GDB minus-5: how to eat an orca whale

Jason Gregor
September 19 2009 12:15PM

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Last night I dreamed Dioro Baird had a thing for a shaved head, big mouthed, farm boy from New Sarepta, but when I woke up the only thing spooning me was my pillow.

I guess only Mike Comrie had a fairytale evening last night.

Comrie’s four assist and a fight performance was the biggest pre-season performance we’ve seen in Edmonton in ages, maybe ever. Last year Comrie was in the list of top three most hated former Oilers by all of you, unless someone from the Comrie family is reading this.

And today, most of you are loving him. And why not, he has spunk and clearly he still has some offensive flair.

Six points in two pre-season games so far, for #91, and don’t think he doesn’t know what Edmontonians like, because he asked Eric Himelfarb to dance, “We were facing off, and I just asked him.”

Hockey fans in every city love guys who can fight, hit or score, and if you can combine any of those attributes you become a fan favourite.

The only problem with Comrie’s performance is that it muddies the centre position.Though he has been lining up at different positions throughout camp and was playing LW last night he has definitely raised eyebrows amongst the Coaching staff and left heads scratching where to slot him in going forward. It would seem clear that Cogliano will have to move to the wing, because why move Comrie when he is producing the way he has. I know it is only pre-season, but six points in two games, regardless of the opposition is damn impressive.

Comrie will get a day to relax and soak up the fact he is back in the good books in good ole E-town. How can you not cheer for him? He wanted to come back to Edmonton, and money wasn’t the issue. He is a proud guy and he wants to prove to his hometown that he isn’t a spoiled-brat who turned his back on his hometown. He has matured, and he wants to write another chapter in what might turn out to be one of the best fairy-tales we’ve seen in Edmonton in a long time.

Lineup tonight

The Oilers will dress another veteran-laden lineup tonight.

Gilbert Brule gets a chance to show he has some offensive flair in his hometown.

Brule— Gagner — Hemsky Penner — Cogliano — Eberle Moreau — Pouliot — Nilsson McDonald — Reddox — MacIntyre

Smid — Souray Motin — Grebeshkov Taylor — Young

JDD and DD in goal.

Interesting to see Reddox in the middle again tonight. He gets treated like the red-headed step child by many Oiler fans, but the coaching staff loves his speed and tenacity on the puck. He is a serious contender for the fourth line centre slot, even though he wasn’t on anyone’s radar for that spot when camp broke. I don’t see him winning that job, but I could see him being the 13th or 14th forward due to his versatility and willingness to compete for the puck.

Nilsson plays the RW tonight. He told me before camp he is comfortable on either wing, and if O’Sullivan stays on the left side, the Oilers don’t have anyone who can play the right wing on the 2nd line. Sorry, Eberle isn’t ready just yet, and the Oilers won’t rush him. Pat Quinn has said on many occasions the Blue Jackets screwed up the development of Brule by not playing him when he was with the big club, and I don’t see Quinn doing the same to Eberle. He is very close, but he is still a year away.

The Canucks will start Robert Luongo in goal tonight, so the Oilers’ forwards will face their toughest goaltender to date. Both teams come in 3-0 in the preseason, and will the records don’t mean anything in a week, you know both teams want to keep their perfect record intact.

The Canucks won’t have as many veterans dressed as the Oilers. According to the Oilers site Bieska, Salo, Lukowich and Edler will be on the blueline while Kesler, Johnson, Wellwood, Parrish, Hordichuk and Samuelsson will play up front.

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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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#201 RossCreek
September 20 2009, 09:39AM
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David S wrote:

RossCreek wrote: Penner-Gagner-Pisani Seriously man. You’re vastly over-rating Pisani.

LOL. Good1. ~Pegging him as your 8th/9th forward is a SERIOUS overrating~

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#202 Archaeologuy
September 20 2009, 09:55AM
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When are the new round of cuts coming?

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#203 dragon
September 20 2009, 10:00AM
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@ hungoverman: unfortunately is too early to tell. we'll have to hold our breath and say our prayers during first 20 regular games...and maybe, maybe Quinn will figure out if Hemmer is indeed the problem. hey, maybe we can sell the farm for 2first liners that can play the exact game Hemmer needs. ;-)

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#204 RossCreek
September 20 2009, 10:10AM
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@ Archaeologuy: Yesterday his twitter said More cuts coming today. Last night on the post-game, it sounded like Tencer said they had made some or they were going to. He said he'd wait for the official release from the Oilers on Sunday. Perhaps they wait til after the game.

