GDB III: Line shake-ups against the Flames

Jason Gregor
October 08 2009 11:15AM

Even though the Oilers are averaging four goals a game, Pat Quinn has decided to shake up all four of his lines.

Dustin Penner will skate with Shawn Horcoff and Ales Hemsky. Sam Gagner will centre JF Jacques and Patrick O’Sullivan, while Mike Comrie moves to the LW beside Gilbert Brule and Ryan Stone. Andrew Cogliano is back in the middle between Ethan Moreau and Zack Stortini.

And it looks like Jason Strudwick will see his first action alongside Lubomir Visnovsky. Steve Staios is out because of his head and Robert Nilsson will take a seat upstairs.

It's obvious why Penner is up on the first line, but it's a bit surprising that he was moved there to jump-start Horcoff and Hemsky. Those two haven’t been good at all, and hands up how many of you thought Penner would be used as a spark-plug for others.

It's a credit to Penner, because he is in good shape. He isn’t labouring skating up and down the ice, and in fact, he looks just as fresh late in the game as he does early.

Moving Comrie to the wing is a bit of a surprise, considering he is 80% in the draws so far. I wouldn’t be surprised if he takes a few of the draws playing with Brule. Gagner’s play has earned him a promotion and maybe he can somehow help O’Sullivan finish off the great scoring chances he has missed so far this season.

With all the shuffling, Quinn has remained true to his belief that he needs at least one banger on all of his lines.

The Oilers are expecting a more physical game from the Flames tonight. Last Saturday the Oilers were clearly the aggressor, and the Flames will try to match that.

And look for Quinn to match up Horcoff’s line versus Phaneuf and Regehr tonight. Those two have struggled in their own zone so far this year, and while Quinn doesn’t go out of his way to match lines look for him to try and get Hemsky away from Bouwmeester tonight.

Stone leads the Oilers with nine hits, and while he isn’t the best skater, he has been very consistent at finishing all of his checks. He has had two big hits, and landing a big hit is as tough as scoring a goal. If Stone continues to get at least one every two games, he’ll stick on the roster.

Smid has struggled, but I think Grebeshkov has been worse. However, his two points earned him a pass for another game. Quinn wants Nikolai Khabibulin to find his game and expect him to play tonight and Saturday against the Habs. It seems Tom Renney is doing the same with Grebeshkov. His play hasn’t been that much better, but the coaching staff believes his overall game is better than Smid's and they are hoping Grebeshkov finds some consistency soon.

Steve MacIntyre continues to practice as a D-man, and unless the coaches feel they need a super heavyweight in a game, I don’t expect him to get in the line-up soon.

Wayne Fleming worked a lot with Horcoff, Cogliano, Brule and Gagner on draws this morning. Gagner is a woeful 29% so far this year and he needs to improve drastically. Cogliano went against Brule for two different sets of five, and then he went against Stortini. Stortini was strictly trying power moves, and it looked they there were trying to get Cogliano more comfortable against a big centreman in the draw. Considering the Oilers don't have a big middle man, it makes sense to put Stortini in there strictly for the strength factor.

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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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#101 BarryS
October 08 2009, 03:38PM
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wiggleswag wrote:

O'Sullivan and Comrie will stay together (best combo so far).

I understand they're putting O'Sullivan with Gagne so Gagne's glorious passes might bank in off O'Sullivan's stick or butt or something thereby breaking his scoring jinx.

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#102 Librarian Mike
October 08 2009, 03:40PM
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@Senator Theo

Get comfortable Robert - unless we see some more injuries, you could be sitting up in that press box for awhile. might as well bring some of your posters from home and personalize the place a bit.

Like this one?

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_4jLRlvPoPnE/R73BBR0R1sI/AAAAAAAAABw/avZP0yGZk1U/s320/lowe.jpg

Speaking of which, someday I'd like to see Hemsky take on Regehr a la Youngblood vs. Racki. Maybe that's why they REALLY brought Quinn here...

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#104 Jonathan Willis
October 08 2009, 03:49PM
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@Jason Gregor

No, I get that. It just seemed like a few people were jumping the gun and suggesting it, and I was prematurely quashing the idea.

Personally, I'd tend to go along with what a few others have mentioned: that it's more likely indicative of MacIntyre's role as 14F.

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#105 Senator Theo
October 08 2009, 03:54PM
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Librarian Mike wrote:
Get comfortable Robert - unless we see some more injuries, you could be sitting up in that press box for awhile. might as well bring some of your posters from home and personalize the place a bit.

