GDB 67: Moreau and Souray in it to win it

Jason Gregor
March 12 2009 12:26PM

Oilers Captain Ethan Moreau

The Oilers looked like a team a few days before the start of the season, with 24 players, five coaches and third goalie Floyd Whitney on the ice for the morning skate today. They went through a bevy of cross-ice and two-on-two, and two-on-one passing drills. Sad thing is they didn’t come close to scoring as often as Peter Pocklington has been charged by creditors.

Sheldon Souray was out there and took part in every drill so he will suit up tonight. Ethan Moreau also skated hard, while wearing the darkest colour-tinted visor I’d seen, so expect him to play as well.

Moreau’s visor makes him look a bit like a Euro, but he insisted his game won’t change due to the visor.

What will change is the lineup. Moreau and Penner will dress tonight, and they’ll play on the same line with Kyle Brodziak.

21 – 10 – 83 12 – 89 – 78 19 – 13 – 34 18 – 51 – 27

This is how they will start but if the Kovalchuk - White - Little line gives the Oilers problems don’t be surprised to see Horcoff, Moreau and Pisani become a trio to try and shut them down.

MacTavish admitted the lines could become very interchangeable tonight. Altanta coach John Anderson told me yesterday on my show that he likes to juggle his lines a lot, so expect to see many different combinations tonight.

A Horcoff - Moreau - Pisani trio could become reality down the stretch as a shut-down line.

Don’t think MacTavish doesn’t listen to the radio or read the Internet based on his comments today. He was asked about O’Sullivan and his overall game.

“I’m trying to find offensive opportunities for O’Sullivan. I want to get him some power-play time. I’m not going to pigeon-hole him as a checker just yet, that’s apparently my expertise to turn offence into checkers. He is in the process right now, (he laughs) but hopefully he has more goals in him.”

It looks like MacTavish is going with his most offensive unit of the season. The competition for ice-time tonight should be fierce, and if players are going early MacTavish said they will play more.

The Thrashers are playing well right now, going 6-3-1 in their last ten, with Johan Hedberg between the pipes, so the Oilers can’t overlook the lottery-bound Thrashers.

Their top line of Kovalchuk - White - Little have combined for 82 goals and 183 points, compared to Hemsky - Horcoff - Penner’s 49 goals and 128 points. Look for Souray and Staios to match up against that line.

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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 Al Hamilton
March 12 2009, 12:33PM
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Interesting.

Gregor, if Horcoff does become the checking center down the stretch, who do you think plays center for Hemsky?

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#2 Harlie Chuddy
March 12 2009, 12:35PM
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uh ohhh...MacT is watching us on ON!

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#3 Jonathan Willis
March 12 2009, 12:35PM
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Strange lineup, but it makes a sort of convoluted sense (well, it must, given that Dennis called it yesterday).

I wonder where this notion that O'Sullivan's a power-play performer is coming from? He put up a bunch of points in L.A., but the vast majority of them came at even-strength.

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#4 Jonathan Willis
March 12 2009, 12:36PM
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Al Hamilton wrote:

Gregor, if Horcoff does become the checking center down the stretch, who do you think plays center for Hemsky?

I know I'm not Gregor, but it has to be Gagner, doesn't it?

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#5 Peter Pan
March 12 2009, 12:38PM
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I look forward to your posts Gregor. Any idea what the Thrasher's line up will look like?

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#6 CurtisS
March 12 2009, 12:42PM
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8-2 Thrashers

Actually I been wanting Horc in a defensive role all year long. I wanted Gagner and Cogs to be our 2 offensive centers. I still think Moreau isnt very good as a checking role. More of a engery type player.

Heres what I would go with

Sully Gagner Hemsky Penner Horc Pisani Nilsson Cogs Kotalik Moreau Brodz Pouliot/Reddox

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#7 Al Hamilton
March 12 2009, 12:45PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

I know I’m not Gregor, but it has to be Gagner, doesn’t it?

You are as good as Gregor, somehow I posted first so I suppose I had no one else to ask at that point.

Gagner is my gut reaction, but if Horcoff is the checking center then perhaps Cogliano moves up to the "first line" along with someone who can win faceoffs?

Also O'Sullivan has been known to dabble at center?

