GDB 54: Voulez vous le win?

Jason Gregor
February 11 2009 12:27PM

habssuck1

For the first time since December of 2005 the Canadiens visit Rexall Place.I could sit here and write a novel about how moronic it is for an original six team not to play in another Canadian city for that long, but that would be about as insightful as people who think fighting is the biggest problem in the NHL.

Speaking of the obvious, the biggest concern for the Oilers right now is they can’t score.

Horcoff: One goal in his last 17 games. Cole: One goal in his last 11 games and no points in last six. Cogliano: No goals in his last 15 games. Penner: Two goals in his last 16 games. Gilbert: One goal in his last 34 games. Grebeshkov: One goal in his last 13 games.

That is half of your top two lines, and all of them get ample PP time. People can talk all they want about the likes of Reddox and Brodziak needing to be better, but it is clear that the supposed top-six forwards and scoring D-men aren’t getting it done offensively.

Tonight the lines will be back to “normal"

27 10 83 12 89 26 18 13 78 85? 51 46

Steve MacIntyre spent lots of time on the ice after practice skating with Fernando Pisani, so you would think he is the healthy scratch tonight, but MacTavish wasn’t divulging who would be on the fourth line. It sounds like a game time decision whether he will play.

As Brownlee pointed out yesterday, MacIntyre and Laraque have been exchanging text messages lately. Comparing notes on other tough guys around the league has been the gist of most conversations from what I understand. Does this mean they have a gentleman’s agreement not to fight? Possibly, but they also know their role and if 33 dresses and he or George take a run at someone I’m sure they both still know their role.

Roloson will start in net again, and MacTavish hinted he wants to get Deslauriers a start on the upcoming road trip, but hasn’t decided where yet. You would think it would be in Phoenix against the struggling dogs on Monday night.

Lidstrom his idol

Ladislav Smid has a two-game point scoring streak going, which ties a career high, but he is still looking for that elusive first goal of the season. In fact, he hasn’t scored in his since March of 2007, a span of 118 games.

Smid jokingly blamed it on his childhood idol Nick Lidstrom. “I switched to an Easton stick two years ago, because Lidstrom uses one, but I haven’t scored a goal these sticks yet. I might have to go back to Reebok.”

“I blame it on the forwards. None of them have set me up with a tap-in goal. Look at me, I’m not going to do it by myself and they know it, yet they haven’t helped me out,” laughed Smid.

“But I’ve been thinking about my celebration. It will be a big surprise and it will happen this season. Count on it.”

Good prank

At the beginning of the season, Ryan Rishaug from TSN traveled to Dallas to do a story on Sean Avery. Avery and the Stars agreed to it ahead of time and he flew down, but when he got there Avery snubbed him and said he wouldn’t do it. Rishaug and his camera guy got Avery on camera walking away saying, “I don’t want to talk, I hate TSN.”

Well, with Avery out of his counseling rehab, Rishaug got taken pretty good from a TSN counterpart who will remain nameless. This morning Rishaug got a text saying that Avery wanted to make up with the reporter that he blew off earlier this season, and here is his number. 1.413.497.0025

Rishaug gets all excited. Redemption is sure to be his as he grabs his pen and notepad, gets comfortable at a table and dials the number.

“Thank you for calling the psychiatric hotline…”

Listen to the entire call. Classic. I think Oiler fans can relate since their team shows multiple personalities from game to game.

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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 freeze
February 11 2009, 12:49PM
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hmmm, a team on the skids and having trouble winning on the road. sounds like a guaranteed Oiler's loss to me.

...not to be pessimistic or anything. :p

FMNF

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#2 Jack "FMNF" Bauer
February 11 2009, 12:55PM
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Who on the Canadiens needs their first goal of their career?

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#3 sittingatmydesk
February 11 2009, 01:03PM
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i dont care how it comes, the oil HAVE to win, even if 85 scores off his ear, we need to win, in fact we need to string a couple of consecutive wins, as we are loosing pace for the playoffs.we have to go 3/4 on the road trip.....

