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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#201 Travis Dakin
December 09 2009, 05:36PM
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Well, I guess it's over. ... The fat lady has sung

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#202 Travis Dakin
December 09 2009, 05:39PM
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good to see another sell out in Florida.

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#203 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
December 09 2009, 05:39PM
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Travis Dakin wrote:

Well, I guess it's over. ... The fat lady has sung

you are watching the rita mcNeil christmas special?

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#204 jeanshorts
December 09 2009, 05:39PM
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SLUMPBUSTERS!

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#205 Hemmercules
December 09 2009, 05:40PM
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Travis Dakin wrote:

good to see another sell out in Florida.

Last night was unreal. Entire sections empty.

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#206 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
December 09 2009, 05:40PM
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Who was the '1' on that 2-on-1? Seems to me, it would be a good idea to block the shot or the pass instead of doing neither.

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#207 Milli
December 09 2009, 05:41PM
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Good start boys......Oh wait

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#208 rOILty
December 09 2009, 05:41PM
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so much for those two not getting it going

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#209 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
December 09 2009, 05:41PM
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Well that's pretty gay, show the game not some effects on the big screen.

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#210 jeanshorts
December 09 2009, 05:42PM
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This is the great thing about having the feed be straight from the scoreboard. You don't have to be bothered watching the actual game. You get to see all the snazzy graphics!

Actually I can't wait until they bust out the kiss cam. I bet all 38 people there will go NUTS!

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#211 JorgeR
December 09 2009, 05:42PM
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Well that was ridiculous show the game!

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#212 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
December 09 2009, 05:43PM
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What the crap is Pat Quinn wearing? Yee-ikes?

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#213 Travis Dakin
December 09 2009, 05:43PM
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look at Dubnyk stuck off in the corner by himself. He's actually in the crowd.... I guess that still counts as "by himself"

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#214 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
December 09 2009, 05:44PM
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Block shot staios, very interesting that is a block shot.

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#215 Gerald R. Ford
December 09 2009, 05:45PM
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Yeah, I'm hoping there are a lot of unassisted goals in this game. Those graphics were pretty annoying.

Plus, it's Jewish Heritage Night, Bad karma, going up against Moses' people.

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#216 jeanshorts
December 09 2009, 05:46PM
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hahahahahahaha what was the powerplay sponsored by???? That looked amazing! More hockey in the south!

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#217 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
December 09 2009, 05:47PM
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Interesting they show how far the shots are from.

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#218 JorgeR
December 09 2009, 05:47PM
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Is it showing these awesome graphics on the center ice preview? I bet they look unreal in HD

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#219 jeanshorts
December 09 2009, 05:47PM
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The CW44 FOUR ON FOUR!!!!!! Man this is amazing. Every game should be like this.

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#220 Rigger
December 09 2009, 05:48PM
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Good thing I missed like half that powerplay by them telling me it was Dr. so and so's powerplay. WTF?!

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#221 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
December 09 2009, 05:48PM
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JorgeR wrote:

Is it showing these awesome graphics on the center ice preview? I bet they look unreal in HD

I have no idea what you guys are talking about, haha. I'm watching the game on 321 on Shaw, not HD.

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#222 Travis Dakin
December 09 2009, 05:48PM
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JorgeR wrote:

Is it showing these awesome graphics on the center ice preview? I bet they look unreal in HD

there is two versions of the center ice preview. Go to the HD channel.

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#223 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
December 09 2009, 05:48PM
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Wow that was brutal they should close of the upper bowls and put everyone in the lower bowl.

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#224 Shanye Gretz
December 09 2009, 05:49PM
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Rigger wrote:

Good thing I missed like half that powerplay by them telling me it was Dr. so and so's powerplay. WTF?!

It was Dr. Chowder or something.

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#225 Rigger
December 09 2009, 05:50PM
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I wish I got this on tv, this feed is pretty grainy, but I guess I'm not killing whales anymore.

