GDB XXXVI: Blues on the Winter Solstice

Jason Gregor
December 21 2009 12:27PM

I wonder what Steve Tambellini would like for Christmas... Wins? Consistency? A healthy team? Another forward in double digits in goals?

The big question for Tambellini is will he want wins, or sacrifice that and take player development at this point; because right now it doesn’t look like he’ll be able to have both this season.

The Oilers find themselves 15th in the west this morning, seven points out of the playoffs. It's stunning how quickly things can change in Oilerville in the span of a week. After five straight road wins the Oilers were back in the playoff hunt, three points out with a four-game home stand on the horizon, but three consecutive losses have them closer to Taylor Hall than Lord Stanley.

They lost to LA, Nashville and Washington — all top-seven teams. So it’s not like they're losing to dogs, but it also shows that this team isn’t ready for prime time.

The biggest challenge that Tambellini, Quinn and company face is trying to separate which of these young players will continue to develop and which ones don’t have the ability to elevate their game to the next level.

The players in the dressing room still feel they can win and get to the playoffs, so don’t expect them to roll over and play dead. But from my stand point, this team is a few players away from being a contender. I don’t expect the team to lose on purpose, because players aren’t wired that way, but within a month the landscape should be very clear in what direction Tambellini should go.

Do you remember the first time?

Quinn has elected to give Devan Dubnyk his first NHL start tonight. According to Quinn, he had this game penciled in as a Dubnyk’s a few weeks ago, but didn’t tell him until this morning.

Dubnyk was obviously excited, but he joked about the pressure of the first NHL start compared to his first NHL game when he came off the bench in Vancouver.

"You always have time to be nervous. The difference about today is that I have all day to think about it, rather than getting nervous when I put on my mask in Vancouver. Trust me; the nerves will be there either way."

Dubnyk won’t be the only change tonight. JF Jacques has recovered from the flu and is ready to go and Quinn wants to play him, but he liked Jason Strudwick’s game on Saturday and hinted that 43 might not be the guy coming out.

He likes the intangibles that Strudwick brings. He talked about his mental toughness, his strength and you got the feeling that Quinn wants guys he knows will compete every play regardless of their ability.

Line shuffle

 Quinn also juggled his lines this morning, which shouldn’t surprise anyone considering they’ve lost three in a row.

Penner — Horcoff — Nilsson
Cogliano — Gagner — Stone
Moreau — Potulny — Brule
Jacques — Stortini — O’Sullivan

This is how they looked at practice, but they could change depending on who Quinn sits out tonight.

Considering the players still feel they can make the playoffs, tonight is a must-win. The Blues are one point ahead of the Oilers, but the Oilers have owned them, winning eight straight.

The Blues don’t have a player with more than 22 points (Brad Boyes), but they have eight players with 18 or more points.

David Backes is hot all of a sudden, with five goals and seven points in his last five games. He had four goals in the first 29 games. The Blues spread out their scoring and David Perron and TJ Oshie each have 18 points playing on the third line.

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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 Eddie Shore
December 21 2009, 09:28PM
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@Cleetis

Or that maybe he does in fact have a plan..

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#102 Heavyd
December 21 2009, 09:28PM
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Well the Oilers suck, I tonight i have finally realized this. This team just doesn't get it year after year.

At least countdown to liqour day comes out tomorrow.

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#103 David S
December 21 2009, 09:30PM
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Travis Dakin wrote:

That would be amazing

Well he'd sound pretty douchy saying we're still aiming for the playoffs. Don't know what else he can come up with now. Its pretty obvious we're more than a player or two away.

Fact is, we don't have solid goaltending outside of Khabby and we're way too weak to make up the deficits JDD and DD are leaving us with. As it is, this team is full of fail.

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#104 Shaun Doe
December 21 2009, 09:30PM
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Well this is all very distressing. Does someone not have to answer for this? I'm not going to be unrealistic here and call for an uppermanagement head on a pike or a letter of appology from the Katz man, but more so a benching or two or perhaps a bag skate. Someone needs to tell these players that their jobs aren't secure... oh seriously man these Blues commentators just ripped into Moreau calling him no class for the hit.

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#105 Cleetis
December 21 2009, 09:31PM
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Eddie Shore wrote:

Or that maybe he does in fact have a plan..

Maybe he does, but no one seems to have an effing clue what it could be with this mash up of over priced vets (not a proven winner in the bunch) and developing second liners, at best, there just doesn't seem to be any direction.

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#106 Huggy Bear
December 21 2009, 09:33PM
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I always wondered what ECHL hockey would look like in Edmonton. Thanks again Kevin.

