Do You See What I See Edition VI

Jason Gregor
September 24 2009 09:29AM

big-screen-hockey

Tonight Oiler fans will be lucky to watch your team from the comfort of your couch on your big screen TV, rather than your laptop, and the game should be more enjoyable.

I can’t stand watching a movie on my laptop, nevermind an NHL game, and even if I have to listen to a goalie analyst on TSN tonight I’ll still be happy.

Here’s what I saw from last night’s game, and I’ll bet some of you saw it differently.

  • JF Jacques has finally realized what he needs to do to be an effective NHL player: hit, move his feet, protect the puck, be physical, lay some greasy/questionable hits and shoot the puck. Jacques has been the biggest surprise of camp and he played solid again last night — 16:11 of icetime, with a goal, two shots on net, three hits and a fight. He probably won’t stay with Horcoff and Hemsky (more on that later), but right now he has moved ahead of Ethan Moreau on the LW depth chart. I think Moreau is on the 4th line and Jacques will be in the top nine.
  • Dustin Penner can be effective when he moves his feet. This shouldn’t be a surprise, but the big man didn’t do it last year, and he didn’t do it consistently in 2007/08 either. But he has been very solid in every game so far this preseason, regardless of who he has played with. He hasn’t looked slow alongside Cogliano or Brule, and I’m betting it’s only a matter of time before he finds himself back with Horcoff and Hemsky. But could this team be better if he plays on a different line? If Penner is going to be this effective with Cogliano, maybe it’s best to play him there and spread out the scoring. I’ve always liked a Penner/Cogliano/Pisani combination, and I think it could work well. But that can only happen if Jacques continues to play like he has so far, and that is a BIG if.
  • Does Hemsky look frustrated or is he hesitant? In talking to him it would seem to be more of the latter. Sure, he’d like to score more, but he is focusing on understanding exactly what Quinn wants from him. Last night, he didn’t see the ice much in the first, due to the five Flames’ powerplays, and he never seemed to get on track after that. On the PP, the Oilers looked lost, but since they haven’t practiced the powerplay yet, that isn’t a surprise. I can tell you this, that Quinn wants to see more dedication from Hemsky on the ice, and a bit more leadership off of it. He wants Hemsky to work a bit more with the young guys, and I think we’ll see that once the team is picked.
  • I never saw why many thought Ryan Stone was going to make this team. He can’t skate well enough to be a regular in my mind. Last night, his footspeed, or lack thereof, was obvious. He is gritty, and doesn’t shy away, but against regular NHL defencemen he wasn’t a factor. I would take Reddox over Stone, because Reddox works just as hard, and while he can’t hit guys as well, he skates better and can cause more havoc.
  • Kip Brennan was a nice story, but he’ll be in Springfield. He isn’t better than Stortini, and isn’t as tough as MacIntyre.
  • If Gagner plays with Comrie and O’Sullivan will they be effective? Comrie and Gagner are fairly gritty for their size, but neither will wow you with their speed and they won’t knock many guys off the puck. Quinn has stated many times that this team loses too many battles, so I wonder if he’d consider using them as a trio.
  • Smid, Grebeshkov and Visnovsky struggled mightily last night. Smid handled the puck like it was a hot potato. Grebeshkov made many bad reads, and got out muscled on Glencross’ shorthanded marker, while Visnovsky really struggled along the boards, and lost too many battles. In Visnovsky’s case I’ll give him a break because he hasn’t played much in last seven months, but Grebeshkov and Smid need to pick up their game.
  • Do you think that Staios might be a calming influence on Smid, and not a detriment like many fans feel?
  • Gilbert Brule will be here to start the season. Quinn is warming up to him more every day. Brule was very effective last night. He needs to move his feet consistently and if he continues to be close to 58% in the dot, he’ll get even more icetime.
  • I can’t believe that some people think Stortini is on the bubble. Wake up people he brings much of what Quinn wants. Tenacity, wins battles, makes smart decisions and is a good forechecker. I think a Moreau/Brule/Stortini line could make life tough on opposing d-men.
  • Pouliot and Pisani were both scheduled to play tonight, but both will sit out due to minor injuries. Pisani pulled a muscle in his back at practice on Tuesday and it tightened up on him. He is hoping to play on Sunday. Pouliot has a slight leg issue, but again it doesn’t seem that serious.
  • Many have wondered if Pisani is on the bubble, and I’d agree he hasn’t done much in his two games, he rarely loses one-on-one battles on the boards. Quinn knows he needs more guys like that in the lineup, and I think on that reason alone Pisani will stick.
  • Is tonight the last game Rob Schremp plays as an Oiler? I can’t see any scenario that doesn’t involve him being sent down. Will another team pick him up, or will Schremp have to prove himself in the minors? I sure don’t think it is a guarantee another team will pick him up.
  • Nilsson played okay last night, but was it enough to keep him around? My gut tells me no.
  • Theo Fleury, God bless you for straightening you life out, because the bottle has damaged too many good people, but you don’t have the foot speed to play in the NHL. Your hockey sense is still there, but your speed isn’t. If playing in the AHL helps with your healing process good on you, and if you just needed to see for yourself that the NHL is in your past, I respect that. A LOT. I hope you stay clean.
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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 jayoilfan
September 24 2009, 09:36AM
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Finally I get to watch hockey on the flat screen! Jason I agree while it was cool the first time watching on the laptop, it got really annmoying after a while.

