GDB 77: This is it

Jason Gregor
March 31 2009 12:03PM

gdb77

Tonight is do or die for the Oilers. I know they have five more games, but if they lose in regulation tonight they won't make playoffs. We all know this but let's go on record saying: a loss puts them three back of the Ducks, and possibly five back of Nashville if they beat Columbus. Five games remaining won't be enough time to make up those points.

Unfortunately a win doesn't guarantee they make the playoffs, but for their psyche they need a win tonight. The players had another closed door meeting before practice yesterday. Having another one after a loss tonight becomes redundant, and if the message didn't sink in after yesterday's session it never will.

Rather than be upset, frustrated, annoyed, pissed off or scared, Oiler fans should embrace tonight's game. It will be the most intense game you have witnessed all season. You will race home, kiss the wife, play with the kids for a few minutes but YOU know that come 7:30 you will be planted firmly on the coach, bevy in hand, chips in the bowl, leaning forward towards the TV with your hands clenched waiting for the puck to drop.

And you know you will be filled with nervous anticipation. There will be at least two dust ups tonight, four or five big hits and hopefully many goals. Rexall Place will be loud, because even though the masses are pissed and ready to hang MacT, most of you can't bring yourself not to cheer for your team in such a meaningful game.  That's being an Oilers fan folks.

Games like tonight are what make sports great. All those dud games in Nov, Dec and Sunday against the Wild are a distant memory now. Tonight all you care about is seeing a win, because at least that keeps the dream alive for a few more games.

A loss tonight and the dream is over for another season. No possible drunk chicks flashing you on Whyte, no chance the wife watches the game in just an Oiler jersey and no house parties or nights out watching the playoffs with the Boys.

It is excruciatingly simple for the Oilers: Win and you stay alive. Lose and you play out the string.

Good to see it's the Ducks

The Ducks are the perfect opponent for a game of this magnitude. They play tough, physical and have loads of top-end skill. If the Oilers dont show up tonight they will not only lose, but get humiliated at home. The Ducks bring out the emotion of the Oilers. The Oilers actually play with a pulse when the Human Rake and company come to town.

More often than not this year the Oilers have looked as prepared as your drunk Uncle emceeing a family wedding. You know the guy who thinks he is funny at the family summer picnic, yet when he gets on the mic at the wedding his stories suck, his jokes are stolen from some lame website, and the program rolls as smoothly as the Best Man's toast about the groom and his past conquests.

The Oilers will be ready to play tonight. I dont know if they will win, but tonight's effort will be one of the few times this year that they are prepared. There was a playoff energy in the locker room this morning. Players smiled when asked about the intensity, and expected physical play tonight.

Last December when the Ducks came to town the Oilers played their best home game of the year even though they lost in a SO. They out shot the Ducks 53-36, they killed off seven of eight powerplays and engaged the Ducks physically at every turn. In fact, the Ducks are only 2 for 19 on the PP against the Oilers this year. I cant explain why when you look at the Ducks firepower, but the Oilers PK is actually good against them.

The Oilers won both games in Anaheim, despite being outshot in both. Expect the trend of the home team getting more shots to continue this evening.

The Oilers just wrapped up a crisp morning skate. There wasnt much standing around, passes were on the tape, they actually scored some goals in practice and to a man they looked ready. The only concern is that even in practice, it looked like Horcoff was still struggling to finish.

The most frustrating thing to watch today was Grebeshkov in a shooting drill. He scored on three consecutive slap shots, two from the high slot and another from blueline. Why he doesn't shoot during the game remains a mystery. Though he did have three shots on goal the last time the Ducks were in town, so he might actually take a shot tonight. He has a measly 53 shots on net this year.

They didnt do any line rushes, but there wont be any lineup changes, outside of Peckham drawing in for Smid.

COLOSSAL FOSSIL SETS RECORD

Tonight Dwayne Roloson will become the oldest goalie to play in 60 games in a season. The CF will start his start his 33rd consecutive game tonight, and like most games during the previous 32 he will need to be one of their top three players if the Oilers hope to stay in the playoff race.

Enjoy the afternoon planning your playoff experience tonight, hopefully for Oiler fans you get a few more opportunities to feel the anticipation and excitement this April.

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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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#251 Harlie Chuddy
March 31 2009, 10:05PM
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haha that was weak.

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#252 17
March 31 2009, 10:05PM
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please tie the game. please tie the game. please tie the game. please tie the game. please tie the game.

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#253 jeanshorts
March 31 2009, 10:05PM
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God dammit. Of course it goes completely south and we get the god damn penalty.

