Oilers vs. Avalanche Post Game: Rust, Thine Name Is Deslauriers

Jonathan Willis
November 19 2009 12:21AM

Edmonton Oilers: 6

Colorado Avalanche: 4

That was an ugly and haphazard game, but at the end of the day the Oilers not only won but solidly outplayed the Avalanche on the night.  That's about as much as any Oilers' fan can ask for from this team right now.

Oilers Three* Stars, According To Me

1. Horpensky.  Yes, I dislike silly nicknames almost as much as Brownlee does, but the trio was far and away the Oilers' best line tonight and frankly I don't have room to differentiate between all the guys who played good, so I'll say this - they combined for two goals, three points and 11 shots on Peter Budaj.  Scoring chances-wise, they were 11 and three.  Also of note, every minute of Oilers' 5-on-3 penalty killing was done by Shawn Horcoff.

2. Visnovsky/Smid Pairing.  Sticking with my theme for awarding stuff to groups, Visnovsky and Smid both finished the night plus-3 and with a very favourably weighted scoring chance count.  They also contributed offensively, combining for three assists.

3. The Second Line.  I wanted to pick just one player, but it was a little difficult.  Patrick O'Sullivan scored the game-winning goal, so that's in his favour.  On the other hand, Gilbert Brule had a goal, two points, and a crushing hit on Paul Stastny.  Meanwhile, Liam Reddox had a fantastic game, including one fearless shot block late in the third period and a bunch of other good plays, and continues to show why he's blown past other Oiler prospects on his way to the NHL.

Random Thoughts

Jeff Deslauriers looked like two different players tonight.  During the first half of the game, he was brutal and I was raging at the television demanding that Quinn pull him.  Seriously, it's been a while since I was that irritated with any one player.  Every second shot the Avalanche took blew by him, and as Ray Ferraro noted (repeatedly), for a 6'5" goaltender he lets in a lot of high shots.  In the second half of the game he was brilliant, stopping several high-end chances and blanking Marek Svatos three times on the 5-on-3.  I'm not going to give him a ton of credit for making big saves since if he'd been less of a sieve in the first half they wouldn't have been 'big' saves, but I will say this: I can only imagine how difficult it is to get shelled early and then close the door, and he did it.  If there's one thing he should have picked up along his helter skelter development path, it's mental toughness and I'd guess that was a factor tonight.  After the game, Quinn said that he kept him in so as not to give the Oilers an excuse for the score and defended his goaltender; I can get behind one of those but not the other.

The hit on Ethan Moreau was a cheap shot and deserves suspension.  I can respect Bob McKenzie's point that the shoulder was the point of contact, but Ryan Wilson got his elbow high and went for the head.  Moreau didn't return, and as much as I've criticized his play I just hope it was a precautionary decision.

Tom Gilbert was stapled to the bench and played less than four minutes at even strength (Dean Arsene played more than nine).  Quinn seemed to be taking advantage of his spare defenceman to send a message, and good on him because Gilbert earned it.

The second-worst team in the league on faceoffs are the Colorado Avalanche, with 46.4% win rate.  They brutalized the Oilers tonight, with a 61% win rate, knocking them to the league basement.  Brule's been better than expected in the circle.  Horcoff can win draws when he isn't playing with a seperated shoulder.  Other than that, the Oilers have the same lousy options they had last year.  It's obviously something that Steve Tambellini and the Oilers brain trust don't care about, because we're going on a year and a half and they've made no move to fix it.

After 16 points in their first 10 games (a 131-point season pace), the Avalanche have 13 points in their last 12 games (which works out to an 89-point season pace).

I haven't heard Quinn happy after a game yet, and tonight was no exception.  I'm fairly upbeat; it was an earned win and a bunch of players snapped offensive droughts.  I'm a little worried that it's going to be important to look for these sort of positives whenever the opportunity presents itself.

Exchange of the Night

This one goes to Jason Gregor and a commenter going by rubbertrout.  Cue the transcript:

Rubbertrout: "Game Day Prediction: Oilers win 4-3 in overtime. Souray gets 1 G 1 A and 4 PIM. Manitoba Fats pots 2 and Sully gets one."

Jason Gregor: "I'd be willing to say I'd have a better chance scoring with Lohan tonight than 19 will on the ice."

Rubbertrout: "I'll be at the game on Saturday. I'll bet you one of your vodka drinks against a heroin beer that he scores tonight."

Jason Gregor: "Done...easy money on my part."

