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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#101 Rigger
November 05 2009, 08:39PM
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Hillbilly, for sure.

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#102 Librarian Mike
November 05 2009, 08:41PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

What's the over/under on Valiquette posting a shutout tonight?

What is Valiquette, 50? It feels like he was around with other sieves career backups like Allan Bester and Glenn Healy.

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#103 jeanshorts
November 05 2009, 08:42PM
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@Librarian Mike

Well, being a career backup has worked out not too bad for Roloson so far. It's probably the same kind of thing. And it sounds like he just robbed Penner point blank. If Penner can't score this team is doomed!

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#104 Horcsky
November 05 2009, 08:44PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

Well, being a career backup has worked out not too bad for Roloson so far. It's probably the same kind of thing. And it sounds like he just robbed Penner point blank. If Penner can't score this team is doomed!

Edit: i think MacT's hair just froze over with that last statement

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#105 jeanshorts
November 05 2009, 08:45PM
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@Horcsky

I'm still questioning my own existence after I said that.

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#106 Librarian Mike
November 05 2009, 08:47PM
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Horcsky wrote:

Edit: i think MacT's hair just froze over with that last statement

That, and "Nilsson really put the team on his back tonight".

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#107 Rigger
November 05 2009, 08:48PM
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Christ! Get some fire under your arses you goofs!

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#108 jeanshorts
November 05 2009, 08:48PM
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Oh weird someone from the other team broke out of a scoring slump. WHO SAW THIS COMING???®

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#109 Rigger
November 05 2009, 08:51PM
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@jeanshorts

No sh*t!! And good to know that many other teams feel completely safe starting their backups against us. Pffff!

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#110 Librarian Mike
November 05 2009, 08:53PM
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@jeanshorts

What's next? Redden will look like he deserves the $23 million per year he gets?

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#111 Maggie the Monkey
November 05 2009, 08:55PM
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Wait - did Stauffer just say "York 2 Oilers Nothing"? As in York University?

I wouldn't doubt it from the way the Oilers are playing lately...

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#112 Rigger
November 05 2009, 08:56PM
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How are we on the dot tonight? I missed most of the first, are we missing Horcoff that much?

YES!!!!! GO VISH!

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#113 jeanshorts
November 05 2009, 08:57PM
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Oh man a goal? Good for Vish. He's been one of the only constants so far this season. Love that guy.

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#114 Librarian Mike
November 05 2009, 08:58PM
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Lube get the first goal of November!

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#115 Rigger
November 05 2009, 08:58PM
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Aaaand there we go, being retards again. Seriously, holding the stick like 4 SECONDS after we score? UGH!

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#116 Maggie the Monkey
November 05 2009, 08:59PM
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@Rigger

Yahoo sports says the Oilers are up in faceoffs 18 - 12.

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#117 Librarian Mike
November 05 2009, 09:00PM
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Rigger wrote:

Aaaand there we go, being retards again. Seriously, holding the stick like 4 SECONDS after we score? UGH!

Pisani's missed a lot of games. He's got goating to catch up on...

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#118 Rigger
November 05 2009, 09:00PM
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@Maggie the Monkey

Ah thanks, better than I thought we'd do.

GODDAMN!! Who took that penalty, Pisani? Thanks a million.

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#119 jeanshorts
November 05 2009, 09:01PM
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Well, it's like I always say, a one goal deficit is the worst lead in hockey.

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#120 Rigger
November 05 2009, 09:01PM
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@Librarian Mike

No kidding! Baaaaaah!

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#121 Librarian Mike
November 05 2009, 09:01PM
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What a surprise. Kotalik scores.

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#122 Horcsky
November 05 2009, 09:03PM
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So updated stats on Kotalik are 1 goal, 2 assists in the last 6 games?

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#123 Rigger
November 05 2009, 09:04PM
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Sweet Jesus, stay outta the GD box!! *tries to think of anger management techniques instead of punching Gilbert in the face*

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#124 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
November 05 2009, 09:06PM
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Horcsky wrote:

So updated stats on Kotalik are 1 goal, 2 assists in the last 6 games?

well, on the bright side, if he WAS playing for the Oilers, he would be sucking ass like the rest of 'em!!!!!

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#125 Quintana
November 05 2009, 09:06PM
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Oh Boy!!We suck!!!

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#126 Rigger
November 05 2009, 09:07PM
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Just getting a consensus here, how much longer can we keep riding that flu excuse? Sigh...

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#127 Quintana
November 05 2009, 09:08PM
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Is Moreau skating tonight?

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#128 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
November 05 2009, 09:10PM
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Rigger wrote:

Just getting a consensus here, how much longer can we keep riding that flu excuse? Sigh...

we will be celebrating the flu on draft day...

"First, we would like to apologize to the fans in Edmonton. With that out of the way, with the 1st overall pick in the 2010 Entry Draft, the Edmonton Oilers are proud to select Taylor Hall"

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#129 Librarian Mike
November 05 2009, 09:10PM
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Quintana wrote:

Is Moreau skating tonight?

