GDB LII: Bag skates and the Blues

Jason Gregor
January 28 2010 11:52AM

Back on December 21st the Blues scored four powerplay goals in a 7-2 drubbing of the Oilers at Rexall Place. They won their next game before losing six straight, firing Andy Murray in the process and replacing him with Davis Payne, an Oiler draft pick in 1989.

Under Payne, the second youngest coach in the NHL at 39, the Blues are 6-5-2 and are five points back of 8th place Calgary. The Blues have the 7th best road record in the league, 14-8-4, but it’s they stink at home, 9-14-4, and that’s why they are in 13th place in the west.

Brad Boyes leads the Blues with 34 points, and only Nashville Patrik Hornqvist (33) and Boston, Patrice Bergeron (33), have a leading scorer with fewer points. The Blues have eight guys with ten or more goals with Andy McDonald leading the way with 16. They don’t score a bunch and they don’t give up a lot of goals.

O’Sullivan and Stortini out

The Oilers only had 12 skaters and the goalies on the ice this morning. Penner, Horcoff, Moreau, Pisani, Souray, Visnvosky, Jacques and Pouliot didn’t skate. The last two aren’t veterans and must be resting some minor bumps and bruises. Patrick O’Sullivan and Zack Stortini were on the ice for an extra 25 minutes skating and doing drills, and neither will play tonight.

O’Sullivan was asked what the message was from the coaches?

“I need to be better, more consistent. I expect more out of myself. It’s embarrassing for me, but that’s the point of it I think. It’s not fun skating like that. I haven’t done this since my first year. I’m gonna take the message and be better the next game I get to play.”

Of course he isn’t happy not playing, no player would be and I’d expect to see more jump in his game when he gets back in the lineup.

Quinn mentioned O’Sullivan sat out because he wasn’t meeting the coaches’ expectations, while Stortini was just caught up in the numbers game. Depending on how the team plays tonight, I’d expect both to play in Calgary on Saturday. Quinn made it very clear that there were many other candidates who could easily have been given the pass to the pressbox.

Two lines are set for sure:

Penner — Gagner — Nilsson
Moreau — Horcoff — Pisani

It sounds like Potulny is playing with Mike Comrie and Gilbert Brule, so that leaves Andrew Cogliano to skate with Jacques and Pouliot.

I’d like to see Brule play with Gagner and Penner once he gets up to speed. Brule and Penner have worked well together and now is the time to start looking at some line combinations that could work for next season.

I don’t see any of those three being moved, so why not use the final games to let them find some chemistry and continuity. If you look ahead those three along with Ales Hemsky, Jordan Eberle and the potential top-pick could be their top-six next season, so why not find out if those three can click as a line.

Devan Dubnyk was on the ice 20 minutes before practice working with Freddy Chabot. Actually Chabot had a camera and was taking pictures of him from different angles, sliding across the crease and challenging the shooter. Dubnyk will not play tonight, as Jeff Deslauriers will get another crack. He gave up a weak goal early against Chicago, but played decent after that.

Quinn said the decision was made yesterday at practice. He felt Deslauriers practiced better and looked more crisp so Deslauriers will get a shot to win his first game of 2010.

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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 Heavyd
January 28 2010, 09:57PM
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Well the only good thing is that calgary again lost tonight. So it means that on Saturday someone has to win. And knowing our luck this year it won't be us.

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#152 Travis Dakin
January 28 2010, 09:57PM
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David S wrote:

At this point, I'd be OK with a debacle.

I'm pretty much not going to bother going down for that game on Wednesday. Even my chance to say goodbye to BIG SEX isn't enough to make it worth while.

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#153 David S
January 28 2010, 09:58PM
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UPDATE!

The "Ryan Smyth Deathmarch" Oilers: 2-16-1

The current "AHL Goaltending" Oilers: 1-17-2

(Courtesy Copper and Blue)

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#154 Heavyd
January 28 2010, 09:59PM
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@Travis Dakin

I will take the tickets.

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#155 Quintana
January 28 2010, 09:59PM
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Some good news .... Coyotes 3 Flames 2 (SO)

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#156 Eddie Shore
January 28 2010, 10:00PM
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Scheißen! I thought we had this one.

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#157 Travis Dakin
January 28 2010, 10:00PM
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Heavyd wrote:

I will take the tickets.

I'll let you know within the next two days. If my brother backs out, they are yours.

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#158 Archaeologuy
January 28 2010, 10:01PM
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David S wrote:

UPDATE!

