GDB: BATTLE OF ALBERTA

Lowetide
March 01 2014 09:50AM


800px-Bench_Pigeon_Lake_Alberta_Canada_02A

It's an ill will she blows this morning, ladies and men. We are stone cold frozen, indoors, outdoors and in the western conference. The blues aren't blue enough, the country tear-jerkers can't find the lines, the poets can't stop the clocks in rhyme. 

The Battle of Alberta is desolation row. 

BUT WE'LL GET THERE BEFORE THEM!

bubbling under

Really? REALLY? The tortoise and the hare had a point to their story, I'm not sure 'one frozen bubble against another one' will galvanize our collective spirits in Alberta province. 

Is there ANY good news? And don't tell me the draft! 

CALGARY FLAMES PROJECTED LINEUP

  • TJ Galiardi-Mikael Backlund-Jiri Hudler
  • Mike Cammalleri-Sean Monahan-Joe Colborne
  • Lance Bouma-Matt Stajan-David Jones
  • Paul Byron-Markus Granlund-Kevin Westgarth
  • TJ Brodie-Mark Giordano
  • Kris Russell-Derek Smith
  • Ladislav Smid-Dennis Wideman
  • Reto Berra

The Flames have some good hockey players heading out tonight, and some of them will be playing their last game with the fiery C. Mike Cammalleri should get significant interest, young Backlund has once again overcome major obstacles and the all-Canadian Monahan looks sharp in every photo. The Flames Corsi for % 5x5 is 45.2%, fourth worst in the league but there are some champions in the group:

  • Galiardi 50.8%
  • Giordano 50.5%
  • Backlund 49.4%
  • Brodie 49.3%
  • Cammalleri 49.2%

The complete list is here   and it is worth noting Calgary has only three position players who have been on the ice for more than 300 minutes while posting a sub 43% Corsi for 5x5 %. 

lake wabamun

EDMONTON OILERS PROJECTED LINEUP

  • Hall-Nuge-Hemsky
  • Perron-Gagner-Eberle
  • Hendricks-Gordon-Joensuu
  • Jones-Smyth-Gazdic
  • Marincin-Petry
  • N Schultz-J Schultz
  • Ference-Belov
  • Bryzgalov

Nail Yakupov's injury isn't considered serious, but it's also likely they hold him back for tonight's game. Do the Oilers have some good news, something similar to the Flames' men who are close to 50% or better Corsi for 5x5?

The Oilers Corsi for 5x5% is 43.3%, they are one below Calgary in the race (don't you laugh, Toronto  only Buffalo saves you!)

  • Martin Marincin 50.2%

The numbers are here.  Edmonton has five players who have been on the ice for more than 300 minutes while also posting a sub 43% Corsi for 5x5 %.


SOME SWEET DAY

lake louise

History tells us this will not last. Calgary will have a fine trade deadline, add some picks and prospects and live to fight another day. Edmonton appears to have invested heavily in hiring a new coach each season, so the only impressive thing is the number of first overall selections on their roster. 

Calgary and Edmonton are driving toward that goal this summer, first overall. In that race, Edmonton is judge, jury and executioner. For Oiler fans, the promise of a first overall pick is like a kick in the junk, a stomach turner, a false spring. 

The Flames should learn the lesson presented to them by Edmonton—it's pretty damn hard to come back quickly from scorched earth, even when good soil lies all about you. 

GAME DAY PREDICTION: Flames and Oilers play to a 1-1 tie and no one can score in the shootout. Finally, Ladislav Smid drives in over the blueline and goes shelf on a very surprised Ilya Bryzgalov.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Flames win 5-1, on 5 shorthanded goals. All by Smid. 

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: CBC's After Hours becomes trade central as both Mike Cammalleri and Ales Hemsky are sent to Pittsburgh right after the game. 

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Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
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#1 6 ring circus
March 01 2014, 10:23AM
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I would rather watch Kevin Lowe and Brian Burke in a steel cage match at center ice,the winner gets the other teams first overall pick.

