GDB XVI: Home, home against the Rangers

Jason Gregor
November 05 2009 01:43PM

Tonight is the only time you will see the Rangers and Oilers do battle this season, barring a miracle Stanley Cup matchup, and right now neither team is playing very well.

After winning seven straight the Rangers are 2-5-1 in their last eight and are suffering from the same “stone-itis” as the Oilers with only five goals in the last four games.

Ladislav Smid didn’t skate this morning and looks to be out tonight, so the defence pairings looks like this:

Visnovsky — Chorney
Strudwick — Staios
Gilbert — Grebeshkov

The Oilers still don’t have a pairing that resembles a shut-down pair and it will be interesting to see who Tom Renney puts out against Marian Gaborik and Vinny Prospal. If Smid was playing he would be the guy, but with him out Renney told me it will be by committee tonight.

Renney has been really happy with Smid this season, and that when they have given him the assignment to shut down a guy, he has welcomed it.

Up front the Oilers will role two supposed scoring lines, and then a checking line and an energy line.

Penner — Gagner — Hemsky
Comrie — O’Sullivan — Nilsson
Moreau — Cogliano — Pisani
MacIntyre — Brule — Stortini

JF Jacques is out for tonight. He is suffering from back spasms, and he will have an MRI this afternoon. They don’t think it is related to his previous back injury and the MRI is more precautionary. Mike Comrie is feeling a bit better, but he won’t know exactly how his breathing is until he gets in the game. And look for Comrie to take a few draws with O’Sullivan not overly comfortable in the dot.

The good news for the Oilers is that the Rangers aren’t a dominant team in the dot. The Rangers are 48% while the Oilers are 46% in the draw, so one of them will improve their percentage tonight.

As you hunker down, or head out to The Pint to watch PPV tonight, expect the Oilers to be more physical. The consistent message from the players is that they have to get back to being hard to play against like they were in the first nine games. The Rangers aren’t blessed with a really big or physical team, so if the Oilers skate and hit like they did early this season they should be successful.

The Oilers need to do a better job of getting shots and limiting the shots against. They can’t expect to win games when they are consistently getting out-shot by ten or more shots. It comes down to effort and a willingness to compete.

Which is the exact same problem they’ve had in previous years. This team needs to be more consistent with the small details of their game, and they need to start executing what the coaching staff wants. If they don’t they will struggle to stay in the hunt, but if the light switches on then they have the make up to be competitive.

Look for the Oilers to re-call someone after the game, just to ensure they have enough bodies on the road trip. Chris Minard would have been the guy, with nine goals in eleven games, but he has a mild concussion and is out. Ryan O’Marra has not been good of late, so expect it to be either Ryan Potulny or Liam Reddox.

Souray speaks

Sheldon Souray spoke for the first time since being injured on October 8th. He had a fairly intense bike ride yesterday and then skated. He has gone four days without any negative symptoms, but is very cautious about when he will return.

When I asked him his thoughts on the play with Iginla he said, “I respect Jarome and the way he plays. Accidents happen all the time and it is unfortunate what happened, but I’m not upset about it. It is a common play in hockey when a guy forechecks hard and you feel the pressure ...The game is so fast and guys have to make decisions in a second and sometimes accidents happen.” 

Not surprising that he feels that way, since Souray is a hard-nosed player and it clearly wasn’t a cheap play. Ideally Iginla’s stick wouldn’t have been there, but the game is so fast, ultimately accidents will happen.

Souray is taking a very cautious approach, and he would like to join the team on the road, just so he could get skating with other people. He hasn’t worked out in a month, and said he hasn’t gone that long without working out in his career. Even after shoulder surgery he would start rehabbing within a week or two. So he feels he has to get back in shape and hopefully not suffer any setbacks before he even thinks about returning. Don’t expect him back for at least two weeks and probably three.

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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 Librarian Mike
November 05 2009, 04:27PM
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Hat Pughes wrote:

D Pairing - Grebeshkov / Gilbert............ so is Hostess the Game Sponsor Tonight "Turnovers for Everybody"

I think of them as being like surgeons on the ice: "They will turn your head....and cough (the puck up)".

