GDB 46.0: LOTS ON THE LINE

Jason Gregor
April 24 2013 12:13PM

  

While Detroit and Columbus battle for 8th place in the west, and the Rangers and Jets try to giveaway their playoff berth, the Oilers are in an epic battle to secure a top-five draft pick. Victories by Carolina and Nashville last night have given the Oilers a legitimate shot at the #4 pick, and a loss tonight would move them into 26th (fifth pick).

I feel for Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and the other players who give a solid effort most nights, because losing sucks, and this year the feelings of frustration, anger, failure and disappointment are more apparent than ever. Oilersnation is as beaten down as some of the players. Many said the 2012 season was rock bottom, however, that isn't the case; this year is turning out to be worse.

The Oilers were supposed to improve and compete for the playoffs this year. They did have a five-game winning streak that had them in the playoffs for ONE day, but since that 24-hour tease the Oilers have plummeted down the standings.

There will be no quick fix for the Oilers in the off-season. They won't be able to fool their fans into believing that an appearance by Oscar Klefbom and their first-round pick will be enough to make them competitive. They sure as hell better not fool themselves into believing that, because the reality is that this team needs improving in many areas.

The most pressing concern for this team is the need to improve their blueline. You can't win with limited size and strength on the backend. They desperately need a legitimate top-pairing defender, however, those aren't easy to find. 

Those changes aren't possible during these final three games, but the players who are in the lineup tonight can at least give an honest effort. Show some pride, show some desire. When your best player, Taylor Hall, is giving a solid effort you'd think the lower-tier players would follow his lead.

If they don't, that should tell Craig MacTavish all he needs to know.

LINEUP

Hall-Gagner-Eberle
Paajarvi-Lander-Yakupov
Hartikainen-Horcoff--Jones
Smyth-Smithson-Brown

Smid-Petry
N.Schultz-J.Schultz
Whitney-Potter

Dubnyk

Ryan Whitney has a lower body injury, leg, and he will sit tonight. Magnus Paajarvi is healthy so Eric Belanger returns to the pressbox.

The Oilers need to show up tonight, or the Blackhawks will embarrass them. The good news is that the Oilers are 4-1-1 vs. the Hawks over the past two seasons. and they've outscored them 32-23.

At the very least they need to be competitive tonight.

QUICK HITS

  • I disagree with those who believe the Gretzky statue should stay at Rexall, IF or when a new arena actually gets built. Gretzky is connected to the Oilers, not Northlands, Sky Reach Centre or Rexall Place. Molsons purchased the statue and spokesperson Julie Gathercole said,
     
  • I did, however, agree with Mark Spector's thoughts on my show. He said, "The Katz Group should step up and build their own statue at the new rink." That makes sense. They should finally step up and lead the charge. They should build some real statues, like the Roberto Clemente one in Pittsburgh (above, how awesome is that). Make a statement and show the fans you are committed to the past, present and future of your franchise. Spend some of your own money.
     
  • Why are so many fans in love with Teemu Hartikainen? What has he done? He has played 22 games and he has 0 ES points. Zero. If I'm not mistaken, he hasn't even been on the ice for an ES goal. He has an incredible opportunity to earn himself a regular NHL job, but he's done nothing to show he wants that job. Players need to realize they don't get NHL jobs handed to them. They need to earn them.
     
  • Ralph Krueger agreed that Hartikainen needs to be more aggressive and have more pushback. "It is important as part of your persona that you respond to that (Beauchemin hit), whether you are a skilled player or not. It is the grit within our offence that is a major element that is missing on our team. We need to have that from guys who aren't PP guys. He is trying to figure that out, and he needs to become more aggressive with his personality."
     
  • Gotta love the NHL. The Panthers, the worst team in the league, defeated the Rangers, in a fight for their playoff lives, last night. Did anyone pick the Panthers on their Sports Select ticket? I doubt it. Most of us assume the Hawks will win tonight, but in the NHL you never know from game-to-game who will win.
     
