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, 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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#1 Lofty
December 03 2009, 09:42PM
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Slopy but lucky,

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#2 The Real Scuba Steve
December 03 2009, 09:47PM
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A win is a win.

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#3 KenMcC
December 03 2009, 09:52PM
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Hi everyone! I'm new here -- new at posting, that is. I've been reading these articles and posts for a couple of years and I finally decided to get involved. I've been an Oilers multi-game ticket holder since 1994 ("the Glory Years"). I've been listening to Gregor's show for years (going back to John Short on CJCA). I once scored a goal on a 33 year old goaltender who used to play for the Victoria Cougars (WHL). Then, I hung up my skates. So . . . I have about as much hockey sense os Mike Keenan.

As for tonight -- what a blast! I was very happy for O'S. I noticed Quinn gave him a pile of ice time -- would have been great to see a hat trick.

The other day, when Deep Oil and Mike were chewing up bandwidth, BarryS called for people to use their real identity, so I thought "what the Hell", I'll use me email address as my public name.

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#4 Horcsky
December 03 2009, 09:54PM
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Just when I'd given up on Piece O'Sullivan, he turns around and pots two. Maybe it's like MacT said. 15-20 goal scorers have hands of stone for most of the season, but have hot streaks from time to time

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#5 Senator Theo
December 03 2009, 09:56PM
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Well, three of the Oilers' goals probably would not have scored on any other night. I'm not complaining though - we've had enough nights where our luck went the other way!

Nillson's goal was sweet, and Stone and Vish had nice nights IMO.

JDD probably should have had a shut out in this one, but that crazy goal at the end of the first spoiled it. He played well when he was called upon, but they could have had Jeanshorts back there tonight and probably still won!

A win is a win, and they've been rare, so congrats boys!

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#6 Travis Dakin
December 03 2009, 10:05PM
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Every win is a step farther from one of the T's. It's bitter sweet.

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#7 KenMcC
December 03 2009, 10:05PM
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Why do you think the Oilers just went into "coast mode" for the last 20 seconds before the Detroit goal? You'd think they would be more diligent.

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#8 Gerald R. Ford
December 03 2009, 10:07PM
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PEE-YUU, does Howard ever stink. Thankfully. Winning ugly is still beautiful.

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#9 Ted
December 03 2009, 10:10PM
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Luck on Nilsson's goal? Yes I guess it was lucky that his feet undresses the Detroit defence and goalie.

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#10 John K
December 03 2009, 10:16PM
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@Lofty

You must have been watching another game. The oilers outhit, outhustled, and outshot/chanced the Red Wings.

I mean really, how hard did Deslauriers have to work?

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#11 Dan the Man
December 03 2009, 10:25PM
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KenMcC wrote:

Why do you think the Oilers just went into "coast mode" for the last 20 seconds before the Detroit goal? You'd think they would be more diligent.

For me that was the only part of the game that didn't feel like Bizarro world.

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#12 jeanshorts
December 03 2009, 10:37PM
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John K wrote:

You must have been watching another game. The oilers outhit, outhustled, and outshot/chanced the Red Wings.

I mean really, how hard did Deslauriers have to work?

Did you see any of the goals? Yeesh. One and a half legit goals for the Oilers. Sounds pretty sloppy to me. But you are right, they did outhit and outwork the Wings by far. Just one of those very, very few nights where all the bounces go our way for once.

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#13 jeanshorts
December 03 2009, 10:40PM
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Senator Theo wrote:

Well, three of the Oilers' goals probably would not have scored on any other night. I'm not complaining though - we've had enough nights where our luck went the other way!

Nillson's goal was sweet, and Stone and Vish had nice nights IMO.

JDD probably should have had a shut out in this one, but that crazy goal at the end of the first spoiled it. He played well when he was called upon, but they could have had Jeanshorts back there tonight and probably still won!

A win is a win, and they've been rare, so congrats boys!

