GDB 75: Robert Frost's hockey wisdom lives on

Jason Gregor
March 27 2009 01:43PM

robert_frost

A few weeks ago my neighbour strolled up to my door toting a bottle of Bacardi Limon -- best drink going if you mix with water -- so I let her in. We yapped for a bit, poured a few Limons, but the Oilers game came on so I pretty much gave her the proverbial nod every few seconds suggesting I was listening to her. She must have caught on that I wouldn’t be engaging in any conversation until a commercial or intermission, so she sat at my computer and checked her e-mail.

I thought it was harmless enough, until the next morning when I open my Outlook and I have some email from Audri and Jim Landford. I’m like WTF, why isn’t my spam detector working? But, of course I had to see who it was from...

Maybe Carney Lansford, one of the greatest third basemen ever, died and left me something in his will. I wasn’t a baseball enthusiast growing up, but he was one my favourite ball players.

I never played ball -- hated it in fact. I tried it once when I was seven and they put me in the outfield. After six innings of swatting mosquitoes, looking like Les Nessman from WKRP in Cincinnati and getting no balls hit to me, I announced to my dad that I would not be coming back. At that age, there is no more boring sport than baseball.

Anyways, Lansford rocked and he had a great ‘stache too. And he had a cameo as Kit “hit or Die” Kesey in the 1994 remake of Angels in the Outfield.

** Yes it was a Disney movie, but I’ll watch any sports movie, and don’t say you didn’t believe in the possibility of angels when the kids started flapping their arms in the final game. Admit it, you believed a bit.***

Well Audri and Jim aren’t Carney’s parents; rather, they are some inspirational speakers or something, and my neighbour felt it was necessary that I receive these quotes. Every day now I get an inspirational quote from some famous person that is supposed to brighten my day. Yesterday it was:

"Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest." -- Mark Twain

Thanks Mark, I’ll try that one.

Today this is what I got -- brace yourselves Oiler fans:

"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on." -- Robert Frost

Frost is a famous American poet, in case you didn’t know. And I can tell you that without those inspirational words I might not have realized that in fact I would still be breathing today. Thanks, Tips.

Oh bla dee, oh bla da

Life does indeed go on, but after watching that debacle last night, you wonder if the Oilers will go on to the playoffs. And if they, many of us will have a big part of our lives put on hold until next October.

While life goes on, it sure sucks going on in a city void of playoffs. Everyone is happier when the Oilers are in the playoffs. Hell, even Brownlee’s scowl softens as young lasses who can’t name two players on the team drive around the city flashing passing motorists. (True story in the run of 2006, the JAG mobile got flashed every day by random girls after the Oil beat the Sharks in round two. Some days it pays to have your show name plastered on the Kia.)

It’s been two springs of nothing since, and after yesterday’s incredibly bad effort against the lowly Phoenix freakin’ Coyotes, I’m worried we’ll experience another flashless spring.

It was game 74 last night, and you would think that by now the PP could at least string together three consecutive passes. Or how about this novel idea: if the first unit can’t do anything, then start the second unit on the PP. Do you not want some healthy competition amongst the units?

Where was the desire? The urgency? Don’t give me this garbage about Phoenix being loose, so it’s easier for them to play. They aren’t that good. Colorado is supposed to be loose and they keep getting blown out by five or six goals a night.

The Oilers better wake up tonight. The Ducks have won five straight, and six of their last seven. They’ve won two in OT and two in the SO.

In their last two home games they are a ridiculous seven for ten on the PP. They are rotating their goalies, yet they still win. The Ducks are playing aggressive, in-your-face-yet-disciplined hockey right now. They look like a team that wants to be in the playoffs.

We’ll find out tonight if the Oilers truly want to be in the playoffs.

  • Show up early.
  • Compete.
  • Hit.
  • Shoot the damn puck.
  • Crash the crease.
  • Play Stortini.

I know he isn’t a game breaker, but at least Stortini gives you some energy and spark, and he’ll stand up to Anaheim, something very few forwards on this team seem willing to do.

As the great American Poet Robert Frost said about life: it goes on.

Well Mr. Frost, in Edmonton life sure sucks if it goes on without some NHL playoffs. And it sucks even worse if you drink pansy American beer while doing it. Here’s to some good old fashion Pilsner, Molson Canadian, OV, Labatt Blue, Black Label, Grasshopper or any other Canadian Beer that tickles your fancy.

