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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#301 David S
December 09 2009, 06:55PM
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Ha ha! ZACK!!!!!!!

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#302 Milli
December 09 2009, 06:55PM
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Totally created by stoner, the gordie howe hatty!!!!

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#303 David S
December 09 2009, 06:56PM
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Gordie Howe hattie for Zack?????

WoW!!!!!

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#304 Milli
December 09 2009, 06:57PM
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wow is right!!!!!Gotta luv some CRUST!!!

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#305 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
December 09 2009, 06:59PM
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Milli wrote:

wow is right!!!!!Gotta luv some CRUST!!!

sloppy seconds?

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#306 Milli
December 09 2009, 07:00PM
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cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan wrote:

sloppy seconds?

MMMMM, Yummy!!!!

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#307 Harlie
December 09 2009, 07:03PM
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is it just me or does Mike Reno look a little light in his loafers in that Rivercree ad?

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#308 jeanshorts
December 09 2009, 07:03PM
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Man this fourth line has been lights out tonight.

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#309 Heavyd
December 09 2009, 07:04PM
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Who's wacthing on tv? Internet?

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#310 Heavyd
December 09 2009, 07:05PM
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Too bad we only play tampa once this year been a good game.

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#311 Rigger
December 09 2009, 07:05PM
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@Heavyd

Trying to watch online, but it's seriously painful! I wish I had digital cable.

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#312 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
December 09 2009, 07:05PM
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Imagine how happy I am tonight to have Stortini as an enforcer in my office pool. He's rewarded for goals, assists, +/-, and PIM.

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#313 Milli
December 09 2009, 07:05PM
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Yep, that line is having a game tonight!!!!!

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#314 Heavyd
December 09 2009, 07:08PM
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@Rigger

Is it really blurre?(Sp)

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#315 Milli
December 09 2009, 07:08PM
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that is a BRUTAL call

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#316 Heavyd
December 09 2009, 07:08PM
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Brule got pushed in. bs.

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#317 Rigger
December 09 2009, 07:09PM
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It's a bit blurry and very lagging.

Really, Brule? We didn't need that.

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#318 JorgeR
December 09 2009, 07:09PM
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I don't mind if tampa scores as long as st louis gets a point. My hockey pool needs a boost

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#319 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
December 09 2009, 07:09PM
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The Tampa commentators said it was 4-on-4 when it was actually an Edmonton power play and didn't correct themselves. They're really confused now that Brule took a penalty and it actually is 4-on-4.

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#320 David S
December 09 2009, 07:10PM
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Jeez man. O'Sullivan has to go.

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#321 JorgeR
December 09 2009, 07:10PM
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online is pretty clear and smooth for me

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#322 jeanshorts
December 09 2009, 07:10PM
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Two things I'll never understand:

1. How you're not supposed to plow into the goalie when you're getting rocked from behind 2 feet in front of the net.

2. Why D-men like to pile opposing players onto their goalie, and then act like they're angry that the guy is laying on top of him.

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#323 Heavyd
December 09 2009, 07:11PM
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These announcers are stupid. They dont know hockey. And they think none of the penalties that tampa is getting should be penalties. And thy want edmonton to get all the penalties.

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#324 jeanshorts
December 09 2009, 07:13PM
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@Heavyd

Apparently you didn't watch the FSN Phoenix feed, where Edmonton won 4-0, yet Tyson Nash was still trying to convince everyone the Coyotes rightfully should have won the game. Somehow.

God bless America!

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#325 homerer
December 09 2009, 07:14PM
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I am not a fan of the graphics interrupting the game. I hope TB doesn't score any more so we don't lose 5 min of their graphics showing who scored.

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#326 Heavyd
December 09 2009, 07:15PM
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No didn't wacth that feed. I guess its okay to sleep with your sister in america. explains why they are so stupid.

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#327 JimmyOiler
December 09 2009, 07:15PM
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Up by a goal heading into the third... not bad. Outshooting them is a nice change, but it'd be nice if we were outhitting too.

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#328 Rigger
December 09 2009, 07:16PM
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Outshooting again, nice!

