GDB XXXVII: A Festivus for the rest of us

Jason Gregor
December 23 2009 11:15AM

Today marks one of the most popular pop-culture days of the year. And, oh yeah, the Oilers are playing the Wild tonight.

If you don’t know what today is, then you weren’t a fan of the greatest TV show of all time.

 

Festivus is a secular holiday celebrated on December 23rd. The holiday, as portrayed in Seinfeld and now celebrated by many, includes practices such as the "Airing of Grievances", in which each person tells everyone else all the ways they have disappointed him or her over the past year. After the meal the "Feats of Strength" are performed, involving wrestling the head of the household to the floor, with the holiday ending only if the head of the household is actually pinned down.

 

So it is fitting that the Oilers play today, because I’m guessing many fans of the Copper and Blue have some grievances today. Feel free to share with the group; it can be refreshingly therapeutic for your well-being.

If the Oilers celebrated Festivus, I don’t know if the holiday would ever end because I don’t see anyone who could pin Pat Quinn.

Quinn has aired his grievances after pretty much every game this year, and if the Oilers play as badly tonight as they did v. the Blues on Monday, Quinn might have his most entertaining post-game presser of the season.

Quinn will change his lines again tonight looking for that magic elixir that will produce offence, but somehow play solid defensively.

Penner — Potulny — Brule

Jacques — Horcoff — O’Sullivan

Moreau — Gagner — Cogliano

Nilsson — Stortini — Stone

He's going back to the lines that won five games in a row, except he has switched Potulny and Gagner.

No offence?

Offence isn’t the problem with the Oilers. They are fifth in five-on-five scoring with 75 goals. Only Toronto (76), Pittsburgh (77), San Jose (78) and Washington (86) score more five-on-five. Look at the superstars that Wash, Pit and San Jose trot out, yet the Oilers are keeping pace at even strength scoring.

Memo to Oiler fans: Offence ISN’T the problem. It's their defensive coverage and neutral zone turnovers that is killing this team.

Getting defensive

They’ve given up 79 goals, 3rd most in the league, only Carolina (82) and Columbus (85) have given up more five-on-five. When you look at this number you understand why Quinn is breathing fire after most games, because the Oilers continue to make horrendous decisions with the puck and by covering the wrong man.

The Oilers forwards need to learn how to play away from the puck and how to defend in their own zone, otherwise this team is going no where but down. And I know Oiler fans are dreaming of Taylor Hall, but he isn’t anymore defensively responsible than Gagner, Cogliano, Nilsson, O’Sullivan or any of the other perceived offensive players.

It is becoming painfully obvious that the only way the Oilers will improve is if their offensive players understand that they need to play well in both ends of the rink.

If the Oilers win tonight, feel free to yell, "IT'S A FESTIVUS MIRACLE..."

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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 The Real Scuba Steve
December 23 2009, 04:36PM
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Taylor Hall, who is he compared to?, I haven't been keeping track of the draft.

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#102 RossCreekNation
December 23 2009, 04:58PM
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Colby Armstrong should be a target. He is an impending UFA and could be available. A young character shift disturber with a scoring touch is exactly what the doctor ordered. And he's only played 53 less games than Fernando Pisani, so by years end, he'll be an NHL veteran to the same degree as Fernie (at least in terms of games played).

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#103 Maggie the Monkey
December 23 2009, 05:07PM
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@RossCreekNation

Armstrong is an interesting candidate, and a player who might be useful to the Oil if they can unload the right contract for him. Dumping Nilsson's contract (and next season's cap hit), for example, could be a good exchange, and one that Atlanta might consider. Whether or not Armstrong would pull out of his slump, or if he'd consider re-signing in Edmonton, almost wouldn't matter with Nilsson's cap space freeing up.

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#104 Milli
December 23 2009, 05:11PM
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rindog wrote:

Smyth is making $6.25 million/year. Stoll makes $3.6 million/year. Glencross has 16 points (same as POS)

Do we really miss them? And at what cost?

Yes, at that price I would take all 3. Also, I believe Smyth cap hit is less, throw in a roli and you got a deal.

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#105 RossCreekNation
December 23 2009, 05:14PM
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@Maggie the Monkey

True. Even O'Sullivan. A team like Atlanta is more concerned with actual $'s. O'Sullivan actually makes $2,387,500 with a cap hit of 2.925. Now, IF O'Sullivan were to have ANY value to the Thrashers, I'd think his 'false' cap hit would be of interest (or to teams like them - Tampa or Phoenix, etc.) However, moving Patty O at this time may not be the easiest thing.

