Oilers vs. Red Wings Postgame: Sweet, Sweet Victory

Jonathan Willis
December 03 2009 09:27PM

Edmonton Oilers: 4

Detroit Red Wings: 1

Well, it was nice to see the Oilers win a game. Unfortunately for me, I was stuck out at my day job and forgot to set the PVR, so I only caught the game after it was already four to one, just watching the third period. I was also flat-out beat, so I'm afraid there aren't any three stars from me tonight, but I'd love to see some suggested in the comments.

Random Thoughts

If anyone deserved a flukey goal off of somebody's stick, it was Patrick O'Sullivan, who fires the puck from everywhere and hadn't been rewarded to date. The fact that he added a legitimate goal a little later on only made it better. His shooting percentage jumped from an NHL-worst 5.2% to 7.4% tonight; just one point below his career average.

Speaking of which, what on Earth was Jim Howard doing in net on O'Sullivan's goal?  Crazy stuff.  In fairness, he also had a few brilliant saves, so maybe he can only be beaten by bizarre goals he should have stopped.

Ryan Potulny seems to have been everything Andrew Cogliano needed to kickstart him, and the two had a few very good chances tonight.  They've drug Ethan Moreau along with them, and that trio is outplaying the wildest expectations I would have had for them.

Robert Nilsson's goal was just sick; total domination of an overwhelmed defenceman.  His NHL future is precarious, largely due to faults of his own, but it's always nice to see those flashes of talent that remind you why so many people have figured at one point or another that he was a player.

As I mentioned earlier, I'm at a considerable disadvantage in covering the game tonight - what did everybody else think? 

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#51 Offthebandwagon
December 04 2009, 11:00AM
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Dan the Man wrote:

Corsi numbers from last nights game:

Strudwick +4

Staios -1

Visnovsky -1

Gilbert -2

Smid -4

Souray -5

That's kinda what I thought, but I suppose the match-ups would matter too. Whom was Souray lined up against most of the night? If it was the Datsyuk/Zetterburg line it would account for some of it, but even so, I wish he'd get it together.

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#52 Trenton L
December 04 2009, 11:04AM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

God I hope we aren't that dependant on a 4th liner.

What would that say about the rest of the team.

It says they lack balance. Stone brings the elements that the soft parade does not. His physical game and energy makes the rest of the team play with some crusty jam.

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#53 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
December 04 2009, 11:08AM
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Trenton L wrote:

It says they lack balance. Stone brings the elements that the soft parade does not. His physical game and energy makes the rest of the team play with some crusty jam.

It makes some space, too. Nilsson's goal was a good example of that.

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#54 onehitwonder
December 04 2009, 11:11AM
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Oiler in Purgatory wrote:

Regarding the hits, one thing I remember is that in the 3rd, JF had a chance to nail a Red Wing d-man in the corner when he had his back to the play, and let up.

I know there's been a lot of focus on the "lack of respect" among players with the head shots, boarding, and knee-on-knee hits, so it was good to see a player NOT hammering a vulnerable opponent. Jacques has looked occasionally reckless with some of his hits, and here was one where a full speed follow-through could have been ugly.

I noticed that too, and commented to my buddies that JFJ handled it well.

I felt as though that guy saw JFJ coming though, and then 'pulled a Roy' by turning his back to the hit.

In a knee on knee situation the injured player doesn't have a choice in the matter, but on these kind of plays, that guy has to be smarter when he sees a big forward coasting right at him.

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#55 David S
December 04 2009, 11:19AM
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Chris. wrote:

Nilsson with the TSN highlight of the night? Trade him NOW! His value will NEVER climb higher!

~Because the last thing we need is an experienced NHL'er that can change the complexion of a game in our favor with a single play.~

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#56 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
December 04 2009, 11:28AM
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David S wrote:

~Because the last thing we need is an experienced NHL'er that can change the complexion of a game in our favor with a single play.~

The game that he changed with that single play is over, though.

