GDB XLVI: Dubie separating Crosby from goals

Jason Gregor
January 14 2010 01:31PM

Devan Dubnyk will get the honours of trying to shut down the defending Stanley Cup champions, not to mention Sidney Crosby, tonight at Rexall Place.

Oiler fans will be excited to walk into Rexall tonight, and the only other remaining game that might match tonight’s build up will be on February 1st when the Carolina Hurricanes come to town with 30th place on the line.

Dubnyk is a fairly calm guy and was pretty calm when asked about facing Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

“I try to prepare for every game the same way. You can’t go out there and think too much about who you are playing. Right now any opportunity to get on the ice in a game situation is exciting. I have to be aware where they (Crosby and Malkin) are on the ice, but my preparation is the same if I’m playing Columbus or Pittsburgh.”

There is a lot of pressure on a goalie, but when Dubnyk or Deslauriers allows a soft goal, it's magnified even more. Veteran goalies will get the benefit of the doubt, and that’s a reality Dubnyk is well aware of. He knows he needs to prove himself and the only way he can is by playing well.

He can’t do it by himself and if the Oilers continue to turn the puck over or miss assignments as often as they have this year, then Dubnyk’s job becomes even harder. If anything, the veterans better be ready and help a young goalie when they are facing one of, if not the best player in the game.

Tonight will be Sidney Crosby’s second visit to Rexall Place. He was here Dec 5th of 2008, and for the first 40 minutes you barely noticed him. The Oilers led 2-0 going into the third, but then Crosby took over, with three straight assists. The Pens won 4-2. Last year the Oilers lost in Pittsburgh 5-4 and Crosby had one assist.

He’ll be looking for his first career goal v. the Oilers tonight; the other teams he has yet to score against include Chicago, Anaheim, Nashville, San Jose and St. Louis.

It's kind of scary when you think about Crosby. He said he needed to work on his faceoffs and he needed to shoot more. Now he is second in goals in the NHL with 30, and on pace to reach 50 for the first time in his career and he is only 57.9% in the dot. When he puts his mind to something, he works hard at it and improves. Coaching doesn’t make him great, his desire is what makes him great. All the young players on the Oilers should look at his work ethic and desire and ask themselves if they can match it. If not, then they need to work harder in the off-season.

With their win in Calgary last night, the Pens are now 4-8 in their last 12. They haven’t been playing very well, especially Evgeni Malkin. After seasons of 85, 106 and 113 points Malkin only has 43 in 41 games this year, but his goal totals are really down. He only has 13 goals so far, and he has gone ten games without a goal. He looks tired.

The Oilers will have some new line combinations tonight.

Penner — Horcoff — Nilsson
Cogliano — Potulny — O’Sullivan
Moreau — Gagner — Pisani
Jacques — Stortini — Stone

The defence will be the same and Dubnyk will start.

Potulny is the hottest Oiler right now and Pat Quinn has really liked Andrew Cogliano’s effort and competitive level lately so he moved them together. The fourth line could be very effective in creating energy and excitement. And with Godard, Adams and Rupp on the 4th line for Pittsburgh tonight I’d expect some energy when those two lines face off against one another.

Injuries hurt

Penguins’ analyst Bob Errey, who won a few Cups with the Pens in the ‘90s said if the Penguins lost Marc-Andre Fleury and Sidney Crosby they wouldn’t be in the playoffs either. He was referring to the Oilers loss of Khabibulin and Hemsky. Errey admitted he hasn’t watched the Oilers a lot, but he isn’t surprised they’ve struggled this much since 35 and 83 were lost for the season.

The Oilers were 10-12-3 when Hemsky got injured – they were 8-10-3 when Khabibulin went down four games earlier. Since both have been out the Oilers are 6-12-2. They probably wouldn’t be in the playoffs had Hemsky and Khabibulin stayed healthy, but it is obvious they wouldn’t be in 15th. The positive about the injuries is that the Oilers will get a higher draft pick.

Friends or foes

For years I’ve seen many Internet rumours mentioning that JDD and DD don’t like each other. I asked Dubnyk today how much he and Deslauriers will need to support one another now that Khabibulin is done for the year and they are the guys.