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#106 RossCreekNation
December 23 2009, 05:19PM
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5:00 start in Minny? Holiday hours I guess.

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#107 RossCreekNation
December 23 2009, 05:21PM
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Oh... and to those comparing Ryan Potulny to Toby Petersen or Lian Reddox, you're wrong. Sure, Potulny may not be a 1st liner, but who the hell here is? Give him a whirl. What's the worst that could happen... they lose?

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#108 RossCreekNation
December 23 2009, 05:23PM
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Clayton Stoner V. Ryan Stone.

Cool.

Good tilt. Slight edge to Stoner.

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#109 Gunner - DFF
December 23 2009, 05:26PM
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@ Rosscreek

Put down the redbull...

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#110 RossCreekNation
December 23 2009, 05:27PM
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@Gunner - DFF

Oh don't mind me. Apparently I'm conversing with myself.

This place sure has been quiet lately.

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#111 Gunner - DFF
December 23 2009, 05:32PM
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Probably a combination of the Oilers sh*tty play and Christmas. It has been extremely quiet around here though.

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#112 RossCreekNation
December 23 2009, 05:34PM
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Well... all they gotta do now is sit back and protect the 1 goal deficit.

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#113 Gunner - DFF
December 23 2009, 05:38PM
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So much for that idea.

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#114 RossCreekNation
December 23 2009, 05:39PM
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Nilsson. You blasted GOAT. When they need you to be good, you're nowhere in sight. When they need you to be baaaaad, you're Mr. Sniper.

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#115 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
December 23 2009, 05:56PM
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I'm here, RossCreek.

I'm surprised Mean Gene didn't take the Stone vs Stoner thing and run with it.

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#116 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
December 23 2009, 06:02PM
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Milli wrote:

Yes, at that price I would take all 3. Also, I believe Smyth cap hit is less, throw in a roli and you got a deal.

smyths cap hit is 6.25mil through the 11/12 season

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#117 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
December 23 2009, 06:03PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

Oh don't mind me. Apparently I'm conversing with myself.

This place sure has been quiet lately.

sorry, i was watching TSN2

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#118 VK63
December 23 2009, 06:23PM
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its a solid strategy... good for 2 mill a year, rock in nothing games.

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#119 Milli
December 23 2009, 06:26PM
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Sounds like Stortini's line is playing tonight!!!

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#120 Maggie the Monkey
December 23 2009, 06:29PM
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I've spent most of this game trying to get Explorer to work, and then working to find a feed. Has anybody got one to watch the game on? It's been a rough stretch trying to track them down lately.

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#121 Phil
December 23 2009, 06:31PM
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Wow, this game is one big f*ckin' YAWN.

The Oilers are a boring, sh*tty team.

Hurrrrrrray

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#122 Maggie the Monkey
December 23 2009, 06:55PM
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Congratulations and Merry Christmas to tough guy Zenon Konopka. He just scored his first NHL goal since the 05/06 season...

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#123 RossCreekNation
December 23 2009, 07:00PM
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FUUU...!!!

Just missed the Souray-Nolan tilt. Heard the radio version as I pulled into my driveway. Good one?

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#124 Horcsky
December 23 2009, 07:04PM
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Meh, first few punches weren't bad. That Nolan is one tough SOB. The Stone/Stoner fight was great.

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#125 Horcsky
December 23 2009, 07:11PM
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Nice punch to Clutterbuck's face Horcoff. I like that attitude.

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#126 Shaun Doe
December 23 2009, 07:13PM
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Anyone know if Grebeshkov has been stappled to the bench so far in the third. I've only been able to half listen to the game.

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#127 JackBauer
December 23 2009, 07:18PM
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If he was, he wont be for long. All our penalty killers are in the box.

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#128 Shaun Doe
December 23 2009, 07:23PM
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All I can hear is us getting robbed time and time again. Both on shots and on potential PP opportunities. They aren't catching any breaks nore are they helping themselves out (Grebeshkov gaff).

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#129 Gunner - DFF
December 23 2009, 07:24PM
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Their powerplay is only a tad bit better than ours. One step closer to Taylor.