The "Ryan Smyth Deathmarch" Oilers: 2-16-1

The current "AHL Goaltending" Oilers: 1-17-2

(Courtesy Copper and Blue)

STOP!...Stop...he's already dead

*sobs uncontrollably*

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#159 David S
January 28 2010, 10:02PM
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OK. I'm calling it. So sue me.

This season is fixed.

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#160 Travis Dakin
January 28 2010, 10:04PM
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David S wrote:

OK. I'm calling it. So sue me.

This season is fixed.

FINALLY you say something that I can tolerate.

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#161 Eddie Shore
January 28 2010, 10:04PM
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http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=308024

So, Burkie, your team sucks, your players want out and you have no draft picks in the first two rounds this year.. ~you're right, our team is in the sewer.

I'd still rather be an Oilers fan than a Leafs fan. No question.

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#162 Moop
January 28 2010, 10:09PM
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Eddie Shore wrote:

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=308024

So, Burkie, your team sucks, your players want out and you have no draft picks in the first two rounds this year.. ~you're right, our team is in the sewer.

I'd still rather be an Oilers fan than a Leafs fan. No question.

See, the difference is that when Burkie runs his team into the sewer, he does not "throw grenades" at other teams. He just sits there and accepts it :P

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#163 Travis Dakin
January 28 2010, 10:10PM
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Seriously, what more can they say?

"Uh... yeah it sucks. We suck. We know. It's not going to change until some of us are gone. Sorry. Yes it's frustrating. I'm not happy. Now leave me alone.... I've got some sweet random Edmonton poontang to crush now."

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#164 Archaeologuy
January 28 2010, 10:12PM
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Travis Dakin wrote:

Seriously, what more can they say?

"Uh... yeah it sucks. We suck. We know. It's not going to change until some of us are gone. Sorry. Yes it's frustrating. I'm not happy. Now leave me alone.... I've got some sweet random Edmonton poontang to crush now."

And then Gene turns to Nilsson and says, "Now what do YOU think?"

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#165 Travis Dakin
January 28 2010, 10:13PM
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@Archaeologuy

HAHAHAHA

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#166 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
January 28 2010, 10:14PM
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Travis Dakin wrote:

Seriously, what more can they say?

"Uh... yeah it sucks. We suck. We know. It's not going to change until some of us are gone. Sorry. Yes it's frustrating. I'm not happy. Now leave me alone.... I've got some sweet random Edmonton poontang to crush now."

at least willis has an easy gig with the post game reports.

step 1) load post game from any of the last 18 games

step 2) change opposition team name

step 3) change goalie name to match who played

step 4) change score

step 5) click submit

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#167 jeanshorts
January 28 2010, 10:14PM
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@Eddie Shore

My friend always screams at me how much every single person to ever lace up a pair of skates wants nothing more than to play for the mighty Toronto Maple Leaves.

Not that this will slow him down at all, but at least it makes me happy on the inside.

Edit: Oh, and at least our GM doesn't keep talking like the playoffs are a legitimate goal for this season. I'm all for being positive, but sometimes you have to bite the bullet.

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#168 Travis Dakin
January 28 2010, 10:18PM
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@cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

I want Willis's day job. How that man holds down a full time job and is so prolific with the in depth posts he writes on 10 different sites, all the while commenting up a storm on 21 different sites I will never understand... AND HE HAS A WIFE!!!!

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#169 David S
January 28 2010, 10:20PM
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Travis Dakin wrote:

I want Willis's day job. How that man holds down a full time job and is so prolific with the in depth posts he writes on 10 different sites, all the while commenting up a storm on 21 different sites I will never understand... AND HE HAS A WIFE!!!!

Finally YOU say something that I can tolerate.

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#170 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
January 28 2010, 10:23PM
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Travis Dakin wrote:

I want Willis's day job. How that man holds down a full time job and is so prolific with the in depth posts he writes on 10 different sites, all the while commenting up a storm on 21 different sites I will never understand... AND HE HAS A WIFE!!!!

hang on just a second.

willis has a wife? i can barely play a round of golf or read a book on the shitter without getting nagged..

***sobs and grabs Chose Your Own Adventure book***

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#171 Travis Dakin
January 28 2010, 10:25PM
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David S wrote:

Finally YOU say something that I can tolerate.

Serve and point.

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#172 jeanshorts
January 28 2010, 10:27PM
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I miss angry Pat Quinn. Especially angry even though the Oilers just won a big game Pat Quinn.

Sad, deflated Pat Quinn makes my heart hurt.

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#173 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
January 28 2010, 10:28PM
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I went to a play about sexual confusion, gender roles, and racism instead of watching the Oilers game.

