GDB XXIX: An afternoon dancing with the Stars

Jason Gregor
December 05 2009 08:45AM

Well now it feels like hockey season. I’m sure many of you are barely getting in the house in time, after shoveling your vehicle out of 20 cm of the white stuff, to watch the Oilers take on the Stars. You probably spent an hour on your sidewalk and then got the bright idea to shovel out your car, only to have your neighbour notice you were outside so they asked if you could shovel their car out as well.

Your neighbour is either pregnant or elderly so you couldn’t be a douche and now you are trying to adjust your eyes to the TV after being blinded by the sun’s reflection off of the snow. It’s probably not the only thing that will be blinding you today.

Interestingly enough it snowed in Dallas on Tuesday, so it’s hockey weather in Texas and Alberta. Who knew?

When the puck dropped 40 hours ago in Detroit many of you thought it would be the start of the tank job. The Oilers would get blown out in Detroit and then limp into Dallas and get spanked by the Stars. The latter could still happen, but after Thursday’s game some of you are fighting the dreaded SPLIT PERSONALITY FAN.

On one shoulder you have your little devil fan dressed in an Oiler jersey convincing you that 54 games is ample time to turn this around and get into the playoffs. “Jeff Deslauriers is finally going to live up to his draft position and become an impact goalie,” your devil fan says.  

“Who needs Ales Hemsky and his sick stick handling skills, Bobby Nilsson and Patches O’Sullivan were playing in his shadow and now they flourish. Zack Stortini has always been the 4th line checking center who can win faceoffs. Ryan Potulny will be the Fernando Pisani of the 2006 playoffs and he will score 26 by seasons end. Trust me”

While you try to fight off these ridiculous notions, there is a part of you that wants to believe them. How awesome would the Oilers be next year when Hemsky returns after making the playoffs without him this year you tell yourself.

Then your Angel fan tosses his halo knocking the devil off your shoulder and rips into you.

“Wake up Kool-aid boy. This team can’t lose every game down the stretch, so the win over Detroit was just a speed bump. The Oilers aren’t tough enough, they can’t win a faceoff, their defensive zone coverage sucks and their goalie’s game fluctuates more than Oprah’s weight.

“Why do you do this to yourself? Just when you think this team is done, they win one stupid game and they suck you back in. You are blinded by your loyalty to want this team to win, that you can’t fathom another spring without playoffs. Well chump, a win over the Wings is not the beginning of a solid 55 game stretch.”

Admit it, that’s how most of you feel right now.

Last week, many of you were comfortable with the notion of missing the playoffs again, as long as the team got a top five pick, but beating Detroit has given you a glimmer of hope.

Will the Stars crush that glimmer like they did five times in the playoffs between 1998 and 2004? This Stars team doesn’t have Sergei Zubov, Jamie Langenbrunner, Brett Hull or Ken Hitchcock. Instead they have young guys like James Neal and Loui Eriksson and a red-hot Brad Richards.

Brendan Morrow is also hot with a goal in five consecutive games, and Stephane Robidas leads the NHL in hits, but the Stars are 1-4 in their last five afternoon home games.

Who the hell knows if the Oilers will win today, but unless you are stuck in your back alley, or on a side street, or taking your kids to hockey you will be watching this game with conflicted emotions.

I don’t predict scores, because I suck at sports select but I guarantee you this will happen.

Jeanshorts will complain about his hangover and the soft three he just had to pay cab fare to leave.

Dakin will be livid when the Oilers score two PP goals.

Menace will pinch a nerve in his neck from looking at his angel and devil from shift-to-shift.

Scientist will come up with another way to quote posts while calculating the length of time it will take a grader to grade every street in the city.

98% of the readers will read the comments section and never post, but secretly they will be just as irate or filled with hope as all of the posters.

And of course, Gene will have a reference to Robert Nilsson and the Lone Star State in his intro... book it!

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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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#51 Brandon
December 05 2009, 01:10PM
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Shaun Doe wrote:

Anyone else notice that there really isn't one player on the Oilers that is capable of getting angry and elevating their game accordingly? What I mean is a guy like Iginla who you just don't want to get riled up if he is having a slow game. Penner might be the closest to a player like this.

Gagner to some extent.....but that could just be because of Penner

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#52 Shaun Doe
December 05 2009, 01:15PM
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Brandon wrote:

Gagner to some extent.....but that could just be because of Penner

Well I have noticed Gagner will get angry and become more chippy but I haven't seen it result in more chances for. I do like that he has added some gritty elements to his game though.

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#53 freeze
December 05 2009, 01:15PM
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Penner needs to get aggressive and hit some guys today for sure.

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#54 freeze
December 05 2009, 01:17PM
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The Oil may be taking guys hard into the boards but we aren't coming up with the puck from it.

