GDB XLIX: West meets sort-of West

Jason Gregor
January 20 2010 02:22PM

What a difference twelve wins makes. The Canucks have 28 wins compared to the Oilers’ 16 and it was apparent in their practices this morning.

The Canucks were joking around, laughing, playing shooting games and having some fun competitions while the Oilers didn’t even have a full squad on the ice. Dustin Penner and Shawn Horcoff didn’t skate and the Oilers skate was very brief this morning.

However, you get the sense that the Oilers will be ready to compete tonight after their worst performance of the season on Monday. Even the Canuck players were talking about how they expect the Oilers to be in a feisty mood tonight.

The Canucks with Ryan Kesler, Shane O’Brien, Kevin Bieksa, Alex Burrows, Rick Rypien and Darcy Hordichuk are feisty most games, but expect more emotion tonight than the past few games we’ve watched at Rexall Place.

This is the fifth meeting of the season between these teams and so far it has been a homer series. The Oilers won at Rexall on October 19th 2-1, while the Canucks have won three straight games at home v. the Oilers by scores of 2-0, 4-1 and 7-3.

The Canucks have been resting after a stellar 6-2 win over the Penguins on Saturday and they are rolling going 6-2-2 in their last ten. Henrik Sedin continues to be the surprise of the NHL leading the league with 67 points. Henrik is averaging 1.39 points per game, while his brother Daniel is averaging 1.3 and has 39 points in 30 games.

The Sedins have killed the Oilers in their career and along with Alex Burrows they are the hottest line in the NHL.

In the last ten games they’ve combined for 44 points. Henrik has four goals and 17 points, Burrows has eleven goals and fourteen points while Daniel has three goals and thirteen points. As a team the Oilers have scored 19 goals in the past ten games while the Sisters and Burrows have potted 18.

That shows how good they’ve been as a line, while also demonstrating how unproductive the Oilers have been as a team.

The good news is that normally at least these two teams put on a good show. The Oilers will be pissed off tonight and the Canucks are always ready to play a chippy game so we should see some fireworks tonight.

Roberto Luongo will start for the Canucks while Devan Dubnyk will get the call for the Oilers. Also Pavel Demitra will play centre tonight for the Canucks on their 2nd line.

Welcome back Comrie

For the first time in over two months Mike Comrie skated with his teammates this morning. Comrie is feeling better and is hoping that he is four or five good practices away from returning to the lineup. The Oilers would welcome him with open arms.

He’s played 16 games, but admitted that in the last four games he probably shouldn’t have played because he had no energy, but he still managed five goals in 16 games which put him on pace for 25. He is excited to get back on the ice and talked about helping the young guys deal with some scoring issues. He mentioned how important is was for him to have Doug Weight, Ryan Smyth and Anson Carter around when he was young and how they gave him some tips to be more offensive.

I think it’s fair to say that Sam Gagner, Andrew Cogliano and Robert Nilsson could benefit from having Comrie’s advice not to mention watching how he is able to score despite his size.

Trade talk is heating up

I mentioned last week how Anaheim and Ottawa have an interest in Ethan Moreau, and that hasn’t changed, although no deal is set in place. But the Oilers have taken more calls and made more calls this week regarding Moreau, Sheldon Souray and Steve Staios. There is some interest out there, and it will be a matter of finding out how serious that interest is.

Staios’ injury might prevent a deal, but he is feeling better and if he can return and play ten games before the Olympic break he could be dealt. Some quiet whispers that once again the Kings might be interested in Souray and maybe even Moreau but right now they are only whispers. It does sound like there is legitimate interest in some of the Oiler veterans.

You’d like to think that that might light get them to play a bit better because Souray and Moreau haven’t played very well for the past ten to fifteen games.

Also, check out what the enemy is saying at CanucksArmy.com .

