GDB L: Shoot for the stars

Jason Gregor
January 22 2010 11:38AM

Coming off their best effort in a month, the Oilers will try for their first win in 2010 tonight when the face the Dallas Stars. The Oilers are the only team in the NHL without a win in 2010.

The Stars lost last night in Vancouver, and sit five points back of eighth-place Detroit — the Phlegms have lost five in a row and are in 9th place, by virtue of playing one more game than the Wings.

I’m not a diehard fan anymore due to my job, but I’m an Edmontonian and I will always have a rivalry against Calgary. How much better would Oiler fans feel if you got the first or second pick and the Flames missed the playoffs? It's a Calgary thing to mock Edmonton, or basically try to cover their inferiority complex, but I think most Edmontonians would revel in watching the “C” go down in Flames.

I digress. Back to tonight’s game...

The Stars can’t keep the puck out of the net (161 GA) and that’s why they sit with 53 points and in 10th spot in the west. Only Columbus (176) and Edmonton (168) have given up more goals in the west, and the Stars don’t have enough scoring power to compensate for that.

Marc Crawford isn’t winning many fans inside his locker room. His caustic personality has rubbed a few the wrong way, which you’d expect, but when a team isn’t winning that type of coaching personality gets annoying much more quickly.

Brad Richards is having a stellar campaign, tied for 6th in league scoring with 57 points, but he is -10. Loui Eriksson, 21 goals and 48 points and James Neal, 19 goals and 37 points have been solid again. However, Mike Ribeiro, Brendan Morrow and Mike Modano are having below average seasons.

The Stars will go with all their power on one line.

Neal — Richards — Eriksson
Ott — Wandell — Brunnstrom
Sutherby — Benn — Sawada
Barch — Modano — Petersen

I think it's clear that Modano is near the end with only eight goals and 18 points. Ribeiro has ten goals, while Brendan Morrow only has 27 points. Morrow will sit out again tonight with a lower body injury.

We shouldn’t be surprised the Stars are struggling defensively with all the young defenders they have. Matt Niskanen, Mark Firstric, Nicklas Grossman and Jeff Woywitka along with Stephane Robidas, Trevor Daley and Karlis Skrastins make up their blueline. Not a stellar cast.

The Stars are 0-8-2 in their last ten road games, so if the Oilers are ever going to win a game again, tonight would look like the night...

Light skate

The Oilers only had 14 skaters on the ice this morning including Mike Comrie, so there were no line rushes. They did a lot of skating and shooting drills.

Shawn Horcoff, Fernando Pisani, Lubomir Visnovsky, Ethan Moreau and Taylor Chorney didn’t skate. Chorney’s flight didn’t make it in time but he will play tonight in place of Ladislav Smid. Smid and Steve Staios along with Gilbert Brule and Comrie won’t go tonight.

The Oilers have won both meetings this year, and they won both in a shootout; 5-4 in Edmonton on Oct 6th and 3-2 in Dallas on Dec 5th.

The lines are the same tonight and Devan Dubnyk will start his second-straight game. He played his best game of the year v. Vancouver so Quinn will give him a chance to get on a roll.

Mike Comrie is hoping to play on Tuesday.

"I’ll be ready to go for the skills competition. I have to challenge Pouliot for the accuracy shooting. I think he went four-for-four last year so I’ll try to take his title."

Comrie is looking to have to solid skates over the weekend and then hopefully he can play v. the Blackhawks on Tuesday.

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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 TrentonL
January 22 2010, 11:44AM
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WOOT Comrie coming back Tuesday cue the playoff drive baby!!! What.....too late?

Hopefully Smid isn't out long, he is a guy that we need developing for next year and beyond. Pekham should be called up and Strudwick sat as well.

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#2 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
January 22 2010, 11:45AM
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I say we win in a shootout.

What's the word on Smid and Staios, is this long-term?

I like that comment on Pouilot by Comrie. It shows the kid has some skill, now if he could actually convert that to on ice production.

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#3 Kevin
January 22 2010, 12:04PM
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TrentonL wrote:

WOOT Comrie coming back Tuesday cue the playoff drive baby!!! What.....too late?