I'm not sure his linemates could answer that question.

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#130 David S
November 05 2009, 09:13PM
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The New York color guys are creaming their pants talking about the number of blocked Oiler shots.

Comrie looks like he's trying to make something happen. He'd better connect because Hemsky looks like he just picked up a Canada Post sponsorship - he's sure "mailing it in".

Ba-duh-bump!

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#131 Librarian Mike
November 05 2009, 09:14PM
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cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan wrote:

we will be celebrating the flu on draft day...

"First, we would like to apologize to the fans in Edmonton. With that out of the way, with the 1st overall pick in the 2010 Entry Draft, the Edmonton Oilers are proud to select Taylor Hall"

Knowing the Oilers on draft day, it would be more like 'Skip MacTavish' with the first overall pick.

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#132 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
November 05 2009, 09:16PM
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Librarian Mike wrote:

Knowing the Oilers on draft day, it would be more like 'Skip MacTavish' with the first overall pick.

~why did you have to ruin the last shred of hope i had for this year?

you and your "common sense" and "rational thoughts" can go f*** their hat~

/end rant

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#133 Rigger
November 05 2009, 09:16PM
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Librarian Mike wrote:

Knowing the Oilers on draft day, it would be more like 'Skip MacTavish' with the first overall pick.

SNORT! No doubt.

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#134 Quintana
November 05 2009, 09:17PM
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Tambi, please when Stoner's back trade Nilsson ASAP!!!!!!!!!!

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#135 David S
November 05 2009, 09:18PM
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Towel Boy better be penning a whopper of a post tomorrow because there's gonna be a whole crapload of suicidal Oilers Nation fans tomorrow.

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#136 Librarian Mike
November 05 2009, 09:20PM
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@cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

LOL. I really do wonder though what would happen if the Oilers got a #1. We've certainly had some lottery teams over the years. Hopefully when our time comes, we'll get a guy like Ovechkin instead of Stefan.

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#137 Rigger
November 05 2009, 09:21PM
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@David S

Seriously, these guys make me want to start asking the people I counsel for their drugs. Ugh!

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#138 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
November 05 2009, 09:22PM
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Librarian Mike wrote:

LOL. I really do wonder though what would happen if the Oilers got a #1. We've certainly had some lottery teams over the years. Hopefully when our time comes, we'll get a guy like Ovechkin instead of Stefan.

we all know the oilers would go on an 8 game winning streak to close out the year to make sure than scenario never happens

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#139 Quintana
November 05 2009, 09:24PM
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and make the playoff? ..........please.......

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#140 RossCreekNation
November 05 2009, 09:25PM
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Ahhhh... looks like I've missed a few articles. What's goin on in the game? I haven't read a thing yet... oh... except for some amuzing portions of comments that will forever live on in infamy by nonother than - thee Craig Wark. WHO?

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#141 jeanshorts
November 05 2009, 09:26PM
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Librarian Mike wrote:

Knowing the Oilers on draft day, it would be more like 'Skip MacTavish' with the first overall pick.

Would anyone be surprised, if by some ridiculous stretch, the Oilers did in fact draft Taylor Hall, and he ended up having a Daigle-esque career? We just seem to have no luck drafting. Please lord let Gagner, MPS and Eberle swing those tides the other way.

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#142 Librarian Mike
November 05 2009, 09:27PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

Ahhhh... looks like I've missed a few articles. What's goin on in the game? I haven't read a thing yet... oh... except for some amuzing portions of comments that will forever live on in infamy by nonother than - thee Craig Wark. WHO?

Apparently Mr. Wark was mad that he got bumped from the Swine Flu line by some hockey players. haha

As for the game: No feed, No offense, no hope.

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#143 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
November 05 2009, 09:27PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

Ahhhh... looks like I've missed a few articles. What's goin on in the game? I haven't read a thing yet... oh... except for some amuzing portions of comments that will forever live on in infamy by nonother than - thee Craig Wark. WHO?

look at any oiler game summary from the last 3 years.....

****puts bag back on head****

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#144 Rigger
November 05 2009, 09:28PM
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Pisani you farking goat!

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#145 Quintana
November 05 2009, 09:29PM
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Pisani you Loser!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

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#146 jeanshorts
November 05 2009, 09:29PM
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Well thankfully the Rangers PP has looked pretty mediocre tonight.

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#147 Rigger
November 05 2009, 09:30PM
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@jeanshorts

Ok, that made me laugh. How sad! Like a sad trombone type laugh, uncomfy and one that you try to hide.

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#148 Librarian Mike
November 05 2009, 09:30PM
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Fernando Penalti!

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#149 jeanshorts
November 05 2009, 09:30PM
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"O'Sullivan doesn't get the shot through".

Well there's something I didn't think I'd hear tonight.

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#150 Librarian Mike
November 05 2009, 09:32PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

"O'Sullivan doesn't get the shot through".

Well there's something I didn't think I'd hear tonight.

"Nilsson loses the puck."

"You know Don, I'm not sure making a drop pass at your own blue line is the right play to make there."

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