Tonight we drink real beer, (Or Bacardi Limon with Water) and we get set for some playoffs!

** Game day update:

  • Stortini and JF Jacques are in.
  • Nilsson and Reddox are out.

This is a smart move by MacT, and we'll see more energy in tonight's game because of these moves.

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
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 Amber
March 27 2009, 01:56PM
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I, Amber, solemnly declare that if the Oilers make the playoffs I will commit one drive by flashing, knock over the two of ten phone booths remaining in Edmonton and light something on fire. I will do this while simultaneously serving Gregor with Limon shots.

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#2 baggedmilk
March 27 2009, 01:58PM
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Gregor with the burn on Wanye's she drink.

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#3 The Towel Boy
March 27 2009, 01:59PM
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Is Nilsson in the dog house again? I noticed he was stapled to the bench in the 3rd.

Good to see Storts draw back in. I like that kid's willingness to muck it up.

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#4 Archaeologuy
March 27 2009, 01:59PM
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Robert Frost poem applicable to the Oilers (not in binary I'm a Scientist!)

Whose woods these are I think I know. His house is in the village, though; He will not see me stopping here To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer To stop without farmhouse near Between the woods and frozen lake The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake To ask if there is some mistake. The only other sound's the sweep Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening 1923, or Oilers stop playing Before the End of the friggin season 2009.

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#5 Milli
March 27 2009, 02:01PM
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Sweet man, and ya, I am still making a date for game 3 round 1 in Etown to get smashed with good old american brewed MOLSOL CANADIAN

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#6 smytty777
March 27 2009, 02:02PM
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It's been a miserable day of reviewing last night's stinker and it's going to be downright depressing if the Oil can't pull one out tonight.

Is Penner moving up to the second line in Nilsson's place?

Horc-Hemmer-O' Sullivan Gagner-Kotalik-Penner Cogs-Chopper-Pisani Brodz-Jacques-Storts?

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#7 Milli
March 27 2009, 02:02PM
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*molson

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#8 Bad Seed
March 27 2009, 02:08PM
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Hey Gregor - I could have sworn I heard you talking to some fellow journalist on the radio extolling the virtues of Coors Light. I shake my head. Try an Innis & Gunn once, you'll never go back to that swill.

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#9 alphah
March 27 2009, 02:08PM
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Nilsson achieved a real quality high-level game against Detroit the other night. Will Jacques really add anything (at all) tonight?

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#10 Rice
March 27 2009, 02:09PM
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ahh but think of the silver lining to missing the playoffs...FMNF becomes more realistic!!

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#11 alphah
March 27 2009, 02:11PM
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Innis & Gunn has dem der molasses undertones... Sometimes its not right for the times. But it is a top knotch brew. (expensive here though)

Keiths.. Try the new White trad ale.

Last night was drinking Thai beer all night. Meh.

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#12 I'm a Scientist!
March 27 2009, 02:18PM
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@ Archaeologuy: Not to worry, I will input the poem in my super computer and it will automatically spit out a slew of 0's and 1's.

01000001 01000010 01000011 01000100 01000101 00101...

*wrings his hands greedily while awaiting his super computer (circa 1982) to spit out the rest of the poem*

I can't wait to see how this ends!

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#13 MJ
March 27 2009, 02:19PM
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Keep a bottle of Limoncello in the fridge because you just never know when it'll come in handy. ;)

Never have tried Bacardi Limon myself, but I assume the traditional Italian stuff would be superior.

Sort of how these Canadian white beers still don't come close to a Hoegaarden.

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#14 The Towel Boy
March 27 2009, 02:21PM
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MJ wrote:

Canadian white beers still don’t come close to a Hoegaarden.

Unfiltered and murky for the best hangover money can buy.

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#15 Wanye Gretz
March 27 2009, 02:27PM
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Gregor: Tonight we drink real beer, (Or Bacardi Limon with Water) and we get set for some playoffs!

Me: Bacardi Limon is a drink reserved for anorexics and other waify chicks concerned more with calories than boozing.

I have seen you drink Sir. You had one third of a glass of schnapps and then spent the evening sleeping on a chair in the corner of the bar.

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#16 DK0
March 27 2009, 02:28PM
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So who on the Ducks hasn't scored in 70 games?

