GDB XIX: Where the Sabres roam

Jason Gregor
November 11 2009 12:20PM

The Oilers fresh off their most complete road game of the season, even though they lost, head in to Buffalo tonight with a new goalie and a chance that they might get one of their stars back.

Ales Hemsky is a game-time decision, and if he is ready to go it would seem obvious that Ryan O’Marra would take a seat. In his six minutes last night I thought O’Marra was okay. He had two hits, won his only faceoff, but he was -1. His foot speed still needs to improve for him to get a long look, but he looks like a much better player than the previous few years.

The Oilers are 2-0-1 in their last three visits to Buffalo. They lost in OT in 2007, and won 4-0 and 3-0 in 2001 and 2002. Their overall record is 13-10-7-1 in Buffalo, and you would think they might have a bit of revenge on their mind after the Sabres destroyed them 10 to 2 at Rexall Place on January 27th.

It’s too bad the Sabres still don’t play in the Auditorium. That small rink was great. I loved the pitch yellow creases, the smaller surface and the horn they played after goals was awesome.

But the best part about the old rink was Rick Jeanneret, their play-by-play guy. Jeanneret is one of the more entertaining PBP guys in the league. He is revered by Sabres fans, and with calls like this you can understand why. The MAY DAY, MAY DAY clip is one of my all-time favourites.

TSN did a top ten Jeanneret calls, and while the film work is grainy, these calls are great.

I’ve had Jeanneret on my show a couple of times and he is a character. He brings energy, creativity and excitement to the game. One of my other favourites is Mike Lange.

Some of his calls don’t make much sense, but they crack me up. “He doesn’t know whether to cry or wind his watch,” WTF? Or: "Get that dog off my lawn mower," ... “Get in the fast lane grandma, the bingo game is ready to roll.”

Absolute beauties.

The Sabres are 9-4-1, but have they’ve lost two straight, and haven’t played since Saturday so they should be hungry. The Oilers will have to come out with lots of energy or hope Khabibulin holds down the fort in the opening ten minutes.

The Sabres lead the league in shots on goal, 34.9 per game, so it is doubtful the Oilers will out shoot their opponents for a second straight game. The Oilers have been getting better and getting shots through, Penner goal last night was a good example, and the Sabres are middle of the pack allowing 30.1 shots per game.

Right now only Atlanta, Anaheim and Florida are giving up more shots than the Oilers’ 33.9, so you’d expect the Khabibulin to be busy again tonight.

The Oilers have played two pretty solid road games so far on this trip, and if they get Hemsky back tonight, that should only help their cause.

Like Brownlee pointed out yesterday, I don’t understand what Gilbert Brule needs to do to get more icetime, but Quinn needs to use him more. Let’s hope that late goal yesterday will get Brule more minutes.

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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 jake
November 11 2009, 12:25PM
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4-2 Oil. They lost last night but they know deep down they played well, so will carry over into tonite. Toronto Sports Network has the broadcast.

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#2 Brandon
November 11 2009, 12:34PM
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5-4 Oilers, it will be an old fashioned shootout

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#3 Racki
November 11 2009, 12:36PM
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In order to get more ice time, Brule needs to be able to grow a thicker moustache (that's about the only reasoning I can come up with).

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#4 Moutzy
November 11 2009, 12:51PM
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Even in HD I only count three hairs on each side. He should run peanut butter on his lip before bed. Its an old home remedy.

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#5 SirFozz
November 11 2009, 01:10PM
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@ Jason Gregor

So what's the deal with Cogliano? Does he need to play his way off the 4th line like Gagner? Is he just not one of Quinn's guys, each coach seems to have these. Does Quinn see him as a shutdown guy and is trying to get him to learn that role?

What are your thoughts?

(Feel free to add your 2 cents too, Brownlee.)

Thanks

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#6 Doug - Oilers in Ontario
November 11 2009, 01:23PM
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I'm going to the game tonight - look for my awesome neon Oiler's hat down in the second row!

