Drink it up: Oil have a tough weekend ahead

Jason Gregor
October 23 2009 10:04AM

Drink it all in, Oilers fans. Drink it up! But don’t be one of those ANNOYING fans, who claims you saw this coming, because none of you would have dreamed this BIG.

Most of you in OilersNation woke up this morning still vibrating after watching something you haven’t seen in Edmonton in 21 years. The last time two Oiler players registered five points in the same game was in November, 1988 v. the Los Angeles Kings when Jimmy Carson and Glenn Anderson each tallied a five spot.

Last night Dustin Penner and Ales Hemsky set career highs with five points. Hemsky had registered four points on four different occasions, while Penner, until last night, had one three-point night in his career back on Nov 30th, 2005 when he scored two goals and an assist in a 6-1 Ducks win over Phoenix.

Penner continues to be not only the surprise of the Oilers, but the surprise of the entire NHL. If any GM thought Penner was capable of this, they would have dialed up Steve Tambellini in the summer, and Tambellini probably would have traded him, and most Oilers fans would have said, “Good riddance.”

Rather than harp on that, or pull out the lame, “If only MacTavish wouldn’t have stunted his growth,” I think you should sit back, go to NHL.com and click on stats. Hell, make that page as your screen saver because Penner is 3rd in league scoring and Hemsky is tied for 17th. Yes, that same Hemsky who a week ago some of you thought should be traded.

Embrace it.

Enjoy it.

Because who knows how long it will last. And the only thing worse than pretending you thought Penner had this in him, is being the fan who just waits for the other shoe to fall.

Sure, the Oilers gave up four goals, and more than 30 shots again, but even the most pessimistic fan has to admit the Oilers have been damn entertaining this year.

Isn’t that what you pay for?

New Found Glory days?

During the glory years the Oilers scored a lot, and gave up lots of goals, but they won. Who cares how they win as long as they win. Oiler fans can’t be choosy about wins, because they have been rare for many years.

The Oilers haven’t had 40 regulation wins since 1988, and they haven’t won their division since 1987. I know it is only nine games, but 6-2-1 is a great start and it’s time some of you learn how to believe your team can win.

Can Penner, Hemsky and Sam Gagner become a consistent first line? Why not?

Of course they won’t combine for 16 shots and 13 points every game, but why can’t they fluctuate between three and six points a game?

For years you’ve watched other teams that have players come out of nowhere and produce big numbers, so maybe it’s time Penner becomes one of those guys.

Make sure you enjoy today, because the Oilers have back-to-back games v. Calgary and Vancouver this weekend, and in a span of 26 hours they could lose both, win both or split. But if Penner, Gagner and Hemsky play even half as well as they did last night, they will give the Oilers a fighting chance.

Right now the only thing that might stop Penner is the flu bug.

It is almost comical watching Penner right now, because with every point all of you become more of a fan of 27. Some of you are fighting the urge to run down to The Sports Closet right now and purchase a brand new Penner jersey. I suspect many of you will give in before Christmas if he continues to produce.

No one will say it

Don’t think the Oilers have forgotten about the Jarome Iginla hit/stick on Sheldon Souray on October 8th. Iginla is an honest player, and he is a great player, and I doubt the Oilers will go out of their way to cheap shot him, but there is no way he gets a free pass this Saturday.

I’m not saying we will see an old-fashioned, bloody Battle of Alberta, but expect the Oilers to be physical. Souray is well respected in the locker room, and the fact he isn’t any closer to returning won’t be forgotten.

Don’t expect the players or Quinn to say anything, but trust me, they are thinking it. Back-to-back games against their two most hated rivals after a riveting come-from-behind victory should make for one of the more exciting October weekends of Oiler hockey that we’ve seen in Edmonton in many years.

This is one of the few times I'm actually excited to be going to Calgary, because I think the atmosphere at the Saddledome will be intense, and hopefully the game lives up to it.

Drink it up!

Field goal for a million

Tonight at halftime of the Tiger Cats/Argonauts game on TSN, Edmonton native, Steven Olson could win a million bucks if he hits a 50-yard field goal. The 25-year-old graduate student can win other prizes from 20 yards, 30 yards and 40 yards, but the 50-yarder is what matters.

