Oilers vs. Blackhawks Postgame: Mismatch

Jonathan Willis
November 22 2009 12:01AM

Chicago Blackhawks: 5

Edmonton Oilers: 2

Well, that was a mismatch. Both the shot clock (30-25 'Hawks) and the final score flattered the Oilers, who didn't belong on the same ice as the Blackhawks tonight.

Oilers Three Stars, According To Me

1. Dustin Penner.  Stop me if you've heard this before: Penner was the Oilers' best player, and on the ice for every goal (including the disallowed one).  One goal, one assist, and one of the few players to finish in the black both by Corsi and scoring chances.  Six shots on the night, and led all Oilers (including the defence) with more than 22 minutes of ice-time.

2. Andrew Cogliano.  A nice game from Cogliano, who has been in a nasty slump the last while.  He had a couple of very good chances created by his speed, and even though it isn't fair to either Cogliano or Marchant (for different reasons) it's hard not to remember 26 whenever one of those breakaways doesn't work out, for whatever reason.

3. Tom Gilbert.  There were a couple of other guys worth considering here, but I thought Gilbert (and oddly enough Strudwick too) had a decent night despite some miscues.  The play that comes to mind for Gilbert is when he tripped on the puck behind the net but still got it out of danger with excellent second effort.  Quinn's apparently forgiven him for the other night; no defencemen had more ice-time than 77.

Random Thoughts

That's as bad as Liam Reddox has looked this year.  He was brutally out-classed by Patrick Kane on the latter's first period goal, and while his line struggled all evening by eye he was the worst of the three.  It's too bad; he'd been doing a lot to make it difficult to demote him when everyone's finally healthy.

The Souray/Staios pairing has been getting some love from the internet commenteriat since coming back from injury, but they were brutal tonight.  It's entirely possible that neither is at 100% yet (Souray in particular has looked much shakier defensively the last few games than he was last year) but for whatever reason they weren't up to par tonight.

Jeff Deslauriers wasn't good tonight, but Ladislav Smid still ought to be giving him an apology for his series of brutal giveaways.

Shawn Horcoff had a good game (and had a goal disallowed) but he only took one faceoff all night for a team that was 47.0% on the night and is at the bottom of the league in faceoffs.  He's playing hurt right now, because if Quinn could have him taking draws he would.

Jacques had a good first night back in a fourth line role, and was a physical presence.

I'd love to rip Ethan Moreau for taking that penalty, but it was completely bogus.  He was obviously pushed into Cristobal Huet, and there was absolutely no reason for the referees to call him on it.  He was beaking all the way to the box, and he had a very legitimate case.

After the game, Quinn complained both about work ethic and positioning; he kept returning to the former but he also talked about guys who run around and look like they're working but they're way out of position.  He also said the team "abandoned" the game plan.

Given Nikolai Khabibulin's injury history, it's difficult to hear about him 'tweaking' his back without feeling a tinge of anxiety.  He's had a lot of issues since the lockout, and one can only hope this isn't a recurring issue.

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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 Librarian Mike
November 22 2009, 12:34AM
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One thing I've learned about Moreau is that apparently the philosophy of 'veteran players don't get veteran calls' is a myth.

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#2 DonDon
November 22 2009, 12:36AM
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The HNIC TV broadcast crew was extremely critical of the Oilers tonight and probably rightly so. Their criticisms were aimed at the high degree of turnovers, especially in their own end; the lack of puck control anywhere on the ice; and too many players (O'Sullivan was fingered) that backed off along the boards and in the corners, the difficult areas, from playing the puck due to the lack of mental toughness. It must be terribly frustrating for the coaching staff to witness this deficiency and the lack of hockey smarts that plagues this sorry team. As for the myth that this is a team with skilled players, one only has to look at the Blackhawks to appreciate hockey skills. If Quinn and Renney remain the coaches for this season and the next two, Tambellini should trade Hemsky and others that can't/won't adhere to their style of play. May be Katz should trade Tambellini. The Oilers are at best a .500 team, which never qualifies for the NHL playoffs.