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#226 JorgeR
December 09 2009, 05:51PM
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@Travis Dakin

No I'm watching it online, I'm actually at the University so its not so bad that the games online

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#227 jeanshorts
December 09 2009, 05:51PM
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Man Crystal Legier gets sexier and sexier every time. Is there somehow we can incorporate her into this website?

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#228 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
December 09 2009, 05:51PM
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I wish they would show ads instead of principe :(

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#229 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
December 09 2009, 05:52PM
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Haha @ Holiday pack in Tampa.

$96 gets you 2 tickets to a game, an autographed Hedman hat, and $10 in forum funds, whatever that is.

That works out to what, $20 per ticket?

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#230 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
December 09 2009, 05:52PM
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@jeanshorts

I agree

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#231 Milli
December 09 2009, 05:52PM
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yep, not a great feed but oh well, beats radio

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#232 offside
December 09 2009, 05:52PM
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don't know if anyone has mentioned this but the game isn't blocked on the centre ice package.

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#233 Shanye Gretz
December 09 2009, 05:52PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

Man Crystal Legier gets sexier and sexier every time. Is there somehow we can incorporate her into this website?

Seconded

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#234 Rigger
December 09 2009, 05:52PM
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Hmmm, too bad I don't play hockey. $500 gift card coulda been nice.

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#235 OILERSORDEATH
December 09 2009, 05:53PM
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Fill me in guys, how are our boys playing? I'm still at work. Are they at least getting chances yet?

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#236 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
December 09 2009, 05:53PM
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@OILERSORDEATH

Not sure just reading a vodka ad.

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#237 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
December 09 2009, 05:53PM
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@OILERSORDEATH

1-0 Tampa. They tallied 1:08 into the period. Moreau with a nice pick along the boards.

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#238 Rigger
December 09 2009, 05:54PM
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Milli wrote:

yep, not a great feed but oh well, beats radio

Hey Mike, dunno if you saw my post earlier but I know a Mike Mills. Where you from?

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#239 Milli
December 09 2009, 05:55PM
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Golden bc, you?

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#240 jeanshorts
December 09 2009, 05:57PM
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HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA THE DREIDEL SHUFFLE!!!

THIS IS THE BEST GAME EVER!!!

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#241 Travis Dakin
December 09 2009, 05:57PM
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OILERSORDEATH wrote:

Fill me in guys, how are our boys playing? I'm still at work. Are they at least getting chances yet?

haha "fill me in guys"

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#242 Rigger
December 09 2009, 05:57PM
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Milli wrote:

Golden bc, you?

Ah ok, different dude. LOL! I'm from Edmonton, although the guy I know grew up in Cold Lake, AB.

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#243 Eddie Shore
December 09 2009, 05:58PM
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Travis Dakin wrote:

haha "fill me in guys"

...........that's what she said.

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#244 Travis Dakin
December 09 2009, 05:58PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

Man Crystal Legier gets sexier and sexier every time. Is there somehow we can incorporate her into this website?

I watched her do an interview with BIG SEX last year. I could see it in their eyes that there was some magic potential. I never wished I was him more in my life.

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#245 Milli
December 09 2009, 05:59PM
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YA BABY!!!

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#246 JorgeR
December 09 2009, 05:59PM
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was that the crowd cheering when oilers scored?

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#247 jeanshorts
December 09 2009, 05:59PM
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PLAYOFFSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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#248 Travis Dakin
December 09 2009, 05:59PM
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Gilbert finally and Nilsson with ANOTHER point....

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#249 Gerald R. Ford
December 09 2009, 05:59PM
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Woo-hoo! Jagged pixels aside, this is kind of fun. Wouldn't mind seeing the "culture" of other arenas like this a few more times a year.

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#250 Rigger
December 09 2009, 05:59PM
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Wooooo, Gilbert's hair scores! Now he'll force everyone to watch episodes of Gilmore Girls on the plane.

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