Hopefully Smid isn't out long, he is a guy that we need developing for next year and beyond. Pekham should be called up and Strudwick sat as well.

ya, all we need is another smurf in the line up

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#4 Lofty
January 22 2010, 12:07PM
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Good to see Comrie is excited for the skills competition... He might be the only one

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#5 David S
January 22 2010, 12:16PM
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Wait. What?

Loverboy is coming to the River Cree in February?

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#6 The Real Scuba Steve
January 22 2010, 12:16PM
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Pew Pew!?! LOL

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#7 Jodes
January 22 2010, 12:22PM
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David S wrote:

Wait. What?

Loverboy is coming to the River Cree in February?

With Barney Bentall!

Also, Cheap Trick Friday March 26th, and the John Fogertyless Creedence Clearwater "Revisited" there sometime in May..

As for Peckham not playing, he JUST returned from injury, so they don't want to rush him by sending him up to the big team.

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#8 Ender
January 22 2010, 12:28PM
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Modano on the fourth line. Wow. I remember the old days when Dallas was a bitter rival and even then it was hard not to like Modano. It's kind of painful seeing him with those wingers; this isn't how it was supposed to end for Mikey.

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#9 HottScarrison
January 22 2010, 12:30PM
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Since we're the slumpbreakers and dallas is in a slump on the road, anyone think that it could get ugly for us?

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#10 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
January 22 2010, 12:35PM
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@Ender

He'll still find a way to score against us tonight.

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#11 The Towel Boy
January 22 2010, 12:35PM
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Oilers 5, Stars 2

Yeah, that should do it.

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#12 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 22 2010, 12:35PM
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The injuries/illness this team has gone through is really unbelievable.

I top 2 pick and a 9th place finish for the Flames would completly wash away the negativity of the season in my mind.

Also just noticed a facebook page trying to get Quinn fired. When is his honeymoon officially over? This time next year?

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#13 BUCK75
January 22 2010, 12:37PM
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TrentonL wrote:

WOOT Comrie coming back Tuesday cue the playoff drive baby!!! What.....too late?

Hopefully Smid isn't out long, he is a guy that we need developing for next year and beyond. Pekham should be called up and Strudwick sat as well.

~too bad we have a salary cap problem or else we could~

Strudwick is what he is a simple hockey player. If he didn't HAVE to play so much we probably wouldn't even talk about him.

edit @bingofuel - I would have epected you to put a Star Trek taser instead of the 'canned' gun ;)

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#14 barnorth
January 22 2010, 12:42PM
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Hey Gregor, how many times do you figure Patrick O'Sullivan has hit the post this year?

His season seems to be summed up by circling the faceoof dot on his off-wing and ripping a snap-shot off the post, the other night over Luongo's shoulder.

What do you think? Obviously everyone has bad luck, and he still technically missed the net, but add it up and he could have 20 goals at this point!

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#15 Stall35
January 22 2010, 12:47PM
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@TrentonL

I say we start winning on Tuesday...Comrie will get them rolling which in turns end the DFF and again....Comrie will screw Edmonton...lol. Jokes! Jokes!!!....

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#16 Librarian Mike
January 22 2010, 12:50PM
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"First win of 2010..."

Why do I get the feeling that Gregor will use that phrase again in February?

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#17 bingofuel
January 22 2010, 12:51PM
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@BUCK75

If you knew me *really* well, you'd know I'm steampunk obsessed. :)

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#18 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
January 22 2010, 12:52PM
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A girl I used to work with recently moved to Edmonton. She just messaged me on facespace to inform me that she'll be there cheering for the Stars tonight.

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#19 SquidRx
January 22 2010, 12:59PM
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Oilers win 2-1 after holding off a wild 6 on 5 scramble at the end of the game. Dubie makes a number of highlight reel saves. To celebrate the win the Oilers gather at centre ice and sing a rousing rendition of "Pants on the Ground".

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#20 Bucknuck
January 22 2010, 01:05PM
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4-3 oilers win. They will take a 4-1 lead into the third and ALMOST blow it.

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#21 roughneck
January 22 2010, 01:06PM
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http://stars.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=60170

zoiks!!!!