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#57 Ender
December 04 2009, 11:29AM
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David S wrote:

~Because the last thing we need is an experienced NHL'er that can change the complexion of a game in our favor with a single play.~

And how many games did it take him to get that highlight? And how many games will it be before he gets another?

Yeah, it was a sweet move and the kid has got some skills. So did Rob Schremp. Bottom line: a nice touch around the net does not a complete NHL player make.

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#58 Benhur
December 04 2009, 11:35AM
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It was nice to see Patty and Nielsen get goALS. Neilsen's was a beauty and what a great back pass off the boards by Stone to set him up for his fantastic moves. Also I was following Neilsen most of the night and he was finishing his checks ( I thought he might hold back because of his recent concussion). I also followed Jacques play all night and he was a force. He played solidly positionally and layed out the hits when the opportunity arose. I'm glad Quinn recognized him in the post game scrum. Deslaurier looked shaky at the start of the game but played good after that shaky start. It was a good thing the Oil were carrying the play and limiting good scoring opportunities. Overall a good game played using their speed and hitting to force turnovers and to cover up defensively....excepting the lone wings goal with 0.9 seconds left in the 1st period.

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#59 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
December 04 2009, 11:36AM
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Smid not at practice today, so I guess it was more then an equipment problem.

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#60 HansBaurMesserschmittWatson
December 04 2009, 11:41AM
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Dan the Man wrote:

Corsi numbers from last nights game:

Strudwick +4

Staios -1

Visnovsky -1

Gilbert -2

Smid -4

Souray -5

what numbers are those ?

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#61 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
December 04 2009, 11:45AM
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HansBaurMesserschmittWatson wrote:

what numbers are those ?

They're the corsi numbers from last night's game.

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#62 TigerUnderGlass
December 04 2009, 11:45AM
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Ender wrote:

And how many games did it take him to get that highlight? And how many games will it be before he gets another?

Yeah, it was a sweet move and the kid has got some skills. So did Rob Schremp. Bottom line: a nice touch around the net does not a complete NHL player make.

I'm almost unhappy that he scored that goal, because every time he shows us something like that people start wanting him around again.

Hell at the rate Tambellini seems to work that one goal may have bought him another year.

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#63 Ogden Brother
December 04 2009, 11:49AM
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Re all the Columbus/Howson love being thrown around here/the Oilogospher the last few weeks.

Columbus sits in 10th place with the worst GF/GA differential in the conference. The lowly Oil have also blown them out and had big comeback wins against them over the last 100 games.

I'm confident this Oiler team, even with their incompetent management would be in the 9/10/11 mix with the BJ's and their top notch managment if it weren't for all our soon to be record setting injuries.

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#64 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
December 04 2009, 11:54AM
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@TigerUnderGlass

I mentioned it before that right now with Hemsky and Comrie out, that our best option is Nilsson. Although odds of us making it are slim to done, Management and Coaching aren't going to throw the towel in just yet.

Who knows maybe it was just a one game thing, but if Nilsson plays to that potential he has maybe we go somewhere.

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#65 mowgli
December 04 2009, 11:55AM
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HansBaurMesserschmittWatson wrote:

what numbers are those ?

Those numbers are f****** up and say noting about over all game play. the worst player is the best in +/-

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#66 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
December 04 2009, 11:57AM
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@Ogden Brother

x2.

Last year I mentioned that Mason might have been thrown in too early and it looks as if I might have been right. That has been one of their issues the other is they seem to be like Edmonton, one line and then too many of the same type of players elsewhere.

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#67 Dan the Man
December 04 2009, 12:00PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

Re all the Columbus/Howson love being thrown around here/the Oilogospher the last few weeks.

Columbus sits in 10th place with the worst GF/GA differential in the conference. The lowly Oil have also blown them out and had big comeback wins against them over the last 100 games.

I'm confident this Oiler team, even with their incompetent management would be in the 9/10/11 mix with the BJ's and their top notch managment if it weren't for all our soon to be record setting injuries.

