembling an NHL team.

    • Lofty

      IMO, first priority needs to be to find a home for Gagner before his no trade kicks in.

      Looking at NHL numbers the team could have buckets of money to waist on over priced UFA’s and maybe even RFA’s.

      Grebeshkov, Dubnyk, Bryz,Schultz Sr, Hemsky, Smyth… that’s around 18 million?

  • bazmagoo

    Petition by iPetitions

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  • Spydyr

    i have just finished watching oilers lose to the canucks. Dubnyk was playing way above himself for a while but then as I have been eluding to, one of his many deficiencies was leting the ones go under his pads while on his knees. i noticed Dubnyk making saves any nhl goalie would make because he stayued on his feet, as soon as he goes to his knees he is very imobile and susepetible to pucks going under his pads, its been happening all season To see it over and over again I can’t beleive Chabot has not noticed that and let it go on, that proves to me the goalie coach is not capable of improving the goalie and both of them should get the boot. Its about time the Oilers start making people accountable including the coaches I can’t beleive some of the mispositions and lack of awareness. The power play sucks, we have given away 7 short handed goals the most in the nhl. We have too many negative records the best way to change is to have a capable goalie.

  • Spydyr

    I am an Oiler fan and I want to know if the Oilers are ever going to resolve a glaring problem that seems obvious to Oiler fans and yet the media seem to support every losing effort of the goalie and offer a bunch of excuses like he had no chance on that one, well yeh, because he was not in the position he should be, like any other goalie its routine, with Dubnyk its like he is doing the breast stroke and then a roll over its too much when its not required and yet he will watch a 30 mph. 80 footer puck drift by him and seems to be parylised until it hits the back of the net. I don’t understand why we have been losers far too long. If he keeps playing nothing is going to change.

  • Spydyr

    another observation Eberle is not the same dynamic player you expect him to be, he seems to have tailed off and seems to be lazier now he has his $6 million and go screw yourself attitude, not bothering to give the extra stride to block the pass i am disappointed i expected more of him. Coaching is at fault. Goalie and coaching needs to change. Too many reoccuring problems. We get blown of the puck just as the guy is breathing out, why can’t any body hold the puck for more than three seconds. Fundamentals lacking, #1 puck control = whats that?