Oilers Vs. Islanders Post Game: Brendan Witt, Offensive Dynamo

Jonathan Willis
November 02 2009 08:53PM

New York Islanders: 3

Edmonton Oilers: 1

Once again, the Oilers have struggled to put the puck in the net, with the only goal coming courtesy of an Ethan Moreau centring pass which bounced in off Radek Martinek's skate.

Oilers Three Stars, According To Me

1. Ales Hemsky.  The play-by-play crew kept talking about Hemsky having the puck on a string, and they weren't kidding.  He looked great tonight, even though it didn't result in a goal.

2. Nikolai Khabibulin.  The score was close, but the Islanders had a bunch of Grade 'A' scoring opportunities and Khabibulin was sharp.  Two of the three goals against were of the flukey variety.

3. Lubomir Visnovsky.  I noticed one brutal giveaway but aside from that Visnovsky had an active stick and an intelligent game.  He's more poised with the puck than anyone else on the team, with the possible exception of Hemsky.

Random Thoughts

  • I’m not going to pick on J-F Jacques for going after Andy Sutton, but the level of praise from the play-by-play crew surprised me. Sutton’s hit on Gilbert was clean, and despite the commentators’ words it wasn’t a case of Gilbert having his head down (he was guided into the check) and I’m not a fan of every clean check being avenged by a fight. In this case, I have to wonder if ‘sending a message’ is worth the two-minute minor and the ten-minute misconduct.
  • Was Horcoff hurt to finish the third?  After taking a hard hit from Sutton (who only got more physical after the fight with Jacques) I didn't see him much outside of one penalty-killing shift, and Gagner moved up to the top line.
  • Goal aside, the fourth line's been pretty rough and that continued tonight, particularly in their own end.  There are three useful players on that line, but none of them look particularly good as a unit so far.
  • It's nice to see Fernando Pisani back, and interesting to see him lineup with Gilbert Brule and Patrick O'Sullivan.  That may be a secondary shut-down trio for the Oilers if Quinn sticks with that trio.  He's been using Brule in that role (and defensive zone faceoffs) and he's handled it well so far.
  • Awkward segue of the night: "speaking of legs... Horcoff and Hemsky." 
  • It was also great to hear that Steve Staios was practicing again.  I've been critical of Staios in the past, but he's more of an NHL defenceman than Chorney and Peckham right now, and I think it's probably best to get those guys back facing AHL competition for a bit.
  • Brendan Witt scores two after not scoring in 93 games.  One more would have been an incredibly unlikely hattrick.
  • Tonight's effort marks six games without a regulation win, and the shootout victory over Detroit is the only one of those games where the Oilers managed more than two goals.
  • It's tough to blame the powerplay tonight; the Islanders had four opportunities and the Oilers had none.
  • Finally, speaking as a guy with Sam Gagner on his fantasy team, I hope Pat Quinn abandons this kid line reunion thing he's tried the last few games.  They got some shifts together again tonight and didn't look good, and were on the ice for the Islanders' third goal.  Nilsson's got to be press-box bound as soon as Mike Comrie's healthy; those fancy no-look passes just haven't been doing any good defensively or offensively.
  • Grebeshkov and Chorney were on for all three goals against.  After the game, Quinn christened them "fumbledee and fumbledum".
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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, 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 RossCreekNation
November 02 2009, 09:00PM
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FROM twitter.com/dantencer

Just got word that Theo Peckham has been sent back to Springfield of the AHL.

about 1 hour ago from web

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#2 Ogden Brother
November 02 2009, 09:03PM
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Didn't catch the game, but is Stortini not playing physical anymore? I keep hearing that JFJ is the only guy hitting.... has Storts forgotten why he's here?

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#3 RossCreekNation
November 02 2009, 09:03PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Was Horcoff hurt to finish the third? After taking a hard hit from Sutton (who only got more physical after the fight with Jacques) I didn't see him much outside of one penalty-killing shift, and Gagner moved up to the top line.