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#52 freeze
November 05 2009, 04:28PM
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Librarian Mike wrote:

I think of them as being like surgeons on the ice: "They will turn your head....and cough (the puck up)".

nice.

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#55 jeanshorts
November 05 2009, 04:38PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Brashear is hurt and Byers is suspended. Problem is the games rarely gets hairy nowadays, and to me MacIntyre would be more effective if he is the guy making big hits rather than just fighting other heavyweights.

Byers is suspended again? Man that guy loves getting suspended more than I love making poop jokes.

And I agree that he'd be far more valuable if he would make more hits like the one where he crushed the soul of of Dustin Boyd last year, on a regular basis, but with Souray and Jacques out it is nice having at least one guy out there that poses a legitimate threat to the other team if they decide to take any liberties on our undersized squad.

But with Brashear and Byers both out then someone else should take that spot. Stortini can handle Voros.

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#56 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
November 05 2009, 04:50PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

Byers is suspended again? Man that guy loves getting suspended more than I love making poop jokes.

And I agree that he'd be far more valuable if he would make more hits like the one where he crushed the soul of of Dustin Boyd last year, on a regular basis, but with Souray and Jacques out it is nice having at least one guy out there that poses a legitimate threat to the other team if they decide to take any liberties on our undersized squad.

But with Brashear and Byers both out then someone else should take that spot. Stortini can handle Voros.

If you watch the slo-mo, you can see that he also covered Boyd in salt, so no soul could ever grow back.

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#57 mjsh
November 05 2009, 06:02PM
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I see Byers was born in Nipawin. Home of Guyle Fieldler in case you were wondering. Anybody know if he is Lyndon Byers son?

just curious

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#58 roughneck
November 05 2009, 07:25PM
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mjsh wrote:

I see Byers was born in Nipawin. Home of Guyle Fieldler in case you were wondering. Anybody know if he is Lyndon Byers son?

just curious

no lyndon was neutered to eliminate that genetic strain

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#59 Librarian Mike
November 05 2009, 07:28PM
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Okay, so just in under the wire:

Final Score: 5-1 Oilers. Penner gets in Lunquist's face and pots 2. The others go to Stortini, Cogliano, and Gagner.

Obvious Prediction: Nilsson doesn't play the 3rd period.

Not so obvious Prediction: Sean Avery makes a brutal comment about the Flames and gets high-fived by the Oilers as he skates past their bench.

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#60 MattL
November 05 2009, 07:38PM
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Ron Bergundy wrote:

I understand your point, but isn't it kinda hard to be an offensive threat when his linemates (for the most part) have been Moreau and Stortini?

I agree to an extent, but Gagner made that line click while he was there, and Cogs doesn't have that same ability. Different players, I guess. Cogliano has proven that he can put the puck in the net, but he hasn't been able to elevate his game to the next level when called upon.

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#61 Rigger
November 05 2009, 07:38PM
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Come on, I wanna kill some whales....er watch the game.

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#62 Rigger
November 05 2009, 07:39PM
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@MattL

My sentiments exactly. Cogs has been having a rough go of it so far. I hope he can pick it up a bit more. I'm excited to see Gagner back with Penner and Hemsky. I hope they'll be flying again tonight.

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#63 MattL
November 05 2009, 07:40PM
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BarryS wrote:

To bad Gagner is the only one who seems to be responding, though to early to write off Brule.

I thought Brule had a great stretch at the start of the season. He had passed Cogs on my imaginary meaningless depth chart, but then he got the black plague, or whatever it is...

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#64 Horcsky
November 05 2009, 07:40PM
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Alright Librarian Mike, i see your prediction in a ocean of no predictions and i raise you.

Final Score: 3-1 Rangers. Hemsky makes a play by himself and scores an unassisted goal.

Obvious Prediction: We lose all the draws in our own end, and it ends up in the back of our net thricely.

Not so obvious Prediction: Pat Quinn pulls a MacT and fully calls out Moreau for "viewing his contract as an endpoint" and not showing any effort.