OH yah.. was at the Flames game last night. Not a good place to be. The game was never really in doubt despite the usual stellar efforts of Kipper. Sadly for the Flames the best players of late are upcoming UFAs, kind of sums up the sentiment in the barn last night... brutal. And a rarity,,, anti GlenX sentiment.... that was novel.

I had a good laugh... a fan in the section I was in, after a most grievous error from one of the big 3....... "maybe that Yzerman was right". A singular game is a very small sample size but "MAYBE" indeed.

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#22 SquidRx
January 22 2010, 01:09PM
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Bouncing Bob Stauffer just referenced a Bob Mckenzie article at TSN.ca that suggests that Calgary MAY be in the Kovalchuk sweepstake.

*swallows back a bit of throw-up in mouth*

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#23 rubbertrout
January 22 2010, 01:12PM
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David S wrote:

Wait. What?

Loverboy is coming to the River Cree in February?

Is anyone else really creeped out by the Loverboy photo? That lead singer rivals the Sedins for his "serial killer" look.

I'll be happy when February 6 comes and goes that's for sure.

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#24 SirFozz
January 22 2010, 01:16PM
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Wow, I can't even bring myself to be mildly interested in this game. Shame considering the past of these teams.

I did enjoy watching the flames being booed off their own ice last night. Now that is some good tv.

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#25 Librarian Mike
January 22 2010, 01:21PM
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Game Day Prediction: Mike Modano reads today's GDB stating that he's fast approaching the end of his career. He then proceeds to score 4 highlight-reel goals, reminding every Oilers fan that our team is and always has been his b!tch.

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#26 RyanB
January 22 2010, 01:24PM
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@SquidRx

That would make my ticket worth the money for sure

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#27 Bucknuck
January 22 2010, 01:33PM
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SquidRx wrote:

Bouncing Bob Stauffer just referenced a Bob Mckenzie article at TSN.ca that suggests that Calgary MAY be in the Kovalchuk sweepstake.

*swallows back a bit of throw-up in mouth*

yano... Phaneuf + for Kovi might make some sense. Kovalchuk, Jokinen, Iginla would be a pretty good line.

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#28 I'm a Scientist!
January 22 2010, 01:44PM
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If we pull out a win tonight, do the Oilers still give the 'stick in the air' salute at center ice?

If they do, I bet Gagner says "pew pew" when he raises his...

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#29 I'm a Scientist!
January 22 2010, 01:48PM
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Game Day Prediction: Turco will continue to play the puck perfectly each and every time. Once again feeling the need to copy his play, JDD will jump off the bench to intercept a pass between Dubnyk and Horcoff, only to give the puck away to Mike 'Hollywood' Modano. Mike will score and ladies in their mid-40's will go nuts. After his 4 goal performance expect panties and thongs to litter the ice.

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#30 Bucknuck
January 22 2010, 01:49PM
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If Calgary skids long and hard enough to become a seller at the deadline, then the Jokinen sweepstakes could begin in earnest.

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#31 OILERSOREATH
January 22 2010, 01:52PM
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Jeezus no Brule again?? He's the only reason I watch their games! Is it still the flu or is something else hindering him?

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#32 madjam
January 22 2010, 01:56PM
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Jokinen , Phaneuf and first round pick :or same two with swap of first round picks might do it for Flames with some tweaking. What could the Oilers realistically get if the only under 6 ft . player they kept was Gagner from current squad ??

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#33 I'm a Scientist!
January 22 2010, 02:01PM
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Why isn't Horcoff getting surgery?

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#34 Skadden
January 22 2010, 02:04PM
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Anyone going to the skills competition, as if they have skills to showcase? I was watching the predictions. Does anyone else find it totally annoying that Gilbert mostly picks himself to win everything? What a dumbass! Even Cogs picks other people to win fastest skater, even though he's most likely a sure winner there.

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#35 WT
January 22 2010, 02:12PM
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Everyone laughed at WT shortly after Flames signed Jay when it was suggeted Dion would not finish the year with the Flames. Not so funny now is it? Epic skid is how TSN is referring to the Oil today. Great coverage! Bob Stauffer is the main man the Oil have been looking for. He is wasting his talents on the radio.

