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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#51 blu
October 08 2009, 01:09PM
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It seems to me that some of the juggling is resulting from players sitting out because of injury too.

The general team attitude seems to be go out, hit, snatch up loose pucks, and put more pressure on opposing teams. No matter who seems to be skating with who, the games are much more entertaining to watch.

I'm excited to see the game at rexall tonight. HD is all well and good, but you can rarely see who is doing what away from the puck.

I'm calling for a goal Hemsky, Comrie, and 2 from Souray (1 on the PP). Just for openers.

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#52 Skidrow Gutterbum
October 08 2009, 01:10PM
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I really like the element that Big Mac brings to the team, yet I'm not as concerned this year if he dosent make the lineup. I think adding middleweights like Jacques and Stone to the lineup to compliment Stortini and having a more overall team toughness (I think this is a much different situation from a couple years ago when Laraque left) will make MacIntyre the first waiver assignment casualty when other bodies come off the IR.

Does anyone know what the waiver wire rules are if Mac gets sent to springfield? Does Florida still have first crack at him? Or does that rule reset after a season and now defaults to the last place team having first dibs? Is there a limit on how many players one team can lose per season to waivers?

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#53 aoilguy
October 08 2009, 01:12PM
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smiliegirl15 wrote:

Peca might be grateful to play in the NHL anywhere at this point. He would certainly help our faceoff percentage. Maybe his attitude would be better this time around - look what it did for Comrie...

touche...

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#54 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
October 08 2009, 01:17PM
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I really think the reason we didn't add any PK/4th line centers this year is because management thinks we might have it all ready in the system. Why else haven't they addressed the problem?

Might suck but I think we are stuck with what we have until someone in the management says enough is enough and makes a change.

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#55 rubbertrout
October 08 2009, 01:23PM
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Mr DeBakey wrote:

"how many of you thought Penner would be used as a spark-plug for others" . .

Mine is up! Horcoff/Hemsky usually are better when Manitoba Fats is on their left side

As much as I'm hopeful and pleased with PDP's play this year I'll admit that I spit up some Coke when I read "Manitoba Fats".

Well played sir.

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#56 BarryS
October 08 2009, 01:28PM
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Sporting News via David Staples.

Edmonton 53rd best sports city in NA. Toronto (36th overall), Vancouver (39th), Calgary (43rd) and Montreal (45th).

Not sure on the terms of reference, but quality of Sports organizations can be one of them, given the continual circuses the Vancouver (hockey), Montreal (hockey) and Toronto's (hockey, baseball) have been of late. Hardly think CFL success ranks much with Sporting News.

Don't think Edmonton should be higher, just the others lower.

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#57 BarryS
October 08 2009, 01:34PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

I really think the reason we didn't add any PK/4th line centers this year is because management thinks we might have it all ready in the system. Why else haven't they addressed the problem?

Might suck but I think we are stuck with what we have until someone in the management says enough is enough and makes a change.

With the cap system those teams with players we need don't have room to take any cap back. Those with Cap Room, don't have players we need or owners who can't afford to increase their cap hit. The reason teams have Cap Room, have empty pockets.

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#58 Senator Theo
October 08 2009, 01:34PM
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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.

Big Mac - it appears Gagner and Cogs may have taken your tough guy spot in the line up. I loved the story last year, and loved what he brought (especially against Calgary), but watching this team I'm starting to understand what they mean by "team toughness". That wasn't there last year.

Got to get 2 points tonight from the Flames. Go Oilers!

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#59 Jonathan Willis
October 08 2009, 01:39PM
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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.

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#60 SirFozz
October 08 2009, 01:44PM
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I don't see a big deal with switching the lines around given that Quinn is staying within the formula (2 skill + 1 crust)*. Find the right chemistry without really changing much. Little early to jump all over Quinn.

*Fourth line with Moreau is really 1 skill + 1 crust + 1 sheet of glass with crusty exterior.

IQWT

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#61 Skidrow Gutterbum
October 08 2009, 01:46PM
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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.

Plus he would warrant much more than 4-5 mins of ice time playing D, an even greater chance of fail. I would much rather see Peckham play that role when he returns from injury.

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#62 Ender
October 08 2009, 01:52PM
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Glad to see them working on the draws, though I think Cogs is going to figure out quick (if he hasn't already) that winning a draw from Stortini is a lot different than winning it from Joe Thornton, size similarity notwithstanding.

Surprised to see Brule centering the second line and Cogs the fourth; I would have expected it to be the other way around. Brule has been ok, but not amazing. Is Brule really one of the future faces-of-the-franchise we're developing here? Cogs can play the fourth line, but his speed seems a bit wasted playing with Captain M and HuggyBear.