I seriously hope we win, but so many key injuries. . .

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#65 Eddie Shore
November 05 2009, 07:43PM
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Whats the link for the game?!?!

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#66 Maggie the Monkey
November 05 2009, 07:43PM
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Is somebody playing a cruel joke? Why did my harpoon - er, my link to the ATDHE Oilers game disappear right when I was about to start watching the game?

Does anybody know where else it's being broadcast on line?

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#67 Hemmertime
November 05 2009, 07:43PM
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@Maggie the Monkey

Its gone :(

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#68 Librarian Mike
November 05 2009, 07:45PM
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@Maggie the Monkey

I know! I'm checking some of the usual suspects but nobody is complying.

*Imagines Daryl Katz feverishly working at his computer to block the feed*

Sigh, back to the ESPN gamecast...

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#69 Eddie Shore
November 05 2009, 07:47PM
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Of course the one and only time I want to watch online it doesn't work.

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#70 MattL
November 05 2009, 07:48PM
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Did I miss something, does Rod the God have the flu now too? Dear lord, I hate the Flames more than ever now...

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#71 Maggie the Monkey
November 05 2009, 07:49PM
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@Librarian Mike

I'm checking the couple that I know, too.

I've been living in a place with such a lousy connection that it could barely carry the CHED audio feed, and now that I've finally landed in a spot with some bandwidth the game disappears? God must really not like my pro-gay stances...

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#72 jeanshorts
November 05 2009, 07:51PM
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So the Canucks somehow keep on winning, their game is on tv, there's tons of internet links to it, and there is nary an Oilers game to be found online. NOOOOOO!!!!

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#73 Librarian Mike
November 05 2009, 07:51PM
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Maggie the Monkey wrote:

I'm checking the couple that I know, too.

I've been living in a place with such a lousy connection that it could barely carry the CHED audio feed, and now that I've finally landed in a spot with some bandwidth the game disappears? God must really not like my pro-gay stances...

Haha. That was a great thread. While I'm all for the craziness of this site, it's nice to have a good old-fashioned discussion once in a while.

@Gunner: Yeah....this is my first time too trying to get a feed.....

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#74 Ogden Brother
November 05 2009, 07:52PM
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@ Jeanshorts

"It probably didn't help anything that MacT's favorites more often than not happened to be the guys that were consistently bad. It's one thing to pick favorites based on who is playing well and who goes out there and plays his bag off every shift, that's just plain and simple earning your keep. But it's a different story when you're favorites are guys that make glaring errors, yet never get taken to task for them."

I don't but that for a second. Who were MacT's favorites over the last few years? Horc/Staios/Moreau/Smyth to a lesser extent Gagner. All guys that busts their butts every shift. Who did he crap on last year? Lazy guys that took a tonne of shifts off and/or made brutal mistakes.

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#75 Maggie the Monkey
November 05 2009, 07:52PM
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@Librarian Mike

Agreed.

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#76 jeanshorts
November 05 2009, 07:52PM
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And Rod has the death plague flu???

WHY GOD, WHY??????????????

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#77 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
November 05 2009, 07:54PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

And Rod has the death plague flu???

WHY GOD, WHY??????????????

i blame MacT and the MacBlender

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#78 Eddie Shore
November 05 2009, 07:56PM
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I fouund it on this website - http://www.rajangan.net/ - only thing is you need to download sopcast or some sh*t. Not sure if I want to watch that badly...

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#79 TonyT
November 05 2009, 07:58PM
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Third line looks pretty good so far and the Rangers aren't very strong forecheckers. Should be a good game.

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#80 Horcsky
November 05 2009, 08:01PM
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anyone know how kotalik is doing the last few games? he was lighting it up at the start of the season wasn't he?

