GDB LXIX: The love song of Penner and Brule

Jason Gregor
March 15 2010 01:35PM

Where do you go from here? Saturday’s 6-4 loss to the Leafs essentially cemented the Oilers in 30th place, so what comes next. It's too early to do an autopsy on the season, but there are some stats to watch for in the final 14 games.

The Oilers need eleven points in the final 14 games to avoid officially being the worst team in franchise history. Is 5-8-1 a realistic goal for this team? We’ll see.

Only once since 1999/2000, when Atlanta was an expansion team, has the 30th place team finished 10 or more points behind the 29th place team. In 2006/07 the Flyers finished with 56 points and Phoenix was 29th with 67. Not only can the Oilers finish 30th they can do it in style.

Currently the Oilers trail their opponent tonight, Columbus, by 15 points. You have to go back to the 1995/96 season when the last place San Jose Sharks finished 19 points back of the closest western conference team. The Oilers might end the season 20 back of Columbus and put an exclamation point on this dreadful run.

If you are going to have a record breaking season, you might as well do it in style. It will make it easier to make progress next year.

In case you haven’t realized the Oilers have a stranglehold at the bottom of most categories league-wide.

  • Goals per game, 29th at 2.43 (Boston is 30th at 2.36)
  • Goals against per game, 30th at 3.40
  • Shots per game, tied for 28th with Montreal at 28.2 (Colorado is 30th at 27)
  • Shots against per game, 27th at 32.5, Anaheim (33), Atl (33.2) and Florida (34) are better.
  • And they are the only team in the NHL who doesn’t have a goal 4-on-4.

Looking to the ice

I’m not shocked that Dustin Penner is playing better now that he is with Gilbert Brule. Penner has looked lethargic and tired for the past two months, and I know he’s changed his diet to try and get more energy, but being re-united with Brule hasn’t hurt him either.

Looking ahead, wouldn’t Brule, Penner and Gagner/Cogliano make a decent 2nd line? You could put Ales Hemsky with Taylor Hall (I think that is who they will pick, but nothing certain at this point) and have Horcoff or Gagner in the middle.

Pat Quinn better keep Brule and Penner together the rest of the way so they can get more comfortable with one another. And leaving Cogliano there and having him finish the season strong might increase his trade value this off-season, or at least get it back to where it was last summer.

Currently the Blue Jackets would get 4th this summer but they are in a dog fight to stay in the bottom five and have a chance at #1. The Jackets have 65 points. Carolina is 28th with 64, Islanders are 26th with 65, Florida has 66, Atlanta 67 and Tampa Bay has 68. The race for 8th in each conference will be good, but the best race down the stretch might be for the final three spots in the draft lottery.

The Jackets have had three top-five picks in their history, but only Rick Nash -1st overall in 2002- has turned into a bonafide star. Nikolai Zherdev was 4th in 2003, but after four enigmatic seasons his is now in the KHL. Rostislav Klesla, 4th in 2000, has been a steady, but not spectacular, D-man for the Jackets, but he hasn’t become as dominant as you’d like for a top-five pick.

The Jackets have had more picks between who have yet to break out. Alex Picard 8th in 2004, Gilbert Brule 6th in 2005, Derick Brassard 6th in 2006, Jacob Voracek 7th in 2007 and Nikita Filatov 6th in 2008. The Jackets could use a lottery pick, and more importantly they need to pick a player that will produce for them.

Too little, too late?

Shawn Horcoff has eight points in his last eight games, but he’ll need 12 in the final 14 games just to reach 40 points. He can’t salvage the season points wise, but a strong finish might give him some confidence heading into next season. He should look at going back to the psychologist he worked with prior to the ‘07/’08 season when he had 21 goals in the first 53 games and looked like a guy who could score.

Since then Horcoff has only 28 goals in 143 games. He needs to bear down more, stopping whiffing on one-timers and shoot with some conviction. He is always in great shape, but for next season he needs to ensure his mind is in great shape and that he is confident enough to convert those one-timers.

And Devan Dubnyk will go for his elusive first NHL victory tonight. Dubnyk is 0-7-2 with a gaudy 4.17 GAA and .869 SV%. And speaking of records if he loses his next three starts he will be precariously close to setting the NHL record for most minutes played by a goal without a win. He is 206 minutes away from breaking that lofty mark. Mirtle tweeted that Dubnyk was 226 minutes shy of the record after his loss in Montreal, so if I substract the 20 minutes he played on Saturday it looks like Oiler fans might have another record to monitor down the stretch.