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#205 RossCreek
September 20 2009, 10:11AM
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^^ his twitter = Tencer

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#206 Archaeologuy
September 20 2009, 10:24AM
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@ RossCreek: Thanks. As I recall last year the Oilers didnt make their final cuts until the second last game of the pre-season. Based on the coments from PQ last night I dont think this team can afford to wait until too long before they start getting in some real practice time into the final group. PQ only has a couple weeks to rehabilitate the Vets from the MacT habits that were costing the team.

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#207 Eric
September 20 2009, 10:28AM
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According to Lowetide, Eberle, Pouliot and McIntyre get to play back to back...that's an interesting sign. It may spell trouble for Nilsson and some others. I liked the way Quinn and Souray pointed to how individualism hurt the team last night. Some of the vets may also be in the hot seat.

So far, two feel good games (Calgary, Florida), and two feelings of Deja Vu (Isles, Canucks). Let's see what happens next....................

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#208 RossCreek
September 20 2009, 11:11AM
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Interesting...

Nashville GM David Poile's response to losing out on Kessel (www.tennessean.com/article/20090920/SPORTS02/909200384/1028)

What's 'Plan B'?: Poile said he has been encouraged by what he’s seen in camp thus far, specifically by the start that Mike Santorelli has gotten off to alongside David Legwand and Martin Erat. But he added that there could be other options down the line as well – noting that there are sometimes surprising players waived at the end of training camp because of salary-cap issues or over-signings at one position.

Does Robert Nilsson like country music?

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#209 cableguy
September 20 2009, 11:37AM
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RossCreek wrote:

Does Robert Nilsson like country music?

he can drink and put up with it like the rest of us

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#210 Gunner
September 20 2009, 11:39AM
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Cuts..

Assigned to Springfield (AHL): Johan Motin (D), Viacheslav Trukhno (LW), Geoff Paukovich (LW), Colin McDonald (RW) and Charles Linglet (LW).

Released: Miroslav Lazo (RW).

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#211 Dale
September 20 2009, 11:40AM
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vets:Pisani,Moreau,Staois,have to show something or their cap hits would look very attractive to move,and free up some space,I like the look of JFJ,Plante,Chorney Stone,etc,they are making this camp interesting after I thought it would be boring,Comrie will definitely make Nilsson,Gagner,expendable,and is Hemsky even playing??

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#212 CurtisS
September 20 2009, 11:43AM
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-Dubnyk will play the whole game -Practice had the following lines:

O'Sullivan-Horcoff-Jacques Eberle-Kytnar-Stone Stortini-Comrie-Trukhno

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#213 Hemmertime
September 20 2009, 12:24PM
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Oilers Lines Tonight vs. Islanders

9/20/2009

Stone - Kytnar - Eberle

MacIntyre - Pouliot - Pisani

Minard - Comrie - Stortini

Jacques - Potulny - O'Sullivan

Strudwick - Plante

Arsene - Staios

Chorney - Visnovsky

Dubnyk

For tonight. Id love to see Comrie with Osully again but guess have to wait for powerplays

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#214 Brandon
September 20 2009, 12:25PM
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how does Trunkhno play when he was assigned to Springfield?

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#215 David S
September 20 2009, 12:43PM
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RossCreek wrote:

O’Sullivan-Comrie-Jacques Penner-Gagner-Pisani

If you're going to doom somebody to the third line, wouldn't it be Jacques? The guy is a marginal role player at best. Again, lets not build up people based on a couple of exhibition games. Until he shows otherwise for a decent stretch, the guy is a plugger.

Swap Gagner and Jacques in your lines and maybe you'd have something there.

And yes, yes, 3 years ago Pisani had a "hot streak". Today, unless he does something amazing I think he remains our best utility player. Why would you waste Gagner on the third line with a guy like Pisani? Its bad enough Cogliano had to waste away there last year (still think that was a crime).

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#216 BigE57
September 20 2009, 12:46PM
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@ Dale:

How does Comrie make Gagner expendable? Comrie's on a one year deal pushing thirty, if he doesn't perform here there is an opening in TV sales at the Brick.