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#81 jeanshorts
November 05 2009, 08:05PM
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@Ogden Brother

I think I worded that weirdly. There seemed to be less accountability with MacT at the helm, as far as "his guys" were concerned. Regardless of how horrible Horcoff or Moreau were doing they were never, ever moved from their spot on their line, and were rarely, if ever called out for making horrible plays/decisions. They had super long leashes just because they had built up a decent amount of brownie points from their hard work. Which I'm fine with, but there was a clear double standard. And yeah MacT called out guys that made brutal mistakes, unless your name was Moreau, Staios, Horcoff, Peterson, etc. Weirdly enough those guys were his favorites. Hmmmm.

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#82 roughneck
November 05 2009, 08:05PM
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wow sather looks like crap.

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#83 jeanshorts
November 05 2009, 08:06PM
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@Eddie Shore

Sopcast is pretty sweet. It's too bad they don't make it for Mac, because it definitely helps if you have to watch a lot of games online.

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#84 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
November 05 2009, 08:06PM
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Horcsky wrote:

anyone know how kotalik is doing the last few games? he was lighting it up at the start of the season wasn't he?

nhl.com says he has 1 assist in his last 5 games

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#85 Hemmertime
November 05 2009, 08:06PM
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@Eddie Shore

SopCast is a fine program, lil high on the resource usage when you're running it but not bad. Non-malicious too.

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#86 Maggie the Monkey
November 05 2009, 08:08PM
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I haven't had any trouble with sopcast either, although the suggested site for the game tonight www.rajangan.net won't work for me. Looks like it's back to the audio feed.

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#87 Hemmertime
November 05 2009, 08:10PM
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However that feed wont connect fully

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#88 jeanshorts
November 05 2009, 08:11PM
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cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan wrote:

nhl.com says he has 1 assist in his last 5 games

So clearly the Oilers made a HUGE mistake in letting him go.

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#89 Dan the Man
November 05 2009, 08:12PM
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@Maggie the Monkey

I've used Sopcast to watch other games but the feed on www.rajangan.net doesn't seem to be working for me either.

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#90 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
November 05 2009, 08:12PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

So clearly the Oilers made a HUGE mistake in letting him go.

~you mean another overpaid underperforming top 6 forward wouldnt fit in with this group?~

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#91 jeanshorts
November 05 2009, 08:16PM
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@cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

Yeah but imagine if Quinn put him with Hemsky?????? Not like they didn't try that last year or something. And Kotalik is clearly a top 6 forward. All 40 points a year he puts up and everything.

Did Tencer just hit Tom Gilbert in the face with the mic?

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#92 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
November 05 2009, 08:18PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

Yeah but imagine if Quinn put him with Hemsky?????? Not like they didn't try that last year or something. And Kotalik is clearly a top 6 forward. All 40 points a year he puts up and everything.

Did Tencer just hit Tom Gilbert in the face with the mic?

i hope tencer did, maybe it will knock some sense into mr.cantscoreagoalbuthasprettyhair

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#93 Horcsky
November 05 2009, 08:19PM
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cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan wrote:

nhl.com says he has 1 assist in his last 5 games

So... he's outscoring most of our team?

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#94 Rigger
November 05 2009, 08:23PM
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Dammit! I can't find any links that work, including the sopcast ones. They load so far and then don't work. I guess the whales are safe for now.

On a related note, it's just not the same without Rod calling it.

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#95 Rigger
November 05 2009, 08:24PM
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cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan wrote:

i hope tencer did, maybe it will knock some sense into mr.cantscoreagoalbuthasprettyhair

I don't even know about that hair. Looks pretty ratty to me. Never been a girl who likes that type of hair.

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#96 jeanshorts
November 05 2009, 08:28PM
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Big Sexy ripping on Gene. I LOVE THIS GUY!

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#97 Rigger
November 05 2009, 08:29PM
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Can't get Big Sex back soon enough, although he does need to take care of his fine melon.

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#98 Rigger
November 05 2009, 08:33PM
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God, I hope Storts plows Avery in the teeth!

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#99 Librarian Mike
November 05 2009, 08:37PM
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Enver Lisin. I can't decide if it sounds like some kind of diagnosis on House, or an Ozark hillbilly name.

Enver Lisin....haha....

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#100 jeanshorts
November 05 2009, 08:39PM
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What's the over/under on Valiquette posting a shutout tonight?

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