The eyes have it: fear Roloson

Robin Brownlee
November 02 2009 03:25PM

I've seen a look in Dwayne Roloson's eyes that chilled me in the past, and I'm betting the Edmonton Oilers will see it tonight when he stares out at them from the goal crease at Veteran's Memorial Coliseum.

If there's a more intense and mentally tough player in the NHL than Roloson, which in itself sounds odd because he's a goaltender, for crying out loud -- wing nut, yes, intensity, no -- I haven't met him.

If you watched Roloson during his days with the Oilers zoning in during the national anthem, where his head rolls around on his shoulders like he's just stuck a fit in his arm as he talks to himself, you know what I mean.

And that's not the half of it. Do you think Roloson took his job as starting goaltender back from Mathieu Garon a couple of seasons ago because he's the better goaltender? Because he's more talented? Not a chance.

Roloson wrestled his job back because he wanted it more than Garon. He was mentally tougher than Garon. He refused to pack it in, even after coach Craig MacTavish said Garon was his man.

I remember the "I'll show you" look in Roloson's eyes then -- Ted Green's lamps used to get goofy like that when he was about to go off -- and I've seen enough of him to know we'll see it again tonight.

The Oilers, essentially, told Roloson to take a hike this off-season when they refused to consider giving him a multi-year deal. No issue there. Why give a 39-year-old stopper two years? Instead, they shoved a big stack of money at 36-year-old Nikolai Khabibulin in a four-year deal.

How badly do you think Roloson wants to beat the Oilers tonight?

Hell hath no fury...

"He'll be tougher than hell tonight," said radio play-by-play man Rod Phillips when I talked to him at his hotel in Long Island this morning. Yes, he will. Of that, anybody who knows Roloson will attest.

Roloson, who turned 40 last month, will take a 3-1-3 record, a 2.95 goals-against average and a .910 saves-percentage in against the Oilers. He also has a less-than-stellar 3-11-0 career record against Edmonton.

"For me personally, it's just another game," Roloson said today, lying through his teeth like Bill Clinton did about Monica Lewinsky.

You can throw the numbers out the window right after Roloson's just-another-game routine. He'll damn sure be locked and loaded when the puck drops.

That's no guarantee he'll beat his former teammates, but bet your last buck he'll have a big "screw you" mapped out in his head as its rolling around on his shoulders.

Roloson, simply, is one of guys who squeezes everything he can out of the ability he brings to the table. He's not the most talented guy. He's not the most physically gifted. Not even close.

Roloson has hung around the NHL for 469 games over 13 seasons because he's as stubborn and dogged and focused as a man can be. He'll fight you. He'll prove you wrong. Or at least try.

"So, no two-year deal for me, but four years for Khabibulin, eh . . ." I can only imagine what imagery Roloson's been using to get himself jacked up for this one as he faces an Oilers outfit that's been shutout in three of the last four games.

He'll kick them in the face, if he can.

This and that

  • Former Oiler Rob Schremp won't get a crack at his old teammates tonight as he'll be a healthy scratch. Then again, that really is the definition of "Rob Schremp hockey," isn't it?
  • I thought former Oiler captain Doug Weight was finished two or three seasons ago, but that's obviously not the case. Weight, by the way, has scored 8-8-16 in 18 career games against the Oilers.

  -- Listen to Robin Brownlee every Wednesday and Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m. on Just A Game with Jason Gregor on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#1 blu
November 02 2009, 03:30PM
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I refuse to be shutout tonight. Penner, you'd better be bloody with me on that.

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#2 The Towel Boy
November 02 2009, 03:32PM
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~The Oilers never get bitten by their former players.

...we're done for.

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#3 Ogden Brother
November 02 2009, 03:35PM
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Anyways, lets talk about Horcoff and his salary.

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#4 Ogden Brother
November 02 2009, 03:39PM
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Hard to believe Rollie is 3-1-3. Looks like the old guy still has another year or two left in him.

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#5 Robin Brownlee
November 02 2009, 03:51PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

Hard to believe Rollie is 3-1-3. Looks like the old guy still has another year or two left in him.

I'm not surprised. I agree with not giving him two more years here, but he's going to be handy on Long Island with DiPietro out forever and cashing huge cheques.