 

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 Halfwise
November 19 2009, 06:08AM
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Which is better? Stumble through a game, turn it up in the second half and get the win, or dominate but lose because of a couple of breakdowns?

I will take the win over the moral victory. I would rather have a third choice: "play well throughout."

We sorely miss the size and grit of Jacquestone, but if the skaters we do see were actually healthy we might not have the fatal breakdowns so often.

Bottom line, when will one or two skilled 5'11 perimeter-jockeys get traded for a RH faceoff winner who blocks shots and plays the body?

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#2 Reagan
November 19 2009, 07:16AM
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Jason was clearly wrong...

I had a feeling it was going to be open season in the goal department. Which is good for the confidentless Oilers. However, turning the puck over in their own zone will kill them, or has been killing them! Me thinks that is the second time Brule has scored from that spot on the Ice. Hmmm, maybe a powerplay position for him? Anyways, maybe a bad idea, but always worth a try. Could you see the disbelief/Relief on Patrick O'Sullivans face after scoring. I think even he had to pinch himself after that goal. I couldn't even believe that was him. Liam Reddox has not dissapointed me what so ever since coming up. There is an element to his game the Oilers truly need. he reminds me a bit like Draper. I may be wrong but the Oilers do better when he is playing. Some of you may bash me here but, I think even old MacT would agree. LOL

Amazing the Horpensky, is finally starting to shave the rust and look like a bonafide real first line. Nice to see them all work together. I love Penner comment after being tied up. What was is, "Like they already do not have enough rope to tie us up, and slow us down". Not 100% sure on the comment made to ref , but I had to laugh. Wolsky was interfering at the time.

WTF, I wish I could throw a pop bottle on the Ice after the Moreau Hit! Two refs standing within 30 feet of the hit, that actually saw what happened and no call was made on the elbow. That freaken pissed everyone off. Dirty, and I hope the league reviews it.

Good Job Oilers!

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#4 The Towel Boy
November 19 2009, 07:28AM
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Yeesh...I was almost expecting the hook on Desjarlais' fourth goal against. But Quinn stuck with him and he seemed to get a bit less jittery as the game wore on. THANK GOD.

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#5 Tracie
November 19 2009, 07:29AM
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Great win for the Oilers! Hopefully we can get a streak going and get back into this thing!

My stud Penner didn't get a point but still looked dangerous tonight!

Not only a goal by Sully but the winning goal! great timing too! rubbertrout, you should get bonus points from Gregor for it being a winning goal! good call!

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#6 AlbertaRanger
November 19 2009, 07:29AM
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Patrick O'Sullivan has had nothing but bad luck all season. He's had five goals (I think) so far this season, but he's had well over 130 or so shots. He is playing well, but he is just not getting the breaks. I'm really glad he notched the game-winning-goal and, hopefully, his luck will turn around.

By the way, I am really glad Pat Quinn made Tom Gilbert ride the pine while not opting to pull Jeff Deslauriers. It's a nice way to send a message to your blueline.

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#7 Lofty
November 19 2009, 07:39AM
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Gilbert needs to sit on the bench for another couple games. He's mailing it in every night.

It was a pleasure watching Souray laying the body and playing an all around solid game. Thank goodness he is back and Gilbert doesnt have to play as much.

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#8 Lofty
November 19 2009, 07:44AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

I've been thinking about Brule on the power play. He's been a big-time goal scorer in the past.

I love watching him play. Over that last ten games its been pretty hard to watch the Oil but at least he shows some emotion and desire. He could have a brighter future in Edmonton than Gags and Cogs, he just seems to bring more to the team night in, night out.

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#9 jayoilfan
November 19 2009, 07:45AM
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Now that was a fun game to watch, at least the second half. I went away for part of the second period and when I came back it was 4-2 avs and I got mad. Then Gagner Scored and made it all better then the third period happened. I haven't seen a third like that in a long time. Even the long PK they had I wasn't too concerned with either.

BTW, I SCORED ME SOME OILERS TICKETS! I just had to share that I am soooo pumped, I have not been to an Oilers game since 1998 (when I was living in Edmonton going to UofA). I got tickets to the Dec 28th game vs the Flames!!!

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#10 Librarian Mike
November 19 2009, 07:47AM
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@Jonathan

Horpensky...that's a great nickname, especially with Penner's moustache.

I find it amazing how Tom Gilbert can change on a dime from a slick offensive defenseman to an absolute liability. I hope he uses his newfound free time to figure out how to be a more consistent player.