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#8 kammaui
March 12 2009, 12:46PM
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GOOD NEWS! the arrest of pocklington, and hopefully conviction, for fraudulent things done cheers me up! the message to the ME ME businessmen who are willing to break the rules and screw over whomever they can is a good one -break the rules go to jail. Hopefully Peter will become the designated girlfriend (and cellmate) of a hardcore testosterone laden criminal. I watched Peter since the early days of his arrival in Edmonton when he tried to screw over a bunch of auto dealers on cars. he is of the same ilk of the U.S. bankers whose ethics & greed have put America in the place it is today

Take notice to those tradesmen who mentally say screw it & take no pride in their work.... I hold you with the same esteem

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#9 CurtisS
March 12 2009, 12:48PM
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@ kammaui: Who cares. Really!

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#10 I'm a Scientist!
March 12 2009, 12:49PM
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Wow...speaking of a soft team to play against! I guess the fan appreciation night won't be appreciating any fights tonight with all our tough guys out of the line up. Here's hoping nobody takes advantage and runs Hemsky into the boards...

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#11 Rick
March 12 2009, 12:49PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

I wonder where this notion that O’Sullivan’s a power-play performer is coming from? He put up a bunch of points in L.A., but the vast majority of them came at even-strength.

Although he didn't really play the primary PP minutes either.

Whether that means he can't or they just didn't use him remains to be seen I guess.

As far as he getting time with Oilers right now, he could be just the type of guy that is needed. Particularily if it's in place of Horcoff.

Hemsky simply isn't getting it done and if they insist on leaving him in there then they need more puck skill up front. O'Sullivan seems to have just that. Gagner may be a better choice but given what they have been doing, I will accept baby steps towards change.

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#12 CurtisS
March 12 2009, 12:50PM
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@ I'm a Scientist!: If Hemsky protects himself out there he would never have that problem.

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#13 Dan from Wainwright
March 12 2009, 12:51PM
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@ CurtisS: CurtisS wrote:

@ kammaui: Who cares. Really!

This is a thread about the game 2nite. CBC newsworld is down the street.

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#14 Sparticus
March 12 2009, 12:51PM
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"Moreau’s visor makes him look a bit like a Euro, but he insisted his game won’t change due to the visor."

Really, Gregor? I know you probably meant this as lighthearted comment, maybe even with a touch if irony, but it's still unacceptable. A discussion of differing hockey fashion trends according to ethnicity is one thing, but then to imply that wearing a dark visor suggests he'll be less tough? Come on. I can't wait for the day when reactionary fools aren't given jobs in the public forum. Then you, Cherry, and Milbury can all commiserate about how great it was to try and make people feel badly about themselves. Then maybe, finally, the rest of us can actually talk about hockey like it's not a parade of manliness.

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#15 DK0
March 12 2009, 12:51PM
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@ kammaui: Dude, theres a whole blog by Amber about this 2 below this one. This blog is where we come up with crazy ideas and questions like: "Why isn't Penner AND Stortini on the 1st line PP and then we use 2 screens and the umbrella just feeds shots at the net till one goes in? Hemsky in the corner/ half boards and then Souray and Kotalik on the points, its flawless!"

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#16 Peter Pan
March 12 2009, 12:51PM
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kammaui wrote:

Take notice to those tradesmen who mentally say screw it & take no pride in their work…. I hold you with the same esteem

Obviously, you're not happy with your electrician.

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#17 Dan from Wainwright
March 12 2009, 12:52PM
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@ CurtisS: Sorry hombre, that was meant for Kammaui

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#18 Harlie Chuddy
March 12 2009, 12:52PM
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hey Gregor...when are you having the Urban vs Jones "Professional Sports Marketing Smackoff"???

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#19 Peter Pan
March 12 2009, 12:55PM
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Sparticus wrote:

“Moreau’s visor makes him look a bit like a Euro, but he insisted his game won’t change due to the visor.” Really, Gregor? I know you probably meant this as lighthearted comment, maybe even with a touch if irony, but it’s still unacceptable. A discussion of differing hockey fashion trends according to ethnicity is one thing, but then to imply that wearing a dark visor suggests he’ll be less tough? Come on. I can’t wait for the day when reactionary fools aren’t given jobs in the public forum. Then you, Cherry, and Milbury can all commiserate about how great it was to try and make people feel badly about themselves. Then maybe, finally, the rest of us can actually talk about hockey like it’s not a parade of manliness.