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#55 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
December 05 2009, 01:19PM
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It throws me off every time they say 'thecaptainbrendanmorrow'.

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#56 David S
December 05 2009, 01:21PM
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Shaun Doe wrote:

Well I have noticed Gagner will get angry and become more chippy but I haven't seen it result in more chances for. I do like that he has added some gritty elements to his game though.

What I find encouraging is that Sam is the guy doing alot of the dirty work on that line. He's always digging pucks out of the corners and setting guys up.

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#57 Shaun Doe
December 05 2009, 01:26PM
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David S wrote:

What I find encouraging is that Sam is the guy doing alot of the dirty work on that line. He's always digging pucks out of the corners and setting guys up.

Kind of makes you wonder what the kid line would be like at the end of this season. Both Gagner and Cogliano continue to work on their "without the puck play" creating a better all around work effort. Also whenever cogs happens to be on the ice with Gagner, Sam just seems to find Cogs on those stretch passes. Still I would be leery to put those guys back together since the last kick at the can was so innefectual and scary.

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#58 David S
December 05 2009, 01:29PM
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Shaun Doe wrote:

Kind of makes you wonder what the kid line would be like at the end of this season. Both Gagner and Cogliano continue to work on their "without the puck play" creating a better all around work effort. Also whenever cogs happens to be on the ice with Gagner, Sam just seems to find Cogs on those stretch passes. Still I would be leery to put those guys back together since the last kick at the can was so innefectual and scary.

I've often thought they should just slap that kid line back together for 10 games or so and see what happens. Nilsson is way more effective now, Cogs is flyin' and Sam seems to be on it more too. Problem I guess is the injury situation. Maybe if Comrie was in things might be different.

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#59 freeze
December 05 2009, 01:32PM
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AWWWW!!! Penner should have had that!

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#60 Shaun Doe
December 05 2009, 01:34PM
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Yeah maybe with Comrie back placed on the first line between brule and penner that would make room for the kid line. Brule or Comrie I guess could play centre as far as I remember Mike was pretty competant on the dot before his string of illnesses. Mike "the outbreak moneky" Comrie

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#61 David S
December 05 2009, 01:36PM
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I was really looking forward to seeing Mike do something on this team. He could revive his career and to be honest I'd like to see him do just that.

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#62 Matt
December 05 2009, 01:39PM
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I can't believe I woke up early so that I could cheer for the Oilers to lose. Is that something a normal fan would do?

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#63 David S
December 05 2009, 01:43PM
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Matt wrote:

I can't believe I woke up early so that I could cheer for the Oilers to lose. Is that something a normal fan would do?

Dude. Its like 2-1 at the end of the second. Decent game too as we're getting some chances. I think its a tad bit early to book the loss just quite yet.

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#64 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
December 05 2009, 01:46PM
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@David S

Yeah, this -is- a good game.

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#65 TigerUnderGlass
December 05 2009, 01:52PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Slap yourself for even thinking this. An 18-goal scorer and a 1st for a 100 point guy and a guy who got his team to the conference finals last year almost by himself?

Why would an alternative rock station in Calgary report this? It is probably a promotion to see how stupid Oiler fans are and that they will believe anything. You guys are just making their campaign successful.

And for clarification on the LTIR. Just because Hemsky goes on it, doesn't mean it is a free $2.8 million dollars.

LTIR allows a team to go over the cap, it doesn't just eliminate Hemsky's contract value.

I should note that the bulk of the guys on air at 92.9 are Oiler fans. Those guys are more likely to prank Flames fans than the other way around.

After this though I would have to add that they are stupid Oiler fans to even suggest such a deal. They are probably just among the group that believe Eklund is a credible source.

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#66 Matt
December 05 2009, 01:53PM
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@ David S:

I didn't say they were going to lose, merely that I was hoping they would, with the draft coming up and all.

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#67 Homie
December 05 2009, 02:03PM
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Penner's been a bit snakebit this game, but its a good one so far.

James Neal is a beauty. Big, fast, great hands.

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#68 JorgeR
December 05 2009, 02:03PM
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Sorry guys I missed some of the game but who is PattyO playing with? The only time I've noticed him was on the powerplay

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#69 Horcsky
December 05 2009, 02:08PM
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David S wrote:

I've often thought they should just slap that kid line back together for 10 games or so and see what happens. Nilsson is way more effective now, Cogs is flyin' and Sam seems to be on it more too. Problem I guess is the injury situation. Maybe if Comrie was in things might be different.

Nilsson is effective for 2 games, Cogs is actually doing something for one game, and Sam... well he's playing with Penner and Brule.

There ya go. Edited that for you.

