GDB IX: This team is sick

Jason Gregor
October 22 2009 11:08AM

The fifth place Oilers take on the seventh place Columbus Blue Jackets tonight. I’m positive that is the first time we’ve ever been able to write that sentence, as both teams are off to good starts. The Oilers, 5-2-1 are two points back of the Flames, while the Jackets, 5-2-0 are one point behind Chicago in the Central with two games in hand.

Gilbert Brule didn’t skate this morning and it seems unlikely that he will play tonight. Mike Comrie is also under the weather a bit, but word is they think he will be able to gut it out tonight. Ladislav Smid was back on the ice and it looks like he’ll go.

With Brule out, that means Steve MacIntyre will draw in, but expect a mixed bag of lines tonight.

Line rushes didn’t show us anything to tip us off. The new combinations of Dustin Penner/Sam Gagner/Ales Hemsky and Mike Comrie/Shawn Horcoff/Patrick O’Sullivan will be used, but with Brule out they might have to juggle and move Comrie into the middle.

We might see:

  • Penner – Gagner – Hemsky
  • Nilsson – Horcoff – O'Sullivan
  • Jacques – Cogliano – Moreau
  • MacIntyre – Comrie – Stortini

That is just a guess, but I don’t think you’ll see four set lines tonight. And if Mike Comrie gets worse who will they call up? Jordan Eberle is dominating the WHL and the Regina Pats have today and tomorrow off. Eberle has eleven goals, nineteen points so far this year. Regina is a much closer flight than Springfield so you never know.

This is the Oilers 7th home game out of their first nine, and a win tonight would get them the good start at home they wanted with a 5-1-1 record.

The Blue Jackets are 2-2 on the road this year, but in two of those games they’ve given up six goals, losing 6-3 to both San Jose and Calgary. In their other five games the Jackets have given up six goals, so when they are on they are very good defensively, but if the Oilers can get to them early they’ve shown a tendency to give up a lot.

At the end of practice Zack Stortini was taking draws. Will Pat Quinn put a grind line of Stortini, MacIntyre and Moreau together tonight at times? We will see. If that happens, then Cogliano moves up between Nilsson and Jacques, which might work. 

It is all speculation right now as to what the lines might look like, and I really don’t think it matters that much to be honest.

Regardless of who plays together, if they continue to play Quinn’s aggressive style they should be alright.

And Khabibulin left the ice right after practice, so he will get the start tonight.

Lunchtime Update!

Well my idea of Eberle won't happen. The Oilers confirmed that the flu bug is not a good enough reason to get an emergency call up for Eberle. They looked into and the league says that this case wouldn't fall under the guidelines of emergency call up. So no Eberle.

I was correct though with my hunch of Stortini in the middle.

He will play centre between Moreau and MacIntyre. Stortini played some centre in junior and his first year in the AHL he played centre in Iowa and Milwaukee. He also played the middle this preseason against Tampa Bay. So he has played there before.

Cogliano will move up and centre Jacques and Nilsson.

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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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#251 Brandon
October 22 2009, 10:15PM
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I think when Gregor said this team was sick he was talking about the offense

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#252 Librarian Mike
October 22 2009, 10:16PM
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@RossCreekNation

With Penner all full of piss and vinegar lately, I'm thinking he's going to have a go with Iggy. Now THAT is a reason to tune in.

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#253 RossCreekNation
October 22 2009, 10:19PM
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SirFozz wrote:

Two nights until the big showdown. We'll remain civil until game time. ;)

Oooooooo-kaaaaaaay, fine.

I was just getting ready for war... I think I can wait. Did I read the Flames are off to their best start ever? Does that mean anything?. They're notoriously slow starters. Looks like Iggy has awoke... will retribution rear its ugly head?

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#254 Rigger
October 22 2009, 10:22PM
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Gags with a 77.8% faceoff win, and Horc with a 41.7% win rate. I think Horcoff has been demoted for the next couple games.

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#255 SirFozz
October 22 2009, 10:23PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

Oooooooo-kaaaaaaay, fine.

I was just getting ready for war... I think I can wait. Did I read the Flames are off to their best start ever? Does that mean anything?. They're notoriously slow starters. Looks like Iggy has awoke... will retribution rear its ugly head?

Flames players like to kick orphaned puppies when not partying in gay disco clubs.

*sniper fire*

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#256 RossCreekNation
October 22 2009, 10:23PM
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Librarian Mike wrote:

With Penner all full of piss and vinegar lately, I'm thinking he's going to have a go with Iggy. Now THAT is a reason to tune in.

Indeed. Not sure if or who Iggy "go's", but I imagine he'll have a rough night... which I like because he tends to play better the more physically involved he is. I'm thinking maybe he tilts Jacques late 2nd/early 3rd. Or maybe Moreau early?

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#257 Tackleberry
October 22 2009, 10:27PM
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According to NHL.com as of 10:22pm October 22/09.