So what you are saying is that the BJ's kinda blow?

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#69 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
December 04 2009, 12:04PM
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@Dan the Man

Very interesting statement, does Willis below post apply in some way too?

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#70 MoJo
December 04 2009, 12:09PM
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@Ogden Brother

Except they're doing all that without being pushed to the cap limit

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#71 Ender
December 04 2009, 12:14PM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

I'm almost unhappy that [Nilsson] scored that goal, because every time he shows us something like that people start wanting him around again. Hell at the rate Tambellini seems to work that one goal may have bought him another year.

Ogden Brother Jr. wrote:

I mentioned it before that right now with Hemsky and Comrie out, that our best option is Nilsson. Although odds of us making it are slim to done, Management and Coaching aren't going to throw the towel in just yet.

Unfortunately, I think Nilsson is going to stick for awhile simply because our options are few. In the choice between playing Reddox or one of your other Falcons for that fateful 10th game versus playing Nilsson who is on your big-club roster anyway, I can see a certain logic in playing it the way the Oilers have. I think the mentality is 'This season is done anyway, so let's not screw up next year while we're at it.' Still, I think if we had a few extra bodies to choose from (Hemsky, Pisani, Comrie, et. al) that Nilsson would have long since been on a plane across the Atlantic and this wouldn't even be a story. In any normal scenario, Nilsson does not belong here anymore. The only reason he's still an Oiler is because we're a long way from normal these days.

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#72 Dan the Man
December 04 2009, 12:27PM
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Nilsson is the perfect player for the Oilers, both are painfully inconsistent and just when you are ready to write them off completely you see a little flash of brilliance that gives you a glimmer of hope.

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#73 TigerUnderGlass
December 04 2009, 12:34PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

I mentioned it before that right now with Hemsky and Comrie out, that our best option is Nilsson. Although odds of us making it are slim to done, Management and Coaching aren't going to throw the towel in just yet.

Who knows maybe it was just a one game thing, but if Nilsson plays to that potential he has maybe we go somewhere.

The operative word being "if."

How long do we keep saying "if"?

I agree that if he lived up to potential that would be great, but I don't see it happening.

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#74 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
December 04 2009, 12:37PM
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Let's look at the bright side in all of this:

If Nilsson had scored that goal in the playoffs, he'd be sitting on a contract extension and we'd all be stuck cheering for our second-favourite teams.

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#75 Ogden Brother
December 04 2009, 12:51PM
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MoJo wrote:

Except they're doing all that without being pushed to the cap limit

Who cares, theirs no bonus point for fielding a cheaper team.

They also likely have an enternal budget so theirs at least a good chance at least some of that un-used cap space is worthless.

also part 2: their salary structure is going to change quickly when Nashes raise kicks in.

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#76 MattL
December 04 2009, 01:04PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

Smid not at practice today, so I guess it was more then an equipment problem.

Yeah, I thought he got a vicious elbow to the back of his head. Maybe it was something else though.

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#77 HansBaurMesserschmittWatson
December 04 2009, 01:08PM
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yeah i dont get those numbers either

the only detroit goal is cause strudwick and staios are slow n old

souray was aslked to sumbit the list of teams he would like to go to this trade deadline

that is why he atitude is weak and piss poor the last few games . he lost it he dont care no more

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#78 I'm a Scientist!
December 04 2009, 01:14PM
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@HansBaurMesserschmittWatson

souray was aslked to sumbit the list of teams he would like to go to this trade deadline

What? Says who?

And the detroit goal was a beauty. An excellent pass and a wicked shot. Perhaps we are a bit to blame, but at least it was a good goal!

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#79 Dan the Man
December 04 2009, 01:18PM
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MattL wrote:

Yeah, I thought he got a vicious elbow to the back of his head. Maybe it was something else though.

Smid held out for a maintenance day with an upper body issue per Stauffer.