Chill out man! What's up with some of you guys today?

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#20 I'm a Scientist!
March 12 2009, 12:55PM
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Sparticus wrote:

“Moreau’s visor makes him look a bit like a Euro, but he insisted his game won’t change due to the visor.” Really, Gregor? I know you probably meant this as lighthearted comment, maybe even with a touch if irony, but it’s still unacceptable. A discussion of differing hockey fashion trends according to ethnicity is one thing, but then to imply that wearing a dark visor suggests he’ll be less tough? Come on. I can’t wait for the day when reactionary fools aren’t given jobs in the public forum. Then you, Cherry, and Milbury can all commiserate about how great it was to try and make people feel badly about themselves. Then maybe, finally, the rest of us can actually talk about hockey like it’s not a parade of manliness.

Wow, look who woke up on the sensitive bed today... simmer down.

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#21 Word
March 12 2009, 12:55PM
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@ Sparticus:

Heh. Bad day?

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#22 I'm a Scientist!
March 12 2009, 12:56PM
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@ Peter Pan: *high five* Same response, same time. Good stuff Pete.

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#23 Sean
March 12 2009, 12:56PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

I wonder where this notion that O’Sullivan’s a power-play performer is coming from? He put up a bunch of points in L.A., but the vast majority of them came at even-strength.

I think your right but its a matter of getting him confidence and getting the offense going.

I'd be totally fine with 18-10-34 but that is really only gonna work on home games. Then go 27-51-X on secondary PVP, is X really Stortini?

Hopefully Souray is good cuz the idea of 24 and 43 getting 20 minutes a night makes me cringe...

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#24 CurtisS
March 12 2009, 01:00PM
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@ Sparticus:

Temper, holy.

Chill!

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#25 Deep Oil
March 12 2009, 01:02PM
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Sparticus wrote:

“Moreau’s visor makes him look a bit like a Euro, but he insisted his game won’t change due to the visor.” Really, Gregor? I know you probably meant this as lighthearted comment, maybe even with a touch if irony, but it’s still unacceptable. A discussion of differing hockey fashion trends according to ethnicity is one thing, but then to imply that wearing a dark visor suggests he’ll be less tough? Come on. I can’t wait for the day when reactionary fools aren’t given jobs in the public forum. Then you, Cherry, and Milbury can all commiserate about how great it was to try and make people feel badly about themselves. Then maybe, finally, the rest of us can actually talk about hockey like it’s not a parade of manliness.

In 5 - 7 years, the whole league will have players that wore the visor in junior..... eye protection on the job??? Time to move on - this is not about fashion, this is not about race, ethnicity - it is about safety just ask Berard.

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#26 SquidRx
March 12 2009, 01:03PM
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A question for those more apt at finding stats than I:

When was the last time the Oilers were in 7th place with 16 or less games remaining?

*Sits at desk with head tilted pensively and hand on chin*

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#27 humantorch
March 12 2009, 01:05PM
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Thrashers by a jillion.

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#28 Archaeologuy
March 12 2009, 01:06PM
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If MacTinker is looking for offensive opportunities for Patty O' then maybe he should consider dropping Pouliot from the 2nd line. I mean if I was carrying a sack of bricks for no good reason and complaining that my back hurt I wouldnt start by taking off my wrist-watch.

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#29 Jason Gregor
March 12 2009, 01:08PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

I wonder where this notion that O’Sullivan’s a power-play performer is coming from? He put up a bunch of points in L.A., but the vast majority of them came at even-strength.

There was no mention of him being a PP specialist, so I don't know where you got that. MacTavish said he wasn't going to pigeon hole into thinking he can only play five-on-five and PK. He would get a look on the second unit, and considering how bad the PP has been as of late I don't see why he wouldn't.

Sparticus wrote:

Really, Gregor? I know you probably meant this as lighthearted comment, maybe even with a touch if irony, but it’s still unacceptable. A discussion of differing hockey fashion trends according to ethnicity is one thing, but then to imply that wearing a dark visor suggests he’ll be less tough? Come on. I can’t wait for the day when reactionary fools aren’t given jobs in the public forum. Then you, Cherry, and Milbury can all commiserate about how great it was to try and make people feel badly about themselves. Then maybe, finally, the rest of us can actually talk about hockey like it’s not a parade of manliness.

