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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#51 HansBaurMesserschmittWatson
December 09 2009, 01:21PM
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if he is so sick, why is he playing hockey ?

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#52 I'm a Scientist!
December 09 2009, 01:21PM
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The Towel Boy wrote:

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@!#&!(*

*re-does his Toyota jump...freezing at the top in total glory*

Whew...all this jumpin is making me tired...

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#53 I'm a Scientist!
December 09 2009, 01:24PM
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*thinks it smells like Craig Warck (sp?) in here*

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#54 Dan the Man
December 09 2009, 01:24PM
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Who would you take out of the line up to insert MAP or Pisani?

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#55 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
December 09 2009, 01:24PM
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I don't think anyone is calling Pisani out, but the fact is over the past 3 years he hasn't been able to contribute to this team on a regular basis. His time has passed him, if guys like Shanny are getting kicked around why is it so bad to say that Pisani should hang them up?

There seems to be a little too much sensitivity on this subject. The fact is fans want someone that can help this team, Fernando can't. Maybe he is better suited in a special role in practice, but over the course of the year he doesn't bring that much anymore.

Now that I have said this, I can see him scoring 15 goals to prove me wrong.

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#56 HansBaurMesserschmittWatson
December 09 2009, 01:27PM
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bingofuel wrote:

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.

i think since 2006 fernando has become very fragile.(i never said nothing about his disease) just like ethan moreau has.

he wasnt much to begin with.(i think his highest point production was just over 30)

its not like he will develop much. (no one in their right hockey mind can say, that they can see pisani coming back and getting back to his 100% game(30+ points) or better)

i think his hockey career has passed him and he should pack it in.

i didnt say nothing about his disease.

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#57 I'm a Scientist!
December 09 2009, 01:27PM
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Dan the Man wrote:

Who would you take out of the line up to insert MAP or Pisani?

I am guessing Potulny would be taken out... but that is not who I would take out.

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#58 Dyckster
December 09 2009, 01:30PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

I don't think anyone is calling Pisani out, but the fact is over the past 3 years he hasn't been able to contribute to this team on a regular basis. His time has passed him, if guys like Shanny are getting kicked around why is it so bad to say that Pisani should hang them up?

There seems to be a little too much sensitivity on this subject. The fact is fans want someone that can help this team, Fernando can't. Maybe he is better suited in a special role in practice, but over the course of the year he doesn't bring that much anymore.

Now that I have said this, I can see him scoring 15 goals to prove me wrong.

Stating "He wasnt much to begin with" is pretty much "calling him out" in my books.

I'm not his man fan or anything like that, I do however appreciate the guy and what he's put into the team. Hanswhat'shisface is out of line......period, nuff said.

GOILERS!

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#59 HansBaurMesserschmittWatson
December 09 2009, 01:32PM
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@Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

some people here have special love spots for players like horcoff moreau staios and pisani. as soon as you say anything that does not sit with their little brains, they want to hang you like a witch or an nazi.

just to throw it out there, isnt stortini putting up horcoff like numbers in the face-off circle in the last few games ? get the cheque book out klowe.

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#60 Offthebandwagon
December 09 2009, 01:33PM
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I don't get it. Lots of people have been pissed about Bulin's contract because he's old and prone to injury. Nobody steps up to defend him. How is ragging on Pisani any different? Its not like anybody's making jokes about Fernie--he's a great guy with a tough illness--but plain and simple, he hasn't done this team any favors lately.

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#61 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
December 09 2009, 01:34PM
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HansBaurMesserschmittWatson wrote:

some people here have special love spots for players like horcoff moreau staios and pisani. as soon as you say anything that does not sit with their little brains, they want to hang you like a witch or an nazi.

just to throw it out there, isnt stortini putting up horcoff like numbers in the face-off circle in the last few games ? get the cheque book out klowe.

that does not sit with their little brains

*** starts singing the alanis morisette ironic song to himself***

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#62 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
December 09 2009, 01:36PM
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Offthebandwagon wrote:

I don't get it. Lots of people have been pissed about Bulin's contract because he's old and prone to injury. Nobody steps up to defend him. How is ragging on Pisani any different? Its not like anybody's making jokes about Fernie--he's a great guy with a tough illness--but plain and simple, he hasn't done this team any favors lately.

