GDB 80: Fit for the Kings

Jason Gregor
April 07 2009 12:05PM

Edmonton OIlers take on the Los Angeles Kings in one of the last games of the regular season

The atmosphere was much different at the morning skate today. Players were smiling, joking around with each other, even Craig MacTavish was in good spirits as he danced around Stortini and Jacques before going in all alone on Deslauriers and giving him the forehand, backhand, forehand deke.

There will be no line up changes for tonight:

21 – 10 – 83 12 – 89 – 19 18 – 13 – 34 27 – 51 – 46

The Colossal Fossil will start in goal, and the D pairings remain status quo.

Today I doubt any of you even care what the lines are, because a win is the only focus for those who still believe in miracles. Make no mistake miracles do happen in sports.

Miracle on ice: USA defeats the USSR and goes on to win Olympic gold in 1980.

Miracle on Manchester: In game three of round one, the LA Kings trailed the high-powered Oilers 5-0 after 40 minutes, but they scored five times in the third before Daryl Evans scored the OT winner and the Kings went on to win the best-of-five series in 1982.

The Miracle Mets of 1969: They won 38 of their final 49 games, before beating Henry Aaron and the Atlanta Braves in the NLCS, and then the Mets faced the powerhouse Baltimore Orioles with Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson, Jim Palmer and Davey Johnson. The Mets lost game won when their ace Tom Seaver got pounded, but the won four straight to cap off a four month Cinderella-type run.

The difference with the Oilers is that they need help for their miracle to happen.

The Predators host the Blackhawks tonight and the Blues are in the Desert to battle the Coyotes.

The Preds are 2-0 v. the Hawks at home this year, winning 4-1 and 5-3. They went 1-2 in Chicago. The Preds are still without Legwand, Arnott and Erat, and the Hawks have won three in a row.

The Blues are 3-0 v. the Dogs this year winning, 4-3, 3-1 and 2-1. The only good news for Oiler fans is that the ‘Yotes are 6-3-1 in their last ten and they are 22-14-3 at home, while the Blues are 16-18-3 on the road.

The other game of interest tonight is the Flames v. the Canucks. If the Flames win they clinch the NW and I’m hearing that if they win, then Curtis McElhinney could start both games this weekend v. the Oilers. McElhinney is 0-6-1 this year with a 3.73 GAA and a .883 SV%.

Some days you need something to make you believe the impossible is possible.

Kings won’t roll over

After last night's 4-1 loss to the Flames, Terry Murray ripped his team for 15 minutes in the locker room. Then when he left the players had a player's only meeting for 20 minutes. The message was to show some pride and play for each other.

The Oilers need to win, but it sounds like the Kings won't just hand it to them.

Parting shot

Some days the best part of my job is sitting down and listening to Rod Phillips or Jim Matheson recant some classic stories. RP is one of the most animated storytellers ever. He gets right into it and makes the story all the more enjoyable.

Today RP was telling Stortini and me a story about Barry Melrose. Melrose was playing for the Cincinnati Stingers in the WHA during the 1978/79 season and they were playing the Oilers. Dave Hunter, who was a pretty good pest in his day, had given Melrose a few cheap shots earlier in the game.

Melrose skated by the Oilers and screamed, “Dave you cheap @#$%&*, I’m gonna kick your ass.” Well, Dave stood up, but it was Dave Semenko and he hopped the boards.

Melrose back-pedals and with a high-pitched shrill spouts, “Not YOU Dave, not you,” and Semenko proceeds to lay a beating on Melrose.

Semenko just said that Melrose didn’t specify which Dave he was gonna beat up.

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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 Robert...
April 07 2009, 12:10PM
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Miracles indeed....

I'll be there till the bitter end...however painful it might be.

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#2 I'm a Scientist!
April 07 2009, 12:24PM
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*opens his phone and sends a text to Mr. Katz*

"Whaddup D, I am driving the bandwagon to Rexall tonight, mind saving me the usual spot. Don't worry if it is a tighter fit than usual, or if you have to double park me, not a very big bandwagon these days. More like a bandsmartcar...LOL. TTYL."