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#2 Spydyr
March 01 2014, 10:06AM
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With the season almost over here are some ideas to replace the memory of past glory wall Eakins had taken down:

1) A picture of Dubnyk with the red light going off behind him after he was scored on from centre ice.

2) A picture of Eberle dogging it on the backsheck.

3) A picture of a failed Hall toe drag.

4)A close up shot of Gagner's pants covered in snow.

5)A picture of the six rings press conference.

Good times.

Feel free to add your own favourite moments.Lets fill up the wall again.

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#3 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
March 01 2014, 11:46PM
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Take it easy on Eakins boys. How many coaches would've faired better when 80 of their 82 game schedule is against teams above them in the standings? Dallas must've been saddled with the worlds toughest schedule.

If these last two games aren't a shining example of a team who wants to gas their coach, then I don't know what is.

Keep digging yourself a deeper hole defending this newb MacT.

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#4 TeddyTurnbuckle
March 01 2014, 10:48PM
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The Oilers are easily the worst team on the NHL . Not only that they are approaching the worst team in league history. If they finish last next year they have to be the worst team of all time.

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#5 40 Double D
March 01 2014, 11:40PM
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It's clear Eakins can't coach in the NHL. He wants the players to play his system but they're not built to win 1-0 games. He doesn't have the personnel to play that style. Krueger was more successful because he played a system according to their strengths. If a newbie fan was watching the Oil play under this system, they would never know that Hall, RNH, and Yak were 1st overall picks.

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#6 prendrefeu
March 01 2014, 10:43PM
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Monahan > any of the Oiler's 1st round drafts for the past 4 years.

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#7 D
March 01 2014, 09:57AM
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The Flames have heart. The Oilers...

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#8 Jofa
March 02 2014, 02:16AM
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Wow... If Buffalo wins the two games it has in hand on the Oilers, they'll be tied with Edmonton for last in the league. Oilers 30th overall again this year? I certainly wouldn't make a bet against it happening.

MacT is going to have a helluva time convincing free agents to sign in EDM, and any momentum we had with the current rebuild has been squandered. Change is needed, top to bottom... How is this not clear yet to Darryl?

Katz is killing the franchise and legacy of the team he claims to cherish. Until he takes some responsibility and deals with the problem, he IS the problem for this team.

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#9 cunning_linguist
March 01 2014, 11:30AM
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Flames and Oilers should swap 1st round picks in this year's draft. That way, instead of fans having to decide between cheering for wins or cheering for draft position, we can all cheer for our own team to win, and screw over our rivals in the process.

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#10 Taylor Gang
March 01 2014, 11:53PM
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I've tried to be rational with the Eakins situation, but he is seriously not an NHL coach. This game was so evident of that; I've never seen a team run into each other so much on ridiculous plays that never would have caused a scoring chance. Seriously, why isn't there someone at the front of the net in the offensive zone? Heck, why isn't someone in front of the net in the defensive zone? Eakins is a total idiot, and the defense still sucks.

I used to say "we" when I was talking about the Oilers. Now I just can't associate myself with a bunch of perennial losers who refuse to play anything close to resembling hockey. I always wonder when they're going to hit rock bottom, and from the looks of it, they're still in the free-fall.

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#11 Willi P
March 01 2014, 10:49PM
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Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

As an Oilers fan, I'm bitterly jealous you shmucks got Monahan. But Taylor Hall, he is not.

Yes, thankfully not. Monahan is already much more mature and a team guy.

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#12 big slick
March 02 2014, 10:09AM
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Eakins has to be fired. This year has been WAY below expectations. Player changes from last year was mixed. Some hits (Perron), some misses. But Eakins was a clear mistake. If the Oil were anywhere near last year's results I would say yes keep Eakins, not too bad. But how can you argue with the results of this year? Terrible, given the starting point. The coach has to be held accountable. If they can't finish ahead of Calgary, again given the starting point, this whole season is on the coach.