Good luck, man.

Last day for Drafts!

Today also marks the final day that you can sign up for our NationDrafts online. Go to NationDrafts.com and make sure you're entered. There are some awesome prizes from all of the companies taking part this season. Tell your friends!

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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 Chris.
October 23 2009, 10:13AM
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Twenty years. I've waited twenty years to cheer for a good hockey team... Sure hope the wheels don't fall off!

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#2 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
October 23 2009, 10:27AM
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Did you get Olson on your show last night?

It's nice to be feeling this way right now, but come monday it could be a different tune.

Any word on callups? Does JDD get a game in the back to back or is it a wait and see what happens saturday first?

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#3 Hemmercules
October 23 2009, 10:30AM
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One game. I'll believe the first line hype if they can pull off a decent amount of points in the next two games. Penner I'm not worried about, but will Hem and Gags disappear tomorrow night and the next???

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#4 Ender
October 23 2009, 10:30AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Enjoy it. Because who knows how long it will last. And the only thing worse than pretending you thought Penner had this in him, is being the fan who just waits for the other shoe to fall.

I gingerly embraced it for the first time this season last night.

Don't hurt us again, Dustin. We may forgive, but we haven't forgotten yet.

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#5 Marsha
October 23 2009, 10:31AM
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I've been defending Penner for two years to everyone and their dog. Finally, I can say told ya so! Did I think he could be this good? Not quite, it's a pleasant surprise. Hopefully this line continues to click because it was a pleasure to watch last night.

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#6 OilersNinja
October 23 2009, 10:32AM
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I must admit it was hilarious hearing the fans at the game last night chant "DP,DP,DP", It sounded like an after party at Gregor's pad...haha!!!

Having said that, the Oilers last night were inspirational to watch. So much that, I went from not drinking to being passed out at the wood at The Pint!!!

Yup.... this is the glory days!!!!

Keep it up boys!!

DP for PM.... I think I will go to source adult and pick that up tonight!!

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#7 Hemmercules
October 23 2009, 10:32AM
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Hey Bingofuel, when is the new nation gear going to be on sale???

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#8 optionlost
October 23 2009, 10:37AM
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Ahhhh Thank you "The Penner" and dare I say "the Hemsky"... Not to forget khabanero. Honestly, all the nick name junk aside, its games like this that give the true fans relief. Best of luck on the weekend.. Oilers 1 the Flu 0 ..........

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#9 Jeff
October 23 2009, 10:49AM
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If that Line can prove to be dangerous against the Nucks and Lames then maybe we have something. It would also be nice to play a 60 minute game.

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#10 jeanshorts
October 23 2009, 10:59AM
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I've liked Penner since day one. Even during his lowest lows last year, when I was seconds away from punching things out of frustration at his lackluster efforts something in the back of my mind would tell me to not give up yet. And man am I glad to see it finally paying off.

I said it last night and I'll say it again, last night may well have been Sam Gagner's coming out party as a legit number one center. I'm still amazed at how comfortable he looked out there. This team is making forward progress for once? WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON???

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#11 I'm a Scientist!
October 23 2009, 11:04AM
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@OilersNinja

I must admit it was hilarious hearing the fans at the game last night chant "DP,DP,DP", It sounded like an after party at Gregor's pad...haha!!!

Yes! My favorite line of the day!

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#12 team dean
October 23 2009, 11:05AM
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i'm not gonna say i expected this much success, but i was optimistic. i have always been a Penner fan, and i truely believe the lack of his success was do to his being put in oppurtunities where it was impossible to succeed. sure all the blame can't be layed on Mac T, but i believe a large portion of it should be. i've watched most games this year, a couple live even, and every time Penner hits the ice as a fan i am expecting something to happen. that kinda thing shouldn't come over night, that was always there but just wasn't utalized. i'm sure the big P will have a couple of slumps this year, even te greats have those. but i would not be shocked with a 30-30 season from him. 4.25 a season might look like a bargain.

p.s we finally have a top line, and Horcoff is a perfect fit on the second line.

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#13 smiliegirl15
October 23 2009, 11:19AM
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Marsha wrote:

I've been defending Penner for two years to everyone and their dog. Finally, I can say told ya so! Did I think he could be this good? Not quite, it's a pleasant surprise. Hopefully this line continues to click because it was a pleasure to watch last night.