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#107 Eddie Shore
December 21 2009, 09:34PM
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@Cleetis

I'm just as lost as everyone else. Seems to me, the team Tambo so emotionally described after Mac T was let go isn't the team stepping onto the ice at RX1.

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#108 yo
December 21 2009, 09:36PM
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Edmonton Oiler hockey - We don't give a crap and it shows.

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#109 Cleetis
December 21 2009, 09:37PM
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Sorry man, I should have noticed you have DFF next your name, so we are obviously on the same page. I just hate the loses so much* I just wish the guys being paid millions to win hated it as much as I did.

*I realize I am contridcting myself, I am willing to deal with loses as long as I know happy days are on the horizon. From what I see right now, there is no bright future on the horizon.

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#110 Garett
December 21 2009, 09:38PM
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Wow Moreau, seriously?  Going after Oshie like that?  You just made a complete a$$ of yourself!  This team (right from the leadership) is just awful.  How does Moreau get ice time with this club.  Maybe start with stripping the "C" of his jersey, and do the "Ballsy" thing and demote a veteran to the minors thru waivers.  How come Quinn does not ever specifically call out Moreau but rather call out the "Veterans" in general.  He seems to have no problems with calling out Nilsson or POS.  Moreau costs us more in his selfish/stupid play than Nilsson/POS ever have.  Time to make a move, dump this load of garbage they call a team.  They are in 15th place in the west and are losing to the team in 14th 7-2!

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#111 Sandra
December 21 2009, 09:39PM
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Halak would look good here.

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#112 Hack the Bone
December 21 2009, 09:44PM
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I wonder if Katz will shake things up?

Room for advancement in the organization should mean Buchberger as President and the GM job goes to the guy from Body by Bennet.

Let's hear it for the 2010 Rexall Oilers!

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#113 Garett
December 21 2009, 09:47PM
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Dear Steve Tambellini,

I was wondering if I could be signed to a 1 game contract so I could pay off the rest of my mortgage in one shot. Nobody seems to give a flying f@#k on your team, so I figured I could give even less of a flying f@#k and you would be doing me a solid in getting me to be mortgage free for the rest of my life. I would like to play on a d-pair with Strudwick bcuz he seems like a solid guy who kinda does give a f@#k.

Your severely bleeding fan,

Garett.

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#114 The Real Scuba Steve
December 21 2009, 09:56PM
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One word "OUCH"

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#115 Rob
December 21 2009, 09:58PM
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Did I just hear a toilet flush? Another season down the drain.

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#116 Travis Dakin
December 21 2009, 10:00PM
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Rob wrote:

Did I just hear a toilet flush? Another season down the drain.

That's actually the echo of the toilet flushing a month ago.

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#117 Cleetis
December 21 2009, 10:05PM
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Travis Dakin wrote:

That's actually the echo of the toilet flushing a month ago.

Well put

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#118 Dan the Man
December 21 2009, 10:05PM
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I didn't have a huge issue with Moreau going after Oshie. It was a clean hit by Oshie but it was already 6-2, no one likes to be kicked when they're down. Game was already over, the extra PP goal meant nothing.

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#119 Eric Johnson
December 21 2009, 10:06PM
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Know Why Moreau is my Goat? Cause he should be playing on the farm.

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#120 Sandra
December 21 2009, 10:18PM
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Dan, answer me some questions, You keeo saying rebuild through the draft. Have the Oilers been the youngest, or top 5 youngest in the league for the past 5 years? Isn't that rebuild mode? So we were rebuilt wrong. Are the Oilers waiting for Eberle? With Horcoffs contract, we can't rebuild for 4 years. His contract is not the only one. A cap team, last place in its conference. Just fustrating. Now "Fred Flintstone" is making up excuses with Hemsky out. Hemsky is no super star either.

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#121 easymoney
December 21 2009, 10:19PM
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oh dont worry dan tensor will find a way to make us believe that there is still hope .the radio heros or zeros need a shake up also.

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#122 Sandra
December 21 2009, 10:26PM
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Looks like Allan Watt stepped in. Lowes protector.

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#123 David S
December 21 2009, 10:30PM
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Just in case any of you guys forgot what an NHL goalie looks like (and I wouldn't blame you)...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlT9wRqg8sE&feature=player_embedded

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#124 Cleetis
December 21 2009, 10:35PM
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@David S

I seen that earlier, crazy, that was sick.

Memories

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#125 Eric Johnson
December 21 2009, 10:36PM
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I really picked the right game to go to.