ROBIN BROWNLEE WROTE:

Just to add to the levity here . . . I didn't much like the way Horcoff looked filing into the dressing room after he got starched by Sutton. Horcoff was definitely favouring his left arm after the game -- what I saw had shoulder separation written all over it. That's just speculation on my part right now, but it's worth keeping an eye on.
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#5 Librarian Mike
November 02 2009, 09:43PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

FROM twitter.com/dantencer

Just got word that Theo Peckham has been sent back to Springfield of the AHL.

about 1 hour ago from web

That's too bad. He was clearly not ready for NHL minutes, but I was hoping he'd make a physical statement with the big team. He's still young, I guess.

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#6 esa tikkanen
November 02 2009, 09:52PM
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anybody have any clue if O" Sullivan would have been tradeable this summer for a low round draft pick?

IF so, the Oil would have done better to dump him and sign Kotalik. Ales could play with Ales and that would free Penner to play on another line, giving the Oil two scoring lines.

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#8 RossCreekNation
November 02 2009, 10:01PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Ales Kotalik isn't a first line winger.

x2

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#9 common sense
November 02 2009, 10:01PM
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O'Sullivan is having a crappy season so far aside from his SO goals. We need goals from this guy. He's probably most dangerous close to the goalie. His slapshot is noticeably weak.

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#10 RossCreekNation
November 02 2009, 10:04PM
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Why not play O'Sullivan in between Hemsky & Penner? See if it gets him going.

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#11 Reagan
November 02 2009, 10:07PM
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I think after Souray and Stone went down the Oilers forgot who they were? Well my guess is after Stone went down, but It seems all to likely that all the coat tails were being ridden on these guys that actually gave a crap in camp.

What chokes me up is the lack of intensity on the ice. It's pathetic. Watching Hemsky dottle and puke up the puck, relying on his skill and a prayer that the puck may magically fall into the F*ing net is not going to cut it against any team. Toughen up dough boy!

If there is any players that have actually shown up this year, here is my list...

Visnovsky Khabibulin Stone Penner Gagner

Where the 18 others? Playing 2010 on the XBOX?

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#12 Fatso
November 02 2009, 10:08PM
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I want to like khabibulin as our #1 but change it up sometimes right. I thought we got rid of rolli so we can play our young goalies.

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#13 jeanshorts
November 02 2009, 10:23PM
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@esa tikkanen

I'd chose O'Sullivan's potential over Kotalik's okay numbers any day of the week.

Gagner's got less points than O'Sullivan and hasn't gotten on the board in 5 games. Should we trade him too? What about Cogliano, he's been lackluster so far. We should just trade away all our young players for draft picks and just bank on the amazing drafting this team is known for.

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#14 lenny
November 02 2009, 10:33PM
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I am still waiting for K. Lowe and his friend Tambo to make a good trade, any trade to show the players that they shoul not be to comfy and iprove the team. Well I guess they couldn't do it before so why start now.

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#15 lenny
November 02 2009, 10:35PM
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iprove= improve

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#16 GSC
November 02 2009, 10:44PM
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Have to agree with Willis on J-F Jacques.

If he really wanted to send a message, take a run at one of the Islanders' star players. That's more productive than taking yourself out of action for 2 and a 10 by throwing down with Sutton.

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#17 Teufel
November 02 2009, 10:46PM
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I'm glad I missed this one. The team has definitely had a rough stretch of games. Hopefully the injury to Horcoff isn't too serious otherwise this is going to be a llllooonnnnggg month.

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#18 Shanye Gretz
November 02 2009, 10:53PM
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JW wrote:

"but the level of praise from the play-by-play crew surprised me."

Interesting. On the MSG feed the heads were ALL over JFJ for his fight. The were on him before the fight actually started, during and after. Comments like "it was clean so why fight?", "He better get the instigator" and "In the NHL Officials camp, this is what they should use as an example of when to call the instigator"

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#19 lenny
November 02 2009, 10:57PM
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Teufel wrote:

I'm glad I missed this one. The team has definitely had a rough stretch of games. Hopefully the injury to Horcoff isn't too serious otherwise this is going to be a llllooonnnnggg month.