I am beginning to have more and more doubts about this team. we'll see what happens in a few weeks.

Go Oilers!

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#2 Gunner
September 24 2009, 09:38AM
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I try not read too much into the preseason but with a new coach, new system and some players playing like new players, it isn't all that surprising that it is taking this team some time to figure it all out.

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#3 roughneck
September 24 2009, 09:38AM
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I agree that theo has lost a step..... but.... on the oil... he would be top half of the team fast.... how sad is that

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#4 BingBong
September 24 2009, 09:39AM
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I agree with most of those points Gregor - I watched a bit of the game last night and thought JFJ and Brule were the best players out there. Brule especially has a lot of speed and it willing to take the body. Plus his hands are pretty good. The Bulin Wall looked horrible - let's hope he's just getting warmed up. I understand people thinking Nilsson's in trouble, but I just can't see the Oil sitting a $2 million player, especially one with his skill level. But I guess something will have to give before the season...

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#5 Ogden Brother Jr.
September 24 2009, 09:46AM
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Okay sorry Pisani I heard you had a groin injury.

I have to agree on Stone, I don't really care that he brings some elements this team needs but he lacks elements that are needed to be in the NHL.

Brennan, I youtubed him last night. Stortini is probably about as good as him. Only difference is Brennan will fight the big b@stards, but he loses big time. Macintyre is cheap and the better option.

What happens with Nilsson?

Noticed Cogs can win draws one night and then lose them the next. Better then last year and this is a good sign.

What happened to Horcoff on the draw last night?

Pisani stays unless they bring in a cheaper replacement. I really don't see who replaces him from this current roster.

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#6 Eric
September 24 2009, 09:50AM
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After watching last night's game, it is obvious that the first 10-20 games will be tough. But once they get the hang of the new system, I think they will do very well. If they are able to be at .500 hockey by that time, they have a pretty good chance to get into the first round and surprise a lot of people who write them off.

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#7 Ogden Brother
September 24 2009, 09:50AM
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I was very impressed with Penners fight in front of the net, every time he was on the ice he seemed to be parked right in front of Kipper. He has elite level hands and if he can maintain that compete level he will score 30.

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#8 Harlie
September 24 2009, 09:54AM
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nice summary Gregor. I thought Fleury played well and I agree that his biggest asset is his hockey sense as he anticipated the plays well and seemed to be in the mix. But yeah, his footspeed is definitely not there and I think that may be his undoing. Overall I thought he exceeded my low expectations for him, which ain't saying much!

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#9 Ogden Brother Jr.
September 24 2009, 09:54AM
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@ Eric: I don't even know if it's the system or the players.

How is it that other teams are buying into systems quicker then us? It is hockey, these guys have played for most of their life. Haven't they played in all sorts of systems? How is it that Olympic teams and World Championship teams buy into a system so quick?

I think Quinn was right and these guys have no will and no desire to lay it on the line.

