GDB XXXI: Striking the Lightning

Jason Gregor
December 09 2009 11:56AM

Tonight the Oilers will try to do something they haven’t done since November of 1988; win four straight games on the road in the same trip. That year they beat Pittsburgh 7-3 on Nov 8th, won 3-2 in OT the next night in New Jersey, crushed Toronto 6-2 on Nov 12th and then squeaked by Buffalo 5-4 in OT on the 13th.

So far the Oilers have won two games in a shootout, which is similar to the four consecutive road wins 21 years ago. In November of 2002 the Oilers won four straight road games, but they were mixed in between home games.

In their 30-year history, the Oilers have only had five seasons where they didn’t register at least one four-game winning streak. 1981 they had two three-game winning streaks, in 1994 they had won three straight three times, in the lockout season of 1995 they won three consecutive games twice, in 1996 they did it three times and the last time they didn’t register at least four straight wins was in 2000.

The Oilers have fared well at St. Pete Times Forum going 6-4-2. Ironically enough they lost the first two games they played there back in 1993, and they lost their last two trips into Tampa. Up until their loss in 2002 they went nine years without losing in Tampa.

Lightning strikes

Tonight the Bolts should be fired up. Rick Tocchet benched his top two lines in Washington two nights ago, and yesterday they had a spirited practice that involved lots of contact and some intense special teams play. Tocchet ripped his team’s effort in the loss to Washington, specifically his top guys, so expect Steven Stamkos, Ryan Malone, Vinny Lecavalier and Marty St. Louis to be amped up tonight.

Stamkos scored 17 goals in the first 24 games, but he hasn’t scored in his last five. After a slow start, Lecavalier has 14 points in his last 15 games, but he only has six goals on 102 shots. He has a woeful 5.8 SH%, while St. Louis is worse at 5.4% with five goals on 92 shots. Both players will eventually break out and the Oilers are hoping it isn’t tonight.

Striking Oil

Dustin Penner continues to produce, but no one is hotter than Lubomir Visnovsky. Visnovsky has eleven points in his last ten games, and he is on pace for his first 20-goal season. His seven goals have him tied for second amongst defenceman, but he has scored those on only 39 shots. Visnovsky has a great shot and he needs to start using it more.

For the second straight game the Oilers have the advantage on special teams, at least statistically. The Oilers are 11th on the PP and 23rd on the PK. The Lightning despite their top-end forwards are only 19th on the PP and their PK is brutal sitting 28th.

The Oilers should be able to cash in on the PP tonight because the Lighting has been shorthanded 125 times, 8th most in the NHL. The Oilers have only had to kill off 104 attempts, 7th fewest in the league. If the Oilers use their speed, the Lightning will take a lot of penalties.

Injury update

Fernando Pisani took a light skate on Monday and is feeling better. He is still at least a month away, but he’s shooting for a mid to late January return. This was the first time in three years that he has felt run down, so he doesn’t expect this to be a re-occurring problem.

Marc Pouliot has been skating for a few weeks and is about ten days away. You have to think that he will get a brief conditioning stint in Sprinfield before joining the Oilers. The Falcons play three straight next weekend, and I’ll bet if Pouliot is cleared he will suit up for all three from the 18th-20th.

The Pint

If you don’t want to watch the game on your computer the Pint has the TV feed and will be showing it tonight. They are at 10125 109th street and it is wing Wednesday as well.

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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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#1 Hemmertime
December 09 2009, 11:59AM
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Last.

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#2 Hemmertime
December 09 2009, 12:02PM
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The game shows as playing on Oilers.nhl.com . So no PPV tonight at least. What is the TV feed? From Tampa?

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#3 The Towel Boy
December 09 2009, 12:02PM
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How does The Pint have the TV feed!?! What sort of sorcery is involved here??

...it's CenterIce isn't it.

No regional blackout on Center Ice for this game?

I call the score to be 13 to ® for the Oilers. Yeah. That should do it.

GOILERS!!!1!

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#4 Bar Qu
December 09 2009, 12:09PM
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This was the first time in three years that he has felt run down, so he doesn’t expect this to be a re-occurring problem.

~Really. Did he suddenly get cured of this chronic condition?

It is more likely to assume he is damaged goods and may play 10 more games this season (on the limp).

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#5 HansBaurMesserschmittWatson
December 09 2009, 12:19PM
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Smid is the Secret Santa.

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#6 HansBaurMesserschmittWatson
December 09 2009, 12:23PM
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Why doesnt Fernando just do as a favour and pack it in? Its over. He wasnt much to begin with, so its not like he will develop much after the injuries. Waste of cap space and obligation.

