OilersNation's 2009-10 Western Conference Predictions

bingofuel
October 02 2009 12:00PM

west-conf-ON

Oh sure, the puck hasn't even touched the ice yet for the Little Team That Can (And Will)™. But that's never stopped the writers here at OilersNation from putting on their prognostication (I had to look it up) hats to determine how things are going to shake out this season. Find out what's going to happen in the Western Conference this season, according to OilersNation.

Robin Brownlee's Predictions

THE PLAYOFF TEAMS

  1. San Jose
  2. Detroit
  3. Vancouver
  4. Chicago
  5. Calgary
  6. Columbus
  7. Anaheim
  8. St. Louis

The Sharks are loaded up front and are the class of the West... the Red Wings will slip some but will hold off the Blackhawks in the Central . . . loaded with grit and skill up front and set in goal with Roberto Luongo, the Canucks could overtake Detroit for second overall... the Flames have a great blue line but are suspect up front . . . watch the Blue Jackets climb the ranks with youngsters Derick Brassard and Nikita Filatov providing Rick Nash some offensive support... love him or hate him, the Ducks will miss Chris Pronger and Anaheim could easily slip two spots, opening the door for Dallas or Edmonton.

THE ALSO-RANS

9. Dallas 10. Edmonton 11. Nashville 12. Los Angeles 13. Phoenix 14. Minnesota 15. Colorado

NO CIGAR FOR THE MIGHTY OIL

I'm leery of expecting more than 50 games from Nikolai Khabibulin, who didn't inspire great confidence in pre-season, and that makes goaltending a question with unproven Jeff Deslauriers as the back-up... unless Gilbert Brule is the answer, GM Steve Tambellini still has a gaping hole in the line-up until he goes out and gets a bonafide face-off man and penalty killer... the Oilers will bleed points in division games against the Flames and Canucks... special teams should be better, but the penalty killing was so inept last season it'll need to improve 10 places just to be middle of the pack and will have to do it without Fernando Pisani to start the season... Dustin Penner looked rejuvenated in pre-season, but in his two seasons with the Oilers he's yet to show he can maintain any consistency... Sam Gagner needs to put a first-half together for the first time in three seasons and he'll have do it with Pat Quinn's shoe in his backside as he's starting on the fourth line.

Jason Gregor's Predictions

Outside of three teams, I think there are nine teams that could take the final five playoff spots.

Locks:

The Sharks. They’ll win the west by ten points, because they are the best regular season team in the league. Thornton and Heatley will light it up and the Shark Tank is still one of the most intimidating rinks in the league.

The Hawks. They are still very young, but their playoff run last year will only make them better. I’m still not sold on Huet, but the Hawks depth will push them to the top of their division.

The Wings. I’m sure sick of this team, because they aren’t that exciting to watch, but man are they good. The Hawks will give them a run for the division, and I think the Wings will actually finish fourth, but they are in easily.

Now it gets difficult. Everyone is in love with the Canucks, and most are picking them to win the NW. Outside of the Sedin Sisters, they don’t have many proven scorers up front. Will Burrows be that productive again? What about Kesler? I like the grit those two have so I’ll go with the Canucks, but the NW will be tight.

In fifth I will go with the Blue Jackets. Derek Brassard will make Nash a 48-goal man this year, and the Jackets are loaded with young talented players. Their defense is questionable, but look for Scott Howson to address that as the year progresses.

The Flames won’t be very exciting on or off the ice. They might have the worst quotable team in the league, but Brent Sutter will ensure they play stifling defence and finish 6th. The problem for the Flames is that they won’t get out of the first round because Kiprusoff will be burnt out once again.

The Oilers were a speed bump down the stretch last year, and considering nine of their forward underachieved and they were still in the playoffs with ten games to go, I’ll put them in 7th. Quinn and his staff will make them more accountable, and their goals against will go down. Their PK will be better and that probably gives them at least two more wins, toss in the new coaching staff and the Oilers manage to win the dog fight for the last two playoff spots.