"In town for the holidays? Go see an Oiler game, come on it will be fun"

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#126 5cups
December 21 2009, 10:37PM
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anybody got a paper bag?

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#127 The Real Scuba Steve
December 21 2009, 10:38PM
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Tambo would probably trade our top 5 pick for a bag of magic beans, and take a year and a half to evaluate them.

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#128 Puritania
December 21 2009, 10:44PM
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Garett wrote:

Wow Moreau, seriously?  Going after Oshie like that?  You just made a complete a$$ of yourself!  This team (right from the leadership) is just awful.  How does Moreau get ice time with this club.  Maybe start with stripping the "C" of his jersey, and do the "Ballsy" thing and demote a veteran to the minors thru waivers.  How come Quinn does not ever specifically call out Moreau but rather call out the "Veterans" in general.  He seems to have no problems with calling out Nilsson or POS.  Moreau costs us more in his selfish/stupid play than Nilsson/POS ever have.  Time to make a move, dump this load of garbage they call a team.  They are in 15th place in the west and are losing to the team in 14th 7-2!

It was nice to see an Oiler pissed off for once after the team getting bent over. This team is so bloody apathetic it sickens me. I for one am glad Moreau got nasty, It's about time someone on that team cared.

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#129 Original Ogden Brother
December 21 2009, 10:45PM
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"Wow Moreau, seriously? Going after Oshie like that? You just made a complete a$$ of yourself! This team (right from the leadership) is just awful. How does Moreau get ice time with this club. Maybe start with stripping the "C" of his jersey, and do the "Ballsy" thing and demote a veteran to the minors thru waivers. How come Quinn does not ever specifically call out Moreau but rather call out the "Veterans" in general. He seems to have no problems with calling out Nilsson or POS. Moreau costs us more in his selfish/stupid play than Nilsson/POS ever have. Time to make a move, dump this load of garbage they call a team. They are in 15th place in the west and are losing to the team in 14th 7-2!"

Funny how people are calling Moreau out, yet no one mentions Souray who basically did the same thing... only when the game was on the line. And seemed generally more interested in Winchester then the win the whole night.

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#130 Shaun Doe
December 21 2009, 10:53PM
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Again I ask, are we going to see this team turn it around before we lose any of the players that have some actual talent value left in them? Hemsky, Gagner, Visnovsky and possibly Penner (yet to be determined) could all be gone before we really start to see a turn around in team structure. Perhaps that is for the best as we haven't been able to accomplish anything with this current crop outside of 1 cup appearance. But with the way free agents tend to shy away it seems likely that our best chance to win is with some of the pieces we already have under contract. Its true, however, that if we draft well and produce our own core of talent that those players raised in this system might show loyalty to the team that drafted them as others have shown in the past. Can we wait that long though, and will the blueprint ever be constructed?

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#131 Jodes
December 21 2009, 11:01PM
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@Heavyd

You mean you're actually looking forward to that? Movie was brutal.. nowhere near as funny as the 1st one.

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#132 Jodes
December 21 2009, 11:05PM
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As it says on my other sig on the OMB..

"Rexall Place Playoffs Free Since 2007"

Speaking of flushing..

Ladies and Gentlemen.. Welcome to Toilet Country, Home of your Edmonton Coilers!

Man did they ever drop a quadruple coiler on the ice tonight..

I'm glad my dad isn't around to see this farce.

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#133 Eric Johnson
December 21 2009, 11:09PM
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@Original Ogden Brother

Moreau's antics at the end of the game put the "ass" in "classless".

Souray and Winchester had a thing going on since the last game in St; Louis and Winchester fights.

Darryl Sydor? Really Moreau? Why not sucker punch Paul Kariya while you're at it. He's a joke of a Captain and a goat of a player. Put him in the pressbox or nail him to the bench. He's useless.

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#134 Heatly
December 21 2009, 11:10PM
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Glad I missed the game but so pissed that they lost again. No more words.

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#135 PattQuinn'sChesthair
December 21 2009, 11:20PM
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Travis Dakin wrote:

That's actually the echo of the toilet flushing a month ago.

well played, sir, well played...

On a side note I've thought of a wicked GP quote for next game

"After last game when the Oilers let DUBIE get SMOKED...." fill in the rest with whatever dribble you like but I tells ya, that is gold right there folks. right?

Oh god its really come to this.

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#136 Puritania
December 21 2009, 11:25PM
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Yeah I guess he should have not given a sh*t and wandered around aimlessly. At least one Oiler got pissed at getting shelled. If we are going to lose constantly at least play with some piss and vinegar. (Did I miss something here? some of you people act like he stomped on his neck and shat in the gaping wound.)