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#10 Gunner
September 24 2009, 09:55AM
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Just got a TSN Alert that said Gretz stepped down. No surprise there. Thank God he can finally get away from that mess.

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#11 RossCreek
September 24 2009, 09:57AM
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@ Gregor: Did I hear you say Columbus is looking to dump Jason Chimera? IMO, he'd be a better fit (style/age/salary) than Pisani (or even Moreau).

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#12 Ogden Brother
September 24 2009, 09:57AM
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Ogden Brother Jr. wrote:

I think Quinn was right and these guys have no will and no desire to lay it on the line.

And MacT begins to laugh loudly at Oiler fans.

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#13 Gunner
September 24 2009, 09:57AM
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@ Ogden Brother Jr.: They have been playing the same system for 8 years with Mac T. It will take more than 1 game for them to change the way they think the game and how they are used to reacting. Quinn himself said that some players are thinking instead of reacting. It will come, but it may take a little time.

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#14 Jeff
September 24 2009, 09:57AM
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I think the coaching staff has pretty much decided who they want and unless Schremp or Eberle score a hat trick each it will be back to the minor's for both of them.

What I don't get is why they are drawing it out so much. Its obvious the team needs more practice and sending down some of the bubble guys who have no chance will give some player more games to get back in the groove.

On another note I agree Stone and Brennan should be sent down now. It was painfully obvious last night that they don't match up against NHL talent.

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#15 bingofuel
September 24 2009, 10:02AM
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Hey, is anyone in the CBC's hockey pool? I just signed up and picked my players for the week and wanted to know if any Nationeers participate...

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#16 Legion
September 24 2009, 10:07AM
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I agree that was just preseason but majority of the game was full fledged proven nhl meat men, with sticks! a few questionable calls I did like Jacques except for that one super dirty hit and I also believe if we don't improve this year we should go into rebuilding mode

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#17 Alex Selivanov
September 24 2009, 10:08AM
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my lines to start season:

JFJ-HORC-HEMMER COGS-GAGNER-EBERLE PENNER-COMRIE-POS MOREAU-BRULE-STORTINI EXTRAS-BIG MAC, NILLSON

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#18 Jeff
September 24 2009, 10:09AM
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@Gregor

Sorry to hijack your thread but have you heard anything about the Oilers and Omark wanting to leave russia already? (Source aftonbladet.se)

If this is true I would take him on the LW with Hemmer. Or the RW with Gags and Penner.

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#19 The Towel Boy
September 24 2009, 10:13AM
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bingofuel wrote:

Hey, is anyone in the CBC’s hockey pool? I just signed up and picked my players for the week and wanted to know if any Nationeers participate…

I accept your challenge...

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#20 Ogden Brother Jr.
September 24 2009, 10:15AM
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@ Jeff: He can leave, but he will have to clear waivers to play for us. Maybe he goes back to his swedish club?

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#21 The Towel Boy
September 24 2009, 10:15AM
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...and as a side note of the CBC hockey pool...that Kia Forte Koup looks pretty friggin' nice. A KIA? Seriously? KIA. The same KIA that makes the Rio?

*shakes head in disbelief*

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#22 Jeff
September 24 2009, 10:18AM
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I don't think he will have to clear waivers because he is not a UFA and is property of the Oilers.

On another note Schremp and Eberle are playing together tonight. Schremp is center. This line will be very interesting to watch.

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#23 Jason Gregor
September 24 2009, 10:18AM
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roughneck wrote:

I agree that theo has lost a step….. but…. on the oil… he would be top half of the team fast…. how sad is that

Not close man. The only guys he might be faster than are Stortini, MacIntyre and maybe Penner, but when Penner moves his feet he is decent.

The Oilers don't have a slow team, I have no idea why you thought that, unless based on your name you are from Calgary.

Ogden Brother Jr. wrote:

What happened to Horcoff on the draw last night?

He was 0-5 in the first period. After that he went 7-7, but he was horrendous in the first.

RossCreek wrote:

@ Gregor: Did I hear you say Columbus is looking to dump Jason Chimera? IMO, he’d be a better fit (style/age/salary) than Pisani (or even Moreau).