  • Oscar Klefbom has spent the past few seasons playing against men, and he looks like he can handle the physical toll of the NHL. He is bigger than many of the guys in the Oilers room. It was refreshing to hear this from Krueger today, "I think he will be able to come to camp and push for the #6 spot on our blueline." The last thing the Oilers need to do is pencil him into their top-four. They need to find proven top-four veterans to play there. If Klefbom comes in and blows the doors off, great, but this team can't expect to improve if they pin their hopes on another young defender.
     
  • Alex Ovechkin leads the NHL with 31 goals. In the 48-game, 1995 season five players had 30+ goals. Owen Nolan, Ray Sheppard and Alex Zhamnov had 30, Jaromir Jagr had 32 and Peter Bondra led the league with 34 goals. The crazy stat is that Bondra only had 9 assists. NINE freaking assists in 48 games, despite scoring 34 goals.
     
  • Here are some other goal-scoring leaders who came close to Bondra's Goals/assist ratio:
                                         YEAR     GP       G         A       PTS
    Cy Denneny               1924      22        22       2        24
    Babe Dye                   1925      29        38       8        46
    Nels Stewart             1926      36        34       8        44
    Maurice Richard       1945      50        50       23      73
    Gaye Stewart             1946      50        37       15      52   
    Bobby Hull                 1962      70        50       34      84
    Bobby Hull                 1967      66        52       28      80
    Peter Bondra             1995      47        34        9       43

    Bondra's season was unlike anything the NHL had seen in 70 years.
     
  • Did you notice Babe Dye's 1925 season? He had 38 goals in 29 games, which was 1.31 goals/game. When Gretzky scored 50 in 39 he was at 1.28. Technically Dye had missed one of his team's game so he had 38 goals in 30 of his team's games which dropped him to 1.26. Either way, Dye had an unreal 1925 season. 
     
  • Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Devan Dubnyk have accepted invitations to the World Championships. Sources tell me Steven Stamkos, Claude Giroux, Eric and Jordan Staal are also likely to be going. Also Justin Schultz, Nick Schultz and Sam Gagner might get an invite. Ladislav Smid will play for the Czech Repulic. Nail Yakupov, Jeff Petry also have a good chance of representing the USA and Russia.

 TONIGHT....

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The last time the Hawks were in Edmonton Sam Gagner had 4 goals and 8 points. No one expected that to happen, so anything is possible tonight. We'll see 10 goals tonight, but the Oilers will lose 6-4.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Andy Moog gets a huge ovation, and before puck drop someone will have the Moog mini-stick they received before the game listed on Kijiji. Likely for $30 bucks.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Oilers fans despite being beaten down, will give a standing ovation in the 2nd period after the 4-89-14 line hem the Hawks in for 30 seconds. The dedication and passion of Oilers fans never ceases to amaze me.

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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#1 Truth
April 24 2013, 12:25PM
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I could see Katz paying for a statue outside RX-2. Unfortunately, it would probably be Lowe with his fist in the air, Stanley Cup rings on all 5 fingers.

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#2 non descript
April 24 2013, 12:32PM
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Many said the 2012 season was rock bottom, however, that isn't the case; this year is turning out to be worse.

and next year will be worse, and the year after will be worse and then hall asks for a trade and the next year will be worse and so on....

then, several years from now that incompetent hammerhead lowe will get in front of a camera and tell edmonton that the oilers need another rebuild, except this time they will do it right....

btw, gregor, every time you use the phrase non descript on your show i know its a salute to me. glad i could help.

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#3 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
April 24 2013, 12:33PM
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Excuse us please, Edmonton isn't just knocking on the door, they're knocking that door off it's hinges. Pardon us for taking what's needed to get things off the ground here again. The rest of the league can hate us all they want.

Three more regulation losses please. MacKinnon or Barkov, or bust. I have little doubt we'll see the return of an aggressive management group here in the next 3 months. MacTavish is going to get us some Scotty Hartnell, Steven Ott and a shiny new Cadillac for the blueline.

