GDB 10.0: OFFENCE STARTING TO ROLL?

Jason Gregor
November 02 2010 01:08PM

After a 7-4 win in Chicago on Friday are the Oiler forwards starting to feel comfortable? Sam Gagner and Andrew Cogliano scored their first goals of the season, while Ales Hemsky, Jordan Eberle, Magnus Paajarvi and Taylor Hall each had two points. The entire forward group has had a bit more bounce in their step since Friday, and they hope to continue it tonight in the 200th regular season game between the Oilers and Canucks.

The Oilers all-time record v. the Nucks is 104-68-19-8 (19 ties came before the shootout). Tonight also marks the 100th home game v. Vancouver where the Oilers are 59-29-7-4. Many of those wins came in the in the 1980s, but since the lockout the Oilers have still been good v. the Canucks at home going 10-7-1, including going 2-0-1 last year v. Vancouver.

 For many the Battle of Alberta is still the main rivarly for the Oilers, but I'd argue that in the past five years the games v. the Canucks have more animosity, chippiness and action. The Canucks have a lot of skill with the Sedin Sisters, but they have lots of skill, grit and overall piss-you-off-ness in the likes of Ryan Kesler, Kevin Bieksa, Rick Rypien and Alex Burrows.

Burrows will make his season debut tonight, and you know he'll be amped up to deliver a cheap shot or two. The Oilers seem to enjoy the chippiness and in most games v. the Canucks they have responded well and delivered as many  blows/cheap shots as they've recieved. Outside of the first and last games v. Calgary this year, the Oilers haven't been involved in many physical affairs, but tonight we should see the intensity heighten.

DISCIPLINE NEEDED

The Oilers need to be disciplined though, because if they take too many penalties the Sedins will destroy them. Daniel, seven goals and 12 points, and Henrik, no goals and 11 points, are once again leading the Canucks offensive charge early this season. They will have Burrow back on their RW tonight, and the Oilers have to make sure they don't allow Burrows to agitate and become the focus, or that will just give the Sedins more room to work their magic.

The Sedins have killed the Oilers the past few years, especially on the PP.

The Canucks aren't 9th on the PP at an efficient 21%, and the Sedins have five and four points respectively. The Canucks have only had 38 PP chances in ten games, while the Oilers have had 43 in their nine games. The Sedins along with Christian Ehrhoff control the Canucks PP and their puck movement and ability to read off one another might be the best in the league.

STICK AND SMARTS NOT SHOULDERS? 

Ryan Whitney and Tom Gilbert will see a lot of the Sedins tonight, and Whitney might have to talk to his stick often to ensure it knows where he wants it to go. We always hear how you should try to play the Sedins, Sidney Crosby or Alex Ovechkin tough and hard, but according to Whitney that isn't the best philosophy.

"I think they have the best chemistry as a pair of any players in the game. They've grown up together and know exactly where the other is all the time. They move so well off the puck. They move it and they never stand still, then they get to another area and the other one throws it back to where his brother is going. They have that sixth sense and that's why when they move it you can't let them create space and you have to take away their time.

"It's all about having a good stick. Those guys want you to go the them. If you saw Datsyuk score a goal v. Nashville the other night, he waited in the corner for the D-man to come at him, and when he did, boom Datsyuk is off him and scored. Those guys you don't go right at him, you have a good stick and good position because they are too good to try and put through the boards. Unless you are Chara, other guys just can't do it consistently."

Whitney and Gilbert aren't overly physical, but they skate well and Whitney, especially, has a good stick so expect to see them match up often against the Sedins. Five-on-five they are very dangerous. Burrows scored 26 EV strength last year, and added five SH and only four on the PP. Despite playing his first game in over five months, Burrows is someone the Oilers need to be aware of.

Tom Renney won't make any changes to the lineup that beat Chicago.

Paajarvi/Gagner/Hemsky
Hall/Horcoff/Eberle
Penner/Cogliano/Brule
Jones/Fraser/Stortini

Whitney/Gilbert
Smid/Foster
Peckham/Strudwick

Khabibulin

Roberto Luongo will play tonight after a 3-0 shutout win last night v. New Jersey.

D.Sedin/H.Sedin/Burrows
Raymond/Kesler/Samuelsson
Torres/Malhotra/Hansen
Glass/Schaefer/Desbiens

Edler/Ehrhoff
Bieksa/Alberts
Ballard/Rome

The Canucks have lots of skill, but a lot guys who like to run around like Glass, Hansen, Burrows, Kesler and even their bottom four D-men are physical. The Oilers will need a solid, energetic game from their 4th line tonight, and will need Smid to play more in-your-face than we have seen so far this season.

JDD AND JACQUES TO OKC

Jeff Deslauriers cleared waivers today and will head to Oklahoma and will play this weekend, and he will J.F Jacques on the flight with him. Jacques told me he is going down to OKC on a conditioning stint. He is hoping to play four or five games. He doesn't have to clear waivers, because he is on a conditioning stint, but he remains on the 23-man roster so the Oilers can't recall anyone. 