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#130 Horcsky
December 23 2009, 07:25PM
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Terrible. I believe the last 10 minutes fell under the "save your own ass" system. No passing, just carry the puck until you turn it over

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#131 Quintana
December 23 2009, 07:27PM
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Gunner - DFF wrote:

Their powerplay is only a tad bit better than ours. One step closer to Taylor.

Here we come Taylor Hall!!!

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#132 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
December 23 2009, 07:45PM
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Shaun Doe wrote:

Anyone know if Grebeshkov has been stappled to the bench so far in the third. I've only been able to half listen to the game.

nope.

10 shifts for 7:38 in the 3rd. which is more than he played in the first or second

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#133 Blair
December 23 2009, 07:50PM
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With this fun season upon us, can we start doing something less upsetting? Maybe "Guest" GDBs for random teams with unappreciative fan bases (i.e. Nashville).

What if Katz offered the Nashville owners $50 M to trade entire teams (management, coaches, players & especially team Presidents...). That seems like a better option than starting over.

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#134 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
December 23 2009, 08:01PM
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on the bright side?

going into tonight, the oilers playoff chances were at about 4%. no way it drops to any lower than 2% heading into the christmas break.

it is a festivus miracle!!!!

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#135 rindog
December 23 2009, 08:09PM
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Anybody else concerned about the number of goals that beat JD up high (in general)?

It's one thing to give out juicy rebounds, but if you can't cover the top half of the net...

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#136 Colin
December 23 2009, 09:30PM
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The dive is stil alive! yay!

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#137 Rob
December 23 2009, 09:30PM
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What a mess the Oilers are. It's not just the Oilers though. It's the Oil Kings, the Falcons and the ECHL team. All bottom feeders. The entire organization is in chaos. I know there will be some Oiler apologist out there making excuses for the Oiler management by the truckload but this is more than a glitch in performance. System Failure!!System Failure!!The sky is falling.

No...change that to the sky HAS fallen.

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#138 rindog
December 23 2009, 09:41PM
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Rob wrote:

What a mess the Oilers are. It's not just the Oilers though. It's the Oil Kings, the Falcons and the ECHL team. All bottom feeders. The entire organization is in chaos. I know there will be some Oiler apologist out there making excuses for the Oiler management by the truckload but this is more than a glitch in performance. System Failure!!System Failure!!The sky is falling.

No...change that to the sky HAS fallen.

It reminds me of my old Commadore 64...

SYNTAX ERROR SYNTAX ERROR SYNTAX ERROR SYNTAX ERROR SYNTAX ERROR SYNTAX ERROR SYNTAX ERROR SYNTAX ERROR SYNTAX ERROR SYNTAX ERROR SYNTAX ERROR SYNTAX ERROR SYNTAX ERROR SYNTAX ERROR SYNTAX ERROR SYNTAX ERROR SYNTAX ERROR SYNTAX ERROR SYNTAX ERROR SYNTAX ERROR SYNTAX ERROR

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#139 Travis Dakin
December 23 2009, 10:08PM
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On a different note....

Myself and Jeanshorts and Librarian Mike are going to be at the Pint for the game on the 28th. Hoodlum and some other readers/non-posters are going to come after the game because they will be... at the game. We are going to drink things that make you feel funny, eat many wings and cheer for the DFF. Anybody want to join us? I promise that there is only a tiny chance of one of those funny drinks containing a roofie.

It will be a gooder.

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#140 Bob Cob
December 23 2009, 11:00PM
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Nice work tonight boys, now lets give the Hurricanes a run for Hall.

One more thing, someone mentioned the Flames to hoist the cup, ahhhhh..... Nooooooo!!!! Overrated and one injury to Kiprusoff away from missing the playoffs altogether.

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#141 GSC
December 24 2009, 11:38AM
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Travis Dakin wrote:

On a different note....

Myself and Jeanshorts and Librarian Mike are going to be at the Pint for the game on the 28th. Hoodlum and some other readers/non-posters are going to come after the game because they will be... at the game. We are going to drink things that make you feel funny, eat many wings and cheer for the DFF. Anybody want to join us? I promise that there is only a tiny chance of one of those funny drinks containing a roofie.

It will be a gooder.

If I was in Edmonton, I would so take that chance.

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#142 Travis Dakin
December 24 2009, 02:23PM
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@GSC

I'm coming down all the way from fort mac just because of that chance.

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