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#4 Racki
April 24 2013, 12:38PM
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Agreed with a lot of what you had to say today. Especially the Gretzky statue stuff. I even have said the same thing too.. Gretzky played for the EDMONTON Oilers, not for Northlands (or whatever you want to call it). It doesn't matter where you put it, as long as it is in Edmonton. It would be cool to see a collection of statues though... maybe slowly build up all our retired players.. not sure how expensive it is to make these things though.

Maybe they could have a more modern approach.. like a statue of Tambellini smiling on lotto day.

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#5 Rhett
April 24 2013, 12:41PM
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What about a statue with Katz and the Eye of Sauron over his head? I think that would be appropriate.

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#6 VK63
April 24 2013, 12:41PM
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For a wee bit of reference on Harti. Beauchemin slams him into the boards with a clean hit... his response was completely zilch, for the rest of the game. Yes it was a clean hit but somewhere deep inside a real hockey player lives the pi88ed off switch. His is gone..... ergo... he is completely useless in the role that he theoretically occupies on the roster.

For an illustration of what is supposed to happen when a real hockey player gets drilled. Ryan Smyth almost gets his head taken off in the third. He gets mad. He and Brown slam a few ducks into the end boards with some vengeance and intensity.

The building actually recognizes the "real hockey player" response and cheers in appreciation.

Rather confident PRV and Harti looked at each other and said.... what are they cheering about?

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#7 Reg Dunlop
April 24 2013, 12:42PM
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The Hawks don't have much that is tangible riding on tonight's outcome. They do, however, have the pride that pros, REAL pros, exhibit. Smarting after Vancouver... I think the oil are in real trouble tonight; if they can't find their manhood, 7-1 Hawks.

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#8 K
April 24 2013, 12:58PM
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Dear Hawks,

We are a fan base that desperately needs to have something to cheer for. Our mood is pretty doom & gloom so some joy needs to be injected into us. At this stage, the points really don't matter to you, so would you please come into our building tonight willing to play an entertaining game of...shinny? We aren't sure the Oilers know what entertaining is, but we are counting on you to egg them on. You can win, that's ok because we don't mind getting another high draft pick, just let our players score a couple. We, the fans, need the pent up release of emotion that only goals can give us!

p.s. Please don't score on us in the first minute of the game.

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#9 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
April 24 2013, 12:59PM
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I like the newer statues (Orr,Lemieux,Hull,Makita) that are popping up around the league. Feel they look a fair bit better than the one that we have to date. I'd rather new ones be made for most everyone's whose # is up in the rafters, only in that more modern bronzier look to these new ones. Similar statue with a new finish for the G man.

Like that idea of a prolonged standing ovation directed at the players. Let the players know the fans are still behind them 100%. One more bullet for the chamber, one more shot at a future Oiler leader is in their best interests. Stay classy Edmonton.

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#10 Rocket
April 24 2013, 12:59PM
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The Oilers lately seem to play well against The Blackhawks so this might be the last best game of the year.

Also, any excuse to watch Toews play so I'm down for a good game. #Optimism

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#11 Sliderule
April 24 2013, 12:59PM
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Carolina holds the tie breaker so we could finish fifth if we lose out.

We should have kept our rabbits foot Tambo around to go to the draft and make the draw.

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#12 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
April 24 2013, 01:02PM
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8-6 Blackhawks, Yak city with a trio.

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#13 Rocket
April 24 2013, 01:03PM
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K wrote:

Dear Hawks,

We are a fan base that desperately needs to have something to cheer for. Our mood is pretty doom & gloom so some joy needs to be injected into us. At this stage, the points really don't matter to you, so would you please come into our building tonight willing to play an entertaining game of...shinny? We aren't sure the Oilers know what entertaining is, but we are counting on you to egg them on. You can win, that's ok because we don't mind getting another high draft pick, just let our players score a couple. We, the fans, need the pent up release of emotion that only goals can give us!

p.s. Please don't score on us in the first minute of the game.