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#36 roughneck
January 22 2010, 02:16PM
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WT wrote:

Everyone laughed at WT shortly after Flames signed Jay when it was suggeted Dion would not finish the year with the Flames. Not so funny now is it? Epic skid is how TSN is referring to the Oil today. Great coverage! Bob Stauffer is the main man the Oil have been looking for. He is wasting his talents on the radio.

How is a guy whose greatest talent is talking, wasting his time on the radio?

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#37 Ender
January 22 2010, 02:23PM
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WT wrote:

Everyone laughed at WT shortly after Flames signed Jay when it was suggeted Dion would not finish the year with the Flames. Not so funny now is it? Epic skid is how TSN is referring to the Oil today. Great coverage! Bob Stauffer is the main man the Oil have been looking for. He is wasting his talents on the radio.

Maybe WT just didn't understand all of the reasons we laugh at him.

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#38 Skadden
January 22 2010, 02:24PM
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*wonders why WT always refers to himself in third person*

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#39 BUCK75
January 22 2010, 02:28PM
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@bingofuel

*head explodes after finding out there are numerous genres of sci-fi*

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#40 spOILer
January 22 2010, 02:28PM
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"pew pew"???

I think someone has been playing too much Borderlands and not watching Oiler "hockey".

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#41 BUCK75
January 22 2010, 02:29PM
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roughneck wrote:

How is a guy whose greatest talent is talking, wasting his time on the radio?

~Maybe he should become a telemarketer instead. His talents would be better suited to that...

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#42 I'm a Scientist!
January 22 2010, 02:37PM
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@Ender

ha ha, I'm a Scientist! couldn't agree more.

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#43 swany
January 22 2010, 02:52PM
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The Flames sinking fast that's FANTASTIC, wouldn't it be great to see us get the 1st overall pick and Calgary end up 9th. They have already sold off the future for vets if this team flames out it could be a longer rebuild than the Oil face. Next year the Oil will be up the Flames will be down, I hope Sutter goes after Kovy and gives up YOUNG roster players and picks that would set them back another 2 or 3 years.

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#44 Archaeologuy
January 22 2010, 02:55PM
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Bucknuck wrote:

yano... Phaneuf + for Kovi might make some sense. Kovalchuk, Jokinen, Iginla would be a pretty good line.

But there's only 1 puck on the ice at a time, which would mean that 2/3 of that line would be useless 90% of the time. Seriously, the big knock on the Jokinen + Iggy combo was that they were both shooters. Add a 3rd pure shooter and watch productivity fall even more than ever.

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#45 David S
January 22 2010, 03:05PM
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I'm a Scientist! wrote:

If we pull out a win tonight, do the Oilers still give the 'stick in the air' salute at center ice?

If they do, I bet Gagner says "pew pew" when he raises his...

I'm not sure if they remember how to do the "stick in the air" salute. I mean it was so long ago, Gagner was just a boy.

Pew pew!

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#46 Bucknuck
January 22 2010, 03:15PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

But there's only 1 puck on the ice at a time, which would mean that 2/3 of that line would be useless 90% of the time. Seriously, the big knock on the Jokinen + Iggy combo was that they were both shooters. Add a 3rd pure shooter and watch productivity fall even more than ever.

yeah you have a point.

So you acquire Kovalchuk, but trade Jokinen and get a passing centre in there.

oh the trade speculation before the deadline is so much fun.

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#47 DK0
January 22 2010, 03:20PM
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"Pew Pew" is to "clap clap"
as
Losing is to Winning

Did I do that right? anyways, Pew Pew should be the clap clap of the DFF

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#48 Eddie Shore
January 22 2010, 03:21PM
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Pew pew reminds me of Star Trek battle scenes. I wish laser guns were real.

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#49 Librarian Mike
January 22 2010, 03:28PM
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Eddie Shore wrote:

Pew pew reminds me of Star Trek battle scenes. I wish laser guns were real.

http://www.tvrotsyourmindgrapes.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/Laser-tag.jpg

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