They offered him for Erhroff this summer, but it didn't happen. The Oilers can't take any players until they dump some. I do like Chimera now that he is consistent, and with MacTavish gone he would be open to returning home. Jeff wrote:

Sorry to hijack your thread but have you heard anything about the Oilers and Omark wanting to leave russia already? (Source aftonbladet.se)

He has an out clause after one year, but if he left now and came here that would violate the KHL/NHL agreement. I know that the KHL has violated it a few times, but I don't see the Oilers doing it. Plus Omark has shown nothing that makes me think he is a top-six NHL player. You Tube highlights don't do much for me.

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#24 Jason Gregor
September 24 2009, 10:20AM
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The Towel Boy wrote:

…and as a side note of the CBC hockey pool…that Kia Forte Koup looks pretty friggin’ nice. A KIA? Seriously? KIA. The same KIA that makes the Rio? *shakes head in disbelief*

Watch your mouth...lol.. The Soul is a sweet ride. And the Sorento is an awesome SUV.

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#25 sittingatmydesk
September 24 2009, 10:20AM
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PENNER-HORCOFF-HEMSKY COMRIE-GAGNER-O'SULLIVAN JACQUES-COGLIANO-PISANI MOREAU-BRULE-STORTINI EXTRAS-MACINTYRE, POULIOT

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#26 bingofuel
September 24 2009, 10:20AM
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@ The Towel Boy:

Sweet... I'm going to create a group called — wait for it! — OilersNation. Join it.

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#27 Eric
September 24 2009, 10:21AM
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@ Ogden Brother Jr.:

Remember, MacT was here for the better part of this decade. That alone means a lot of things ( can you say bad habits? you know they are hard to get rid off). So, it all starts with the veterans.I would just love to see Tambellini make the decision and move some of them.

And for god's sake, get someone who can win a damm face off and move Cogliano to a wing or get him better linemates....

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#28 Jeff
September 24 2009, 10:21AM
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@Gregor

Thanks. But if the Oilers are indeed going to have 3 scoring lines that may change things. Al though if it would violate the KHL/NHL agreement that doesn't really matter.

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#29 Nick Dynasty
September 24 2009, 10:22AM
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If I remember correctly early in the pre-season Hemmer was getting some time on the PK. Was that just the result of not having full rosters playing yet or was Quinn/Renney actually considering it? If they are I'm all for this move. It would definitely help him get into games like last night where penalties were mounting. You can't have your best player sitting on the bench for half a period. If Datsyuk can kill penalties, why not Hemmer?? (i'll probably take some heat for that last comment)

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#30 Harlie
September 24 2009, 10:25AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

The Towel Boy wrote: …and as a side note of the CBC hockey pool…that Kia Forte Koup looks pretty friggin’ nice. A KIA? Seriously? KIA. The same KIA that makes the Rio? *shakes head in disbelief* Watch your mouth…lol.. The Soul is a sweet ride. And the Sorento is an awesome SUV.

The wife had a Sorento. The paint chipped off the bumper and the hood pretty badly within a few months. The service people and the dealerships for Kia handled it really well though. We are much happier with her Bimmer but the Sorento wasn't too bad. A little bit boxy of a drive and not very many creature comforts in the Sorento but the price was right!

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#31 Ogden Brother
September 24 2009, 10:28AM
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Nick Dynasty wrote:

If Datsyuk can kill penalties, why not Hemmer?? (i’ll probably take some heat for that last comment)

I think we all know why...

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#32 Ogden Brother Jr.
September 24 2009, 10:28AM
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@ Jason Gregor: Chimera for Erhoff. I wouldn't take that deal either if I was SJ. Although I don't think they did all that well in the trade to begin with. I guess you could bring in Chimera if you find a taker for Pisani. Or Chimera for Pisani and a prospec/pick?

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#33 RossCreek
September 24 2009, 10:29AM
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@ Jeff: What makes you think Omark can play NHL hockey with certainty at this time? Ogden Brother Jr. wrote:

He can leave, but he will have to clear waivers to play for us.

Don't have to clear til the NHL season starts. Same for Jagr. Same for Forsberg, who's playing 3 games in Sweden before he decides.

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#34 Ogden Brother Jr.
September 24 2009, 10:30AM
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@ Eric: Thing is Horcoff, Hemsky, Souray(?) and Lubo have all played in international events. How did they learn a new system so quickly?