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#4 Ender the Dragon
February 11 2009, 01:08PM
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Good thing Avery has had counselling. I'm sure he won't do anything stupid now that he's been through that meticulous process.

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#5 APE - FMNF
February 11 2009, 01:08PM
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I want to see Laraque and Smac dance!

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#6 Milli
February 11 2009, 01:15PM
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Laddi with the Hattrick!!!!

Souray should get a half dozen, ya know, just to show Gainey what he's missing!!!!

And, hopefully scary carey gets the start, that dude can't stop a beach ball!!!!

I get to watch tonight surrounded by about 18 die hard, french speaking Habs fans, each of whom I get 5 bucks, so, either the mighty OIL win, or I won't be able to afford hookers, blow, or food for a month!!!!

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#7 Rick
February 11 2009, 01:28PM
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How can Oilersnation run a picture in the GDB that has in the lower righthand corner something that says "the passion that unites us all" with a Maple Leafs crest next to it?

Now I am not a superstitious person - knock on wood - but not photo shopping that out of the picture has got to guarantee all sorts of suck for the Oilers tonight...

Surely you guys must have learned the lessons of bad mojo after the Maple Leafs game and Pittsburgh Game and Sundin poll question fiasco's.

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#8 The Towel Boy
February 11 2009, 01:34PM
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freeze wrote:

hmmm, a team on the skids and having trouble winning on the road. sounds like a guaranteed Oiler’s loss to me. …not to be pessimistic or anything. :p FMNF

Don't forget 3rd Jersey and PPV night.

*thumbs up*

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#9 CurtisS
February 11 2009, 01:49PM
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Them Lines look way to Normal for Mact

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#10 Smokin' Ray
February 11 2009, 01:51PM
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GAME DAY!!!

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#11 Diane
February 11 2009, 01:53PM
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I feel sorry for Ryan Rishaug, He seems to always get the brunt of the joke. Doesn't anybody like this guy? The big guy always looks at him like his last meal. I would do you Ryan.

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#12 DK0
February 11 2009, 01:59PM
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Since the crowd is going to be 50% habs fans tonight, maybe we'll actually win. It'll be like a road game. We're half decent at those.

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#13 Monday Guy
February 11 2009, 02:00PM
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@ The Towel Boy:

I might as well predict a Gagner Hattie

throw out all the bad karma at one

oh and FMNF

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#14 socaldave
February 11 2009, 02:09PM
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FMNF

just because you can NEVER say it too often. In fact... i TRIPLE dog dare Gregor to drop "our" four-letter bomb on the air. just for fun - Alan Watt won't really get it, will he?

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#15 Wanye Gretz
February 11 2009, 02:11PM
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@ milli: Defend the Nation with pride Milli. Habs fans always travel in packs. It drives me nuts.

Rick wrote:

How can Oilersnation run a picture in the GDB that has in the lower righthand corner something that says “the passion that unites us all” with a Maple Leafs crest next to it?

Fair point. On the rare instance that an NHL team does some funny marketing I think they should be given props. It happens once every 74 years so don’t worry about more of that on here.

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#16 Wanye Gretz
February 11 2009, 02:13PM
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Diane wrote:

I would do you Ryan.

NATION FIRST!!!!!!

An actual woman propositioned someone!

DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING

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#17 MarcAndre Pooalot
February 11 2009, 02:30PM
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Wanye Gretz wrote:

Diane wrote: I would do you Ryan. NATION FIRST!!!!!! An actual woman propositioned someone! DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING

Before today, i had never wished that i was Ryan Rishaug. THIS changes everything.

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#18 MarcAndre Pooalot
February 11 2009, 02:33PM
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Oh yeah. 2-1 Habs win OT. Carey Price gets hurt again in the 2nd period. Penner scores our only goal. Shoot out shooters: 89, 12, 44 (cause Fac-T wants souray to show off in front of his old team).

