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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#151 Lofty
October 22 2009, 09:05PM
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Thats why Viz gets paid!

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#152 Smiley
October 22 2009, 09:05PM
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Hoodlum wrote:

Does anyone else miss Souray??

Yeah, but at least Lubo is still frickin' awesome.

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#153 jeanshorts
October 22 2009, 09:05PM
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GAME ON!

Beauty passing out there.

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#154 freeze
October 22 2009, 09:06PM
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Will you SOBs lay off on Hemsky for awhile now?

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#155 Rigger
October 22 2009, 09:09PM
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Ok, tell me why we waited so long to split up Hemmer from Goatcoff?

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#156 freeze
October 22 2009, 09:10PM
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Why won't Telus stop these stupid animal commercials already?!?!

The campaign was played out 10 years ago.

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#157 freeze
October 22 2009, 09:12PM
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@Rigger

Who are these clowns? Hey Katz, throw sportsnet some coinage to get some decent talent.

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#158 freeze
October 22 2009, 09:13PM
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hmmmmm, that wasn't really directed at you Rigger. I know you didn't put them on there.

Unless you did?!

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#159 freeze
October 22 2009, 09:14PM
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Beautiful, Heatly was a big ole 0-0-0 -3 tonight.

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#160 Rigger
October 22 2009, 09:15PM
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@freeze

Ok, I was wondering what you were talking about. LOL

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#161 Lofty
October 22 2009, 09:15PM
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freeze wrote:

Will you SOBs lay off on Hemsky for awhile now?

NO

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#162 Rigger
October 22 2009, 09:16PM
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I really hope that the lines stay the same for awhile, even when people get healthy. I would like to see how Pens, Gags and Hemmer do for a few games. Horcoff can go down another line for all I care.

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#163 Matt Henderson
October 22 2009, 09:19PM
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Rigger wrote:

Ok, tell me why we waited so long to split up Hemmer from Goatcoff?

Because of the false belief that Horcoff was preventing the puck from ending up in our net when Hemsky was on the ice.

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#164 freeze
October 22 2009, 09:19PM
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Lofty wrote:

NO

aww, c'mon on!

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#165 freeze
October 22 2009, 09:20PM
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Rigger wrote:

Ok, tell me why we waited so long to split up Hemmer from Goatcoff?

Because Gagner wasn't ready yet.

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#166 David S
October 22 2009, 09:24PM
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freeze wrote:

Because Gagner wasn't ready yet.

I think we can say that's no longer an issue.

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#167 Rigger
October 22 2009, 09:25PM
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^^ Yeah I would say it's more what Arch suggested. Thank god someone came to their senses.

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#168 OilerLoverFlameoutHater
October 22 2009, 09:25PM
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Good to see the reffin goin for us finally. The Hitchcock reference was great too for years I have been wonderin who he looked like. Spittin image I tell ya. CLASSIC!!!!!!

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#169 Rigger
October 22 2009, 09:27PM
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Holy crap, Gagner 100% on the dot tonight, or did I hear that wrong? I could have sworn Quinn said he was 7-0.

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#170 freeze
October 22 2009, 09:28PM
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Nice hit by 12!!

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#171 freeze
October 22 2009, 09:30PM
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Sweet. I love the aggressiveness. and draw the powerplay!

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#172 freeze
October 22 2009, 09:32PM
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YYESEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSYEYSEYEYEYSEYY!!!

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#173 Hoodlum
October 22 2009, 09:32PM
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This has got to be a career night for Penner....YEAH BABY

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#174 freeze
October 22 2009, 09:32PM
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That is a beauty line!

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#175 RossCreekNation
October 22 2009, 09:33PM
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Wow boys!

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#176 jeanshorts
October 22 2009, 09:34PM
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Is it just me or, uhh, has Gagner just arrived as a first line winger?

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#177 jeanshorts
October 22 2009, 09:34PM
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First line center. Center. Not winger. Center.

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#178 VicOiler
October 22 2009, 09:34PM
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This team will not quit, love it !!!!!!!!!

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#179 Lofty
October 22 2009, 09:35PM
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freeze wrote:

That is a beauty line!

Now Hemmer is safe!

More plays like that and the Oil could have something for the #1 PP.

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#180 Hoodlum
October 22 2009, 09:35PM
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A changing of the guard tonight for #1 center???? Is Horcoff going to be demoted??? I think so

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#181 Amber McCormick
October 22 2009, 09:35PM
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I really feel Penner is hell bent on putting me in my place. Maybe I'm just being paranoid.

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#182 VicOiler
October 22 2009, 09:36PM
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Amber McCormick wrote:

I really feel Penner is hell bent on putting me in my place. Maybe I'm just being paranoid.

Sorry your a nice girl and all, but if that's what it takes. I'm all for it.

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#183 Librarian Mike
October 22 2009, 09:37PM
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Amber McCormick wrote:

I really feel Penner is hell bent on putting me in my place. Maybe I'm just being paranoid.

I swear I saw him mouth your name when he got his 2nd tonight...just saying ;)

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#184 Hoodlum
October 22 2009, 09:38PM
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maybe if you ask him nicely, Amber, he will

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#185 Lofty
October 22 2009, 09:39PM
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Hemsky is moving his feet now... I hope you saw the back-check then the rush back up the ice after the 4 th goal. No scoring chance but havnt seen him move like that this year.

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#186 Amber McCormick
October 22 2009, 09:41PM
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What's Penner at now? 13 or 14 pts? Did he or did he not finish at 37 last year? I admit that it's a miraculous difference.

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#187 smiliegirl15
October 22 2009, 09:41PM
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Penner is outplaying Nash - who has the bargain contract now?!!!

I'm really glad this new line has inspired Hemsky to get in the game. Horcoff was dragging him down.

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#188 Librarian Mike
October 22 2009, 09:42PM
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@Amber McCormick

You think he`s good now, just wait until he plays against a MacT-coached team. He`ll probably end up with 7 goals or something.

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#189 Amber McCormick
October 22 2009, 09:43PM
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Librarian Mike wrote:

You think he`s good now, just wait until he plays against a MacT-coached team. He`ll probably end up with 7 goals or something.

And a wicked case of Suck-It-MacT!!!!

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#190 Amber McCormick
October 22 2009, 09:43PM
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@Hoodlum

We aren't speaking right now. Clearly, it's for the best

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#191 freeze
October 22 2009, 09:44PM
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DOMINATION!!!!

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#192 SirFozz
October 22 2009, 09:44PM
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YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!

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#193 Hoodlum
October 22 2009, 09:44PM
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I just wet myself

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#194 Librarian Mike
October 22 2009, 09:44PM
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YAY!!!!

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#195 Librarian Mike
October 22 2009, 09:45PM
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Blue Jacket`s just got lubed!

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#196 Lofty
October 22 2009, 09:45PM
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another point for Penner and another reason why Viz deserves his pay!

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#197 jeanshorts
October 22 2009, 09:45PM
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DID PENNER GET ANOTHER POINT ON THAT??????

WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON???

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#198 Hoodlum
October 22 2009, 09:45PM
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We, as in me and you, Amber??

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#199 Amber McCormick
October 22 2009, 09:45PM
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I had to go to the loo and I missed it! dammit

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#200 Amber McCormick
October 22 2009, 09:45PM
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@Hoodlum

No silly goose. DP and I

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