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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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#51 DSF
November 02 2010, 06:58PM
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Malhotra with two and 72 percent on the dot.

Oh, and the twins get a couple on the PP.

They always do.

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#52 superchan
November 02 2010, 06:58PM
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link?

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#53 Senator Theo
November 02 2010, 07:30PM
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is it me or is this a bit of a slow start to this one?

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#54 Maggie the Monkey
November 02 2010, 07:30PM
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@superchan

This one is on and off and back on again:

http://www.atdhe.net/27246/watch-vancouver-canucks-vs-edmonton-oilers

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#55 Matt Henderson
November 02 2010, 07:30PM
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Super yawn so far. Let's pick things up, Oilers.

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#56 jeanshorts
November 02 2010, 07:31PM
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Senator Theo wrote:

is it me or is this a bit of a slow start to this one?

Silver lining is both teams have been pretty dead offensively up until that Hall shot and that last Burrows redirect. But the Oilers can't get anything going, and they're getting worked over in their own end.

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#57 Matt Henderson
November 02 2010, 07:32PM
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Good, now Eberle can get things going on the PK

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#58 Matt Henderson
November 02 2010, 07:32PM
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oops

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#59 jeanshorts
November 02 2010, 07:34PM
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Honestly, did anyone predict a Sedin to Sedin powerplay happening just now?

OH COME ON! RAFFI?? BBBOOOOOOOO!!!

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#60 Senator Theo
November 02 2010, 07:35PM
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Raffi? Get real man!

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#61 Senator Theo
November 02 2010, 07:35PM
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I kind of miss the time when it was a slow start.

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#62 Senator Theo
November 02 2010, 07:39PM
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hope our next PK is better than our PP. blech.

EDIT: It wasn't. 3-0 Nucks.

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#63 Matt Henderson
November 02 2010, 07:40PM
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Remember when the Oilers kicked the snot out of the defending Cup champs? That was a good day.

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#64 jeanshorts
November 02 2010, 07:43PM
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Well if there's one thing you can say it's that our PK is INSANELY consistent.

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#65 Senator Theo
November 02 2010, 07:44PM
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I dont remember Raffi scoring 2 very many nights.

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#66 @NateInVegas
November 02 2010, 07:47PM
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The CheerTeam is intended to deflect attention away from the on ice product..

Just sayin...

(Any chance the Oilers win a faceoff tonight?)

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#67 jeanshorts
November 02 2010, 07:48PM
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@NateInVegas wrote:

The CheerTeam is intended to deflect attention away from the on ice product..

Just sayin...

(Any chance the Oilers win a faceoff tonight?)

Malholtra.....Kesler.....Whichever Sedin that is.........

No. No chance.

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#68 Quicksilver ballet
November 02 2010, 08:02PM
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Maybe if Raffi thinks he's a goal scorer he won't be in head hunting mode.

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#69 DSF
November 02 2010, 08:06PM
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Sorry, I exaggerated earlier.

Malhotra is only 70 percent on the dot.

Horcoff is 17 percent...must be injured again.

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#70 Matt Henderson
November 02 2010, 08:06PM
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@Quicksilver ballet

You know that you jinxed us right? Now Torres is going to absolutely cream one of the kids.

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#71 Matt Henderson
November 02 2010, 08:08PM
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The linesmen have been brutal tonight. I've seen at least 3 plays that should have been whistled off-side for both teams.

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#72 Senator Theo
November 02 2010, 08:12PM
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I think I just started to hate Torres.

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#73 jeanshorts
November 02 2010, 08:14PM
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Senator Theo wrote:

I think I just started to hate Torres.

Has he left the ice tonight? I think I've heard his name 109309324098423098 times already.

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#74 Senator Theo
November 02 2010, 08:19PM
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@jeanshorts

I think I saw him on the ice while he was serving that penalty.

Torres is everywhere.

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#75 Matt Henderson
November 02 2010, 08:21PM
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I blame the first period on Peckham's moustache

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#76 Shaun Doe
November 02 2010, 08:21PM
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Why does John Garret have a job, he adss absolutely nothing to a broadcast. And suck it Luongo

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#77 Senator Theo
November 02 2010, 08:21PM
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On the other end of the spectrum, Penner's goal is the first shift I've noticed him tonight.

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#78 Matt Henderson
November 02 2010, 08:22PM
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My Star set that all up.

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#79 Senator Theo
November 02 2010, 08:24PM
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Shaun Doe wrote:

Why does John Garret have a job, he adss absolutely nothing to a broadcast. And suck it Luongo

If it makes you feel any better, Kevin quinn is keeping track of the number of puck "souvenirs" for the crowd.

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#80 jeanshorts
November 02 2010, 08:25PM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

My Star set that all up.

