GDB 66: Contre les Habitants. Also: QTNA

Jason Gregor
March 10 2009 01:43PM

gdb66

A game-day thread and QTNA all in one. Bless you, Nationeers. If you have Questions that Need Answers, email Jason Gregor and ask him!

Zach Kassian does look like a solid pick considering we'll be drafting around the 18-20 spot. He could be a Milan Lucic type guy. I haven't seen him play, what is his speed like? Could he make the Oilers in the next two seasons? -- Luke in Edmonton

I have been pumping his tires for the past few months as a guy the Oilers need to look at when the draft rolls around. He is everything they don’t have in the system; big, physical and has decent hands. I’ve seen him ranked as high as 13, but he falls normally around 14-20. But then again some people have the Oilers taking Ryan Ellis in the 1st round. If the Oilers do that, then they should fire the scouting staff. The Oilers don’t need a puck moving D-man right now.

Kassian is the biggest forward ranked in the 1st round, and combined with his scoring he is EXACTLY what the Oilers need. Considering they have no one in the farm system close to filling out that role, I would bet if they got him that he would get a look within a year or two. In 2010/11 the Oilers will need some cheaper forwards who can produce, considering the cap will go down. If Kassian is in their system he will get a long look.

John Buccigross says we have a lot of questionable contracts. But in all the lists of bad contracts like this one, I never seen an Oiler deal listed. I would agree Penner’s contract is questionable and perhaps even Horcoff after this year, but “a lot of questionable contracts”? What do you think? -- Shayne

Bucci had to be referring to Horcoff and Penner’s contract. After that it is hard to find a real questionable one. Gilbert will score 45 points this year, so his $4 million doesn’t seem out of whack. The final year of Staios’ $2.7 million in 2010/11 could hurt because of how many minutes he will be playing. Outside of that I don’t see any horrible contracts on the Oilers.

I think the Province was sleeping at the wheel when they didn’t include Horcoff and Penner with the likes of Fisher, Hamrlik et al. There is no way that Horcoff can live up offensively to his $7 million dollar deal next year, ($5.5 million cap hit). It shows that there are other horrible contracts out there, but with the cap sure to go down in the 2010/11 season, either Horcoff and Penner produce or the Oilers will be hard pressed to score.

If Penner finds a way to score 25 goals then his contract won’t look as bad. Horcoff needs to be an 80-point guy and win 56% of his face-offs to even be considered equal to his contract.

What are the chances that the Oilers buy out Penner's contract either this summer or next summer? -- Daniel

This summer seems unlikely. They would have to pay him $8.5 million of his remaining $12.75 million, although they could spread it out over six years at a $1.42 million cap hit each year. While Penner is frustrating to most fans, it is too early to just give up on him. Some players take five or six years to “get it”, and if Penner does find some consistency in his game, he could be very effective. Remember, it took Bertuzzi seven years until he scored 36 goals. He scored 25 in seasons five and six. Granted Bertuzzi plays a more aggressive game, but if you are looking at production it is to early to just give up on Penner.

If he has another underachieving, uninspired season next year, then maybe they consider it next summer, but only after exhausting every possible trade avenue.

Does the Guy who does the SHAW phone commercial (the ones where he is playing tag and other things wit the phone) look a lot like Scott Howson? -- Andrew

I’m not well-versed in look-a-likes, although I have a friend who resembles Elisha Cuthbert (click on Friday picture at www.justagame.ca). Yes she is single, and as long as you are better looking that Phaneuf you might get a date with her.

I’ve seen the spot since you asked, and yes there is a small resemblance. But then this guy thinks he looks like David Hasselhoff.

Tonight: Les Canadiens

The lines for tonight will start like this:

21 – 10 – 83 12 – 89 – 78 19 – 13 – 34 85 – 51 – 46

So O’Sullivan and Cogliano, the two fastest forwards will play together, while Nilsson will get another shot with Gagner. Gagner scores five points in three games without Nilsson, so why not try Nilsson with Cogliano?

Nilsson and Gagner haven’t produced all season, so why keep going back to it? If MacTavish is looking for production why not try a duo that had some chemistry last year, in Cogliano and Nilsson?

