GDB 39: Canucks have Sundin, we have Brule

Jason Gregor
January 07 2009 12:20PM

While everyone is focusing on the debut of Mats Sundin tonight, Oilers fans will see Gilbert Brule on the first line for the first time. Brule and Reddox took turns on the RW at the morning skate today, but Brule tipped me off that he will be on the wing tonight.

For Brule this is the first opportunity to play in a true offensive role in the NHL and he is excited.

“It’s a great chance to think offence. I know that I just have to play a simple game and focus more on getting into spaces where I can score,” said Brule.

The other aspect about Brule’s game that should come in handy tonight against the pesky Canucks is his willingness to play gritty. With disturbers and pests like Kesler and Burrows, if Brule can bring that element tonight that could go a long way for him staying in the line-up, at least until Hemsky returns.

Jacques skates

JF Jacques skated with his teammates for the first time this season, but he is still a long ways away from playing. Jacques’ back is still sore from the surgery and he is looking at getting in a game sometime in February. But that will be in the AHL with the Springfield Falcons and it is very doubtful that he will play with the Oilers this season.

Steve MacIntyre saw the doctor yesterday and it looks like he will be cleared to play in ten days, but the way the fourth line is playing right now it will be hard for him to get in the line-up. Expect him to get a two-week conditioning stint in Springfield to try and get in game shape.

Dwayne Roloson will start in goal tonight for the Oilers. Shawn Horcoff said his back is feeling much better today, and it shouldn’t give him any trouble tonight.

Mats Sundin will skate with Kyle Wellwood and former Camrose Kodiak Mason Raymond tonight, while Pavol Demitra will skate with the Sedin sisters.

The Canucks long term plan is to use Demitra and Sundin as a pair, with the Sisters on the other line, and the other winger will be on a rotation basis, based on who is playing well and which guy has chemistry with the specific pair.

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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 Oilersordeath
January 07 2009, 12:29PM
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Good for Brule, he deserves a chance. God I hope Burrows has his head put through the glass that little prick!!

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#2 shakey
January 07 2009, 12:42PM
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Agreed on both points Oilersordeath. Someone also needs to take that board out of Beiska's ass (watch him skate) and beat the crap out of him with it. The Nuck's are deep with douchebags and there should be no reason for a lack of emotion tonight.

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#3 CurtisS
January 07 2009, 12:44PM
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So now Reddox is Top 6 or PB.

Awesome news.

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#4 rindog
January 07 2009, 01:04PM
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@ CurtisS:

Was just going to say the same thing.

Brule isn't good enough to even play last game and now he is on the first line. Reddox was a top line winger for the last 4 games and now he is scratched.

I know there are only so many roster spots but this goes back to the interview Gregor had with MacT asking why Brule wasn't up onthe first line a few games ago???

Player recognition!!!!!!

I guess the other interesting news is that we are putting Brule (not an allstar) in the place of our injured Hemsky (also not an allstar)....what a joke!!!

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#5 freeze
January 07 2009, 01:13PM
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Great to hear that Brule will get his chance, I hope he makes the most of it.

Unfortunately, Nation, I will be at the game tonight and I have never seen them beat the Canucks live... I hope my luck changes but I'm not holding my breath.

Go Oilers!!

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#6 CurtisS
January 07 2009, 01:17PM
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@ Noel

Pretty hilarious.

The same thing happens every year. It really doesnt suprise me anymore.

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#7 Jonathan Willis
January 07 2009, 01:41PM
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To everybody who's confused by Brule/Reddox on the top line - both guys played a power vs. power role in the AHL, which is what they're being asked to do here. Horcoff and Penner are going to see top opposition; they need a winger with some defensive awareness, a quality which Reddox and Brule both possess.

I'm happy to see Brule put in this spot - he's got some offensive tools which he hasn't had a chance to showcase.

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#8 BUCK75
January 07 2009, 01:42PM
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Hopefully the bar is set at the same level as Reddox. I would rather be pleasantly surprised by Brule's performance than overwhelmingly disappointed.

What the hell is this team going to look like when Smac & Hemsky can get back into the line-up. Need a few player moves.

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#9 erixon
January 07 2009, 01:48PM
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Who is Matt's Son Dean?

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#10 Al
January 07 2009, 02:30PM
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@ rindog: I think you should stop watching Oiler games because clearly everything is negative to you.

Player recognition??? What does that mean. Look at Reddox's icetime the last two games...not even close to top six...He starts on that line that is all. I guess in your infinite wisdom you would change up the 2nd or 3rd line because they are scoring, just so Horcoff and Penner have someone to play with.