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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 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
March 15 2010, 05:50PM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

Yes, my bad. Fixed the original now.

only nhl games played count towards the 9 game theory do they not?

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#52 Matt Henderson
March 15 2010, 05:52PM
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@cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

I dont think so, I think AHL games count as games played in the pros

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#53 Travis Dakin
March 15 2010, 05:53PM
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____ = tickle? pinch? diddle? punch? nibble?

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#54 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
March 15 2010, 05:53PM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

I dont think so, I think AHL games count as games played in the pros

i think you are full of ****.

dammit, now i gotta waste my damm time going through the damm CBA.

edit: a quick check shows eberle played 9 games in the AHL last year already. By your theory, he would be at the limit already.... i dont think so tim

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#55 Matt Henderson
March 15 2010, 05:56PM
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@cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

What do i get if I'm right? First dibs at the 2010 Oilers' playoff tickets?

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#56 jeanshorts
March 15 2010, 05:56PM
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What the hell. Aaron Johnson may be my new favorite Oiler. Sounds like a solid kid. Please don't punish him in Springfield next year.

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#57 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
March 15 2010, 05:57PM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

What do i get if I'm right? First dibs at the 2010 Oilers' playoff tickets?

you can have my post as president of hockey operations for the oilers nation NHL squad

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#58 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
March 15 2010, 05:59PM
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from the CBA

The only exception to the final line in the table is a player age 25-27 from Europe who was drafted and is signing his first NHL contract; such players are subject to the Entry-Level System for one (1) year.

All ELC’s are by definition 2-way contracts; no player subject to the Entry-Level System may receive a 1-way contract. “Age” is as of September 15 in the calendar year of signing an SPC, regardless of the player’s actual age when signing.

A player’s ELC may be extended for three reasons: 1. If a player age 18 or 19 signs an SPC and does not play at least ten (10) NHL games in the first season, his contract will extend for one (1) year. 2. If a player age 18 signs an SPC and his contract is extended as above, and in the 2nd year does not play at least ten (10) NHL games, his contract will extend for one (1) additional year. 3. If a player fails to give his playing services called for under his SPC [except as a result of injury, illness, or disability] while in the Entry-Level System, his contract will extended while he fails to offer those services.

This means that for a player who signs at 18 and plays in at least 10 NHL games that season, the next 2 seasons count as the 2nd and 3rd years of his ELC regardless of how many [if any] NHL games he plays in those two seasons. It also means that a player age 20 has the remaining years of his ELC could regardless of how many [if any] NHL games he plays.

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#59 Matt Henderson
March 15 2010, 05:59PM
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@cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

Buck up kiddo, if Lowe doesnt have to step down, neither do you.

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#60 Matt Henderson
March 15 2010, 06:01PM
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@cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

what does that mean for the AHL?

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#61 jeanshorts
March 15 2010, 06:02PM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

what does that mean for the AHL?

Absolutely nothing.

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#62 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
March 15 2010, 06:04PM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

what does that mean for the AHL?

nothing, in this case the AHL doesnt matter. if it did, it would be specified under the same terms as the NHL for a SPC.

****disclaimer**** i am far from a labour lawyer, though i would love to have my own intern(s) i do not possess the skills to actually say with certainty i am reading the CBA correct. While, in this case, i believe i am right, i accept no responsibilty for any of the fallout that ensues if i am, in fact, wrong

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#64 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
March 15 2010, 06:10PM
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@Jason Gregor

i knew Archaeologuy was full of it

***does the ace venture "i have exercised the demons" thing***

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#65 Lofty
March 15 2010, 06:27PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

What the hell. Aaron Johnson may be my new favorite Oiler. Sounds like a solid kid. Please don't punish him in Springfield next year.

The Oil could have 4 of him plus a nice beer fund for the price of POS... I love the fact that his names acronym = Piece of ~crap~

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#66 Pajamah
March 15 2010, 06:39PM
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I'm a Scientist! wrote:

Ok, i admit it...i have jumped off the bandwagon. My dreams are now filled with JUST naked chicks...instead of the previous - naked chicks watching hockey with me. My talks around the bunson burners are no longer exclusively about the Oilers...instead I talk about the weather...and naked chicks. I go out for dinner and have a conversation instead of pretending to listen while secretly watching the game on the t.v. behind my partner in dine. I have more free time to cook nutrious food and walk the dog instead of putting a frozen pizza in the oven between the first and second period. I have not had face paint on my face in so long that I no longer wonder if my love of putting make up on is a secret obsession to be a tranny. And last but not least, i drink less beer. The only thing bloating now, is my bank account!

