GDB XXIV: Roadkill, anyone?

Jason Gregor
November 23 2009 01:52PM

If history shows us anything, then the Oilers have a great chance of winning tonight. The Oilers are 21-6-3 in their last 21 home games against the Coyotes, but in most of the seasons the Oilers were better in the standings.

The Coyotes come to town tonight with four more wins and six more points than the Oilers, but the biggest difference is the goals against. The Oilers are surrendering 3.13 goals per game, while the desert dogs only give up 2.39.

They’ve done that with an anonymous defence corps. Ed Jovanovski will miss his 8th straight game tonight, and Kurt Sauer has yet to play this season.

The dogs’ defence tonight will consist of James Vandermeer, Keith Yandle, Adrian Aucoin, Sami Lepisto, Shaun Heshka and David Schmelko. But the key to their defensive success is that their forwards play just as hard/smart in their own zone as they do in the offensive zone. Scottie Upshall leads the Coyotes with seven goals, but he only has eight points. Shane Doan has 16 points, while Matthew Lombardi, Robert Lang and Adrian Aucoin are tied for second with 12. The Coyotes are winning because they have bought into Dave Tippett's tight defensive game, but I don't see them maintaining it all season if they don't start to score more goals.

While some Oiler D-men have struggled in their own zone — Tom Gilbert — the forwards haven’t helped. Too often they have made the wrong read, or left the wrong guy open. The Oilers allow too many goals from right in front of the goal. They need to be tougher on guys at times, but more importantly they need to be in the right position.

Communication meeting

The meeting with the coaches and leadership group seems to have focused on communication more than anything. Shawn Horcoff said that Quinn had told the guys at the start of the season that he wanted to have a meeting like this near the 20-game mark.

It wasn’t coincidental that it came after a loss where they were completely dominated, but the players felt it was good timing. They know they need to be better, and they liked that Quinn and Tom Renney wanted to hear what they felt. Dustin Penner said, “The meeting allowed us to feel fresh even after that tough loss to Chicago. It was a good forum to listen to the coaches and for them to listen to us.”

Of course the players wouldn’t divulge every aspect of the meeting, but they all think that Pat Quinn is fair. They like that he is fiery, even in his post-game comments, but none of the guys that I talked with felt that Quinn was being too hard on the players. And thankfully they felt that way, because if the players actually felt he was too hard on them, then this team would be in big trouble.

I think the biggest problem in the room is that some guys feel they deserve to be in the top-six, and get upset when they aren’t slotted there. The coaches CAN’T just hand guys those spots. They have to earn it. Quinn would love one or two guys to play so well that he has no choice but to give them second-line minutes. The young guys who want to be in the top-six haven’t earned that role, and if they don’t get over a sense of self-entitlement then they won’t anytime soon.

Can't win with one

Quinn will try to get some more balanced scoring by shuffling the deck once again tonight.

Penner — Gagner — Hemsky
Jacques — Horcoff — Brule
Reddox — O’Sullivan — Stortini
Moreau — Potulny — Cogliano

This team hasn’t had any consistent scoring outside of their top-line in almost a month. Penner and Hemsky have been the only consistent producers, and they need Brule, Gagner, O’Sullivan and Cogliano to start producing. Gagner needs to play better, and get back to being a bit abrasive. Same with Brule.

Injury update

Nikolai Khabibulin didn’t skate and won’t play tonight, but it doesn’t sound like he should be out very long. Ryan Stone skated today, but his knee still feels sore when he pushes off. He might be ready for Friday against the Sharks, but it will depend if the pain subsides by then. Robert Nilsson also skated, but he won’t play tonight, and needs a few more days of practice before they clear him. He could be available on Wednesday, but based on the style of game he plays, I don’t see who he would come in for even when he is healthy.

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#51 Dan the Man
November 23 2009, 07:27PM
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Watching the game here right now... http://livetv.ru/en/eventinfo/33949/

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#52 Maggie the Monkey
November 23 2009, 07:27PM
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Has anybody had any luck finding a feed for the game?

