GDB LIV: What a difference a goalie makes!

Jason Gregor
February 01 2010 01:41PM

Eight days ago tonight’s game looked like an epic battle for 30th place, but after four straight wins the Hurricanes are seven points ahead of the Oilers. Have the Canes being playing great hockey all of a sudden? Not really, but their goalie, Sherwood Park native Cam Ward sure is.

Ward has allowed five goals in the four game winning streak. The Canes have been out shot every game, but Ward has a ridiculous .962 SV% in those games. Meanwhile as a team, the Canes have a shooting percentage of 20 with 18 goals on only 91 shots. They won’t keep winning games if these numbers stay the same. Teams can have short stretches where everything they shoot goes in, or their goalie stops most shots, but eventually those bounces will cease.

I wrote on Friday that cheering for a win v. Calgary made sense because of pride, and of course we all saw that there didn’t seem to be much pride on the ice. So tonight, you watch the game knowing that a loss will tie the franchise record for the longest winless streak at 14 games.

Do you cheer for a record or as fans do you need to see your team win one game just to remind you how that feels?

Tough call!

With Sheldon Souray out until after the trade deadline, and possibly the rest of the season (would there be an reason to come back on March 15th) the Oilers attack becomes less potent by the day.

Alex Plante, 15th pick in 2007, will make his NHL debut tonight. Plante has been okay in Springfield according to the scouts and coaching staff. He’ll wear #48 tonight and be paired with Taylor Chorney.

They didn’t do any line rushes this morning, but at yesterday’s skate Marc Pouliot and J.F Jacques looked to be the extras. The top three lines were the same, while Mike Comrie and Zack Stortini skated with Andrew Cogliano. Jacques was invisible in Calgary and Pouliot hasn’t done much since returning from the injured list.

Sheldon Souray’s injury will force Tom Renney to make some changes on the backend. Visnovsky, Gilbert and Plante will play the right side while Strudwick, Chorney and Grebeshkov will play the left side. Strudwick will play with Alex Plante while Renney will put Chorney with Visnvosky and Gilbert back with Grebeshkov. This blueline corps definitely lacks a physical presence and we could see a few fire drills in their own zone tonight.

Jeff Deslauriers gets the start and is looking for his first win since December 30th.

CONSPIRACY THEORY?

I’m not a huge believer in conspiracy theories, although Mel Gibson was great as Jerry Fletcher in the 1997 flick especially when he bit part of Dr. Jonas’ nose off.

But many Oiler fans are concerned that the Count, aka Gary Bettman, will rig the lottery to ensure that the Hurricanes win it. Their basis to this theory is that fans in Edmonton and Boston don’t need the first overall pick to appease their fans, while Carolina needs help.

That's not necessarily the case. Some wondered why the Canes drew a measly 6,896 fans with Chicago in town on Friday. The Hawks are one of the most exciting teams in the league, yet the Canes had their lowest crowd of the season. Prior to Friday’s game their lowest crowd was just over 12,000. It doesn’t make sense that with the Hawks in town and the Canes on a three-game winning streak that only 6,896 people show up.

It's because they had six inches of snow. They actually sold 17,000 tickets and were expecting a sell out, but the weather forced many people to stay home. Even though they had 17,000 sold seats they announced the number of fans in the building. You wonder if down the stretch that will happen in Edmonton. Anyone who has been at Rexall Place knows the seats haven't been full, and you wonder if all of those are paid seats that didn't show up. I'd guess probably not.

I’d bet Kevin Lowe and Steve Tambellini will have a valid argument that they need the first overall pick more than Carolina does. Oiler fans have had four seasons without the playoffs, and the masses are pissed.

Also...

Interesting to note that Eric Staal spent lots of time at the end of practice working on his shot and joking around with his teammates. Great players put in the extra work and while some of you don't think it is necessary for Ales Hemsky to be any better, I'd argue he does. I see too many of the elite players in the league staying late after practice or at morning skates, and that extra work definitely doesn't hurt their game.

And it seems that TSN. ca jumped the gun on the Rangers/Flames trade. I remember back in the summer when Bob McKenzie and others on TSN were ripping the Edmonton media for jumping the gun on the Heatley story. I noticed he didn't use the same choice of words when talking about how this deal is now on hold. We all make mistakes, and I laugh when those who have ripped on someone about a mistake or jumping the gun have the exact thing happen to them. The deal might still go through, but if it doesn't I doubt they will be ripping their own site.

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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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#201 Rigger
February 01 2010, 09:05PM
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@jeanshorts

*kisses Sam Gagner Hollywood styles* Wooooooo!