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#35 Ogden Brother Jr.
September 24 2009, 10:31AM
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@ RossCreek: Is it from when the NHL season starts or from when they play there first game overseas?

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#36 Ogden Brother Jr.
September 24 2009, 10:31AM
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Ogden Brother Jr. wrote:

@ RossCreek: Is it from when the NHL season starts or from when they play there first game overseas?

Nevermind.

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#37 Jimmy
September 24 2009, 10:32AM
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Alex Selivanov wrote:

my lines to start season: JFJ-HORC-HEMMER COGS-GAGNER-EBERLE PENNER-COMRIE-POS MOREAU-BRULE-STORTINI EXTRAS-BIG MAC, NILLSON

Cogs-Gagner-Eberle?

Seriously?

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#38 Ogden Brother
September 24 2009, 10:32AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

The Towel Boy wrote: …and as a side note of the CBC hockey pool…that Kia Forte Koup looks pretty friggin’ nice. A KIA? Seriously? KIA. The same KIA that makes the Rio? *shakes head in disbelief* Watch your mouth…lol.. The Soul is a sweet ride. And the Sorento is an awesome SUV.

I just bought a Tblazer, when I was shopping around I took out almost every mid-sized SUV on the market and I gotta admit, the Sorento stacked up very well.

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#39 Gunner
September 24 2009, 10:37AM
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Mfg's like KIA and Hyundai are starting to come around.

Annyyways, back to hockey talk.

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#40 The Towel Boy
September 24 2009, 10:37AM
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bingofuel wrote:

@ The Towel Boy: Sweet… I’m going to create a group called — wait for it! — OilersNation. Join it.

What's the group password?

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#41 kingsblade
September 24 2009, 10:39AM
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bingofuel wrote:

@ The Towel Boy: Sweet… I’m going to create a group called — wait for it! — OilersNation. Join it.

Password?

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#42 bingofuel
September 24 2009, 10:39AM
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@ The Towel Boy

Password is 99gretzky

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#43 Ogden Brother Jr.
September 24 2009, 10:41AM
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@ Gunner: 1 Devan Dubnyk G 5 Ladislav Smid D 12 Robert Nilsson LW 14 Jordan Eberle RW 18 Ethan Moreau LW 24 Steve Staios D 27 Dustin Penner LW 33 Steve MacIntyre RW 34 Fernando Pisani RW 37 Denis Grebeshkov D 38 Jeff Deslauriers D 41 Taylor Chorney D 46 Zack Stortini LW 67 Gilbert Brule C 71 Lubomir Visnovsky D 77 Tom Gilbert D 78 Marc Pouliot C 85 Liam Reddox LW 88 Rob Schremp LW 89 Sam Gagner C

One goalie?

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#44 The Towel Boy
September 24 2009, 10:42AM
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@ bingofuel:

I'm in...and tied for 1st! YES!

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#45 Ogden Brother Jr.
September 24 2009, 10:42AM
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Oh yes JDD on D. And Pouilot and Pisani in? To be revised maybe?

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#46 Gunner
September 24 2009, 10:42AM
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@ Ogden Brother Jr.: Huh?

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#47 The Towel Boy
September 24 2009, 10:46AM
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@ Jason Gregor:

Well, that Forte Koup looks pretty damn nice too. I remember the early KIA's....when they first came to Canada....EEeesssh.

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#48 kingsblade
September 24 2009, 10:46AM
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so week one is just 2 days? weird

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#49 Eric
September 24 2009, 10:47AM
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@ Ogden Brother Jr.:

You come across as a person who nows about hockey....you know better than that and you I am sure you have a good feel on where the Oilers problems come from. The player you mention are the standouts. But it also takes the other players games, and more importantly, their attitude and willingness to play hard, and learn something new. That is why I keep saying that a shake-up in the form of a vet or two leaving would be good.

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#50 Ogden Brother Jr.
September 24 2009, 10:49AM
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@ Gunner: They list JDD as a D, they did the samething with Dubnyk the other day. As for Pouilot and Pisani, Gregor was saying they had injuries. I am just wondering if something has changed or whoever posted the lineup on the Oil site is mis-informed.

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