'bulin was over 35 when his deal was signed, fernados was not.

while neither is great cap wise, the oilers do at least have a few more options available with pisani to "move" the money around.

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#63 Jonathan Willis
December 09 2009, 01:36PM
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@ Dan the Man:

That's a good question; normally there are just so many options. Nobody, for the time being; both should probably get conditioning stints when they come back, and I'd assume by then that someone else will have gotten hurt or Robert Nilsson will have lost his way or something.

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#64 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
December 09 2009, 01:37PM
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@Dyckster

Again I hate to start an arguement, but what was he? I have nothing against the guy, but he had one season where he put up good numbers for a third liner and then he had an amazing playoffs. Outside of that he had 2 okay seasons. It's not like he has played 10 years of being a good 3rd liner, he had those 3 seasons and that's about it and quite frankly he is one of those dime a dozen players that we seem to have problems signing

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#65 Jonathan Willis
December 09 2009, 01:38PM
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Plenty of people ripped the Pisani contract when it was signed. It's been a few years; if people were out there defending his 2.5MM/yr paycheque I'm sure we'd see more attacks on it.

Besides, it expires at the end of this year, so it'll be a moot point soon enough.

Khabiulin's contract, on the other hand, still has defenders, and it's going to be around for a looonng time.

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#66 Travis Dakin
December 09 2009, 01:38PM
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With success comes the consequences. There are far too many Hans' on this site now. God damn embarrassing that I actually cheer the same team as you.

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#67 Ogden Brother
December 09 2009, 01:41PM
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Offthebandwagon wrote:

I don't get it. Lots of people have been pissed about Bulin's contract because he's old and prone to injury. Nobody steps up to defend him. How is ragging on Pisani any different? Its not like anybody's making jokes about Fernie--he's a great guy with a tough illness--but plain and simple, he hasn't done this team any favors lately.

Nobody steps up to defend Bulin? You must have missed the 837,374 doing just that.

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#68 Dyckster
December 09 2009, 01:43PM
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@Ogden Brother Jr.

I was simply replying to your calling out statement. Saying he wasn't much to begin with is as calling out as it gets IMO. I have no issues with YOUR opinions (Hans is a different story).

Slamming a player that was very critical to the last real NHL excitement we've had in a lot of years is nonsense.

No argument intended OB JR. just clarifying my point of view...type on brother!

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#69 HansBaurMesserschmittWatson
December 09 2009, 01:47PM
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@Travis Dakin

oh yes, a man that says god man has enough pride to be embaressed.

so tell me. what consequences of whos success ?

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#70 Evil Ginger
December 09 2009, 01:48PM
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HansBaurMesserschmittWatson wrote:

comparing pisani to lemieux is like comparing cableguy to a real man. they are not the same people.

i didnt mean he plays while he is sick you douche. he is always and out the line up with injuries the last few years. waste of time if you look at it from an proffesional organization view. im not arguing about this anymore.

a thought of pisani coming back and contributing like he did, can only come from the same brain that feels that horcoff is a 1st or 2nd line centre and that ethan moreau is a captain.

i never made fun of the mans illness.

comparing guys who were unable to play due to a disease or sickness that is the same. I personally don't think pisani helps us at all i just think you need to tell your brain that lunch ended at one

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#71 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
December 09 2009, 01:50PM
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HansBaurMesserschmittWatson wrote:

comparing pisani to lemieux is like comparing cableguy to a real man. they are not the same people.

i didnt mean he plays while he is sick you douche. he is always and out the line up with injuries the last few years. waste of time if you look at it from an proffesional organization view. im not arguing about this anymore.

a thought of pisani coming back and contributing like he did, can only come from the same brain that feels that horcoff is a 1st or 2nd line centre and that ethan moreau is a captain.

i never made fun of the mans illness.

poor baby

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#72 Crash
December 09 2009, 01:51PM
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I'm fairly new here but I don't understand...I see many players get slammed on here...why is it ok to slam some players but not others?

