GDB XVIII: Injury woes on the Senate floor

Jason Gregor
November 10 2009 11:43AM

The injuries just keep coming for the Edmonton Oilers, as they get set to take on the Ottawa Senators tonight.

Robert Nilsson is out with a concussion, and with Florida claiming Steve MacIntyre on waivers this morning, the Oilers have recalled Ryan O’Marra for tonight's game. Taylor Chorney has a bad ankle and is out, so Ladislav Smid will draw back in.

Does someone have a voodoo doll and every few days decide to take down another Oiler? Maybe the producers of the lamest movie I’ve seen in years, Paranormal Activity, are making a sports-like spin off that has alleged demons stalking the Oilers. I can’t believe that Theo Peckham told me he had to sleep with the lights on after watching that movie. I’ll be juicing him hard when he gets back to Edmonton. There was nothing remotely scary about that movie. Plus the acting was worse than the Carolina Hurricanes.

I really don’t think losing Nilsson is a big loss, and Smid is better than Chorney at this point, but you wonder how many more injuries this team can handle before it takes a toll on their salary cap.

With Nilsson out, my best guess would see Andrew Cogliano move to the wing and play with Gilbert Brule and Mike Comrie. Lately Pat Quinn has tried to go with two offensive oriented lines, and moving Cogliano there makes the most sense.

That would leave Sam Gagner with Dustin Penner and Patrick O’Sullivan, while Ryan Potulny would centre Fernando Pisani and Liam Reddox, and O’Marra can play between Zack Stortini and Ethan Moreau.

Know thy enemy

The Sens sit in 2nd place in the Northeast division, but like the Oilers they're currently out of the playoff picture. The Sens are 7-5-2 and are averaging three goals for and three goals against in 14 games.

Jonathon Cheechoo has been a bust since coming over from San Jose, with no goals and two assists in 14 games. Cory Clouston said he has realistic expectations of what Cheechoo can produce.

"That was a real special year for him (56 goals), he’s worked extremely hard, is an intelligent guy and a real good teammate. I don’t think telling anyone that he will score 50 goals again is realistic."

He added that Cheechoo is a 25-goal man, and maybe can reach 30 again and that is what they will look for from him. If Cheechoo gets 25 goals this year I’ll be stunned. His foot speed is not good enough for him to get to the open spaces anymore. He is willing to go in the tough areas, but he can’t get there fast enough anymore.

The Sens PP is 23rd in the league and they have only drawn 51 penalties thus far, only Calgary has drawn fewer penalties, 49, but the Flames have scored 12 goals to put them 5th overall on the PP.

The Oilers have had 68 man advantages, 13th most in the league, and after their four goal performance in Colorado they sit 6th on the PP at 23.5%.

Jeff Deslauriers’ favourite team growing up was the Buffalo Sabres, so I’d guess that Khabibulin will start tonight and JDD will get the start tomorrow. With back-to-games tonight and tomorrow and then on the weekend in Atlanta and Columbus it looks like Deslauriers will double his games played in a five day span.

Report on O'Marra 

O’Marra got off to a good start in Springfield, and finally seems to understand that if he's going to play in the NHL it will be as shut-down centreman. Rob Daum told me last week on my show, that his play had tailed off a bit of late. He did respond with some better play this past weekend.

O’Marra needs to show up and be good in the faceoffs, strong on the puck and be physical. He is one of the few centremen they have in the organization who has any sort of size. If O’Marra understands he needs to be physical, not fancy, there is an opening for him on this team. They desperately lack size down the middle and if he shows he can provide that, he might not be the first guy sent down when Horcoff, Hemsky and Jacques return.

Trade... for the Rush

I know you guys love the Oilers, but the Rush will announce a major trade this afternoon. They have acquired Gavin Prout along with Dean Hill from Colorado for a 1st rounder in 2010 and a 2nd rounder in 2011. Prout and Colorado couldn’t agree on a new deal, and so the Rush made a call.

Prout is a top-ten scorer in the game. He has 230 goals and 671 points in only 127 games. He will quarterback their PP and along with Brodie Merrill the Rush finally have some elite talent. Hill might chip in if he stays healthy and in shape. In his only full season he scored 32 goals in 14 games in 2007. He was banged up last year.