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#7 Oilersordeath
December 09 2009, 12:24PM
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Noooooooooo! Not Pisani!! Nooooooooo! Not MAP! Softies stay away stay injured please, dont mess up a good thing!

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#8 Travis Dakin
December 09 2009, 12:26PM
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Nice.... Players looking to break out of a slump? The Oilers are the cure for what ails them. Wasn't it the bolts that stopped the Oilers nine game win streak back in 01?

Yup this has all the makings of a guaranteed success.

Bolts 5- Oilers 3

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#9 BUCK75
December 09 2009, 12:28PM
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@Hemmertime

Apparently it will be the Debrusk, Quinn & Principe trio.

As long as it is uncut & uncensored it would be mildly entertaining. CRTC doesn't cover the internet does it?

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#10 Ambassador humantorch
December 09 2009, 12:29PM
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Oilers by at least a jillion.

Actually, make that ® jillion.

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#11 Dyckster
December 09 2009, 12:29PM
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HansBaurMesserschmittWatson wrote:

Why doesnt Fernando just do as a favour and pack it in? Its over. He wasnt much to begin with, so its not like he will develop much after the injuries. Waste of cap space and obligation.

Ba humbug dude.

Like many of the other Oilers who are slammed on a regular basis, Fernie definately plays (played?) an integral role in any success this team may have had in the past few years. So many forget that a GOOD team isn't made up entirely of 50 goal scorers and smooth skating, puck moving defensemen. There are other ingredients that must be filled as well for a winning recipe.

Sincerely,

The Anti-Scrooge

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#12 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
December 09 2009, 12:30PM
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@HansBaurMesserschmittWatson

I'm with you, but maybe they give him one more game just to retire on a good note?

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#13 Travis Dakin
December 09 2009, 12:34PM
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Dyckster wrote:

Ba humbug dude.

Like many of the other Oilers who are slammed on a regular basis, Fernie definately plays (played?) an integral role in any success this team may have had in the past few years. So many forget that a GOOD team isn't made up entirely of 50 goal scorers and smooth skating, puck moving defensemen. There are other ingredients that must be filled as well for a winning recipe.

Sincerely,

The Anti-Scrooge

Oh man wouldn't it be sweet to have a team full of 50 goal scorers and smooth skating, puck moving defenesmen?

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#14 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
December 09 2009, 12:36PM
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@Dyckster

There hasn't been any success in the last few years unless you count the 2 wins in the last 20 games which netted us Gagner, but even that was a loss because if we would've loss that last game we would've been in Chicago's spot for the lottery.

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#15 I'm a Scientist!
December 09 2009, 12:37PM
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Game Day Prediction: I agree with Dakin. We are screwed. We have a number of things going against us 1) we are on a winning streak 2) The bolts got TOLD last game. 6-2 Tampa Bay. Sigh, our goals coming from Horcoff and Brule.

Obvious Game Day Prediction: The internet feed will crash before the puck is even dropped. The Oilers organization will be forced to contact Citizen Alpha to learn how to handle such a flood of viewers.

Not So Obvious Game Day Prediction: Following Detroit's lead with the octopus, the fan in Tampa will start to throw chunks of deliciously endangered manatee (sea cow) on the ice after each goal. He will get escorted out of the building.

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#17 Dyckster
December 09 2009, 12:39PM
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@Travis Dakin

Sweet, for sure, successful? Not so sure, but would definately be entertaining either way (win or lose).

Now if all 30 teams were cut from the same cloth......

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#18 Hambone
December 09 2009, 12:39PM
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Travis Dakin wrote:

Nice.... Players looking to break out of a slump? The Oilers are the cure for what ails them. Wasn't it the bolts that stopped the Oilers nine game win streak back in 01?

Yup this has all the makings of a guaranteed success.

Bolts 5- Oilers 3

If you're in a slump play the Oilers. Haven't won in 10 games? Play the Oilers. Looking for your first goal of the year, career, or life? Play the Oilers.

I'm calling Lecavalier and St. Louis to each have 3 point nights....

And with all this negativity, I am still cheering for the Oilers....it's a very abusive relationship.

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#19 Hambone
December 09 2009, 12:41PM
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The bright side is I don't have to listen to the Dynamic Duo of Quinn and Lebrusk. I might actually stay awake for a full game this time....

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#20 Dyckster
December 09 2009, 12:41PM
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How come my avatar thingy isn't showing up on my posts? bingofuellllllllllllllllllllll!

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#21 David S
December 09 2009, 12:42PM
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The Towel Boy wrote:

How does The Pint have the TV feed!?! What sort of sorcery is involved here??

...it's CenterIce isn't it.

No regional blackout on Center Ice for this game?

I call the score to be 13 to ® for the Oilers. Yeah. That should do it.

