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GDB 6.0: Sweep the Leafs (5pm MT, SNW)

The term “sweep the leg” became popular from the 1984 classic film, The Karate Kid. When protagonist Daniel Russo was fighting Johnny in the final of the All Valley Karate Championships, Russo had a serious left leg injury and Johnny’s Sensei, Kreese, instructed him to “sweep the leg.” Essentially, do whatever it takes to win,…

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Game Notes: Neal discusses COVID and is Ready to Return

James Neal has dealt with a variety of injuries over his NHL career. Recovering from a knee, ankle, shoulder or toe injury isn’t ideal, but those were much different than how he had to deal with COVID. He battled it for over a month, but he’s healthy again and excited to return to the lineup.

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A Step In The Right Direction

The adage “Rome wasn’t built in a day” works well when discussing the Edmonton Oilers. If they want to win consistently they need to be better defensively at 5×5. Last night was another positive step in building their foundation. It wasn’t pretty, In fact, the first 40 minutes were as uneventful a NHL hockey game…

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GDB 5.0: Show Up in Series Opener (5pm MT, SNW)

The Edmonton Oilers allowed five goals in each of their mini-series opening games against Vancouver and Montreal. They were outscored 10-4 and made some egregious defensive decisions with and without the puck to allow many “easy” goals against. That trend needs to stop tonight when they play their first road game in 321 days. Their…

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Game Notes: Oilers at Maple Leafs — Game Five

The Edmonton Oilers will play their first game outside of Edmonton since March 5th, 2020 tonight. The Oilers finished last season with three home games, then played the playoffs in Edmonton and started this season with four home games. They are hoping a change of scenery will help them find more consistency in ever facet…

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Oilers Big Guns Shooting Blanks

Entering the season, the main area of concern was: can the Oilers reduce their goals against at 5×5? In two of the four games, they did, allowing two in game two versus Vancouver and one last night against Montreal. The issue was in games one and three they allowed a combined eight 5×5 goals. Through…

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GDB 4.0: Tippett Changes Blueline (7pm MT, SNW)

The Oilers entered the season planning on reducing their goals against at 5×5, but through three games they’ve been leaking goals worse than Rudy Guliani’s hair dye. Edmonton has allowed 10 goals at 5×5 in three games. That is an ugly 3.33 GA/game average. The past three seasons they’ve allowed 2.16 goals/game, ranging from 2.14…

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Game Notes: Canadiens at Oilers — Game Four

A two-game losing streak has a much different feel this season, as in many cases it could mean you just lost both games in a two-game mini-series. No team in the North division has lost both games of a series yet, and the Edmonton Oilers will try and avoid that tonight. Chicago, Buffalo, Pittsburgh Anaheim…

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Oilers Goaltending Concerns: Smith Out

I don’t have much concern with Mikko Koskinen. He had solid numbers last season, better than many want to believe. He isn’t a proven elite starter, but he was a solid. The one issue is: Can he handle a heavy workload? We might find out, as Mike Smith wasn’t on the ice again today, and…

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GDB 2.0: Avoid Back-to-Back Loses (7pm MT, SN1)

What I love most about the 2021 schedule for the North Division is how often we will see teams playing two, three and four-game mini-series. It adds an extra layer of angst, excitement and opportunity to the regular season. It is only the second game of the season, but the Oilers don’t want to start…

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Game Notes: Canucks @ Oilers Game Two

Some habits are hard to break. The Oilers commitment to making the right play in the important areas of the ice was not where it needs to be last night. That must change if they want to win consistently. It was their first regular season game in 44 weeks, without any preseason games, but considering…

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GDB 1.0: A True Canadian Champion (8pm MT, SN)

Like a young child on Christmas, I woke up early this morning excited about the day. Exactly 44 weeks since the last NHL regular-season game was played, the NHL returns tonight with five games. This season will be very different. No fans in the stands, an abbreviated 56-game season, four new divisions and teams only…