Yeah no kidding. I always miss that first goal against The Oilers because I'm making a sandwich or grabbing a beer or something for the first 30 seconds of the first period.

They should make it official with a rule where the opposing team just starts the game with a one goal lead.

GOB: "C'mon!"

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#14 Dog Train
April 24 2013, 01:14PM
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We tend to have exciting games with the Hawks so hopefully that continues tonight. With the Wild and Canucks looming, we are in for a few snoozers to end the season so one last rush would be nice tonight. I'll say 5-3 Hawks.

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#15 Sterling Archer
April 24 2013, 01:19PM
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Ill be wearing my Kane Jersey.

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#16 Spydyr
April 24 2013, 01:29PM
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The next three games can have a bearing on the next ten years.Do what you do best and tank this $hit

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#17 Fresh Mess
April 24 2013, 01:43PM
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How about Katz pays for his own building? The city can kick in for a new statue.

I agree RE: Hartikainenn. Been saying the same all year. I see nothing that suggests he is an NHL player at this point. JF Jauques did more.

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#18 Dan
April 24 2013, 01:44PM
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Losing sucks, and watching players play in these meaningless games you see them trying they are not tanking.

As a fan you hope Oilers lose the rest of their games. But when your at the game a good goal by your team is exciting.

All that said Lose Oilers Lose

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#19 G Money
April 24 2013, 01:47PM
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Dog Train wrote:

We tend to have exciting games with the Hawks so hopefully that continues tonight. With the Wild and Canucks looming, we are in for a few snoozers to end the season so one last rush would be nice tonight. I'll say 5-3 Hawks.

If there's one thing the Oilers are superb at, it is breaking trends - in a bad way.

On a six game losing streak? Play the Oilers, sure to break it.

Haven't scored in twenty games? Play the Oilers, you'll probably get the hattie.

Guessing that a pissed off Hawks squad faces off against a heartless bunch of Oilers (if being in a playoff spot didn't spark this bunch, what will?) tonight.

If Dubie stands on his head - 3-1 Hawks. If he has a so-so game - 7-1 Hawks.

Either Hall or Yak City score the lone Oilers goal.

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#20 15w40
April 24 2013, 01:51PM
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Depending on how the cards fall they could be picking as early as 3rd - if they don't win the lottery again. If they are picking top 5 I think trading the pick is crazy.

I don't see how winning one or all of these last games is going to have a great deal of effect on the players' psyche.

They were brutal the last two weeks and winning against teams that are likely to be mailing it in with the exception of Minny won't prove squat.

Get another good player in the draft and then start moving the pieces you have around to complete the puzzle.

This team is going to likely be in a dog fight next year to make the playoffs. There are too many changes that need to be made for it to be complete in one off season.

Hopefully Hall, Eberle, and Dubnyk can go experience some success at the Worlds.

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#21 Will
April 24 2013, 01:52PM
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Unless we win the lottery and take Jones, I don't think our pick is going to help us next year, and hopefully won't have to jump in right away. I really would like to see Barkov as that would eventually solve our size issues, and our depth down the middle at the same time. It would also potentially make Gags expendable for trade to get something else we need in return.

I'm not sure what is worse, having a competent team of third line grinders, or having some young top end talent with nothing else around them.

I still content that looking around at other teams in the league that either shouldn't be having to fight for a playoff spot but are, or are actually worse than the Oilers but shouldn't be, I really don't know what to think in terms of how a team should be built. I am truly beginning to believe it's not so much how a team is built, but how it plays. Which the Oilers have shown several times this year, that they are capable of out playing, not just winning, but fully outplaying good teams in all aspects of the game. But their wild inconstancy is something management needs to correct. Again, I have to look at Tampa and think even with some of the best players in the league, they are still bad as a team, why? Why are the Rangers, a team that everyone picked to dominate, struggling to make the playoffs? I really don't know what the answer is, but I hope Mac T can figure it out.