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#17 Gene's Pubes
March 27 2009, 02:31PM
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Hey Jason,

How come Stortini has been given the treatment like hes impregnated Mactavish's only daughter? Stortini was on a pretty decent roll for a 4th liner until this latest round. Is it a case of the aforementioned pregnancy, or perhaps an injury?

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#18 I'm a Scientist!
March 27 2009, 02:36PM
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*hits the super computer as it starts to get bogged down*

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#19 Antony Ta
March 27 2009, 02:37PM
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Why is Nilsson out? He's been playing pretty well. They should move Penner back to the 1st line, also.

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#20 Archaeologuy
March 27 2009, 02:53PM
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I'm a Scientist! wrote:

*hits the super computer as it starts to get bogged down*

try blowing in it.

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#21 mommadiesel
March 27 2009, 02:56PM
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Last night I watched the Oil play with the Yakitty Saks on in the backround, more perfect then Limon and water.

Too excited to see Sortini back in, heres to him plastering,huggin, molesting the human rake.

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#22 The Towel Boy
March 27 2009, 02:59PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

try blowing in it.

That only works on Nintendo cartridges.

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#23 roughneck
March 27 2009, 02:59PM
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You guys should check out Unibroues offerings out of quebec.

Blanche de Chamblis ( witbier) La Fin Du Monde (fantastic!!!!)

bring your A game.

any bets kotalik is back on the hemmer line.... two passes in one period is a LOT of chemistry in these parts. Ride that baby when its hot! They can both play the right side avoiding the left wing lock... pure genius I say!

Opens third bottle of LaFin... not looking good for making it to the rollie group hug hop at the end of this one.

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#24 roughneck
March 27 2009, 03:02PM
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DK0 wrote:

So who on the Ducks hasn’t scored in 70 games?

JS Jiggy... hes due

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#25 Harlie Chuddy
March 27 2009, 03:06PM
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The Towel Boy wrote:

Archaeologuy wrote: try blowing in it. That only works on Nintendo cartridges.

and Atari's!

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#26 Matt N
March 27 2009, 03:08PM
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The Towel Boy wrote:

Archaeologuy wrote: try blowing in it. That only works on Nintendo cartridges.

and some reporters

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#27 Thunder
March 27 2009, 03:10PM
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Jason, Is MacT the guy responsible for settig up or PP system? If so, he should be kicked in the sack with steel toed boots!! Everyone knows they go to Souray for the shot, so at least get someone who can pass it to him instead of Grebs screwing up a 10 fot pass. Then when it finally looks like they will try to sit someone in the slot, it is Gagner who would be on his backhand. I can't say I have seen the backhand onetimer ever tried before.

Gagner should not be on the 1st unit, not because of lack of ability, but he would be better used to set up the play instead of sitting in the corner watching Hemmer. There is nobody o the 2nd unit that can properly set things up. Then stick a left handed shot in the slot for the one timer like Kotalik.

the only shooter we have on the 1st PP is Souray, Penner is in from, Gagner shoots like Smitty and Grebs barely makes the radar gun flicker. You need at leas on other viable shooter for Hemmer to pass to. Even but Kotalik on the right point and he can sneak in while the opposition squeeze Hemmer and Souray for space.

I never thought I would say this, but I would give anything for Simpson to be in charge of the PP.

I predict that Parros will be all over our guys with MacIntyre not in the line up. Storts and JFJ do not put fear into the big guys.

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#28 jeanshorts
March 27 2009, 03:11PM
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The Towel Boy wrote:

Archaeologuy wrote: try blowing in it. That only works on Nintendo cartridges.

AND ME!

HELLOOOOO! SOMEBODY STOP ME!!!!

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#29 I'm a Scientist!
March 27 2009, 03:19PM
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*grumbles as once the super computer restarted, the printer miss aligned the nubs with the holes along the perforated edge of his stack of paper*

Almost done the first line Arch... bear with me..

Ugh, this better be fixed before I have to print the new cover sheets for all those TPS reports before they go out...

*blows on the printer... nothing happens*

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#30 Jason Gregor
March 27 2009, 03:20PM
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No matter how much you drink tonight, or any night, Oiler fans, at least you know you will never be as moronic as a Flames fan...

