GDB 11.0: A WING AND A PRAYER

Jason Gregor
November 05 2010 12:59PM

Will Tom Renney put a shadow on Dan Cleary tonight? With the likes of Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen, Nick Lidstrom and Mike Modano, you might be wondering why Renney should even be remotely concerned about Cleary.

Well, he's an ex-Oiler who wears #11, this is the Oilers 11th game this year and he had three kids at the morning skate wearing Cleary jerseys. Ex-Oilers, specifically 3rd and 4th liners, have haunted the Oilers this season so Nikolai Khabibulin might want to pay a bit more attention when Clearly's on the ice.

On paper tonight's tilt looks like a mis-match.

The Wings are 7-2-1. Datsyuk, Zetterberg and Lidstrom all have 12 points in ten games. Franzen has six goals, and Todd Bertuzzi, looks ten years younger with a respectable nine points. They will get Jiri Hudler back in the lineup tonight, and he could be on their 3rd line with Cleary and another Oiler-killer, Mike Modano.

While the paper stats tell us this should be an easy Wings' victory, the Oilers pumped seven goals past Chicago last Friday, and last year the Oilers won three of four v. the Wings, including both at Rexall Place. The Oilers have lots of respect for the things, but more importantly, according to Tom Renney there is the fear factor.

"Fear is a great motivator," said Renney when asked why the Oilers play well against the Wings.

Fear of being embarrassed can motivate some guys, and so can playing against your idol. Magnus Paajarvi was very excited this morning when I asked him about the Swedish connection. He's never seen Lidstrom play live, and while he said he's excited to see him he can't get intimidated. Lidstrom is a hero in Sweden, and the Wings are the favourite team amongst Swedish fans with Zetterberg, Franzen, Jonathon Ericsson and Tomas Holmstrom according to Paajarvi.

Paajarvi wil also have new linemates tonight with Sam Gagner and Jordan Eberle, so he'll have lots on his plate. If Paajarvi plays like he practiced this morning he should have a good game. Wings head coach, Mike Babcock, was really impressed by the 10th overall pick in 2009 this morning.

"I knew about the other ones (Hall and Eberle), but I didn't know about him. I watched him on tape before, but when you see him live he is really impressive; what a great skater. They have some excitement off the rush and we don't want to get into a river hockey game here, because they have some ability. Obviously Eberle can stick handle in a phone booth, and Hall is a great player, but one thing not a lot of people are talking about is Horcoff is back healthy. He is a real good two-way centre and he's looked good.

"Gagner and Cogliano have evolved in their careers, Penner is a real good player and Hemsky is skilled, skilled, skilled. That's a lot of guys I've talked about already. Most teams in this league you get four guys you pay, and the rest have to work hard. They're lucky right now in the pay structure of things, but it will come and bite them soon too. In this league you have to get good before you have to pay them. Once you have to pay them you don't get to have as many of them, so you have decide which ones you like and which ones are leaving."

I know Babcock says he doesn't want to play river hockey with the Oilers, but I think with the weapons he has on his bench he could match them in a high-flying shinny game. I'd love to see it, and I'm sure the fans would love to be entertained with a back-and-forth up-tempo game.

LINE JUGGLING

Renney will juggle his top two lines tonight and fans will see Hall, Horcoff and Hemsky skate together for the first time in the regular season, which means they will see a heavy dose of Lidstrom. Hemsky was excited about getting to play with Hall, and says he has watched him Hall's game evolve quickly and thinks they should play well together. Hall has a great shot, so look for Hemsky to try and find him sliding into the high slot late on some rushes.

The most interesting change will be on the blueline, where Jim Vandermeer will go from the pressbox to playing with Ryan Whitney. Renney needs some toughness and passing throughout his D-pairings, so he'll play Theo Peckham with Tom Gilbert and Ladislav Smid with Kurtis Foster.

It doesn't sound like one pairing will see the Zetterberg/Datsyuk/Holmstrom trio specifically, but rather he'll try to match Horcoff''s line against them. Renney is hoping that the Triple H line can contain the puck more, so the Oilers won't have to play as much defence against the Wings top unit.