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#202 jeanshorts
February 01 2010, 09:06PM
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@Maggie the Monkey

I have no idea if this actually happened or not. I just picked the first crappy goaltender that came to mind (Racicot) then found someone equally as crappy that played during the same time, and 9 months later, a comedy baby is born!

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#203 Clangger
February 01 2010, 09:06PM
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Rigger wrote:

Ha, according to the Carolina announcers, Gagner knows how to "enter". *dirty snickers*

yeah, they are great,, just said this Edmonton team is a proud bunch! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

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#204 Rigger
February 01 2010, 09:07PM
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@Eddie Shore

Doin better now that I can actually watch the game and see them score real live goals. *passes out from disbelief*

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#205 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
February 01 2010, 09:07PM
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If Edmonton wins this game, I vote for double Ice Women and a reprise of the "Funniest Quote of the Week" for Thursday.

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#206 Clangger
February 01 2010, 09:08PM
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Gagner with his 12th point in 14 games and 5th goal in 6 games...Oilers have a 2 goal lead for the first time in...I don't even know.

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#207 Maggie the Monkey
February 01 2010, 09:09PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

I have no idea if this actually happened or not. I just picked the first crappy goaltender that came to mind (Racicot) then found someone equally as crappy that played during the same time, and 9 months later, a comedy baby is born!

Oh. Well I can stop searching the Al Gore for clues about this fictional game, then.

Got any swamp land in Florida you want to sell? I hear that the market down there is about to boom...

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#208 Rigger
February 01 2010, 09:10PM
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Clangger wrote:

Gagner with his 12th point in 14 games and 5th goal in 6 games...Oilers have a 2 goal lead for the first time in...I don't even know.

Haha, nice one Milhouse! Gotta love second half Gagner. Too bad he can't do that all year long.

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#209 Archaeologuy
February 01 2010, 09:13PM
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I think Staal should have practiced harder. His team isnt doing so great.

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#210 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
February 01 2010, 09:14PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

I think Staal should have practiced harder. His team isnt doing so great.

I c wut u did thar.

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#211 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
February 01 2010, 09:16PM
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I like Deslauriers a lot more now. I cook a lot, too.

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#212 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
February 01 2010, 09:16PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

I think Staal should have practiced harder. His team isnt doing so great.

not gonna lie, i had a brownlee-esque belly laugh at this one

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#213 jeanshorts
February 01 2010, 09:19PM
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Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things wrote:

I like Deslauriers a lot more now. I cook a lot, too.

I think David S summed it up pretty nicely over on that other site that I may or may not be involved with;

"David S said...

I'm glad JDD is such a good cook. It ALMOST makes up for the fact that he's such a piss poor goalie."

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#214 Clangger
February 01 2010, 09:19PM
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NHL_Oilers: Marc Pouliot shimmies and shakes behind the net and jams it in to put the Oil up 3-2 with 6 left to play in the 2nd.

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#215 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
February 01 2010, 09:22PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

I think David S summed it up pretty nicely over on that other site that I may or may not be involved with;

"David S said...

I'm glad JDD is such a good cook. It ALMOST makes up for the fact that he's such a piss poor goalie."

I made a really b!tchin' Thai peanut chicken stirfry last night. I'll be eating those leftovers for like a week.

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#216 Dave
February 01 2010, 09:22PM
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JDD=WTF?

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#217 Archaeologuy
February 01 2010, 09:22PM
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These Miller Lite ads on the Carolina feed are actually pretty good

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#218 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
February 01 2010, 09:24PM
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DUFF SAID! BAHAHAHAHAHA!

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#219 jeanshorts
February 01 2010, 09:28PM
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Am I the only one that gets REALLY nervous anytime the puck comes within 200 feet of JDD?

Maybe nervous isn't the right word. Depressed? Suicidal? Hungry? Maybe a combination of all 3.

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#220 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
February 01 2010, 09:29PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

Am I the only one that gets REALLY nervous anytime the puck comes within 200 feet of JDD?

Maybe nervous isn't the right word. Depressed? Suicidal? Hungry? Maybe a combination of all 3.

I just get the feeling that Mean Gene is going to make a joke about "serving up a win" or "having something good cooking on this Oilers squad".

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#221 David S
February 01 2010, 09:29PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

I think David S summed it up pretty nicely over on that other site that I may or may not be involved with;

"David S said...

I'm glad JDD is such a good cook. It ALMOST makes up for the fact that he's such a piss poor goalie."

Yeah. You can say that over here because YOUR mom isn't looking over your shoulder.

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#222 Archaeologuy
February 01 2010, 09:30PM
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@jeanshorts

Pretty sure that Quinn feels the same way

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#223 jeanshorts
February 01 2010, 09:31PM
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@David S

You should just be thankful I gave you any credit at all. I CAN BAN YOU FROM THIS SITE!