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#329 Rigger
December 09 2009, 07:17PM
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@JorgeR

Are you watching the oilers feed? It was ok until the start of the second for me, and then it's been bad ever since. I've tried a couple others and no good.

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#330 David S
December 09 2009, 07:17PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

Apparently you didn't watch the FSN Phoenix feed, where Edmonton won 4-0, yet Tyson Nash was still trying to convince everyone the Coyotes rightfully should have won the game. Somehow.

God bless America!

I remember that one. Hilarious! It was like Nash was hypnotized before the game or something.

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#331 JorgeR
December 09 2009, 07:19PM
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Nice to see Kevin Lowe keeps busy

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#332 Rigger
December 09 2009, 07:20PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

Apparently you didn't watch the FSN Phoenix feed, where Edmonton won 4-0, yet Tyson Nash was still trying to convince everyone the Coyotes rightfully should have won the game. Somehow.

God bless America!

That was a fun game to be at. I felt better about paying so much to watch, rather than the season opener that was so heartbreaking.

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#333 JorgeR
December 09 2009, 07:21PM
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I dont know what the hell im watching because theres no chat or form to fill out the "mystery player" thing they keep talking about. It just looks like the normal oiler video stuff to me. I could post a link but I dont see how I'm watching anything different from anyone else.

http://oilers.nhl.tv/team/console.jsp?catid=619&id=53814

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#334 Rigger
December 09 2009, 07:21PM
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Kevin Smith's jacket is the sh*t! LOL

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#335 Matt
December 09 2009, 07:22PM
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Did anyone else notice the girl behind Quinn with the huge cans? Caught my attention.

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#336 Rigger
December 09 2009, 07:23PM
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@JorgeR

Ah, you're just watching from the regular oilers team console then. The feed with the comments is accessed by the main page under webcast link.

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#337 JorgeR
December 09 2009, 07:24PM
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Oh well this is a good feed so I'm sticking with it.

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#338 Rigger
December 09 2009, 07:26PM
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I tried that one too, and I keep trying to refresh everything but it doesn't seem to help. Sigh!

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#339 Eddie Shore
December 09 2009, 07:31PM
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Matt wrote:

Did anyone else notice the girl behind Quinn with the huge cans? Caught my attention.

Hahaha I just text my buddy that exact thing.

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#340 Bucknuck
December 09 2009, 07:32PM
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Rigger wrote:

I tried that one too, and I keep trying to refresh everything but it doesn't seem to help. Sigh!

Rigger I am trying to watch this on the feed and and I feel your pain.... watch 8 seconds... freeze eight seconds... miss the goal... then speed ahead... then freeze... then hear them talk about the goal I never saw... miss the replay... freeze....

ARGH

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#341 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
December 09 2009, 07:34PM
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Man, if you strapped O'Sullivan's skates to his ass he'd really fly.

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#342 Rigger
December 09 2009, 07:34PM
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@Bucknuck

I know, what a rip! I'm on radio now. I just decided to give up and listen to Stauffer. You'd think they'd have enough band width to do this. I mean, they KNEW they were doing this, be prepared.

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#343 Rigger
December 09 2009, 07:37PM
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Cogs and who with no shots? Stauffer was just talking about it, only two without registering a shot on goal. Hmmmm.

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#344 Eddie Shore
December 09 2009, 07:38PM
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Downie is a tool.

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#345 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
December 09 2009, 07:39PM
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Haha! More penalty minutes for Zack!!

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#346 JimmyOiler
December 09 2009, 07:40PM
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What's up with the weird calls tonight? Storts for roughing?

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#347 Eddie Shore
December 09 2009, 07:41PM
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The captain returns.... useless play.

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#348 Milli
December 09 2009, 07:41PM
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What exactly does Patty O bring to the team?

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#349 Rigger
December 09 2009, 07:41PM
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Super! gotta love the Captain. Ugh!

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#350 jeanshorts
December 09 2009, 07:42PM
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hahaha I never understood why people on here would write thecaptainethanmoreau.

Now I know.

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