GDB 22.0: Be competitive

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A win would be nice, but for the love of Strudwick’s bad sweaters can the Oilers, at the very least, be competitive tonight? 

I don’t expect the Oilers to suddenly transform into a solid defensive team or a competent offence, but I’d hope they can put forth a solid effort.

It must be disheartening for them to look at the standings and realize that on November 25th they are on the brink of not even being in the playoff race, again, but now is not the time for a pity party.

Just be competitive.

Dallas is not a defensive juggernaut, they’ve allowed 72 goals, second worst in the western conference behind the Oilers’ 74. The Oilers should at least be able to create some offensive chances.

Go to the net. Be competitive.

Stand in front of the goalie, not beside him. Be competitive

Battle hard for pucks in the corners, along the boards and in front of both nets. Be competitive.

Support your teammates. Be competitive.

Stand up for yourself and your teammates. Be competitive.

Know your defensive responsibility and execute it. Be competitive.

Match the work ethic of Dallas. Be competitive.

LINEUP

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It was a meaningless goal in the outcome of the game, but David Perron’s goal against Chicago might be what he needed to get going offensively. Perron is on pace for eight goals, after scoring 28 last year, and if the Oilers are going to win again they need Perron scoring.

Finally, Dallas Eakins elects to have a physical player in his top-nine, however, Luke Gazdic being that guy is a tad surprising. At this point, however, any sort of added aggression or competitiveness will be a welcome addition to the team. I doubt this is a long-term option, but many teams have played tough guys with skilled players in the past. I vividly recall how excited Pavel Bure was when Gino Odjick played on his wing for a few games. Bure admitted he played more aggressive when Odjick was on his line.

Yakupov plays with an edge. He isn’t afraid to give a guy a jab here or there, and if Gazdic is on his line I bet he plays a bit taller. Good for him. I also see this as a message from Eakins to his team that since no one else will stand up for the young players, he will let the toughest guy ride shotgun.

I’m also suspect part of the decision is because Eakins wants to keep Gordon and Hendricks together and try to get them out against the Seguin/Benn line.

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You would hope a stint in the pressbox got Nikita Nikitin’s attention. He needs to play better. No excuses.

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Fasth needs to keep the Oilers in the game. He can’t allow any weak goals.

You can see the Stars lineup via dailyfaceoff.com.

QUICK HITS…

  • Interesting to note that in an effort to shake things up Lindy Ruff moved Tyler Seguin to the right wing and promoted Cody Eakins to centre on the top line. The Stars have won two straight with that combo and they will play that way again tonight. The Stars have five actual centres, so that allows Ruff to move Seguin to the wing — what a concept, having five actual NHL centres, not just two.
  • David Perron didn’t speak out against the team. “We keep saying how much better we are this year but for me, it’s the same record. It’s not better. It’s pretty frustrating,” said Perron. That is not attacking anyone, it is telling the truth. The reason Perron’s name is rumoured in trade talks is because WHO ELSE has value? Hall and RNH aren’t going to be moved, so that leaves Eberle and Perron. I sense both are available for the right price.

    Perron is not being “punished” for speaking out. The Oilers don’t have many bargaining chips that will land them a legitimate centre, so Perron’s name being in trade talks is all about his value around the league, not what he said after losing to New Jersey.

  • Speaking of trades, Ryan Rishaug believes Justin Schultz is on the block. I would agree with that, however, the two of us disagreed on how you maintain his trade value. Rishaug feels the only reason Schultz is playing so much is because the Oilers are showcasing him. “It is the only rationale explanation,” he said.

    I countered with, “Playing him this much will lower his value, because it exposes his weaknesses.” I’m not sure who is right, or if we are both wrong, but at this point I think future potential is the only value Schultz has. Some teams might believe in their system he could flourish.

    At this point I believe MacTavish would listen to offers on any player excluding #4 and #93.

  • The Oilers have been down 2-0 in 10 of their 15 losses (including OT/SO losses). Currently teams that score first are winning 69% of games. I couldn’t find the stats on going down 2-0, but the Oilers have come back only once (Ottawa) when trailing 2-0 to earn a point.
  • The Oilers have two goals from their defenceman in the last 14 games. Ference scored vs. Vancouver and Petry scored vs. Ottawa.
  • This is another reason why the Oilers are constantly losing.

TONIGHT…

HemskyIsBack

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The losing streak continues with a 3-2 OT loss.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Hemsky has 0 goals in 20 games. He does have three assists in his last three games, so of course he will score a goal tonight. Ex-Oilers love playing Edmonton.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Luke Gazdic comes roaring back into the lineup with a Gordie Howe hat trick. The fans are pumped and burst out into an spontaneous rendition of Hair of the Dog by Narazeth. That brilliant son of a bitch!

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    • Lumley

      Well hot dam they did make good game of it tonight,you cant say they didnt do enough to win it with a few breaks,they put in the work.They did adjust and were pushing the river in the back half of the game.

      • Newj

        Wow, have our standards sunk this low that we are going to say the words good game?

        Sure they played better but that is how good team plays 90% of the time. One effort like that out 10 is not enough. We have gotten so used to half ass efforts that we are actually surprised when they put in some effort for once. Play like that for the next 4 or 5 games.

    • YFC Prez

      Played a half decent game. Hard to win though with goals going in from shots behind the freakin blue line.

      When is this team going to beat someone from their own conference?

      • JJmorrocco

        Does anyone really know how smart Katz is?? He is a legal drug dealer, that makes fat stacks just like the thugs on the streets. He stumbled onto it because of his old mans drug shops. Doesn’t mean he is qualified to run a sports franchise. Remember all those wonderful PR moves he has pulled? Calling into Stauffer to say MacT is not getting fired as coach. Or how about the great idea to threaten city to move the team to Seattle, then to say sorry in the paper?

        Time for all TIERS of fans to wake up and start ignoring this a$$ clown.

    • Zamboni Driver

      By the way – stop with the religious nonsense about Taylor vs. Tyler.

      It’s entirely possibly that they’re both good players.

      Right now, there is absolutely zero question who is better. One of them is leading the league in goals, the other…isn’t.

    • Newj

      I hope this team loses every game until Eakins is gone.

      So it’s 4 on 4 and Eakins has Arcobello out there. .Yak is bustin his ass out there but Eakins put the AHL’r out there? No Yak?

      I give up on this coach & I think the players have too.

    • YFC Prez

      Take away one bad goal and this is a completely different game,wow-just wow,another Goaltender FUBAR,how many of these cheezy goals against could any team handle?This question must be asked and answered then we can add up the numbers and decide the hows and whys.

    • Prongers Promises

      time to cut the HEADS off the snake…

      for the past 9 years, the Oilers have done absolutely nothing in showing progress. With the current management system, administration, and scouting, etc. their record speaks for itself. couple that with a recluse owner who has found comfort by making friends with the group of clowns running his organization.

      getting first round picks doesn’t solve anything, these clowns can’t and don’t know how to develop players, run a team, assess players.. LOOK WHO THEY BROUGHT IN THIS YEAR..

      there is a very bad energy coming from the top down.

      this year is a write off, enough already.

      the fans are tired of the excuses and rhetoric

      ( I have 6 Stanley Cups..K LOWE)….BY BY

    • Prongers Promises

      all we want for christmas is a win. No, I have gone past wanting a win, I was happy with the point last night, you could see improvement in the back end without Schultz there.
      Every year we are at the bottom with all hopes lost and hoping next year they will finally get a real goalie, change management, get competitive players, i could go on, i just know the fans deserve better.