*duct tapes a baseball cap to his catching hand*

I'm ready to go coach!

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#14 Eddie Shore
December 03 2009, 11:04PM
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John K wrote:

You must have been watching another game. The oilers outhit, outhustled, and outshot/chanced the Red Wings.

I mean really, how hard did Deslauriers have to work?

I tend to agree. I thought the Oilers played a solid road game. You have to earn your breaks and it was nice to O'Sullivan finally get a break tonight.

Dakin you are 100% right. Every win from here until the end of the season will be bittersweet. At least the leafs won as well so we didn't lose any ground...

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#15 Jason Gregor
December 03 2009, 11:11PM
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Stortini went 5-2 in the faceoff dot...WTF... and he along with Nilsson and Stone were all +2. Nilsson was -12 going into the game.

When he was +2 after the first you knew it was the Oilers night.

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#16 Racki
December 03 2009, 11:26PM
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Happy I suppose that it was a win (I'm ultimately hoping the Oilers crap the bed and go for a top 2 pick this year, but with the level of suck the Leafs and Canes are putting on, that could be difficult). But Detroit really didn't play well at all. 2 of those goals were plain sloppy (and again I ask, where the heck was Howard on O'Sully's *good* goal?).

A wins a win though and I expected it tonight. I always make a prediction with my heart and another with my brain on my blog, and for this one they both picked the Oilers. I think the Oil do have a bit of compete in them and a lot of pride, so that's why I figured they would win after getting spanked in Vancouver.

But I'm still not fooled. They have several players that want to win and want to compete, but a few that are along for the ride.. and I think that some of the guys that do want to compete just aren't quite at the level of their opponents. This team is still a 8-12th place team. Would rather they tanked it, but that won't happen.

Entertaining game though, and nice goal by Nilsson

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#17 oilerman53
December 03 2009, 11:41PM
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Tonight was one of those head scratchers for the Oilers and the fans. So many nights we watch our boys and have our hands outstretched with our mouthes dangling three feet below our jaw in complete confusion. These guys are a different team when you get that physical element going on in their game, Stone and Jacques were in my mind what made this game turn into a win for the Oilers. Along with the speed on this team it's about time they started hitting. Then again Detroit hasn't really looked like the team that just went to two straight Stanley Cup finals.

I'll take lucky goals and this win although isn't the Gretzky statue, it will have to do. *Was going to use the Mona Lisa analogy but were in Oil Country and the Mona Lisa looks like she's high*

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#18 Reagan
December 03 2009, 11:58PM
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The Oilers were lucky as far as goals were concerned at least on two of them, but they did play solid defensivley. I was surpirsed that they actually held them off. Detroit for some reason seemed off, and a like the Oilers also missed key players.

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#19 Victoria
December 04 2009, 12:13AM
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Jeez, last year the Wings got away with subpar goaltending... this year it's killing them.

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#20 mowgli
December 04 2009, 12:41AM
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It was a good game, I liked that Quinn moved Glbert with Souray that made two good D-lines.

As for Staios & Strudwick line the both of them seem to not know were each other are most of the time. The time that we spent in our end for long pereiods of time is when those two were out playing. It's been like that all year for them.

I did like that Staios was shooting the puck when we were in the offence end.

Why does Strudwick allways put his stick around the other players and push them aganist the boards all the time, I can see when it's on a PK becuse it kills time but when it's 5 on 5 get back to the puck fast or have distance between you and your man it your slow. Just watch Visnovsky play or Smid they are text book when they are on their game, just like today.

Souray,Glbert - Visnovsky,Smid - Grebeshkov,Chorney or Peckham

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#21 mowgli
December 04 2009, 01:05AM
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Horcoff played he same old game. step it up

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#22 Oiler in Purgatory
December 04 2009, 06:54AM
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Willis - not sure why you indicated PO'S had an an "NHL-worst 5.2%" before the game.

