Winning games... step by step

Jason Gregor
November 13 2009 01:39PM

One of Wanye’s favourite songs growing up was Step By Step by New Kids on the Block back in the '80s and early '90s. He especially loved the opening motorcycle scene, because the NKOTB thought it made them somehow look tougher.

Seriously, Wanye has been bugging Brownlee, Willis, bingofuel and I to come up with some sort of Nation Boy Band/Sports Band concept. At first I thought he only mentioned it because he was on one of his BL benders, but he’ll send me a random email every few weeks to see if I’ve come up with something. Thankfully for all of you I haven’t yet, nor while I anytime soon, even consider that an option. Although it would be awesome to see Brownlee, with cigar in hand tapping his toes, and spinning around to some dance music. But I don’t see it materializing.

While you try to rid yourself of the awful visual of us five in any sort of musical endeavour, let’s focus on the Oilers.

Right now the Oilers seem stuck in the “one step forward-one step backwards” mode. They get Sheldon Souray back, but lose Denis Grebeshkov. Shawn Horcoff returns and now Fernando Pisani is out because his colitis has flared up again. 

Grebeshkov has an MCL tear, and depending on the severity of it, could be lost anywhere from two to six weeks, if not longer. Pisani is harder to evaluate because there really isn’t a time table on how quickly he can recuperate from colitis.

Since his magical playoff run in 2006, Pisani has been plagued by injuries and illness and you wonder if he’ll ever be able to stay healthy. He is one of the true gentlemen in the game, and being a father of three I just hope he gets healthy enough that he can life a normal life, regardless of hockey.

It seems Horcoff suffered a slight shoulder separation and now that the pain has subsided he is ready to go. He was back on a line with Ales Hemsky and Dustin Penner at practice this morning, and it looks like Pat Quinn will give this trio another chance to get going.

Sam Gagner skated with Patrick O’Sullivan and Mike Comrie. With injuries to Ryan Stone and J.F Jacques, Quinn has been forced to go away from his original plan to have a physical presence on every line, because right now he doesn’t have enough guys who can play that way.

Andrew Cogliano remained with Ethan Moreau and Zack Stortini, while Robert Nilsson, Gilbert Brule and Ryan Potulny made up the fourth line. The surprise there is that Brule was on the wing.

I don’t understand what Brule has done to deserve being on the wing and on the fourth line. He should at least be playing ahead of Stortini and Moreau, but it seems that Quinn is taking a cautious approach with him.

Liam Reddox did skate with the team, and has a cut on his face and a bruised wrist, but if they need him he will go on Sunday.

JACQUES BACK ON ICE

Jacques will skate for the first time tomorrow since his back flared up. The good news is that the MRI showed no damage from his previous back surgery. Jacques thinks it might be a mix of back spasms and maybe a case of whiplash from the tilt with Andy Sutton.

If you watch the fight, Sutton cross-checked him right before the fight started, and then during the tussle, Jacques really had to extend himself to try and hit the taller Sutton.

If he feels good tomorrow and Sunday, he might be ready to go when Colorado invades Rexall on Wedneday the 18th.

NEWSFLASH: OILERS NEED TO START WINNING 

The Oilers will be at the quarter pole of the season after games in Atlanta and Columbus, and right now they are on the outside of the playoff picture. They currently sit in 11th, but with Nashville, St. Louis and Anaheim all having games in hand, the Oilers could easily find themselves in 13th or worse when they return home.

They need to string together some wins, otherwise they will be in chase mode in December, and considering how many injuries they’ve already had, I don’t know if they will be able to make up ground in January, February and March if they are still banged up.

They have scored 19 goals in their last ten games, but ten of those have come in wins over Detroit and Colorado. They only have ten EV strength goals in their past ten games, and while their PP is good, it doesn’t score at key times often enough.

Sam Gagner doesn’t have a goal in ten games, O’Sullivan has one in his last eleven, Cogliano has one in 13 games, Stortini hasn’t scored in 14 games, while Gilbert and Grebeshkov have combined to score one goal in the past 26 games.

After a quick start, the Oilers’ offence has dried up. The past two games they have finally outshot the opposition, but they only have four goals. They still don’t have enough guys who will go to the tough areas often enough. They aren’t skilled enough to score from the outside, and if Quinn can’t convince them to get their noses dirty on a nightly basis they will find themselves battling for last place rather than the past playoff spot rather quickly.

They get a rare advantage on the road when they play Atlanta on Sunday. The Thrashers played last night in New York, and host the LA Kings tonight. That means they will play three games in three and a half days, so the Oilers should get a weary opponent Sunday afternoon.

That is a game they need to win, to get some confidence, ensure a .500 road trip and to stay in the hunt for the playoffs. I don’t think this team is deep enough to make up ground in Jan, Feb or March.

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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 Bar Qu
November 14 2009, 02:34PM
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@TigerUnderGlass

Touchy.

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#52 TigerUnderGlass
November 14 2009, 02:40PM
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@Bar Qu

The fact that I don't understand why you bothered to post telling us why you don't like it here makes me touchy?