Like this one?

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_4jLRlvPoPnE/R73BBR0R1sI/AAAAAAAAABw/avZP0yGZk1U/s320/lowe.jpg

Speaking of which, someday I'd like to see Hemsky take on Regehr a la Youngblood vs. Racki. Maybe that's why they REALLY brought Quinn here...

That's hilarious - nice find. That poster could really make the pressbox his own.

@ronaldo - well done as well. I guess we've both figured the quoting thing out. I don't remember liking the Flames so much - maybe I've been spending too much time with @RossCreek. Have I mentioned how handsome I think Phaneuf is?

**slaps himself to get rid of those dirty thoughts.**

4-1 oil tonight! You're on your own, @RossCreek.

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#106 blu
October 08 2009, 03:56PM
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Who does Souray punch the ugly out of tonight?

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#107 BigE57
October 08 2009, 04:02PM
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@blu

Please let it be Phanuef....please...ah who am I kidding anyone wearing the red C is fair game. GO OILERS!

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#108 Paq Twinn
October 08 2009, 04:04PM
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Personally I'd like to see Cogs with Horc and Hemmer, Pens with Comrie and Patty'O, JFJ with Gags and Storts and Moreau with Brule and Stoner. There is still "crust" on the lines seeing how Horc was always more parts cust then skill, and Cogs has the speed and "finish" nessacary to play with Hemmer. Ideally I'd like to see Pisani on Gags' line, that'll have to wait until he's healthy.perhaps the lines aren't equal parts crust and skill but how many teams are? That's how I see it any way.

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#109 RossCreekNation
October 08 2009, 04:19PM
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Today Is A Great Day For Hockey!

Buy you's a soda after the game ;-)

*and it burns, burns, burns...*

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#110 Librarian Mike
October 08 2009, 04:38PM
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@RossCreekNation

Today Is A Great Day For Hockey!

Indeed it is!

Hockey on the computer for me, and Private Practice on DVD for Mrs. Me. Compromise is a wonderful thing.

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#111 Smokin' Ray
October 08 2009, 04:45PM
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Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things wrote:

I'm kind of interested (even though it was only mentioned briefly in this article) in hearing more about SMac as a D-man. It's the first I've heard of this. Is he showing any promise?

From what I understand, he was a defenceman when we claimed him. There is no way that he plays defence in the NHL. It will never happen. He's too slow as a forward, nevermind skating backwards.

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#112 RossCreekNation
October 08 2009, 04:50PM
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Senator Theo wrote:

That's hilarious - nice find. That poster could really make the pressbox his own.

@ronaldo - well done as well. I guess we've both figured the quoting thing out. I don't remember liking the Flames so much - maybe I've been spending too much time with @RossCreek. Have I mentioned how handsome I think Phaneuf is?

**slaps himself to get rid of those dirty thoughts.**

4-1 oil tonight! You're on your own, @RossCreek.

Haha... just playing catch-up on the comments before "I get into her"

*snickers*

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#113 David S
October 08 2009, 04:53PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Jacques is a very good skater. There is no comparison between his skating and MacIntryre's. Not even close.

And JW...they are using him on the backend in practice, I don't see them using him there in a game. They do like him there, because he has to handle the puck a bit more in practice.

Jason, JFJ might be a better skater. But from what I saw the other night he was skating around like a chicken with his head cut off. Not that Hemsky and Horcoff were blowing the doors out, but JFJ certainly didn't look like he belonged with those two. Not at all.

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#114 Smokin' Ray
October 08 2009, 04:59PM
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Paq Twinn wrote:

Personally I'd like to see Cogs with Horc and Hemmer, Pens with Comrie and Patty'O, JFJ with Gags and Storts and Moreau with Brule and Stoner. There is still "crust" on the lines seeing how Horc was always more parts cust then skill, and Cogs has the speed and "finish" nessacary to play with Hemmer. Ideally I'd like to see Pisani on Gags' line, that'll have to wait until he's healthy.perhaps the lines aren't equal parts crust and skill but how many teams are? That's how I see it any way.

Interesting... You caught my eye with the name Stoner. Then I looked at your name. HAHA! It's Paq Twinn everybody. YAY!

