GDB 21.0: STARTING OVER

Jason Gregor
November 15 2013 12:30PM

The Oilers enter the second quarter of their season tonight vs. the San Jose Sharks. The first quarter had disastrous results, and cost them a playoff spot. The management, coaches and players can't look at it that way, playoffs being a pipe dream, but a 4-14-2 start has them 15 points out of the playoffs.

The remainder of this season will be about understanding the system, learning to compete, not just working hard, every shift and hopefully the bitter taste and stench of losing will motivate the players to never be in this situation again.

The Oilers must use the next 62 games to build the foundation of continuity and winning. If they want to become winners, they must be committed to the system, their teammates and themselves.

The Oilers are showing signs of improvement in some areas of their game.

Despite going 0-for-5 last game the Oilers PP is 25% in their last eight games. Their PK has killed off 25 of the last 26 powerplays, 96.3%, over their past eight games.

Many will say the Oilers haven't improved enough because they aren't winning, and that is valid. However, the Oilers can't  solve all their problems over night. These next 20 games will be a test of their character and inner strength. Do they have willpower and focus to concentrate on the next game and not pout or worry about the previous 20? Have they learned that they need to play smarter, faster, stronger and with move conviction in order to win?

We won't know until December 29th. That is when they will have played half the season. Can this team stick together, play hard and become competitive? The next quarter of the season will show us a glimpse of whether or not they can execute the system, or if they have the guts to go to the net consistently,  or if they have the intestinal fortitude to try and stop opposing teams from going to the net and the internal desire to finally learn how to win.

The 2nd quarter of the season could show us a lot about which players should be here long-term.

DIFFERENT APPROACH...

If I was Andrew Ference, I would sit the team down and show them some of the great inspirational/motivational speeches from movies. Hockey is a game. You can inject some humour into the game. Try and get the players to relax, inhale and recognize that it isn't life or death.

For some reason our society thrives on negativity too often. Yes, the first 20 games were f^@#*&()*) embarrassing. But whining and focusing on it every day isn't going to change that. Learn from it. Challenge them to be better, and maybe have some fun doing it.

Here are some examples. Guys love this stuff. I know watching these clips made me laugh and they got me fired up.

I'd start with something light... 

"That's what were here for guys, to win." I freaking love that line. Makes me laugh every time...

Most sports movies have a dramatic scene that usually leads to the team bonding or that shows an individual realizing they need to work harder. We eat this stuff up. We love it, and that's why we watch those movies over and over again.

Ference could show them this one. (fast forward to 1:40 to the quicksand speech.) 

"You're playing and you think everything is going fine. Then one thing goes wrong. And then another. And another. You try to fight back, but the harder you fight, the deeper you sink. Until you can't move... you can't breathe... because you're in over your head. Like quicksand." Shane Falco

That could resonate with many Oilers right now. They have had numerous things go wrong...but they can't let it paralyze them.

Then I'd show them this one. It is fitting since the Sharks are in town. (actual words start at 2:00)

For some laughs I'd follow it up with this one. This kid is great.

Then, I would play the greatest sports speech of all-time. I don't care what sport you play, whether you are playing beer league, the NHL, NFL or road hockey this scene/speech will get your blood flowing. 

Eakins could play this one.

"I can't make you do it....Either we heal now as a team, or we will die as individuals...Now what are you going to do?"

Tony FREAKING D'Amato (Pacino) would have made a great coach.

I would leave them with this one.  

I understand the need to talk systems and strategy, but sometimes you simply need to tap into the emotions of the players, and in this case, with the loyal citizens of Oilersnation.

LINEUP

Hall-RNH-Eberle
Hemsky-Gagner-Yakupov
Smyth-Gordon-Perron
Joensuu-Acton-Jones/Gazdic

Ference-Petry
Belov-Larsen
N.Schultz-Potter

Dubnyk

Sitting Arcobello is perplexing. I don't get it. He has been solid offensively, defensively and on the PK. 

The Sharks are playing their third game in four nights. They defeated the Flames Tuesday and the Canucks last night, both times in OT. Fatigue

The Sharks have three players averaging a point-a-game. Thornton and Pavelski have 20 points in 19 games, while Logan Couture has 19 in 19. Patrick Marleau has 18 points and Tomas Hertl has 17. The Oilers will face Alex Stalock. He has won both of his starts, and he has a dazzling 0.946 SV% and 1.57 GAA.