After tonight, nine of the Oilers next eleven games are against teams below them in the standings. Based on how they played v. OTT and TOR there is no guarantee they will take advantage of the schedule, but the Oilers have a pretty favourable one the rest of March.

Ladislav Smid will play tonight, albeit with his faced still pretty messed up. And Roloson starts his 22nd straight.

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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 Jonathan Willis
March 10 2009, 03:34PM
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nutsandgum wrote:

Gregor, this might be a question that you or maybe Willis might be able to answer: The Oil seem to be getting outshot pretty regularly lately; I’m just wondering the last time they actually put more rubber on the net than their opponent? Also, just how many games this season have they been outshot? Thanks…

By my count, the Oilers have outshot their opponents 17 times, been outshot 47 times, and tied in shots 1 time.

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#52 cambosmash
March 10 2009, 03:35PM
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nutsandgum wrote:

The Oil seem to be getting outshot pretty regularly lately...

Could there be a direct correlation between Staios' increase in minutes and the increase in shots against? Or would we continue to say Staios is a God amongst men and say that it's completely because Lubo is gone? Why not give Smid his top 4 minutes and see what happens? Gilbert-Souray worked fine to start the season and could get Souray going again. Gilbert-Grebeshkov doesn't seem to work with the constant grenades they're throwing to each other.

Souray-Gilbert Grebeshkov-Smid Staios-Strudwick

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#53 nutsandgum
March 10 2009, 03:40PM
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@ Jonathan Willis:

Thanks JW...do you think the Oil getting outshot all the time is indicative of poor defensive or offensive play? Meaning, the defense should be thwarting shots or the plays more/better, or the offence should be carrying 9mil Berettas instead of the dusty old six-shooters they're packing now.

Or is it a little of column A, a little of column B?

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#54 The Towel Boy
March 10 2009, 03:41PM
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cambosmash wrote:

nutsandgum wrote: The Oil seem to be getting outshot pretty regularly lately… Could there be a direct correlation between Staios’ increase in minutes and the increase in shots against? Or would we continue to say Staios is a God amongst men and say that it’s completely because Lubo is gone? Why not give Smid his top 4 minutes and see what happens? Gilbert-Souray worked fine to start the season and could get Souray going again. Gilbert-Grebeshkov doesn’t seem to work with the constant grenades they’re throwing to each other. Souray-Gilbert Grebeshkov-Smid Staios-Strudwick

Perhaps...but there's also a correlation of lots of shots against when Penner's not on the top line. So who the smurf knows.

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#55 Al Hamilton
March 10 2009, 03:48PM
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Thanks for the good work Gregor.

Planning for the worst, hoping for the best tonight.

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#56 Peter Pan
March 10 2009, 03:48PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

By my count, the Oilers have outshot their opponents 17 times, been outshot 47 times, and tied in shots 1 time.

Are you serious? 17 out of 65 games?!?!?! Am I crazy to suggest that Rollie deserves Vezina consideration. I know he'll never win, won't even come close as there are better goalies out there, but how he kept this team in 7th-ish for over 3/4 of the season is very impressive.

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#57 CurtisS
March 10 2009, 03:50PM
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@ Peter Pan: We should of traded Roli early and went after Tavares

That kid......think Crosby but better.

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#58 Andrew W
March 10 2009, 04:02PM
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@ Reggie,

You're right, I took your comment out of context. (Sorry!) Your point that it's not likely that there will be many players to come out of Springfield next year and help is a good one. This being said, a lot of the players who have successfully come through the Oilers' system in the past five years weren't the "hyped" ones like Schremp or Brule, but rather guys who I had barely heard of before they cracked the roster like Pisani, Brodziak, and going back further, Horcoff. Maybe the best hope for players to come and help will be other relatively less-discussed forwards like Sestito or, from overseas, Linus Omark.

Also, I think it's important to keep in mind that Gagner is still too young to play in the AHL; if he'd been able to play down there instead of the NHL for the past couple of years, he would likely be the dominant AHL player we'd be druling over coming up next season.