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#3 Pouzar
November 22 2009, 12:42AM
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It's games like this that are going to drive Quinn back to drinking again lol. The sad thing is imo is that Chicago did not even play all that inspired for a lot of the game. Certainly not as much as the Calgary game. After getting called out at practice I hoped that Hemsky would have brought his a-game tonight - especially against a top end opponent.

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#4 I'm a Scientist!
November 22 2009, 12:55AM
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Had i made a Game Day Prediction today, it would have been Chicago beating us 5-2. I also would have predicted that Kevin Weekes is a 'weeke' broadcaster and that Moreau would have a penalty called on him that he did not deserve.

Siiigh... another night going to bed mad.

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#5 I'm a Scientist!
November 22 2009, 01:02AM
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What i really want to know is...did rubbertrout get his beer from Gregor?

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#6 OilerLoverFlameoutHater
November 22 2009, 01:36AM
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@ science guy I heard he gave RB gave him his cell number so he probably did. Someone else had the same question as I as well. How the hell did the Hawks know that the timer had froze on that goal? Seems to me the whiney babys went out on a limb and got lucky whiney biatchs.

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#7 OilerLoverFlameoutHater
November 22 2009, 01:39AM
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2 years ago this team wasn't that much worse than the Hawks. What the hell happened?

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#8 mowgli
November 22 2009, 01:55AM
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I see y khubibulin called in sick today.

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#9 The Real Scuba Steve
November 22 2009, 02:01AM
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When is bleeding going to stop? I know we have to support our team on the highs and the lows but this is a joke. Sure injuries are part to blame but when someone gets injured the whole team seems to stop playing, this has been our identity for the last four years. I think some roster changes is the only way.

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#10 OilerLoverFlameoutHater
November 22 2009, 02:06AM
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I heard after the game T.V radio can't remember which that if the Oilers play like this against S.J Sharks that we will get tuned. I disagree I believe the Hawks are THE best team in the west. Anybody disagree?

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#11 easymoney
November 22 2009, 02:13AM
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either way im pretty happy to have givin up my tickets tonite to a father and son just wish they could of seen a better game .FACE IT THIS TEAM SUCKS .QUINN BASICALLY SAID IT IN THE POST GAME .

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#12 Lofty
November 22 2009, 04:02AM
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The more I watch Patty O the less I like him.

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#13 HOFFFF
November 22 2009, 05:17AM
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The more I watch Patty O the less I like him also.

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#14 BMart
November 22 2009, 06:13AM
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Let's be honest here, if Dustin Penner is your best player night in and night out, no desrepect to him cause he's been good/great, but sorry that is a terrible hockey team.

Oilers management have to admit they need a full rebuild, not all this half ass crap the've provided to the fans.

Be honest at least.

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#15 Dan the Man
November 22 2009, 06:36AM
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Penner would be the best player on a lot of teams right now. The problem is he is often only one of two or three guys having good night. He was even good on after hours.

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#16 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
November 22 2009, 07:30AM
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BMart wrote:

Let's be honest here, if Dustin Penner is your best player night in and night out, no desrepect to him cause he's been good/great, but sorry that is a terrible hockey team.

Oilers management have to admit they need a full rebuild, not all this half ass crap the've provided to the fans.

Be honest at least.

do the oiler faithful put up with another 3 years of really bad for a full rebuild?

doubtful.

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#17 oilfan
November 22 2009, 08:15AM
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cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan wrote:

do the oiler faithful put up with another 3 years of really bad for a full rebuild?

doubtful.

I think we already are just havent figured it out yet. Lets face the facts we are a small team with little too no talent. Only fans in Edmonton think Gagne is going to be good, or Hemsky . Until the Oilers can get the puck outr of there end, I'm done. JFJ is good but come on second line forward.

Don't let the media and the oilers staff trick you. JFJ and Stone don't make anyones second line. Gagne should have been sent down to the AHL last year.