Jason Blake of the Leafs had 2 goals on 43 shots for 4.7% SP heading into last night's games (he also scored 2 goals though).

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#23 Oiler in Purgatory
December 04 2009, 07:00AM
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Other thoughts: Moreau does look better the past few games.

Penner-Gagner-Brule are good together, even though they didn't hit the scoresheet. They got dinged for the minus on the DET goal, but that was on Staios allowing Bertuzzi to get behind him with 5 seconds to go.

It's strange hearing Ken Daniels, even this many years later, doing the Red Wings broadcasts.

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#26 5cups
December 04 2009, 07:31AM
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Staios made the first error on that goal letting bert in behind him, but Strudwick looked like the amature goign to Bertuzi instead of picking up his man. I like Strudwick, but he needs to be your 7th guy at best.

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#27 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
December 04 2009, 07:33AM
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I think Sportsnet was right with their stars last night both O'Sullivan and Nilsson where playing great with the puck and great without it. JDD also had some huge saves to keep the lead for the Oil.

I like our first line, although they never scored they applied pressure and wore down the Detroit defenders.

Another thing I noticed on Detroits end which would actually make sense to why we have problems with passes, is that the guys that are suppose to get the puck actually get open. Another is where their last man seems to play.

Also what was with everyone looking like they had a million freckles and were all wrinkled up?

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#28 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
December 04 2009, 07:34AM
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@5cups

He is our 7th man.

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#29 Milli
December 04 2009, 08:21AM
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Nilson with TSN's highlight of the night? WTF? Am I in some strange altenate world? Tommy boy sure seems to have solidified his game, thank freeken god. Anyone know our record STONED versus UnStoned? Too early to hope for a full on tank job, I'll hold out hope at least until the new year!!!!!

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#30 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
December 04 2009, 08:27AM
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Milli wrote:

Nilson with TSN's highlight of the night? WTF? Am I in some strange altenate world? Tommy boy sure seems to have solidified his game, thank freeken god. Anyone know our record STONED versus UnStoned? Too early to hope for a full on tank job, I'll hold out hope at least until the new year!!!!!

I think I read somewhere this morning that we're 7-2-1 with Stone in the lineup and god-awful without.

I wouldn't put too much stock in it, though. The games without Stone were also games without a lot of other guys.

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#31 I'm a Scientist!
December 04 2009, 08:37AM
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Victoria wrote:

Jeez, last year the Wings got away with subpar goaltending... this year it's killing them.

Yeah no doubt. How long after DiPietro's return to NYI until Roloson is a Red Wing???

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#32 Lofty
December 04 2009, 08:42AM
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jeanshorts wrote:

Did you see any of the goals? Yeesh. One and a half legit goals for the Oilers. Sounds pretty sloppy to me. But you are right, they did outhit and outwork the Wings by far. Just one of those very, very few nights where all the bounces go our way for once.

Exactly, and I was surprised by how many big rebounds came out into the slot in the Oilers end and the Wings did not capitalize.

Anyone who thinks that was just domination by the Oilers is sadly mistaken. Good to see them get some points but that kind of game wont work on playoff teams. Detroit is really struggling… its nice to see.

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#33 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
December 04 2009, 08:50AM
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Lofty wrote:

Exactly, and I was surprised by how many big rebounds came out into the slot in the Oilers end and the Wings did not capitalize.

Anyone who thinks that was just domination by the Oilers is sadly mistaken. Good to see them get some points but that kind of game wont work on playoff teams. Detroit is really struggling… its nice to see.

I noticed our d-men/forwards were pretty quick on cleaning up those rebounds, something that we lacked the last few years.

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#34 Trenton L
December 04 2009, 08:57AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Stortini went 5-2 in the faceoff dot...WTF... and he along with Nilsson and Stone were all +2. Nilsson was -12 going into the game.

When he was +2 after the first you knew it was the Oilers night.