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#22 Fresh Mess
April 24 2013, 02:00PM
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Gregor, what is the deal with those jeans? All you needed was a Justin Bieber wig and you could be assigned to 21 Jump Street.

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#23 madjam
April 24 2013, 02:00PM
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Oilers close to being a good team at least despite lack of upgrades . Losing streak came at a bad time . Things and results will be better in a regular length season !

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#24 TrentonL
April 24 2013, 02:03PM
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Aside from the better draft pick this run of ineptitude has taken Gagner from a 75 point pace to a 64 point pace on an 82 game season. That has a huge impact on his $ and term this summer.

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#25 Spydyr
April 24 2013, 02:06PM
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madjam wrote:

Oilers close to being a good team at least despite lack of upgrades . Losing streak came at a bad time . Things and results will be better in a regular length season !

For sure, in a regular length season they would have been able to secure 30th again.

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#26 The Other Ron Burgundy
April 24 2013, 02:18PM
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Don't forget that the consolation prize for a better finish could well be Sean Monahan, which I would be more than OK with.

I hope what MacT meant in his speech was that we will not be worried about losing a deal (aka a battle) if it means getting us the pieces to win the war. This team is obviously still fundamentally broken in all kinds of ways, so the status quo won;t cut it. Even if we end up giving away more than we are getting on paper in any one deal, if what we are getting fills the needs that are now obvious to (I hope) everyone then that's a win. Phoenix wants Gagner and Schultz Sr. for Yandle and a plug? Done. Buffalo wants something outrageous for Ott (like taking on the Myers albatross contract)? Do it.

Pony up some cash in free agency - strategically. Clowe wants a couple hundred thousand more? Give it to him -we have nobody like him. Go get Anton Khudobin or Thomas Greiss to challenge Dubnyk. Get some competent D for Klefbom to have to beat out - Clitsome for the firth/sixth spot and some guys named Fistric and Peckham would be on my radar.

It's not hard to remake a team if you have a clear vision of what you have and what you want. Hopefully MacT learned that in MBA school.

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#27 TayLordBalls
April 24 2013, 02:19PM
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I will check out the team next year as I don't follow losing teams.

I'm sure the Nielsen stats show the audience of the Oilers plummeted not only because they are not competitive but because of the joke play-by-play team assigned to the team broadcasts.

In summary, it seems fitting that the Oilers broadcast team is headed by ex drunks and reflects the joke this team has become.

till next year...maybe

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#28 Romulus' Apotheosis
April 24 2013, 02:27PM
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"The most pressing concern for this team is the need to improve their blueline"

Good God yes!

"You can't win with limited size and strength on the backend."

Good God no! These are the last qualities anyone should list here.

"They desperately need a legitimate top-pairing defender, however, those aren't easy to find."

Completely agreed. Except that what makes a D a "legitimate top-pairing defender" is not "size and strength."

Those are welcome supplemental qualities. But they should never be the top qualities one looks for in a "legitimate top-pairing defender."

NEVER.

Zone exits, puck management, gap control, passing, positioning, point shot and, of course, foot speed all rank way higher on any list of what a top 4 D needs.

This lazy "size and strength" thinking is what leads to spitballing Yakupov for Clarkson, Lucic, "insert coke machine here" craziness.

"Why are so many fans in love with Teemu Hartikainen?"

This is a complete straw man.

Support this claim. Where are the throngs of devoted Hartikainen fans? I'd wager most oiler fans barely know who he is. Those that do tend to have pretty modest expectations of him: like playing better than Smithson, Belanger, Brown, Eager, Petrell and Hordichuk.

And the results are pretty damn definitive in that regard:

http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?ds=30&s=29&f1=2012_s&f2=5v5&f4=C+LW+RW&f5=EDM&c=0+1+3+5+4+6+7+8+13+14+29+30+32+33+34+45+46+63+67#

His corsirel is miles ahead of those guys. When he is on the ice compared to those other players the puck is more likely to headed away from Dubnyk.