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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 OilFan
January 20 2010, 02:26PM
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Good Read

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#2 jake
January 20 2010, 02:26PM
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Is there an issssu papa? hilarious

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#3 RossCreekNation
January 20 2010, 02:29PM
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That should finally put an end to the "who's gonna want Moreau" argument people. Based on his compete level this year, it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world if Staios weren't traded. Still likely better off to unload him though.

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#4 Crust
January 20 2010, 02:34PM
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Wow. So thecaptainethanmoreau skips the bag skate but can play tonite? Reminds me of when I was too sick to go to school but well enough to hit the rink after supper. May have been necessary for Moreau, but it sure looks bad.

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#5 Jmask5
January 20 2010, 02:34PM
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If those 3 get traded I would forgive Tambo for the Bulin Contract...maybe

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#6 Bar Qu
January 20 2010, 02:36PM
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The sooner the contracts are unloaded the better. The players themselves I don't have particular issues with, just the way their contracts cripple the team.

I would love a win by the way. Even just going under .500 from here should get us in, right?

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#7 RossCreekNation
January 20 2010, 02:41PM
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@Bar Qu

The unfortunate thing is that other teams want to wait to the deadline so they pay as little of this year's salary as possible. I still say they should "mercy trade" Moreau for anything.

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#8 OilFan
January 20 2010, 02:42PM
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Nice to see there is trade options. I think Staios should be a good pick up for any plaoff team.

Jason any idea who the Oilers or what they are looking for ?

I would like to see a trade for a good young tender like Halak. I just don't think JDD is ready or good enough. I've had may conversations about him with Chris Daves ( Oilers trading staff)

Anyway hope for a big win, I can't handle losing to the Can Nots

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#9 LBH
January 20 2010, 02:45PM
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@ Gregor

You mentioned about a week or so ago about some kind of ethics and reporting and asked us to remember about it and we'd hear from you in a week.

was wondering what it was, and if you've talked about it and maybe I missed it?

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#10 The Fish
January 20 2010, 02:46PM
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I predict a 6-1 shellacking tonight by the Canucks. We have no scoring or goaltending and they have both.

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#11 blu
January 20 2010, 02:52PM
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@RossCreekNation

"mercy trade" Moreau for anything is the best thing I have read all year.

*quoted for truth and emphasis*

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#12 Horcsky
January 20 2010, 02:56PM
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As much as I would like to believe that the Oil will be "ready to compete" tonight, I would be unsurprised by an ugly beating resulting from another lacklustre effort at the hands of the Canucks.

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#13 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
January 20 2010, 02:56PM
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Well hopefully it's a physical game tonight, that's about the only thing we have a chance at tonight.

Good to hear on Comrie.

Also good to hear there are some talks happening. Now it's time to see how well tambo can do at moving players.

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#14 Rigger
January 20 2010, 02:58PM
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Hopefully that bag skate lit a fire under some arses. Kind of interesting that Moreau's neck hurt too much yesterday, but he's good to go today? Seriously I was hoping he was on a plane to somewhere, but no such luck I guess. Good to hear there is some interest in him though. The sooner we can change some of the verteran leadership the better.

On the bright side, Gagner usually lights up against the Canucks. Hopefully we'll get to see him make some sick plays with Cogs.

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#15 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
January 20 2010, 02:58PM
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Forgot to ask, is there any talks of re-signing any ufa/rfa or are we waiting until after the trade deadline to focus on that?

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#16 Wanyes bastard child
January 20 2010, 03:04PM
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Wow, just checked the canucksarmy... boy is it dead over there.

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#17 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
January 20 2010, 03:11PM
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Wanyes bastard child wrote:

Wow, just checked the canucksarmy... boy is it dead over there.

I wouldn't admit to being a 'nucks fan, either.

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#18 OILERSORDEATH
January 20 2010, 03:22PM
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Great picture of those two &ss monkey sisters!! I hate those little bastards more than anything! But I will not even watch the game because I know that they will score their cheesy &ss goals and I'll break another remote.

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#19 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
January 20 2010, 03:23PM
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PS I don't know if anyone's mentioned this (Sandra, I think, was gung-ho about him), but Peca's announced his retirement.