Oh that's right you will clamor on that Schremp should be here...I guess you know way more than all the scouts, MacT, Lowe Tambellini etc...Schremp can't F-ing play. It isn't MacT's fault he can't skate and is softer than you probably are after five beers.

I get so sick of reading your constant negative crap. You think you know it all. You probably never played past midget, but now you are an asst coach on some bantam B team and you think you know it all.

How about bringing something different. You and the meathead DEEP OIL spew the same asinine garbage everyday. I'm sick of it. The site was fine without you two dorks, so get over yourselves and stop posting 15 times a day. You aren't smarter than anyone, and DEEP OIL you aren't funny.

****I love this site, but needed to vent on these two clowns who have lessened the insight and enjoyment level 10 fold the past few weeks.

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#11 MattL
January 07 2009, 02:33PM
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rindog wrote:

@ CurtisS: Was just going to say the same thing. Brule isn’t good enough to even play last game and now he is on the first line. Reddox was a top line winger for the last 4 games and now he is scratched. I know there are only so many roster spots but this goes back to the interview Gregor had with MacT asking why Brule wasn’t up onthe first line a few games ago??? Player recognition!!!!!! I guess the other interesting news is that we are putting Brule (not an allstar) in the place of our injured Hemsky (also not an allstar)….what a joke!!!

Yeah, I guess MacT doesn't realize that Reddox is a grinder, and Brule is a scorer. That's weird, I thought you had to know the first thing about hockey to play/coach in the league... I guess not.

It has nothing to do with player recognition, he just has a different strategy in terms of valuing defensive awareness than you might. The organization is also sheltering Brule this year, trying to manage his confidence, which was done poorly in Columbus.

Sometimes when you throw a young player to the wolves, they turn into Cogliano, and sometimes they need more time in the minors.

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#12 MattL
January 07 2009, 02:34PM
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Ah, thanks Al, I think that's what I meant to say.

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#13 Dennis
January 07 2009, 02:50PM
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JFJ: it would be interesting to see if he could learn-by-doing right now if he was healthy enough to supplant 43 with the 51-46 combo.

Any word on when 34 or 83 will return?

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#14 Al
January 07 2009, 02:59PM
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Dennis wrote:

JFJ: it would be interesting to see if he could learn-by-doing right now if he was healthy enough to supplant 43 with the 51-46 combo. Any word on when 34 or 83 will return?

JFJ could learn how to be a pro from 43 that is for sure, but he won't play with the Oilers this year. He won't even play in the AHL for at least another month.

Hemsky still day-to-day. They have no idea when he will return, because there is no real timeline for concussions. Don't expect him back for the remainder of this homestand. He didn't even take the skate this morning.

Pisani is looking at the end of the month. He still walks around with a boot on his left foot.

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#15 Jason Gregor
January 07 2009, 03:10PM
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Al wrote:

Dennis wrote: JFJ: it would be interesting to see if he could learn-by-doing right now if he was healthy enough to supplant 43 with the 51-46 combo. Any word on when 34 or 83 will return? JFJ could learn how to be a pro from 43 that is for sure, but he won’t play with the Oilers this year. He won’t even play in the AHL for at least another month. Hemsky still day-to-day. They have no idea when he will return, because there is no real timeline for concussions. Don’t expect him back for the remainder of this homestand. He didn’t even take the skate this morning. Pisani is looking at the end of the month. He still walks around with a boot on his left foot.

Al

WTF, Curious where you got your info...oh that's right...I sent you an email using pretty much word for word your response.

Have the smarts to at least credit me with where you got your stuff. YOu wrote earlier ripping guys on here for their thoughts, and now you act just as stupid.

At least next time change a few words!!!

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#16 RBK
January 07 2009, 03:13PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Al WTF, Curious where you got your info…oh that’s right…I sent you an email using pretty much word for word your response. At least next time change a few words!!!

OOO BUSTED LOL

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#17 Jordan
January 07 2009, 03:19PM
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Jason: How much time do you see sundin playing tonight? Are the canucks going to limit his ice time at the start?

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#18 CurtisS
January 07 2009, 03:23PM
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@ Al

Simple. Dont read!

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#19 Jason Gregor
January 07 2009, 03:45PM
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Jordan wrote:

Jason: How much time do you see sundin playing tonight? Are the canucks going to limit his ice time at the start?

Good question. I think a lot depends on how many penalties the Oilers take. The more PP time means some easy minutes for Sundin. That being said, I would expect him to play at least 15 minutes. Sure, he is 37, but he is a big guy and his body can handle the load. I would expect him to play 16-18 minutes..

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#20 KORY
January 07 2009, 04:06PM
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@ Al: Exactly I am sick of hearing about SHREMP if he was the talent that everyone wants why is he in the AHL getting less then a point a game..... Is there a way to filter any shremp filled comments.