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#6 Tracie
November 02 2009, 03:51PM
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I love Roli and was sad to see him go so I wish nothing but good things for him...except tonight!

I'm hoping that we get into his house alot tonight and get him off his game! We haven't gotten in alot of goalies faces this year and what better way to start practicing then against Roli! He lets out some juicy rebounds so hopefully we can capitalize...

I'm going out on a limb and predicting a 1-0 game for our beloved Oil tonight, Roli will be the third star with 45 saves and Khabby will be the first star, with goal scorer Penner being the second star!

There! I said it!

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#7 Ambassador humantorch
November 02 2009, 03:55PM
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The Towel Boy wrote:

~The Oilers never get bitten by their former players.

...we're done for.

Hooray. We're dead.

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#8 Ogden Brother
November 02 2009, 03:59PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

I'm not surprised. I agree with not giving him two more years here, but he's going to be handy on Long Island with DiPietro out forever and cashing huge cheques.

Ya, I guess I'm not so suprised Rollie is 3-1-3. I'm suprised he's 3-1-3 with the NYI.

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#9 roughneck
November 02 2009, 04:11PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

Anyways, lets talk about Horcoff and his salary.

i thought misplaced redundancy was the domain of persons who have 11 names for pink and say "im not nagging" a lot.

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#10 Tracie
November 02 2009, 04:13PM
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HEY! that's not fair! not all of us hate Horcoff! Or rather not all of us dwell on hating Horcoff!!!

now the toilet seat, that's a different story!!

and I can only name two different names for pink! Gross and ugly! so there!

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#11 Cool Beans
November 02 2009, 04:22PM
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So is Marty Biron starting tonight?

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#12 jeanshorts
November 02 2009, 04:22PM
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So Rob Schremp has been a healthy scratch for the majority of his time so far on Long Island.

Interesting.................

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#13 Hemmercules
November 02 2009, 04:26PM
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I don't get why Roloson will be saying "screw you"?? The oilers were the only organization that gave him a chance to be a starter, then we gave him a nice 3 year contract and tons of ice time when people still said he was junk. He should be thanking the oilers and let in a couple classic softies tonight like he used to do for us. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure he wants to win, but he should have no hatred towards this team.

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#14 Hax
November 02 2009, 04:29PM
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I hope Stortini gets in his face so I can see Roli throw a fit.

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#15 OvenChicken8 - Team JSBM
November 02 2009, 04:34PM
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@jeanshorts

~But that's not fair. It's obvious that Gordon just doesn't know talent when he sees it.~

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#16 jeanshorts
November 02 2009, 04:40PM
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@Hemmercules

I think it's less hatred towards the team, and more "Check it out I'm still more than serviceable as a goalie, you guys probably should have saved your money and kept me around" kind of thing. It's like when you break up with a girl and hit the gym really hard so that next time you see her you're better looking.

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#17 Robin Brownlee
November 02 2009, 04:41PM
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Hemmercules wrote:

I don't get why Roloson will be saying "screw you"?? The oilers were the only organization that gave him a chance to be a starter, then we gave him a nice 3 year contract and tons of ice time when people still said he was junk. He should be thanking the oilers and let in a couple classic softies tonight like he used to do for us. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure he wants to win, but he should have no hatred towards this team.

You don't get it? Because that's Roloson. That's the point of the item. That's what makes him tick. That's what's kept him in the league for 13 seasons. It's got nothing to do with hatred. Sheesh.

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#18 Senator Theo
November 02 2009, 04:43PM
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Hemmercules wrote:

I don't get why Roloson will be saying "screw you"?? The oilers were the only organization that gave him a chance to be a starter, then we gave him a nice 3 year contract and tons of ice time when people still said he was junk. He should be thanking the oilers and let in a couple classic softies tonight like he used to do for us. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure he wants to win, but he should have no hatred towards this team.

I totally agree. The Oilers also threw a fair bit of dough at him in the last three years, so I can't imagine why he would have any complaints. He wasn't getting opportunities anywhere else before he came to Edmonton.

I think it would be a classy move on his part to let in a couple of soft ones.

