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3 Questions With Copper & Blue

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Derek Zona from Copper & Blue took some time to answer a few questions for us ahead of tonight's game. For the Oilers' perspective, check 'em out at coppernblue.com!

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1. The Oilers are on a bit of a hot streak, winners of 4 straight coming into this game. After a rough few seasons, could we be seeing a rebound in Edmonton?

The team is better at even strength, especially up front, but they're still relatively inconsistent.  Dallas Eakins has been more careful with his matchups, giving his fourth line the defensive work, but against weaker competition and letting the Taylor Hall line play tough competition.  He's also been blessed with not having to play Luke Gazdic due to injury.  The defense, on the other hand, is an injury away from Spaghettification.  Something to watch out for tonight is Jultzing.

2. It's unlikely Shea Weber is going anywhere, but what would it take to pry, say, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins away from Edmonton? Let's make a deal.

Hopkins is a non-starter in trade talks.  Look at that centre depth.  If they move Hopkins, they'll be looking for centre depth in bars on Whyte Avenue.  What would it take to trade for Shea Weber?  I'm probably not the right guy to ask - the Oilers have been starved for defensive depth since 2010.  How about Jordan Eberle, Justin Schultz and a first round pick?  Oh, and you have to take Andrew Ference.  Okay, that's mean.  Preds fans are good people, there's no reason to do that to them.

3. What's going on with Nail Yakupov? He seemed like a star in the making 2 years ago, but with kind of a disappointing season in 2013-14, and some up-and-down ice time this year, it seems like he's heading in the wrong direction.

He's been excellent thus far in all zones.  I think you can throw away last season and chalk it up to deployment issues and a coach looking for a scapegoat for his problems.

BONUS QUESTION

I'm all for a good protest, but what's up with the jersey-chucking? I dunno, they're kind of expensive...why not throw a t-shirt or something instead? I'll hang up and listen.

Eh, it's not something I'd do, but the Oilers have been the worst franchise in professional sports since 2006.  The fans are frustrated, and rightfully so.  It's the same fanbase that had a "Kevin Lowe must go" protest last season which included billboard purchases.  Maybe the jersey toss was the result of too many adult sodas and given that the guy's cell phone was on the ice it's a possibility, but at some point the fans aren't going to believe the rebuilding plan is going well and they're going to react.