Great forecheck there. Looks like he's finally settling into the idea of being a third liner that's tough to play against. I love it.

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#81 Shaun Doe
November 02 2010, 08:26PM
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Senator Theo wrote:

If it makes you feel any better, Kevin quinn is keeping track of the number of puck "souvenirs" for the crowd.

It does, in that trying to guess what number he's up to has distracted me from Garrets nasal trill for the moment.

Also can anyone explain to my why Oil fans at Rexal haven't hunted down all the jackarses "lou-ing" in the crowd and either A) punched them in the throat or B) chocked them out.

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#82 bigrroberto
November 02 2010, 08:26PM
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Anyone else impressed by the fourth line tonight? I really like their work ethic. Had about 4 or 5 good shifts in a row now.

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#83 Senator Theo
November 02 2010, 08:29PM
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Shaun Doe wrote:

It does, in that trying to guess what number he's up to has distracted me from Garrets nasal trill for the moment.

Also can anyone explain to my why Oil fans at Rexal haven't hunted down all the jackarses "lou-ing" in the crowd and either A) punched them in the throat or B) chocked them out.

2 so far, but we`re hopeful for a few more.

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#84 RossCreekNation
November 02 2010, 08:31PM
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John Garrett this. Charlie Simmer that. Pete Loubardias this. Kevin Quinn that.

Let's just admit it... Sportsnet broadcast crew's suck the hind banana.

Also, I'd take John Garrett over Simmer or Debrusk... but not necessarily because I like John Garrett a whole lot.

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#85 jeanshorts
November 02 2010, 08:32PM
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bigrroberto wrote:

Anyone else impressed by the fourth line tonight? I really like their work ethic. Had about 4 or 5 good shifts in a row now.

They're playing well. It's so weird to see the Oilers throw out a fourth line that doesn't absolutely leak goals and is actually, you know, effective.

That Hemsky line on the other hand, yikes. They're getting roasted tonight. Time for Paajarvi to kick it into 6th.

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#86 Shaun Doe
November 02 2010, 08:41PM
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Well, time for our usual third period, "wait is this the same team from the first two periods" routine I guess?

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#87 jeanshorts
November 02 2010, 08:49PM
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Shaun Doe wrote:

Well, time for our usual third period, "wait is this the same team from the first two periods" routine I guess?

ABSOLUTELY!

I just wish that we'd have our "down swing" games during this roller coaster of a season against teams I didn't hate with all my being. Play crappy against Anaheim or Columbus. Teams no one cares about.

That second period looked way better though.

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#88 Shaun Doe
November 02 2010, 09:01PM
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Anyone else hear Hall dropped the F-Bomb on Kessler/the Linesman? Poor guy just wants to win SO bad.

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#89 Senator Theo
November 02 2010, 09:02PM
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Jonesy!!!!

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#90 Matt Henderson
November 02 2010, 09:02PM
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4th line dominance. Set up by Stortini's effort. Awesome.

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#91 jeanshorts
November 02 2010, 09:03PM
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MY LOVE FOR RYAN JONES GROWS EXPONENTIALLY!!

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#92 Shaun Doe
November 02 2010, 09:05PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

MY LOVE FOR RYAN JONES GROWS EXPONENTIALLY!!

Ever notice he sorta looks like Edward Scisor hands with that hair? On a side note has anyone ever seen Edward Penis Hands? Not sexy... *shudder*

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#93 Matt Henderson
November 02 2010, 09:05PM
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SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

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#94 Matt Henderson
November 02 2010, 09:06PM
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My Star set that one up too.

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#95 jeanshorts
November 02 2010, 09:07PM
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Alright now we just need to stay out of the box and not do anything stupid in our own end and we can close this one out!

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#96 Gongshow
November 02 2010, 09:07PM
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I'd just like to chip in and say that the Oilers started scoring and the Canucks stopped scoring AFTER I started drinking. I promise I won't stop until the game is over.

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#97 jeanshorts
November 02 2010, 09:08PM
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Shaun Doe wrote:

Ever notice he sorta looks like Edward Scisor hands with that hair? On a side note has anyone ever seen Edward Penis Hands? Not sexy... *shudder*

I don't know how the Stortini's/Jones'/Hartnell's/ETC of the world walk around with those lids off the ice. It looks bad ass under a helmet, but it must look ridiculous at the mall.

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#98 rubbertrout
November 02 2010, 09:08PM
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I'm waiting for one of the haters to say that Horc missed a "gift" from the kids.

You know someone is going to call it that. It was a pretty tough chance for anyone but if Horc doesn't get it the contract talk starts.

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#99 Heavyd
November 02 2010, 09:08PM
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This is the difference from lat year. Last year there would have been no chance of us coming back. I love what Renney has this team doing.

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#100 bigrroberto
November 02 2010, 09:09PM
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Cogliano and brule have looked really really good the last few games. I sure hope this is the start of a big turn around for Cogliano as I really like his play an he has a ton of potential.

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