MacT. Histories worst monster.

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#254 Archaeologuy
March 31 2009, 10:05PM
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FMNF, now.

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#255 socaldave
March 31 2009, 10:06PM
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how the f*** do you make that call without being 1000000% certain that stick's illegal? and how do you let selanne get out of your sight so he can't switch it??

FENF

E = everybody

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#256 DK0
March 31 2009, 10:06PM
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What a terrible friggen idea. "Valiant effort?" you kidding me STFU

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#257 Harlie Chuddy
March 31 2009, 10:06PM
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2nd bench minor this game

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#258 The Doc
March 31 2009, 10:06PM
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A stick measurement....??? Man quit begging...that was desperate.

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#259 jeanshorts
March 31 2009, 10:07PM
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Season. Over.

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#260 17
March 31 2009, 10:07PM
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and there it goes.

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#261 The Towel Boy (mobile)
March 31 2009, 10:07PM
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Well...as usual they made it interesting.

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#262 Archaeologuy
March 31 2009, 10:08PM
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THANKS A LOT MACT, DOUCHE BAG

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#263 Harlie Chuddy
March 31 2009, 10:08PM
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1 minutes left and Staios is leading the rush.

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#264 Harlie Chuddy
March 31 2009, 10:08PM
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WORST COACHED GAME EVARRRRRRRR!

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#265 jeanshorts
March 31 2009, 10:08PM
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Time of death. 10:08 pm.

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#266 EMAC
March 31 2009, 10:08PM
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FMNF wowwwww

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#267 Hoodlum
March 31 2009, 10:09PM
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FMNF

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#268 Librarian Mike
March 31 2009, 10:09PM
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Okay Wanye. Get the foil on. It's time to smack a coach!

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#269 The Towel Boy
March 31 2009, 10:10PM
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I was gonna say how awesome MacT was for having the balls to put out Zach Attack as the extra man...and then he goes for the botched stick measurement thingy.

Sweet lord.

FMNF

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#270 mazola
March 31 2009, 10:10PM
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Well it wasn't *all* bad.

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#271 Payback
March 31 2009, 10:10PM
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I give him credit for having the balls to call it. Wrong call, but... You could see Selanee thought it was illegal.

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#272 socaldave
March 31 2009, 10:10PM
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go caps go! i hope ovechkin sticks crosby in the scrote

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#273 R-DAWG
March 31 2009, 10:10PM
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That was the the stupidest call by Mac t. We have the ducks on the ropes and blow our load on a stunned call to measure a stick. Just kill me already!!!

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#274 Travis Dakin
March 31 2009, 10:11PM
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So, I bought tickets to the Oilers/Flames home and home next week way back when they were "going to conted for the division title." Now they are going to be some meaningless friggin games. Anybody know Katz's address so I can mail those tickets to his house with a big FMNF letter? There is absolutley no excuse for this crap. How dare they beg me to cheer for them. I will never stop cheering for this team but I must say that I have never been more let down.

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#275 The Towel Boy
March 31 2009, 10:11PM
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Sooo...think we'll give Rollie the rest now? He got his "record"...we got our "loss"...

Wanye will be flowing venom on here tomorrow.

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#276 17
March 31 2009, 10:12PM
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argh. I want to listen to the postgame, but I think it would just infuriate me. I think I shall sleep instead.

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#277 Harlie Chuddy
March 31 2009, 10:13PM
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** CLAP CLAP** oops, wrong time?

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#278 Travis Dakin
March 31 2009, 10:14PM
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Harlie Chuddy wrote:

** CLAP CLAP** oops, wrong time?

HAHAAH thank you for actually making me laugh.

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#279 jeanshorts
March 31 2009, 10:15PM
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I would love to see inside the Oilers room right now. I guarantee it's dead silence.

Always breaking my heart......

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#280 GSC
March 31 2009, 10:17PM
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Why didn't I go to bed? I just had to watch the end and see MacTavish make another retarded coaching decision.

Get the F*** out of town, Craig. Don't ever come back.

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#281 Librarian Mike
March 31 2009, 10:18PM
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I wonder if Penner is going to hang out by the Anaheim bus to see if they'll 'kidnap' him back.

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#282 Travis Dakin
March 31 2009, 10:18PM
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@ jeanshorts: I can't imagine how they could even look at each other in the eyes.