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#20 BUCK75
January 20 2010, 03:25PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

The unfortunate thing is that other teams want to wait to the deadline so they pay as little of this year's salary as possible. I still say they should "mercy trade" Moreau for anything.

The tough thing to swallow will be if/when Moreau starts playing in Cali & he becomes a solid 3rd or 4th line energy player. The kind of guy we needed here all season...

I want to see as many of these guys leave as possible - hopefully we can get some solid leadership or 'Quinn' type players back or in the summer.

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#21 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
January 20 2010, 03:27PM
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BUCK75 wrote:

The tough thing to swallow will be if/when Moreau starts playing in Cali & he becomes a solid 3rd or 4th line energy player. The kind of guy we needed here all season...

I want to see as many of these guys leave as possible - hopefully we can get some solid leadership or 'Quinn' type players back or in the summer.

It might very well be what he needs to get going. It's not like the last 3 years he and some others have shown that they can constantly play at the level we want. You try move them and move on from it.

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#22 BUCK75
January 20 2010, 03:29PM
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I also noticed that Brind'Amour handed over the captaincy over to Staal in Carolina. Too bad our captain didn't do the same thing earlier this season. Someone who thinks about situations when they take penalties.

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#23 Matty31
January 20 2010, 03:29PM
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Damn Canucks this is the game to rest Luongo. Play the backup Raycroft...better yet toss Wellwood in net and you guys will still be favored!!!

I am STUNNNNED that Luongo is starting...LOL

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#24 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
January 20 2010, 03:32PM
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BUCK75 wrote:

I also noticed that Brind'Amour handed over the captaincy over to Staal in Carolina. Too bad our captain didn't do the same thing earlier this season. Someone who thinks about situations when they take penalties.

See they had another option. A young star that is showing leadership skills. Who do we give it to, souray? Not sure that would've exactly been the answer.

Who is a decent candidate next year if Souray and Moreau are moved? I hate to say it but if coach picks I see Horcoff.

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#25 Just Some Idiot
January 20 2010, 03:34PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

See they had another option. A young star that is showing leadership skills. Who do we give it to, souray? Not sure that would've exactly been the answer.

Who is a decent candidate next year if Souray and Moreau are moved? I hate to say it but if coach picks I see Horcoff.

You don't give it to anyone. Play out the rest of the year and then after training camp next year the coach should have an idea as to who would be a capable skipper.

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#26 Matty31
January 20 2010, 03:38PM
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Instead of 'A' and 'C's the Oil should start putting 'F' and 'E' on the sweaters. F for FAIL and 'E' for EPIC FAIL. E would go to 18 F would go to 24 and 77 for away games and 10 and 19 for home games.

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#27 Chris.
January 20 2010, 03:39PM
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@Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

~Give the C to Khabibulin... isn't he the team MVP?~

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#28 freeze
January 20 2010, 03:41PM
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@Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

They could always do the rotation thing and see if anyone 'runs with it'.

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#29 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
January 20 2010, 03:42PM
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@Just Some Idiot

Not sure you just strip Moreau this year, but that sounds like something to do for next year.

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#30 captainnapalm
January 20 2010, 03:43PM
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Jmask5 wrote:

If those 3 get traded I would forgive Tambo for the Bulin Contract...maybe

If Tambo can unload Horcoff, I'll forgive him for the Bulin contract... maybe.

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#31 rubbertrout
January 20 2010, 03:43PM
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Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things wrote:

PS I don't know if anyone's mentioned this (Sandra, I think, was gung-ho about him), but Peca's announced his retirement.

Did a tree just fall in the forest?

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#32 HottScarrison
January 20 2010, 03:54PM
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Go team go. I'd settle with a loser point in this one. They're gonna play hard. For maybe a period and realize "wait a minute, we're the oilers" and proceed to turn it down a notch.

