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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#151 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
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.

it's right up there with

"wow, thats bigger than i thought it would be"

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#152 Rigger
November 05 2009, 09:34PM
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Screw you Gaborik! Also, screw you Pisani, 6 mins of penalties get your ass to the bench.

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#153 Quintana
November 05 2009, 09:34PM
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OH PENNER!!!!!!!!! SO CLOSE!!!!!!

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#154 Librarian Mike
November 05 2009, 09:35PM
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Point number 4 for Kotalik...

Seriously, God. Did I sleep with your teenage daughter or something?

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#155 Suntory Hanzo
November 05 2009, 09:36PM
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Anyone have a game link for us westerners?

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#156 jeanshorts
November 05 2009, 09:36PM
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I don't want to say I told you so but....

"I'm going to go against my better judgement here folks;

jeanshorts prediction: Rangers 4 - Oilers 1."

The one time I'm right all season. Fudge.

Silver lining is this horrible play can't last forever right? It has to turn around sometime right? RIGHT?

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#157 Rigger
November 05 2009, 09:37PM
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@Suntory Hanzo

Nope, nothing streaming that anyone could find. Probably a blessing in disguise, you don't want to see this mess.

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#158 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
November 05 2009, 09:37PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

I don't want to say I told you so but....

"I'm going to go against my better judgement here folks;

jeanshorts prediction: Rangers 4 - Oilers 1."

The one time I'm right all season. Fudge.

Silver lining is this horrible play can't last forever right? It has to turn around sometime right? RIGHT?

there is still time for you to be wrong.

the rangers could get to 6...maybe 7 still

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#159 Maggie the Monkey
November 05 2009, 09:37PM
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Thank you ATDHE for not broadcasting this mess.

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#160 Librarian Mike
November 05 2009, 09:37PM
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@jeanshorts

Silver lining is this horrible play can't last forever right? It has to turn around sometime right? RIGHT?

~Well, if Horcoff was playing we'd be totally losing 8-1...Totally.~

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#161 Rigger
November 05 2009, 09:38PM
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~on the plus side, we do really well on the rode, so all those upcoming games should be great.~

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#162 Librarian Mike
November 05 2009, 09:39PM
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Maggie the Monkey wrote:

Thank you ATDHE for not broadcasting this mess.

They must have known...

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#163 Rigger
November 05 2009, 09:39PM
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OMG Duffman!!!! Welcome back from the swine flu dredges

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#164 jeanshorts
November 05 2009, 09:40PM
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@Librarian Mike

Seriously, I'm pretty sure those Horcoff haters are the exact same people that kept screaming about Schremp not getting a fair shot. I wonder what their excuse for us losing INSPITE of finally being rid of the worst player in Oilers history will be.

Oh hey. A goal! Well, at least I'm keeping my pristine game score prediction record intact.

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#165 Suntory Hanzo
November 05 2009, 09:40PM
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@Rigger

Thanks...I just need to let them go and be free for awhile. The team went on it's best run a two years ago when I was on Rugby tour in March. Thought the team was dead and then they made that run.

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#166 Quintana
November 05 2009, 09:40PM
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Thanks Comrie!!!

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#167 Rigger
November 05 2009, 09:40PM
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Rigger wrote:

~on the plus side, we do really well on the rode, so all those upcoming games should be great.~

*should be road

Duh!

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#168 David S
November 05 2009, 09:41PM
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Man we have a habit of making backup goalies look like amazingly good.

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#169 Rigger
November 05 2009, 09:42PM
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@Suntory Hanzo

They're definitely making it hard on everyone, aren't they?

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#170 jeanshorts
November 05 2009, 09:44PM
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And of course the Canucks continue to win. Why wouldn't they? I guess it's good that they beat the Wild, keeping Edmonton out of the NW/Western conference basement.

For now......

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#171 Librarian Mike
November 05 2009, 09:44PM
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@jeanshorts

Oh, the line on Horcoff being absent will be that his contract prevents the Oilers from going out and getting Crosby...like duh, right?

So, there's a little bit of life in this team yet. More of this kind of hockey and pretty soon Quinn's press conferences will get WAY more interesting, at least.

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#172 Rigger
November 05 2009, 09:45PM
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@jeanshorts

Don't forget the Flames, our favorite caveman Phaneuf with the winner. Brutes!

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#173 Suntory Hanzo
November 05 2009, 09:46PM
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@Rigger

Going to the game here in Van at the end of the month...I think I may go incognito for the first time instead of flashing the colours. The fans here are the worst. I'd take flames fans over them. They never cheer for their own team, all they do is wait until us Oil fans cheer, then they fire up the Oilers suck. It happens for every team.

Yar.

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#174 Rigger
November 05 2009, 09:46PM
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Nice to know Ethan still knows how to take a penalty when we REALLY need to be on PK.

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#175 roughneck
November 05 2009, 09:47PM
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#18......... why dude... why?

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#176 Rigger
November 05 2009, 09:47PM
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@Suntory Hanzo

I feel for you. Canucks fans are absolute morons. What did they wait last time before chanting that, a whole shift or two?

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#177 Librarian Mike
November 05 2009, 09:48PM
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Great veteran play there, Moreau.

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#178 David S
November 05 2009, 09:50PM
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I wonder if they still show that Quinn pre-game video at RX1. For Quinn's sake, the way his team is playing right now, I hope not.