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#59 Andrew W
March 10 2009, 04:07PM
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@Reggie & Jonathan Willis:

I'm looking forward to reading the rest of Jonathan's analysis of AHL prospects, too. Is more of your top 20 list coming down the pipe any time soon? Do you have any thoughts of trying to look at prospects outside of the AHL like Omark or Eberle?

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#60 Mr DeBakey
March 10 2009, 04:07PM
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"I tell you, Edmonton has a lot of very questionable contracts"

Souray

I'm guessing he's thinking Gilbert, too.

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#61 swany
March 10 2009, 04:07PM
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CurtisS wrote:

@ Peter Pan: We should of traded Roli early and went after Tavares That kid……think Crosby but better.

I don't know they say he can't skate very well (hahahaha)

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#62 Reggie
March 10 2009, 04:09PM
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Andrew W wrote:

@ Reggie, You’re right, I took your comment out of context. (Sorry!) Your point that it’s not likely that there will be many players to come out of Springfield next year and help is a good one. This being said, a lot of the players who have successfully come through the Oilers’ system in the past five years weren’t the “hyped” ones like Schremp or Brule, but rather guys who I had barely heard of before they cracked the roster like Pisani, Brodziak, and going back further, Horcoff. Maybe the best hope for players to come and help will be other relatively less-discussed forwards like Sestito or, from overseas, Linus Omark. Also, I think it’s important to keep in mind that Gagner is still too young to play in the AHL; if he’d been able to play down there instead of the NHL for the past couple of years, he would likely be the dominant AHL player we’d be druling over coming up next season.

No worries, the additional explanation on my part tied it together better.

I think in hindsight given Gagner's struggles this year, management may treat Eberle a bit different in the fall if he comes to camp and lights things up.

I agree that there has been a list of 2nd, 3rd and 4th liners come through the organization (even without our own farm team). One other player of note is Dubnyk. How ready is he ?

Outside of that, I believe we a gap for the fall.

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#63 speeds
March 10 2009, 04:09PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

My point is how can anyone compare him to those two players. Just because they haven’t panned out doesn’t mean that Kassian won’t. And Pouliot wasn’t a draft out of need. They screwed up on not taking Parise…nothing more than that.

I'm not saying that Kassian won't turn out, I'm just saying that, at the time they were drafted, it wasn't obvious that Pouliot or Dubnyk wouldn't turn out as expected/hoped.

BTW, I agree that Pouliot wasn't drafted out of need, certainly not in the same way Dubnyk appears to have been. My understanding was that they liked at least a couple of guys about the same when picking at 17 in 2003, and given the offer from NJ, decided to move down, get an extra pick, and take one of them. They may have liked Pouliot the most of all of them, and thought he would slide to 22, so why not pick up the extra pick?

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#64 swany
March 10 2009, 04:10PM
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Mr DeBakey wrote:

“I tell you, Edmonton has a lot of very questionable contracts” Souray I’m guessing he’s thinking Gilbert, too.

I hope your kidding you pick the 2 contracts that at the time of the signing were questionable but now look good. Are you honestly going to say Gilbert and Souray don't deserve there contracts this year?

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#65 Chris
March 10 2009, 04:16PM
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@ Jonathan Willis: I hate the BPA argument. The BPA is the best player to help your team...especially in the cap era where successful teams require a large contribution from first contract players. How can the Oilers integrate another player like Eberle into the lineup with Gagner, Cogliano, O'Sullivan, Brule, Reddox, etc, etc already there? What trade value does Eberle have? Could we get a second round pick for him? (Good use of a first round pick, eh?) Why draft so many small guys... are they all the BPA even if we have no use for them? Small players often have problems adapting to the pro game. Twenty-four other teams wisely passed on the over-ranked smurf Schremp, who generated higher point totals than most players picked ahead of him. The fact that Schremp is slow, lazy, arrogant, and will only ever be able to score against sixteen and seventeen year olds didn't seem to phase Predergast; who deemed Schremp to be the BPA. (When picking a BPA- all that matters must be point totals and very preliminary rankings... forget size, character, skating etc.) Schremp's own, less heralded teammate, Dave Bolland was picked by Chicago 32nd overall that same draft year. Dave has size, grit, and character...would be useful in the organization...but he wasn't the BPA.