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#283 Bob Cob
March 31 2009, 10:22PM
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Well Mac T, Congrats as you are officially the dumbest man in Edmonton. I hope you get fired you Jackass!!!! That wont help though, this team needs to make major player changes and get some guys in who will compete consistantly. I'm going for the Bluejackets from now on because I like Mason and Nash and they actually skate and play unlike the AJHL team we call the Oilers. Go Jackets Go!!!!

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#284 David S
March 31 2009, 10:23PM
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Ahhh...well, I can see what MacT was going for. Most of the guys play with an illegal stick and have a legal one on the bench just in case. I have to believe MacT was pretty sure the stick was bogus - it even looked like Selanne switched it on the bench. When you're down to the short ones, you gotta try every trick in the book. Good gamble that makes you look like an idiot if it fails - and it did.

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#285 jeanshorts
March 31 2009, 10:26PM
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EEEEVVVVEEEERRRYYYYBBBOOOOODDDDYYYYY HHHHHHUUUURRRRTTTTTSSSS, SSSSSOOOOOMMMMEEEEETTTTIIIMMMEEESSSSSS!

*continues to blast REM until all hours of the night*

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#286 Zamboni Driver
March 31 2009, 10:28PM
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The dumbest team, the pansiest collection of leaders, braindead coaching (Okay, Stortini might havescored, but are you f-ing kidding me?), completely gutless General Manager..eerrr...Rexall Sports somethin' or other....

And the saddest part.

I really couldn't give a damn.

In fact, I blame me. If only I'd cheered more.

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#287 R-DAWG
March 31 2009, 10:32PM
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Hurry up and moderate my comments already!!

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#288 Bob Cob
March 31 2009, 10:35PM
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Still a dumb move, at least make sure it is illegal.

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#289 jeanshorts
March 31 2009, 10:37PM
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Wow, you can almost see the noose hanging around MacT's neck right now. I can't tell if it's the one he's going to hang himself with or the one the Nation is going to lynch him with. Either way I guess.

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#290 Lofty
March 31 2009, 10:37PM
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I like that MacT called Selanne's stick, thats the most fight we have seen from the oil in the last few weeks. If only the players would have followed/listened.

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#291 Sandra
March 31 2009, 10:40PM
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Sad, but I guess there will always be next year.

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#292 zig
March 31 2009, 10:41PM
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Damn.

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#293 AlBundy
March 31 2009, 10:44PM
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My throat is so sore from hollering so loud. Oilers, what can we say, thanks for the run. I think it is over. Zack, way to go. MacT, I honestly think you had info from the players to make that call. Hall of Famer Rod, thanks.

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#294 David S
March 31 2009, 10:45PM
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So MacT said that he had solid info the stick was bogus. He was as sure as a guy could be. Then he apologized to the team during the presser for sabotaging the comeback. On top of which he defends Hemsky and Horcoff for their production the last while. I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't apologize to the team before he came in - he was late.

I'm not worried about "FMNF" because I'm sure he'll quit the way things are going. Staples thinks the same and so do others. Give the guy a break. He took a chance, knowing how it would make him look if he was wrong. That took guts and I give him props for it.

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#295 Archaeologuy
March 31 2009, 10:46PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

EEEEVVVVEEEERRRYYYYBBBOOOOODDDDYYYYY HHHHHHUUUURRRRTTTTTSSSS, SSSSSOOOOOMMMMEEEEETTTTIIIMMMEEESSSSSS! *continues to blast REM until all hours of the night*

did you take that from the sad-time-box in my attic? I hope you at least left the mixed tape made by my ex and the wild turkey!

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#296 David S
March 31 2009, 10:49PM
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And from the interviews on TSN, it sounds like Penner gave MacT the info. Makes sense. He played with Selanne.

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#297 jeanshorts
March 31 2009, 10:49PM
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@ Archaeologuy:

I was trying to figure out who said it yesterday, and then I couldn't remember, so I just figured I'd steal it and hope no one noticed.

But yes. I'll try not to wear out your tape. But I probably won't replace the Wild Turkey.

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#298 Archaeologuy
March 31 2009, 10:50PM
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David S wrote:

And from the interviews on TSN, it sounds like Penner gave MacT the info. Makes sense. He played with Selanne.

great, just another thing MacT can blame on Penner

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#299 Archaeologuy
March 31 2009, 10:53PM
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@ jeanshorts: On a night like tonight, I really needed to let the REM out of its cage. I cant even grieve in peace.

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#300 jeanshorts
March 31 2009, 10:55PM
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@ Archaeologuy:

*plops in REM tape into cassette deck hooked up to gigantic Doc Brown speaker from Back To The Future. Let's that sumbitch wail*

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