GDB XXX: Watch for swinging sticks

Jason Gregor
December 07 2009 11:16AM

How fitting is it that the Oilers are heating up on the ice and getting set to play in Florida, while the first cold-snap of the year hits back home? Would a three-game winning streak warm your heart, or would it piss off the angel on your shoulder?

I don’t know if the Dallas win did anything to solve the SPLIT PERSONALITY FAN problem that exists amongst many Oiler faithful right now.

Regardless, with a win tonight the Oilers will match their season high of three consecutive wins. The Oilers beat Minny, Van and Columbus from Oct 16th to the 22nd, but since then they’ve gone 6-12-3.

They still sit 14th in the West, because suddenly the Wild are hot with five straight wins.

The Oilers have won the last two times they played in Florida, They won 4-3 in 2007 and shut out the Panthers 4-0 back in 2002/03. Overall their record is 3-5-2 in ten meetings.

Once again the Panthers are struggling, so much so that they are trying to decapitate one another (see video above)

Keith Ballard probably still feels like an idiot, because, seriously how could he not. That ranks up there as one of the dumbest play I’ve ever seen; especially when he swings again and breaks his stick over the goal post. Do you think Stortini will be giving it to him tonight? He should be.

The Panthers have given up the 4th most goals in the league, 100, while the Oilers are tied for 8th in goals for. The Oilers should be able to pot at least three of four tonight.

The Oilers also have an advantage on special teams. The Oilers are 11th on the PP and 26th on the PK. The Panthers are 27th on the PP and 29th on the PK. You’d think that if the Oilers can draw a few penalties they’d have a great shot at winning.

Don’t expect any lineup changes for the third straight game, and there probably won’t be any changes until Denis Grebeshkov, or Mike Comrie is healthy. Grebeshkov has resumed skating, while Comrie is still in banished from the team. He could resume skating with the team next weekend when they return home.

GOOD LUCK CHARM

Ryan Stone is getting a lot of love right now because the Oilers are 7-2-1 with him in the lineup. Good for Stone, but let’s not give go crazy yet. Ales Hemsky has missed seven games this season and the Oilers are 4-1-2 without him. Do you really think not having Hemsky in the lineup makes this team better?

I like that Stone brings a consistent physical element to this team, and it is obvious they need more guys like him, but I don’t think we can give him that much credit in being a difference maker in the game. What Stone does well is he brings consistency and energy. I’ve said it for years that third and fourth line guys who bring energy are more valuable than those who pot 30 points, but don’t show up on a consistent basis.

Down, down, down

I made a slight error above which has been fixed: Taylor Chorney and Ryan O'Marra have been sent back down. We're waiting on Grebs and Comrie, and not Chorney.

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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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#151 Milli
December 07 2009, 08:41PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

Milli h8's me so much he said it twice?

*run's off crying*

i'm sorry ross, it was the booze talking

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#152 Dan the Man
December 07 2009, 08:44PM
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@Jason Gregor

I'd be curious to know how many of Gagner's 8 shoot out goals were scored when he was a rookie? I couldn't find those stats but I'd guess around 5 ...it seems once goalies figured out that he does basically the same thing every time he has had no success.

Nice call, Horcoff and Nilsson were money tonight!

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#153 RossCreekNation
December 07 2009, 08:44PM
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@Milli

I'm sure a 'left-hander' could lead to us "deading our beef".

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#154 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
December 07 2009, 08:45PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

I've actually never been. I've penciled it in for a visit in the not-to-distant future. Didn't it just recently open? Heard its supposed to be pretty good though...

been open for 3 or 4 months now i think.

i may be confused with the Average Joes that is also in sherwood park.

regardless, i have spent far to much $$$$ getting derrrunk at a place called Joe's. which, as gay as it sounds, is not all bad

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#155 RossCreekNation
December 07 2009, 08:45PM
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@Dan the Man

The thing is, it seems as though he isn't trying the same things he tried in the past. Faking a shot and shooting 'bread-basket' didn't get him those 8 goals.

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#156 BarryS
December 07 2009, 08:46PM
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Dan the Man wrote:

I'd be curious to know how many of Gagner's 8 shoot out goals were scored when he was a rookie? I couldn't find those stats but I'd guess around 5 ...it seems once goalies figured out that he does basically the same thing every time he has had no success.

Nice call, Horcoff and Nilsson were money tonight!

Last game the tv guys were wondering when was the last time Gagner tried one of his moves from when he was first in the league. You don't think one of the vets got to him about making them look bad?

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#157 RossCreekNation
December 07 2009, 08:48PM
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@cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

"Original Joe's... nothing average about it"

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#158 Milli
December 07 2009, 08:51PM
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3 in a row, on the road, wow, first time since 06......WOW!!!!!

Ross, you are officially back on my Xmas card list, that is, if you believe in santa.

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#159 Dan the Man
December 07 2009, 08:53PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

The thing is, it seems as though he isn't trying the same things he tried in the past. Faking a shot and shooting 'bread-basket' didn't get him those 8 goals.

The thing is in his rookie season his dekes actually fooled goalies now the goalie just tends to stand there and Sam runs out of room so he has no choice but to go breadbasket.

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#160 Dan the Man
December 07 2009, 08:54PM
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BarryS wrote:

Last game the tv guys were wondering when was the last time Gagner tried one of his moves from when he was first in the league. You don't think one of the vets got to him about making them look bad?

Call me crazy but I'm pretty sure a vet didn't tell him not to score in shootouts.

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#161 BarryS
December 07 2009, 08:57PM
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Dan the Man wrote:

Call me crazy but I'm pretty sure a vet didn't tell him not to score in shootouts.

You're not, but I can't remember the last time he tried one.

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#162 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
December 07 2009, 08:57PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

"Original Joe's... nothing average about it"

if its not on TSN2, i dont see it

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#163 Colin
December 07 2009, 09:35PM
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I'm still on the tank it bandwagon, but they're making it interesting. The next 20 or so games should tell the tale...

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#165 Dan the Man
December 08 2009, 11:10AM
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@Jason Gregor

Thanks Gregor.

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