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#7 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
November 11 2009, 01:24PM
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@SirFozz

I think I lost about half of my hair after Cogliano's huge breakaway last night. He really needs to work on his shot, though. He'd be an absolute terror when he gets his feet moving if he could pull off a quick wrister like O'Sullivan.

3-2 Oil in regulation. Oilers stars to Brule, Hemsky (God I hope), and Penner.

On a positive note, though, he made a really great checking play to recover the puck behind the net. Reddox made the same play in the game against Colorado.

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#8 Milli
November 11 2009, 01:36PM
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Love games on TSN as long as Ferarro is doing the color. Pierre is painful. 6-4 Oil.

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#9 swany
November 11 2009, 01:42PM
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With Brule I watched the highlights and I noticed that he didn't pick up Folino on the second goal, maybe Quinn wants him to be a better two way player. You can see Folino cut into the middle and Brule sort of costs backwards away from the play until he sees Folino and by then it's to late to pick him up.

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#10 roughneck
November 11 2009, 02:21PM
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I wonder how many times a day stauffer brings bdp into a conversation.

man crush..... or no?

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#12 SirFozz
November 11 2009, 02:36PM
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@ Jason Gregor

Thanks. Yeah, until this year I thought Cogs had the ability to be a 30 goal scorer. May still happen, who knows, but now I agree that moving him is probably the best option. Too many smurfs (especially at center) and he would have some cache out on the market. Gagner seems to have seperated himself between the two, mostly IMO, by adding a nice layer of crust. And as you mentioned they have Brule too. Would have liked to see Cogs at wing a little more though.

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#13 OilW30
November 11 2009, 02:44PM
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Quinn said that Brule wasn't back to his pre-flu self, so maybe now he rounding back into shape and he'll get more time. Getting to play with Penner isn't a bad deal either.

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#14 Racki
November 11 2009, 02:50PM
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Don't agree with you guys on Cogliano (about him not being here long term). He somehow became expendable to a lot of people when his name was mentioned in the Heatley trade. Before that, he was on almost everyone's untouchable list.

He should be moved to wing. Again, it's embarrassing seeing the Oil waste his talents with whatever random plugs Quinn (or MacT in the past) stick him with because of our lack of depth at center. It's almost like they're trying to hinder his career just long enough for after his next contract signing (to sign him for cheaper). Ok, that's a little extreme, and I'm not a conspiracy theorist, so I don't actually believe that is what they're doing... but that might be the end result (which I suppose isn't so bad).

But really, Cogliano is a good player if utilized right. The key though is that Quinn has to stick to his original game plan from the beginning of the season (and be able to, for that matter). Yes, we have a few too many "smurfs", but when put with the right linemates they can all work here. It's not out of the question to think that some of the lines can have a couple of small players on it. Would I prefer a bigger guy? Yes, for sure, if the right offer came around. However, as it stands, I think Cogliano is an underrated player, mostly by the coaching staff.

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#15 SirFozz
November 11 2009, 03:16PM
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@ Racki

I would like to see him on the wing too, as I mentioned. But it appears that is not in the cards other then a couple games on the once-great-now-disasterous-kid-line. The make-up of this team is not right and some small "skill" guys need to be moved. I would keep Gagner over Cogliano and if both are going to continue to play center (Gagner for sure), one needs to be moved. Cogs is not a long-term 4th liner and, as you mentioned, has a decent skill set so he's most likely a 2nd liner in the future. Too small of a 1, 2 punch. (Plus there's Horcoff, he's not going anywhere-$$$)

I've always liked Cogs and wanted him on the team but this year because of his play and increasingly obvious need to change the make-up of this team I've come around on this. He's going to be a good player, but the overall team needs to be looked at.

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#16 Senator Theo
November 11 2009, 03:45PM
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Count me in the group that thinks Cogs could be better served on the wing, and may not be playing his best hockey on the 3rd and 4th lines.