We want that right?

Or do we just want him to take retaliatory penalties against legal hits?

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#29 Mike Krushelnyski
April 24 2013, 02:33PM
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Truth wrote:

I could see Katz paying for a statue outside RX-2. Unfortunately, it would probably be Lowe with his fist in the air, Stanley Cup rings on all 5 fingers.

6 cups, remember? The 6th will be on his massive wang

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#30 Oiler Al
April 24 2013, 02:34PM
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Fresh Mess wrote:

How about Katz pays for his own building? The city can kick in for a new statue.

I agree RE: Hartikainenn. Been saying the same all year. I see nothing that suggests he is an NHL player at this point. JF Jauques did more.

I agree, valid point. For a guy his size plays a very soft game, besides he has "ham hands " around the net, and his skating is not really at the NHL level. This guy didnt tear up the AHL either. This is your first hint.

Stu MacGregor, got any else in our basket of goodies.

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#31 Joel
April 24 2013, 02:35PM
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What would it take to get Adam Larsson? He would be a top 4 pick in this draft.

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#32 Toro
April 24 2013, 02:42PM
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I also don't get why everyone is so in love with Hartikainen , he doesn't bang nearly as much as he should, he got rocked last game and disappeared for the rest of the night, doesn't provide offense, doesn't stick up for teammates... And there all but guaranteeing this guy a job next year outta camp...I don't get it

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#33 season not played
April 24 2013, 02:48PM
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TayLordBalls wrote:

I will check out the team next year as I don't follow losing teams.

I'm sure the Nielsen stats show the audience of the Oilers plummeted not only because they are not competitive but because of the joke play-by-play team assigned to the team broadcasts.

In summary, it seems fitting that the Oilers broadcast team is headed by ex drunks and reflects the joke this team has become.

till next year...maybe

Given your criteria, I don't think you will be following the team next year either.

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#34 Walter Sobchak
April 24 2013, 02:56PM
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Well according to the pipe smoking aluminaty stuffy shirts over at another site.

~ Hartikainen is just so useful, he deserves at least another 15 or 16 more opportunities to show he's got it!! The Oilers have all the time in the world to let players like Hartikainen develop right in there main roster!!

Never mind he hasn't done anything tangible while playing easy minutes, I say play him against the toughs Again! Nothing bad happened before!!

But hey, the career coach is wrong, his numbers in the NHL must be wrong, based on those outstanding Corsi numbers and shooting percentages he's a lock for the 3rd line checking role, never mind that he actually doesn't check or hit anyone, he'll catch on in the next two years ~

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#35 Moses
April 24 2013, 03:00PM
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Will wrote:

Unless we win the lottery and take Jones, I don't think our pick is going to help us next year, and hopefully won't have to jump in right away. I really would like to see Barkov as that would eventually solve our size issues, and our depth down the middle at the same time. It would also potentially make Gags expendable for trade to get something else we need in return.

I'm not sure what is worse, having a competent team of third line grinders, or having some young top end talent with nothing else around them.

I still content that looking around at other teams in the league that either shouldn't be having to fight for a playoff spot but are, or are actually worse than the Oilers but shouldn't be, I really don't know what to think in terms of how a team should be built. I am truly beginning to believe it's not so much how a team is built, but how it plays. Which the Oilers have shown several times this year, that they are capable of out playing, not just winning, but fully outplaying good teams in all aspects of the game. But their wild inconstancy is something management needs to correct. Again, I have to look at Tampa and think even with some of the best players in the league, they are still bad as a team, why? Why are the Rangers, a team that everyone picked to dominate, struggling to make the playoffs? I really don't know what the answer is, but I hope Mac T can figure it out.

I agree with your last paragraph. Much like Calgary winning some games lately with almost no NHL players in the lineup. Sometimes things just go right, sometimes they just go wrong.