Congrats to Peca....I watched him as a 67 in Ottawa and of course here in 06. Not a prolific scorer but very dependable and raised his effort when the pressure was higher. A good guy and wish him the best.

Nice pic of the Sedin's. Don't know which one is which. Since when do sisters grow matching beards

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#33 Ender
January 20 2010, 03:58PM
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Matty31 wrote:

Damn Canucks this is the game to rest Luongo. Play the backup Raycroft...better yet toss Wellwood in net and you guys will still be favored!!!

I am STUNNNNED that Luongo is starting...LOL

I'm not surprised at all. Games against lower-ranked teams, you sometimes toss out your back-up and hope for the best; that's standard operating procedure. Still, the Oilers don't qualify as a 'lower-ranked team'; we're lucky the NHL doesn't have a qualifying minimum or we'd be in the AHL. The Canucks are viewing this as 2 free points in the standings and are (I think rightfully) doing everything they can to make sure they don't let a gift like this slip through their fingers. They'll ice their best line-up and they'll play their best game because they know that while winning this gets them only the 2 points they expect, losing it would make them a laughingstock, especially to their fans. While they expect to win, they don't take it for granted. That makes them scary, smart, and beneficial to the DFF.

Go 'Canes!

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#34 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
January 20 2010, 04:00PM
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Was listening to gregor yesterday and he was talking about the 74-75 Capitals. Not only did they have the guy with the worse plus/minus in a year with -82 or something, but somehow they only won 8 games. Was doing some research today and noticed Ron Low had a SO that year, how bad is it that someone actually got shutout by that team?

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#35 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
January 20 2010, 04:04PM
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Ender wrote:

I'm not surprised at all. Games against lower-ranked teams, you sometimes toss out your back-up and hope for the best; that's standard operating procedure. Still, the Oilers don't qualify as a 'lower-ranked team'; we're lucky the NHL doesn't have a qualifying minimum or we'd be in the AHL. The Canucks are viewing this as 2 free points in the standings and are (I think rightfully) doing everything they can to make sure they don't let a gift like this slip through their fingers. They'll ice their best line-up and they'll play their best game because they know that while winning this gets them only the 2 points they expect, losing it would make them a laughingstock, especially to their fans. While they expect to win, they don't take it for granted. That makes them scary, smart, and beneficial to the DFF.

Go 'Canes!

This is the first team the Oil have played in awhile that's not on a losing skid. Does that mean this game is in the bag?

Incidentally, this is the first game in awhile that I'll actually be able to watch. I'll probably be walking in the door about halfway through the first period tonight.

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#36 Bucknuck
January 20 2010, 04:12PM
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With respect to the DFF, Since there is no clear cut winner in the group, does that mena that all three are awesome, or is it a "meh" selection. I have heard that it is a very deep draft, but what does that mean in terms of a DFF - deep means you can still get a good pick late in the first round, but what does that mean for the Oil?

I look at the top ten ranked guys and nothing sets my ginch on fire... Last year I loved Hedman and Tavares, the year before that I thought Stamkos was a sure bet. I don't get the warm and fuzzies about this group.

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#38 Just Some Idiot
January 20 2010, 04:13PM
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@ Ogden Jr.

I was referring to if/and when Moreau gets dealt.

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#41 Senator Theo
January 20 2010, 04:18PM
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I'm actually looking forward to watching this game tonight. I don't think the Oilers will win, but I think we might see an entertaining game.

As bad as these guys have played they're still professionals with big egos, and I think they're going to respond from the Colorado game and the bag skate.

I'm also encouraged to hear about interest in our vets. I actually had a dream last night that Moreau was traded, but I woke up before I got any of the details. I tried to get it back, but it was too late.

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#43 Wanyes bastard child
January 20 2010, 04:34PM
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@Jason Gregor

Hey Jason, I hear Lindsay Lohan has a sex tape out, is it you?

