GDB minus-5: how to eat an orca whale

Jason Gregor
September 19 2009 12:15PM

gdbps-canucks-lolcats

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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#1 Skidplate
September 19 2009, 12:27PM
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We sure could use a 2 or 3 for 1 trade.......

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#2 Corsby31
September 19 2009, 12:28PM
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Being an Oiler fan on Vancouver Island, I am very, very happy to say.....I WILL FINALLY GET TO WACTH AN OIL GAME....about effin time...

Please kick the crap out of the nuk's tonight boys, just so I don't have to hear about what a great team Vancouver is for another week!!!

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#3 Smokin' Ray
September 19 2009, 12:31PM
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I can see Comrie's play pushing Horcoff to 3rd line center. I'd sure like to see a 19-91-83 line.

19-91-83 13-89-27 22-10-34 18-67-46

12 and 33 as spares.

GAME DAY!!!

@ GREGOR on a side note: When is Comrie switching to #39?

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#4 Jay
September 19 2009, 12:32PM
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Interesting that Brule is playing wing today. I thought he was a centre. Anyone know what his comfort level is on the wing?

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#5 Brandon
September 19 2009, 12:35PM
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So Gregor if you say O'Sullivan is 1LW then would Comrie be 1C cause how do you break those 2 up after what we have seen from the thus far?

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#6 roughneck
September 19 2009, 12:38PM
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14 more sleeps!!!!! woooohoooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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#7 Tommy
September 19 2009, 12:46PM
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Does anyone know which games the Oil will were their orange shoulder jerseys this season?

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#8 Jamie
September 19 2009, 12:51PM
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@ Tommy: If you mean the "vintage" jerseys, the answer is most home games. They're treating that as the home jersey and the plain blue one as a "third", ie. only once in a while. Same old boring white for on the road.

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#9 RossCreek
September 19 2009, 12:52PM
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@ Smokin.Ray. Clearly Mike Comrie will stick with # 91. He called Dougie about wearing it, got the go- ahead yet said it didn't feel right, now has 6 points and a tilt in 2 games, got the building chanting his name, totally redeemed himself to become the toast of the town once again - all while wearing #91. Do you really think there is a chance he switches? I don't.

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#10 Jay
September 19 2009, 01:01PM
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@ RossCreek: My thoughts exactly

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#11 ShaunDoe
September 19 2009, 01:02PM
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Smokin' Ray wrote:

I can see Comrie’s play pushing Horcoff to 3rd line center. I’d sure like to see a 19-91-83 line. 19-91-83 13-89-27 22-10-34 18-67-46 12 and 33 as spares. GAME DAY!!! @ GREGOR on a side note: When is Comrie switching to #39?

I am intrigued by the idea of Comrie and O'sullivan with Hemsky, yet i think it might be more to our advantage to make them a second line with one of either Gagner, Stone or JFJ playing the remaining position. Keep Horc, Hemsky and Penner together as they have shown that they can be a threat. Then you have two lines with chemistry going into the season opener. The only problem this idea creates is you are once again left with the decision of what to do with Gagner and Cogliano. I don't think either are best suited to the third line roles due to their obvious tallent and lack of size. Perhaps Gagner or Cogs can play on the 1st line if all the talk of Penner being reluctant to be front and centre are true.

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#12 FTO
September 19 2009, 01:08PM
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Wow I hope he puts up 50+. That would be such a great story, hockey's version of the prodigal son

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#13 venue
September 19 2009, 01:09PM
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Penner is playing well too right now. Tough decisions to be made big Quinn and co.

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#14 Ogden Brother
September 19 2009, 01:18PM
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Pre-season people. Pre-season.

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#15 DangerMan
September 19 2009, 01:25PM
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Good to see Brule getting his shot with Hemsky. I hope he gets some nice one-time dishes from either Gagner or Hemsky.

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#16 Hemmertime
September 19 2009, 01:32PM
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FTO wrote:

Wow I hope he puts up 50+. That would be such a great story, hockey’s version of the prodigal son

Thats the only was we re-sign him and let either Cogs/Gags go. Maybe if gets 30 he gets Pisani and Moreaus money. Even I applauded Comrie last night. I feel a little dirty and used, and for once that's a bad thing.

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#17 DangerMan
September 19 2009, 01:49PM
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I'm hoping Pisani gets a game in tomorrow. He has about an inch of rust that needs to be chiseled away.

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#18 Jay
September 19 2009, 02:06PM
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venue wrote:

Penner is playing well too right now. Tough decisions to be made big Quinn and co.

It's a nice problem to have for once. Too many people achieving or overachieving. What a novel idea for the oilers... too bad it's just preseason so far. Let's hope they can build their confidence and carry that forward into the regular season

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#19 Bob
September 19 2009, 02:07PM
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I never had a problem with Comrie (and I am not related). I find it a pain to live in the same city as all of my relatives and old high school friends, I cant imagine what it would be like to be a player in the only sport in town... Everyone would be giving you their opinion and advice 24/7, never mind the idiots you knew in high school always calling, etc...