I feel for Pisani and the battle he is having with the disease he is fighting and I hope it all turns out for the best but I agree with the sentiment that he is one of the spare parts of this team and in order for this team to get better he is one of the guys who should not be brought back next season...along with Pouliot, Nilsson, Staios, Moreau, Comrie...

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#73 HansBaurMesserschmittWatson
December 09 2009, 01:51PM
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ouch

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#74 Ogden Brother
December 09 2009, 01:51PM
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IP ban please.

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#75 Dyckster
December 09 2009, 01:52PM
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Hans...please read:

"In the most classic case, a troll harasses an Internet community for a few weeks, posting contradictory opinions or statements on bulletin boards in an attempt to stimulate a response. Internet trolls are differentiated from people who genuinely wish to present a different viewpoint by their attitudes and aggressiveness; their goal is not to discuss a situation, but to frustrate the members of a discussion board. They often use fallacious arguments or attack the users of a site when they attempt to defend themselves from the troll's activities."

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#76 Ender
December 09 2009, 01:54PM
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@HansBaurMesserschmittWatson

HansBaurMesserschmittWatson wrote:

it would appear to me that most of these oilers fans on this website are douchebag hipocrytes . . .

HansBaurMesserschmittWatson wrote:

as soon as you say anything that does not sit with their little brains . . .

HansBaurMesserschmittWatson wrote:

no one in their right hockey mind can say . . .

Typing on a public forum without good grammar or manners is kind of like walking down a public street without clothes; you can do it, but realize that everyone will assume you're a retard.

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#77 HansBaurMesserschmittWatson
December 09 2009, 01:57PM
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Dyckster wrote:

Hans...please read:

"In the most classic case, a troll harasses an Internet community for a few weeks, posting contradictory opinions or statements on bulletin boards in an attempt to stimulate a response. Internet trolls are differentiated from people who genuinely wish to present a different viewpoint by their attitudes and aggressiveness; their goal is not to discuss a situation, but to frustrate the members of a discussion board. They often use fallacious arguments or attack the users of a site when they attempt to defend themselves from the troll's activities."

how weak of a person is one who allows a internet troll to frustrate them by his/hers diffrent viewpoints?

i didnt try to stimulate no response or start an arguement with anyone.

i simply said that pisani is old and passsed his prime and that he should maybe retire.

i dont know why 20 people felt they had to analyze and argue with me. ask them.

i didnt attack anyone if anything i recall a few attacks at me for saying something negative about the golden child.

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#78 Botts89
December 09 2009, 01:57PM
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HansBaurMesserschmittWatson wrote:

it would appear to me that most of these oilers fans on this website are douchebag hipocrytes, and for that i am glad this team is not winning. fans like you people dont deserve a good team, you deserve what you get. an oppurtunity to be a bunch of hypocritical whinners and knowitalls.

Buddy i think its time to take a break and stop diggin'

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#79 HansBaurMesserschmittWatson
December 09 2009, 01:59PM
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@Ender

thanx for the headsup

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#80 AdamfromOilfans
December 09 2009, 02:04PM
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Crash wrote:

I'm fairly new here but I don't understand...I see many players get slammed on here...why is it ok to slam some players but not others?

I feel for Pisani and the battle he is having with the disease he is fighting and I hope it all turns out for the best but I agree with the sentiment that he is one of the spare parts of this team and in order for this team to get better he is one of the guys who should not be brought back next season...along with Pouliot, Nilsson, Staios, Moreau, Comrie...

Whether you think he should be brought back next year is not really the point. There are people here who are basically calling for him to retire because they don't want him here this year. If he's healthy enough to play, and only he and his doctors can decide that, not some random guys on a fan-site, then by all means, he should play.

And while he's not going to be that elusive "one-shot scorer", Pisani does add an element to the team. He's one of the best penalty killers on the squad. Defensively, he's a smart player, capable of lining up against the best in the league. He doesn't make a lot of mistakes out there, and he will chip in some offence as well. And he's shown that he can really step up when the chips are down.

If he's healthy, I really see no reason why the Oilers wouldn't offer him a chance to continue his career here next year, albeit at a much cheaper rate than they have him on this contract. Checkers in their early 30s have taken paycuts across the board as GMs figure out the intricacies of the salary cap, and so I'd expect that Pisani would get a contract between $700,000 and $1.2MM per season...similar to what Mike Grier ($1.2MM), Todd Marchant ($1.125MM) or Manny Malhotra ($700K) have received.