GOILERS!!!1!

SHAW has a Centre Ice preview going on right now. If you have the HD package, you can watch the game in glorious Hi-Def right in your living room for free!

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#22 Jason Gregor
December 09 2009, 12:44PM
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HansBaurMesserschmittWatson wrote:

Why doesnt Fernando just do as a favour and pack it in? Its over. He wasnt much to begin with, so its not like he will develop much after the injuries. Waste of cap space and obligation.

Why don't you do us a favour and grow up. Waste of an obligation? You rip him now but back in the Cup run you probably would have blown him if you could.

Ripping on guys for not performing is one things, to rip on a guy for an illness he has no control over is immature and ignorant.

Not needed or welcomed at this site.

Grow up.

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#23 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
December 09 2009, 12:47PM
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@Jason Gregor

He says he doesn't feel run down but at the sametime it took the other players to tell the medical staff what was happening.

Don't really want to get into an arguement as I don't have much against the guy, but is he 100% or does he just not feel run down? If he comes back and is only playing at 80 or 90% what good is that?

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#24 misfit
December 09 2009, 12:55PM
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Glad to hear there's at least a timetable for Pouliot and Pisani. Despite the general view of most Oiler fans, I think we're a better team with these guys in the lineup than without. Of course, there's no denying Pisani hasn't been as effective since he was diagnosed with colitis a few years back, and Pouliot always seems to take forever to get going, so how much better remains to be seen.

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#25 I'm a Scientist!
December 09 2009, 12:56PM
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David S wrote:

SHAW has a Centre Ice preview going on right now. If you have the HD package, you can watch the game in glorious Hi-Def right in your living room for free!

Really?

*Does a toyota jump and freezes at the peak*

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#26 bingofuel
December 09 2009, 12:56PM
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@Dyckster

No idea why that's happening. I shall consult Citizen Alpha!

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#27 Smokin' Ray
December 09 2009, 12:56PM
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GAME DAY!!!

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#28 Oil Kings
December 09 2009, 01:02PM
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David S wrote:

SHAW has a Centre Ice preview going on right now. If you have the HD package, you can watch the game in glorious Hi-Def right in your living room for free!

The Centre Ice schedule shows this game as being blacked out.

http://www.shaw.ca/NR/rdonlyres/301532C7-B04F-42B1-B1A3-21D9BB4F4112/0/20092010_NHL_Centre_Ice_Broadcastv4.pdf

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#29 Jamie B.
December 09 2009, 01:03PM
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Are there two Jason Gregors on this site? How come once he shows up as orange for the original poster and once he doesn't? ~Imposter!!~

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#30 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
December 09 2009, 01:03PM
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@Jamie B.

I was just about to ask the samething

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#31 Jonathan Willis
December 09 2009, 01:03PM
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Wow. Lots of hate for two players who don't deserve it here.

Of course, I'm used to the irrational level of Pouliot hatred in these parts, but Pisani? Really?

If you can't appreciate what Pisani brings (when healthy) than you ought to just key in on him for a few games. He's brilliant positionally, he doesn't shy away from contact, and he's just a smart, smart player. When he's on his game, he's an elite third-liner, and those guys help teams win.

Yes, he's overpaid but he's a local guy, he's a heck of a hockey player, and he's a playoff legend on top of it. Complain about the contract, fine, but don't rip on Pisani.

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#32 I'm a Scientist!
December 09 2009, 01:04PM
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Oil Kings wrote:

The Centre Ice schedule shows this game as being blacked out.

http://www.shaw.ca/NR/rdonlyres/301532C7-B04F-42B1-B1A3-21D9BB4F4112/0/20092010_NHL_Centre_Ice_Broadcastv4.pdf

*crashed down from his toyota jump in a cumpled mess*

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#33 Dan the Man
December 09 2009, 01:05PM
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I didn't realize that Lubo was so huge.

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#34 Crash
December 09 2009, 01:06PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

There hasn't been any success in the last few years unless you count the 2 wins in the last 20 games which netted us Gagner, but even that was a loss because if we would've loss that last game we would've been in Chicago's spot for the lottery.

Why does everyone always say this...this is an incorrect statement...the only way the Oilers would have had Chicago's spot in the draft would have been to lose that last game in OT...The Oilers finished tied with Chicago and one single point ahead of Washington. Had they lost that game in regulation time they would NOT have finished in Chicago's spot...they would have dropped two spots to number 4 and Washington would have been in Chicago's spot...so people please stop saying had the Oilers lost that game that they would have been in Chicago's spot cuz it simply isn't true..

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#35 Jamie B.
December 09 2009, 01:06PM
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Dan the Man wrote:

I didn't realize that Lubo was so huge.