*closes phone, gets on his knees and prays to Darwin that he is not the only one riding in the bandwagon after the game*

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#3 Peter Pan
April 07 2009, 12:32PM
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If the McElhinney is a possible starter for both games, then I will say this one time and one time only...GO FLAMES!

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#4 Phil
April 07 2009, 12:35PM
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Can't wait till the miserable season is over.

Go Oilers Go

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#5 Jack "FMNF" Bauer
April 07 2009, 12:36PM
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There is no way Calgary will start Mcelhinney both games. Thats the Flames blowing smoke up the Oilers ass.

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#6 Archaeologuy
April 07 2009, 12:40PM
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I'm a Scientist! wrote:

*closes phone, gets on his knees and prays to Darwin that he is not the only one riding in the bandwagon after the game*

Darwin would tell you that the Oilers must adapt to their environments or face extinction...or he would just yammer on about finches and such.

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#7 Andrew W
April 07 2009, 12:47PM
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On a different note, I want to bring this to the attention of Oiler fans everywhere.

There's a promotional video that the NHL released recently that has a very disturbing image in it. Please watch the clip...

http://www.nhl.com/ice/page.htm?id=30658

At a glance it looks like a slick montage of goals, superstars, hits, and all the normal stuff. Nothing special, right?

Well, there's something that I hope I'm misinterpreting right near the end of this clip: that dirty sink. I couldn't make any sense of it at first, until pausing on the image and giving it a bit of thought.

Doesn't it look like oil going down a drain to you?

Those cruel, cruel bastards at NHL headquarters. This long standing Edmonton fan knows how to hold a grudge. Or maybe somebody else has a better explanation?

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#8 Deans
April 07 2009, 12:54PM
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Great story about 'Streaks' running from Dave. Good to hear that the Oilers are a loose bunch right now. After a stressful and dissapointing season they deserve to take it easy for a bit.

Big game in Vancouver tonight, it should be an intense affair. Too bad Calgary fans are too preocupied w/ their delusions of grandeur to appreciate a good team. I like the team as a hockey fan but I really am sick of these pompus redneck fans. That guy over at FlamesNation is a perfect example. He seems to think that The Flames have the greatest team ever assembled. I dont know who I hate more Nuks fans or Flames fans. Come to think of it I hate all Canadian hockey fans.

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#9 shakey
April 07 2009, 12:54PM
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Just what we need...a glimmer of hope and then possibly face a a goalie with no wins on the season. Why don't we just make it his first career start or first game back after losing a leg? The Oilers do love to hand out the charity.

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#10 DK0
April 07 2009, 12:57PM
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@ shakey: Wonder if any Kings haven't scored in 70 games?

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#11 Archaeologuy
April 07 2009, 01:00PM
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Deans wrote:

After a stressful and dissapointing season they deserve to take it easy for a bit.

Uh, I think they've been taking it easy for a pretty long time now, maybe its time they actually work hard.

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#12 Rusty Shackleford
April 07 2009, 01:00PM
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@ Andrew W

Everything including the kitchen sink = NHL Playoffs?

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#13 shakey
April 07 2009, 01:01PM
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@ DK0: I'm sure we'll see one of them tonight. Sean O'Donnell maybe? Or better yet, Matt Greene with the assist to Jaret Stoll.

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#14 freeze
April 07 2009, 01:02PM
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I will be there tonight cheering my ass off!! Go Oil!!

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#15 Deans
April 07 2009, 01:10PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Deans wrote: After a stressful and dissapointing season they deserve to take it easy for a bit. Uh, I think they’ve been taking it easy for a pretty long time now, maybe its time they actually work hard.

They have played tentative but not lazy. For the most part I feel this team cares but they lack intensity. Maybe they are afraid to make mistakes, I really dont know what the issue is. What I do know is that this team has some mental issues. How else do you explain all the last minute comback attempts recently? I just dont buy that the team has been laxidasical.

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#16 Antony Ta
April 07 2009, 01:12PM
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LOL @ Barry Melrose

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#17 shakey
April 07 2009, 01:15PM
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So did the Oilers media machine kill watching the game free online for good or is it still available somewhere?

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#18 Andrew W
April 07 2009, 01:18PM
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@Rusty Shackleford

Hmmm... Maybe...

Thanks for responding and giving me another possibility. I was starting to feel paranoid, like I was turning into Deep Oil or something.