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#53 Wanyes bastard child
November 23 2009, 07:29PM
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GOOOAAAALLLLLL

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#54 Maggie the Monkey
November 23 2009, 07:30PM
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@Dan the Man

I can't get this one to work - what's the trick?

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#55 Wanyes bastard child
November 23 2009, 07:30PM
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GOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLl

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#56 freeze
November 23 2009, 07:30PM
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Quinn needs to have more meetings!

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#57 Freezing Weather Fan
November 23 2009, 07:30PM
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Niiiice!!!

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#58 freeze
November 23 2009, 07:31PM
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whattheeff!!!!

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#59 Tooles
November 23 2009, 07:31PM
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We're batting a mean .500!!!

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#60 jeanshorts
November 23 2009, 07:32PM
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I'M SO GLAD I'M NOT WATCHING THIS!!! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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#61 Dan the Man
November 23 2009, 07:33PM
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Maggie the Monkey wrote:

I can't get this one to work - what's the trick?

Click on the little play button and it should open a web player in another window. Just click play again once it opens. It is the Phoenix feed and it's super choppy for me and not the greatest picture but it's free.

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#62 freeze
November 23 2009, 07:33PM
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@Dan the Man

that feed is pretty brutal but thanks for sharing!! I guess i'll stick with Old Man Rod.

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#63 freeze
November 23 2009, 07:34PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

I'M SO GLAD I'M NOT WATCHING THIS!!! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

must. not. order. ppv....

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#64 Hemmercules
November 23 2009, 07:36PM
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This is the only one I haven't ordered. Can't count on the internet I guess.

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#65 jeanshorts
November 23 2009, 07:37PM
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@freeze

Thankfully I don't even have the technology required to order a "Paid Per Views" but I don't want to jinx it! I may just stick with Rod for the rest of the year*

*this will last exactly one game.

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#66 Dan the Man
November 23 2009, 07:38PM
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freeze wrote:

that feed is pretty brutal but thanks for sharing!! I guess i'll stick with Old Man Rod.

Yeah it completely stopped working for me now.

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#67 jeanshorts
November 23 2009, 07:38PM
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http://www.justin.tv/nhl_live

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#68 jeanshorts
November 23 2009, 07:38PM
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Remember when I said I'd stop watching Oiler games? It lasted exactly 10 seconds.

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#69 Eddie Shore
November 23 2009, 07:39PM
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All I see is a big question mark..

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#70 freeze
November 23 2009, 07:40PM
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@jeanshorts

that one is pretty good lookin'.

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#71 Librarian Mike
November 23 2009, 07:41PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

http://www.justin.tv/nhl_live

<3 U.

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#72 freeze
November 23 2009, 07:41PM
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That color man sounds a little like Norm MacDonald.

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#73 jeanshorts
November 23 2009, 07:42PM
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freeze wrote:

That color man sounds a little like Norm MacDonald.

hahaha he does. If he inhaled half a balloon of helium.

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#74 Wanyes bastard child
November 23 2009, 07:43PM
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JDD putting on a clinic, its a must see ;)

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#75 Eddie Shore
November 23 2009, 07:43PM
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@jeanshorts

Mad RESPEK

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#76 Hemmercules
November 23 2009, 07:43PM
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Nice work guys, thanks for the links everyone. Much appreciated!

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#77 Dan the Man
November 23 2009, 07:43PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

http://www.justin.tv/nhl_live

You are awesome.

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#78 jeanshorts
November 23 2009, 07:46PM
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1. Did they just call Louie DeBrusk the fight doctor?

2. DeBrusk working for the bad guys?????

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#79 Maggie the Monkey
November 23 2009, 07:47PM
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Yes, thanks for the feed - including to Dan the Man, even if I couldn't get it to work.

Hopefully the boys saved a few goals for us to watch in the last two periods...

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#80 geoilogist
November 23 2009, 07:47PM
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Thanks for the link jeanshorts, i was going crazy trying to find one.