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#13 john
March 02 2014, 10:26AM
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I'm beginning to think this franchise is done for. It doesn't matter what players they bring i; after @ 3-4 months they seem to assimilate into the prevailing "Oiler culture" & play like a bunch of overpayed, entitled, pansies. Take your pick; Doughty, Subban, Weber, Delzotto, Kesler, etc, etc,... they would ALL be on cruise control cashing paycheques by year 2 here & we'd be screaming to have them run out of town.

2-1 loss to the Motley Flamers; really!??? All time low. Or should I say all time Lowe?

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#14 Loweblows
March 01 2014, 10:23AM
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I hope we get blown out tonight. I hope Calgary scores lots of goals and CBC zooms in on Eakins with his blowing cheeks vacant eyes look. And furthermore I truly hope this is the last straw for Eakins. Anyone who supports Eakins is NOT a knowledgable fan. As an earlier poster said it right. It's wrong to keep Eakins for the sake of continuity. The longer this clown is around the deeper the damage. Eakins lovers can kiss my a&&.

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#15 Hockey Problems
March 01 2014, 11:13PM
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Tell Bob Stauffer to tune the dial up to TSN 1260. The truth shall set him free. The Oiler propaganda he spews daily must be unbelievable now even to him. This team will never win with these sissies we've got in the top 6. Barely one heart between all 6 of em. Eberle needs to be shown the door sooner rather than later. Weak, no puck battle winning muffin.

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#16 bazmagoo
March 02 2014, 12:18AM
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I've said it since about game 10, but I really think the Oilers players gave up early on playing for Eakins. I think it's possible the breaking point was likely the treatment of Yakupov early in the season, imo.

The players were all gifted long term 42 million dollar contracts, can't really blame them for thinking they are in charge.

Unfortunately for Eakins his value is far less than the young guns, bit of a mismatch really.

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#17 Fred
March 01 2014, 10:15AM
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Why do you still call it "Battle" of Alberta?? It's now the "Big Yawn of Alberta"

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#18 Rick
March 01 2014, 11:00PM
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If I'm a player in the draft i would silently be wishing Edmonton does not pick me.

Oilers ruin players.

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#19 The Swarm
March 02 2014, 10:13AM
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Did anyone else notice how often the Flames passed it back to the late man on the rush? I counted at least a half dozen grade-A chances as a result of this tactic.

Eakins, quite simply got out coached again, not only because Hartley exposed this weakness in the Oilers defensive "coverage", but because the Flames outworked the Oilers top 6 for much of the game.

Eakins has lost his top 6. The top 6 is not going anywhere. Eakins must go.

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#20 ThatButthurtOilersFan
March 01 2014, 10:34AM
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Sold my tickets and going to Oil Kings game this afternoon instead. Far more entertaining watching a group of kids working their *** off than watching a bunch of millionaires moping around.

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#21 Riptide
March 02 2014, 12:08AM
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Replace Eakins with Ted Nolan when Buffalo releases him.

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#22 Harry
March 02 2014, 11:44AM
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Simple question everyone. Would you trade Eberle straight up for Wayne Simmonds.

Trash for no. Prop for yes

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#23 RexHolez
March 01 2014, 10:45AM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

This is by far the nicest cross-posted gameday thread in the history of the Nations. Someone needs to get the trash talk flowing. Where's Wanye?

I'll start the trash talk... The flamers are so bad they're gonna finish only a few points ahead of the oilers this year!!! Boom

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#24 ?
March 02 2014, 12:41AM
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Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

I won't disagree, Hall seems like a manchild. But Monahan will never come close to Hall at their respective peaks.

Monahan's 18, don't be too quick to judge him. And when you say "never come close to", I assume you mean offensively, because Monahan is already a far superior 2way player, and he's only going to get better.

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#25 dougtheslug
March 02 2014, 08:31AM
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Stumbling through the stabbing pain of a -40 windchill, to sit for nearly three hours in a shabby arena chewing on cold overpriced hot dogs to watch millionaires bumping into each other in a laughable pantomime of professional hockey, is beyond excruciating.

