GDB 71: Shifting Fortunes

Jonathan Willis
March 20 2009 05:24PM

Gagner/Kane

It’s March 20th, a rather appropriate day for things to be the opposite of how they should be. You see, it was on this day in 1815 that Napoleon returned to Paris after being imprisoned on the Island of Elba. The country turned upside down as loyalists to the French royal family were ousted and men loyal to Bonaparte were installed. Everything seemed possible, if only for a little while – even if it was only 111 days later that Napoleon would request asylum from a British naval captain and return to exile.

The Edmonton Oilers enter the United Centre tonight fresh off an 8-1 victory over Coloardo. Sam Gagner recorded a hat-trick in that game. The penalty-kill didn’t allow a single goal against. Ales Kotalik looked effective; in short, the Oilers found themselves on the right end of a blowout for a change. With points in there last six games and eight of their last nine, the Oilers may even elect to give Dwayne Roloson a game off – after playing 26 straight games.

The Chicago Blackhawks, on the other hand, enter tonight’s game with four straight losses, and only one win in seven games. That stretch includes losses to the Avalanche, Hurricanes, Islanders and two to the Blue Jackets. The young team, so dominant since the hiring of Joel Quenneville only four games in, have seen themselves fall to fifth in the Western Conference.

The smart money says that the Hawks rebound. The Oilers are playing their second game in two nights, and didn’t even get into Chicago until 3 A.M. The odds against the Oilers are even longer when you consider that the Blackhawks have gone 3-0 against Edmonton this season, outscoring them 15-3 overall (including a 9-2 victory; their best offensive performance of the season). Add in a possible start for Jeff Deslauriers - who hasn’t played since February and hasn’t started since being pulled in an AHL game on January 10th – and things seem very unlikely to go the Oilers’ way.

Personally, I think the Oilers might just be ready to go on a roll. Prediction:

Oilers 4 – Blackhawks 3. Goals by Sam Gagner, Patrick O’Sullivan, Ales Hemsky and Sheldon Souray.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#51 jeanshorts
March 20 2009, 08:42PM
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That was f*cking brutal. Reddox was admiring his pass, and he's only 3 feet tall, but that HAS to be a suspension. THey talk about getting rid of fight. THey need to get rid of that crap.

And Ben Eager needs to get the blood punched out of him for crap like that.

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#52 Jonathan Willis
March 20 2009, 08:44PM
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Yeah, it is Reddox's fault that he was where he was, but there had better be some kind of ramifications for Ben Eager.

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#53 dw
March 20 2009, 08:44PM
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The announcers said shoulder but that looked like an elbow.

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#54 Jonathan Willis
March 20 2009, 08:46PM
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Ben Eager deserves a good beating most of the time anyways; this is one situation where I'd like to see Souray hurt somebody.

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#55 dw
March 20 2009, 08:46PM
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Crappy thing is we don't even get a PP out of it.

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#56 Jonathan Willis
March 20 2009, 08:47PM
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That Strudwick-to-Moreau play isn't ever going to impress me.

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#57 dw
March 20 2009, 08:47PM
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Unfortunately we can't afford to lose Souray for 5 min. He is the only one in our line up that could feed Eager his lunch. I would love to see it though.

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#58 Jonathan Willis
March 20 2009, 08:49PM
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@ dw:

Penner could do it to - he had a heck of a one-punch fight with Landon Wilson earlier this year. Beyond those two, I guess I'm hoping for Moreau or Strudwick to make someone pay.

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#59 Jonathan Willis
March 20 2009, 08:52PM
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Nice to see Strudwick use his strength there - he's cagey enough that his lack of footspeed doesn't always burn him.

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#60 dw
March 20 2009, 08:52PM
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Wow, penalty shot.

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#61 Reggie
March 20 2009, 08:53PM
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It is obvious the refs don't see red tonight. Chicago can do whatever they want and nothing is called. It is pathetic to watch !

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#62 dw
March 20 2009, 08:53PM
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That's what you get for misplelling your name you little bastard. IT'S TAVES.

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#63 jeanshorts
March 20 2009, 08:53PM
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HUGE SAVE!

Someones getting a sponge bath after the game!!!!!

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#64 dw
March 20 2009, 08:54PM
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Is it ironic that I misspelled "misspelling".

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#65 Jonathan Willis
March 20 2009, 08:54PM
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This is easily the worst reffing I've seen since the L.A. game.

Funny how that only happens in big American markets.

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#66 Tommy
March 20 2009, 08:55PM
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That shouldn't have been a penalty shot. BS man.

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#67 jeanshorts
March 20 2009, 08:57PM
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Tommy wrote:

That shouldn’t have been a penalty shot. BS man.

No sh*t. It was a solid defensive play. But anytime your stick comes within 5 inches of someones gloves it supposedly impedes them from scoring.

They need to get someone in there to completely wipe the slate clean and come up with a new set of rules.

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#68 Jonathan Willis
March 20 2009, 08:58PM
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Penner did a nice job finishing that check on Keith.

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#69 dw
March 20 2009, 08:58PM
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the picture is a little grainy but it looked like the right call. Thank God for the fossil.