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#36 Hair bag
April 24 2013, 03:02PM
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Mike Krushelnyski wrote:

6 cups, remember? The 6th will be on his massive wang

That's some funny sh*t!

On the Hartikainen note, he is still only 22. I don't think he is ever going to be a scrapper but a couple more yrs of seasoning and he could become a formidable 3rd line power forward that bangs bodies and pots 15 or so...definitely need more grit that can play but I'm not ready to throw Harti to the scrap heap just yet either...

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#37 2004Z06
April 24 2013, 03:03PM
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I cannot believe that people still want the Oilers to tank for the draft! Yes please continue to send the message to this team/organization/fanbase that failure is something to be rewarded.

Have you no pride!

We wonder why such a horrible losing culture has infiltrated this organization.....This is exactly why.

We actually throw draft parties to celebrate our bottom 5 efforts!

Sickens me!

They need to change this draft system because this current tanking for the last 15-20 games is not the right message.

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#38 Ales Hallsky
April 24 2013, 03:04PM
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Joel wrote:

What would it take to get Adam Larsson? He would be a top 4 pick in this draft.

Omark and a 2nd.

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#39 Eddie Shore
April 24 2013, 03:08PM
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Oiler Al wrote:

I agree, valid point. For a guy his size plays a very soft game, besides he has "ham hands " around the net, and his skating is not really at the NHL level. This guy didnt tear up the AHL either. This is your first hint.

Stu MacGregor, got any else in our basket of goodies.

111 points in 164 career AHL games. Not tearing it up by any stretch but those numbers are pretty decent considering he was a 6th round pick and is still only 22 years old.

However, he definitely needs to be consistently physical as well as chipping in with some secondary offense in order to justify a spot on this roster next year.

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#40 Hair bag
April 24 2013, 03:09PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

Well according to the pipe smoking aluminaty stuffy shirts over at another site.

~ Hartikainen is just so useful, he deserves at least another 15 or 16 more opportunities to show he's got it!! The Oilers have all the time in the world to let players like Hartikainen develop right in there main roster!!

Never mind he hasn't done anything tangible while playing easy minutes, I say play him against the toughs Again! Nothing bad happened before!!

But hey, the career coach is wrong, his numbers in the NHL must be wrong, based on those outstanding Corsi numbers and shooting percentages he's a lock for the 3rd line checking role, never mind that he actually doesn't check or hit anyone, he'll catch on in the next two years ~

There is still potential there - sign him and let him keep playing in OKC, bring him up as a call up when needed. He is definitely no Lucic, Ott, etc. but he is still only 22 and has come a long way for a 6th round pick in his development. Is he an NHLer now - no. But I think that he could possibly be in a couple yrs...

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#41 Felt
April 24 2013, 03:09PM
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Ales Hallsky wrote:

Omark and a 2nd.

It would probably cost more than Oilers 1st round pick 2013. Unless Oilers get the #1 pick

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#42 Sean17
April 24 2013, 03:09PM
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I see a lot of Tier 1 Oiler fans are selling their tickets on Kijiji....

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#43 Walter Sobchak
April 24 2013, 03:10PM
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@Romulus' Apotheosis

Support this claim. Where are the throngs of devoted Hartikainen fans? I'd wager most oiler fans barely know who he is. Those that do tend to have pretty modest expectations of him: like playing better than Smithson, Belanger, Brown, Eager, Petrell and Hordichuk.

I know who he is.

I got one problem with your comparison with those you mentioned, they all suck, so comparing Hartkainen to players that we know suck isn't a strong case for Hartkainen at all.

Doesn't mean he belongs here, it just means Tambellini can't assess actual NHL talent to replace a player like Hartkainen.

Oh, we're you not ok with Taylor Hall taking a retaliatory penalty and subsequent suspension for taking a shot at a player who rode him hard?

You did.

So why should Hartkainen this player who's job it is to hit, not hit someone back?