This was reported today in the Globe and Mail...TRUE STORY...happened last night.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Police say a local hockey fan made physical threats against the Columbus Blue Jackets in a series of phone calls to the team's arena during a game against the Calgary Flames on Thursday night.

Peter Stenzel, 52, was arrested Thursday and charged with inducing panic for threatening physical harm against the team during the Jackets' 5-0 win over the Calgary Flames, Columbus Police Sgt. Rick Weiner said.

Weiner says police traced the phone calls to Stenzel's Columbus home, where they found him wearing a Flames T-shirt. Police would not say if specific players were targeted or what the threats entailed.

According to the Columbus Dispatch, the calls were directed toward rookie Blue Jackets goaltender Steve Mason. Sources told the Dispatch that Stenzel threatened to “shoot” and “bomb” the rookie during the game.

“They got his number from caller ID, and it was given to special duty officers,” Weiner told the newspaper. “When they got to his residence, he was upset. He's a passionate hockey fan.”

Mason made 33 saves for a franchise-record 10th shutout.

Blue Jackets spokesman Todd Sharrock says the team will not comment on security

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#31 Harlie Chuddy
March 27 2009, 03:20PM
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back on the beer thing...back when I was youngin' I drank the coolest beer evar! It was Club. I loved the simplistic design of red label with the black lettering for Club and the of course teh Club symbol that is used on a deck of cards. Of course the Clubs had a way of actually turning into Clubs (as in billy) at the end of many a night so maybe it's good that I haven't seen it around anymore.

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#32 jeanshorts
March 27 2009, 03:21PM
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RICK WEINER!!!

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Stupid Calgary fans.

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#33 David S
March 27 2009, 03:22PM
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Robert Nilsson has been playing great the past few games. Now he's out? Is he hurt?

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#34 sittingatmydesk
March 27 2009, 03:23PM
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19-10-83 27-89-21 18-13-34 22-51-46 i hope the 4 line, gets some decent ice time... hey gregor, how come cogliano minutes has dropped dramatically over the past games....i know he has made some bonehead mistakes, but so has gagner..

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#35 jeanshorts
March 27 2009, 03:27PM
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SGT. WIENER!! HAHAHAHA

Oh god, is it bad that I'm still laughing at that. Wiener. HA!

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#36 I'm a Scientist!
March 27 2009, 03:30PM
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@ jeanshorts: Rick Weiner... Rick, being short for Richard...which also as the short form Dick... Sgt. Dick Weiner.

I bet he commands respect in the Police Department locker room...

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#37 jeanshorts
March 27 2009, 03:31PM
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DICK WEINER!! HAHAHAH! I didn't even think about that. God this has been a good day. Great day even. TGIF!

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#38 willy fisterbotom
March 27 2009, 03:35PM
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hey gregor let me get this straight. a WOMAN BRINGS a bottle to your place is pounding shots of limon and is ignored????? thats a question that needs answering.

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#39 Ryan
March 27 2009, 03:36PM
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Over the past few weeks it's often been uttered by some in Oil Country why it even matters if they make the playoffs. What's the point if they're just going to lose in the first round? If they don't make the playoffs, at least MacT is gone!

Well, the problem is that neither of those is a guarantee.

And those reasons (particularly the part about the flashing) are why I need some damn playoff hockey. It's been too long. There's nothing like the NHL playoffs, especially in Edmonton. We need that.

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#40 Wanye Gretz
March 27 2009, 03:38PM
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@ jeanshorts:

Oh man, jeanshorts is gonna sleep tonight....

*watches jeanshorts running around in a circle screaming "Dick Weiner" at the top of his lungs while clapping hysterically*

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#41 Jason Gregor
March 27 2009, 03:41PM
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Gene's Pubes wrote:

Hey Jason, How come Stortini has been given the treatment like hes impregnated Mactavish’s only daughter? Stortini was on a pretty decent roll for a 4th liner until this latest round. Is it a case of the aforementioned pregnancy, or perhaps an injury?

I have no idea. It didn't make sense to me when he came out. His game is simple, but consistent. His yapping and energy seems to spark his teammates, and when he is in Brodziak plays better.

Mark it down that he and Brown go tonight. To me JFJ is the curious one to watch. You would hope he uses his size and speed and makes an impact.

IN the three games he has played this year, he has been much more involved than in previous years. I sense he might finally understand what will keep him in the lineup.

