GROUNDHOG YEAR

Jason Gregor
November 18 2011 11:01AM

When the Oilers lost in Boston, Detroit and Chicago many felt it was a sign of how far they had to go to become a contender? Well then what about last night v. the Ottawa Senators?

The Oilers dominated the first 7 1/2 minutes. They swarmed the Sens, but couldn't beat Craig Anderson. Then the Sens scored two goals on two shots in nine seconds and the game was over. The Oilers got frustrated and abandoned their game plan.

And they set a new low in injuries, as Andy Sutton tweaked his groin in warm up, came out for the start of the game but never took a shift.

UH-OH!

 

If you woke up today worried that you were on the road to another 30th place finish I sympathize with you. The good news is that the Oilers would really have to suck to be passed by the Columbus Blue Jackets, but I digress.

For the past few seasons we've seen a team that consistently was inconsistent. They'd have stretches that made you believe they were ready to take the next step, only to crush your hopes and dreams of the playoffs by getting dominated for the next month.

I understand it is a learning process for this team, but are they actually progressing?

They have better skill in Nugent-Hopkins, Hall and Eberle, but this team is still lacking in size in their top-nine. I don't see that changing anytime soon.

For reasons unexplained this organization can't stay healthy. The Oilers lost Sutton and Corey Potter last night. Potter has a sprained ankle and will be re-evaluated today, while Sutton pulled his groin and as of now there was no timetable for his return. Cam Barker is gone until March, Ryan Whitney is getting closer, but how long will he stay in the lineup?

The Oilers recalled Colten Teubert and Taylor Chorney from OKC this morning, and while that's great for those two the Oilers will face the best team in the West tomorrow night with Teubert, Chorney, Jeff Petry and Theo Peckham as their 2nd and 3rd pairings.

It is hard to expect this team to win moving forward with that much inexperience on the blueline. I don't blame the players if they make key mistakes or get overwhelmed, because you shouldn't have four D-men that young in your lineup. Injuries forced this, but excluding Potter, the other three have had a history of injuries.

At some point you the Oilers brass needs to start looking at previous injury history as much as salary and usefulness when going after free agents or trades.

The forwards, excluding Hemsky, haven't been banged up, but they haven't banged anyone either.

Lennart Petrell is doing is best in limited minutes, and while Tom Renney felt Ben Eager tried to make his presence known last night, I don't think he has done it often enough this season. Of course we shouldn't ask one 4th line player to be the only physical player, because that is a recipe for disaster, and so far that's what we've seen.

The Oilers were winning early because their goaltending was off the charts. Now that Khabibulin has come down to earth the Oilers have got blown out four straight games.

DO SOMETHING

I know trades aren't easy, but the Oilers can't afford to sit around anymore. They have to do something.

It is clear they need to do more offensively, but it is time for Steve Tambellini to make a move and shake things up. Sure, he is dealing from a position of weakness, but sitting around and doing nothing isn't going to solve the problem. But do they honestly think the players will collectively learn to play grittier at all once? No chance.

For the past five years, I've said the Oilers need more size in their top-nine. Not every player needs to be big, but they need to find someone with size and skill. Of course it isn't easy, but winning isn't easy either, and if they want to win then Tambellini needs to give Renney some help.

This team needs more DESIRE. You can't fold your tent because you aren't rewarded in the first seven minutes. Winning is hard. It takes heart, desire and an inner fire not to give up. I'm not sure they have enough of that right now.

If you bring in one or two free agents and they don't work out that is fine, but in the past three years the Oilers have signed or traded for Khabibulin, Kurtis Foster, Colin Fraser, Ben Eager, Darcy Hordichuk, Eric Belanger, Corey Potter, Andy Sutton and Ryan Smyth.

Smyth has been great since coming back. Potter had a great start, but he isn't a top-four D-man. The rest haven't done much, if anything.

Losing becomes a habit, and while the players, coaches and management continually say it isn't acceptable, it sure looks like they are better at losing than winning, and that they don't know how to deal with adversity.

They gave up two goals in nine seconds and they fell apart.

That needs to change.

It is time Tambellini makes a move.

DROWN YOUR SORROWS

I will be guest Bartending at the Boston Pizza on 23rd ave and 50th street tonight from 7 to 9 or maybe later. All of my tips and wages will go to Cancer research. Stop in say hi, and have a pint. We can solve all of the Oilers issues over a few beers. We might need a keg to solve all of them, but what the hell, it is Friday.

See you then.