So when we get to Montreal this summer: Expect the Oil to pick up a player like Jordan Schroeder; who is highly ranked now... whose stock will fall when wiser teams ignore the "BPA concept", and actually draft players they can imagine using... and Predergast will brag about how he snagged a top ten prospect with his 16thish pick...the 5'9" BPA!

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#66 Mr DeBakey
March 10 2009, 04:16PM
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No

And you mean their contracts

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#67 Bob Cob
March 10 2009, 04:18PM
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Just a note, I have been told I look like Dion Phanuef, and I live Calgary, so there has to be some validity to it.

The one that gets me is how much John Hufnagel, coach of the Calgary Stampeders, looks like Jim Lahey from Trailor Park Boys.

Go Oilers Go!!!

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#68 Andrew W
March 10 2009, 04:23PM
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@Reggie,

It's just tough to predict who or what might help this team from within next year. Two of the successes this season have been the progress of Reddox and Stortini, IMO, and although they're not likely to be more than third or fourth line players, it is critical to develop this type of role players from within in the cap era. One or two players a season in these roles ought to be enough, no?

Top line players are another matter, and I thoroughly agree that bringing Eberle along at a slower rate is a good idea. Sadly, I'm not sold that he'll develop into a top line player; the list of smallish and slow goal scorers in the league is very short, no matter how good their hands are. It is way, way too early to tell how his career will progress, though.

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#69 lefty
March 10 2009, 04:31PM
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Bob Cob wrote:

Just a note, I have been told I look like Dion Phanuef, and I live Calgary, so there has to be some validity to it. The one that gets me is how much John Hufnagel, coach of the Calgary Stampeders, looks like Jim Lahey from Trailor Park Boys. Go Oilers Go!!!

I saw something floating in a public toilet that was better looking than Dion Phanuef. Didn't have the fur coat though...

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#70 speeds
March 10 2009, 04:36PM
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Chris wrote:

who deemed Schremp to be the BPA. (When picking a BPA- all that matters must be point totals and very preliminary rankings… forget size, character, skating etc.)

Huh?

Who on earth said the BPA is simply the guy with the most points?

Drafting for the BPA means that you take the player that you deem the best prospect available even if he plays a position where you currently have depth. Following the BPA viewpoint means that you don't draft a RW when a superior prospect at another position is available (let's say a puck moving defenceman, for example). You may already have many puck moving defencemen as prospects in your system, while you have few RW prospects, but you don't want to pass on the superior prospect simply to fill a need that may well not exist by the time the player is ready to contribute.*

*Some who advocate BPA are willing to make exceptions for goalies because goalies can get blocked in the system, and theoretically stagnate.

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#71 lefty
March 10 2009, 04:37PM
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lefty wrote:

www.justagame.ca

Bob - no offence intended if you really do look like Dion. I really just wanted to insult Dion.

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#72 Jason Gregor
March 10 2009, 04:38PM
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Currently the Oilers are averaging the second fewest shots on goal per game with 27.7...Only Minnesota with 27.6 is below them.

On the other side they have given up the 5th most shots with 32.3 per game. The most in the Western conference. Only ATL (32.8), TB (33.1), NYI (33.3) and FLA (34.6) have surrendered more. And only FLA is currently in a playoff spot.

And the TAMPA game is the only one in the last 16 games that they have outshot the opponent. Now shots can be overrated at times, but six times they have been outshot by 15 or more shots...ouch...

shakey wrote:

Gregor, Does Ryan Stone fall into the big, physical, decent hands category?

At the ECHL level yes, but nothing higher.

oilfan4life wrote:

Gregor, which homo did you lose a bet with to pose in that picture with that awful green sweater?

It isn't a sweater. It is a hoodie...and it is green, my favourite colour, so no one asked me. It is awesome.

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#73 lefty
March 10 2009, 04:42PM
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i don't know why there was a link in my last post. those comments are in no way affiliated with the justagame website.