What she said! He has exceeded my expectations too but it feels so good to finally be able to say "See, Penner IS awesome!".

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#14 Bob Cob
October 23 2009, 11:32AM
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Keep it up Penner, I bashed him last year and the year before but have to give him props for manning up and turning his game around. It wasn't all Mac T's fault with Penner, Mac T saw the potential in Penner but could never find it, and went about trying to find it the wrong way.

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#15 Rigger
October 23 2009, 11:36AM
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jeanshorts wrote:

I've liked Penner since day one. Even during his lowest lows last year, when I was seconds away from punching things out of frustration at his lackluster efforts something in the back of my mind would tell me to not give up yet. And man am I glad to see it finally paying off.

I said it last night and I'll say it again, last night may well have been Sam Gagner's coming out party as a legit number one center. I'm still amazed at how comfortable he looked out there. This team is making forward progress for once? WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON???

True enough, you know he had the skill but the effort wasn't there for whatever reason. Thankfully he's been working hard to turn it around this year. This is the Penner we've all been looking forward to seeing.

Gagner was great last night. He won most of his faceoffs and worked hard. I think it may be too early to say that Horc won't be back on the top unit, but I think that Sam will get a few games for a good look for sure. He did look a lot more comfortable with Hemmer than he has in the past, so maybe he just needed time to mature and grow in his development.

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#16 Senator Theo
October 23 2009, 11:43AM
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Who knew that what this team needed to battle the flu was a shot of Vitamin P?

Hopefully, the rest of the team is firing by Saturday night. Go Oilers!

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#17 BK
October 23 2009, 11:48AM
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GREGGOR WROTE: go to NHL.com and click on stats. Hell, make that page as your screen saver because Penner is 3rd in league scoring and Hemsky is tied for 17th.

AND THEN CHECK OUT GOALTENDING! - DESLAURIERS #1 in both top catagories! LMAO

Anyone know where I can get good seats on the parade route!?!?! :-)

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#18 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
October 23 2009, 12:01PM
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BK wrote:

GREGGOR WROTE: go to NHL.com and click on stats. Hell, make that page as your screen saver because Penner is 3rd in league scoring and Hemsky is tied for 17th.

AND THEN CHECK OUT GOALTENDING! - DESLAURIERS #1 in both top catagories! LMAO

Anyone know where I can get good seats on the parade route!?!?! :-)

Depends they might do it by the site where the new building is going, or it could be done on Jasper ave. Might have to setup shop in two spots.

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#19 TonyT
October 23 2009, 12:21PM
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Any word on which game JDD will start?

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#20 TonyT
October 23 2009, 12:34PM
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Calgary ruins everything:

http://flames.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=40650

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#21 jeanshorts
October 23 2009, 12:42PM
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@TonyT

Christin? Eran? Kylah? They can't even spell names correctly in Calgary.

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#22 Smokin' Ray
October 23 2009, 12:54PM
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HAPPY BIRTHDAY GREGOR! Hope it's a good day.

GOILERS!

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#23 TonyT
October 23 2009, 12:57PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

Christin? Eran? Kylah? They can't even spell names correctly in Calgary.

This just in: Oilers add "big country ice crew" to a litany of offences by the Calgary Flames (after Iginla trip and '89 Stanley Cup), dedicate Saturdays game to human decency and female rights.

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#24 Dan the Man
October 23 2009, 01:31PM
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TonyT wrote:

Calgary ruins everything:

http://flames.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=40650

The funny thing is that only 2 of those girls are actually from Calgary. One is even from Edmonton...we really need ice girls.

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#25 crosbyrocks87
October 23 2009, 01:44PM
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Penner....... Team Canada?

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#26 Lofty
October 23 2009, 01:45PM
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Chris. wrote:

Twenty years. I've waited twenty years to cheer for a good hockey team... Sure hope the wheels don't fall off!

What were you doing in 2006?

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#27 Senator Theo
October 23 2009, 01:52PM
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@TonyT

Is "Titanic" a book?

http://flames.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=57770

Those ladies can't even spell Jarro McGinla.