My surprise pick will be the Los Angeles Kings finally getting to the dance. Drew Doughty is outstanding, and they have lots of depth up front. Their goaltending will be a question mark, but I like what Dean Lombardi has built in LA and the Kings will make the playoff for the first time since the 2001/2002 season.

The Blues will miss the playoff by one point, because they will be decimated by injuries again and many of their young kids won’t perform like they did last season.

The Ducks are another team I have fallen out of the race. Their backend isn’t as strong, and something tells me they are ready for an off-year. The Preds and Coyotes will also be close. The Avs will finish last and have the best odds of choosing first overall.

I do think that if any team from 4th to 12th suffers one or two significant injuries they won’t make it to the dance. Let the games begin….

Jonathan Willis' Predictions

  1. Detroit
  2. San Jose
  3. Vancouver
  4. Chicago
  5. Anaheim
  6. Calgary
  7. Columbus
  8. Edmonton
  9. Minnesota
  10. Dallas
  11. Los Angeles
  12. St. Louis
  13. Nashville
  14. Phoenix
  15. Coloroado

These predictions were extremely difficult to put together.  However, that’s not going to stop me from starting at the top and working my way down through the flawed reasoning and poor assumptions that I used to create them.

Detroit’s obviously a very good team, and while most people think San Jose will be better they’ve really done a number on their defensive depth over the summer and I think they might be in some trouble when injuries strike.  I almost did something really wild and slotted Vancouver up top, but the Canucks are a little ways back of those first two teams.  The other thing worth mentioning about Detroit is that I see Osgood as being significantly better in the regular season this year.

Chicago’s in the same range as the top three teams, but I’d peg them just a little lower than the Red Wings.  Anaheim underachieved last year, something that won’t happen again, and Calgary’s a very good team hampered by lousy goaltending.  Columbus rounds out the best of the West; I’m banking here on an improved powerplay and no disappearing act from Steve Mason.

The teams ranked 8th through 13th are largely interchangeable, and it wouldn’t surprised me at all to see the order’s switched around at the end of the season.  Edmonton has a bunch of question marks, the most serious of which is whether Nikolai Khabibulin is going to be a) healthy and b) motivated.  The Minnesota Wild were actually quite a decent team last year in a lot of ways, but it’s a season of transition for them with the departure of Lemaire.  Turco should be better in Dallas, but I’m still not sold on their generic-brand defensive corps.  I like most of what L.A. has done but I trust neither their goaltenders nor the health of guys like Smyth, Williams and Stoll.  I’ve probably short-changed the Blues here (particularly if Kariya and McDonald come back strong from injury) but they were a miserable 5-on-5 team last year and that must change.  Finally, Nashville’s always a playoff threat but they’re one of the least potent offensive teams in the NHL right now.

Off-ice issues in Phoenix have forced G.M. Don Maloney to go bargain-hunting; the team’s performance will reflect that.  Meanwhile Colorado, despite a decent new goaltender, is in complete rebuild mode, and have not one but two players from the last draft in the opening night lineup.

Wanye Gretz's Predictions

THE HAVES

  1. Detroit
  2. San Jose
  3. Calgary
  4. Chicago
  5. Vancouver
  6. Anaheim
  7. Dallas
  8. Edmonton

As much as things have improved in San Jose with the addition of that son of a bitch Heatley, we can't see anyone taking down the Red Wings this season in the West. Those dinks in Calgary have greatly improved with the addition of Bouwmeester and unless Iginla decides to retire they should win the division - though they will lose to the Oilers in the seasonal series. The rest speak for themeselves until 8th place. We pick the Oilers to make the playoffs if only because they are going into the season with little love and low expectations. Translation: Expect a bounce back year from Les Oilers, who will make several large moves during the season changing their roster dramatically.