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#20 Charlie
September 19 2009, 02:09PM
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Reddox the red headed step child. Priceless.

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#21 Enter Name Here
September 19 2009, 02:10PM
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Smokin' Ray wrote:

I can see Comrie’s play pushing Horcoff to 3rd line center. I’d sure like to see a 19-91-83 line. 19-91-83 13-89-27 22-10-34 18-67-46 12 and 33 as spares. GAME DAY!!! @ GREGOR on a side note: When is Comrie switching to #39?

I like these lines S.R., but I would maybe like to switch 34 & 83 and try three lines that are capable of scoring... it also allow us to have a bit of size on every line. We know that Pisani has been known to score as well as play a defensive game. How do you determine who is the first line, and does it really matter?

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#22 David S
September 19 2009, 02:11PM
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ShaunDoe wrote:

it might be more to our advantage to make them a second line with one of either Gagner, Stone or JFJ playing the remaining position

C'mon. Stone and JFJ in the same sentence as Gagner? Be serious man.

O'Sullivan/Gagner/Comrie would be delicious. Comrie brought more grit and compete than either Stone or JFJ, and whether you want to admit it or not, he's an actual NHL'er. I hate to use this old chestnut, but its a case of the size of the fight in the dog here. Slotting in borderline players because they're bigger and looked OK in an exhibition game or two doesn't strike me as being too rational.

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#23 jeanshorts
September 19 2009, 02:26PM
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FTO wrote:

Wow I hope he puts up 50+

hahahahahahahaha. Well done.

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#24 Mowzie
September 19 2009, 02:34PM
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It's only pre-season, but still, it's easy to get excited. Seems like a lot of the guys we wrote off, are back in the mix, and what we're seeing so far is that although we don't have the greatest top end talent, we do have more depth than most teams. With 20 guys fighting for 12 spots, we can essentially have three pretty good lines in every pre-season game, without playing the same guy back to back.

Guys like Stone, Jacques and O'Marra need to develop into reliable bottom six players, because we need a new batch of responsible forwards with Moreau and Pisani getting on in years.

I think O'Sullivan and Comrie should be kept together for now, but don't agree that Hemsky should be the third. I'd look for a more north-south player with some drive. Either Cogliano or a motivated Penner.

Cogliano-Horcoff-Hemsky Penner-Comrie-O'Sullivan Jacques-Gagner-Nilsson Moreau-???-Pisani

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#25 ShaunDoe
September 19 2009, 03:40PM
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David S wrote:

ShaunDoe wrote: it might be more to our advantage to make them a second line with one of either Gagner, Stone or JFJ playing the remaining position C’mon. Stone and JFJ in the same sentence as Gagner? Be serious man. O’Sullivan/Gagner/Comrie would be delicious. Comrie brought more grit and compete than either Stone or JFJ, and whether you want to admit it or not, he’s an actual NHL’er. I hate to use this old chestnut, but its a case of the size of the fight in the dog here. Slotting in borderline players because they’re bigger and looked OK in an exhibition game or two doesn’t strike me as being too rational.

I put Gagner in there because I feel he would complement the line the best, Stone and JFJ were added because that line is pretty small as it is and I felt someone with size might help run a bit of interference in the crease maybe free some pucks in the corner as well. I had no problem with Comries game or O'sullivan's for that matter. I can see that they are playing well with Stone out there and he isn't simply a roster plug. He is contributing as well. Whether that is due to his line mates or not is yet to be determined.

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#26 Reggie
September 19 2009, 03:40PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

Pre-season people. Pre-season.

yes, exactly. Positive stories are great and it's been a while since there has been so much hope and optimism. Calgary iced an AHL team on Tuesday night and last night the Panthers were a tired team that has played a bunch of games across the continent - Sens in Halifax on Tues, Ottawa on Wed., Habs on Thurs. and Oilers on Friday. Yes, they are carrying a big roster too, but that's a heck a lot of travel.

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#27 Gunner
September 19 2009, 04:14PM
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Regardless of who we have been playing it has been refreshing seeing some good old fashioned hard work. Something that was lacking quite often last season.

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#28 ShaunDoe
September 19 2009, 04:46PM
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Gunner wrote:

Regardless of who we have been playing it has been refreshing seeing some good old fashioned hard work. Something that was lacking quite often last season.

Yeah I have been curbing my enthusiasm this pre-season simply based on the quality of opponents we have been facing thus far. Yet at the same time these kind of games were the ones we failed to take advantage of last season. The team would find a way to drop gimme games against injury riddled or just plain inferior squads. So its nice to see a win comming from similar situations despite the fact that it doesn't count.