*passes out due to all the power going to his head*

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#224 Clangger
February 01 2010, 09:32PM
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@Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things

Gene,,, is that you??

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#225 Rigger
February 01 2010, 09:32PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

Am I the only one that gets REALLY nervous anytime the puck comes within 200 feet of JDD?

Maybe nervous isn't the right word. Depressed? Suicidal? Hungry? Maybe a combination of all 3.

No you're not the only one. Their are about 75,284 fans who feel that way too.

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#226 Eddie Shore
February 01 2010, 09:34PM
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Tim Gleason on the American Olympic team? Really?

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#227 David S
February 01 2010, 09:34PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

You should just be thankful I gave you any credit at all. I CAN BAN YOU FROM THIS SITE!

*passes out due to all the power going to his head*

First you get the internet. Then you get the money. THEN you get the power.

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#228 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
February 01 2010, 09:39PM
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Wow, I didn't realize Matt Cullen is Mark Cullen's brother.

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#229 David S
February 01 2010, 09:39PM
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JDD ≠ Confidence.

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#230 Eddie Shore
February 01 2010, 09:40PM
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All that added offense has amounted to a grand total of 0 goals for Calgary. Who figured?

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#231 Rigger
February 01 2010, 09:41PM
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ZOMG do NOT play the puck JDD! Jezuz!

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#232 VK63
February 01 2010, 09:45PM
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@Eddie Shore

once the new guys figure out french maid = zanzibar they will be fine

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#233 jeanshorts
February 01 2010, 09:46PM
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Eddie Shore wrote:

All that added offense has amounted to a grand total of 0 goals for Calgary. Who figured?

If there's one thing I learned from that trade, it's that Brian Burke loves over priced defensemen, and hates when his team scores goals.

And that perhaps Steve Tambellini isn't far and above the worst GM in Alberta....

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#234 Eddie Shore
February 01 2010, 09:47PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

If there's one thing I learned from that trade, it's that Brian Burke loves over priced defensemen, and hates when his team scores goals.

And that perhaps Steve Tambellini isn't far and above the worst GM in Alberta....

It's neck and neck.

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#235 Aleslav Smidsky
February 01 2010, 09:48PM
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I just got a mac laptop. Does anyone know how to copy and paste on this magic machine? Please Help.

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#236 Archaeologuy
February 01 2010, 09:49PM
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@Aleslav Smidsky

something something mouse with 1 button...

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#237 David S
February 01 2010, 09:50PM
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@Aleslav Smidsky

Hilight

Edit > Copy

Edit > Paste

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#238 Aleslav Smidsky
February 01 2010, 09:50PM
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@Archaeologuy

No mouse here.

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#239 jeanshorts
February 01 2010, 09:51PM
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@Aleslav Smidsky

"command" + C, "command" + V.

It's the same basic controls as a PC, just substitute the CRTL button for the COMMAND button.

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#240 Eddie Shore
February 01 2010, 09:51PM
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David S wrote:

Hilight

Edit > Copy

Edit > Paste

Brain = Blown

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#241 Aleslav Smidsky
February 01 2010, 09:54PM
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@Eddie Shore

I know.

Thanks jeans, much appreciated. Its been a (hechtic)? few days, i was ready to smash this thing.

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#242 jeanshorts
February 01 2010, 09:54PM
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Uh oh, Taylor Chorney can't clear the puck from his own zone. THIS ENTIRE SEASON IS STARTING TO FALL APART!

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#243 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
February 01 2010, 09:55PM
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i am so confused. oilers win? wtf?

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#244 Moop
February 01 2010, 09:56PM
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cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan wrote:

i am so confused. oilers win? wtf?

Oilar...win??

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH- *face explodes*

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#245 jeanshorts
February 01 2010, 09:59PM
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Oilers.........win?

It's like 2006 all over again!!!!!!

*starts burning everything in reach*

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#246 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
February 01 2010, 10:00PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

Oilers.........win?

It's like 2006 all over again!!!!!!

*starts burning everything in reach*

titties on whyte!!!

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#247 VK63
February 01 2010, 10:00PM
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@Aleslav Smidsky

apple c for cut

apple v for paste

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#248 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
February 01 2010, 10:00PM
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I think if it comes down to Patches O'Sullivan and JDD, the choice on the blueline should be clear.

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#249 Aleslav Smidsky
February 01 2010, 10:00PM
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cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan wrote:

titties on whyte!!!

Shirts Off for Horcoff?

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#250 risto
February 01 2010, 10:01PM
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Happy new year, Oilers!

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