“There was always competition and I’ve heard rumours that we don’t get along and that certainly has never been the case. We had a good chat yesterday and I said we have to stick together now more than ever. It’s me and him. We’re here and that’s going to be it for the year. We need to be a team of two and stick together and have each other back all the time”

Later he told me that anyone who has ever played with him would know he is a very easy guy to get along with. He said both him and Jeff are a little quiet so it took some time to get to know each other, but they’ve never had anything but a healthy competitive relationship. It was interesting that he said “We’re here and that going to be it for the year.” That just solidifies that the Oilers won’t be getting a rent-a-veteran goalie, which is the smart move.

Parting shot

Somehow the Pens with all their talent have the second-worst PP in the league clicking along at 14.4%. There was lots of talk today that the Pens are looking at Ray Whitney in Carolina as a possible acquisition. That makes a lot of sense. He’s won a Cup, but more importantly he is very creative on the man advantage. I doubt he would cost much to pry out of Carolina.

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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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#151 Wanye
January 14 2010, 08:41PM
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WT wrote:

Quinn looks down the bench, thinks of the payroll, and then looks for someone who is over 50% at winning draws. He stares into space or maybe at KLOWE and wonders how stupid can he be

I bet you Pat Quinn looks at this team and thinks of 10 or 12 veterans around the league he could bring in at 600k each who could probably whip the top 12 Oilers.

Then he looks at the GM's seat in the press box and wonders what could be....

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#152 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 14 2010, 08:42PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

That story is WAY better than Wanye's!!!!

He still brings it up when we get drunk. Easily the crown jewel of his life.

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#153 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 14 2010, 08:43PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Homer wrote less Epic tales, sir.

Preach

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#154 TigerUnderGlass
January 14 2010, 08:44PM
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rubbertrout wrote:

I was at the game. Crosby made a bunch of saves but the flames really helped him look good. There were lots of shots right at his chest and Bourque missed about 4 golden opportunities.

I actually thought he wasn't all that spectacular. He was out of position a ton and had some good defensive play from his teamates (for a change).

If the wingers stay down low and the weak side winger hangs out beside the net i think he's pretty vulnerable.

So was I, and if you'd read my earlier posts about that game you probably wouldn't have bothered to reply.

However, as much as the Flames made him look good last night he still robbed them blind at least 4 times, meaning without him in net the Flames win that Game instead of the Penguins. I therefore believe the conclusion that he played well is accurate.

I also have to disagree with the "good defensive play from teammates" comment. Even the slightest traffic in front had the Penguins defense scrambling for their lives. I doubt they could have been less composed defensively if they tried.

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#155 Sandra
January 14 2010, 08:45PM
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Dubynk looks and is playing like good old Bill Randford., I guess Desjarlais has to try better him.

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#156 Ninjafoot
January 14 2010, 08:47PM
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@TigerUnderGlass

"...Crosby made a bunch of saves..."

Really...???

Is there anything Sid does not do???

That should read @rubbertrout

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#157 Archaeologuy
January 14 2010, 08:47PM
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Potulny shot the puck so hard Fleury's hand exploded. True Story.

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#158 WT
January 14 2010, 08:48PM
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TSN poll question: What would Oiler fans rather see:

1. Horcoff waived 2. KLOWE replaced by Quinn 3. an owner who says anything 4. an increase in price of Rexall water bottles at the game

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#159 Sandra
January 14 2010, 08:52PM
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Horcoff waived please please please......

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#160 Archaeologuy
January 14 2010, 08:54PM
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Cogs is scoring, skating, and drawing penalties like a star today.

~We totally need to get rid of him~

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#161 SirFozz
January 14 2010, 08:54PM
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@OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

I was happy when I sat next to her on a plane. But your buddy's story...wow.

*jealous.....and suddenly not thinking about hockey*

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#162 jeanshorts
January 14 2010, 08:55PM
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Something is going COMPLETELY wrong right now. They might actually win this one!

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#163 Ninjafoot
January 14 2010, 08:56PM
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Ho-leee Sh...