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#21 CurtisS
January 07 2009, 04:33PM
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@ KORY:

Just dont read here anymore. Trust me you wont be missed.

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#22 rindog
January 07 2009, 05:08PM
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@ Al:

Well thanks for the intelligent hockey points to debate???? Which ones were they again?

I never understand people taking the time to make posts becasue they don't like reading other people's posts???

If you don't like what I (or others type) don't read. If you disagree - then give a rebuttal...

I never come on here and bad mouth another poster. Every single Oiler fan is entitled to their opinion.

I have never claimed to be smarter than the next guy. I have my opinions and I support them with facts/examples, etc.

So, that being said - let's debate HOCKEY ISSUES!!!

Reddox on the first line.

My question regarding Reddox on the first line (ever)was simple. With promises of offensive depth at the start of the season - I was under the impression that the likes of Potulny, Brule and even Schremp (which I don't recall bringing up his name) were sent down with the understanding that if they worked hard they would be called up to fill any offensive holes we might have. So I am sure you can understand my confusion when not only are none of those guys called up - our coaching staff decides to put a borderline AHL player into the number 1 right wing spot (and he did play first minutes the first couple of games). Not only is it a bad fit for Reddox - it hurts the entire line. If you want to bring up the fact that Reddox didn't get many minutes the last two games, that's fine. What that tells me is that the coach knew that Reddox wasn't the answer there but was reluctant to make a decesion of what to do. My thoughts were brought up in Gregor's initial blog on this topic and were supported by many people in this forum.

The reason I posted today was simple. It seems quite clear that our coaching staff is just grasping at anything that might work. Why is Brule all of a sudden ready to join the first line now - when he got minimal minutes his first game back up and was a healthy scratch the last game?

If you are going to jump all over me for questioning that move - I guess it is your right??

The thing that gets me the most is your attitude towards my posting? I didn't realize that there was a limit to the number of times a guy could post?

I think you are confusing negativity with concern?

I also think it might be in your best interest to NOT assume what hockey background I(or anyone else) has. Even still, it doesn't make a difference who you are - if you have an opinion, this is the place to voice it.

It really does speaks volumes about a guy when he resorts to immature name calling, etc to try and get a point across. But hey, if it makes you feel better - bash away!!!

In the mean time, I will continue to debate hockey issues with fellow Oiler fans and bring whatever insight I might have.

Right now there is a definite trend that is questioning the direction of our coaching/management (in the media, other blogs,etc.).

I will (and have) added many positive comments regarding Lowe or other players on the team. I happen to doubt the effectiveness of our coaching staff and see it as a major aspect holding our team back.

Is there anything wrong with that?

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#23 Jonathan Willis
January 07 2009, 05:54PM
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RE: Reddox on the first line

Schremp and Potulny don't belong in the discussion; both have been playing a sheltered role on the farm club, and the Horcoff line is expected to run power vs. power.

So a defensively aware player is needed. Once you filter out the centres and exclude Gagner/Cole because of their chemistry together, that leaves Brule and Reddox. My preference is Brule because he has a higher end offensive game (although, IIRC, Reddox was a two or three time 30-goal scorer in junior and a similar point producer to Schremp/Brule in the minors), but I'd put Reddox in that role over Schremp or Potulny.

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#24 Al
January 07 2009, 06:01PM
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@ rindog: ONce again you made my point...You ramble on and repeat the same points we have read over and over and over and over again...

Your posts are longer than the articles, and less informative. I get it you don't like the coaches or their decisions. Why the need to repeat it in every post.

You think exchanging Reddox for Brule is grasping at straws, yet you were the one who said put Cogliano on the wing. Yeah real good idea, and seems to be grasphing at straws.

You think replacing their best player is that easy? OF course not, no one comes close to Hemsky, but I guess that is bad coaching.

As for Curtis S and your witty "Don't read" argument. How about don't post long-winded repetitious points day after day. If Rindog or you think many actually care what you think you are fooling yourself. I don't think most care about what I think either, thus I rarely post.

A paragraph should be suffice to make your point, not War and Peace every time.

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#25 Al
January 07 2009, 06:04PM
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Jason Gregor wrote: Al WTF, Curious where you got your info…oh that’s right…I sent you an email using pretty much word for word your response. Have the smarts to at least credit me with where you got your stuff. YOu wrote earlier ripping guys on here for their thoughts, and now you act just as stupid. At least next time change a few words!!!

Gregor my apologies for not saying you gave me the info. I was stunned you actually took the time to reply to my email that I sent to your show. Shows your class. Once again my bad. I don't claim to be an Insider, I just like the Oilers and have become a huge fan of Oilersnation. For me you guys have great insight and good scoops...Once again my apologies.