Hey Negative Nancy...The implication was that he wouldn't be less aggressive. His coach made the reference in his presser. Does it mean that Euro's don't play tough? No. But it meant that he wouldn't shy away from the rough stuff.

The reference to a Euro was the colour of the visor more than the visor itself, which I said in the paragraph earlier. It is really dark, and he has to wear it because his eyes are sensitive to light.

Actually hockey is a tough game, and many Euros play it tough. Hemsky goes into tougher areas more than most players are willing to. Toughness can be defined in more ways than hits.

The other reference to his game changing was also a joke that wearing a visor wouldn't make him more of a star player either. But I guess since you can only take the negative approach and pipe up.

The irony is you did the exact same thing you accused me off; making a sweeping assumption.

Calm down NN, while I want players to play gritty and I'm a huge advocate of fighting, the comment was made in regards to both his hands and style of play.

As Marty Reasoner said, "Moreau told me that when he wore his visor in Austria he was the Peter Forsberg of the Austrian league. Maybe wearing a visor will soften up his hands."

Al Hamilton wrote:

Gregor, if Horcoff does become the checking center down the stretch, who do you think plays center for Hemsky?

Could be Gagner, maybe Cogliano. And realistically a bit of both. A lot will depend if Hemsky formulates chemistry with either one, and whether MacTavish sees a need for a true shut down line.

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#30 Sean
March 12 2009, 01:09PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

If MacTinker is looking for offensive opportunities for Patty O’ then maybe he should consider dropping Pouliot from the 2nd line. I mean if I was carrying a sack of bricks for no good reason and complaining that my back hurt I wouldnt start by taking off my wrist-watch.

Pouliot has been good with Gagner the last couple games.

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#31 Jason Gregor
March 12 2009, 01:10PM
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Harlie Chuddy wrote:

hey Gregor…when are you having the Urban vs Jones “Professional Sports Marketing Smackoff”???

Jonesy is in Calgary covering the Brier until Sunday, but the invite will be put out to him and hopefully he responds. It would be great. Urban is still fired up about it.

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#32 topshelf
March 12 2009, 01:11PM
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@ Sparticus: Are you a euro? Anyone who knows anything about hockey says this kind of stuff. Get over it.

Hate to say but I'm excited for the game tonite... we will probably lose 5-1 now just cause.

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#33 nutsandgum
March 12 2009, 01:11PM
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Where's Smokin' Ray???

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#34 shakey
March 12 2009, 01:13PM
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@ Sparticus: You need to relax man. Talk about making an issue out of nothing. No where does Gregor say anything about Moreau playing less tough because of the visor. He does comment that Moreau said his game won't change because of the visor. Just because he said he looks like a Euro doesn't mean anything other than he looks like a Euro. They only guys I know of that wear tinted visors are Oveckin and Grebeskov and I don't think they're from 'round these parts. Today you look like an ass and I'm sure you're not really a supply-carrying donkey and besides...I wouldn't want to insult donkeys. They might take issue with the comparison.

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#35 Archaeologuy
March 12 2009, 01:14PM
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@ Sean:

Sure, so for a week he did well. Now he can go out and be useless for another 2 months. I agree that that he did well; will he do better than O'Sullivan? Who knows? It's not like this club is on a tear and jiggin with the lines will wreck a good thing.

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#36 Bob Sacamano
March 12 2009, 01:14PM
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Hey Gregor,

What exactly was wrong with Souray? Hurt his knee, charley horse, something else? I sure hope this isn't like last year where he tries to play through something, makes it worse, and is out for the year.

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#37 RossCreek
March 12 2009, 01:16PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

If MacTinker is looking for offensive opportunities for Patty O’ then maybe he should consider dropping Pouliot from the 2nd line. I mean if I was carrying a sack of bricks for no good reason and complaining that my back hurt I wouldnt start by taking off my wrist-watch.

LOL. Nice. Marc-Antoine POULET is a sack of bricks... I woulda used a different word if you didn't come up with one for me. Thanks.