Did you meen llllooonnnnggg year? Somebody please explain to me why they could not do any good trades when the owners did not have the money and can't do any trades now with the owner having Billions and want to have a better team? Mr. Katz what is going on with your team?

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#20 Hatecoff
November 02 2009, 11:02PM
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its me snitches.............

i hope horcoff is hurt and hurt for a while

then we can really see what our talented young core can do without him stealing ice time and pooping on lines he gets put on

please be hurt horcoff please even if youre faking because you heard you might be traded please be hurt please

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#21 Tight Lips
November 02 2009, 11:16PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

I'd chose O'Sullivan's potential over Kotalik's okay numbers any day of the week.

Gagner's got less points than O'Sullivan and hasn't gotten on the board in 5 games. Should we trade him too? What about Cogliano, he's been lackluster so far. We should just trade away all our young players for draft picks and just bank on the amazing drafting this team is known for.

How does Gagner have less points than O'Sullivan? Gagner = 10 points, O'Sullivan = 8 points. . .

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#22 DonDon
November 02 2009, 11:32PM
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I see that the Oil have slid down to 10th in the Western Conference standings and the three teams below them have either 2 or 3 games in hand. It seems the club is just about at its natural finishing position, in the 11th or 12th slot. With Colorado and Phoenix improving, it could be 13th or 14th before the season is over. The Oilers have 12 more games in November, 6 at home and 6 away, and the easiest competition was the Islanders tonight, whom they lost to. Scotty Bowman couldn't get this sad sack team into the playoffs so Pat Quinn and Tom Rennie, along with the fans, will face frustration game after game. What now Mr. Tambellini?

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#23 Shmidtstock
November 02 2009, 11:49PM
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first off I don't want to be one of these guys that is going to go out and start pointing fingures at people but is it just me...? Horcoff hasn't looked the same since he went to the all-star game and got hurt, sure he works hard and gets the odd point (mostly due to Hemsky) he's good defensively till he gets the puck... he just doesn't seem confident anymore. the only real good things that he provides us is on the face off and penalty killing (don't get me wrong I like him) but, other than that he may as well be Moreau, he works hard but its time for him to put a bit more effort into playing smart I think its all in his head. I say give up on him on the first line and I agree with replacing him with O'sullivan. Even if O'sullivan doesn't win enough face offs the odds are better that Penner and Hemsky can win the puck back? Am I wrong? I think it is time to shake up this team, they talked to Moreau at the end of the game, his line sat most of the third period from what I noticed, he is frusterated with his team. He talked only of his line thats what I got from it. We need a captain that can put up some numbers make big hits and control the play, maybe there should be a change in the ranks. He is right about the game they should play but... nobody is listening to him, something seems wrong there. Not too sure who to replace him with but in the passed our captains haven't been based on production, mostly work ethic, there are other guys that work just as hard.

I also want to mention the comments about Nillson, I've noticed that it seems he is really trying to impress, he is finishing checks and working hard, sure he has made some stupid passes but he's only played a handful of games...

about the kid line, the only time it worked was when it had to work. they were very successful when they were getting a lot of minutes... so maybe patience might work with them but, the last time it worked was when, Hemsky, Horcoff, and I think three or four other top six guys were out. I can still see the brink of some good chemistry there... Their Defense is another story though.

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#24 Jasmine
November 02 2009, 11:52PM
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Hatecoff wrote:

its me snitches.............

i hope horcoff is hurt and hurt for a while

then we can really see what our talented young core can do without him stealing ice time and pooping on lines he gets put on

please be hurt horcoff please even if youre faking because you heard you might be traded please be hurt please

This garbage is uncalled for. I know you hate Horcoff by your username. But that is no reason to wish an injury on a player on an injury-depleted flu-ravaged team.

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#26 jeanshorts
November 03 2009, 12:35AM
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@Tight Lips

Yeah sorry I got mixed up. I had the stats for Gagner, Kotalik and O'Sullivan all up at the same time and got mixed up. Gagner does have more points. But my point still stands. Gagner still hasn't been on the score sheet for 5 or 6 games now, so we might as well just give up on him, according to some people's logic around here.