FMNF and HFJT (Hire F****ng John Tortorella)

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#19 Milli
February 11 2009, 02:40PM
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@ Wanye Gretz: Don't worry wanyer, I will be kick some French A$$!!!!! And another thing, I wanna know what they will be calling there pathetic little team once they seperate????

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#20 Gene Principe
February 11 2009, 02:41PM
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Hey! Where's my sexual advance?

*crickets*

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#21 Gene Principies pubic hair
February 11 2009, 02:45PM
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Yeah!! Gene didnt shave me for nothing!

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#22 Bruthah
February 11 2009, 02:48PM
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Gene Principe wrote:

Hey! Where’s my sexual advance? *crickets*

LOL

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#23 Mike
February 11 2009, 02:52PM
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Wanye Gretz wrote:

Diane wrote: I would do you Ryan. NATION FIRST!!!!!! An actual woman propositioned someone! DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING

I can't believe you think "Diane" is an actual girl. I will bet everything I have that it is a guy disguising himself with a girl name...Lame...now maybe 'Diane" would do him, but she is really a HE.

Ask Amber her thoughts on Rishaug, we know 100% she is female...now she did make out with BM so maybe her taste isn't that high, but still we know she is a GIRL.

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#24 Hoodlum
February 11 2009, 02:52PM
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I hope Ryan Rishaug is reading this, this might be the first time he gets an opportunity to get screwed by someone who's not an athlete or other members of the media. YAY RYAN. 3 cheers for possibly losing your virginity!!!

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#25 Jason Gregor
February 11 2009, 02:55PM
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Hoodlum wrote:

I hope Ryan Rishaug is reading this, this might be the first time he gets an opportunity to get screwed by someone who’s not an athlete or other members of the media. YAY RYAN. 3 cheers for possibly losing your virginity!!!

He's married smart guy...and he overachieved. I always respect the guys who over achieve.

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#26 Chaz
February 11 2009, 02:57PM
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@ Gene Principe: Get it straight Gene. You're the one who makes sexual advances... to the players whom you interview. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

FMNF. I'll be at the game tonight. If the Oilers are getting blown out I'll be starting the "Hey-a-a Goodbye" song, with "F-i-er Mac T" as the lyrics. (Trust me; it will sound way cooler live than it looks in print!)

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#27 Gene Principies pubic hair
February 11 2009, 03:04PM
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How about

"Lets go Oilers, FIRE MACT" "Lets go Oilers, FIRE MACT"

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#28 Hoodlum
February 11 2009, 03:08PM
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Thanks Gregor...I've been called alot of things and "smartguy" has never been one of them. This is a proud day. Fir the record, I was just being a smartass, I find Ryan witty and informative and I say, way to overachieve. Oh and FMNF

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#29 Mike Krushelnyski
February 11 2009, 03:08PM
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@ Gene Principies pubic hair: @ Chaz:

I think "Fire MacTavish!" *clap clap clapclapclap* is the most aesthetically pleasing.

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#30 Mike Krushelnyski
February 11 2009, 03:10PM
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I forgot to add that I hope you're not sitting too close to the bench when you start up these chants. We all know our dear coach is not above mixing it up with fans!

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#31 Harvey the Dog
February 11 2009, 03:14PM
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FMNF! I've been saying you guys up there should fire Mac T for years, but no one understands me bc I don't have a tongue!

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#32 rindog
February 11 2009, 03:20PM
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@ CurtisS:

Except for the ridiculous #1 D-pairing of Souray with Staios??

We got a young guy in Smid, let's give him the opportunity.

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#33 shakey
February 11 2009, 03:22PM
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Harvey the Dog wrote:

FMNF! I’ve been saying you guys up there should fire Mac T for years, but no one understands me bc I don’t have a tongue!

Maybe you should check Phanuef's locker for your tongue Harvey. I hear a certain power forward likes it when Celine tickles his back with it.