LATE TO THE PARTY

It's become a tradition in the Nation, so it's about time I join in.

Game Day Prediction: We'll see a high flying affair, and the Oilers will win 4-3 in a shootout. They are 6-1 all-time v. the Wings in shootouts.

Obvious Game Prediction: The Oilers give up two PP goals on four chances. Modano will speed through the neutral zone on his first shift, and moments later Hall will zip up ice and many in the building will instantly see the comparisons in their stride, speed and that their jersey's both flutter in the wind and collectively SQUEEs will be heard throughout Rexall.

Not-So-Obvious Game Day Prediction: With Rod Phillips and Jim Matheson being re-united in the booth one final time, a plastic mickey of Silk Tassel will mysteriously fall from the pressbox after Stephane Auger calls Peckham for a questionable holding call. 

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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 positivebrontefan
November 05 2010, 05:44PM
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Finally with the fistivities!!!

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#52 positivebrontefan
November 05 2010, 05:48PM
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Hey if Detroit likes two way players so much maybe Tambo can unload Horcs big contract tonight and if they trade him for Cleary he can score for us instead of the wings.

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#53 DSF
November 05 2010, 06:13PM
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@Woodguy

Horcoff has always been a real good two way centre except when he is isn't, which is pretty much every second year.

When he is a good two way centre he ranks among the top ten second line centres in the league.

Unfortunately, he's the best the Oilers have while the big boys in the division have two or sometimes three centres better than he is. (See Sedin, Kesler and Malhotra for reference.)

Thanks for the intro Woodguy.

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#54 Bucknuck
November 05 2010, 06:13PM
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Horcs contract is having no impact on the team, which is well below the salary cap.

AND if he keeps playing like he is then he is worth the money anyways so the point is moot.

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#55 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
November 05 2010, 06:42PM
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I love how 50+ points isn't considerd a good two way center.

Face it haters.

Babcock >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Internet turds.

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#56 Jamie B.
November 05 2010, 06:57PM
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Geno on Twitter: GenePrincipe: Change for the Oilers Theo Peckham has the flu Jason Strudwick doesn't he stays in the lineup.

Wow, downgrade.

Oh, dear lord in heaven, not the flu again. Same time of year too, don't these #@&%$ get flu shots or something? STERILIZE EVERYTHING!!1!

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#57 Rip van Winkle
November 05 2010, 07:03PM
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OK..........Bring on the game already. I'm 8 beers in already so I'm prepared for almost any kind of ELPH

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#58 MattL
November 05 2010, 07:08PM
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Haha, the Fox feed made it look like Edmonton was somewhere in the far NW corner of the province. LOL Americans.

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#59 AussieOil
November 05 2010, 07:13PM
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Anyone getting this game online? Don't have shaw damn it

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#60 Rip van Winkle
November 05 2010, 07:17PM
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AussieOil wrote:

Anyone getting this game online? Don't have shaw damn it

Shaw has it on 326

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#61 Rip van Winkle
November 05 2010, 07:19PM
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Rip van Winkle wrote:

Shaw has it on 326

Sorry there, i should really learn how to read . try www.atdhe.net

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#62 positivebrontefan
November 05 2010, 07:20PM
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Well at least it wasn't Cleary.

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#63 Rip van Winkle
November 05 2010, 07:21PM
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That 4th line has had all kinds of moxie of late

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#64 Rip van Winkle
November 05 2010, 07:21PM
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positivebrontefan wrote:

Well at least it wasn't Cleary.

yeah, better it be Modano

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#65 Rip van Winkle
November 05 2010, 07:23PM
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talk abt lucky saves

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#66 AussieOil
November 05 2010, 07:27PM
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No luck on that site, but thanks anyways - likely only guy who hasn't switched from MTS yet, ha!

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#67 MattL
November 05 2010, 07:28PM
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wow follow through high stick? Are you kidding?