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#70 Hemmertime
December 05 2009, 02:11PM
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Shaun Doe wrote:

Yeah maybe with Comrie back placed on the first line between brule and penner that would make room for the kid line. Brule or Comrie I guess could play centre as far as I remember Mike was pretty competant on the dot before his string of illnesses. Mike "the outbreak moneky" Comrie

Comrie has played the "I am a bitch who doesn't care about my team" card already this season with the "I signed to play wing not center" things. Even Quinn said it. I thought good on Comrie for coming back, he may have matured and we can let bygones be bygones. But alas, no, he is still a Me-first punk. Give his spot to Reddox, who would be stick boy if we asked him to

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#71 David S
December 05 2009, 02:17PM
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Reddox. *facepalm*

You guys really DO want to lose.

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#72 Travis Dakin
December 05 2009, 02:18PM
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Boring....

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#73 freeze
December 05 2009, 02:18PM
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SMID! SMID! SMID!

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#74 JorgeR
December 05 2009, 02:19PM
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YEAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH SMIDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD!!!!

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#75 Hemmertime
December 05 2009, 02:19PM
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WOOOT... $500 For Beat The Heat.

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#76 Wanyes bastard child
December 05 2009, 02:19PM
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SMIIIIIIIIIIIID WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT!!!!!

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#77 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
December 05 2009, 02:19PM
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SMIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIID

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#78 David S
December 05 2009, 02:19PM
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SMID!!!!!!!

Hahahahahahahaha!

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#79 Tooles
December 05 2009, 02:19PM
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SMIIIIIIIIIDDDDDDDDDDDD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!

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#80 Travis Dakin
December 05 2009, 02:20PM
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See.... like Smid scores and that makes me happy. But Dammit they can't be getting points!

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#81 Hemmertime
December 05 2009, 02:20PM
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David S wrote:

Reddox. *facepalm*

You guys really DO want to lose.

What I mean is play Comrie center, if he bitches, suspend him without pay.

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#82 Jodes
December 05 2009, 02:20PM
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Time to ante up the $500 boys!!

Way to go Laddy!

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#83 jake
December 05 2009, 02:24PM
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SMID!!!!!!!!!!

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#84 freeze
December 05 2009, 02:25PM
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Aside from the first period they have played a good road game.

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#85 JorgeR
December 05 2009, 02:25PM
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I've been wanting to get a Laddy! Laddy! Laddy! cheer going in Rexall forever. Next home game?

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#86 Jodes
December 05 2009, 02:26PM
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Just curious, is it just me or is anyone else having concerns about our new "1st" line of Gagner, Penner and Brule?

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#87 freeze
December 05 2009, 02:26PM
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Smid will be smiling wide for weeks!

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#88 jeanshorts
December 05 2009, 02:28PM
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*stumbles in, covered in trash from his "bed" last night behind The Roxy*

Who are the Oilers playing tonight for the second half of the HNIC double header?

What? The game is already on?

WHAT? The third period is already over? WE GOT A POINT????

This team can't even lose right!

God damn matinee games. This has to be Rob Schremp's fault!

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#89 jeanshorts
December 05 2009, 02:30PM
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Jodes wrote:

Just curious, is it just me or is anyone else having concerns about our new "1st" line of Gagner, Penner and Brule?

I'm concerned that they're TOO AWESOME!

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#90 Wanyes bastard child
December 05 2009, 02:30PM
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Jodes wrote:

Just curious, is it just me or is anyone else having concerns about our new "1st" line of Gagner, Penner and Brule?

Not really, the other teams know that Penner and co are threats so they always match their best shut down groups against them. Sure they may have not been scoring but they still play real well.

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#91 Horcsky
December 05 2009, 02:31PM
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Except that goat Gagner. Man, what a goat

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#92 Wanyes bastard child
December 05 2009, 02:34PM
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Patches, Nillson and Gagner for the shootout?

Edit: I was correct :P

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#93 Tooles
December 05 2009, 02:34PM
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Shooters should be Cogs, O'Sully, and certified sniper Ladislav Smid.

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#94 Hemmertime
December 05 2009, 02:35PM
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Tooles wrote:

Shooters should be Cogs, O'Sully, and certified sniper Ladislav Smid.

If only MacT was still the coach, we mighta seen that

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#95 JorgeR
December 05 2009, 02:35PM
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I say let Nilsson take a shot in the shootout

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#96 Tooles
December 05 2009, 02:37PM
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HUGE JDD!!

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#97 Tooles
December 05 2009, 02:38PM
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SULLLLLLLYY!!!!!!

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#98 jeanshorts
December 05 2009, 02:38PM
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Thanks for saving your A-game for the shootout Sully. What a move!

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#99 Tooles
December 05 2009, 02:38PM
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This has been a fantastic game, no matter how the SO turns out.

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#100 Horcsky
December 05 2009, 02:39PM
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Now to find out if Gagner has learned to raise the puck yet.

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