Renney should never have been fired. And he quickly found work with a real hockey organization in Detroit, which confirms that fact. Kruger should never have been fired. And he quickly found work with a gold medal hockey organization, which confirms that fact. Eakins SHOULD be fired, but he won't be, because it would confirm the colossal blunder that MacT made with his first GM decision. And MacT isn't bold enough to admit it.

And if he did get fired, can anyone imagine a professional hockey organization above the minor leagues giving Eakins a second glance? Not likely.

The only consolation I have right now is the Oilers are stuck playing 15 of their last 22 games of this embarrassing season at home. That means they have to suffer through most of this bone-chilling cold with the rest of us.

My biggest challenge will be finding takers for my tickets, which I don't think I can bring myself to use.

This just isn't fun anymore.

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#26 Spydyr
March 01 2014, 10:34AM
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OK flames fans I'm a lifelong Oiler fan and I'm saying my team is better at tanking a season than yours?

Rebuttal?

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#27 Bean-counting cowboy
March 01 2014, 10:00AM
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O.K. Oil. Could you please win this game and maybe... just maybe get on a bit of a run and pass us in the standings?

It's not fair that you get all the top picks every year. It's good to share with others too you know.

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#28 Mason Storm
March 02 2014, 01:33AM
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Homer Simpson summed up this years edition of the Oilers perfectly. "They are the suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked."

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#29 M22
March 01 2014, 12:08PM
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Hockey Problems wrote:

The hapless Oilers can't even tank the season the right way !!!

2008- Miss out on Tavares

2009- Miss out on Stamkos

2010 Hall

2011- Nuge

2012- Yakupov

2013- Miss out on Mackinnon

2014- Lose the season, Again. Win the lotto (bold prediction)

2015- And if history serves us correctly, they will lose out on McDavid

The Oilers can't even suck right !!!

Whew!!

-said Tavares/Stamkos/Mackinnon

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#30 Keith Fredlund
March 01 2014, 10:49PM
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Thank god for Monahan. He is a classy kid. Never over celebrates. He is gonna be a super star. Best pick of that draft.

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#31 Stuart
March 01 2014, 10:56PM
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Ha Ha Ha

Oilers are a embarrassment. Flames just started their rebuild and they are better.

Losing to the Flames well done. Oilers do not know how to play hockey in the NHL.

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#32 bazmagoo
March 02 2014, 12:32AM
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@Rod from Viking

Ya I can't stand listening to Eakins preach about the "system" and the "process" in his interviews.

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#33 15w40
March 01 2014, 10:50AM
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Hemsky looked like a kid on Christmas Eve. He was basically giddy with the thought of getting traded out of E-Town.

There is no animosity in this thread because both teams blow.

At least the flaming C fans can usually count on a good effort.

The Oilers looked completely disinterested (as usual) in the last game and as usual the power play looked like a complete fire drill.

Refused to dump it in because then they might actually have to go hit somebody and take the puck back.

I watched a grand total of 10 minutes of the last game and couldn't take it anymore.

All of the interviews done this week with the PR trumpet "Oilers Now" by MacT and Eakins were going on about how great a job everybody is doing and all of the positive signs that are happening in the structure and style of play. More commitment to playing the "right" way.

The coaching staff in its entirety is doing a bang up job.

Its like they are all diabetics on a sugar high. Everything is arrows up - steady as she goes.

Pass the crack pipe.

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#34 prendrefeu
March 01 2014, 09:26PM
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Watching the Oilers play makes the Flames squad look like Cup contenders.

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#35 Hal
March 01 2014, 11:05PM
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At most Kevin Lowe has 20 years more with the Oilers. Expect changes 2034.

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#36 RKD
March 01 2014, 10:45PM
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March 1st, Edmonton Oilers still behind the Calgary Flames in the standings!

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#37 Ari Gold
March 01 2014, 10:53PM
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Oiler fan here, in hibernation.

I tuned in for the final 5 minutes of this game.

As soon as Monahan scored, (a solid character goal btw) I snickered and changed the channel.