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#18 Senator Theo
November 11 2009, 03:48PM
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@Racki

I suspect that it's his numbers this year so far, and not his involvement in the Heatley non-trade, that has Cogs on people's expendable lists.

No one is still talking about getting rid of Smid or Penner right now.

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#19 SirFozz
November 11 2009, 03:52PM
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@ The Menace

Agreed. Smid and Penner have two of the biggest positives this year. Cogliano has looked uninspired. He needs to play with a chip of his shoulder like the forementioned has this year, or Brule.

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#20 Smokin' Ray
November 11 2009, 04:17PM
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GAME DAY!!!

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#21 Wanye
November 11 2009, 04:29PM
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Nothing says "I'm screwing up my biological clock" more than starting the pregame party at 4 PM in anticipation of a 5 PM game. These EST games are lame.

Signed, Asleep underneath the table by 930PM

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#22 Slats
November 11 2009, 04:30PM
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@Racki

I agree. Cogliano has way more upside than Brule. Brule will be Edmonton's Bourque. He's crash and bang - but his style will have him play only 55-60G with the rest of time on the DL.

Cogliano's speed and if got a quick release shot would be leathal. I would like if he could see more time on PK especially teams that put a fwd on the back-end. I like him more so than Penner on the PK.

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#23 BigE57
November 11 2009, 04:35PM
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Wanye wrote:

Nothing says "I'm screwing up my biological clock" more than starting the pregame party at 4 PM in anticipation of a 5 PM game. These EST games are lame.

Signed, Asleep underneath the table by 930PM

why didn't you start at 2:00 that way by the time the game is over you'll be good and plowed if you do it right you'll have the added bonus of not waking up till game time on Sunday.

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#24 jeanshorts
November 11 2009, 05:03PM
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Tyler Myers, more like Michael Myers! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHA!

Seriously that kid is effin' gigantic.

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#25 Shaun Doe
November 11 2009, 05:07PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

Tyler Myers, more like Michael Myers! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHA!

Seriously that kid is effin' gigantic.

Apparently when he and his d pairing mate were on the ice (Cowan or Aulie I can't remember who it was) during the WJC there was over 14' of D man on the ice. Scary...

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#26 jeanshorts
November 11 2009, 05:11PM
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@Shaun Doe

I remember watching him play for the Rockets and he towering over some of those kids by a good foot and a bit. Unreal.

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#27 jeanshorts
November 11 2009, 05:14PM
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Moreau starting if off with a decent shift? Seriously what is going on here? Quinn is some kind of Warlock!

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#28 jeanshorts
November 11 2009, 05:19PM
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PP looking not bad so far.

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#29 Matt Henderson
November 11 2009, 05:25PM
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Thanks Pierre, I really wanted to know that Staios played with Brad May.

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#30 Shaun Doe
November 11 2009, 05:28PM
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Yeah that PP started well and then just fizzled. It looked like 5 on 5 forechecking at the very end.

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#31 jeanshorts
November 11 2009, 05:31PM
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Come on boys, don't let it slip away in the last 10 minutes. Khabby keeping us afloat once again.

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#32 Shaun Doe
November 11 2009, 05:35PM
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We need to be smarter about our clearing attempts. Comrie had a puck slide out to him and he just turned and chipped it weakly to the point. Resulted in us being hemmed in for longer. We just seem to get so confused and hectic too quickly

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#33 Wanye
November 11 2009, 05:35PM
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So after reading the game started at five, commenting about the game starting at five and yelling to all my roommates "HEY! THE GAME STARTS AT FIVE!" I somehow still started watching the game at 5:30.

Did I miss anything? Is it 105-0??

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#34 jeanshorts
November 11 2009, 05:37PM
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The first half of the period started out pretty well. But during the last 5 minutes they've started bleeding chances as per usual. But at least we're not losing!

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#35 Librarian Mike
November 11 2009, 05:38PM
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Come on get those....*checks scoreboard* Sabres!