Terrible play, but I stand by my choice.

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#174 David S
January 28 2010, 10:29PM
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Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things wrote:

I went to a play about sexual confusion, gender roles, and racism instead of watching the Oilers game.

Terrible play, but I stand by my choice.

I dunno. Sounds like you went to the Oilers game.

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#175 Eddie Shore
January 28 2010, 10:32PM
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Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things wrote:

I went to a play about sexual confusion, gender roles, and racism instead of watching the Oilers game.

Terrible play, but I stand by my choice.

You hung out at the mall in downtown Winnipeg? You are a brave soul.

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#176 David S
January 28 2010, 10:33PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

I miss angry Pat Quinn. Especially angry even though the Oilers just won a big game Pat Quinn.

Sad, deflated Pat Quinn makes my heart hurt.

He sounds resigned to me, like he's a part of something that's against everything he believes in.

Not calling a critical timeout.

Playing very questionable guys in the last minute of a game.

Tom Gilbert's academy award worthy "trip" tonight.

Fix.

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#177 jeanshorts
January 28 2010, 10:35PM
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@David S

You think Quinn's family is being held at gun point by a couple of Katz' cronies right now in some kind of sprawling, criminal mastermind layer?

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#178 David S
January 28 2010, 10:45PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

You think Quinn's family is being held at gun point by a couple of Katz' cronies right now in some kind of sprawling, criminal mastermind layer?

Look man. Pro hockey is as much entertainment and business as it is about sport. Quinn gets paid pretty well to carry out the wishes of Katz and senior management.

Of course this gets into the realm of conspiracy theory, but what if the team got so tired of chasing a superstar and failing that they finally said "F it, we're going to the basement to get the #1 pick this year!"?.

Then think of all the inconsistencies we've seen this year from management and to some extent, some of the players. It stinks man.

I'm not going to say much more about this. It insults guys like Brownlee, who I admire. Still, its beyond my comprehension ANY pro team could be this bad without a little bit of help. How slim is the difference between winning and losing most nights? How little would you have to change to fix the outcome? Not much.

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#179 Travis Dakin
January 28 2010, 10:49PM
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@David S

You must learn to let go of your anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. Just enjoy seeing something that not even the most vehement critics of this team could have possibly seen coming.

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#180 jeanshorts
January 28 2010, 10:52PM
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@David S

*puts on tinfoil hat*

If you can't beat em, join em!

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#181 The Real Scuba Steve
January 28 2010, 10:52PM
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David S wrote:

Look man. Pro hockey is as much entertainment and business as it is about sport. Quinn gets paid pretty well to carry out the wishes of Katz and senior management.

Of course this gets into the realm of conspiracy theory, but what if the team got so tired of chasing a superstar and failing that they finally said "F it, we're going to the basement to get the #1 pick this year!"?.

Then think of all the inconsistencies we've seen this year from management and to some extent, some of the players. It stinks man.

I'm not going to say much more about this. It insults guys like Brownlee, who I admire. Still, its beyond my comprehension ANY pro team could be this bad without a little bit of help. How slim is the difference between winning and losing most nights? How little would you have to change to fix the outcome? Not much.

Kevin Lowe is that desperate to go that way, why he still has a job baffles me.

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#182 David S
January 28 2010, 10:53PM
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Ha ha Travis. I was just picturing Yoda..."...Hate leads to the dark side."

Travis: "I'm not scared"

Tambellini: "You will be. You WILL be."

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#183 Travis Dakin
January 28 2010, 11:08PM
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David S wrote:

Ha ha Travis. I was just picturing Yoda..."...Hate leads to the dark side."

Travis: "I'm not scared"

Tambellini: "You will be. You WILL be."

It's like watching scary movies for me. I'm not scared because I know they are fake. Just like this team.

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#184 HottScarrison
January 29 2010, 12:37AM
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To add to the conspiracy theory...it seemed suspicious to me when Gene was interviewing Nilson after the game. One of them mentioned mistakes and Nilson smirked like he and Gene were up to something. maybe its just me but my eyebrows raised there.

Also it could be that elusive "ethics" thingamajig that Gregor been teasing us with.

Beat Calgary!!!! thats my wish, Someone from alberta gonna win soon yay.

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#185 Chris.
January 29 2010, 09:21AM
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@Jonathan Willis

Hey Jon... Didn't you (and the rest of us) call for MacT to be fired when he healthy scratched a few whipping boy forwards and then skated them extra apart from the group?

The way I see it we have two choices: a) We need to write an open letter of apology to MacT... or b) Start the FQ&RNF Campaign.

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