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#34 freeze
February 11 2009, 03:22PM
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@ The Towel Boy: dear god. maybe I should save my $20?

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#35 joey moss
February 11 2009, 03:27PM
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you know... in french, the verb to win is gagner...

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#36 BUCK75 - FMNF
February 11 2009, 03:28PM
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I am going tonight as well, gotta take GF & future father inlaw to game. Both are Habs fans, so I am contributing to the influx of the wanna be francophones.

Habs are beat up, but we have had our fair share of Eastern teams that are struggling when they visit RX1. Examples include Florida & Ottawa.

@ Harvey the Dog: HAHAHA Classic - one of the greatest moments of the MacT coaching enure.

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#37 socaldave
February 11 2009, 03:36PM
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dammit Gregor - I know you're reading this... FMNF!

~a la JCVD in Bloodsport~

SAY IT!!

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#38 Jason Gregor
February 11 2009, 03:41PM
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rindog wrote:

Except for the ridiculous #1 D-pairing of Souray with Staios?? We got a young guy in Smid, let’s give him the opportunity.

You rip the coach when he plays a winger, Cole, on his off wing, but now you want Smid to play right D instead of left. What is the difference? Not saying he can't do it, but if you rip the coach for switching a winger, why do you want to switch a Dman? socaldave wrote:

dammit Gregor - I know you’re reading this… FMNF! ~a la JCVD in Bloodsport~ SAY IT!!

Sorry Dave...I don't take orders on what to say...

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#39 Colin
February 11 2009, 03:43PM
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5-3 Habitants. They just got spanked, they'll want this. The Oilers just put in 2 "good efforts" so they won't give a sh!t.

Goals by souray, gagner and oh say hemsky.

-FMNF

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#40 Oilersordeath
February 11 2009, 03:48PM
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Oilers might get lucky and score one goal, but lose game 4-1. Watched the Islanders play the Kings yesterday, they still play with way more heart and intensity even though they lost. How can the Oil have a better record than the Isle? Just goes to show MacT CANNOT get these guys to play with any emotion.

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#41 socaldave
February 11 2009, 03:51PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

socaldave wrote: dammit Gregor - I know you’re reading this… FMNF! ~a la JCVD in Bloodsport~ SAY IT!! Sorry Dave…I don’t take orders on what to say…

fair enough - but just imagine if George dropped something like that on Steinbrenner... c'mon - it's GOLD!!

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#42 socaldave
February 11 2009, 03:59PM
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Gregor - I've heard/seen some (tiny) rumblings about the league mandating the Canadian teams playing each other twice (home and home), once the current TV deal runs out they **hopefully** get back on ESPN. Any thoughts? Tough to see how that would work, but if there IS any contraction... kinda makes sense they're thinking about it.

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#43 socaldave
February 11 2009, 04:01PM
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crap - I meant four times, not twice

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#44 Jason Gregor
February 11 2009, 04:10PM
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socaldave wrote:

Gregor - I’ve heard/seen some (tiny) rumblings about the league mandating the Canadian teams playing each other twice (home and home), once the current TV deal runs out they **hopefully** get back on ESPN. Any thoughts? Tough to see how that would work, but if there IS any contraction… kinda makes sense they’re thinking about it.

That is already in for this season and future seasons with the NHL. As for four games a year, I don't see that happening, and never on ESPN. They won't have all-Canadian games on ESPN, and rarely will you see an American team play a Canadian team on ESPN.

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#45 Jorge
February 11 2009, 04:40PM
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The Oilers only seem to not give points away when it really doesnt matter. I say they win 3 - 2 with cole, horcoff and souray getting the goals

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#46 DK0
February 11 2009, 04:45PM
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FMNF - my prediction: atdhe.net gets pummeled by hundreds of us not wanting to pay to watch the Oilers suck the Pig Benis in the effort category, we go down 2 - 0 in under 2 minutes, half the people log off the feed and cry themselves to sleep, I go back to 30 FPS and we win 3-2 after 2 completely fluke goals and 1 Hemsky D undressing.