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#26 Hockey Gods
January 07 2009, 06:52PM
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I have no idea why I am jumping into this battle of witts that has nothing to do with the Oilers or hockey, but I do enjoy calling a spade a spade.

Al wrote:

If Rindog or you think many actually care what you think you are fooling yourself. I don’t think most care about what I think either, thus I rarely post.

Dude you are contridicting yourself, #1 you have posted about 3 or 4 times today, is that rare? #2 the reason for the comments section is for people to voice their opinions, and everyone is entitled to one but you don't have believe or agree with them. Everyone has different personality, attitude or style so don't try and make people conform to your idea of an engaged fan. #3 You may be right that many people don't care what other fans on the nation think, but they probably only read the orginal authers blog and go on the next story. If you truly didn't care you wouldn't read any comments.

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#27 Jonathan Willis
January 07 2009, 08:11PM
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Hey look - a hockey game.

Gilbert Brule gets to play the entire game against the Sedins. Enjoy the opportunity.

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#28 Jonathan Willis
January 07 2009, 08:11PM
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Also, Darcy Hordichuk is now apparently "Hardichuk", according to Sportsnet.

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#29 Hockey Gods
January 07 2009, 08:15PM
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Where is everyone?

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#30 Hockey Gods
January 07 2009, 08:18PM
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Mitchell will be a marked man now. I bet Struds is the first one to address it.

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#31 jeanshorts
January 07 2009, 08:19PM
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How come no one told me that boarding became legal now? Robyn Regher must be smiling for the first time in his life.

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#32 Jonathan Willis
January 07 2009, 08:19PM
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Isn't that particular hit listed under "boarding"?

Hopefully Gilbert's OK; that would be a bit of a blow.

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#33 Hockey Gods
January 07 2009, 08:21PM
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Especially since the hit came from a dman. You would think Mitchell has recieved enough of those that he would let up a little.

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#34 jeanshorts
January 07 2009, 08:22PM
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I'm also glad it only took DeBrusk 2 minutes before he mixed up Sundin with Sedin.

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#35 Jonathan Willis
January 07 2009, 08:23PM
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Stortini seems angry. I like that.

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#36 Hockey Gods
January 07 2009, 08:23PM
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Atta boy Storts, go after a big name guy.

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#37 jeanshorts
January 07 2009, 08:25PM
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No refs tonight or what?

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#38 Hockey Gods
January 07 2009, 08:26PM
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This game might get ugly for a few minutes

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#39 jeanshorts
January 07 2009, 08:26PM
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Good call back. Otherwise Bill McReary's(sp?) mustache would have ended up at the bottom of the North Saskatchewan.

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#40 Jonathan Willis
January 07 2009, 08:26PM
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Well, they called it, thankfully.

I think Mitchell just experienced what they call "karma".

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#41 oilersnation
January 07 2009, 08:26PM
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no goal

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#42 Hockey Gods
January 07 2009, 08:27PM
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Hey Labarbra still wears purple hockey socks under his pads. Come on nucks buck up and buy him some team colours.

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#43 jeanshorts
January 07 2009, 08:27PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Well, they called it, thankfully. I think Mitchell just experienced what they call “karma”.

He's also going to experience Karma when Strudwick gives him a Stortini smile.

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#44 Jonathan Willis
January 07 2009, 08:28PM
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Good couple of shifts from Nilsson - say what you will, he's one of those guys that can skate the puck into the zone.

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#45 oilersninja
January 07 2009, 08:29PM
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I love this site so much I called myself the nation...oopsy

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#46 jeanshorts
January 07 2009, 08:30PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Good couple of shifts from Nilsson - say what you will, he’s one of those guys that can skate the puck into the zone.

When he feels like it. Getting him jazzed to play hockey seems to be the big problem.

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#47 Hockey Gods
January 07 2009, 08:31PM
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@ Jonathan Willis: I just wish he was more consistant with it.

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#48 Jonathan Willis
January 07 2009, 08:31PM
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@ jeanshorts:

Lots of guys like that, though.

Hopefully Nilsson clicks eventually - getting sent down did it last season, and the light went on for a while then.

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#49 Jonathan Willis
January 07 2009, 08:33PM
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Well, Nilsson seems on tonight, anyway. Gagner turned the puck over just inside the zone, and Nilsson went to retrieve it.

He actually hasn't looked that bad (to my eye) since Hemsky went down; maybe that last bit of criticism woke him up.

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#50 jeanshorts
January 07 2009, 08:35PM
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Who the hell is Hardichuck?

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