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#19 Senator Theo
November 02 2009, 04:44PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

I think it's less hatred towards the team, and more "Check it out I'm still more than serviceable as a goalie, you guys probably should have saved your money and kept me around" kind of thing. It's like when you break up with a girl and hit the gym really hard so that next time you see her you're better looking.

How did you know that Scorecoff does that?

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#20 jeanshorts
November 02 2009, 04:47PM
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@Senator Theo

Because the first time I saw him after we broke up he looked ripped! And I went home and cried myself to sleep for being so stupid and wished we had never broken up in the first place.

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#21 Jamie B.
November 02 2009, 04:56PM
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I don't know, Roli had every reason to say "screw you" to Minny when he was with us, but it never really worked out that way.

Seriously, I didn't pay 180 stupid dollars to watch the Islanders feed! Get it together on and off the ice, please, Oilers.

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#22 Robin Brownlee
November 02 2009, 04:59PM
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Jamie B. wrote:

I don't know, Roli had every reason to say "screw you" to Minny when he was with us, but it never really worked out that way.

Seriously, I didn't pay 180 stupid dollars to watch the Islanders feed! Get it together on and off the ice, please, Oilers.

OK, I'm making it up . . .

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#23 Senator Theo
November 02 2009, 05:00PM
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Jamie B. wrote:

I don't know, Roli had every reason to say "screw you" to Minny when he was with us, but it never really worked out that way.

Seriously, I didn't pay 180 stupid dollars to watch the Islanders feed! Get it together on and off the ice, please, Oilers.

I made reference to this in the GDB too - I don't remember Roli's record against his former clubs ever being that outstanding.

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#24 Hemmercules
November 02 2009, 05:00PM
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@Robin Brownlee

I agree with the article for the most part, I just don't think Roli should/would be thinking "screw you". He was happy to go out east. It's not like the oilers thought he was crap, they had other options and took a younger goalie with a cup ring instead. Just my opinion. I actually would have been happier with Roli for 2 years than what we have now. Khabbi is my goat.

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#25 Senator Theo
November 02 2009, 05:02PM
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RB - I don't think you're making it up. I think he'll be pumped to play tonight, but nothing I saw on the ice during his time in Edmonton would lead me to believe he's going to shut the door tonight.

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#26 Jamie B.
November 02 2009, 05:07PM
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Senator Theo wrote:

RB - I don't think you're making it up. I think he'll be pumped to play tonight, but nothing I saw on the ice during his time in Edmonton would lead me to believe he's going to shut the door tonight.

This is what I meant, thanks. Robin, I wasn't trying to imply I didn't believe you. I can easily see it happening, if for no other reason than the Oilers have that kind of luck. I agree it's not a good mix when the Oilers are already having trouble scoring. Pray for an early one. God knows Roli let in plenty of those for us last season.

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#27 Wanye
November 02 2009, 05:12PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

OK, I'm making it up . . .

Make up something more fun Robin. Something that involves more Hilary Duff and less about a cast off former Oilers hero coming back with a terrible squad and shutting the Oilers out again.

Yes, if that happens tonight I will blame you.

Or the swine flu.

But not Horcoff.

Unless it is his fault.

Which it is.

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#28 Oilitsinyoutogive
November 02 2009, 05:18PM
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@Wanye

i dont see how its Horcoffs fault! He never touches the puck, you know...even when its fed right onto his stick.

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#29 Mr DeBakey
November 02 2009, 05:33PM
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lying through his teeth like Bill Clinton did about Monica Lewinsky

Lets update that for a new century, shall we:

...lying through his teeth like George Bush did about Weapons of Mass Destruction.

You're welcome

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#30 Hemmercules
November 02 2009, 05:35PM
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wow, why did we need two dmen behind the net there??? common grebs, get off your a**.

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#31 Lofty
November 02 2009, 05:35PM
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Gilbert and Grebs behind the net on there ass... they are scary bad together.

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#32 Hemmercules
November 02 2009, 05:37PM
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Kid line is no longer good. Seperate them immediately.

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#33 Oilersordeath
November 02 2009, 05:42PM
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I have another bad feeling about tonight, Oilers always downplay to weaker teams level. Oh wait we are the new Islanders!! 4-1 loss for the Oil

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#34 Robin Brownlee
November 02 2009, 05:50PM
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I've seen a look in Hilary Duff's eyes that chilled me in the past as well. Sort of a "WTF are you looking at, bub?" She'd kick me in the face, if she could.