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#63 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
October 08 2009, 01:54PM
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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.

He won't be any better. It's only practice and I suspect it was just a "lets take a look". Quinn is trying a few things and this is just another.

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#64 I'm a Scientist!
October 08 2009, 01:54PM
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There haven't been many game predictions for tonight, so i thought i would add mine to the mix.

The game will end up being a 6-5 win for Edmonton. The goals will come from Penner, 2 from Cogs, 1 from Souray, 1 from Brule and 1 from Horcoff. I also predict that one ice shovelling guy will fall, the intermission game on the ice will be the musical chair thing with tubes, the anthem will be sung by somebody nobody knows, 20.34 L of beer will be spilt in section 204 alone after Cogs scores his second goal (representing a loss of $100,000 worth of beer), Hillary Duff will make a secret appearance in one of the boxes and the power will go out. It will be quite the game.

*twiddles his thumbs while awaiting other game predictions from the Nation*

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#65 Ender
October 08 2009, 01:57PM
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@I'm a Scientist!

Methinks you ought to have a heart-to-heart with the supercomputer; she seems pissed with you about something if that's what she spit out.

:-)

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#66 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
October 08 2009, 02:02PM
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@I'm a Scientist!

I'm going to go with a 4-2 win for Edmonton with goals coming from Souray, Gagner, O'Sullivan, and Hemsky. Stortini establishes himself as the premier enforcer pick in my pool, and the lack of Steve Staios results in a dramatic decline in the number of hooking, slashing, and interference penalties in the last 10 minutes of the game.

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#67 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
October 08 2009, 02:03PM
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@I'm a Scientist!

So when is the power going out if 11 goals are to be scored? Is it coming back on?

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#68 BUCK75
October 08 2009, 02:05PM
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@Jonathan Willis

Maybe he is there to 'fluff' the forward's egos? ;)

I have to agree with @themenacer on this one - if he isn't even skating with the rest of the forwards, he is probably the first guy on the plane when someone is healthy.

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#69 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
October 08 2009, 02:06PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

So when is the power going out if 11 goals are to be scored? Is it coming back on?

During the anthem. That's why nobody knows who's singing it.

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#70 No Clue
October 08 2009, 02:09PM
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Game prediction you want, game prediction you get. Oil 4, Lames 3. Oil goals by Gagner, Penner, Comrie, and god willing Hemsky. Lames goals by that son-of-a-bitch traitor GlenX, that kid that scores goals for them, and Dion-the-douch. Also that beer guy will finally fall and spill his load when he runs down thge stairs and scares the piss out me (bastard), and they will play that stupid Plinko game again and the even stupider race around the rink for Esso. Oh and the DEEElicious old duth chips will be flung with furry and take out the eye of an inbred Calgary fan.

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#71 David S
October 08 2009, 02:10PM
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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.

Sounds an awful lot like you could just as easily be describing JFJ.

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#72 bingofuel
October 08 2009, 02:10PM
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@I'm a Scientist!

I bet you Comrie scores tonight, despite the line-up changes.

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#73 I'm a Scientist!
October 08 2009, 02:13PM
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I accept that bet.

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#74 I'm a Scientist!
October 08 2009, 02:15PM
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The power is going to go off because 11 goals are scored causing the red goal light to create a power surge. They should switch that thing to LED technology...

Don't worry though, they have emergency generators, you will be able to find your way home...

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#75 I'm a Scientist!
October 08 2009, 02:17PM
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Actually, the damn SuperComputer got a virus and i had to put her down...

My predictions are coming from the ol' trusty Atari, so they might be a BIT off. Still, i would bet lots and lots and lots of money on my predictions if i were you...

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#76 aoilguy
October 08 2009, 02:18PM
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Did anyone else think the puck was goign in the netduring the Dallas / edmonton game when the oilers some how cleared it to their own zone when bulin was on the bench on the delayed penalty call

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#77 DK0
October 08 2009, 02:21PM
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@aoilguy

I saw that in the highlights. Could you imagine if that went in? 2 games in a row where 1 massive screw up results in us getting a loss. The streets would have been red with blood from all the fans going on random murder sprees

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#78 aoilguy
October 08 2009, 02:24PM
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I was at the game, everyone was like ohhhhhhhhhhhh, in anticipation of anouther major screw up, liek honestly hwo does that kind of stuff even happen?

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#79 Mad Mike
October 08 2009, 02:27PM
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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.