All of these changes in my life are for the positive. I should be happy that i know tomorrow will be a balmy 9 degrees and sunny. I should be happy that the naked chicks in my dreams now do things instead of just sitting there eating chips and burping. I should be happy that when my girlfriend asks me to do something i no longer have to lie about not hearing her say it the first time. I should be happy that i am losing weight and that my dog is tired instead of crazy. I should be happy that each night i am comfortable instead of feeling fat and gassy.

And yet...

siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh I can't wait for next season! In the meantime I want DD to get a win tonight... a shut out! That poor bastard...

Watch where you're posting that positivity garbage

I'm fatter and more of a curmudgeon than I've ever been

I now shoot puppies with my free time yesterday, I even kicked a helpless child

and I swear, the next person who crosses my bridge is going to get clubbed and their bones will be soup

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#67 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
March 15 2010, 06:43PM
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Pajamah wrote:

Watch where you're posting that positivity garbage

I'm fatter and more of a curmudgeon than I've ever been

I now shoot puppies with my free time yesterday, I even kicked a helpless child

and I swear, the next person who crosses my bridge is going to get clubbed and their bones will be soup

****grabs whip cream and drops pants****

bring it on!!!!

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#68 jeanshorts
March 15 2010, 06:54PM
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Well, that was quick.

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#69 Matt Henderson
March 15 2010, 06:58PM
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@cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

Well, for the first time ever, I appear to be wrong about something.

It's an odd feeling. ;)

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#70 Wanyes bastard child
March 15 2010, 07:01PM
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Who else is loving the Penner, Brule and Cogliano line?

... did I spell cogliano right?

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#71 jeanshorts
March 15 2010, 07:03PM
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So, uhh, yeah. I guess Dubnyk is pretty not good huh?

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#72 jeanshorts
March 15 2010, 07:04PM
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AARON JOHNSON MY NEW FAVORITE PLAYER! Atta boy!

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#73 Matt Henderson
March 15 2010, 07:05PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

So, uhh, yeah. I guess Dubnyk is pretty not good huh?

Thank god for Dubnyk, if not for him we'd be in danger of collecting points tonight.

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#74 David S
March 15 2010, 07:05PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

So, uhh, yeah. I guess Dubnyk is pretty not good huh?

Yep. AHL status confirmed.

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#75 David S
March 15 2010, 07:07PM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

Thank god for Dubnyk, if not for him we'd be in danger of collecting points tonight.

So JDD and DD for Oilers co-player of the year?

*facepalm*

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#76 Eddie Shore
March 15 2010, 07:10PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

So, uhh, yeah. I guess Dubnyk is pretty not good huh?

Every bit as good as the team in front of him..

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#77 Matt Henderson
March 15 2010, 07:10PM
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@David S

I believe what you're looking for is this:

http://www.mediawhorenetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/DoubleFacePalm.jpg

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#78 David S
March 15 2010, 07:11PM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

I believe what you're looking for is this:

http://www.mediawhorenetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/DoubleFacePalm.jpg

Correct-a-mundo!

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#79 DoubleJ
March 15 2010, 07:15PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

AARON JOHNSON MY NEW FAVORITE PLAYER! Atta boy!

Lowe and Tambi will tell Johnson to be patient this summer. Lets just see if Kovi wants to play here first. We might need that $750 in Cap for the superstars.

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#80 David S
March 15 2010, 07:16PM
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So how does a guy who lets in weak sauce goals all night, single-handedly killing us, become the "right player at the right time"?

Louie Debrusk pre-game notes:

"Sell Dubnyk HARD."

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#81 Wanyes bastard child
March 15 2010, 07:16PM
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Heeey we get to see Cheap Trick for free.

~Im so excited and I just can't hide it~

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#82 Matt Henderson
March 15 2010, 07:17PM
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Looks like Chorney went to the Jason Strudwick school of foot speed.

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#83 David S
March 15 2010, 07:20PM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

Looks like Chorney went to the Jason Strudwick school of foot speed.