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#80 VK63
December 04 2009, 01:19PM
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HansBaurMesserschmittWatson wrote:

yeah i dont get those numbers either

the only detroit goal is cause strudwick and staios are slow n old

souray was aslked to sumbit the list of teams he would like to go to this trade deadline

that is why he atitude is weak and piss poor the last few games . he lost it he dont care no more

Source??

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#81 HansBaurMesserschmittWatson
December 04 2009, 01:20PM
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smid got hit in the back by dan cant see cleary and his right hand got jammed against the boards. minor swelling, no concerns. he will be alright

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#82 HansBaurMesserschmittWatson
December 04 2009, 01:21PM
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for you the source is me.

for me the source is not to be spoken of.

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#83 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
December 04 2009, 01:34PM
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HansBaurMesserschmittWatson wrote:

the source is me.

I've edited this for you. You're welcome.

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#84 BarryS
December 04 2009, 01:54PM
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Dan the Man wrote:

From Copper and Blue.

Oilers record with Ryan Stone in the line-up: 7-2-1

Oilers record without Stone: 3-11-3

~Maybe we should bronze him and make him the team mascot.~

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#85 mowgli
December 04 2009, 01:58PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Context, mowgli.

Corsi numbers have absolutely no value without context.

x2

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#86 Logan
December 04 2009, 02:05PM
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Enjoyable game.

Pros: - Lines looked good overall, there really didn't appear to be a weak line. Even line of Stone-Stortini-Nilson looked good and had a few nice opportunities. - Brule and Penner are scary good together a nice tandem. Add in Gagner and its an even better touch. - Lots of physical play. They stood their ground, went hard into the corners and to the front of the net. - Deslauriers rebounded nicely, made some good saves, hard to fault him on the Cleary goal.

Cons: - Souray and Staios looked very slow on the Cleary goal. They were beaten by a good breakout pass and just couldn't get setup defensively. Foot speed looks to be a concern on D, good thing the Forwards are usually backchecking hard, but it does hilight what a fast break-out can do against the Oil. - The Joe was pretty empty to begin with and by half way through the 3rd there were a lot of empty seats. I can understand that your team isn't playing well but man it shows the woes the Wings are having since Yzerman retired.

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#87 I'm a Scientist!
December 04 2009, 02:08PM
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@Logan

I think the empty seats are also because of the recession. Motor city got hit pretty hard with all the car plants and such. Not much to cheer for in Detroit these days... Lions suck, Tigers suck, Wings...currently suck.

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#88 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
December 04 2009, 02:08PM
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@Logan

The joe is empty because no one has a job in Detroit anymore. From what some Detroit fans have said is they still have season ticket holders, it's just they pick which games to go to as all the extras cost too much.

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#89 TigerUnderGlass
December 04 2009, 02:35PM
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The joe is empty because no one has a job in Detroit anymore

...and that's almost an understatement.

The fact that you can buy the Silverdome for the same approximate price as my house is a laughably clear sign of a city hit hard.

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#90 rindog
December 04 2009, 02:40PM
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Logan wrote:

Enjoyable game.

Pros: - Lines looked good overall, there really didn't appear to be a weak line. Even line of Stone-Stortini-Nilson looked good and had a few nice opportunities. - Brule and Penner are scary good together a nice tandem. Add in Gagner and its an even better touch. - Lots of physical play. They stood their ground, went hard into the corners and to the front of the net. - Deslauriers rebounded nicely, made some good saves, hard to fault him on the Cleary goal.

Cons: - Souray and Staios looked very slow on the Cleary goal. They were beaten by a good breakout pass and just couldn't get setup defensively. Foot speed looks to be a concern on D, good thing the Forwards are usually backchecking hard, but it does hilight what a fast break-out can do against the Oil. - The Joe was pretty empty to begin with and by half way through the 3rd there were a lot of empty seats. I can understand that your team isn't playing well but man it shows the woes the Wings are having since Yzerman retired.