This is why the Oilers lose, this is why teams pound on the Oilers and this is why the Oilers are so easy to play against.

But advance stats don't show you that so it's incomprehensible to believe its actually happening.

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#44 Romulus' Apotheosis
April 24 2013, 03:10PM
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@Walter Sobchak

~because hitting and checking correlate so well to winning!~

http://www.mc79hockey.com/?p=5617

http://nhlnumbers.com/2013/3/7/why-shot-differential-is-important-item-45604

http://thehockeywriters.com/hit-or-myth-busting-your-way-to-success-in-the-nhl-or-not/

http://blogs.thescore.com/nhl/2013/02/25/breaking-news-puck-possession-is-important-and-nobody-told-the-cbc/

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#45 Walter Sobchak
April 24 2013, 03:11PM
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Hair bag wrote:

There is still potential there - sign him and let him keep playing in OKC, bring him up as a call up when needed. He is definitely no Lucic, Ott, etc. but he is still only 22 and has come a long way for a 6th round pick in his development. Is he an NHLer now - no. But I think that he could possibly be in a couple yrs...

Maybe, but are you not tired of waiting around to find out?

Could we package him with another player to get something now?

I say see ya.

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#46 The Beaker
April 24 2013, 03:13PM
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Does anyone really know how bad or not so bad Barkov's footspeed is? I want the Oil to get him badly but the footspeed comments scare me.

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#47 Walter Sobchak
April 24 2013, 03:14PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

~because hitting and checking correlate so well to winning!~

http://www.mc79hockey.com/?p=5617

http://nhlnumbers.com/2013/3/7/why-shot-differential-is-important-item-45604

http://thehockeywriters.com/hit-or-myth-busting-your-way-to-success-in-the-nhl-or-not/

http://blogs.thescore.com/nhl/2013/02/25/breaking-news-puck-possession-is-important-and-nobody-told-the-cbc/

Ok, then why do teams like San Jose, The Ducks, all say the same thing? The Oilers are an easy team to play against.

I never said anything about hitting! I said he's SOFT!

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#48 Walter Sobchak
April 24 2013, 03:16PM
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The Beaker wrote:

Does anyone really know how bad or not so bad Barkov's footspeed is? I want the Oil to get him badly but the footspeed comments scare me.

Button mentions his foot speed is relative to how hard he wants to push, or has to push, doesn't seem to think it will be an issue in the NHL

Edit. There is a link but I'm to lazy to put it up, but should be on TSN web page under Button.

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#49 westcoastoil
April 24 2013, 03:16PM
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Toro wrote:

I also don't get why everyone is so in love with Hartikainen , he doesn't bang nearly as much as he should, he got rocked last game and disappeared for the rest of the night, doesn't provide offense, doesn't stick up for teammates... And there all but guaranteeing this guy a job next year outta camp...I don't get it

Totally agree. Seen lots of the games on tv, but I was at the Ducks game (because I want KLowe to call me for advice this off-season).

Harti was a non-factor before and after he got rocked. Didn't see hit make a noticeable hit. Did the stand in front on the PP thing, but honestly Smyth should have been there instead based on the way he was playing compared to Harti. If this is his statement time for next year he'll be getting his lunch eaten by someone else. Compare his effort to what we're seeing out of the Cowtown AHL crew.

Also, I know he's been ripped lots this year - but i had no idea how truly soft Whitney has been. There were at least 4 times on the PP where he bailed on the slightest body contact which allowed the Ducks to clear the zone. I'd be so pi$$ed playing with a guy like that. He should be scratched for the season.

The handling of Peckham is indefensible on so many levels. Apart from wasting an asset, if you, he and every player know he's never getting into a game why have that non-sense in your room day after day. Stupid move all around.

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#50 The Beaker
April 24 2013, 03:17PM
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@Walter Sobchak

Hope its not an issue. Scary though. Not sure what that means really? How hard he wants to push? That reads like an issue with competitiveness.

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