You need to go look up the definition of touchy since the word doesn't apply in the least.

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#53 Bar Qu
November 14 2009, 02:47PM
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I posted to express my irritation that what has been a great place to read about the latest information about the Oilers has slowly been lapsing in its coverage. That on a saturday (generally the busiest day in the league) there is nothing new from the stable of writers here.

That I call you touchy is 'cause you are taking offense on behalf of the ON crew for a simple criticism. If I can't express that, then this is simply a fan-boy site and not the place I have enjoyed visiting for the last year and a bit.

I think that fits the definition of touchy.

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#54 Senator Theo
November 14 2009, 03:01PM
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@Bar Qu This site is OilersNation, and despite it being a busy day for the league, the OILERS have the day off.

I don't have anything to back this up, but I would guess that most of the readership here don't have an issue with looking at a picture of a woman once a week either.

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#55 Eric Johnson
November 14 2009, 03:02PM
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@Bar Qu

Dude the Oilers have 3 days in between games. How much more info can you get? More injury updates stating nothing has changed? "Souray is questionable for sunday? Horcoff is skating, Pisani is down again"

You want non Oilers news go to TSN.

You're acting like you pay for this site or something.

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#56 Bar Qu
November 14 2009, 03:10PM
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My apologies to all whose feelings were hurt.

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#57 Brandon
November 14 2009, 03:20PM
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Bar Qu wrote:

Soooo, halfway through a saturday and nothing new up on this site? This is becoming less and less somewhere to look for news and information. Lots of pointless bravado and macho nonsense (ie pictures of girls) but not so much on what is happening right now.

Wanna hear something funny? The last time the Oilers website was last updated was a couple hours after this one, with the exact same news only videos of the interviews, go bitch them out too.

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#58 Senator Theo
November 14 2009, 03:28PM
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Bar Qu wrote:

My apologies to all whose feelings were hurt.

Thank you. Now, back to the pointless bravado and macho nonsense?

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#59 Bar Qu
November 14 2009, 03:32PM
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Brandon wrote:

Wanna hear something funny? The last time the Oilers website was last updated was a couple hours after this one, with the exact same news only videos of the interviews, go bitch them out too.

Which is why I never visit there.

I visit here for things like RB's insightful article which was just posted.

BTW, total classy reply.

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#60 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
November 14 2009, 03:52PM
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Bar Qu wrote:

I posted to express my irritation that what has been a great place to read about the latest information about the Oilers has slowly been lapsing in its coverage. That on a saturday (generally the busiest day in the league) there is nothing new from the stable of writers here.

That I call you touchy is 'cause you are taking offense on behalf of the ON crew for a simple criticism. If I can't express that, then this is simply a fan-boy site and not the place I have enjoyed visiting for the last year and a bit.

I think that fits the definition of touchy.

what is the definition of a whining douchebag who PAYS NOTHING for something, yet has expectations that needs to be filled?

hint: look in the mirror

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#61 Brandon
November 14 2009, 03:59PM
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@Bar Qu

then why complain? if you are getting info about your favorite team faster than the team itself puts it out, the fact that nothing is posted would mean that there is no new news, half the people get up in arms about things not Oilers related, that would probably be why there is nothing about the teams playing tonight

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#62 TigerUnderGlass
November 14 2009, 04:01PM
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Bar Qu wrote:

I posted to express my irritation that what has been a great place to read about the latest information about the Oilers has slowly been lapsing in its coverage. That on a saturday (generally the busiest day in the league) there is nothing new from the stable of writers here.

That I call you touchy is 'cause you are taking offense on behalf of the ON crew for a simple criticism. If I can't express that, then this is simply a fan-boy site and not the place I have enjoyed visiting for the last year and a bit.

I think that fits the definition of touchy.

Telling you to piss off has nothing to do with taking offense or being touchy. I can't be touchy about something that has zero importance to me, like your opinion about anything.

It's as simple as this: You felt the need to tell us all about how worthless the site is. I responded by telling you to go elsewhere.

What part of that indicates any offense or hurt feelings? It's indicative of a preference that you leave if you don't like it. Nothing more.

If you think you wasted your time being here then don't come here. Trust me, nobody will be offended.

On another note: Why is it always the most sensitive who constantly think they have offended people?

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#63 Librarian Mike
November 14 2009, 04:03PM
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So, here's a poll for everyone:

The Flames and Leafs are playing tonight. Who are you cheering for?

A. The Flames

B. The Leafs

C. The meteor hurtling towards the ACC

(I choose C)

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#64 Brandon
November 14 2009, 04:11PM
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Librarian Mike wrote:

So, here's a poll for everyone:

The Flames and Leafs are playing tonight. Who are you cheering for?

A. The Flames

B. The Leafs

C. The meteor hurtling towards the ACC

(I choose C)

B. I have 2 favorite teams, the Oilers and whoever is playing Calgary

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#65 Milli
November 15 2009, 08:48AM
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I woulda said the laughs till I read C....now I go with C. Although, I have never liked ron wilson, but when he asked Kane if he needed some spare change the other night, I laughed my @ss off.

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