Oilers = AHL players put on a NHL team

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#18 Andrew
November 22 2009, 08:16AM
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Let's be honest the problem isn't about putting up with 3 years of rebuild. As an Oilers fan if they had a clear restructuring plan and clear goals on the draft day and what kind of personnel they want on the team I would be willing to go through a rebuild.

The problem right now is that they have a lot of bigger contracts on their books. Gilbert, Souray, Visnovsky, Horcoff are all making 4M or more and all are here long term. If the Oilers can find a taker for Visnovsky they should take it because right now he could get back the most assets as he and Smid have been the most consistent of a terrible defence. Gilbert shouldn't be moved because he is a good player. But he's only 26 and is in his 3rd pro year so mistakes and mental blocks are going to occur. Yes he's been god awful but he will get better plus I'm not sure what he could get us on the trade market because he's been so terrible.

Also without Stone and Jacques in the lineup this team has once again become soft. We need a sandpaper guy who is more durable. I'm curious if the Kings would deal Wayne Simmonds as the kid is very physical and can grind it out. Also what are the chances that Edmonton could land Patrick Sharp. I wonder if Cogliano, a high draft pick and a prospect could make that deal happen.

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#19 oilfan
November 22 2009, 08:28AM
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I'm not saying the Oilers dont need JFJ and Stone casue they need the size. But play them where they belong on the third or fourth lines. I could careless if the Traded every one. But I think that Patty O should go before Cogs even if they both together woun't get you a third round pick.

I think a strong message needs to be made by the staff. A trade, benching, something.

Most teams bench players taht dont attend practices for the full lenght.

Do you guys reallt think Hemsky is good enough to have the Oilers staff try every year to get him a player ? He isn't good enough to mold a team around, he isn't a team player. Mold the team around Penner and trade all the midgets ( Cogs, Gagne,Comrie,Nillson).

Why does everyone think Cogs is worth more then a third/fourth line player ? Thats what he is. Potential ( Just like Schremp).

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#20 oilfan
November 22 2009, 08:28AM
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I'm not saying the Oilers dont need JFJ and Stone casue they need the size. But play them where they belong on the third or fourth lines. I could careless if the Traded every one. But I think that Patty O should go before Cogs even if they both together woun't get you a third round pick.

I think a strong message needs to be made by the staff. A trade, benching, something.

Most teams bench players taht dont attend practices for the full lenght.

Do you guys reallt think Hemsky is good enough to have the Oilers staff try every year to get him a player ? He isn't good enough to mold a team around, he isn't a team player. Mold the team around Penner and trade all the midgets ( Cogs, Gagne,Comrie,Nillson).

Why does everyone think Cogs is worth more then a third/fourth line player ? Thats what he is. Potential ( Just like Schremp).

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#21 deepoil
November 22 2009, 08:44AM
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Pouzar wrote:

It's games like this that are going to drive Quinn back to drinking again lol. The sad thing is imo is that Chicago did not even play all that inspired for a lot of the game. Certainly not as much as the Calgary game. After getting called out at practice I hoped that Hemsky would have brought his a-game tonight - especially against a top end opponent.

I thought it was Quenneville, that had the drinking problem.

http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/18006-Former-Colorado-Avalanche-coach-Joel-Quenneville-faces-DUI-charge.html

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#22 BarryS
November 22 2009, 09:00AM
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oilfan wrote:

I'm not saying the Oilers dont need JFJ and Stone casue they need the size. But play them where they belong on the third or fourth lines. I could careless if the Traded every one. But I think that Patty O should go before Cogs even if they both together woun't get you a third round pick.

I think a strong message needs to be made by the staff. A trade, benching, something.

Most teams bench players taht dont attend practices for the full lenght.

Do you guys reallt think Hemsky is good enough to have the Oilers staff try every year to get him a player ? He isn't good enough to mold a team around, he isn't a team player. Mold the team around Penner and trade all the midgets ( Cogs, Gagne,Comrie,Nillson).