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#11 SirFozz
November 19 2009, 07:54AM
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Hey, anyone hear that the Oilers won last night? It's true.

Hard to expect Delorean to play as lttle as he does and not have rust, nice to see him pull it back on the road just in time. Also nice that the team gave him some run support. It wasn't pretty, and I did everything I could to climb through the tv to get at gilbert, but at least we picked up the win.

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#12 Leopard
November 19 2009, 08:32AM
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@ Jonathan

Why was Penner taking most of the faceoffs even though Horcoff was on the ice?

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#13 JeffG
November 19 2009, 08:50AM
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Leopard wrote:

@ Jonathan

Why was Penner taking most of the faceoffs even though Horcoff was on the ice?

I would bet money its to give Horcoff's shoulder as much rest as possible.

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#14 I'm a Scientist!
November 19 2009, 09:02AM
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I just read through all the GDB comments from the game last night. It is funny to see how everyone wanted Sully's head until he finally potted the game winner! I am glad he got that, here's hoping he just killed that kid with his finger in the dike... bring on the flood!

I am such an ON nerd that when Sully scored that goal i actually said.."Wow, now Gregor owes rubbertrout a beer...crazy". My girlfriend immediately googled rehab programs in Edmonton...

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#15 OilFan
November 19 2009, 09:03AM
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Huge Win, hope they can get a streak going. Penner played great and I'm really starting to like Reddox and Brule. We need a big streak to get back in the mix.

GO OILER GO

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#16 rubbertrout
November 19 2009, 09:08AM
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I'm a Scientist! wrote:

I just read through all the GDB comments from the game last night. It is funny to see how everyone wanted Sully's head until he finally potted the game winner! I am glad he got that, here's hoping he just killed that kid with his finger in the dike... bring on the flood!

I am such an ON nerd that when Sully scored that goal i actually said.."Wow, now Gregor owes rubbertrout a beer...crazy". My girlfriend immediately googled rehab programs in Edmonton...

It touches my heart that you were thinking of me Scientist.

Now let's see if Gregor comes through. . .

The fact that it was a game winner makes it even sweeter.

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#17 Ogden Brother
November 19 2009, 09:16AM
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So is Quinn an idiot for playing Reddox on the "2nd line"?

*Drools*

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#18 Ogden Brother
November 19 2009, 09:18AM
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6 points in his last 6 games for Horcoff. Looks like we could still have a .8 PPG center on our hands.

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#19 Ogden Brother
November 19 2009, 09:19AM
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*Should be: .7 PPG center*

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#20 Ogden Brother
November 19 2009, 09:20AM
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@ JW

It would be interesting to see the teams scoring on back-ups vs starters.

I'm thinking Garon/Bujdia/Howard specifically.

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#21 rubbertrout
November 19 2009, 09:28AM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

*Should be: .7 PPG center*

Use Bingofuel's masterful "edit" button. That way you can correct your errors without anyone being the wiser.

Like this! (usually I'll note that it was an edit but to show you how ninja like you can be I declined to do so)

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#22 Leopard
November 19 2009, 09:43AM
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JeffG wrote:

I would bet money its to give Horcoff's shoulder as much rest as possible.

Ahh, after the two heroin pops last night, it was just crazy. But that makes much sense.

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#23 Hemmercules
November 19 2009, 09:54AM
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Nice win but ugh, Hawks are next. Do the oil ever beat them??? I'll be shocked if we win Saturday, beating a team like that would be a huge boost that we desperately need.

Nice to see Gagner, Sully and Horc with huge goals last night. So does Moreau have a concussion?? I'm thinking so. Who draws in for him if he is?? Tell me it isn't Robert.

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#24 Jason Gregor
November 19 2009, 10:08AM
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rubbertrout wrote:

It touches my heart that you were thinking of me Scientist.

Now let's see if Gregor comes through. . .

The fact that it was a game winner makes it even sweeter.

I'm no tight wad, I will pay up. Still not sold on O'Sullivan because of one goal. Not surprisingly he scored when he got put with Brule. If Brule doesn't get some PP time soon, it will border on ridiculous.

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#25 common sense
November 19 2009, 10:13AM
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Never was happy with KLO with that big long Gilbert contract. I see some Poti in Gilbert and that's not a compliment. I can see Gilbert getting traded if Tambo can get anything decent although Gilbert is now not a small ticket....