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#29 offside
September 19 2009, 04:59PM
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~I'm totally taking Comrie in my draft, let's see - 6 pts in 2 games = 3 pts/game x 82 games = 246 pts. I'm winning this thing for sure~

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#30 Racki
September 19 2009, 05:02PM
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@ Smokin' Ray: Smokin' Ray wrote:

I can see Comrie’s play pushing Horcoff to 3rd line center. I’d sure like to see a 19-91-83 line. 19-91-83 13-89-27 22-10-34 18-67-46 12 and 33 as spares. GAME DAY!!! @ GREGOR on a side note: When is Comrie switching to #39?

Love those lines. I wouldn't normally have liked it, but Comrie has been looking so good in the early going. Especially with O'Sully. I'm not so sure line 3 works, but worth a shot.

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#31 Fiveandagame
September 19 2009, 06:25PM
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When did JFJ become a more valuable asset to the team than Ethan Moreau?

The one game he played in the preseason?

How you would slate JFJ on LW ahead of Moreau confounds me and I picked Moreau as my goat this year.

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#32 Archaeologuy
September 19 2009, 06:37PM
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@ Fiveandagame: If it was up to me Moreau wouldnt even be on this team, nevermind be its Captain. That said, JFJ still isnt ahead of Moreau.

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#33 Zwantinus
September 19 2009, 06:38PM
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@ offside: Hah Hah!! 246 PTS, Awesome!

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#34 Smokin' Ray
September 19 2009, 06:40PM
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@ Fiveandagame:

I would call it balance. If Quinn is going to roll 4 lines I would expect a little bit of a vet spread. The 4th line suits him anyways. Energy is his thing. That and taking dumb penalties.

And he's my goat as well, so I'm biased. :)

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#35 Fiveandagame
September 19 2009, 07:02PM
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I buy the balanced argument. nuff said.

If we could roll 4 lines where the 4th is getting 10mins this would be a great team.

Anybody else Loving this Brennan kid? Kid is scary aggressive and is not taking dumb penalties.

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#36 jeanshorts
September 19 2009, 07:06PM
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This is the second time this week there's been an Oilers game and a UFC event on at the same time. I think I may just blow out the seat of my pants if this keeps up.

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#37 jeanshorts
September 19 2009, 07:13PM
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Fiveandagame wrote:

Anybody else Loving this Brennan kid? Kid is scary aggressive and is not taking dumb penalties.

Oh man. Like I was saying last night I love MacIntyre just as much as everyone else around here, but Brennan looks far more comfortable taking a regular shift. Albeit a fourth line shift, but still. Someones I get worried that MacIntyre is going to just tip over when he's skating hard on the forecheck. He told Gregor he was going to challenge for MacIntyre's spot on the team and it looks like he's doing just that.

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#38 Fiveandagame
September 19 2009, 07:30PM
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@ jeanshorts:

Brennan actually looks like a hockey player out there. Mac is a good guy and all but Brennan looks like a hockey player not an ox on skates out there to swing hammers.

A Brennan Brule Storts 4th line would be awesome. Even if he was our 14th guy, you never doubt that he won't be bringing it.

I think he plays a Pat Quinn game. The Pat Quinn hit on Bobby Orr hockey

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#39 Fiveandagame
September 19 2009, 07:41PM
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You know what I love about Sam Gagner? I love how he celebrates every goal.. He loves to score. thats fun to watch.

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#40 Fiveandagame
September 19 2009, 07:49PM
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quiet in here 10mins to game time...

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#41 Fiveandagame
September 19 2009, 07:52PM
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( • )( • )'s

* sensor that bingofuel * :)

in lieu of Wanye...

IT'S GAME DAY BITCHES!!!!!!!

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#42 jeanshorts
September 19 2009, 08:01PM
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Seriously, the UFC has to get rid of this gladiator thing. They've been using it for like 5 years. What? Oh yeah. Hockey. Right.

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#43 jeanshorts
September 19 2009, 08:08PM
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Oh man this first line with some JUMP to start the game!

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#44 Porter
September 19 2009, 08:18PM
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Slowed right down after the first 2 shifts...

I'd wager there will be a scrap soon....

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#45 jeanshorts
September 19 2009, 08:20PM
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The Oilers have been controlling the play for the most part. And Jake Taylor makes me really nervous for some reason.

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#46 ronaldo
September 19 2009, 08:22PM
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Booooooooooooooooooo

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#47 jeanshorts
September 19 2009, 08:22PM
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Brutal goal. Softy.

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#48 Porter
September 19 2009, 08:22PM
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Grrrr... 1 - 0 Nucks

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#49 Fiveandagame
September 19 2009, 08:24PM
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( • )( • )

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#50 jeanshorts
September 19 2009, 08:25PM
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Oh man Tyson Griffin just tenderized the crap out of Hermes Franca's face!!!!

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