Why does everyone think Cogs is worth more then a third/fourth line player ? Thats what he is. Potential ( Just like Schremp).

The difference is Cogs is a third line NHL player at worse, Schremp is a third line AHL player at best.

Contracts are really a nonissue, every tean in the leaque has long term bad contracts, many are worse. Blowing up the team is not an issue, in the new NHL only end of contract players get traded and then only on deadline day.

If you want to keep all the AHL kids now on the team, then go ahead, some of them are above their heads at the moment. There is no boby else there even remotely ready. The only drafted players in the WHL and other such leagues are likely not ready for a couple more years, even Eberly.

Gagner is an injured NHL player at the moment. The only reason he's playing is injuries and no one else to play.

Wish I had some money, likely to be pretty good deals from all you winers who get tired of things so easily.

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#23 BarryS
November 22 2009, 09:04AM
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Pouzar wrote:

It's games like this that are going to drive Quinn back to drinking again lol. The sad thing is imo is that Chicago did not even play all that inspired for a lot of the game. Certainly not as much as the Calgary game. After getting called out at practice I hoped that Hemsky would have brought his a-game tonight - especially against a top end opponent.

All you folks brought up on Rambo movies should know in reality even bad teams beat individual good players. There has no ever been a team which won with only one or two good players. Even Hemsky at his best can not win the game unless everybody else on the team plays the other team at least even.

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#24 Deep Oil
November 22 2009, 09:06AM
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@cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

As mentioned yesterday, Oilers are already at $45mm for 2010-2011. Based on underperforming players and RFA overdose, this team should implode based on cap mismanagement. Too much D, not enough SCORE.

http://www.nhlnumbers.com/overview.php?team=EDM

Roloson out Khabibulin in for 4 years - same diff - no cap change here, plus a 40 year old goalie that is untradeable at the end of the deal - maybe should of front loaded the deal since Katz allegedy has the cake, this contract could hurt the team, long term.

Trade Hemsky vibe being felt, has the same work ethic of Nillson. Hemmer is now earning $4mm - $5mm per year over the next two years. Hemmer is the new Dustin Penner. His timing seems to be a second or two off - LOL LOL LOL.

Nillson, contract extension while management was under medical supervision, just plain stupid.

Patty O - no lucky charm here for 2.4mm

Second generation contracts of cog, gags, and brule. Since Cogs is the ugly duckling over gags, he will have to suck it up - very little raise.

Bottom line last night was odds were great for betting with the late afternoon sitting of Khabi.... pressure on the Oil having Jung riding the bench, and JDD stuck in net ALL NIGHT, with no chute to pull except for a concussion or injury.

This was a sucker bet, even a caveman, I mean MORON could of seen it coming.

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#25 dragon
November 22 2009, 09:09AM
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oilfan wrote:

I'm not saying the Oilers dont need JFJ and Stone casue they need the size. But play them where they belong on the third or fourth lines. I could careless if the Traded every one. But I think that Patty O should go before Cogs even if they both together woun't get you a third round pick.

I think a strong message needs to be made by the staff. A trade, benching, something.

Most teams bench players taht dont attend practices for the full lenght.

Do you guys reallt think Hemsky is good enough to have the Oilers staff try every year to get him a player ? He isn't good enough to mold a team around, he isn't a team player. Mold the team around Penner and trade all the midgets ( Cogs, Gagne,Comrie,Nillson).

Why does everyone think Cogs is worth more then a third/fourth line player ? Thats what he is. Potential ( Just like Schremp).

As frustrating it is, I do believe this team will re-build just fine. Last night might be just a case of first Smid turnover pissing few off and the mental uphill battle starts. I'm confident we'll see the good Oilers back against the Coyotes. We all agreed this will be another roller-coaster year, until Quinn/Renney will finally finish implementing their system.