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#35 Lofty
November 02 2009, 06:05PM
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Does anyone else question the value of Patty O. Every game he seems to float around, turn the puck over and take terrible shots. I used to think there was not such thing as a bad shot on net but he is making me reconsider that.

I was excited when the oil got him last year and thought he would be a solid asset for the Oil but now he is just annoying. If half of the bad shots that he takes which end up giving the opposition possession were counted as turnovers he would be leading the team by an impressive margin.

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#36 Nate full of Hate
November 02 2009, 06:06PM
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Saturday's 1st period audio from Boston sounded like your regular season game at Rexall place.

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#37 Wanye
November 02 2009, 06:10PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

I've seen a look in Hilary Duff's eyes that chilled me in the past as well. Sort of a "WTF are you looking at, bub?" She'd kick me in the face, if she could.

You've seen Hilary Duff in person?

Do go on.... I'd rather read about that then watch an Islanders feed anyday.

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#38 PPVisAJOKE
November 02 2009, 06:17PM
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Anyone have a link for the online stream of this game??

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#39 Robin Brownlee
November 02 2009, 06:55PM
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Wanye wrote:

You've seen Hilary Duff in person?

Do go on.... I'd rather read about that then watch an Islanders feed anyday.

You mean Hil? My friend, Hil? Really, there's no need for any fuss.

What's the big deal? Sometimes Mike and her come by the house for dinner and drinks and maybe a game of Twister with the wife and I. We talk. We laugh out loud. She really is just a down-to-earth normal girl.

No, never met her . . .

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#40 HOZ
November 02 2009, 07:31PM
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It would help to defeat Roloson or any opposition goaltender if the Oilers actually got shots on net.

Again the Oilers are badly outshot. Can we say out-hussled as well? Time for Quinn to slam some slackers.

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#41 pmg2
November 02 2009, 07:48PM
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Oil lose ,...again. No surprise.

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#42 Robin Brownlee
November 02 2009, 07:53PM
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In that shot of Roloson talking to himself in the last few minutes, I think the microphone picked up something that sounded like, "In your ass, Tambi, in your ass . . ."

Roloson was as good as he had to be except for the fluke by Moreau, but either this team has been hit way harder by the flu than they're letting on or they've just decided to mail it in late in games recently. Six shots in the third period? No urgency. No jam. That's weak.

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#43 Reagan
November 02 2009, 08:09PM
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Wow, shocking how bad the Oilers truly are. I'm glad I didn't pay for this disaster. Don't the Oilers know that the puck moves faster than they do skating? Yeah... On to the next disaster...

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#44 Nate full of Hate
November 02 2009, 08:20PM
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Dennis Green to the Edmonton Oilers,

They are who we thought they were....

You can't make an entire team re-invent who they are....

Taylor Hall sweepstakes ???

If Edmonton can't score and the Oilers were to move Khabibulin a #1 pick is quite realistic.

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#45 Robin Brownlee
November 02 2009, 08:29PM
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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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#46 RossCreekNation
November 02 2009, 08:40PM
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LTIR

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#47 Senator Theo
November 02 2009, 08:41PM
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Well, it doesn't sound like Roli beat the Oilers - he didn't have to. 6 shots in the 3rd is ridiculous.

Even a terrible team plays better than this. I think we don't know the full effect of the injuries/health of this team. 1 goal or less in four out of the last five games shows that there is something else going on here.

This is a completely different team than the one that played the first 5 games.

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#48 RossCreekNation
November 02 2009, 08:44PM
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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.

OMG!

Now what is Hatecoff, Whiffcoff & Horcawful gonna have to complain about?

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#49 Ogden Brother
November 02 2009, 08:49PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

OMG!

Now what is Hatecoff, Whiffcoff & Horcawful gonna have to complain about?

Yikes, well if nothing else it could give some perspective.

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#50 Robin Brownlee
November 02 2009, 08:57PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

OMG!

Now what is Hatecoff, Whiffcoff & Horcawful gonna have to complain about?

Do you really give a squirt what they think? They'll find something else to piss and moan about. It's the reason they draw breath.

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