I just don't care anymore. And why would I?

Watching the Edmonton Oilers is currently a complete waste of time.

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#38 Spydyr
March 01 2014, 10:19AM
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Jeffff wrote:

I can't believe fans like olympic hockey it was slow and boring for the most part. Loads of dead space on the ice.

Inferior teams played traps it reminded me of Soccer. Yes an acquired taste. But North Americans who find Olympic hockey exciting have not watched the NHL playoffs.

If playing sound defensive hockey bores you it is a good thing you are an Oilers fan.

From the very first game on I was impressed with Team Canada every player made the right play at the right time it was almost surreal. Throughout the entire tournament Canada"s players were always on the right side of the puck and man defensively.The entire team made no more than a handful of errors the entire tournament.

It was amazing to watch.That team was the best coached ,best defensive hockey team I have ever witnessed.

Perhaps the best hockey team in history.

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#39 Oiler Al
March 01 2014, 11:58AM
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Not sure why fans should care anymore about this season. Certainly the players have packed it in, at least ones not named Hendrick, Gadzick, Scrivens and Marcinin..

The system here is broken!!. Its been said a thousands of times before.

Sorry, as long as Katz, Lowe, and MacT are driving this train wreck, this baby aint happening. You can take this one to the bank.

Calgary and Buffalo will emerge long before the Oilers. You need no other example than Colorado, , Dallas, and even the Coyotes, who were bankrupt etc, and still maintained a winning atomsphere.

To think that this organization put on the GONG SHOW for the fans the other days is a joke.The least they could have doned is spent the morning apologizing, instead of all the B S.

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#40 Mason Storm
March 01 2014, 02:43PM
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~When do Eberle and Gagner get back from the olympic break?~

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#41 M22
March 01 2014, 10:44AM
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Retsinnab5 wrote:

Actual the season was over in November

No, this season was over in 2007.

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#42 Naky
March 01 2014, 10:58AM
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@Kent Wilson

You know that point where to enemies have fought for so long but then they both get to such a low point that they end up sitting next to each other in quiet silence passing a flask back and forth? That's pretty much where state of the fanbase is between the Oilers and Flames are right now.

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#43 zenoil
March 01 2014, 10:46PM
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Monahan>anyone on the oilers FIRE THE OLD BOYS this team sucks

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#44 M22
March 02 2014, 10:20AM
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Newj wrote:

It's probably just me & it's only a fraction of what goes on prior to the game, but HNIC showed Hall & Eberle looking and feeling very loose before the game. Kind of like most young kids before any hockey game.

Stories of Bobby Orr while in the midst of a losing streak - a miserable son of a bitch who detested losing and remained that way until the losing ended.

Yeah it's just a game but the Oilers pregame face seems like they are steps away from either winning the cup or thinking about the bar scene after the game.

Yes tension makes you grip the stick tighter but maybe some signs of frustration will lead to acts of desperation and try to win at all cost?

Sign me off as skeptical of this team's motive and heart.

No, it's not just you. Hall, Eberle, and to a lesser degree (because of age/experience) Nugent-Hopkins, J Schultz, and Yakupov: these guys are the face of this franchise. Katz, Lowe, MacTavish, Howson (lol), Eakins, Smith, Buchberger: they are the brainrust (yes, I omitted the 't'). They all belong with one another. They all deserve one another.

Among them, I feel most sorry for Nuge. I think he doesn't belong with these characters. As for the rest of them? Fits them good.

Poor Perron. Poor Ference. Poor Hendricks. Poor Gordon. Poor.....whoever gets traded to, or drafted by, this organization. Remember when we used to look down at the Leafs and Islanders, with pity and contempt, during their years of incompetence? Daryl, Kevin: the hockey world is looking at you.

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#45 EugeneV
March 01 2014, 11:42PM
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The thing I hate the most about Kevin "6rings" Lowe is that he stole Karen Percy from me. She deserved so much more than that #&*@+/?%. The Oilers though, got EXACTLY what they deserved.