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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 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
November 10 2009, 11:54AM
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Whooo! G D, B!

GOOOOOOOOOILERS!

PS Oilers win 4-1.

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#2 The Towel Boy
November 10 2009, 11:54AM
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I read that JDD gets the start tonight....

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#3 Jmask5
November 10 2009, 11:59AM
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I still remember the last time the Oilers played in Ottawa like it was yesterday. Hopefully the Oilers don't allow a goal in the first 10 Seconds this time.

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#4 David S
November 10 2009, 12:05PM
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You know, Comrie that greasy little guy with Cogliano and Brule might surprise. At least I'm hopin' because you can only ice an AHL lineup for so long before it catches up with you.

Poor Pat Quinn. While other teams are working on goal-mouth tips, plays and game strategy, he's teaching positional theory to an increasing bunch of NHL newbies.

Anyways, maybe 4-2 Oil is the call. I figured they were hooped last game so maybe they won one they shoulda lost. I figure this is the winnable game on the road stretch, and with JDD in maybe the guys will be extra motivated to play well in front of him.

Crap. Now I've doomed them to a loss.

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#7 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
November 10 2009, 12:11PM
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I really don't know what to think for tonights game. If we win something is horribly wrong in Ottawa.

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#8 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
November 10 2009, 12:12PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

I guess they want Khabibulin in against Buffalo since they are the better team.

Wouldn't it be better to play the better goalie and take the win agaist the weaker team?

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#9 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
November 10 2009, 12:18PM
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My first star of the game is going to be split between the defensive pairing of Smid and Visnovsky.

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#11 RossCreekNation
November 10 2009, 12:25PM
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Where's Wanye?

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#12 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
November 10 2009, 12:25PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

It's not like the Senators suck, and what if they lose with Khabibulin tonight. There really isn't a perfect plan, plus Deslauriers has played well in both games thus far, so they probably have confidence in him anyways.

I have lots of confidence in Deslauriers, it's the AHL team in front of him that is scaring me.

If you were in coma and woke up and seen today's lineup one would think that all those minor pickups that Lowe made must've worked and that he is a genius.

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#13 Adam
November 10 2009, 12:26PM
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Gavin Prout really? That is awesome. He is a great player. I hope the Oil can find a way to win tonight, and I think it's awesome you guys put in a Rush tidbit now and then. We need some playoffs from one team this year.

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#14 RossCreekNation
November 10 2009, 12:31PM
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@Jason Gregor

What are your expectations for the Rush this year? Is this their 5th season (or 4th)? I went to a few games the 1st year (maybe even the 2nd), but haven't gone since. Not that it was bad... it was actually fun. I don't know a lot about lacrosse, but I wouldn't mind going more this year. Of course, I said that the past couple of season's too. Maybe I'll get a lacrosse for dummies book. Afterall, it is Canada's game!

EDIT: Wow, I just checked out their schedule and there's only 2 games that I could possibly go to because of work. Shitty!

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#15 lol
November 10 2009, 12:33PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

Wouldn't it be better to play the better goalie and take the win agaist the weaker team?

I think the idea is to have Khabibulin(the better goalie) bail out the players if they get tired from back to back games.

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#16 AlbertaRanger
November 10 2009, 12:35PM
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I don't think I will be ordering this pay-per-view game tonight. Way too many injuries on this team, but I hope they pull it off like they did in Denver. I don't want to watch it because I am tired of getting my heart broken during PPV games.

HEY, JASON GREGOR! Do you have any idea what the lineups would look like and where O'Marra might play? Would he be centring the fourth line?

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#17 The Evangelist
November 10 2009, 12:36PM
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the rush, really? this is a hockey website. i know they have ads here, but come on gregor. give me pucks and nothing else!!

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#18 Milli
November 10 2009, 12:37PM
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ya, I agree, I would have thought the wall plays tonight....Oh well, i guess that's why I am reading here instead of preparing the team in Ottawa. On a diferent note, I just got a new sales rep for red bull, he's like wow, your a bigtime Oilers fan eh? I'm like ya, how can you tell....then he says, ever heard of Wayne Flemming? I'm like ya, the coach....he's like read my buissiness card, I'm his son...So right away, I'm saying, Well, how bout an autographed jersey for my wall or something!!!! that'd be cool.