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#27 Lofty
November 03 2009, 07:14AM
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Hatecoff wrote:

its me snitches.............

i hope horcoff is hurt and hurt for a while

then we can really see what our talented young core can do without him stealing ice time and pooping on lines he gets put on

please be hurt horcoff please even if youre faking because you heard you might be traded please be hurt please

Stay classy San Diego

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#28 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
November 03 2009, 07:55AM
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Why does Bulin get picked on by some people? The guy is the main reason we aren't losing by 5 or 6 goals a night. He hasn't really had a bad game this year, just a few where he had some real bad bounces go against him.

And Kotalik over O'Sullivan? Kotalik is a 40 point player with potential of 50-55 points. O'Sullivan will put up similar points, but has potential to be so much more. He also can play on the PK or in a defensive role, where Kotalik can't.

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#29 Oil Kings
November 03 2009, 07:57AM
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Lecavalier is spending time on the 3rd line.

Let's sell the farm and bring him in!

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#30 Hemmercules
November 03 2009, 07:58AM
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I think last night was a pretty good indicator that the Oilers are a fringe team that will be clawing for 8th in march/april. That third period was a total mess, not sure if I seen one tape-to-tape pass. I have never seen a team attempt so many passes 5 feet in front of the opposing net like the Oilers do. Not every goal has to be a highlight reel one-timer from the slot. I think they need to try one game of shooting first and crashing the net, or just shooting in general. Have we outshot a single team yet this year???

I'm not really sure why Quinn keeps giving the kid line another shot either, Nilsson is poison and Cogs has no confidence right now.

I dont think the flu is an excuse anymore. Only comrie is out with it. Would be nice to have all our dmen back. If Souray is done for the season we need make a trade or two here soon. Looks like Horc could be done too, Tambo should get to work.

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#31 BK16
November 03 2009, 08:00AM
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Hatecoff wrote:

its me snitches.............

i hope horcoff is hurt and hurt for a while

then we can really see what our talented young core can do without him stealing ice time and pooping on lines he gets put on

please be hurt horcoff please even if youre faking because you heard you might be traded please be hurt please

I guess that's all Robbie Shremp needed, was for Horcoff to get injuried so he could "get a chance".

Do you actually believe we are a better team with Horcoff out of the line-up? You are delusional.

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#32 rubbertrout
November 03 2009, 08:10AM
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Hatecoff wrote:

its me snitches.............

i hope horcoff is hurt and hurt for a while

then we can really see what our talented young core can do without him stealing ice time and pooping on lines he gets put on

please be hurt horcoff please even if youre faking because you heard you might be traded please be hurt please

You can just about set your watch to it. Seems odd that someone that bitches incessantly about Horc's contract would rather have the team eat it with him being hurt. That cap hit doesn't magically go away unless you are dealing with very specific circumstances for injury. Horc is on this squad for the ling haul and hoping htat he gets hurt isn't rreally helping the team regardless of what your misguided personal grievances are.

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#33 rubbertrout
November 03 2009, 08:12AM
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*edit "long haul"

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#34 Heatly
November 03 2009, 08:13AM
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@Fatso

Yes, Habby is doing well, but JDD deserves more games.

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#35 Hemmercules
November 03 2009, 08:16AM
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rubbertrout wrote:

You can just about set your watch to it. Seems odd that someone that bitches incessantly about Horc's contract would rather have the team eat it with him being hurt. That cap hit doesn't magically go away unless you are dealing with very specific circumstances for injury. Horc is on this squad for the ling haul and hoping htat he gets hurt isn't rreally helping the team regardless of what your misguided personal grievances are.

Not sure why people keep feeding this goof. Ignore him and he might fade away like the Oilers are doing right now.

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#36 Heatly
November 03 2009, 08:21AM
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@Hemmercules

x2

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#37 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
November 03 2009, 08:34AM
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Heatly wrote:

Yes, Habby is doing well, but JDD deserves more games.