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#46 Gofucoffee
March 02 2014, 12:22PM
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loweblows wrote:

The CBC commentators noted how structured and fast paced the Flames practices were. The Oilers meanwhile had an optional skate. Kind of telling how far we are from having NHL caliber coaching and management. Sad when the highlight of any game is watching Mr. No- Donuts stare vacantly into space after every goal.

I had the opportunity to watch the "optional skate" before yesterday's game and to my surprise Hall, Nuge, Eberle, Yak (ankle. Understandable), Hemsky, Jones and Gordon never stepped on the ice. There wasn't a lot of structure with what was going on and most of all... No head coach!? It was a twenty five minute fluff skate looking like they were leading the conference and playing a last place team. I've heard of the gap between the "young guns" and some of the vets, a segregated dressing room per-say but that's what it sure felt like. True vets like Smitty, Ference, Hendricks and N. Shultz were present and skating hard. I don't get it? When your team sucks this bad how is anything optional anymore? This is not a TEAM it's a bunch of guys lost and playing for nothing.

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#47 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
March 01 2014, 12:01PM
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Spydyr wrote:

With the season almost over here are some ideas to replace the memory of past glory wall Eakins had taken down:

1) A picture of Dubnyk with the red light going off behind him after he was scored on from centre ice.

2) A picture of Eberle dogging it on the backsheck.

3) A picture of a failed Hall toe drag.

4)A close up shot of Gagner's pants covered in snow.

5)A picture of the six rings press conference.

Good times.

Feel free to add your own favourite moments.Lets fill up the wall again.

6) A picture of Katz and Lowe in Seattle with the Space Needle in the background 7) A picture of the weather girl that Pronger put the wood to. 8) A picture of Souray hoisting the cup with Anaheim....oh wait...that doesn't happen till June 9) Replace the Five Replica Cups with Posters of our First Overall Picks...3 and Counting 10) A sign at the dressing room door...like the ones in Disneyland...You need to be this tall to play here....4ft 11"....M..I..C....K..E..Y.....M..O..U..S..E.

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#48 dougtheslug
March 01 2014, 10:36AM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

This is by far the nicest cross-posted gameday thread in the history of the Nations. Someone needs to get the trash talk flowing. Where's Wanye?

A combination of mind-numbing Alberta cold, and mind-numbing Alberta hockey incompetence

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#49 Rick Stroppel
March 01 2014, 02:49PM
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admiralmark wrote:

I'm kinda surprised theres not much chatter about Stewart potentially being available? Seems to me he is a solution to a gaping missing element on the Oilers. They also seem somewhat open to dealing Myers. Hmmmmm MacT. BOLD!!

"BOLD MOVES" STRIKES AGAIN!

I think you missed the news that Chris Stewart was traded to Buffalo as part of the Miller trade. Stewart is 6'2", 231 lbs, he has averaged about 50 points a year through his NHL career, and he is signed through next season for 4.2 million.

IMHO, it is amazing what Buffalo got for Miller.

In the meantime Bold Moves is working on trades likethis:

Hemsky for 2 or 3 round.

Career second string goalie for prospect (or vice versa).

Fourth round pick (do they still have one?) for # 6 defenceman (or vice versa).

Fourth line forward for prospect (or vice versa).

Etc., etc., etc. And then the reporters will tell the fans that they need to be happy, happy, happy because MacTavish has made MORE TRADES than anyone else.

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#50 Spydyr
March 02 2014, 08:13AM
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Ari Gold wrote:

Can we take the whole team to the vet and euthanize them? I honestly can't see any other option.

They're all a bunch of misguided fools out there. For all you clowns that think it's not on Eakins, imagine if Babcock or Hitchcock were the coach of this team...... Don't compare Eakins to Kruger, compare him to elite coaches. That's our competition.

The sad part is "the braintrust" could of had Hitchcock multiple times and did not hire him.It is understandable they don't hire better hockey people than themselves.The only thing "the braintrust" is good at is job preservation.

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