Storts is now 26-25 career in faceoffs. That is an experiment worth continuing, considering how abysmal this team usually is on faceoffs. He is also decently reliable defensively which is nice to see along with his agitating/fighting.

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#35 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
December 04 2009, 09:05AM
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Trenton L wrote:

Storts is now 26-25 career in faceoffs. That is an experiment worth continuing, considering how abysmal this team usually is on faceoffs. He is also decently reliable defensively which is nice to see along with his agitating/fighting.

Wait, wait. We have a defensively reliable 3rd/4th line centre that can win faceoffs and bring size and grit?

No we don't. Do we?

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#36 Offthebandwagon
December 04 2009, 09:16AM
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I have to say, I'm developing a real hate-on (that's HATE-on) for Souray. Every time I see him he seems to be making lazy, slow plays and losing his check. The only time he looks decent is when the other team is making a line change and he has about two minutes to make a decision or when he pulls a "Staios-off-the-glass" play out of the zone. I'd like to know ow many goals against he's been on the ice for since returning from concussion. Maybe its not as bad as it seems, and after a win I hate to nit-pick, but wow.

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#37 Trenton L
December 04 2009, 09:29AM
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Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things wrote:

Wait, wait. We have a defensively reliable 3rd/4th line centre that can win faceoffs and bring size and grit?

No we don't. Do we?

Not any more, you jinxed it......

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#38 VK63
December 04 2009, 09:40AM
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The detroit red wings drew one penalty................ against the edmonton oilers? Seriously?

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#39 David S
December 04 2009, 09:50AM
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Offthebandwagon wrote:

I have to say, I'm developing a real hate-on (that's HATE-on) for Souray. Every time I see him he seems to be making lazy, slow plays and losing his check. The only time he looks decent is when the other team is making a line change and he has about two minutes to make a decision or when he pulls a "Staios-off-the-glass" play out of the zone. I'd like to know ow many goals against he's been on the ice for since returning from concussion. Maybe its not as bad as it seems, and after a win I hate to nit-pick, but wow.

Fire them. FIRE THEM ALL!!!!!!!

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#40 Dan the Man
December 04 2009, 09:51AM
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@Offthebandwagon

Corsi numbers from last nights game:

Strudwick +4

Staios -1

Visnovsky -1

Gilbert -2

Smid -4

Souray -5

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#41 swany
December 04 2009, 09:54AM
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Nilsson goal was a thing of beauty, but so was Stone's pass who new he could make that play

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#42 Dan the Man
December 04 2009, 09:56AM
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From Copper and Blue.

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

Oilers record without Stone: 3-11-3

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#43 Ogden Brother
December 04 2009, 10:00AM
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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

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

What would that say about the rest of the team.

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#44 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
December 04 2009, 10:03AM
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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.

Nothing new, unfortunately. Haha.

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#45 Chris.
December 04 2009, 10:09AM
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Nilsson with the TSN highlight of the night? Trade him NOW! His value will NEVER climb higher!

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#46 Chris.
December 04 2009, 10:11AM
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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

During much of the Dynasty years Dr Randy Gregg seemed to have a similar inexplicable impact on the success of the club.

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#47 Dan the Man
December 04 2009, 10:11AM
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@Ogden Brother

I'm sure it's just an aberration but it's frightening nonetheless.

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#48 Oiler84
December 04 2009, 10:21AM
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I didn't get to watch the game last night but was JDD good or lucky? And I saw the Nilsson highlight, WHAT A GOAL! We need more plays like that.

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#49 Oiler in Purgatory
December 04 2009, 10:32AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ Oiler in Purgatory:

Sorry, that 5.2% was the worst of any player with 50 or more shots. I have a bad habit of not always saying that.

OK no prob... Just being stuck in Laff-land the media and fans focus on Blake's poor performance relative to contract, so I knew O'Sully wasn't the worst overall, at least among fairly regular forwards.

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#50 Oiler in Purgatory
December 04 2009, 10:35AM
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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.

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