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#179 jeanshorts
November 05 2009, 09:50PM
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Rigger wrote:

I feel for you. Canucks fans are absolute morons. What did they wait last time before chanting that, a whole shift or two?

It was literally about 10 seconds after the puck dropped. At least they waited till the game started.

That's one of the reasons why I don't actively seek out tickets for Oilers games out here. Well that, the fact that I'd probably be paying somewhere around 200 bucks or more a ticket, and the Oilers have been playing so terribly that it's not even worth taking the abuse.

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#180 Rigger
November 05 2009, 09:51PM
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@David S

"I promise you this, we WILL compete". Uh...ok. Poor greyballs.

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#181 Suntory Hanzo
November 05 2009, 09:51PM
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@Rigger

Yeah, it was right at the beginning...that's how fast the Oil fans fire it up! I even wore the Gretzky instead of the Gagner, and people were still slagging me saying," he's so old" and crap like that. Really, slagging the great one whilst wearing a Bieksa jersey...

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#182 Rigger
November 05 2009, 09:52PM
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@jeanshorts

Ah you're right, I must have put that out of my mind because of the stupidity level.

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#183 David S
November 05 2009, 09:52PM
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Seriously, if you guys could see the way Hemsky is playing right now, you'd be smashing your computers.

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#184 Rigger
November 05 2009, 09:53PM
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@Suntory Hanzo

Yeah, being in your 40's is REAL old. Retards!

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#185 Suntory Hanzo
November 05 2009, 09:53PM
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@jeanshorts

may have an extra ticket (albeit in the noalcohol zone) oops only 60ish interested?

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#186 jeanshorts
November 05 2009, 09:54PM
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@Suntory Hanzo

I was so shocked yesterday. I was hanging out with Canuck fans and one of them actually said something along the lines of "Seriously why do we brag so much about Northwest Division championships? Most teams don't even hang those banners in their arenas, and we have big ceremonies for them? It's ridiculous".

My faith in man was somewhat restored at that moment.

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#187 Rigger
November 05 2009, 09:54PM
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@David S

Doesn't surprise me. Hemsky mails it in soooo often.

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#188 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
November 05 2009, 09:55PM
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David S wrote:

Seriously, if you guys could see the way Hemsky is playing right now, you'd be smashing your computers.

would you bust your ass, when you are playing hurt, when you look around and see this mess going on around you?

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#189 Suntory Hanzo
November 05 2009, 09:55PM
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@David S

I can't see the game, so I am imagining Esa Tikkanen breaking down the wing and sniping against Vernon.

*longs for past*

I miss his interviews...I swear his language sounded like what Praying Mantis' must sound like if they were in James and the Giant Peach

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#190 Librarian Mike
November 05 2009, 09:57PM
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cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan wrote:

would you bust your ass, when you are playing hurt, when you look around and see this mess going on around you?

I'm sure at this point he's thinking "trade me trade me trade me".

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#191 Suntory Hanzo
November 05 2009, 09:57PM
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Next year I am going to borrow a Nucks jersey, and super tape up my legs and be a bandwagon jumper for Halloween. That'll shut the kids at my school up!

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#192 Shaun Doe
November 05 2009, 10:00PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

I was so shocked yesterday. I was hanging out with Canuck fans and one of them actually said something along the lines of "Seriously why do we brag so much about Northwest Division championships? Most teams don't even hang those banners in their arenas, and we have big ceremonies for them? It's ridiculous".

My faith in man was somewhat restored at that moment.

You know I had a talk with my friends where they finally admitted that the Canucks have THE worst fans in the league. But really, listening to my friends talk about the 'nucks just makes my blood boil.

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#193 David S
November 05 2009, 10:00PM
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Lotsa booing at RX1 tonight.

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#194 Librarian Mike
November 05 2009, 10:00PM
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Okay, Oilers. Halloween's over. Time to change out of your 'lousy hockey team' costume...heh heh...

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#195 jeanshorts
November 05 2009, 10:00PM
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@Suntory Hanzo

As much as I like watching hockey live, I think I'd rather just sit on my couch and drown my sorrows in Bud Light Lime while I watch HNIC. I don't think my heart and/or brain could handle watching the Oilers lose to the Canucks in person. You have some fortitude to tough it out my friend.

25 to 30 blocked shots by the Rangers? Remember when the Oilers were that awesome at shot blocking?

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#196 jeanshorts
November 05 2009, 10:02PM
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@Shaun Doe

The sad thing is for every level headed, common sense using Canuck fan, there is 10,000 loud mouth, know nothing about hockey, would rather crap on every other team in the league than cheer for their own, non existent self esteem having Canuck fans that drown them out.

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#197 Tight Lips
November 05 2009, 10:03PM
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Well I think we all know who the real culprit for the loss is tonight, Robin F'ing Brownlee with his 4-2 loss prediction on the team 1260 earlier today!!!!! AAhhhh i'm sorry please don't hurt me. . .

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#198 Shaun Doe
November 05 2009, 10:03PM
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Looking at the schedule for the rest of the month, how many games can we realistically win? I count two that might be locks.

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#199 Librarian Mike
November 05 2009, 10:04PM
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@jeanshorts

25 to 30 blocked shots by the Rangers? Remember when the Oilers were that awesome at shot blocking?

I miss Jason Smith. Now THERE was a man...

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#200 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
November 05 2009, 10:05PM
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Shaun Doe wrote:

Looking at the schedule for the rest of the month, how many games can we realistically win? I count two that might be locks.

locks? are they playing the oil-kings for funsies?

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