As for that Hans character...is there someone that moderates these boards? I am surprised his contributions to this discussion haven't all been deleted.

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#81 Dyckster
December 09 2009, 02:05PM
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@HansBaurMesserschmittWatson

Calling people douches or douche bags is not an attack?

Anyway, I'm done. Judging by the reponses you've received, most of the folks who frequent this site do not appreciate your line of blogumenting. Well thought out opinions are what make this site so unbelievabley awesome, your opinions/responses sir, from my point of view anyway, are missing the well thought out part.

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#82 David S
December 09 2009, 02:13PM
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I'm a Scientist! wrote:

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

*sigh*

What? Its back on!

*Joins scientist in Toyota backflip*

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#83 Dan the Man
December 09 2009, 02:14PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ Dan the Man:

That's a good question; normally there are just so many options. Nobody, for the time being; both should probably get conditioning stints when they come back, and I'd assume by then that someone else will have gotten hurt or Robert Nilsson will have lost his way or something.

Ha ha...those are pretty safe assumptions.

I'd hate to see Potulny lose his spot, I think he's earned it and that line has been pretty effective.

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#84 rubbertrout
December 09 2009, 02:26PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

I don't think anyone is calling Pisani out, but the fact is over the past 3 years he hasn't been able to contribute to this team on a regular basis. His time has passed him, if guys like Shanny are getting kicked around why is it so bad to say that Pisani should hang them up?

There seems to be a little too much sensitivity on this subject. The fact is fans want someone that can help this team, Fernando can't. Maybe he is better suited in a special role in practice, but over the course of the year he doesn't bring that much anymore.

Now that I have said this, I can see him scoring 15 goals to prove me wrong.

Hey OBJ,

IF HBMW (or whatever he is called) had written the post the way you did I don't think anyone would be mad at him. They way he wrote it was pretty douchey. Of course, Gregor's response was a bit douchey in kind but it probably wouldn't have happened if the initial comment was written differently. HBSW's subsequent comments prove that Gregor's initial reaction was apparently warranted.

Goilers!

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#85 Harlie
December 09 2009, 02:28PM
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crappy video feed...but this one's for you Scientist.

http://hotcarstv.blogspot.com/2009/10/cleveland-ghost-riding.html

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#86 Jonathan Willis
December 09 2009, 02:29PM
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@Dan the Man:

Completely agree on Potulny. Personally, I think the substitution of him over Storini on the Cogliano/Moreau line was what got that trio going.

Nothing against Stortini, but Potulny does things well that aren't in his skillset.

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#87 Benny Botts
December 09 2009, 02:34PM
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@ Jason Gregor

Gregor whats your opinion on gagner's play since he's been moved to the first line center spot. I know he's been taking alot of heat on his defensive zone play and some blog sites are suggesting he be demoted to the fourth line. Do you agree ?

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#89 Harlie
December 09 2009, 02:38PM
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@HansBaurMesserschmittWatson

This is the guy you are using for a blog comment handle? And you are talking about getting hung like a Nazi? Gee I wonder where you got that line of thinking from. Get a life you loser.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Baur

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messerschmitt

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#90 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
December 09 2009, 02:38PM
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@Jason Gregor

I don't see Pisani playing much more. Maybe he plays next year if he takes min salary, but I kinda doubt it. Do you see the organization giving him a job, even something with the Oil Kings which would keep him close to his doctors?

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#92 rubbertrout
December 09 2009, 02:40PM
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Game Day Prediction: I think the mighty Oil might be in some trouble tonight but I am obligated as a fan to irrationally hope against hope that the boys can come through. Oilers 3 TB 2 in a squeaker. Brule, Penner and Horcoff with the goals. Lubo is +2 with a helper.

Obvious Game Day Prediction: HansBaurMesserschmittWatson joins Hatecoff in ON purgatory or alternatively joins forces with noted Flames fan RossCreek to create the Edmonton based "C" of Red fan club.