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#115 Skidplate
October 08 2009, 05:15PM
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Oilers: 4 - Hemsky, Sully, Souray, Penner

Flamers: 2 - Who cares

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#116 Senator Theo
October 08 2009, 05:16PM
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Librarian Mike wrote:
Today Is A Great Day For Hockey!

Indeed it is!

Hockey on the computer for me, and Private Practice on DVD for Mrs. Me. Compromise is a wonderful thing.

I know this compromise that you speak of all too well. Fortunately, is study time tonight for Mrs. Menace, and I'll have the game on while looking after the Jr. Menaces. 2 hours to go til we get it on!

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#117 SkadderBrain
October 08 2009, 05:18PM
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on the oilers website it says these lines are a decoy?

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#118 Petr Klima
October 08 2009, 05:19PM
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As long as bulin start to get the feel back like he was in the third period of each game we should be okay. The forwards have to play with the same energy they had against Calgary and in the first period in Dallas. We seemed to run out of gas in the second and third against the stars. Grebs has to get better.

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#119 Librarian Mike
October 08 2009, 05:29PM
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Skidplate wrote:

Oilers: 4 - Hemsky, Sully, Souray, Penner

Flamers: 2 - Who cares

That's the funniest thing I've read all day.

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#120 RossCreekNation
October 08 2009, 05:32PM
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PREDICTIONS, EH

-Iginla 1st star

-Dion Phaneuf has a rough night

-RossCreek will win tonights over the top rope Battle Royal and be the soul survivor as he does his best One Man Gang impersonation to become "the NEW Undisputed 'Nation' Champion"...

-Peter Maher says "You can put it in the win column!"

-Brownlee gets irritated by the popcorn guy at the game

-Wanye gets his lean on with his styrofoam cup fulla syrup win or lose

-ronaldo has nightmares all night about the big loss AND about being thrown over the top rope by RossCreek as the final elimination costing his fellow Oil fans the title.

-Gregor runs out of gas and misses the 1st period

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#121 Jay Gray
October 08 2009, 05:54PM
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@Librarian Mike

Hockey on the computer for me, and Private Practice on DVD for Mrs. Me. Compromise is a wonderful thing.

You call that compromise! You need to run a tighter ship than that my friend. Never would hockey, let alone a Battle of Albeta get 2nd billing in my house. Hockey on the tv, and if she wanted to watch something, I'm sure that could get watched on the computer. But I'm hoping she'll realize the importance of Oilers v Flames of ask if she can watch...quietly...obedient...sitting at my feet.

P.S. Honey, if you happen to read this, I'm just joking, honest..I promise.

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#122 Librarian Mike
October 08 2009, 06:06PM
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@Jay Gray

Careful, or you're going to end up on the receiving end of a Matthew Maconaghey movie marathon (and it won't include Reign of Fire or Dazed and Confused). I warn you because I care.

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#124 Death Metal Nightmare
October 08 2009, 06:12PM
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"Considering the Oilers don't have a big middle man, it makes sense to put Stortini in there strictly for the strength factor."

makes sense. didnt Storts play center in juniors?

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#125 freeze
October 08 2009, 06:33PM
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d'oh, I missed Brownlee's irritants today. Who pissed in his cornflakes this week?

I'm calling a 4-2 Oil victory! The scoring will be spread around again tonight but Hemsky breaks the goose egg.

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#126 Poo Czar
October 08 2009, 06:48PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Question:

Given that Steve MacIntyre isn't a legitimate player at the NHL level up front, why would he be on defence? His skating flaws would be even more exposed there, one would think, and it's a lot harder to hide him from the bad guys on the back end.

Look Jonathan, Defencemen score way fewer goals, ergo, they are inferior hockey players.

~Geez, these stats nerds obviously don't know anything about hockey~

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#127 Paq Twinn
October 08 2009, 06:50PM
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Gregor wrote that if Hemmer and Horc don't do something soon Quinn may seperate them too, but doubts it'll happen. Maybe its time to try something new. What about Pens with Gags/Comrie and Hemmer? It may work better then when we had Smytty with Horc and Hemmer.

On a side note I'm still trying to figure this out(replys)

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#128 jeanshorts
October 08 2009, 06:50PM
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HOCKEY!!!!!

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#129 Paq Twinn
October 08 2009, 06:51PM
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Gregor wrote that if Hemmer and Horc don't do something soon Quinn may seperate them too, but doubts it'll happen. Maybe its time to try something new. What about Pens with Gags/Comrie and Hemmer? It may work better then when we had Smytty with Horc and Hemmer.