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
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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#101 Oilcruzer
November 18 2011, 05:32PM
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Who the heck is OKC playing on D?

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#102 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 18 2011, 05:32PM
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cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan wrote:

~well, seeing as omark is out 6-8 weeks with a broken ankle i would assume his trade value is awfully low at this time~

whoa.... I had no idea... how did this not filter down through the oilogosphere??

OMARK SIDELINED: Oklahoma City Barons forward Linus Omark is sidelined with a lower body injury and is expected to miss the next six weeks. He was injured November 16 in the Barons 5-4 win over the Rockford IceHogs.

via:

http://www.okcbarons.com/index.cfm?fa=pressreleases

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#103 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
November 18 2011, 05:36PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

whoa.... I had no idea... how did this not filter down through the oilogosphere??

OMARK SIDELINED: Oklahoma City Barons forward Linus Omark is sidelined with a lower body injury and is expected to miss the next six weeks. He was injured November 16 in the Barons 5-4 win over the Rockford IceHogs.

via:

http://www.okcbarons.com/index.cfm?fa=pressreleases

it was all over twitter earlier. OKC twitter feed indicated broken ankle

twitter.com/ahlbarons

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#104 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 18 2011, 05:39PM
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Oilcruzer wrote:

Who the heck is OKC playing on D?

I imagine some of the distinguished Thunders are going to be moving on up soon... expect to hear this in Edmonton, Oklahoma and Stockton...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXaqDcb51tI

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#105 The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33
November 18 2011, 05:40PM
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@cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

I didn't know about Omark either. I'm not on Twitter and I'm really not that great with other social medias. Too bad for him. Maybe we should still try LA for a trade though.

Hopefully this silences the Omark debate for a while. That hopefully makes Hartikainen the next forward to be called up. Though we seem to have extra bodies already.

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#106 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 18 2011, 05:42PM
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@cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

thanks for the tip... I'm not a twitterer myself... is it that useful?

also... does 6 weeks sound short for a broken ankle to anyone else?

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#107 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 18 2011, 05:45PM
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@The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33

Maybe we should still try LA for a trade though.

ha can you imagine... sticking it to Lombardi again! oh... that would be priceless.

BTW: I never heard word coming out of the big GM meeting about two key oiler issues

1) status of the Smyth deal

2) status of no-touch icing...

sports media was too consumed with shiny new object (Lucic hit) to discuss anything else... were they even tabled? I know they were supposed to be (or at least that's what i thought)

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#108 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 18 2011, 05:55PM
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wildly off-topic... but this is the best thing you will read/hear all damn day:

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=380783

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#109 a lg dubl dubl
November 18 2011, 05:58PM
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When, I mean IF Dithers does make a trade before the deadline he's goin to have to part with the 1st rounder this yr IMO, that's the only way he's gunna get back a top 2-4 dman that the team needs very very badly.

Maybe that's why he doesn't make trades because that all he can do is stand at the podium and welcome the next Hall or RNH to the fold.

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#110 Smokey
November 18 2011, 06:15PM
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What would it take to get Carter from CBJ. I'm not sure if you wanna be married to that albatross of a contract. Any thoughts.

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#111 Haney
November 18 2011, 06:17PM
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@ "Romulus' Apotheosis"

I think Mulletgate was resolved by the Oilers paying a "small amount of cash."

I read that in the Edmonton Journal.

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#112 6 ring circus
November 18 2011, 06:54PM
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It's time the Oilers part ways with Tambellini, his in ability to make trades and the personal moves that he has made during his time here, will affect the Oilers for many years to come.The Oilers need a new GM who can put the pieces together to build a winner.From what Tambellini has done here these past 3 years he is not the Gm for this organization.

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#113 Putzstew
November 18 2011, 07:44PM
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Torcida wrote:

What about the past few years when he's been hurt, I believe they finished last. It has nothing to do with Hemsky coming back.

Actually if you look at their record without home last year it was worst then when he did play.

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#114 Putzstew
November 18 2011, 07:46PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

Bang On! Last year when he was hurt......same thing! As soon as he returned from his first injury, we went on a losing skid.

Generally speaking whenever we have Hemsky in the line-up we play weak positional hockey. The guy goes where he wants, when he wants, and usually loses the puck. He is a pure individual player who has the occasional good rush.

For those Hemsky lovers, just when was the last time he dominated a game and secured a win for the team? Yea that was three years ago!

I think I just made a new friend.