Not So Obvious Game Day Prediction: Scientist and David S create a new workout sensation based on the Toyota jump. Katz comes out of the Bat Cave and recognizes the market potential for this immediately and offers them bags of money for the rights to this new workout craze. The workout is imposed upon the Oilers en mass resulting in an influx of knee injuries requiring the rest of the AHL squad to fill out the roster. Pisani, angered by internet comments from illiterate retards about his illness makes a triumphant return and scores 50 goals in 30 games. K-Lowe instructs Tambellini to sign him to a 15 year contract with an annual cap hit of 6.5M per year.

It isn't quite a game day thing but I have to keep the headings constant.

GOil!

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#93 Robin Brownlee
December 09 2009, 02:40PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

IP ban please.

Seconded. This mouthy little prick adds nothing to this website. No insight, no meaningful debate, no humour, nothing.

How pleased this antagonistic jerk-off must be to have pissed a handful of people off enough today to go after him in comments. I'm guessing he's slapping it off right now. Fact is, our man Hans has been a dick here since virtually the moment he first posted, and nothing has changed with the potshots he took at Pisani today.

Bingofuel: You've always hesitated to run people because healthy discourse makes sites like ours a cut above the rest -- and because it's usually more fun just to crap on stupid people for saying stupid things. It's a forward-thinking attitude that works in 99 per cent of the cases. Not with losers like Hans.

Run him.

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#95 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
December 09 2009, 02:50PM
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@Jason Gregor

33 years old, has a disease that flares up at any given time that keeps him out for long stretches of time. If Mike Peca who is 2 years older can't find a team I can't see Pisani finding too many offers. Blair Betts who was considered the best PK player in the game (which I have no idea why) didn't sign until the last minute and signed for peanuts.

Fact is there are a lot of these guys available Pisani won't even be close to a top 5 choice of any team. Edmonton maybe.

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#96 Travis Dakin
December 09 2009, 02:51PM
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HansBaurMesserschmittWatson wrote:

oh yes, a man that says god man has enough pride to be embaressed.

so tell me. what consequences of whos success ?

The consequences of this site becoming more and more popular means it gets bombarded by more and more douchebags. People that come on here and constantly say the most asinine things that clearly demonstrate their mediocre intelligence level. Things like "Pisani was never much off a player." Or "why is he playing when he is sick?" Things that show they have next to no idea what a good hockey players is. There used to be a whole lot less of that.

This place has been swamped with you HFboards trolls lately.

I understand that you are "trying" to say that Pisani has been injured a lot and combined with his illness, he hasn't really lived up to his contract. But you are coming across as a moron with your inability to find the words.

And for the record... Pisani scored 14 goals on the way to a game 7 final in 2006. Do you forget that shorty in overtime of game 5? That in its self makes him a playoff legend.

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#97 Dyckster
December 09 2009, 02:52PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Seconded. This mouthy little prick adds nothing to this website. No insight, no meaningful debate, no humour, nothing.

How pleased this antagonistic jerk-off must be to have pissed a handful of people off enough today to go after him in comments. I'm guessing he's slapping it off right now. Fact is, our man Hans has been a dick here since virtually the moment he first posted, and nothing has changed with the potshots he took at Pisani today.

Bingofuel: You've always hesitated to run people because healthy discourse makes sites like ours a cut above the rest -- and because it's usually more fun just to crap on stupid people for saying stupid things. It's a forward-thinking attitude that works in 99 per cent of the cases. Not with losers like Hans.

Run him.

Robin, you da man sir.

It sucks that you can say in 2.5 paragraphs what I couldn't in 2.5 million. Either way, I'm simply glad it was said.

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#98 Benny Botts
December 09 2009, 02:53PM
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@Jason Gregor

Thanks Gregor, I was thinking the same thing.

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#99 HansBaurMesserschmittWatson
December 09 2009, 02:58PM
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why dont you guys read back through todays posts and grow up.

youre trying to run this like it a yesman club.

i didnt make fun of pisanis illness and i only insulted two people that insulted me.

im sorry for being the bad guys and wanting my team to be succesfull instead of full of hasbeens.

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#100 HansBaurMesserschmittWatson
December 09 2009, 03:00PM
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im a loser, robin ?

youre the 20+ years journalist arguing with hangover college drunks.

come on now.

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