On a side note I'm still trying to figure this out(replys)

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#130 Paq Twinn
October 08 2009, 06:51PM
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Gregor wrote that if Hemmer and Horc don't do something soon Quinn may seperate them too, but doubts it'll happen. Maybe its time to try something new. What about Pens with Gags/Comrie and Hemmer? It may work better then when we had Smytty with Horc and Hemmer.

On a side note I'm still trying to figure this out(replys)

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#131 jeanshorts
October 08 2009, 06:53PM
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@Paq Twinn

One more time! One more time! One more time!

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#132 Paq Twinn
October 08 2009, 06:58PM
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@jeanshorts ya I'm new.

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#133 Prop Jay
October 08 2009, 07:07PM
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@bingofuel

Do you guys have an RSS feed for this new contraption? Google reader doesn't update anylonger.

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#134 Citizen Alpha
October 08 2009, 07:16PM
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Prop Jay wrote:

@bingofuel

Do you guys have an RSS feed for this new contraption? Google reader doesn't update anylonger.

That's the next thing on the TODO list. Expect feeds to be back up the first half next week. Thanks for bearing with us.

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#135 jeanshorts
October 08 2009, 07:21PM
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Seriously, Penner leading the offensive charge and Gagner sparking the team with a fight? BEST SEASON EVER!

Also, Craig Conroy may just be the nicest guy in the entire world. How can you be mad at him for anything?

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#136 OilersNinja
October 08 2009, 07:26PM
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Craig Conroy is old

Sam Gagner is going crazy on account of his "precious" ring.

Dustin Penner has been demoted from Jumbo Donair to Super Donair due to his vigorous off season workout regiment.

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#137 Poo Czar
October 08 2009, 07:28PM
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@jeanshorts

I'm hoping Horc takes a run at him for ripping on his contract.

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#138 Smokin' Ray
October 08 2009, 07:35PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

One more time! One more time! One more time!

This is why I love this site. ROFL

GOILERS! It's GAME TIME!!!

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#139 OiIersninja
October 08 2009, 07:38PM
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Here we go gents

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#140 jeanshorts
October 08 2009, 07:38PM
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@Poo Czar

Wait Craig Conroy ripped on Shawn Horcoff's inflated contract?

I LOVE THIS GUY!!!!!!

But hope someone smashes him through the glass during the game. GOILERS!

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#141 RossCreekNation
October 08 2009, 07:42PM
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Using the original lines?

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#142 Poo Czar
October 08 2009, 07:42PM
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Any idea why the Flames let an afflicted child design their 30th anniversary logo? It's like they have an abject hatred for aesthetics...

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#143 RossCreekNation
October 08 2009, 07:42PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

Using the original lines?

Looks like... eh

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#144 OiIersninja
October 08 2009, 07:43PM
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It seems so.

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#145 RossCreekNation
October 08 2009, 07:43PM
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Nice move Jacques!

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#146 jeanshorts
October 08 2009, 07:44PM
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Anyone else think it's weird that RossCreek was one of the first 50 people to sign up for the new Nation? Closet Oilers fan? Don't worry you can come out and join us. We'll welcome you with open arms. You know you want to.

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#147 jeanshorts
October 08 2009, 07:47PM
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Good job Hemmer. Rather than keeping the puck in the zone, why not take it out and skate back toward center ice. What is happening with this guy??????

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#148 Poo Czar
October 08 2009, 07:47PM
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@jeanshorts

Ross Creek even swung by The Bonsignore Citizen's Brigade the other day, until he was chased away by the retardations...

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#149 jeanshorts
October 08 2009, 07:49PM
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Man Stortini is so soft spoken and polite off the ice, I can't imagine what his chirping is like during a game.

"Hey pal, why don't you just back off my teammate would ya? Please? I really don't want to have to make this physical".

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#150 RossCreekNation
October 08 2009, 07:50PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

Anyone else think it's weird that RossCreek was one of the first 50 people to sign up for the new Nation? Closet Oilers fan? Don't worry you can come out and join us. We'll welcome you with open arms. You know you want to.

Dude, I made sure I signed up @ FlamesNation just in case it showed a difference. It doesn't. I actually waited for an hour to sign up because I was reading everything at ON first rather than just going to FN to sign and then read it. I'm mad cuz I could've been on the top 20 man roster if I woulda just signed up here. What number are you... 120...PfffffttT! ~

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