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#26 jybute
November 19 2009, 10:13AM
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Is I just me? Or has there been little to no mention about the two bug turning points in the game. The Stortini instigator and the back to back 5-3 PP's the Av's had. Allthough he took a penalty on the play, stortini did what a guy in his position is supposed to do. He didn't ask the guy to fight, he forced him to. And one of the 5-3 advantages was the second penalty while Stortinis instigator was being served. That was huge. In my opinion anyway.

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#27 Ender
November 19 2009, 10:21AM
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@ Bingofuel

I know you're busy pulling levers and flicking switches and whatnot, but could you take a second to have a peek at the schedule link on here? It's still pulling October and it's, like, November 19th and all . . . just saying . . . thanks a million.

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#28 Dan the Man
November 19 2009, 10:22AM
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I have to admit that early in the season I thought it was a good idea to keep a guy like MacIntyre around instead of Reddox but after watching the REDD OX play the last few games I have to say that I like what he brings. He deserves to stay with the Oil.

Also any news on Comrie? A flu couldn't possibly linger this long could it?

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#29 jake
November 19 2009, 10:25AM
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Big confidence booster for JDD to be allowed to stay in (kudos to Quinn). Let's see what POS can do now in next few games in terms of goals shall we (not sold at all on this guy - gave the puck away alot last night)

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#30 Ogden Brother
November 19 2009, 10:27AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

I'm no tight wad, I will pay up. Still not sold on O'Sullivan because of one goal. Not surprisingly he scored when he got put with Brule. If Brule doesn't get some PP time soon, it will border on ridiculous.

I'm not sure why you are so down on O'sully. Sure he hasn't been fantastic, but he is tied for 3rd amoungst the teams forwards in points, and he does provide some value away from the score sheet.

If he pots 15 - 20 goals/45 - 50 points (which he's currently on pace to do. He'll be a resonably valuable 2nd line player.

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#31 Ogden Brother
November 19 2009, 10:28AM
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Dan the Man wrote:

I have to admit that early in the season I thought it was a good idea to keep a guy like MacIntyre around instead of Reddox but after watching the REDD OX play the last few games I have to say that I like what he brings. He deserves to stay with the Oil.

Also any news on Comrie? A flu couldn't possibly linger this long could it?

Reddox would be an excellent replacement for Nillson...giving the team better on ice play and 1.5 million extra in the kittie.

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#32 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
November 19 2009, 10:29AM
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Dan the Man wrote:

I have to admit that early in the season I thought it was a good idea to keep a guy like MacIntyre around instead of Reddox but after watching the REDD OX play the last few games I have to say that I like what he brings. He deserves to stay with the Oil.

Also any news on Comrie? A flu couldn't possibly linger this long could it?

It can if you've got moderate-to-severe athsma. My girlfriend's in the same situation and she's still coughing. With her it's going on 3-weeks. She's completely functional otherwise with no other symptoms, but certain illnesses can actually do permanent or semi-permanent lung damage.

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#33 rubbertrout
November 19 2009, 10:29AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

I'm no tight wad, I will pay up. Still not sold on O'Sullivan because of one goal. Not surprisingly he scored when he got put with Brule. If Brule doesn't get some PP time soon, it will border on ridiculous.

I'm pretty sure I didn't say that Sully was the be all and end all. All I said was that he was going to pot a goal last night. I'd love to see Brule get more ice time as well.

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#34 rubbertrout
November 19 2009, 10:30AM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

I'm not sure why you are so down on O'sully. Sure he hasn't been fantastic, but he is tied for 3rd amoungst the teams forwards in points, and he does provide some value away from the score sheet.

If he pots 15 - 20 goals/45 - 50 points (which he's currently on pace to do. He'll be a resonably valuable 2nd line player.

X2

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#35 Ender
November 19 2009, 10:35AM
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Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things wrote:

It can if you've got moderate-to-severe athsma. My girlfriend's in the same situation and she's still coughing. With her it's going on 3-weeks. She's completely functional otherwise with no other symptoms, but certain illnesses can actually do permanent or semi-permanent lung damage.

Dan the Man wrote:

Also any news on Comrie? A flu couldn't possibly linger this long could it?

RE Comrie's 'flu': TSN officially reporting that it's not the flu anymore; it's mono. Though how a guy could get sick kissing Hillary, I can't even imagine.

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#36 O&C
November 19 2009, 10:39AM
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Did anyone else notice JDD rocking a new paint job last night?? Wouldnt mind checking out some pics of that...

ps. rubbertrout should make that bet every game... I have Sully in my pool... ya.. thats right... by choice

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#37 Dan the Man
November 19 2009, 10:42AM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

Reddox would be an excellent replacement for Nillson...giving the team better on ice play and 1.5 million extra in the kittie.