THE HAVE NOTS

9. St. Louis 10. Nashville 11. Columbus 12. Minnesota 13. LA 14. Phoenix 15. Colorado

Know who sucks? These seven sucking teams made of suckers sure do! While most of these squads lay claim to "rebuilding" we know what these teams are really up to. Tax evasion. Tax evasion and murder for hire schemes. Pity the poor Coyotes down there at the bottom of the conference. Can you spell d-o-o-m-e-d? If only the worst thing that will happen to your team this year was missing the playoffs huh Phoenix? If only.... The Avalanche will smartly rebuild and be back in the playoffs within 4 years. Book it in your book of bookings.

Amber McCormick's Predictions

I am going to be first to admit that I am the worst at picking any long range predictions. I thought Beta would outlast VHS.

At risk of the backlash I could face or ridicule I will face, here are my predictions... random random predictions.

  1. San Jose- 114
  2. Detroit- 108
  3. Vancouver- 107
  4. Calgary- 104
  5. Edmonton- 103
  6. Chicago- 100
  7. Anaheim- 99
  8. Columbus- 97
  9. Minnesota- 96
  10. Nashville- 95
  11. Dallas- 93
  12. St. Louis- 93
  13. Los Angeles- 92
  14. Phoenix- 88
  15. Colorado- 80

I thought about this so much that at one point nothing made any sense!!!

bingofuel's Predictions

In order to predict the Western Conference standings at the end of the season, I mixed together several noxious chemicals and fed them to one of those sign-language-signing Gorillas. All that this resulted in was a horny gorilla chasing me around my basement. NOTHING MORE.

So I asked my roommate instead. He was passed out on the floor. His husky, Vinny, provided me with these answers.

All I'll say is this: I think/hope/can't promise but would like to think... that the Oilers make the playoffs this year. They have a lot going for them, and a lot working against them. I guess we'll get an idea of how much of a clust#$@% this'll be come Saturday...

  1. San Jose
  2. Detroit
  3. Chicago
  4. Calgary
  5. Vancouver
  6. Anaheim
  7. Dallas
  8. Edmonton
  9. Columbus
  10. Minnesota
  11. St. Louis
  12. Colorado
  13. Los Angeles
  14. Nashville
  15. Phoenix

The competition...

Read what the enemy has to say about the Western Conference:

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Bingofuel is the handsome cyborg who pulls all the levers behind the curtains of the OilersNation. When he isn't running the site, he's plugged into a wall socket, recharging. Or Brownlee and Wanye are playing "keep away" with him. He gets little to no respect.
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#101 rubbertrout
October 02 2009, 03:35PM
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GSC wrote:

If last night was an indication, Calgary is going to be just as defensive, if not more so, under Sutter. Winning a game 5-3 despite being outshot roughly 40-20 seldom happens.

Giving up 40 hardly qualifies as a defensive success does it?

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#102 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
October 02 2009, 03:37PM
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Cable guy is coming tomorrow morning, so I'm missing all these games. I'm in for tomorrow - GD, B!

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#103 dyckster
October 02 2009, 03:38PM
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RossCreek wrote:

St. Louis has Conklin… …they’re goin to the Cup final~

Or he will at least clinch the Blues a spot in the next regular season outdoor game.

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#104 rubbertrout
October 02 2009, 03:39PM
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rubbertrout wrote:

OvenChicken8 wrote: 1.Detroit 2.San Jose 3.Edmonton 4.Chicago 5.Calgary 6.Columbus 7.Los Angelas 8.St. Louis blockquote> Dude I love your wide eyed naivete and I’d love to be proven wrong but in my book this might get one of those implied face-palms. *fixed
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#105 Dustin Terpstra
October 02 2009, 03:39PM
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Hey guys I know this is fof-topic but I'm just looking for some support from my fellow oiler fans. I was on show alst night on CMT called Karaoke Star. and voting runs til october 7th at midnight. It's the halifax episode but I'm originally from just north of E-town. If you all could vote for me as mush as possible as there is no limit to the amount of times you vote that would be amazing. Thanks Guys!! Heres the link http://www.cmt.ca/kstar/Vote.aspx?round_id=25 Also if you click on my pic you'll see a video clip of me

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#106 rubbertrout
October 02 2009, 03:39PM
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@ rubbertrout: Apparently I'm retarded. WHen does the edit button come?