He is a backup he gets what he gets. I wouldn't worry though as we have 3 sets of back to back games and a stretch of 8 games in 14 days. There is no need to take you starter out when you are only playing every two or three games.

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#38 Heatly
November 03 2009, 08:39AM
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As long as they use JDD I'm fine with it. Now let's pot some goals!

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#39 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
November 03 2009, 08:42AM
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Heatly wrote:

As long as they use JDD I'm fine with it. Now let's pot some goals!

That is our biggest concern right now.

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#40 Ccubed82
November 03 2009, 08:45AM
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Well, not sure what to think of the team after the last two weeks. If it wasn't for a lucky bounce we would have been goose egged AGAIN. I agree that the 'flu' is no longer an excuse, IMO if your healthy enough to be in the lineup your healthy enough to contribute. I agree with Mr Brownlee, that Horc has dislocated, or close to, shoulder. The chicken wing position he was holding his arm in as he left the ice is a dead giveaway. I wish i wasn't working nightshift so i could watch a few games, but after the last couple, i think i am better off watching the lowlights on the tube in the AM. One more thing...... Are we still all convinced that coaching was the reason for the shortcomings of the OIL the last couple years?

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#41 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
November 03 2009, 08:48AM
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@Ccubed82

If you eliminate all of the lucky goals this year, Khabby's got a decent GAA and the Oilers might have a winning record. You can't play the what-if game, though - a goal's a goal.

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#42 I'm a Scientist!
November 03 2009, 08:53AM
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Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things wrote:

If you eliminate all of the lucky goals this year, Khabby's got a decent GAA and the Oilers might have a winning record. You can't play the what-if game, though - a goal's a goal.

If you do that, we were shut out last night.... again.

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#43 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
November 03 2009, 08:55AM
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@Ccubed82

Some guys had no choice to play with the flu, it's not the players fault that they get thrown into games because we can't get enough healthy bodies in. You can't bring anymore bodies in unless guys go on the IR that is why we had sick bodies in the lineup.

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#44 RossCreekNation
November 03 2009, 08:57AM
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I don't know if there's any chance of this happening, but as a non-Oiler fan, my all-time fav Oiler was Jason Arnott.

Anyone wanna hop on the train?

BRING JASON HOME! BRING JASON HOME! BRING JASON HOME!...

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#45 OvenChicken8 - Team JSBM
November 03 2009, 09:02AM
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This team is starting to remind me of the Dive for 5 team. Should we start talking about the battle between us and Toron... I mean Boston for who is going to pick Taylor Hall? :p

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#46 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
November 03 2009, 09:03AM
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I'm a Scientist! wrote:

If you do that, we were shut out last night.... again.

My point is that lucky bounces go both ways. This year, the bounces against greatly outnumber the bounces for. You can eliminate the lucky bounces last night and call it a shutout, but you could eliminate the lucky bounces all year and call it a winning record against Calgary.

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#47 rickithebear
November 03 2009, 09:03AM
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common sense wrote:

O'Sullivan is having a crappy season so far aside from his SO goals. We need goals from this guy. He's probably most dangerous close to the goalie. His slapshot is noticeably weak.

He is a career 7.5% shooter. Is there some confusion about his scoring ability?

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#48 Hemmercules
November 03 2009, 09:04AM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

I don't know if there's any chance of this happening, but as a non-Oiler fan, my all-time fav Oiler was Jason Arnott.

Anyone wanna hop on the train?

BRING JASON HOME! BRING JASON HOME! BRING JASON HOME!...

We already overpay for faceoff guy that is lacking in the points department.

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#49 Ogden Brother
November 03 2009, 09:05AM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

I don't know if there's any chance of this happening, but as a non-Oiler fan, my all-time fav Oiler was Jason Arnott.

Anyone wanna hop on the train?

BRING JASON HOME! BRING JASON HOME! BRING JASON HOME!...

He'd be a great pick-up... I'd rather go for Doan though.

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#50 Ccubed82
November 03 2009, 09:14AM
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@Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things

I was thinking of the Moreau goal off the Isles D man's skate. If it were not for that bounce we would have been shut out... again. thats the worst being shut out

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