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#36 Wanye
November 11 2009, 05:38PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

The first half of the period started out pretty well. But during the last 5 minutes they've started bleeding chances as per usual. But at least we're not losing!

How is Penner? Awesome and never once out of shape in his entire career?

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#37 Wanye
November 11 2009, 05:39PM
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Librarian Mike wrote:

Come on get those....*checks scoreboard* Sabres!

I had the misfortune of attending that sh*tkicking at the hands of the Sabres last year at RX1. I actually have bad blood entering into this game.

I probably stand alone however.

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#38 jeanshorts
November 11 2009, 05:40PM
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GGAAAAAHHHHHH!!

Uncle Barry isn't going to be pleased with that one.

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#39 jeanshorts
November 11 2009, 05:40PM
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Way to take your man Strudwick. GET STAIOS OUT THERE!

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#40 Wanye
November 11 2009, 05:41PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

GGAAAAAHHHHHH!!

Uncle Barry isn't going to be pleased with that one.

Remember your Uncle Barry? Man, was that guy inappropriate at holiday functions.

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#41 roughneck
November 11 2009, 05:42PM
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Wanye wrote:

How is Penner? Awesome and never once out of shape in his entire career?

stauff you cant steal wanyes name its unethical

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#42 jeanshorts
November 11 2009, 05:43PM
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Wanye wrote:

Remember your Uncle Barry? Man, was that guy inappropriate at holiday functions.

Well they didn't call him Barry "Get Your Penis Off The Table" Shorts for nothing. I miss him so god damn much! Damn you liver failure! Damn you straight to the bowels of hell!

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#43 Wanye
November 11 2009, 05:45PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

Well they didn't call him Barry "Get Your Penis Off The Table" Shorts for nothing. I miss him so god damn much! Damn you liver failure! Damn you straight to the bowels of hell!

I'll never forget the time he decided to make sweet love to the buffet table. Try as I might I have never had mashed potatoes so tasty ever since.

@roughneck

Touche!

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#44 Librarian Mike
November 11 2009, 05:45PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

Well they didn't call him Barry "Get Your Penis Off The Table" Shorts for nothing. I miss him so god damn much! Damn you liver failure! Damn you straight to the bowels of hell!

...Are we related?

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#45 Oilersordeath
November 11 2009, 05:46PM
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Oh great all ready 1-0 goddammit!! Buffalo is going to KILL US!! We are done I'm throwing in the towel! Backfalling to my other team that can actually skate and score goals the KINGS!!

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#46 jeanshorts
November 11 2009, 05:47PM
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Librarian Mike wrote:

...Are we related?

Papa................

Papa is that you? After all these years have you finally come back for me? Did you get that carton of milk you left for?

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#47 Wanye
November 11 2009, 05:49PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

Papa................

Papa is that you? After all these years have you finally come back for me? Did you get that carton of milk you left for?

Milk tastes best when you get it from the Republic of Congo.

And you walk there.

And you take your time cause you hate your kid Jeanshorts.

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#48 Wanye
November 11 2009, 05:50PM
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(re-reading commentary)

If they put this kind of sterling commentary on PPV I would totally shell out $26 per game and abandon my Latvian internet connects.

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#49 Shaun Doe
November 11 2009, 05:50PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

Papa................

Papa is that you? After all these years have you finally come back for me? Did you get that carton of milk you left for?

Just a lesson for life there oh he of the Denim mini pants: Usually trips for milk don't start with dumping your infant child off the Capilano suspension bridge while yelling, "Clear the branches, dear god make him clear the branches!!!"

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#50 Wanye
November 11 2009, 05:52PM
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Shaun Doe wrote:

Just a lesson for life there oh he of the Denim mini pants: Usually trips for milk don't start with dumping your infant child off the Capilano suspension bridge while yelling, "Clear the branches, dear god make him clear the branches!!!"

Abbotsford representin'

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