I could not agree more. Potulny has looked pretty good as well, if he sticks around longer maybe people will start pronouncing his name correctly.

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#38 Dan the Man
November 19 2009, 10:47AM
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Ender wrote:

Dan the Man wrote:

Also any news on Comrie? A flu couldn't possibly linger this long could it?

RE Comrie's 'flu': TSN officially reporting that it's not the flu anymore; it's mono. Though how a guy could get sick kissing Hillary, I can't even imagine.

Thanks for the update, mono actually crossed my mind briefly last night. I've had it and I know how it can linger and completely kick your a$$.

I guess Hillary should keep her distance from Mike for a while.

Just going to throw this out there in case Hilary reads this...some might consider me handsome, I have played hockey before and I once set foot in a furniture store...the balls in your court Ms Duff.

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#39 Ender
November 19 2009, 10:56AM
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@Dan the Man

If Hillary isn't sick, maybe she should keep her distance from Mike. Which also begs the question, if Mike didn't get it from her . . .

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#40 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
November 19 2009, 10:58AM
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Ender wrote:

If Hillary isn't sick, maybe she should keep her distance from Mike. Which also begs the question, if Mike didn't get it from her . . .

Mrs Salo?

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#41 Dan the Man
November 19 2009, 11:02AM
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Ender wrote:

If Hillary isn't sick, maybe she should keep her distance from Mike. Which also begs the question, if Mike didn't get it from her . . .

Come on, it's a well known fact that all pro hockey players and pro athletes for that matter are completely faithful to their partners.

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#42 Ogden Brother
November 19 2009, 11:07AM
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Dan the Man wrote:

I could not agree more. Potulny has looked pretty good as well, if he sticks around longer maybe people will start pronouncing his name correctly.

Potulny/Reddox in MAP/Nillson out should give you as good/better team and save 1.7 million on the cap.

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#43 rubbertrout
November 19 2009, 11:18AM
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Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things wrote:

Mrs Salo?

That is freaking hillarious!

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#44 BingBong
November 19 2009, 12:04PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

@ JW

It would be interesting to see the teams scoring on back-ups vs starters.

I'm thinking Garon/Bujdia/Howard specifically.

Great point. We've basically scored most of our goals on weak goaltending. Bujdia was bad last night, Howard looked like he didn't belong in the ECHL, etc. One big reason we were 6-2-1 to start the year was because of weak goaltending from the opposition; even the losses against the Flamers Kipper looked weak. Against real goaltending, this team just doesn't have it.

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#45 common sense
November 19 2009, 12:11PM
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O'Sull is here primarily to score goals. He's mediocre in every other dept. including toughness, pk. If he's not scoring then this guy is somewhat overpaid player and he's not been scoring proficiently ergo bottomline is he's a mediocre overpaid player....

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#46 esa tikkanen
November 19 2009, 12:14PM
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can anyone tell me how to find a list of the 50 NHL contracts the oilers have signed? I am trying to find out if Linglet and Wiseman are on that list

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#47 King Penner
November 19 2009, 12:16PM
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Where can you find out the man games lost to injury stat?

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#48 King Penner
November 19 2009, 12:17PM
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Where can you find out the man games lost to injury stat?

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#49 Ogden Brother
November 19 2009, 12:19PM
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common sense wrote:

O'Sull is here primarily to score goals. He's mediocre in every other dept. including toughness, pk. If he's not scoring then this guy is somewhat overpaid player and he's not been scoring proficiently ergo bottomline is he's a mediocre overpaid player....

He's got some type of play-making ability... at least his numbers show he does.

Like I said before, if he can put up 45-50 he's a resonable 2nd liner and makes roughly what a resonable 2nd liner should.

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#50 Ogden Brother
November 19 2009, 12:22PM
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BingBong wrote:

Great point. We've basically scored most of our goals on weak goaltending. Bujdia was bad last night, Howard looked like he didn't belong in the ECHL, etc. One big reason we were 6-2-1 to start the year was because of weak goaltending from the opposition; even the losses against the Flamers Kipper looked weak. Against real goaltending, this team just doesn't have it.

I think we'd got Joffrey Lupul syndrom, his first year in Philly something ridiculous like 60% of his goals came against back-ups.

We seem to light up the weak tending and struggle against good or better tending.

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