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#74 topshelf
March 10 2009, 04:55PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

I just don’t get what people expect of Pouliot. He’s been a fourth line forward almost all season, and has 18 points. It’s not his fault that his name isn’t Parise.

I never once mentioned Parise. The past is the past but Pouliot has not only played on the 4th line this year. Cogliano probably plays a similar amount of minutes(purely speculation on my part) and how many goals does he have...as many as Pouliots entire career. Sounds like a bust to me.

speeds wrote:

If I say “The earth is flat. Oh and please don’t throw a bunch of stats at me about this. It’s just my opinion.” how can someone else have a discussion with me on the topic?

What discussion? I was just saying my opinion. I think Pouliot sucks.

Reggie wrote:

Topshelf, but then I would rather see Penner (with all his warts) playing than sitting in the pressbox.

I'm not sure what you are getting at?

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#75 Ogden Brother
March 10 2009, 05:09PM
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Gregor:

Horcoff needs to be an 80-point guy and win 56% of his face-offs to even be considered equal to his contract.

I'm a numbers guy at heart and in my mind "intangibles" typically get blown out of proportion, that said, if anyone deserves some brownie points for non score sheet related production.

That said, for next year Horc is currently slated as the 17th highest cap hit center in the league, with 5 more centers within 10% of his hit and 11 centers within 20% of his hit. Theirs also 6 centers currently RFA/UFA who have a good chance of being in the 4.5 - 6(+) range.

And for reference sake this years 17th highest scoring center is on 82 game pace is 73 points (min 40 games)

25th highest scoring center is on pace for 67 points

30th highest scoring center is on pace for 63 points

Sure this years production doesn't cut it, but factoring in Horcs "other attributes" a 65 point season out of him would be "fair value" IMO.

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#76 TDSM31
March 10 2009, 05:11PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

nutsandgum wrote: The Oil seem to be getting outshot pretty regularly lately; I’m just wondering the last time they actually put more rubber on the net than their opponent? Also, just how many games this season have they been outshot? The last time the Oilers outshot their opposition was in a 5-3 win over Tampa bay in mid-February.

When we get outshot, it seems like it is due to just a single period each game where the opponent just destroys us. Look at the most recent period totals against Nash, Minny, CBJ, Dallas, SJ, LA, MTL..we're close in shots for two periods and one period is hugely lopsided. Is this due to Coaching??? Inexperience??? Fitness levels??? Hookers in between periods??? JW, break it down for me.

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#77 Andrew W
March 10 2009, 05:24PM
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@Ogden Brother,

Them's are some interestin' numbers there. Maybe some members of the ON are bein' a bit hard on the young feller, eh? His bum wing of last winter is probably still putting off his game a bit, too.

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#78 Chris
March 10 2009, 05:25PM
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@ speeds: Read my post again. I was being both sarcastic and critical of Oiler drafting... It is my contention that the BPA concept is flawed. What is the BPA anyway? The BPA isn't necessarily the highest ranked player, or the flashy player, or yet another small right shooting centerman with high point totals in junior. The BPA should be the best player available- WHO WILL HELP YOUR ORGANIZATION... I know plans change. I know it is impossible to foresee future needs... But there comes a point, as a fan, when I wonder why the Oilers draft the same first round player year, after year, after year. At some point we need to ask: Is this management team the best qualified to accurately determine who the BPA is? Why is our BPA always so small? Fact is, Predergast and company undervalue size, character, and grit come draft day... It shows on the ice, and throughout the entire organization.

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#79 Deep Oil
March 10 2009, 05:30PM
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Deep Oil wrote:

“Hookers in between periods???” BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA

Willis - Wanye - please check the login email address of this post - it is not mine - please delete this post as it is a fraud.

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#80 Andrew W
March 10 2009, 05:31PM
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Has anyone found any new links to live feeds of the game??

Atdhe.net hasn't had Oilers games for a while now, nor does justin.tv, and I can't find any other sites. I like Rod Phillips, but not being able to actually see the games (in Ontario) is killing me lately.

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#81 Deep Oil
March 10 2009, 05:32PM
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Willis - Wayne - you might want to check the IP address of this fraud and prevent access to the site, as it appears that this fraudster can be shut down.

