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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#101 Wanyes bastard child
November 23 2009, 08:06PM
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Eric Johnson wrote:

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"

hahahhahhahha

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#102 freeze
November 23 2009, 08:07PM
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uh oh. feed....

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#103 Dan the Man
November 23 2009, 08:07PM
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NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooo.......

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#104 Librarian Mike
November 23 2009, 08:08PM
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@Eric Johnson

Thumbs up to you, sir.

Was anybody else worried that when the feed came back it'd be 4-3 Phoenix?

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#105 jeanshorts
November 23 2009, 08:08PM
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@freeze

Well, at least we get picture in picture.

Still rather put up with this than pay for a PPV.

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#106 freeze
November 23 2009, 08:08PM
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@jeanshorts

oh, for sure!! game on!!

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#107 Wanyes bastard child
November 23 2009, 08:09PM
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Nice save by gumby... please please please don't get hurt!

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#108 freeze
November 23 2009, 08:11PM
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ahahaha, he is gumby.

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#109 freeze
November 23 2009, 08:12PM
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lol, good thing that passwords aren't in clear text.

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#110 freeze
November 23 2009, 08:13PM
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Ottawa sure is having a better year now that 'The Heat'® is gone.

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#111 JackBauer
November 23 2009, 08:14PM
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The video is fairly chopping because the quality of the video is so damn good. But isnt it neat that they interveiw players during the game?

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#112 Librarian Mike
November 23 2009, 08:14PM
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Robert Lang is doing his Ethan Moreau impression tonight.

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#113 Eric Johnson
November 23 2009, 08:14PM
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You know whats fun? illegal feeds of PPV games on the interweb.

That and kicking puppies dressed in miniature Chris Pronger jerseys.

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#114 Eddie Shore
November 23 2009, 08:15PM
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Hemsky is absolutely flying out there.

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#115 freeze
November 23 2009, 08:16PM
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Wow, Hemmer has some fire in his bung hole tonight!

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#116 JackBauer
November 23 2009, 08:16PM
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Now you can tell theyve greatly lowered the resolution. It was nice, but no sense it being nice if you cant tolerate watching it.

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#117 Librarian Mike
November 23 2009, 08:16PM
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Eric Johnson wrote:

You know whats fun? illegal feeds of PPV games on the interweb.

That and kicking puppies dressed in miniature Chris Pronger jerseys.

*alt/tab* Yeah...totally... *alt/tab*

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#118 freeze
November 23 2009, 08:18PM
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Why the hell can't we capitalize on 5 on 3s?

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#119 Senator Theo
November 23 2009, 08:19PM
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I don't want to be one of those guys, but I really want them to shoot it more when they're 5 on 3.

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#120 freeze
November 23 2009, 08:19PM
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@Librarian Mike

haha, yeah, dual monitors come in handy for times like these.

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#121 Eddie Shore
November 23 2009, 08:19PM
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@freeze

Because all we look for is the one timer from the point.

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#122 jeanshorts
November 23 2009, 08:20PM
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JackBauer wrote:

Now you can tell theyve greatly lowered the resolution. It was nice, but no sense it being nice if you cant tolerate watching it.

It looks like his center ice package or whatever was giving him some trouble too. He had to call the people to help troubleshoot what was wrong with it.

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#123 freeze
November 23 2009, 08:23PM
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Good to see 22 use the body.

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#124 freeze
November 23 2009, 08:24PM
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No wonder Hemsky is flying, Tencer called him out:

"Hemsky is really throwing me under the bus, having a great game after I said he was an A+ student settling for B+ grades in my PPV segment."

That would piss me off too!

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#125 Eric Johnson
November 23 2009, 08:25PM
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Man are the Oilers ever skating hard tonight.

Sooo much fun to watch when they aren't all trying to eat a piece of Moreau's tuna can....ya know cause he's a goat and all.

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#126 freeze
November 23 2009, 08:33PM
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soft play by 77, big shock.

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#127 Eric Johnson
November 23 2009, 08:35PM
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freeze wrote:

soft play by 77, big shock.

WHAT??!!! Gilbert???

What is happening to this team.....