We solved the powerplay woes.

Sit Horcoff.

Perfect.

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#164 Wanye
January 14 2010, 08:56PM
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SCORE!!!!

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#165 Wanye
January 14 2010, 08:57PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

Something is going COMPLETELY wrong right now. They might actually win this one!

I may just mosey over to Pensblog in a few mins and remind them how they suck if this keeps up.

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#166 SirFozz
January 14 2010, 08:58PM
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Ok, who slipped something into my beer? I swear the tv says 2-0 Oilers.

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#167 jeanshorts
January 14 2010, 08:58PM
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So let me get this straight;

On the night Wanye comes back Shawn Horcoff gets banished from the arena before the puck drop, Devon Dubnyk hasn't let in a horrible goal, Moreau hasn't gotten a penalty, and the Oilers scored on 2 of 3 powerplay chances?????

I don't know where you just were Wanye, but please go back. Too many things are going right tonight!

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#168 Archaeologuy
January 14 2010, 08:59PM
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@SirFozz

That was Wanye, but to be fair he thought it was Amber's beer.

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#169 Wanye
January 14 2010, 08:59PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

So let me get this straight;

On the night Wanye comes back Shawn Horcoff gets banished from the arena before the puck drop, Devon Dubnyk hasn't let in a horrible goal, Moreau hasn't gotten a penalty, and the Oilers scored on 2 of 3 powerplay chances?????

I don't know where you just were Wanye, but please go back. Too many things are going right tonight!

How is the Power Play in Pit that bad? That don't make no sense.

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#170 Wanye
January 14 2010, 09:02PM
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Ferraro is calling him Dub-nick and Cuthbert is calling him Doob-nick. WHO IS A MAN TO BELIEVE?

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#171 jeanshorts
January 14 2010, 09:02PM
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An ex-Oiler gets a breakaway in Rexall on an unproven rookie goalie off a pass from Sydney Crosby, and doesn't score?

THE PENS POWERPLAY IS CURSED!

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#172 SirFozz
January 14 2010, 09:03PM
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That's a lot of popcorn.

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#173 Wanye
January 14 2010, 09:06PM
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Did Cuthbert just say Dubnyk was picked 14th overall? Who says not having a farm team for 3 years has hindered the development of our prospects?

*runs off to check*

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#174 jeanshorts
January 14 2010, 09:10PM
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Do two Penguins really need to jump in there to take care of Robert Nilsson? I mean, he's no Sam Gagner. Oh never mind I didn't see Cogs at the bottom of the pile there.

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#175 Wanye
January 14 2010, 09:10PM
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Emotion! Scoring! No goals against! Nilsson fighting the goalie!

This team doesn't seem so bad.

Oh, but I hate you Tom Gilbert.

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#176 SirFozz
January 14 2010, 09:12PM
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Gawd I wish Big Sex would have slapped someone around during that..............with his wang.

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#177 Wanye
January 14 2010, 09:14PM
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SirFozz wrote:

Gawd I wish Big Sex would have slapped someone around during that..............with his wang.

Souray could safely slap people on the ice with his wang from the press box if it suited him.

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#178 Wanye
January 14 2010, 09:17PM
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You know, I just thought of something:

Oilers games are more fun to watch if they are winning.

Someone should write that down.

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#179 Wanye
January 14 2010, 09:22PM
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I enjoy that as bad as the Leafs are, they don't get their draft pick.

Oh sweet irony, I put you on ice cream and enjoy your delicious taste.

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#180 jeanshorts
January 14 2010, 09:24PM
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STOP BOB MCKENZIE, JUST STOP!!!!!!!!!

*starts burning anything with Kevin Lowe's face on it*

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#181 Wanye
January 14 2010, 09:24PM
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Why aren't we madder about Gilbert making $5 million per year????

THAT IS WORSE THAN HORCOFF

Half a roster for 44 million dollars. What a debacle. Look at that RFA list.

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#182 Archaeologuy
January 14 2010, 09:24PM
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Mackenzie is so positive about our money issues.

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#183 Archaeologuy
January 14 2010, 09:25PM
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I thought Gilbert was only at 4 mill a season.