I am assuming that you meant Strudwick and Staios looked very slow on the Cleary goal?

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#91 Lofty
December 04 2009, 03:08PM
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rindog wrote:

I am assuming that you meant Strudwick and Staios looked very slow on the Cleary goal?

I'll say it again... Strudwicks foot speed makes him a liability ever time he touches the ice.

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#92 TigerUnderGlass
December 04 2009, 03:14PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

Who cares, theirs no bonus point for fielding a cheaper team.

They also likely have an enternal budget so theirs at least a good chance at least some of that un-used cap space is worthless.

also part 2: their salary structure is going to change quickly when Nashes raise kicks in.

Not that much, Nash is only getting a raise of a couple million. and they have tons of room. Modin comes off the books, and Torres is the only significant player needing a new deal as far as I can remember.

Internal budget likely does play a huge part in decision making though, no question about that.

Edit: I should add however that I am on your side as a whole on the whole Howson debate. I doubt he is the genius everyone wants him to be, but the one advantage I will give him is that he at least seems to have a plan.

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#93 Logan
December 04 2009, 03:19PM
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Actually Detroit has had issues with attendance ever since Yzerman had retired, which was before the US Banking system showed what a sham it was. Even with the team's lackluster performance this year they have had attendance issues for quite some time.

I also think its unfair to blame the economy even with the higher unemployment in Detroit than the nationwide average. Many other US based teams in similar situations to Detroit do not have the same issues with fan support as the Wings do right now.

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#94 TigerUnderGlass
December 04 2009, 03:24PM
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Logan wrote:

Actually Detroit has had issues with attendance ever since Yzerman had retired, which was before the US Banking system showed what a sham it was. Even with the team's lackluster performance this year they have had attendance issues for quite some time.

I also think its unfair to blame the economy even with the higher unemployment in Detroit than the nationwide average. Many other US based teams in similar situations to Detroit do not have the same issues with fan support as the Wings do right now.

Lagging attendance is not the same as abysmal attendance.

It is even more unfair to pretend that the economy in Detroit is not a major factor.

There are very few other cities in the US in similar situations to Detroit.

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#95 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
December 04 2009, 04:02PM
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hxxp://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/duty_calls.png

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#96 Hemmertime
December 04 2009, 04:46PM
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Logan wrote:

Actually Detroit has had issues with attendance ever since Yzerman had retired, which was before the US Banking system showed what a sham it was. Even with the team's lackluster performance this year they have had attendance issues for quite some time.

I also think its unfair to blame the economy even with the higher unemployment in Detroit than the nationwide average. Many other US based teams in similar situations to Detroit do not have the same issues with fan support as the Wings do right now.

The fact there is a mass exodus in Detroit of their population does come into play though. You can buy decent houses for 10k and crappy ones for <1k. Detroit is dying.

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#97 Senator Theo
December 04 2009, 05:25PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

Re all the Columbus/Howson love being thrown around here/the Oilogospher the last few weeks.

Columbus sits in 10th place with the worst GF/GA differential in the conference. The lowly Oil have also blown them out and had big comeback wins against them over the last 100 games.

I'm confident this Oiler team, even with their incompetent management would be in the 9/10/11 mix with the BJ's and their top notch managment if it weren't for all our soon to be record setting injuries.

I wouldn't mind being in the mix with those Bj's.

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#98 Wanyes bastard child
December 04 2009, 05:31PM
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Senator Theo wrote:

I wouldn't mind being in the mix with those Bj's.

Somewhere your mom disapproves of this comment...

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#99 Jamie B.
December 04 2009, 05:59PM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

Lagging attendance is not the same as abysmal attendance.

It is even more unfair to pretend that the economy in Detroit is not a major factor.

There are very few other cities in the US in similar situations to Detroit.

Someone told me last night the unemployment rate in Detroit was 28%.

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#100 JackBauer
December 04 2009, 06:01PM
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"HansBaurMesserschmittWatson"

uh huh.

This reeks of past problems

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