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#68 Rip van Winkle
November 05 2010, 07:28PM
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sheez, 4 mins.If we kill this one the game is ours

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#69 Kieso
November 05 2010, 07:30PM
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Hey Aussie Oil - these seem to be working

http://www.alpha2zulu.net/a2z_channel_1.html

http://www.dailyfunsports.com/2010/07/ch-2.html

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#70 AussieOil
November 05 2010, 07:34PM
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Kieso Thank you!

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#71 positivebrontefan
November 05 2010, 07:35PM
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http://atdhe.net/27448/watch-detroit-red-wings-vs-edmonton-oilers

Link to the game.

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#72 Kieso
November 05 2010, 07:36PM
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AussieOil

No worries, this site seems to post a number of links on game days as well.

http://www.myp2pforum.eu/forums/29

Check out the daily thread and often online links are posted

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#73 Rip van Winkle
November 05 2010, 07:42PM
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not too bad a first period apart from a somewhat flukey goal. on the other hand not to exciting a period either.

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#74 Horcsky
November 05 2010, 07:45PM
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@MattL

Ya, I thought back in the day if you were following through on a shot and accidently high sticked a guy it could be a no-call.

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#75 Rip van Winkle
November 05 2010, 07:49PM
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@Horcsky

It seems the officials are on board with our complete rebuild and are helping us thru calls

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#76 Rip van Winkle
November 05 2010, 07:52PM
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classic quote from spec: "There's no room on the score card for an explanation"

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#77 Rip van Winkle
November 05 2010, 08:08PM
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Take away one of those assists and give it to Eberle

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#78 DimebagDave
November 05 2010, 08:09PM
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Nice goal!! His FIST at home.

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#79 Horcsky
November 05 2010, 08:10PM
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brutal call on stortini.

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#80 Freezing Weather Fan
November 05 2010, 08:11PM
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brutal is an understatement!

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#81 Senator Theo
November 05 2010, 08:18PM
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paajarvi looks like he wants one bad tonight. he may get the equalizer here.

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#82 Shaun Doe
November 05 2010, 08:22PM
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I gotta say, this broadcast team for the Detroit feed is top notch. They are very evenhanded on their analysis and at times they sound like a couple of old guys just talking about hockey. Pretty good.

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#83 Senator Theo
November 05 2010, 08:32PM
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Eberle just looks good every time he is on the ice. Great stick, draws penalties, knows where to be.

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#84 Bucknuck
November 05 2010, 08:36PM
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so much for my prediction. I don't think the oil wil score seven goals in period 3 - harumph

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#85 MattL
November 05 2010, 09:02PM
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Man, Hall's really been dragging Horcoff down to his level. I know Hall's good defensively, but he keeps blowing all these great set-ups.

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#86 Who would guess this
November 05 2010, 09:26PM
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Ex-Oiler Dan Cleary - 3 points

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#87 Who would guess this
November 05 2010, 09:26PM
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Ex-Oiler Dan Cleary - 3 points

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#88 Freezing Weather Fan
November 05 2010, 09:26PM
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Ok seriously. WTF is with the ex Oiler curse?

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#89 Travis Dakin
November 05 2010, 09:31PM
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Who would guess this wrote:

Ex-Oiler Dan Cleary - 3 points

It's become comical now the way this team busts player's slumps or allows former members to score goals of points.

8 of 9 lost now....

They're learning. Right?

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#90 Rob...
November 05 2010, 09:31PM
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~I'm so glad the ref's settled their contract dispute. What would we do without such exceptional reffing?~

On a side note, Tencer isn't Millhouse, he's the lovechild of Millhouse and Peewee Herman.

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#91 Senator Theo
November 05 2010, 09:38PM
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I thought Jimmy Howard played very well - the Oilers had most of the chances late in the game, but he held the lead for Detroit.

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#92 gongshow
November 05 2010, 10:16PM
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Anyone know who was doing color with Rod tonight? I only heard a few minutes and I could not place a name to the voice.

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#93 gongshow
November 05 2010, 10:20PM
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Sorry, I got my answer. I didn't finish the end of the article the first time before I read the comments.

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#94 Rogue
November 05 2010, 11:24PM
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ELPH

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