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#19 RossCreekNation
November 10 2009, 12:38PM
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@AlbertaRanger

There's a FREE game on Sportsnet tonight ;-)

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#20 roughneck
November 10 2009, 12:38PM
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Did bobby fall down the stairs?

~ it couldnt have been on ice contact~

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#21 RossCreekNation
November 10 2009, 12:41PM
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roughneck wrote:

Did bobby fall down the stairs?

~ it couldnt have been on ice contact~

Yeeee-ahh... he "fell"... that's right...

...OR... Pat Quinn pushed him down the stairs.

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#22 AlbertaRanger
November 10 2009, 12:41PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

There's a FREE game on Sportsnet tonight ;-)

According to the Oilers TV sked and the Edmonton Journal, it's a PPV game tonight. I really hope it's wrong because I wouldn't mind watching it on Sportsnet.

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#23 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
November 10 2009, 12:42PM
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AlbertaRanger wrote:

According to the Oilers TV sked and the Edmonton Journal, it's a PPV game tonight. I really hope it's wrong because I wouldn't mind watching it on Sportsnet.

He wants you to watch the Flames tonight.

Poor, deluded RossCreek...

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#24 Tracie
November 10 2009, 12:42PM
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If the Oilers keep it simple and concentrate on doign the little things right, it should be a good game. I'm not going to throw out a prediction b/c I'm never right so here's hoping we play like we did against Colorado!

GO OILERS!

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#25 AlbertaRanger
November 10 2009, 12:44PM
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@Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things

LOL! I forgot RossCreek is a Flamer.

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#26 SirFozz
November 10 2009, 12:44PM
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GOFALCONS!!!!!!!!

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#27 Tracie
November 10 2009, 12:45PM
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The game is on Sportsnet EAST. So it will be blacked out for us westerners! 5 PPV games this month alone! that's just dumb!

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#28 RossCreekNation
November 10 2009, 12:46PM
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Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things wrote:

He wants you to watch the Flames tonight.

Poor, deluded RossCreek...

lol.

I'm just sayin.

I watch free Oiler games over Flames ppv too.

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#29 freeze
November 10 2009, 12:46PM
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SirFozz wrote:

GOFALCONS!!!!!!!!

lol. ditto.

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#30 freeze
November 10 2009, 12:47PM
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Tracie wrote:

The game is on Sportsnet EAST. So it will be blacked out for us westerners! 5 PPV games this month alone! that's just dumb!

Better than no chance to watch at all, isn't it?

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#31 billmad
November 10 2009, 12:49PM
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When did Nils get injured?? I don't recall seeing anything.

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#32 Tracie
November 10 2009, 12:50PM
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This is true. There just seems to be a lot more PPV games this year then last. I think 5 more games if I'm correct. last year there were 11 games, this year 16! Just seems like a big jump considering every game was on TV last year as well...

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#33 I'm a Scientist!
November 10 2009, 12:51PM
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Game Day Prediction: The Oilers will win tonight. After scoring last game and getting the call to a higher line, watch for Cogliano to show Ottawa what they are missing out on. 2 goals and an assit from him, one from Comrie, one from Potulny and Penner. Final score 5-3.

Obvious Game Day Prediction: One Oiler will get a concussion, one will develop flu like symptoms and Steve Staios will block a shot with his face.

Not So Obvious Game Day Prediction: A backroom deal between Tambellini and Brian Murray sees Penner, Coglino and Smid traded for Cheechoo...until Cheechoo steps up and says no way. Thank God!

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#34 Hemmertime
November 10 2009, 12:52PM
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@Tracie

Thats almost 1/4 the season as PPV, better than no TV sure but really high for my tastes.

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#35 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
November 10 2009, 12:53PM
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Tracie wrote:

This is true. There just seems to be a lot more PPV games this year then last. I think 5 more games if I'm correct. last year there were 11 games, this year 16! Just seems like a big jump considering every game was on TV last year as well...

Laforge was saying that they tried to make sure there was a way to watch as many games as possible, if there were no PPV then there would be no way to watch the games.

Who knows Citytv has one game this year maybe it is a trial to see if it is worth it for them to buy more next year?