Jonathan, there seems to be a disconnect between this piece of news and Quinn's frustration after the game: Quote EJ: 'Ethan Moreau(head), Sam Gagner (hip), Liam Reddox(ankle), Shawn Horcoff (shoulder), Ales Hemsky (upper body), Lubomir Visnovsky, Robert Nilsson (concussion), Ryan Stone (knee), Fernando Pisani (colitis), Marc Pouliot (hernia) and Taylor Chorney (ankle) were on the list of unavailable assets at practice.' link: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/edmonton-oilers/Oilers+alter+practice+plans+lack+bodies/2242093/story.html

How would you interpret this? Normally when you have so many bodies missing practice, you cannot expect the attitude and mental make-up in the locked to match the Hawks'...

The Oil will be back. Let's be (more) patient.

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#26 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
November 22 2009, 09:20AM
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I only caught the third period of the game last night, and I can't say I was really surprised.

I liked JDD's traffic-pylon-esque equipment, though. It looks really great.

In less depressing news, the Moose only lost 5-4 in OT. Subban was less-than-impressive, despite the fact that he potted the GWG. Hamilton's captain, Alex Henry, who was assigned there earlier this month, looked enormous compared to everyone else on the ice (like watching Chara). Turns out he's only 6'5".

13,500 people also squeezed into the MTS Centre (almost capacity) for some reason. Pretty sad when Winnipeg can manage twice as much as Atlanta for a regular-season tilt.

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#27 cm
November 22 2009, 09:26AM
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Saturday, April 28, 2007 Lets take some time and build a winner... I don't know about the rest of oil country but I know that I'm not going to be happy with just making the playoffs...I want a team that will not only make it to the song and dance I want a team that will win...

Last year with 5 games left in the regular season the Denver Broncos switched quarter backs sending veteran Jake Plummer to the bench in favour of rookie QB Jay Cutler...after he made the switch Coach Shanahan was asked why he would switch quarterbacks when he had a playoff team...Shanahan's response, "making the playoffs isn't the goal, winning the superbowl is."

This is the attitude I would like to see brought back to the Oilers...yeah we got lucky and we had a Cinderella season last year and we made the Stanley Cup final...the truth of the matter though is that the clock struck midnight and the Oil lost Game 7...there is a reason that Cinderella teams are called that...teams that just squeak into the playoffs don't win the Cup...the clock always strikes midnight and the fans always go home disappointed...history note: no team outside the top 10 has ever won a Stanly cup and there has only been 6 teams in history who have finished outside the top 5...the reality is you can't be mediocre for 82 games and expect to be amazing come playoff time...more than likely the best you can hope for is go home one glass slipper short...

I'm proposing to the Oilers that they come out and say...look Oil country we know we have the best fans in hockey...we know you're going to support our team...as repayment we are going to build you a winner...we're not satisfied with just getting into the playoffs anymore and were not going to waste money trying to patch things up for an 8th place finish...we are going to rebuild and we are going to give our fans a chance at the cup...I know as a fan I will always be an oiler fan and I would love to hear that our management has a plan...a vision...and their eyes on the prize...cuz when its all over as Bill Ranford once said. "who remembers second?" Posted by CM at 8:07 AM 0 comments

I wrote that almost 3 years ago...its been a long 3 years...

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#28 deepoil
November 22 2009, 09:28AM
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JW, when it is cool to give out three stars to one team, these seems like affirmative action, like when a network hires another goaltender to do color commentary.

How about no stars, a bag skate this morning, more video of last nights non effort, then fly in Josh Sacco on Katz' fractionally owned private jet to come in with some motivation, as it appears that Quinn was ready to resign, when CBC panned the bench in the third period last night.

This 5 year old kid might ingest some emotion into these professional millionaire athletes.... who are really hard done by with a 20% escrow this year , 50% tax, alimony, child support, and car payments..... thank god for tax free PER DIEM.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CdJTfGiRCI

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#30 Milli
November 22 2009, 10:36AM
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yep, that was a brutal game. We where totally outclassed by the Hawks. Good god is there a trade, something, I just wanna see a tough to play against team like the first few games....And, I wanna see the Wall back between the pipes.