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#107 RossCreek
October 02 2009, 03:40PM
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rubbertrout wrote:

GSC wrote: If last night was an indication, Calgary is going to be just as defensive, if not more so, under Sutter. Winning a game 5-3 despite being outshot roughly 40-20 seldom happens. Giving up 40 hardly qualifies as a defensive success does it?

No. No, it does not. They're going to have to tighten up; something I think will happen over the course of their first 10 games as they settle in with the new system.

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#108 RossCreek
October 02 2009, 03:41PM
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@ dyckster: LOL. Ya, I can't believe Philli didn't sign him for the outdoor game. they went with 'the shutout king' Brian Boucher. Idiots~

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#109 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
October 02 2009, 03:49PM
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@ RossCreek:

Tch, yeah - a system of... SUCKING!

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#110 Purple Spikey Anal Beads
October 02 2009, 03:50PM
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The Flamers are gopign to do whatthey do every year play well until march then drop off and then loose in the first round

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#111 cableguy
October 02 2009, 03:56PM
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Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things wrote:

Cable guy is coming tomorrow morning, so I’m missing all these games. I’m in for tomorrow – GD, B!

f-ing cableguy

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#112 Fish
October 02 2009, 04:03PM
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@ Dustin Terpstra: I threw a vote your way, Dustin.

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#113 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
October 02 2009, 04:17PM
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@ cableguy:

I'm okay with him unless he doesn't show up at all. He is, after all, bringing me the wonderful world of sports and internet. I've been missing out on all of this talk of the ice girls because I'm only able to access the Nation at work.

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#114 Robin Brownlee
October 02 2009, 04:21PM
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Reggie wrote:

Robin, did the Team1260 listeners or Gregor or somebody convince you Dallas isn’t good enough to be in the top 8 ? You changed your pick from the other day. What was the deciding point ?

Yes, it was the listeners . . .

Actually, I had Dallas and St. Louis pretty much even up for eighth. After looking at the Blues pre-season stats and seeing that Kariya and some of the other players who were injured last year are back and producing, I gave St. Louis the nod. That, and I like the thought of Marc Crawford missing the playoffs. In any case, I still think they're neck-and-neck.

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#115 Bob Cob
October 02 2009, 04:33PM
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RossCreek wrote:

Secondary scoring is an issue after their 1st game? A 5-3 win? Where the goal scorers were Giordano, Bourque, Prust & Pardy? “Based on how Calgary played last night… Secondary scoring will be an issue” Yeeeee-ahh. ~Makes Sense~

It will be a problem, Louongo sucked last night and should of had 2 of the first 3 period Flames goals. The Canucks outplayed the Flames and should have won, so to repeat “Based on how Calgary played last night… Secondary scoring will be an issue”

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#116 ahuoseh
October 02 2009, 04:46PM
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If you dont think the oil will finish 7th or 8th then eat a dick

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#117 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
October 02 2009, 04:56PM
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@ ahuoseh:

Amber thinks they're going to finish 5th.

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#118 RossCreek
October 02 2009, 04:56PM
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ahuoseh wrote:

If you dont think the oil will finish 7th or 8th then eat a dick

That statement says volumes...

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#119 Reggie
October 02 2009, 05:31PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

That, and I like the thought of Marc Crawford missing the playoffs.

I like the idea of Crawford missing the playoffs too ... btw ... Kariya had a pair of goals today.

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#120 RossCreek
October 02 2009, 05:38PM
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from PuckDaddy... a first glimpse of beloved wrestling icon and underrated film star Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as "The Tooth Fairy," as a hockey player who is forced to serve as an officially sanctioned Tooth Fairy for one week. The trailer is out... http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puck_daddy/post/Video-The-Rock-s-hockey-Tooth-Fairy-masterpiece?urn=nhl,193654

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#121 Dustin Terpstra
October 02 2009, 06:01PM
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Fish wrote:

@ Dustin Terpstra: I threw a vote your way, Dustin.