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#36 RossCreekNation
November 10 2009, 12:54PM
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PEOPLE... the ppv games are there for the times they wouldn't be on at all on free tv. After CBC, Sportsnet & TSN pick the games they want, the leftovers get thrown on ppv. Luck of the draw for the most part. Is it 16 ppv's though. That IS a little excessive. 12 would be more reasonable. Couldn't they put it on CITYTV or something though?

In any case, its ppv or nuth'n... soooo... its up to you really. Don't like it, don't buy it. Watch the Flames. Or go to the bar (and spend more than 10 bux or whatever the ppv costs on beerSss & nachos.

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#37 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
November 10 2009, 12:55PM
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@I'm a Scientist!

Obvious Game Day Prediction: One Oiler will get a concussion, one will develop flu like symptoms and Steve Staios will block a shot with his face.

Pure gold.

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#38 RossCreekNation
November 10 2009, 12:59PM
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@Tracie

Sportsnet often showed Flames/Oilers double-headers last season, and this year they rarely, if ever do. Too many people complained about missing the first 6 minutes of the 2nd game when the 1st game was running late/going to o.t.

Also, with Sportsnet carrying the World Series, it affects the hockey at this time of the year.

There is usually a reason for the madness. 16 is too many though.

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#39 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
November 10 2009, 12:59PM
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@RossCreekNation

Man, there's a great Irish pub a block away from my building that makes these potato nachos... they're nachos, but they used the checkered potatoes (don't really know how to describe them, but they're like fries) instead of tortilla chips. Come to think of it, I might head down there tonight.

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#41 jeanshorts
November 10 2009, 01:01PM
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Gregor, I can't believe you have such bad taste in Football teams AND movies. We may have to engage in a match of fisticuffs when I get back to Alberta. Have at yet sir!

The only good thing about having this hilariously over the top amount of injuries is that my expectations for this team have plummeted to an all time low. If they lose, well no one should be surprised as it's a patch work AHL team for the most part. But if they win it's a huge bonus. Like having a young lady escort herself out the door the same night you picked her up. No need for an awkward morning goodbye.

I haven't seen the Senators play outside of highlights so far this season, but going off those I think tonight might be a very even game.

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#43 BingBong
November 10 2009, 01:04PM
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Going to the game tonight, 100 level. Like somebody posted above, let's hope the Sens don't score within the first 10 seconds of the game like last year. (I think it was 12 seconds actually...very depressing. Gilbert and Grebs fault as I recall). Can't believe O'Marra is playing, and no Hemsky or Bulin. Ah well... Whether we win or lose, it's the beer that counts....

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#44 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
November 10 2009, 01:04PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Take your soother home with you. Did I force you to read it, no? The need to bitch and moan over a quick blurb is childish. Get over it.

~Where's a moderator when you need one? Is this the kind of language you use when your mom is reading over your shoulder?~

Edit: Emphasis added

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#45 Suntory Hanzo
November 10 2009, 01:05PM
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@Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things

Many places out here on the west coast call them "patchos". Pretty tasty if done right.

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#46 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
November 10 2009, 01:07PM
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Suntory Hanzo wrote:

Many places out here on the west coast call them "patchos". Pretty tasty if done right.

RossCreek probably calls them 'cheesy-salsa-checkered-potatoes-with-sour-cream-and-jalapenos'.

On a side note, RossCreek calls me 'Jeff' because he thinks I'm one of the Jeffs that used to post.

On another side note the new edit button also edits the quote box for whomever decides to quote your post. You can use it to make people look foolish.

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#47 RossCreekNation
November 10 2009, 01:07PM
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@jeanshorts

Like having a young lady escort herself out the door the same night you picked her up. No need for an awkward morning goodbye.

L

O

L

You mean some girls actually do this!? ITS AS IF THEY KNOW WHAT YOU'RE THINKING! WOOOOOWW! Come to think of it... she may be a 'keeper'.

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#49 Chaz
November 10 2009, 01:09PM
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Call me cheap, and by all accounts I am, but I just can't justify paying $15 for the Oiler's PPV coverage. Kevin Quinn, Louie and Mean Gene stinking it up with even more air time to fill, yet they still manage to throw in enough product placements to completely ruin any flow to the game. Sorry to complain, but the production value on these broadcasts make 'Paranormal Activity' seem like an Oscar winner.....or is just me?....

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