That's what she said.

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#36 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
December 09 2009, 01:08PM
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@Crash

Maybe I was wrong but the whole post was sarcastic.

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#37 The Towel Boy
December 09 2009, 01:09PM
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@Oil Kings

The info on the guide on my Bell satellite for this game states that "The NHL has lifted the blackout restrictions for this game."

So...it's probably all good.

...except I don't have Shaw.

F@!#&!(*

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#38 Harlie
December 09 2009, 01:09PM
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anyone calling out Pisani due to his disease is a loser.

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#39 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
December 09 2009, 01:10PM
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@Jonathan Willis

I think you might be overrated him, an elite third liner? Playoff legend?

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#40 HansBaurMesserschmittWatson
December 09 2009, 01:11PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Why don't you do us a favour and grow up. Waste of an obligation? You rip him now but back in the Cup run you probably would have blown him if you could.

Ripping on guys for not performing is one things, to rip on a guy for an illness he has no control over is immature and ignorant.

Not needed or welcomed at this site.

Grow up.

why dont i grow up ? why dont you grow up ?

fernando sucks and so do you. i wouldnt have blown him. you two sucks can go blow eachother.

its not my fault pisani is fragile, dont get mad at me. i have opinions just like you do, and i think you two sucks would make a good couple. very sensitive you are.

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#41 bingofuel
December 09 2009, 01:11PM
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@Jamie B.

No, it's just that sometimes Gregor forgets that he should login to comment. ;)

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#42 bingofuel
December 09 2009, 01:12PM
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@HansBaurMesserschmittWatson

Dude, you're a douche. "Calling out" Pisani for a disease he can't control? That's about the lowest thing a person can do.

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#43 The Towel Boy
December 09 2009, 01:13PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Wow. Lots of hate for two players who don't deserve it here.

Of course, I'm used to the irrational level of Pouliot hatred in these parts, but Pisani? Really?

If you can't appreciate what Pisani brings (when healthy) than you ought to just key in on him for a few games. He's brilliant positionally, he doesn't shy away from contact, and he's just a smart, smart player. When he's on his game, he's an elite third-liner, and those guys help teams win.

Yes, he's overpaid but he's a local guy, he's a heck of a hockey player, and he's a playoff legend on top of it. Complain about the contract, fine, but don't rip on Pisani.

Let's not forget his underrated, fast and smooth shot. He can let a wrister fly with the best of'em.

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#44 HansBaurMesserschmittWatson
December 09 2009, 01:13PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

I think you might be overrated him, an elite third liner? Playoff legend?

hahahahahahahahahaahahahhahahah comedy

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#45 Crash
December 09 2009, 01:14PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

Maybe I was wrong but the whole post was sarcastic.

No worries, it's just that I read that alot on here and usually it's people ripping on Gagner...my belief is that Gagner will prove in a couple of years and many years after that to be an excellent pick up...

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#46 HansBaurMesserschmittWatson
December 09 2009, 01:14PM
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bingofuel wrote:

Dude, you're a douche. "Calling out" Pisani for a disease he can't control? That's about the lowest thing a person can do.

where did i do that ?

dont make silly assumptions.

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#47 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
December 09 2009, 01:17PM
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@Crash

You know for some reason I never actually even checked that stat, either way I really have no problems with Gagner except the fact that he came into the NHL too soon which isn't his fault.

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#48 Word
December 09 2009, 01:18PM
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Harlie wrote:

anyone calling out Pisani due to his disease is a loser.

Good call. In the name of bringing balance to the idiocy, someone needs to call out Colitis due to its Pisani:

"Colitis, you're no good due to your Pisani."

Wow... it does feel good to be an irrational dink on the internet... I should make a habit of this.

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#49 Dyckster
December 09 2009, 01:20PM
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@HansBaurMesserschmittWatson you've been a troll since you started posting on this site, I'm with JG, this is no place to slam a loyal Oiler (and Edmontonian I might add) on a site dedicated to our team. Back off.

The Pisani family is very absorbed within the hockey community all around the city (brother coaches a Midget AAA team in St. Albert, Fernando is also a part owner of a Hockey Skill Development facility). So, ummmmmmmmmm, next time you get the opportunity to F-Off you should take it.

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#50 bingofuel
December 09 2009, 01:21PM
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@HansBaurMesserschmittWatson

Isn't that what you're doing? You're saying he's not a great player, and that because of his disease he's a waste of cap space. You said as much here:

"Why doesnt Fernando just do as a favour and pack it in? Its over. He wasnt much to begin with, so its not like he will develop much after the injuries. Waste of cap space and obligation."

If you think you're not being a prick by saying he's a waste of obligation, then you're speaking a language I'm not familiar with.

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