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#70 Jonathan Willis
March 20 2009, 08:59PM
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Horcoff creating there - it isn't easy to make Pahlsson look that bad.

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#71 Tommy
March 20 2009, 08:59PM
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@ jeanshorts:

Yeah, that's all well and good when we are talking about an interference penalty, but to make that call for a penalty shot with 7 mins left in a tied game? Come ON...

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#72 dw
March 20 2009, 09:02PM
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Penalty on Seabrook. NICE!!!!!! Horc back to Souray off the draw and we win it in regulation.

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#73 Tommy
March 20 2009, 09:02PM
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That's what I am talking about.

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#74 jeanshorts
March 20 2009, 09:03PM
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@ Tommy: Uhh, I wasn't defending the refs in anyway if that's what you took that as.

It was a brutal call at the very least. Another in a string of terrible calls/non calls all game.

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#75 Tommy
March 20 2009, 09:03PM
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Well given everything I am happy about a point, now lets get the other.

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#76 Tommy
March 20 2009, 09:04PM
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@ jeanshorts:

No I was agreeing with you - didn't think you'd love these refs either.

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#77 dw
March 20 2009, 09:05PM
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Calgary is up on STL (2-1), MIN lost to NJ, and LA lost for good measure. If we can get the additional point in OT I would call it a pretty good night.

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#78 jeanshorts
March 20 2009, 09:05PM
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@ Tommy: Oh okay. Just making sure. DAMN YOU INTERNET AND YOUR INABILITY TO REGISTER TONES OF VOICE AND INFLEXTION!!!

Also, OVERTIME POWERPLAY!!!!!

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#79 jeanshorts
March 20 2009, 09:07PM
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Baaaaah.

You gotta finishes those ones like it's thanksgiving dinner Penner.

And would someone please yell at Kotalik next time a guy is coming out of the box to strip him of the puck from behind?

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#80 dw
March 20 2009, 09:09PM
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Kane stole the puck from Horc twice on that same little bounce pass on the boards. Lucky it didn't cost us.

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#81 jeanshorts
March 20 2009, 09:10PM
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Oh hey Shawn Horcoff. I know Patrick Kane is awesome, and everyone loves to watch him score, but, can you not pass the puck right to him at your own blue line next time? K thanks.

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#82 Poo Czar
March 20 2009, 09:10PM
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@ dw: Hah! Taves.

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#83 jeanshorts
March 20 2009, 09:11PM
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Is it just me, or have we had really solid puck movement tonight? I don't think I've seen the boys move the puck around this well in a long firkin time.

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#84 Poo Czar
March 20 2009, 09:12PM
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New OT decider - Fist Fights!

Round 1? Kane vs. Gagner!

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#85 dw
March 20 2009, 09:12PM
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@ jeanshorts: It looks like some of the guys are starting to get a little confidence back. Just in the nick of time too.

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#86 Tommy
March 20 2009, 09:13PM
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I am saying Gagner, Kotalik and Hemsky

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#87 dw
March 20 2009, 09:13PM
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@ Poo Czar: Except they get to choose their weapons. Kane and Gagner would probably end up being a pillow fight.

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#88 dw
March 20 2009, 09:14PM
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Wow, I was planning on having a Smirnoff Vodka postgame too!!!

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#89 jeanshorts
March 20 2009, 09:14PM
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dw wrote:

@ Poo Czar: Except they get to choose their weapons. Kane and Gagner would probably end up being a pillow fight.

EFF that we're doing straight up helmets and gloves just like in minor hockey. I can't tell you how many sweet disputes were settled that way.

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#90 Poo Czar
March 20 2009, 09:15PM
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EAT IT TAVES!

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#91 jeanshorts
March 20 2009, 09:16PM
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What a terrible move by Kane.

Man Rolli is in rough shape. How much you wanna bet JDD starts next game just because Rolli's body just finally gives up on him.

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#92 dw
March 20 2009, 09:17PM
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Sully and Kotalik!!!!!!!

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#93 Tommy
March 20 2009, 09:17PM
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Ales2!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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#94 jeanshorts
March 20 2009, 09:17PM
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WWWWHHHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO KOTALIK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Man I wrote that guy off way too early.

F*CKIN RIGHTS BOYS!!!! HUGE WIN!!!

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#95 Colin
March 20 2009, 09:17PM
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New guys with the shootout winners. Sweet.

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#96 Rusty Shackleford
March 20 2009, 09:17PM
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Patio Latterns!!

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#97 Poo Czar
March 20 2009, 09:17PM
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HUZZAH FOR THE OIL!

KOTALIK MY BALLS!!!

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#98 Rusty Shackleford
March 20 2009, 09:18PM
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@ Rusty Shackleford: HAHA Alcohol is a hell of a... (sp)

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#99 dw
March 20 2009, 09:18PM
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@ jeanshorts: Next game in MIN. I have a feeling MacT is going to ride Roli until the government steps in and fines the Oilers for overworking the elderly.

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#100 Poo Czar
March 20 2009, 09:21PM
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Prepare for unbridled Nation optimism...

WE'RE GONNA WIN THE NORTHWEST!!!

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