Gagner is going to be the face of the franchise in a few years, with the new coaching staff monitoring his development he's got a pretty bright future.

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#217 hemmertogagner
September 20 2009, 12:50PM
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19-10-83 27-89-67 13-91-34 18-78-46 71-44 77-37 5-24 35 = playoffs

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#218 hemmertogagner
September 20 2009, 12:51PM
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third line small i know but fast

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#219 RossCreek
September 20 2009, 12:51PM
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@ David S. I think you're making too much about 2nd line 3rd line crap. The point of my suggestion was to provide 3 somewhat balanced scoring lines. How am I wasting Gagner with Penner and Pisani? Comrie & O'Sullivan have played well with Stone, but Jacques is more likely to stick so see what it looks like with him.

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#220 GDB Minus 4 – Saskatchewan Love - CanucksArmy.com
September 20 2009, 01:30PM
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[...] will continue into the regular season and the newest Oiler can contribute like he has so far. As Gregor recently pointed out, “(Comrie) has matured, and he wants to write another chapter in what might turn out to be one of [...]

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#221 David S
September 20 2009, 01:32PM
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RossCreek wrote:

The point of my suggestion was to provide 3 somewhat balanced scoring lines.

Maybe that's the issue. Which line grouping give you the best chance to win might be a better guideline. Jacques is unproven at best, so why handicap Comrie and O'Sullivan with a marginal player? Why not have two killer lines, a checking line where Jacques can develop and a banging line? That seems like a better balance to me because the reality for this team is we don't have enough established NHL players to go for the "balanced line" strategy.

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#222 roadrunner
September 20 2009, 02:20PM
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Somtimes I think Gregor just bangs out things to write on here because he can.

Don't kid yourselves, Comrie is still going to be under the microscope due to the history he has here. A 4point pre-season game doesn't immediately resolve any issues the fans have towards him regarding the past.

It was one PRE-SEASON game so let's stop production on the new statue some guy is sculpting for the 118 avenue entrance to Rexall.

Watch the game again folks and look where Comrie got his points. Two of the 4 assists were "gimmies" cause he happened to be the one of the last players to touch the puck. It's not like he dangled all the way down the ice, making a play.

The bigger story should be the emergence of JF Jacques. He did it all that night. He fought, hit everything that moved, was hard on the puck and displayed a nice set of hands on his goal. The kid played well and deserves alot of credit after the last 2 years of injury and inconsistant play. I hope he makes the squad actually. His numbers in the minors and jr. suggest he could be a Ryan Stone or Maxime Talbot type of player.

Just my thoughts after some time away from the site...

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#223 Jason Gregor
September 20 2009, 07:36PM
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roadrunner wrote:

Somtimes I think Gregor just bangs out things to write on here because he can. Don’t kid yourselves, Comrie is still going to be under the microscope due to the history he has here. A 4point pre-season game doesn’t immediately resolve any issues the fans have towards him regarding the past.

Yes I write just to waste time. While you might think Comrie has somehow harmed you personally, the fact is fans want the team to win, and if Comrie produces and helps them win, most won't care about the past.

roadrunner wrote:

The bigger story should be the emergence of JF Jacques. He did it all that night. He fought, hit everything that moved, was hard on the puck and displayed a nice set of hands on his goal.

You rip my for saying I write things cause I can and then you talk out of the other side of your mouth and say Jacques is the MAN now. Did you see him in his first preseason game??? He did nothing. I like Jacques and think he can become an impact player, but don't you see the hypocrisy in your words when you say, "Comrie has lots to prove, but Jacques is now the man."

Wake the hell up, and before you want to come out with some lame ass comment at least have the common sense to not do it yourself.

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#224 WTF
September 21 2009, 08:30AM
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Anyone else out there suprised about Quinn's comments of 'lack of emotion'? My personal opinion is Moreau has turned himseld into too much of a Professional. He is the guy in the mailroom. Unemotional. He has forgotten about the excitement or he tries so hard to supress it. He is like watching the stoic russians circa 1984. Time to change the C fella's. I notice more interviews with Souray now that Moreau. I think the media have picked up on the fact that Shelly has a better idea of what the temperature is of the Oil than Moreau.

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