OFFENSIVE LEADERS

Points 1. Ovechkin 16 2. Thorton 15 3. PENNER 14

Goals 1. Ovechkin 9 2. Kovalchuk 9 3. PENNER 7

Plus/Minus 1. Grossman +11 2. Smid +10 3. Ovechkin +9 4. PENNER +9

WOW!

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#258 freeze
October 22 2009, 10:28PM
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RT @dantencer Penner on his season: "It's like the scene in Old School where the guy does gymnastics and goes 'I blacked out, what happened?'"

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#259 Senator Theo
October 22 2009, 10:29PM
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@SirFozz

I sure did. This is the Gene that we thought we were getting when we signed him!

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#260 SirFozz
October 22 2009, 10:30PM
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Tackleberry wrote:

According to NHL.com as of 10:22pm October 22/09.

OFFENSIVE LEADERS

Points 1. Ovechkin 16 2. Thorton 15 3. PENNER 14

Goals 1. Ovechkin 9 2. Kovalchuk 9 3. PENNER 7

Plus/Minus 1. Grossman +11 2. Smid +10 3. Ovechkin +9 4. PENNER +9

WOW!

Double wow!

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#261 Librarian Mike
October 22 2009, 10:30PM
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@RossCreekNation

Or maybe Moreau early?

Maybe we'll get lucky and Iginla will break his hand on Moreau's face. *runs and hides behind the wall*

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#262 SirFozz
October 22 2009, 10:30PM
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Senator Theo wrote:

I sure did. This is the Gene that we thought we were getting when we signed him!

Worth every penny. Nice cap hit.

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#263 Senator Theo
October 22 2009, 10:32PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

Oooooooo-kaaaaaaay, fine.

I was just getting ready for war... I think I can wait. Did I read the Flames are off to their best start ever? Does that mean anything?. They're notoriously slow starters. Looks like Iggy has awoke... will retribution rear its ugly head?

Their slow starts haven't done much for them - I guess a fast start is a nice change of pace. The Oilers started 4-0 last year too. ;)

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#264 Librarian Mike
October 22 2009, 10:33PM
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freeze wrote:

RT @dantencer Penner on his season: "It's like the scene in Old School where the guy does gymnastics and goes 'I blacked out, what happened?'"

Did he really say that? haha!

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#265 Archaeologuy
October 22 2009, 10:34PM
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Dustin Penner on team Canada?

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#266 Colin
October 22 2009, 10:34PM
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freeze wrote:

RT @dantencer Penner on his season: "It's like the scene in Old School where the guy does gymnastics and goes 'I blacked out, what happened?'"

It's early yet, but I think he just might be for reals.

Playing so well without our best D-man and the flu bodes quite well.

Saturday will be interesting, must win for the Oil can't go down 3 games in the season series. Wouldn't have thought these two teams would be playing for th would be for the division, but I love it, it's a shame there's no Oilers vs. Flames down the stretch.

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#267 Colin
October 22 2009, 10:35PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Dustin Penner on team Canada?

If he maintains his play he's not going to give them a choice.

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#268 Archaeologuy
October 22 2009, 10:41PM
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Colin wrote:

If he maintains his play he's not going to give them a choice.

I know, I have supported the guy even last year saying he was being misused and whatever, but not in my wildest imaginations did i think he could ever put himself in a position to throw his name into Team Canada's hat. But how could he not go if he keeps this up through November? And now the Oilers finally unshackle Hemmer and Penner by ridding the 1st line of Horcoff! I'm honestly beside myself watching Penner play.

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#269 Wanye
October 22 2009, 10:46PM
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I only hope Penner isn't dominating to this degree out of spite, although really who cares?

SQUEEEEEE

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#270 BarryS
October 22 2009, 10:52PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Dustin Penner on team Canada?

no, let other teams tire out their players, playing like this, Penner will need a rest.

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#271 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
October 22 2009, 11:06PM
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freeze wrote:

RT @dantencer Penner on his season: "It's like the scene in Old School where the guy does gymnastics and goes 'I blacked out, what happened?'"

That happens when Will Ferrell debates James Carville, not when the fat kid does gymnastics...

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#273 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
October 22 2009, 11:29PM
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@Jason Gregor

Ha! Yes. Vaughn has the cigarette sticking out of his mouth. I love that scene.

The fat kid does the vault or whatever it is with the springboard.

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#274 Senator Theo
October 22 2009, 11:42PM
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What a game to watch tonight. I know a lot of us thought Penner had more in him than he showed the last two years, but I would guess no one thought he had the ability to dominate a game like he did tonight. If he keeps this up, Kevin Lowe finally exhales. Oh, and Brian Burke pukes a little in his mouth.

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#275 trapoilerfan
October 23 2009, 01:46AM
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I think that the mighty Pat Quinn should tell all of his players to skip the Olympics. Penner is playing like a man possessed by one too many donair jokes. This team rocks and looks like they could be for real with winning games and having the goalie(s) to bail them out when need be. Obama deserves the Nobel Prize and I just smoked a doobs with Willie, peace y'all.

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