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#29 Wangtaco
October 23 2009, 01:53PM
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@Dan the Man

Yeah, but we need Chicago-level ice girls. The Flames ice girls are a gaggle of sixes...aside from Christin. She is nice. Very nice. Who knew T.B had the talent?

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#30 stilldrinkingthekoolaid
October 23 2009, 02:04PM
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Lofty wrote:

What were you doing in 2006?

Probably cheering for the same bunch of over achievers we all were cheering.

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#31 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
October 23 2009, 02:06PM
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Lofty wrote:

What were you doing in 2006?

Not bandwagoning like the rest of you chumps. He's been hating on the Oilers since the Gretzky trade.

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#32 Chris.
October 23 2009, 02:16PM
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Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things wrote:

Not bandwagoning like the rest of you chumps. He's been hating on the Oilers since the Gretzky trade.

No.... Hahaha. I was cheering like mad through the 06 run. I think I'm referring to the fact that the Oilers haven't had a 100pt season in over twenty years or opened the playoffs at home in almost as long. The 2006 playoff run was magic... the regular season was anything but.

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#33 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
October 23 2009, 03:09PM
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Senator Theo wrote:

Is "Titanic" a book?

http://flames.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=57770

Those ladies can't even spell Jarro McGinla.

Bahaha!

If you like that one, you'll love this... (same guy).

We're playing hold 'em and the flop comes up as a pair of kings and a 10. He raises heavy and the turn comes up another 10. He drops even more cash on the table. He's in with 2 other people who are also betting heavily. River comes up a jack and he goes all in.

Hand #1 comes up a full house, kings and 10s.

Hand #2 comes up a full house, jacks and 10s.

Him (without a word of a lie): *reveals his hand, a pair of 9s* "Sorry to knock you guys out so early, but I've got 3 pair."

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#34 OvenChicken8 - Team JSBM
October 23 2009, 03:16PM
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@Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things

LOL!!! that is too funny.

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#35 Scottdids
October 23 2009, 03:32PM
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On the Big Country Ice Crew,

Kylah's life ambition is "to marry someone rich" and her hobby is "being grumpy."

Kelsie's person she would most like to meet is "someone who has travelled the world and experienced some amazing things."

Meagen's hobby is surfing (in Calgary?)

Kate's favorite book is Kama Sutra.

Kate's person she would most like to meet is Bob Barker.

They're not there for their minds I guess.

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#36 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
October 23 2009, 03:33PM
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@Scottdids

Word on the street - when Christin grows up, she wants to be a principal (or a caterpillar).

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#37 Racki
October 23 2009, 04:14PM
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The best way to get back at Iginla is on the scoresheet, but while they're at it, have guys like JFJ and Stortini laying the body on their stars all night.

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#38 Dennis
October 23 2009, 04:46PM
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I'm loving the early hot start but I hope no one messes it up by going after that nice Mr. Iginla!

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#39 Lofty
October 23 2009, 07:00PM
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Chris. wrote:

No.... Hahaha. I was cheering like mad through the 06 run. I think I'm referring to the fact that the Oilers haven't had a 100pt season in over twenty years or opened the playoffs at home in almost as long. The 2006 playoff run was magic... the regular season was anything but.

Well said... I was worried that you were a bandwagoner that forgot about '06.

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#40 Lofty
October 23 2009, 07:07PM
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Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things wrote:

Not bandwagoning like the rest of you chumps. He's been hating on the Oilers since the Gretzky trade.

What, are you his sister?

dont call me a bandwagoner,I take that personal... furthest thing from it.

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#41 Pajamah
October 23 2009, 10:52PM
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Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things wrote:

Word on the street - when Christin grows up, she wants to be a principal (or a caterpillar).

when I grow up, I'm going to live with underground Grandma!!

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#42 Cool Beans
October 23 2009, 11:23PM
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I would like to take this opportunity to brag my hero selection made before the season started. It was none other than Dustin Penner. I'm not saying I expected this much but he's my hero none the less.

Also one line I would like to hear on Saturday "Hello, Jarome my name is Steve Mcintyre"

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#43 N squared
October 24 2009, 10:56AM
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Yup Two jersey's I'd like to buy right of two guys I'd never dream of buying... Penner and Comrie! Who'd a thunk it!

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