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#81 Hemmertime
November 23 2009, 07:49PM
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http://www.justin.tv/nhl_live Is showing the channel as offline, yet I see a tonne of people there. Dammit

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#82 Hemmertime
November 23 2009, 07:50PM
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Duh, may have been since intermission

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#83 Eric Johnson
November 23 2009, 07:50PM
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Ummm just tuned in, are the OIlers really winning 3 nothing?

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#84 Maggie the Monkey
November 23 2009, 07:50PM
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@Hemmertime

It just froze once the intermission started. I'm optimistic it'll come back once the play resumes. (A 3-0 score will give me a bit more hope than normal.)

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#85 jeanshorts
November 23 2009, 07:51PM
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@Hemmertime

Yeah the broadcaster is trying to figure out how to make it not so choppy. So it may go down a few more times before the 2nd starts. And its back now BTW

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#86 Librarian Mike
November 23 2009, 07:53PM
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Eric Johnson wrote:

Ummm just tuned in, are the OIlers really winning 3 nothing?

They're back baby! Bring on the Fanbellinis!

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#87 Senator Theo
November 23 2009, 07:53PM
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You see the size of that burger at Jack in the Box? Yeesh - for $3.99 I can't believe there's any people that go hungry in the states.

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#88 Dan the Man
November 23 2009, 07:54PM
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Rollie faced 59 shots in Toronto tonight and still won. OLD MAN POWER!

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#89 jeanshorts
November 23 2009, 07:56PM
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@Senator Theo

I have a super size or whatever cup from Carl's Jr, and it's well over a liter. A liter. Of pop. For your gigantic burger and gigantic fries. Anyone know if obesity is an issue in the states?

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#90 freeze
November 23 2009, 07:58PM
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lol, the fight dr.

I do like that they are selling the game on the fights down there.

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#91 Hemmercules
November 23 2009, 07:58PM
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@jeanshorts

Watch the movie "Supersize Me", some real gems in that doc.

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#92 Dan the Man
November 23 2009, 07:59PM
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I think I got crabs from watching adthe.net does anyone have a cream I could use?

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#93 freeze
November 23 2009, 07:59PM
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@Dan the Man

Kessel with 12 shots!

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#94 Librarian Mike
November 23 2009, 07:59PM
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@jeanshorts

The US is the only country in the world where a person can be 350 lb and be malnourished.

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#95 Eric Johnson
November 23 2009, 08:00PM
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OMG we are winning 3 effing zipperoo!!!! wow... nice first period..

I would be really happy with a 10 zip drubbing.

*************************************

Quinn to the leadership of the Oilers in the meeting this week,

"So guys, we're not winning, what are we going to do about that?"

Moreau "Take penalties?"

"Nope"

*Souray poses down and makes fearsome grunting noise*

"That could help...."

Horcoff "Skate really hard but wiff on one timers?"

"Uh Nope"

Khabibulin "ˆøˆ˙¶©¨¥√©˙ç"

"Not sure what you just said Khabbi but I am going with no"

Staios " Push our own players into Khabbi?"

Khabibulin " *&%#$% you Staios"

Penner " Score more goals than the other team"

*Quinn sheds a single tear*

"There is hope here yet"

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#96 Eric Johnson
November 23 2009, 08:00PM
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Librarian Mike wrote:

They're back baby! Bring on the Fanbellinis!

HA! soooo true...

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#97 Eric Johnson
November 23 2009, 08:03PM
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Librarian Mike wrote:

They're back baby! Bring on the Fanbellinis!

And then wait for JW to post a stat that proves the Oilers should have lost the first period due to outrageous on ice shooting percentages and well below average off side calls, which resulted in less faceoffs there by giving an advantage to the face off stricken Oilers...

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#98 freeze
November 23 2009, 08:04PM
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Those guys sound like the Oilers apologists. "They outshot, out hit and out played the Oilers. But yet they are down 3-0."

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#99 jeanshorts
November 23 2009, 08:04PM
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@Eric Johnson

BONER!

I think you've just won Quote Of The Week honors. But there is still one more day.

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#100 freeze
November 23 2009, 08:05PM
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@Eric Johnson

Well done, sir!

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