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#184 Wanye
January 14 2010, 09:27PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Mackenzie is so positive about our money issues.

That was the most depressing 1:35 in my life.

HAHAHAHA Marry me Sidney.

Some sloot in Calgary would dress in a bridal veil. People in Calgary are so lame.

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#185 SirFozz
January 14 2010, 09:28PM
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Wanye wrote:

Why aren't we madder about Gilbert making $5 million per year????

THAT IS WORSE THAN HORCOFF

Half a roster for 44 million dollars. What a debacle. Look at that RFA list.

I hate Gilbert so much that complaining about his salary makes my eyebrows bleed. Sooooo, that's why.

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#186 Gunner
January 14 2010, 09:28PM
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I'd tap it.

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#187 Ilya Byakin
January 14 2010, 09:28PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

I thought Gilbert was only at 4 mill a season.

I'm sure he is... They also had Stone listed as an RFA, and I think he is a group IV UFA like Glencross was a few years ago.

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#188 Archaeologuy
January 14 2010, 09:29PM
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I think Dregger may have implied that the Oilers were going to bury some peeps in the minors if they couldnt be moved when he said they would get cut-throat with their contracts.

At least that's what i want to believe.

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#189 jeanshorts
January 14 2010, 09:31PM
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@Archaeologuy

Don't the Falcons already have enough going against them this year?

*I'm easily the funniest guy I know*

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#190 Wanye
January 14 2010, 09:32PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

Don't the Falcons already have enough going against them this year?

*I'm easily the funniest guy I know*

OH THAT'S RICH

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#191 Archaeologuy
January 14 2010, 09:32PM
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Sweet David Wilcox tune

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#192 Wanye
January 14 2010, 09:34PM
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DID FERRARO JUST CALL SHELDON KENNEDY ON THE ICE???

hahahahaha You might as well have said Ted Kennedy you idiot.

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#193 Wanye
January 14 2010, 09:36PM
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SHELDON KENNEDY POTS ONE.

Ferraro is going to catch hell for that for a long time

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#194 jeanshorts
January 14 2010, 09:39PM
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Wanye wrote:

DID FERRARO JUST CALL SHELDON KENNEDY ON THE ICE???

hahahahaha You might as well have said Ted Kennedy you idiot.

I blame Theo Fleury. If he wasn't such a tattle tale none of this would be happening!

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#195 Wanye
January 14 2010, 09:42PM
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Oh I SEE why the Oilers have the record they do.

Hmmm.

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#196 Ninjafoot
January 14 2010, 09:42PM
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"Gilbert was soft on Matt Cooke" - Ray Ferraro

That says it all, doesn't it??

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#197 Archaeologuy
January 14 2010, 09:43PM
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Sick chance Penner!!

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#198 Librarian Mike
January 14 2010, 09:45PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

I blame Theo Fleury. If he wasn't such a tattle tale none of this would be happening!

Stop snitchin yo

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#199 WT
January 14 2010, 09:47PM
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KLOWE just called TSN and wants McKenzie fired for suggesting $44m is for half the team. KLOWE insists Mckenzie doesn't know what he is talking about, how many rings does he have

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#200 rubbertrout
January 14 2010, 09:47PM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

So was I, and if you'd read my earlier posts about that game you probably wouldn't have bothered to reply.

However, as much as the Flames made him look good last night he still robbed them blind at least 4 times, meaning without him in net the Flames win that Game instead of the Penguins. I therefore believe the conclusion that he played well is accurate.

I also have to disagree with the "good defensive play from teammates" comment. Even the slightest traffic in front had the Penguins defense scrambling for their lives. I doubt they could have been less composed defensively if they tried.

Yeah he made a few good saves for sure. That said, the best opportunities were cleared away or flubbed by the flames. Gonchar must have cleared the puck out of harm's way 4-5 times himself. He played much better defensively than I expected.

Between those few plays and Bourque looking like he had my hands (Dawes was equally awful) Fleury's stats were way more impressive than his game. He flopped around out of position only to be bailed out by Gonchar or the Flames incompetence time after time.

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