GAME DAY PREDICTION: On paper this is an easy choice, the Sharks should dominate, however, it is Positive Friday and if Ference showed even one of the aforementioned videos prior to the game the Oilers will win. Chalk one up for D'Amato, Oilers win 3-2.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers haven't scored at home in 182 minutes. They score in the first period, and combined with the first 8 p.m. Friday game that I can remember, the first intermission beer sales are the highest of the season.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Ilya Bryzgalov stops 33 shots in his AHL debut in a 4-1 victory. During the 2nd intermission the Oilers show highlights of the OKC victory and a few of Bryzgalov's saves. After the highlights, they play the clip of Bryzgalov saying he is only afraid of bears in the woods.   

SHARE AND DROWN YOUR SORROWS...

Do you need to share your feelings and frustrations about the Oilers? We have the best possible solution. Next Friday is the 2nd annual DJ Suitcase party. Don't miss out. Tickets are already 80% sold out. You can buy them here. See you then.

Speaking of Struds, media whore, make sure you vote for him in Battle of the Blades. If Struds win, the Inner City Children's Program will receive $50,000. That is huge. Take a moment and vote. If you take a few extra moments, answer the Quick Challenge questions, sign in and you will get 7 bonus votes. Do it. Help the kids. Vote here. 

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR 

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#251 Stack Pad Save
November 15 2013, 10:41PM
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Poolanov wrote:

I have never hated Ferraro more than I do today

For being right?

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#252 Mike Wazowski
November 15 2013, 10:42PM
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Disappointed to see the Oil lose again after a tough start but they didn't fold their tents and pushed back at the sharks. A decent effort and Dubey didn't have much chance on the goals tonight either.

Hopefully a win will come tomorrow night!

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#253 Lowblows
November 15 2013, 10:42PM
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Mactavish said he is seeing improvements-well as of tonight we are last- last in goals against- we can't score an even strength goal-what Effie improvements are u talikng about you Effie useless idiot- sending down Arco puts me over the top- I hate this Effie team

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#254 dave
November 15 2013, 10:42PM
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@LoweBlow

and your a pacified kool aid drinker watching this bread and circus and ol bobby staufer the knob gobbler and the rest of the game are getting your hard earned money so keep drinking kool aid lol

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#255 sizzler
November 15 2013, 10:42PM
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Not sure what oilers see in gagner?

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#256 Loyal Oil
November 15 2013, 10:42PM
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K. Lowe to McT: "umm, pal are you sure this is what progress looks like?"

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#257 Hauk15
November 15 2013, 10:42PM
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We are number 30 now. Congratulations boys, you've earned it!

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#258 LoweBlow
November 15 2013, 10:44PM
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I can't understand how this could possibly be ok. Season ticket holders watched the Oil basically give up in the last 5 minutes.

Coaching hasn't created any cohesiveness.

The players won't fight for space in the last 5 minutes.

Our soft players are playing softer by the game.

This second tier fan watching on a stream from Vancouver isn't the problem. The first tier fans at the game booing the last 2 minutes are a shout loud and clear to management.

If you can't coach the team into giving it their all, change the coach. If your management can't find the right coach for the team, change management. If the president keeps choosing buddies instead of credible, proven individuals, change the president. If the players have a cancerous attitude about how much effort they want to put in, it's honestly the organization's fault. One or two cancers I can understand, but the whole team has a terrible attitude. That's not the players fault.

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#259 LoweBlow
November 15 2013, 10:47PM
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I'll be in Seattle for the Seahawks game this Sunday meaning that I won't be able to watch our mess of a team Saturday. I'm honestly relieved.

This team does not deserve such a loyal and loving fanbase.

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#260 dan
November 15 2013, 10:48PM
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@Loyal Oil

no k lowe my balls on your chin is progress lol

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#261 Zamboni Driver
November 15 2013, 10:49PM
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@YFC Prez

Not a prob - don't know that it's caught on judging from the 'trashes' normally associated with my saying it.

