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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#251 Milli
December 09 2009, 06:00PM
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Rigger wrote:

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

Nope, not me, but I bet he is just as cool as me!!!!!!

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#252 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
December 09 2009, 06:00PM
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JorgeR wrote:

was that the crowd cheering when oilers scored?

It's Florida, give them a break.

At least they know it's good when the puck goes in the net.

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#253 JorgeR
December 09 2009, 06:00PM
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Too many passes on that top line. Id rather see them play some ugly hockey then try to be a high skilled line.

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#254 Milli
December 09 2009, 06:01PM
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Nilson is definitly making the most of his opportunity

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#255 OILERSORDEATH
December 09 2009, 06:02PM
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Eddie Shore wrote:

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

Holychrist you tools! All right I'll re-phrase

" Dudes post me up on the game man!"

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#256 jeanshorts
December 09 2009, 06:03PM
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What a shift by this line!

God I hate Steve Downie. Finish the job next time Storts.

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#257 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
December 09 2009, 06:03PM
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Tampa's play-by-play is actually really good.

The one guy has a weird obsession with players' weight, but they get all the names right.

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#258 Rigger
December 09 2009, 06:04PM
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@Milli

He is a pretty cool dude. Must be the name.

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#259 Milli
December 09 2009, 06:05PM
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Rigger wrote:

He is a pretty cool dude. Must be the name.

Nice!!!1

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#260 David S
December 09 2009, 06:05PM
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Jana wrote:

The Tampa pre-game show is on Shaw Cable 311 now so it looks like the Centre Ice game is available in Edmonton tonight (for free).

Just got home and...

TOYOTA FLIP!!!!!!!!

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#261 jeanshorts
December 09 2009, 06:05PM
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Crystal Legier: "Why not do it Oilers style".

There's your quote of the week.

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#262 Eddie Shore
December 09 2009, 06:06PM
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OILERSORDEATH wrote:

Holychrist you tools! All right I'll re-phrase

" Dudes post me up on the game man!"

Relax, I'm just...playin' with you..

*looks around suspiciously*

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#263 Rigger
December 09 2009, 06:07PM
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Come on Smidder, score us 4 goals now that you're an offensive dynamo!

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#264 Rigger
December 09 2009, 06:09PM
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Boys, don't make me come over there and give you girl love. You won't have anymore nerdy jokes to make! LOL

Woooo Storts!

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#265 jeanshorts
December 09 2009, 06:09PM
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How the hell does a guy named Zenon Kopoakanaka lead the league in fights???

Solid scrap.

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#266 Milli
December 09 2009, 06:09PM
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Storts!!!!!

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#267 streeky
December 09 2009, 06:09PM
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hey, dont want to read all the comments to see if anyone else mentioned it, but the game is on channel 321. Center Ice has a fee week going right now till the 13th. so you can watch it there instead of online...cheers, and sorry if someone else already said it.

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#268 streeky
December 09 2009, 06:12PM
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free week i mean, not fee week...opps

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#269 Gerald R. Ford
December 09 2009, 06:12PM
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Wow, they found a group of 10 people sitting together with no empty seats. Good eyes, camera guy.

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#270 Rigger
December 09 2009, 06:13PM
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Come on Storts, get the Gordy Howe!

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#271 jeanshorts
December 09 2009, 06:14PM
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Gerald R. Ford wrote:

Wow, they found a group of 10 people sitting together with no empty seats. Good eyes, camera guy.

I'm pretty sure that was stock footage from their cup run.

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#272 Rigger
December 09 2009, 06:14PM
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Wow, I bet the Oilers are bemoaning that they let a chat window open. It's just Justin Tv over there.

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#273 Travis Dakin
December 09 2009, 06:16PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

I'm pretty sure that was stock footage from their cup run.

You're on fire

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#274 Rigger
December 09 2009, 06:16PM
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LOL! Kevin Quinn with the brainiac idea to turn around and FACE the camera to talk to everyone. Give that guy a raise.

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#275 JorgeR
December 09 2009, 06:18PM
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@Rigger

wheres that chat? you guys are all on oilers.nhl.tv right?

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#276 Rigger
December 09 2009, 06:18PM
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Gilbert thinks he does a "nice little blog". *rolls eyes*

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#277 Rigger
December 09 2009, 06:19PM
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@JorgeR

Yep, it's on the site. Lots of people bitching about the comments not showing.

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#278 Rigger
December 09 2009, 06:23PM
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Quinn looking like he's trying to be a silver fox in that jaunty cap. LOL at Kevin Smith.

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#279 Gerald R. Ford
December 09 2009, 06:28PM
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Wow, didn't realize Kevin Smith was so short. Nice to see the love. Mall Rats is awesome.

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#280 rindog
December 09 2009, 06:32PM
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Not sure if this has been posted but, the game is on 311 shaw digital HD

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#281 Rigger
December 09 2009, 06:34PM
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Aaaand there goes the feed, gettin all choppy. Crap!

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#282 jeanshorts
December 09 2009, 06:35PM
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Does anyone know if the game is on Shaw? Maybe in the 300's?

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#283 rindog
December 09 2009, 06:36PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

Does anyone know if the game is on Shaw? Maybe in the 300's?

311 read above

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#284 jeanshorts
December 09 2009, 06:37PM
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FEED HIM STONE!!!!!! Nice fight. Steve Downie is a piece of garbage.

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#285 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
December 09 2009, 06:37PM
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Ryan Stone! Fight of the game! Way to finish him off!

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#286 Milli
December 09 2009, 06:37PM
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STONER!!!! that kid can fight!!!!

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#287 Rigger
December 09 2009, 06:39PM
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Gah, I'm missing a whole bunch of stuff.

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#288 Shawn Cronin
December 09 2009, 06:39PM
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Sun TV's Sounds Of The Game has Zenon Kopoakanaka (sp?) mic'd up. Pretty interesting, it sounded like he warned Souray before he went in and hit him behind the net. (Souray had his back turned) and it almost like Souray thanked him for the warning......Channel 429 on Bell

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#289 jeanshorts
December 09 2009, 06:42PM
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Why do they keep passing it into the PK'ers skates? This team is definitely ready to do some damage in the playoffs.....

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#290 Milli
December 09 2009, 06:43PM
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Yeehaw, big Dustin!!!!

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#291 jeanshorts
December 09 2009, 06:43PM
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PRESIDENTS TROPHY HERE WE COME!!!!!!!

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#292 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
December 09 2009, 06:44PM
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PENNNNNNERRRR!

He must have found a spa he likes in Tampa. I wonder if they'll do the sports package.

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#293 Rigger
December 09 2009, 06:44PM
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DAMMIT! I can't even connect to that feed now. I missed Pens goal! @#$@#%#$^

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#294 jeanshorts
December 09 2009, 06:47PM
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That was quick.

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#295 Rigger
December 09 2009, 06:48PM
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Le sigh! Stuck with radio looks like. Crap Hedman!

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#296 Rigger
December 09 2009, 06:50PM
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So I can kill whales but I can't connect to the LEGAL feed? WTF?!

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#297 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
December 09 2009, 06:55PM
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Anybody else laugh when they saw St Louis standing next to Penner?

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#298 17
December 09 2009, 06:55PM
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Storts with the Gordie Howe!

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#299 Milli
December 09 2009, 06:55PM
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Zack Attack!!!!!

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#300 Rigger
December 09 2009, 06:55PM
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Atta boy Storts!!!!

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