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#44 Ender
January 20 2010, 04:38PM
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If the Oilers lose tonight (I say if because it seems like whenever you take something for granted on this team, they always go out of their way to screw it up) it will probably destroy whatever remaining spirit may still reside in the hearts of the slower (sorry; special?) Oiler players. If they were disappointed with the results after skating their bags off for two days instead of golfing in the sun, how does yet another loss sound on the heels of a bag skate? At some point, a body stops flinching with the blows and just lays motionless waiting for the pain to end; a loss tonight would accomplish pretty much the same thing. I don't like Carolina as a team and they've proven this year that they can lose games like it's nobody's business, but even they won't be able to match the lifeless pack of zombies that would be the Oilers tomorrow.

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#45 Ender
January 20 2010, 04:48PM
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The Menace wrote:

I actually had a dream last night that Moreau was traded, but I woke up before I got any of the details. I tried to get it back, but it was too late.

You know, I thought I was a fan but I have to admit - my dreams do not feature the Oilers. Ever. Sometimes scary, often erotic, I can't remember them ever having a hockey player. Menace, I'm thinking you need a break, my friend.

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#46 Horcsky
January 20 2010, 04:53PM
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Ender wrote:

If the Oilers lose tonight (I say if because it seems like whenever you take something for granted on this team, they always go out of their way to screw it up) it will probably destroy whatever remaining spirit may still reside in the hearts of the slower (sorry; special?) Oiler players. If they were disappointed with the results after skating their bags off for two days instead of golfing in the sun, how does yet another loss sound on the heels of a bag skate? At some point, a body stops flinching with the blows and just lays motionless waiting for the pain to end; a loss tonight would accomplish pretty much the same thing. I don't like Carolina as a team and they've proven this year that they can lose games like it's nobody's business, but even they won't be able to match the lifeless pack of zombies that would be the Oilers tomorrow.

Learned Helplessness would be the term

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#47 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
January 20 2010, 05:04PM
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Ender wrote:

If the Oilers lose tonight (I say if because it seems like whenever you take something for granted on this team, they always go out of their way to screw it up) it will probably destroy whatever remaining spirit may still reside in the hearts of the slower (sorry; special?) Oiler players. If they were disappointed with the results after skating their bags off for two days instead of golfing in the sun, how does yet another loss sound on the heels of a bag skate? At some point, a body stops flinching with the blows and just lays motionless waiting for the pain to end; a loss tonight would accomplish pretty much the same thing. I don't like Carolina as a team and they've proven this year that they can lose games like it's nobody's business, but even they won't be able to match the lifeless pack of zombies that would be the Oilers tomorrow.

That's exactly what I'm getting at. They're probably just waiting for everyone to give up on them before they pull their sh!t together and go on another 5 game rip.

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#49 Senator Theo
January 20 2010, 05:09PM
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Ender wrote:

The Menace wrote:

I actually had a dream last night that Moreau was traded, but I woke up before I got any of the details. I tried to get it back, but it was too late.

You know, I thought I was a fan but I have to admit - my dreams do not feature the Oilers. Ever. Sometimes scary, often erotic, I can't remember them ever having a hockey player. Menace, I'm thinking you need a break, my friend.

You know, I read that back and I thought the same thing. Even in the middle of the worst year I can remember I'm still obsessed with this team.

If anything, I'm even more preoccupied with what's happening. Everytime someone misses a morning skate I think, "maybe they've been traded, better go check Twitter".

You're right - I do need to stop thinking about this so much. But seriously, you've never dreamed about the Oilers? Turn in your club card! What about the draft? I bet you could get something going with that.

I don't know if she dreamed about him, but my wife used to like Peter Nedved a lot when he played here. I took her to her first Oilers game when we were dating, and she picked him out right away. There was a couple sitting next to us at that game, and she told us her husband had given her the green light to sleep with any oiler at any time - player or coach. That seemed like going a bit far to me.

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#50 Wanye
January 20 2010, 05:15PM
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Wanyes bastard child wrote:

Hey Jason, I hear Lindsay Lohan has a sex tape out, is it you?

How can you be my bastard child when I love you so much?

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