For me - Tinman = Hemsky

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#262 camdog
November 15 2013, 10:50PM
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Lowblows wrote:

Mactavish said he is seeing improvements-well as of tonight we are last- last in goals against- we can't score an even strength goal-what Effie improvements are u talikng about you Effie useless idiot- sending down Arco puts me over the top- I hate this Effie team

The problem when focusing on advanced stats is that if you don't understand them, you can easily misinterpret the results.

Earlier in the season the advanced stats were better than last seasons. However the variable that changed is that we were playing weaker competition in respect to the eastern teams.

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#263 dougtheslug
November 15 2013, 10:51PM
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In the past few years, I could console myself by saying"Well, at least we'll get a high draft pick and kickstart the comeback." Now what do you say? It's just pain and suffering. With these guys running the show, we all know a number one pick is just fool's gold. Please, someone, put this management group out of their (and our) misery.

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#264 Zamboni Driver
November 15 2013, 10:52PM
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@LoweBlow

By soft players you mean.....

....the entire Edmonton Oilers, I assume?

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#265 steelymac
November 15 2013, 10:52PM
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Anyone who thinks Eakins isnt a vindictive prick look no further than the difference in ice between Smyth and Yak and that was long before the bogus 4 minute penalty.

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#266 Serious Gord
November 15 2013, 10:53PM
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Mike Wazowski wrote:

Disappointed to see the Oil lose again after a tough start but they didn't fold their tents and pushed back at the sharks. A decent effort and Dubey didn't have much chance on the goals tonight either.

Hopefully a win will come tomorrow night!

The game was over before the oil looked like they were trying. From my perspective the sharks had the game in the bag and let up. And Lo and behold as the game neared the end the sharks put the pillow over the oils face...

The result was never in doubt.

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#267 Zamboni Driver
November 15 2013, 10:54PM
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Aaaaaand there it is.

Someone who really appreciates a good Ales-coast show.

The important thing. Being one of the leaders, he'll be there answering every, single tough question...

Oh...wait. I'm being told Ales has a 'thing' he has already left for.

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#268 Serious Gord
November 15 2013, 10:55PM
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steelymac wrote:

Anyone who thinks Eakins isnt a vindictive prick look no further than the difference in ice between Smyth and Yak and that was long before the bogus 4 minute penalty.

High stick. Drew blood. Four minutes. No doubt about it.

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#269 Quintana
November 15 2013, 10:55PM
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Well now let's talk whats really important Ekblad or Reinhart?

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#270 madjam
November 15 2013, 10:57PM
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History in the making ? We could actually get worse by replacing an underachieving Gm and coach and actually get much worse .Watching them continually lose is getting to be more satisfying and fun to watch than if this misfit squad actually wins a game . The persuit of futility is rewarding is it not ? Lose Oilers Lose and get skunked by the Flames - make us all proud . Mauybe some reverse psychology might wake them up from upstairs to ice .

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#271 LoweBlow
November 15 2013, 10:58PM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

By soft players you mean.....

....the entire Edmonton Oilers, I assume?

That's right. The ENTIRE team is soft. There's no jam in their game. Smyth used to have it but he's got osteoporosis or something now. Perron could be that guy but the whole team has simply lost faith. It's not a lack of confidence, they just don't believe in this team anymore.

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#272 steelymac
November 15 2013, 10:59PM
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@Lowblows

I here ya but you really got to relax or the next thing you know 2006Z24 will be on here telling you to get help for your anger issues. :-)

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#273 DSF
November 15 2013, 11:00PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

The game was over before the oil looked like they were trying. From my perspective the sharks had the game in the bag and let up. And Lo and behold as the game neared the end the sharks put the pillow over the oils face...

The result was never in doubt.

Important to remember the Sharks were playing their 3rd game in 4 nights and were on the 2nd game of a back to back.

They won the game in the first 30 minutes and then put it on cruise control.

And, if Couture had had any puck luck at all, the score would likely have been 6-1.

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#274 Sizzay
November 15 2013, 11:01PM
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DSF wrote:

Important to remember the Sharks were playing their 3rd game in 4 nights and were on the 2nd game of a back to back.

They won the game in the first 30 minutes and then put it on cruise control.

And, if Couture had had any puck luck at all, the score would likely have been 6-1.

No excuse for back to back games. All teams go through it.

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#275 Serious Gord
November 15 2013, 11:05PM
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Sizzay wrote:

No excuse for back to back games. All teams go through it.