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#38 nutsandgum
March 12 2009, 01:17PM
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@ Deep Oil:

Hey Deep Oil, stop posting on this blog until you answer my question on the other :)

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#39 Harlie Chuddy
March 12 2009, 01:18PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Harlie Chuddy wrote: hey Gregor…when are you having the Urban vs Jones “Professional Sports Marketing Smackoff”??? Jonesy is in Calgary covering the Brier until Sunday, but the invite will be put out to him and hopefully he responds. It would be great. Urban is still fired up about it.

that was great radio when Urban called in and then called out Jonesy. Can't wait for the Smackoff if it does go down!!

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#40 Jason Gregor
March 12 2009, 01:19PM
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Bob Sacamano wrote:

Hey Gregor, What exactly was wrong with Souray? Hurt his knee, charley horse, something else? I sure hope this isn’t like last year where he tries to play through something, makes it worse, and is out for the year.

He tweaked his knee. He didn't practice with a brace today, but will talk with Ken Lowe about possibly using one today. Teams are quieter than ever now regarding injuries, but it sounds like he tweaked/strained his MCL. He grimaced a few times in practice today and admitted he it is a bit uncomfortable at times, but stated it shouldn't be a problem. Right now it is nothing that is close to season-ending.

He could re-aggravate it during the game, but it is more just learning to play with the pain than risk further damage to this specific area.

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#41 RossCreek
March 12 2009, 01:25PM
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Off topic, but

Anyone know what the deal with Ryan Stone is? Could he not add a little grit, size & toughness that guys like POULET or Reddox can't?? I know its not likely to happen at this point, but why couldn't Stone, Brule & Potulny be here over some of the guys that are?

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#42 nutsandgum
March 12 2009, 01:26PM
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With Atlanta one of the few teams giving up more shots per game than the Oil, is anyone giving odds on who puts more rubber on the net tonight?

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#43 The Towel Boy
March 12 2009, 01:28PM
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nutsandgum wrote:

Where’s Smokin’ Ray???

I dunno...but...GAME DAY!!!!

*places quarter in envelope and mails to Smokin' Ray*

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#44 5Cups
March 12 2009, 01:29PM
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Sparticus wrote:

trends according to ethnicity is one thing, but then to imply that wearing a dark visor suggests he’ll be less

Shut up

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#45 Aaron
March 12 2009, 01:30PM
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Finally, a NHL calliber line up! That is how MactT should have put the 4th line months ago with Penner under performing. Although ATL is on a hot streak Im predicting a guaranteed win!

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#46 Jason Gregor
March 12 2009, 01:31PM
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RossCreek wrote:

Anyone know what the deal with Ryan Stone is? Could he not add a little grit, size & toughness that guys like POULET or Reddox can’t?? I know its not likely to happen at this point, but why couldn’t Stone, Brule & Potulny be here over some of the guys that are?

Stone can't skate at the NHL level, and look at tonight's lineup, who do you think he brings more than. Potulny is soft and can't score at this level, don't the Oilers have enough of those guys already. Ask yourself why he was traded for Danny Syvret.

Brule is the one guy that could possibly help. I'm assuming he is one of the four players put on the list that can be called up and sent down now that the trade deadline has past.

The Oilers have four forwards sitting out now, do they need five? If Brule finishes really strong in Springfield be might get a call up for the playoffs, but the other two won't get a sniff.

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#47 DK0
March 12 2009, 01:34PM
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Can we get a sweet "Wanye school of internet art" dramatic interpretation of what Moreaus' visor looks like on this blogs picture? msPaint stylez

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#48 Colin
March 12 2009, 01:39PM
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Oilers are due for a stinker 6-2 thrashers(Prove me wrong Oilers).

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#49 SquidRx
March 12 2009, 01:39PM
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nutsandgum wrote:

@ Deep Oil: Hey Deep Oil, stop posting on this blog until you answer my question on the other

Don't hold your breath. You are asking him to provide a concrete fact and that is not going to happen. He provides only vagaries and conspiracy theories. If you wanted to know Puck's secret address of his lunar estate, now that is something DO could provide.

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#50 Sean
March 12 2009, 01:41PM
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@Archaeologuy - until Pouliots game falls off I'd leave him there. Just my opinion

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