He's our DFF sleeper insurance.

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#84 Eddie Shore
March 15 2010, 07:22PM
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"hit hard by Tom Gilbert"

Did my ears just deceive me?

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#85 Matt Henderson
March 15 2010, 07:26PM
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arent we about due for a Moreau penalty?

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#86 Matt Henderson
March 15 2010, 07:26PM
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@Matt Henderson

Maybe Quinn learned his lesson and wont play him.

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#87 Eddie Shore
March 15 2010, 07:27PM
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Dubnyk even sucks at being pulled.

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#88 jeanshorts
March 15 2010, 07:27PM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

arent we about due for a Moreau penalty?

Easier just to pull the goalie.

Well, actually..........

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#89 David S
March 15 2010, 07:38PM
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Eddie Shore wrote:

Dubnyk even sucks at being pulled.

AHHHH-HAHAHAHAHA!!!!

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#90 David S
March 15 2010, 07:40PM
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I don't know how Jonathan is going to get the energy to write up a post-gamer any more in depth than "Oilers lose. Again. Discuss."

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#91 jeanshorts
March 15 2010, 07:41PM
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@David S

He easily could have just copy and pasted the same thing since November, outside of those 7 or 8 miraculous, unexplainable wins.

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#92 OvenChicken8 - Team JSBM
March 15 2010, 07:52PM
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David S wrote:

I don't know how Jonathan is going to get the energy to write up a post-gamer any more in depth than "Oilers lose. Again. Discuss."

It won't be too bad, there is always going to be a DFF star. In this case I'd have to go with DD.

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#93 Red Deerian Convert
March 15 2010, 08:49PM
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Congrats go to DD as our new contender in the contribution to the fall for hall sweepstakes. Winner will be announced the end of june...

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#94 The Real Scuba Steve
March 15 2010, 09:00PM
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Penner got off to wicked start, but now you can see he does not want to be here.

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#95 Westcoastoil
March 15 2010, 09:05PM
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It's truly incredible how ineptly constructed this team is so as to be this consistently bad all season. I wonder what the Rexall equivalent would be for keeping your job after having one of the highest payrolls in the league and finishing dead last after missing the playoffs the year before:

Manager of the Boca Raton Rexall: "Daryl I realize that we've been open for 2 years and have lost millions of dollars, but we're still assessing the market and trying to figure out if we should be stocking the shelves with wrinkle cream or energy bars. In the mean time, the we've pre-ordered 10,000 Frank Costanza bobble heads dolls, so we'll be all good for next year."

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#96 Matt Henderson
March 15 2010, 09:17PM
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The Real Scuba Steve wrote:

Penner got off to wicked start, but now you can see he does not want to be here.

I didnt really see that from him. He played more than any other forward and scored a goal from a sweet pass by Cogliano. If he doesnt want to be here, I couldnt totally blame him though.

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#97 Crooked
March 15 2010, 09:17PM
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I think Dubnyk's time with the Oilers franchise is done at the end of the season. 42-76-4 with a GAA around 3.00 in 3 AHL seasons, 0-8-2 with a 4.17 GAA in 13 NHL games. Time to cut him loose.

Tambi should make a move for Bernier, Schneider or Enroth in the offseason. At the very least those 3 are highly capable of stopping pucks at the AHL level and may be ready for starting duties at the NHL level.

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#98 Pajamah
March 15 2010, 09:19PM
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cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan wrote:

****grabs whip cream and drops pants****

bring it on!!!!

You wanna know what happened the last time a cableguy stepped foot in premises.

He left with a decent tip, knowing he provided me a service that I was mostly happy with.

If youre prepared for that, then whip creams ahoy!!

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#99 Crash
March 15 2010, 09:34PM
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Gregor wrote:

"Looking ahead, wouldn’t Brule, Penner and Gagner/Cogliano make a decent 2nd line? You could put Ales Hemsky with Taylor Hall (I think that is who they will pick, but nothing certain at this point) and have Horcoff or Gagner in the middle."

Me:

I'd like to see Jordan Eberle slot in here somewhere....like maybe a 2nd line of Penner/Gagner/Eberle and a 1st line of Hall/Brule/Hemsky and to never speak of Horcoff being in our top 6 ever again....

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#100 JackBauer
March 15 2010, 10:11PM
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I think Dubnyk is taking it to the backsides of his critics once and for all.

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