It was a high quality road win. That was textbook on how to play a second road game in as many days.

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#276 LoweBlow
November 15 2013, 11:08PM
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Don't fool yourselves fellow posters. The Sharks did NOT play a good road game. That SJ dressingroom is going to be blasted after the game. They simply played down to the Oilers level for the second half of that game.

That was a pathetic loss. Simply put.

The fans that paid good money to go to that game should boo louder and chant their displeasure. That game was a disgrace. The only thing I wished for was a more embarrassing score. Maybe complete utter embarrassment will beckon change.

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#277 DSF
November 15 2013, 11:09PM
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Sizzay wrote:

No excuse for back to back games. All teams go through it.

Yes they do.

But they won easily, why would they need an excuse?

Jason Strudwick ‏@Struds1260

The sharks are playing 3 in 4 nights and are flying. WOW. Every line skates hard and forechecks. Pretty impressive.

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#278 camdog
November 15 2013, 11:10PM
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Sizzay wrote:

No excuse for back to back games. All teams go through it.

The Sharks were in prevent defense for the last 30 minutes of the game. If you watched the Eskies this season you would understand what I am getting at. There offence put up really good numbers, problem is they started racking up the yards after the game was already over.

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#279 DamnDuby
November 15 2013, 11:11PM
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Although all of the Debbie downers will crap all over the oil tonight, they played harder and the game was more exciting than almost any last year. But keep craping on "your" team guys cause that is going to help em out.

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#280 Drowning in Oil
November 15 2013, 11:13PM
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Mac T " Don't worry Kevin, I really see some improvements in the way the boys are playing".

KLowe " Who said anything about worrying, I can see a cup contender in this team, and I should know. I've won 6 you know".

Mac T " It is sure great to see how calm and collected Dallas is on that bench. Nothing seems to bother him".

KLowe " that is one thing I can honestly say about all of us in this organization, nothing bothers any of us. Darryl keeps signing our inflated cheques no matter what happens out there and because we ran this city 30 years ago, we have all the rope we would ever need".

Mac T " It is funny Kevin, it is almost like people forget we are the reason this city is currently called the city of champions. The fans should be grateful".

K Lowe " exactly, those no good their 2 losers. Only 2 more years and this rebuild will be complete."

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#281 DSF
November 15 2013, 11:14PM
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Gene Principe ‏@GenePrincipe

I’ve seen Taylor Hall after almost every loss. I have never seen him like I just did.The kid cares a ton but the defeats are wearing on him.

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#282 Bryzarro World
November 15 2013, 11:15PM
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0100101101001100010011110101011101000101001000000100001001001100010011110101011101010011

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#283 Zamboni Driver
November 15 2013, 11:16PM
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@DSF

Yup.

The kid had no points.

Tyler Seguin was okay yesterday though, no?

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

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#284 Quicksilver ballet
November 15 2013, 11:16PM
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And all while Rome is burning, the GM pleads for yet more calm and patience. Where do they find these bozos....... 5 yrs later, and it's still the same ship different yr. Letting the players and management in this organization off the hook yet again.

We'll continue to get what we support. Only in Edmonton could a fringe hockey player get a 4.8 mulyi yr deal. The big shake up deal looks to be Klefbom in and Smid out it appears.

Love to see the fallout of a 6-0 Flames victory tomorrow.

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#285 damnDuby
November 15 2013, 11:18PM
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@DSF

Yea and if the oil had any luck Smyth and whoever hit the post for use would have scored and it could have been 3-3. But check-mark for reaching.

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#286 damnDuby
November 15 2013, 11:19PM
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@damnDuby

us*

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#287 Johnnydapunk
November 15 2013, 11:20PM
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steelymac wrote:

Anyone who thinks Eakins isnt a vindictive prick look no further than the difference in ice between Smyth and Yak and that was long before the bogus 4 minute penalty.

Did you check the difference in icetime between Yakupov and Smyth? It was about a minute, give or take a few seconds if you factor in penalties that both players had.

Event summary Oil v Sharks

The only difference was that Smyth played almost 4:00 whilst they were short handed, otherwise ice time was pretty equal.

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#288 LoweBlow
November 15 2013, 11:20PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

And all while Rome is burning, the GM pleads for yet more calm and patience. Where do they find these bozos....... 5 yrs later, and it's still the same ship different yr. Letting the players and management in this organization off the hook yet again.