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#82 jeanshorts
March 10 2009, 05:34PM
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@ Andrew W:

It looks like the NHL has been working hard on shutting these sites down. They've pretty much all been served cease and desist orders. I just want to watch hockey for free dammit!

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#83 Hoodlum
March 10 2009, 05:34PM
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Let's not be hasty here. It maybe a fraud but you can't deny it's not a good idea, hahaha

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#84 Hoodlum
March 10 2009, 05:36PM
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@ jeanshorts: Why would they try to shut down these sites. It's a place where fans unite? Who's it hurting?

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#85 Hoodlum
March 10 2009, 05:39PM
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Actually now that I think about it, my feelings are sometimes hurt after Brownlee shuts me down.

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#86 bingofuel
March 10 2009, 05:40PM
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@The Real Deep Oil Sorry about this, man. Not cool for someone to do that.

@Fake Deep Oil If you're going to try and impersonate someone, at least to to match their syntax, sentence structure and, uh, the language they speak. I'd say "nice try," but I'd totally be lying. Weak effort, dude.

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#87 jeanshorts
March 10 2009, 05:41PM
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@ Hoodlum: I don't know man. It's all about trying to squeeze as much money as they can out of it I guess. Business, messes up everything. But from the looks of it it's basically just the Canadian streams that are getting shut down. There are still a few floating around from American feeds like FSN and the like.

So I guess if you are planning on watching a game on Sportsnet or TSN you are SOL. Unless you pay for that over priced NHL Gamecentre thing on the NHL website.

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#88 Andrew W
March 10 2009, 05:53PM
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@Jeanshorts,

Suddenly, there is a link up at atdhe.net to the game, although it's in French. Ca c'est n'est pas ci grave, par ce que je comprends assez pour suivre le jeu.

Mais je ne veux pas entendre "le but" come ca encore. Merde.

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#89 socaldave
March 10 2009, 05:54PM
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boooooooooooooooooooo

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#90 baggedmilk
March 10 2009, 06:01PM
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I want to toss out there that Montreal fans would eat their young to get tickets to a Habs game.

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#91 Andrew W
March 10 2009, 06:07PM
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It's awfully quiet in here again. Is that an echo I hear (I hear... I hear...)

I can't believe I got away with writing some (lousy) French on an Alberta based site without taking any flak - especially on a night when the Oil are playing the Habs. Maybe the guys on the ice aren't the only ones who are going a bit soft these days...

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#92 jeanshorts
March 10 2009, 06:08PM
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@ baggedmilk:

If by eat their young, you mean take mouthfuls of their own semen, then yes, they most definitely would eat their own young.

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#93 David S
March 10 2009, 06:08PM
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Andrew W wrote:

@Jeanshorts, Suddenly, there is a link up at atdhe.net to the game, although it’s in French. Ca c’est n’est pas ci grave, par ce que je comprends assez pour suivre le jeu. Mais je ne veux pas entendre “le but” come ca encore. Merde.

It's a greasy link. Crashed my FireFox.

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#94 David S
March 10 2009, 06:10PM
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These Montreal guys are looking pretty good. Supposedly 7th in the league at home. Augh!

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#95 Hoodlum
March 10 2009, 06:14PM
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Every team forechecks around the oilers like they're the Harlem Globetrotters and the Oilers are the Washington Generals

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#96 Hoodlum
March 10 2009, 06:15PM
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I kept expecting Koivu to through a bucket of confetti at the ref

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#97 jeanshorts
March 10 2009, 06:16PM
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@ Hoodlum: I love when Kovalev breaks out the ladder and pulls down the refs pants. CLASSIC!!!

And yes, once again, this team looks like absolute ass out there.

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#98 David S
March 10 2009, 06:17PM
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Man. Whiffcoff is in the building again tonight.

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#99 Hoodlum
March 10 2009, 06:18PM
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@ jeanshorts: HAHAHA

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#100 David S
March 10 2009, 06:18PM
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Hoodlum wrote:

Every team forechecks around the oilers like they’re the Harlem Globetrotters and the Oilers are the Washington Generals

You should read Staples' blog post today. It says alot.

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