Mostly, I just thought it was a funny take on an odd image, but it doesn't seem that anybody other than you is paying attention to it.

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#19 The Towel Boy
April 07 2009, 01:19PM
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I could go for a miracle. Yeah, I've thought about it and I'm in.

That Melrose story is awesome.

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#20 Rusty Shackleford
April 07 2009, 01:19PM
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@ shakey - I'm not paying tonight, so there better be an online link. The last few PPV's have had links that worked (not the best quality). I checked a few and don't see any yet, but they usually pop up closer to game-time.

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#21 Archaeologuy
April 07 2009, 01:22PM
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@ Deans: Lazy, takin it easy, lacks intensity, maybe we're splitting hairs here. I think we both agree they lack an edge or an assertiveness to their game.

I think those 3rd periods prove what this team CAN do and those awful 2nd periods tell us what the team is WILLING to do.

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#22 I'm a Scientist!
April 07 2009, 01:33PM
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@ shakey: I think i saw the last one on channelsurfing dot net.

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#23 I'm a Scientist!
April 07 2009, 01:34PM
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@ The Towel Boy: You can ride shotgun in the bandwagon... Yeeehawww!

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#24 esa tikkanen
April 07 2009, 01:36PM
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I really want the flames to win tonight for reason mentioned above, but when I look at the Canucks lineup I think they are a much better team than the flames sans Regehr. If they played in the first round I bet the Canucks win that one in 5

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#25 shakey
April 07 2009, 01:40PM
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@ Rusty Shackleford: Make this a game where they win and they're in then maybe I hand over the $14.00 but this 'if we win and then the other 3 lose and the sunsets exactly at 8:20 on a natinal holiday in France' crap is getting old. I'm still bitter that it took 75 plus games before most of these guys started showing that they care.

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#26 swany
April 07 2009, 01:41PM
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Storts goes flying to the net trips on his skate laces and takes out Greene and the goalie, both have to be helped off the ice while Storts gets up straightens out his LEG and cracks Brown just for the hell of it. Yeeeeeehaw

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#27 Colin-FMNF
April 07 2009, 01:43PM
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So IF(thats a big one) the oilers win tonight and get all the help (chicago, pheonix and calgary win in regulation time) What do the odds become?

1 point out with 2 to play against a team that's fixed in 3rd place?

still doesn't look good to me, but we'll see. game 81 is the soonest possible elimination if the oilers win tonight though. (they're eliminated tonight if they lose and one of st. lou or nashville wins)

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#28 The Doc
April 07 2009, 01:49PM
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So did Mac T actually score on this little triple deke? If so I'm worried about the future of JDD.

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#29 Jonathan Willis
April 07 2009, 01:52PM
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Love the Melrose story.

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#30 Rusty Shackleford
April 07 2009, 01:54PM
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@ shakey: Here's to the hoping the sun sets at 8:20 in France tonight (isn't every day in France a national holiday?)... I'll drink to that!!

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#31 Chaz
April 07 2009, 02:10PM
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"...even Craig MacTavish was in good spirits as he danced around Stortini and Jacques before going in all alone on Deslauriers and giving him the forehand, backhand, forehand deke."

Talk about rubbing salt in the wound. First he won't dress the guy in a kajillion games, and now he's showing him up in practice!?! What's his next move, bring Schremp up and put him on D for 3 on 1 drills? What a sadist Mac T has become!

Haha. Actually I am also glad to see the boys enjoying the last couple of games of the season. Better than dwelling on missed opportunities. They'll have plenty of time for that in the summer.

BTW: What other profession are you rewarded with a 5 Month summer break for mailing it in all year? And where do I apply?

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#32 shakey
April 07 2009, 02:26PM
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Chaz wrote:

BTW: What other profession are you rewarded with a 5 Month summer break for mailing it in all year?

Edmonton City Council Playoff Flag maker in Edmonton Canada Post

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#33 Harlie
April 07 2009, 03:00PM
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Mayor Mandel want to give us our "rink in a box...rink in a box"

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#34 Ssseth
April 07 2009, 03:23PM
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Everyone stop getting my hopes up damn it.

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#35 Bob Cob
April 07 2009, 03:42PM
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Go Flames Go!! Ugghhhh..... Excuse me as I now need to go throw up.