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#47 jeph
February 11 2009, 04:54PM
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@ Jack "FMNF" Bauer:

BAHHAHHA that is LOL. Thanks for a laugh i greatly needed today!

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#48 Dennis
February 11 2009, 05:25PM
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Gregor: Considering you cast the first stone regarding all the guys who aren't tied to fighting staying in the game, how about these topics:

1. the value of rick rypien 2. how much easier it is to kill off certain penalties as opposed to certain other penalties.

You want to re-state your insight regarding those matters?:)

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#49 Jason Gregor
February 11 2009, 06:28PM
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Dennis wrote:

Gregor: Considering you cast the first stone regarding all the guys who aren’t tied to fighting staying in the game, how about these topics: 1. the value of rick rypien 2. how much easier it is to kill off certain penalties as opposed to certain other penalties. You want to re-state your insight regarding those matters?:)

Rypien is still hurt, so it is hard to evaluate his value. He doesn't just fight, and when he does his fights are more in-the-heat-of-the-moment, than staged heavyweight bouts.

At least he brings something to the table. It is clear you would rather have a team of third and fourth liners who don't hit, or fight, or score but are safe. Wow, what an entertaining team that would be. I don't expect you to grasp something that can't be monitored with statistics, because they have yet to create a chart or stats that shows momentum change. But if you can't see that having players who can change the momentum of a game beneficial then that is your perogative. I see lots of value in stats, just like I see it in raw emotion. You don't. That is fine.

Talk to any player who played and when a player protects a teammate teams seem to rally and kill that penalty off more often than a lazy hooking call. And even if the other team scores, the guy coming from the penalty bench doesn't get the stink eye from his coach or teammates.

If you don't see that then you have never played a shift at any real level of hockey. Hockey is an emotional game, and when players increase the emotional level it excites and energizes a team. I hear it from numerous players, and see it while watching games, so I believe it to be true. Not 100% of the time, but more often than most.

And none of you have said why fighting needs to come out, other than it won't change the game. How is that? Have we seen NHL hockey without fighting? Comparing it to the Olympics and other tournaments that are seven or eight games with the best of the best is not a equal comparison. What makes you so sure that it won't increase cheap shots even more? Like I've stated many times. The game seems to be evolving with fewer fights. Fine. But why the need to take it out before it runs its course? If the style of play and the type of players that are in the league, deem it outdated then let it happen naturally.

Because an amateur player died? While it might sound harsh, that had nothing to do with the NHL, and hopefully it was a rare occurance at any level.

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#50 rindog
February 11 2009, 06:33PM
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@ Jason Gregor:

So Souray can't switch sides?

I have to admit, my post was a quick one and I should have qualified it. Our top 4 should have Grebs, Gilbert, Smid & Souray. I really don't care what combination we go with (they should all work) as long as Strudwick and Staios are not part of the top 4.

At any rate, Smid on his wrong side (as opposed to Staios up there) is a better option.

Staios was playing great hockey early this season when he was played in a role that suited him (13-14 soft minutes). Over the last month or so, they have been giving him too many minutes and his game has been suffering.

The coach has his default guys and he tends to rely on them too much (Moreau, Reasoner, Pisani, Horcoff, Staios, Roli, etc). Most coaches do that - it's just that our coach picks the wrong guys.

In the recent past (last year), our team has seen a bit of success when these default guys are unavailable. I wonder if it is just a coincidence or maybe there is more to it?

One more thing. Before Staios got moved up - I noticed that every time Hemsky's line was out - we had Smid and Staios as the defensive pairing with them. Whatever happened to throwing your 3rd pairning out with your role palyers and allowing the offensive players to play with your best defensive pairings?

Did you notice this?

I have to learn to be more positve about this dynamic coaching staff....

By the way....

STOP BUSTING MY BALLS, GREGOR!!!!!!

You're giving me a complex.

See you at the game....

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