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#128 Shawn Cronin
November 23 2009, 08:35PM
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Free burrito at taco bell's in Phoenix if the Yotes score more than 3 in the game. Better odds than the Safeway Score and Win.....if one Oiler scores 5 in one game, you have a chance, A CHANCE, at 1 million. They will never give that away.

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#129 Wanyes bastard child
November 23 2009, 08:35PM
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Put Smid on the PP, he needs a goal dammit!!!

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#130 Librarian Mike
November 23 2009, 08:36PM
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freeze wrote:

soft play by 77, big shock.

I heard he was cranking the Rent sountrack to get all pumped up before the game.

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#131 Eric Johnson
November 23 2009, 08:37PM
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Is it just me or do the Oilers actually look "bigger" than another team?

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#132 freeze
November 23 2009, 08:37PM
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O'Sullivan has the luck of a red-headed step child.

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#133 Eric Johnson
November 23 2009, 08:38PM
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Shawn Cronin wrote:

Free burrito at taco bell's in Phoenix if the Yotes score more than 3 in the game. Better odds than the Safeway Score and Win.....if one Oiler scores 5 in one game, you have a chance, A CHANCE, at 1 million. They will never give that away.

I think Smid breaks his slump in a major way one game...

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#134 Eric Johnson
November 23 2009, 08:41PM
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wow you can't get a later goal than that......*fingers crossed*

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#135 Wanyes bastard child
November 23 2009, 08:41PM
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GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLL

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#136 Eric Johnson
November 23 2009, 08:42PM
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wow....wow....wow.

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#137 jeanshorts
November 23 2009, 08:42PM
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We must lead the league in buzzer beater goals.

Apparently Quinn struck the fear of god in some of the vets huh?

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#138 Dan the Man
November 23 2009, 08:42PM
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A call went our way!!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOO! I thought it bounced off Penner after it hit Horcoff's stick.

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#139 freeze
November 23 2009, 08:42PM
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nice tip horc!! I think he was just getting the hell out of the way!

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#140 Robin Brownlee
November 23 2009, 08:50PM
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freeze wrote:

No wonder Hemsky is flying, Tencer called him out:

"Hemsky is really throwing me under the bus, having a great game after I said he was an A+ student settling for B+ grades in my PPV segment."

That would piss me off too!

Yes, that's it. Because Tencer called him out.

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#141 Wanyes bastard child
November 23 2009, 08:50PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Yes, that's it. Because Tencer called him out.

We should trade Hemsky now...

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#142 Shaun Doe
November 23 2009, 08:51PM
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Wow... so the chat log on the Justin.Tv site just took a turn for the x-rated. I feel like I should be paying to read it.

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#143 freeze
November 23 2009, 08:52PM
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@Robin Brownlee

Of course!!

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#144 jeanshorts
November 23 2009, 08:52PM
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@Robin Brownlee

Hey, if Tencer calling you out isn't enough to get you motivated then I don't know if anything is.

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#145 jeanshorts
November 23 2009, 08:52PM
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Shaun Doe wrote:

Wow... so the chat log on the Justin.Tv site just took a turn for the x-rated. I feel like I should be paying to read it.

God I hope that's the same roughneck that posts here. That would be amazing.

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#146 AlanGustafson
November 23 2009, 08:58PM
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Trust Brownlee and his beard to get in there and ruin a good joke with a sense of practicality. Remind me again what you do?

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#147 Dan the Man
November 23 2009, 09:00PM
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Pat Quinn: Hey Tencer, I need your help, I gotta get Hemsky going. I called him out, I threatened to do to him what I did to Bobby Orr but nuthin...

Dan Tencer: You want me to call him out on air?

Pat Quinn: Would you?

Dan Tencer: Yeah I'll say something about his grades in school or something....or is that too harsh?

Pat Quinn: What the hell is wrong with you? You sick bastard.

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#148 Librarian Mike
November 23 2009, 09:02PM
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@Dan the Man

I imagine it as Quinn standing there with his Blackberry telling Hemsky, "I'm texting Tencer right now *tap tap tap* and I'm going to send it unless you start scoring!"

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#149 Eddie Shore
November 23 2009, 09:04PM
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These announcers are such homers. Canadian announcers aren't this bad.. I think?

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#150 Wanyes bastard child
November 23 2009, 09:06PM
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Gumby Gumby Gumby!!!

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