He MUST engage physically tonight. No questions asked, he needs a few big hits, and he probably needs to fight. I know that isn't the most PC comment, but showing the willingness to show every dimension of his game will get him another shot in the lineup soon. If he doesn't I doubt you see him again.

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#42 Volfman
March 27 2009, 04:02PM
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It's all good. This is how I like to imagine the oiler's after a night like last.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spz8_rpE0e0

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#43 Malc
March 27 2009, 04:15PM
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Harlie Chuddy wrote:

back on the beer thing…back when I was youngin’ I drank the coolest beer evar! It was Club. I loved the simplistic design of red label with the black lettering for Club and the of course teh Club symbol that is used on a deck of cards. Of course the Clubs had a way of actually turning into Clubs (as in billy) at the end of many a night so maybe it’s good that I haven’t seen it around anymore.

Oh, it's still around. How about this: I had two separate friends whose dads liked to keep their Club on the heat register, all the time, to warm it up before they drank it. Mmmmm

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#44 Jason Gregor
March 27 2009, 04:23PM
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willy fisterbotom wrote:

hey gregor let me get this straight. a WOMAN BRINGS a bottle to your place is pounding shots of limon and is ignored????? thats a question that needs answering.

NO one wants to hear about my exploits, so I don't write about them...FOr the record there were no shots, and shagging the neighbour is a slippery slope...

Thunder wrote:

the only shooter we have on the 1st PP is Souray, Penner is in from, Gagner shoots like Smitty and Grebs barely makes the radar gun flicker. You need at leas on other viable shooter for Hemmer to pass to. Even but Kotalik on the right point and he can sneak in while the opposition squeeze Hemmer and Souray for space. I never thought I would say this, but I would give anything for Simpson to be in charge of the PP. I predict that Parros will be all over our guys with MacIntyre not in the line up. Storts and JFJ do not put fear into the big guys.

I've said it for months, they don't use the slot on the PP and I don't understand why?

Kotalik is not a sniper from the slot, mostly because it is hard to set up a one-timer consistently from the slot. I like him on the left point.

My beef is why the first unit, regardless of success, always gets to start the PP. Create some competitive balance so the guys push each other. Healthy competition is good.

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#45 Smokin' Ray - NNC
March 27 2009, 04:29PM
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GAME DAY!!!

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#46 Malc
March 27 2009, 04:29PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

I’ve said it for months, they don’t use the slot on the PP and I don’t understand why? Kotalik is not a sniper from the slot, mostly because it is hard to set up a one-timer consistently from the slot. I like him on the left point. My beef is why the first unit, regardless of success, always gets to start the PP. Create some competitive balance so the guys push each other. Healthy competition is good.

Couldn't agree more.

One thing is for sure though, Souray can't be the only option. If we play a team that attacks the points aggressively on the PK, our PP is useless, much like last night in Phoenix. I loved at the end of the game on the time out when MacT is banging on his board right on the left point over and over. Hmmmm, I wonder what the play was. Granted there was very little time left - but our play in such situations is brutally obvious.

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#47 swany
March 27 2009, 04:37PM
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Gregor shag the neighbour, then just stay at a buddies house for about 5 days. then shag her again.

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#48 Archaeologuy
March 27 2009, 04:38PM
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ugh, going to work tonight. Cant watch game. *grumbles something about his arts degrees and their similarity to single ply toilet paper*

The Towel Boy wrote:

Archaeologuy wrote: try blowing in it. That only works on Nintendo cartridges.

When do we pull the cartridge out of this season and blow on it? Or at least give it a solid and well timed tap?

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#49 Dennis
March 27 2009, 04:58PM
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I"ve got no problem with 85 out and 46 in but if you're going to bust up the latest 89 line - which I have no problem with because they were exactly a$$-kicking when it came to outchancing - I don't see how 78 doesn't get another chance on that line.

After being good at EV but getting killed on ST, the Oilers are now 4-1 ST in the last four games but are 3-11 at ST.

Say what you like about 27-10-83 but at least they could saw off at EV when you played them power vs power.

I"d like to see 27-10-83, 19-89-78, 34-13-21 and 18-51-46. Now, the problem with that is you don't have a secondary tough min line but we really haven't had one of them all season when you think about it;)

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#50 Dennis
March 27 2009, 05:09PM
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That should read 3-11 at EV.

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