I wouldn't read too much into MacIntyre playing D during practice. Spare parts can be plugged into anywhere the coach sees fit, to help out the rest of the team. Another example would be if they needed another goalie for practice (because practice with only 1 sucks), just throw the pads on the spare part.

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#80 Ender
October 08 2009, 02:28PM
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I'm a Scientist! wrote:

Actually, the damn SuperComputer got a virus and i had to put her down...

Weird Al Yankovic wrote:

If you get infected, you'll wish you had never been born
So before it emails your grandmother all of your porn
Turn off your computer and make sure it powers down
Drop it in a forty-three-foot hole in the ground
Bury it completely; rocks and boulders should be fine
Then burn all the clothes you may have worn any time you were online!

Note to both of you; There's new software available that makes destroying your computer every time you get a virus unnecessary. Check it out.

:-)

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#81 DK0
October 08 2009, 02:31PM
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@Ender

How the crap did you make the quote box work on text that wasn't actually posted here?

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#82 wiggleswag
October 08 2009, 02:34PM
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O'Sullivan and Comrie will stay together (best combo so far).

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#83 Ender
October 08 2009, 02:37PM
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@DK0

I'm a Scientist! doesn't really exist?! I've long suspected he was just something I ate . . .

Oh, wait; you meant Weird Al. Yeah, you can manually quote stuff by using < and > around blockquote and /blockquote.

Works great if you just want to quote one line of someone's three-paragraph comment too.

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#84 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
October 08 2009, 02:38PM
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DK0 wrote:

How the crap did you make the quote box work on text that wasn't actually posted here?

this is a test

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#85 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
October 08 2009, 02:39PM
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cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan wrote:

this is a test

(*&$*W&*$R

edit button!!!!!!!!!!

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#86 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
October 08 2009, 02:43PM
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@cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

Jimmy's TV Saga Update:

I now have TV and internet. Thank you, cableguy, for joining me in making fun of the Maple Leafs and their TV time on TSN.

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#87 SirFozz
October 08 2009, 02:44PM
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Prediction time eh?

Oilers 6-3.

Goals by Comrie, Penner, Horcoff, Sully x 2, Souray.

Stone and Stortini each will fight.

2 women and 3 men will faint in the stands when they think Souray winked at them.

I'm a Scientist!'s Atari will overheat doing modern day computer "research".

RossCreek will end the evening crying in his vodka cooler over his team's display on the ice and his inner shame of cheering for such a team.

I will end the night overjoyed with the Oilers play and fall comfortably asleep with a nice beer buzz.

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#88 I'm a Scientist!
October 08 2009, 02:48PM
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I'm a Scientist!'s Atari will overheat doing modern day computer "research".

Ooo! Thanks for the heads up! I might as well call it a day now. I would be lost with out my puters.

*hugs the big box screen*

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#89 wiggleswag
October 08 2009, 02:57PM
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Prediction: Oilers 7 Flames 2

All the bounces the Flames have been getting go the other way tonight. Smid and Stortini both score.

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#90 smac fan
October 08 2009, 03:00PM
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I believe smac played the majority of his time in the minors on defense. It was brought up when he first came here, and again when he scored his goal from the point againts washington last year. That is prob why they run him on D at practice.

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#91 Senator Theo
October 08 2009, 03:02PM
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The Menace wrote:

test of HTML quote system

ronoldo wrote:

How does the Menace look so cool?

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#92 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
October 08 2009, 03:12PM
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Revision to my earlier prediction:

Oilers 15, Flames -5. Goals to all Oilers players except Smid. Flames penalized 5 goals for icing an unacceptably ugly defenceman.

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#93 aoilguy
October 08 2009, 03:16PM
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Phanoof may look like frankenstien but his old lady is so tight...

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#95 SirFozz
October 08 2009, 03:19PM
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The Menace wrote:

I wish I was awesome like ronaldo, instead of being lame, like me, The Menace. Also, I'm a closet Flames fan. Go Flames.

@The Menace

Thanks buddy. Don't worry, you're not so bad- chin up. Can't help you with the Flames problem though. Weird forum to admit that.

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#96 THREE 1ST NAMES
October 08 2009, 03:22PM
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@Jason Gregor

gregor

i know it is alittle late but what did you think of MFC 22?

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#97 Ender
October 08 2009, 03:26PM
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@SirFozz

Arrrrgh! I've created a monster!

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#99 SirFozz
October 08 2009, 03:30PM
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@Ender

Whatever do you mean?~

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#100 Reggie
October 08 2009, 03:35PM
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@bingofuel

I bet you he doesn't ...

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