Hey thanks alot I really apprciate it and I would love to make the final round and win the ten grand. Oilers fans unite!!! Vote for me http://www.cmt.ca/kstar/Vote.aspx?round_id=25

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#122 Robin Brownlee
October 02 2009, 06:25PM
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Dustin Terpstra wrote:

Fish wrote: @ Dustin Terpstra: I threw a vote your way, Dustin. Hey thanks alot I really apprciate it and I would love to make the final round and win the ten grand. Oilers fans unite!!! Vote for me http://www.cmt.ca/kstar/Vote.aspx?round_id=25

Bugger off. Get laryingitis and die.

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#123 Dustin Terpstra
October 02 2009, 06:50PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Dustin Terpstra wrote: Fish wrote: @ Dustin Terpstra: I threw a vote your way, Dustin. Hey thanks alot I really apprciate it and I would love to make the final round and win the ten grand. Oilers fans unite!!! Vote for me http://www.cmt.ca/kstar/Vote.aspx?round_id=25 Bugger off. Get laryingitis and die.

whoaaaa wats with the hostility man look i realize its a hockey site which is why i said i know this is off topic. It's also the first time iv'e posted about something not hockey related.

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#124 HorPenSky
October 02 2009, 07:52PM
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IS that Naustrodomis???

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#125 Space Moose
October 02 2009, 08:30PM
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@ offside:

Wouldn't you rather those teams to not get a lottery pick? I loved it when we just snuck in infront of the 'nucks. Hate hearing about them at work. Didn't see a single kid at school wearing canuck garb today. Huzzah!

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#126 gammagangster
October 02 2009, 09:07PM
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1. Sharks 2. Wings 3. Flames 4. Hawks 5. 'nucks 6. Ducks 7. Blues 8. Oilers

9. Jackets 10. Stars 11. Kings 12. Preds 13. Wild 14. Yotes 15. Avs

It's going to be down to the wire. The difference between 7th and 12th spot probably won't be more than 7 pts.

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#127 constance
October 02 2009, 09:49PM
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Oilers to finish 5th AHAHAHHAHHAAH thats why you dont get a chick to predict hockey seasons

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#128 Pouzar
October 02 2009, 09:56PM
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Meh, alot of people are all dreamy with SJ, but they have some issues. Heatley and Thornton are a slick scoring duo, but who on that team is going to do the dirty work along the boards and in the corners to get those guys the puck in the first place? Their D also lacks depth. Huet can be beaten high glove side all night long - Chicago needs someone better. Phoenix will do better than most predict I think. They were actually 5th in the west at the all-star break last year.

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#129 David S
October 02 2009, 10:53PM
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Dustin Terpstra wrote:

Oilers fans unite!!! Vote for me

Brownlee's right.

Fans "unite" for a common cause, not a selfish cause.

Set up a deal with Wanye or Bingofuel whereby if you win you'll give half the cash to the Stollery and you might have something there.

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#130 Robin Brownlee
October 02 2009, 11:13PM
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@ Dustin Terpstra: That's not hostility. That's keeding. I keed. Hostility would be . . . nevermind.

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#131 Shapeman
October 02 2009, 11:43PM
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@ Robin Brownlee: @ Dustin Terpstra: no, hostility from brownlee would be him getting out the walker, shuffling to your house, then poking you in the arm until you went insane. He would then proceed to to irritate you with his irritants until he dies of old age..... so roughly 20 minutes... (RB I "keed")

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#132 Smokin' Ray
October 03 2009, 08:24AM
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*stunned look on face*

19 votes for finishing 1st!?! You guys must be joking right? Right?

GOILERS!

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#133 Smokin' Ray
October 03 2009, 08:25AM
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Oh yeah...

GAME DAY!!! WOOOOOOOOOOO!

GOILERS!

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#134 zuxmfdq
October 10 2009, 05:59AM
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