We'll continue to get what we support. Only in Edmonton could a fringe hockey player get a 4.8 mulyi yr deal. The big shake up deal looks to be Klefbom in and Smid out it appears.

Love to see the fallout of a 6-0 Flames victory tomorrow.

I hate the Flames almost as much as the Nucks. But honestly, I'd love to see them light up the Oil tomorrow in a big way.

The entire fan base is beginning to ditch the Kool-Aid.

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#289 DSF
November 15 2013, 11:28PM
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damnDuby wrote:

Yea and if the oil had any luck Smyth and whoever hit the post for use would have scored and it could have been 3-3. But check-mark for reaching.

Couture hit the post 4 times and still ended up with 8 SOG.

Smyth missed the net on that chance and had only 2 SOG.

In other news...Couture took 15 face-offs and won 12 of them...80%.

Hopkins, who went up against Couture took 17 face-offs and lost 12 of them...29%.

Thanks for coming out.

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#290 DSF
November 15 2013, 11:30PM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

Yup.

The kid had no points.

Tyler Seguin was okay yesterday though, no?

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

Tyler Seguin?

The Tyler Seguin who is on pace for nearly 50 goals and 90 points?

Never heard of him. 😀

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#291 jbogus
November 15 2013, 11:34PM
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Johnnydapunk wrote:

Did you check the difference in icetime between Yakupov and Smyth? It was about a minute, give or take a few seconds if you factor in penalties that both players had.

Event summary Oil v Sharks

The only difference was that Smyth played almost 4:00 whilst they were short handed, otherwise ice time was pretty equal.

Bringing Smytty's stock up for ...never mind.

Rock, hello meet bottom.

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#292 Step Daddy J
November 15 2013, 11:35PM
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Quintana wrote:

Well now let's talk whats really important Ekblad or Reinhart?

Ekblad . Oilers Need D .

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#293 Randaman
November 15 2013, 11:35PM
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Drowning in Oil wrote:

Mac T " Don't worry Kevin, I really see some improvements in the way the boys are playing".

KLowe " Who said anything about worrying, I can see a cup contender in this team, and I should know. I've won 6 you know".

Mac T " It is sure great to see how calm and collected Dallas is on that bench. Nothing seems to bother him".

KLowe " that is one thing I can honestly say about all of us in this organization, nothing bothers any of us. Darryl keeps signing our inflated cheques no matter what happens out there and because we ran this city 30 years ago, we have all the rope we would ever need".

Mac T " It is funny Kevin, it is almost like people forget we are the reason this city is currently called the city of champions. The fans should be grateful".

K Lowe " exactly, those no good their 2 losers. Only 2 more years and this rebuild will be complete."

Now that made me laugh my ass off! Love that you have kept your humour during this debacle. Thanks Much needed I think

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#294 DSF
November 15 2013, 11:35PM
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Joanne Ireland ‏@jirelandEJ

In case you were wondering, Nail Yakupov's dad was in the stands. That's where the #Oilers winger was pointing after he had scored.

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#295 Citizen David
November 15 2013, 11:45PM
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Horak had 2 assists tonight.

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#296 GK1980
November 15 2013, 11:48PM
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No offensive cycle. I was at the game and saw a lot of white ice at the attacking end. Same old story, no sustained offensive pressure. Until this is fixed the losses will keep coming.

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#297 6 ring circus
November 15 2013, 11:55PM
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If you haven't listened to Taylor Hall's post game interview you should,it's only a matter of time before some of the players start asking for trades out of town,the fans are tired of losing and the players are tired of losing,Katz,K Lowe and Mac T only know how to lose,their ownership and management record speaks for itself.It's time that there is a major overhaul, Edmonton hockey fans deserve a way better hockey team than this mess we have been watching and supporting for the past 8 season's.

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#298 DSF
November 15 2013, 11:58PM
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Citizen David wrote:

Horak had 2 assists tonight.

And Ben Street had 3 goals.

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#299 DSF
November 16 2013, 12:01AM
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@6 ring circus

Sounds like Hall has had about enough.

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#300 HOFFFF
November 16 2013, 12:02AM
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On the bright side, Bryz stopped 23 of 28 shots tonight.

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