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#31 sizzler
November 22 2009, 11:06AM
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Just to clarify....horcoff goal wasn't disallowed. I you put the puck in the net in between periods, its not a disallowed goal, infact its no goal at all.

So stop celebrating and finish the play. called mental preperation.

Wouldn't have mattered at the end any ways. Time to suck for 3-4 yrs and then start proper rebuilding

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#32 deepoil
November 22 2009, 11:57AM
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sizzler wrote:

Just to clarify....horcoff goal wasn't disallowed. I you put the puck in the net in between periods, its not a disallowed goal, infact its no goal at all.

So stop celebrating and finish the play. called mental preperation.

Wouldn't have mattered at the end any ways. Time to suck for 3-4 yrs and then start proper rebuilding

looks like the ny islanders, pitt pens, blackhawks method of acquiring talent for under 900k for three years is gaining the momentum from many fans, given the temperature and reflection from the stockholders these days.....

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#33 brucechris
November 22 2009, 12:36PM
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Sure, the Moreau penalty was bogus THIS TIME.

But the way reffing is, particularly in the NHL, his notoriety of taking stupid penalties clearly caught up with him. The ref saw the end of the infraction, saw who it was, and whistled. Because really, Moreau fights tooth and nail all the way to the box every single time, even when he knows damn well he should be in there.

It's like The Boy Who Cried Wolf... if that book was about the worst Captain in the league who seems to take two steps back every time he takes a step forward.

(I knew I could find a way to still trash Moreau after that call. Hah!)

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#34 Ogden Brother
November 22 2009, 01:30PM
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@ nickero

The guy has taken 9 minor penalties, most of the guys on the team have taken a couple "bad penalties", Moreau's maybe taken 2-3 more then other aggressive players. Big deal.

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#35 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
November 22 2009, 06:24PM
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Deep Oil wrote:

As mentioned yesterday, Oilers are already at $45mm for 2010-2011. Based on underperforming players and RFA overdose, this team should implode based on cap mismanagement. Too much D, not enough SCORE.

http://www.nhlnumbers.com/overview.php?team=EDM

Roloson out Khabibulin in for 4 years - same diff - no cap change here, plus a 40 year old goalie that is untradeable at the end of the deal - maybe should of front loaded the deal since Katz allegedy has the cake, this contract could hurt the team, long term.

Trade Hemsky vibe being felt, has the same work ethic of Nillson. Hemmer is now earning $4mm - $5mm per year over the next two years. Hemmer is the new Dustin Penner. His timing seems to be a second or two off - LOL LOL LOL.

Nillson, contract extension while management was under medical supervision, just plain stupid.

Patty O - no lucky charm here for 2.4mm

Second generation contracts of cog, gags, and brule. Since Cogs is the ugly duckling over gags, he will have to suck it up - very little raise.

Bottom line last night was odds were great for betting with the late afternoon sitting of Khabi.... pressure on the Oil having Jung riding the bench, and JDD stuck in net ALL NIGHT, with no chute to pull except for a concussion or injury.

This was a sucker bet, even a caveman, I mean MORON could of seen it coming.

how does this in anyways answer what i wrote?

i wrote

do the oiler faithful put up with another 3 years of really bad for a full rebuild? doubtful.

honestly....

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#36 rubbertrout
November 22 2009, 07:19PM
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I'm a Scientist! wrote:

What i really want to know is...did rubbertrout get his beer from Gregor?

I'm a little late in responding. Gregor stepped up and bought me the beer. He actually hung out with my buddies and I for most of the 2nd period. I was pretty surprised that he'd give his cell number to some random internet guy but he did. I have a lot of time for that guy.

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#37 I'm a Scientist!
November 23 2009, 09:50AM
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@rubbertrout

What a class act! Glad to hear you got a free beer!

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