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#36 Colin-FMNF
April 07 2009, 03:42PM
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@ Chaz:

The senate Bank Executive(oh wait that's just to take bailout money!)

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#37 I'm a Scientist!
April 07 2009, 03:46PM
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*steps out of the office in to the balmy plus 11 playoff like weather and struts towards the bandwagon... pulling himself up the staircase and in the drivers seat he sits for a moment. Holding on to the suicide handle of the steering wheel he lets out a big sigh and refects on the season that was...that time when Hemsky came back from injury and had a killer two games...that time they won 4 in a row to start the season...the time Souray beat the hell out of somebody...siiigh...Refocusing his eyes, he checks his hair in the mirror, does a minor adjustment then turns the key to fire up the bandwagon...then he pops in George Michael cassette and cranks the hell out of "Faith"*

Here we goooo......

"...we gotta have faith-a faith-a faithuggghh"

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#38 volfman
April 07 2009, 03:52PM
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All is good. OIL will win tonight, bank on it. No way the Pred's win two of three with the team's they are playing, and with all their injurie's. No chance. Blue's are bound to choke sooner or later and with all the pressure the young team is now facing you can count on it. Playing team's with nothing to play for is as tough as any playoff team. Minny's gotta learn how to score before they ever win three in a row this this time of year. All is good in Oil land. Ye-Haaaaaaaa!!!!!

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#39 B-rad
April 07 2009, 03:54PM
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ANY LIVE FEED FOR THE GAME ONLINE?.....LINKS?

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#40 Amber McCormick
April 07 2009, 04:01PM
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Gregor, the fact that you mention miracles, no matter how miracle-y they are, fills me with an inexplicable warm feeling. I hope it was your words, otherwise I've just peed myself.

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#41 Smokin' Ray - NNC
April 07 2009, 04:30PM
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GAME DAY!!!

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#42 Peter Pan
April 07 2009, 05:09PM
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Oil 2-1 shoot out - Sully pots winner

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#43 Jack "FMNF" Bauer
April 07 2009, 05:14PM
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How much money does O'Sullivan have on the board tonight?

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#44 Jason Gregor
April 07 2009, 05:26PM
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shakey wrote:

I’m sure we’ll see one of them tonight. Sean O’Donnell maybe? Or better yet, Matt Greene with the assist to Jaret Stoll.

Stoll is out for the year. He tore his groin two weeks ago.Amber McCormick wrote:

Gregor, the fact that you mention miracles, no matter how miracle-y they are, fills me with an inexplicable warm feeling. I hope it was your words, otherwise I’ve just peed myself.

I'm blushing...are you hinting that my words might have given you the big O!!!

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#45 Jack "FMNF" Bauer
April 07 2009, 05:51PM
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Anybody here have an online link for the internet stream?

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#46 David S
April 07 2009, 06:05PM
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Jack "FMNF" Bauer wrote:

Anybody here have an online link for the internet stream?

There's NO games listed on atdhe. Looks like your best bet is to cruise over to Lowetide's (see the blog roll) site and check the GDT. If there's a link, somebody over there usually posts it. Might take a bit of wading through. Those old guys post crazy amounts before the game starts.

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#47 Phil
April 07 2009, 06:46PM
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i'm watching the pregame PPV right now... the more I see Horcoff, the more I hate him.

getting dangerous for me.. really can't stand him.

shouldn't say I "hate" him, more of a stroooong disliking of him.

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#48 Phil
April 07 2009, 06:51PM
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also read barnes's article in the journal today and it seems as though he's already coming up with a litany of excuses for his severe lackluster offensive play. I can't recall once in that article where he owned up to any of his poor, sometimes brutal play.

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#49 SeanS
April 07 2009, 06:54PM
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Nashville and the wild both up 1-0... Why do the hockey gods upset me... I demand they make them lose so our fate is in our own hands... (wishful thinking but why give up now?)

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#50 Rusty Shackleford
April 07 2009, 07:08PM
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Hate to be a party pooper, but I checked the Kings TV schedule for 2009 and for some reason the Edmonton game doesn't get American TV? I guess the radio it is unless someone is streaming the PPV or Centre Ice...

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