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#137 Ogden Brother
December 21 2009, 11:28PM
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"Moreau's antics at the end of the game put the "ass" in "classless".

Souray and Winchester had a thing going on since the last game in St; Louis and Winchester fights.

Darryl Sydor? Really Moreau? Why not sucker punch Paul Kariya while you're at it. He's a joke of a Captain and a goat of a player. Put him in the pressbox or nail him to the bench. He's useless."

Big deal, the guy showed some aggression on a soft team. I'm glad to see someone stand up for himself.

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#138 PattQuinn'sChesthair
December 21 2009, 11:30PM
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PS:

Willis please post a post game already to relight the righteous anger of the Nation faithful. Confirm for us with some clever stat that the Oilers are very low on "Give a sh1t" and chock full of "Don't give a fcuk"

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#139 Garett
December 21 2009, 11:45PM
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I would kill to have a job where even if I sucked at it and did not seem to care, that I would still get gazillions of $$$. I wonder what guys like Horc/POS think when they open their pay stubs. Do they feel guilt? Do they think that Katz and the management are suckers? I fell the most for Pat Quinn. He can hardly muster up enough thought to put on a post game breakdown. I would be drinking myself to sleep with a bottle of Chiante every night if I was him. Katz must be thinking that this is a worst investment than the Bre-Ex scandle of the late 90's!

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#140 Sammy D
December 21 2009, 11:45PM
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Dear Oilers,

I want my 2 1/2 hours back please. You can keep the money I paid for the tickets, just give me back all that wasted time.

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#141 JackBauer
December 22 2009, 12:10AM
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That game was awful. I was there in person and it looked like Dubnyk was completely schooled out there even though the team didnt do much in front of him.

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#142 MattL
December 22 2009, 12:11AM
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You know, if the Oil had scored 6 more goals, everyone here would be happy. That's just how fickle you all are. I mean, that was very nearly a 7-3 game. A couple of bounces here and there, could have been a TOTALLY different story. Maybe even 6-3.

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#143 HAHAHAHA
December 22 2009, 12:51AM
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HA HA HA HA HAAAAA This is toooooo funny

signed,

Drunk oiler fan who doesn't really know what to make of said season

p.s. thanks to spell check for making this happen

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#144 Corsby31
December 22 2009, 01:31AM
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Did we suck so bad that there is not going to be a post game report?? *Walks away expecting to be surprised, but sadly...isn't*

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#145 jeanshorts
December 22 2009, 02:17AM
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Well, I guess the silver lining in this whole thing is that Dubynk's NHL career can only go up from here!

And, I didn't have to sit through this crapfest.

AND I didn't die in a fiery plane crash.

Win, win, win.

On a more serious note, how hot is this new chick on Sportscenter!

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#146 -30-
December 22 2009, 07:09AM
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Too bad nobody here is looking at the big picture.

You guys are being too hard on Darryl. He can't do it all. Right now Mr. Katz is concentrating his energies on building a media savvy group to get the public behind funding of his new Rexall Palace.

Once we become a "destination" because of our downtown facilities, hockey superstars will be begging to play here.

All is well. Be patient. You might be too old to see the television screen clearly by the time this transpires but trust me, it will be worth it.

-30-

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#147 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
December 22 2009, 07:14AM
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Sandra wrote:

Halak would look good here.

you think a different goalie makes a difference?

~sure, bring in another guy and let him get lit up, sounds great~

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#148 devokows
December 22 2009, 08:17AM
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I just wrote into the Oilers, asking them to draw the 50/50 ticket after the second period. 2 periods of Oiler hockey is plenty right now

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#149 BigE91
December 22 2009, 08:33AM
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Too bad the NHL has a trade freeze over the Christmas break because the only way the Oilers turn this around is if Tambelline throws a Christmas party and gets all the other GMs completely hammered.

~Oh ya, Tom Gilbert would look great on your team ....~

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#150 Thorn
December 22 2009, 10:20AM
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The best word to describe how I feel the morning after attending a game is "depressed". Sure, some of that emotion is from the after effects of consuming too many heroin beers; but the remorse I feel for spending 60 bucks on cab fare, $107 on the ticket and the 6 "8 dollar beers" I consumed (not including tip)...how can I justify this? Once again, my friends and I sat in the concourse area and watched the begining of the 3rd, finished up our drinks, then beat the rush for a cab...what's even sadder is that with 10 min left in the game, we still had to deal with a steady exodus of loyal fans.

I for one am not far from just passing up on games all together and that's tough for me to say...

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