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#115 grishnackh
November 18 2011, 07:51PM
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OilFan wrote:

I'll be the SECOND to say good read Jason. Renney has a proven track record of losing ! Or wait he is a good coach on a bad team again EDIT Oilerbill beat me to it

SHUT THE F UP.

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#116 grishnackh
November 18 2011, 07:54PM
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Putzstew wrote:

I think I just made a new friend.

AN HE IS AN IDIOT.

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#117 grishnackh
November 18 2011, 07:55PM
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6 ring circus wrote:

It's time the Oilers part ways with Tambellini, his in ability to make trades and the personal moves that he has made during his time here, will affect the Oilers for many years to come.The Oilers need a new GM who can put the pieces together to build a winner.From what Tambellini has done here these past 3 years he is not the Gm for this organization.

WHO?IT IS ONLY THE SECONDED YEAR OF THE REBUILD.

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#118 book¡e
November 18 2011, 08:11PM
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Haney wrote:

@ "Romulus' Apotheosis"

I think Mulletgate was resolved by the Oilers paying a "small amount of cash."

I read that in the Edmonton Journal.

Keep in mind a 'small amount of cash' in the NHL probably means more than most of us earn in a year, but less than most of us earn in a decade.

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#119 Rama Lama
November 18 2011, 08:23PM
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@grishnackh

Now.......why do you have to be like that?

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#120 justwondering
November 18 2011, 08:38PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

Khabibulin he is fooling! This guy got lucky for a few games.........his luck came to an end three games ago and now for the rest of the year he will be brutal.

Hemsky and Horcoff are accomplishing ver little and they are supposed to be our top line.......what a joke!

Lowe and Tamby have failed to find talent on the back end that can help us turn the page. Their fixation on small fast players has to end......the last time I checked fast is not a play. We have plenty of fast players that cannot convert a play. It's time to start selecting players that can shoot! Like Gretzky said," 100 percent of all shots not taken result in no goals!

Time to make some trades.

Rama has spoken

Gee and I got called an idiot the other day for saying Horcoff should not be on the top two lines! Totally agree with you Rama. They need to build around the kids, I like Horcoff but he needs to lead from the 3rd or 4th line.

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#121 Haney
November 18 2011, 08:44PM
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@ bookie

Yes, you are right about that. I"m only using the words described in the article.

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#122 David S
November 18 2011, 08:47PM
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CAPS MAKE WHAT YOU SAY JUST THAT MUCH MORE IMPORTANT.

#ProTips

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#123 grishnackh
November 18 2011, 08:53PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

Now.......why do you have to be like that?

Because I am and Sauron told me too.HAHHA HA

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#124 grishnackh
November 18 2011, 08:56PM
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David S wrote:

CAPS MAKE WHAT YOU SAY JUST THAT MUCH MORE IMPORTANT.

#ProTips

YES IT DOES ,YES IT DOES.

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#125 Reach Advantage
November 18 2011, 09:01PM
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Hey Gregor, what is up with all the ankle injuries the last 2 seasons? Any idea?

Whitney, Potter, Gagner, Hall, Eberle, Barker, others? Crazy!

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#126 Rama Lama
November 18 2011, 09:19PM
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grishnackh wrote:

Because I am and Sauron told me too.HAHHA HA

Ok then you know that Sauron does not like Hobbits........and the last time I checked we had a lot of them playing on our team.

We need more Auks!

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#127 Dog Train
November 18 2011, 10:07PM
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Wow, just an awful week or so to be an Oilers fan. We started fine last night, gave up a pair of quick goals and completely folded our tents. What I saw last night was not acceptable. There was no emotion, no drive to turn things around. I thought that we were supposed to be excited to be back at home. I get that we were shorthanded on D but is it too much to ask for the guys who are healthy to actually hit somebody? Frustrating times for sure. Bring up the big Finn. At least he drives the net. GO OILERS GO!!

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#128 Wanyes bastard child
November 18 2011, 10:34PM
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I LIKE BOOBS!!!

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#129 Archaeologuy
November 18 2011, 10:37PM
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Just came back from the Oil Kings game. Gernat looks like he has some real skills out there. Crisp passes and such. He played a ton, it seemed. He was out there in every situation.

I know offense is the first thing to disappear when a defenseman moves up to the bigs, but it's also hard to teach those instincts. Definitely a case of saw him good tonight.

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#130 Eulers
November 18 2011, 11:10PM
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Gregor, how about bringing in a free agent defenceman? Can the Oilers bring somebody over from Europe?

Bryan McCabe is starting to look pretty good right about now. The counter-argument I'd previously heard was that McCabe duplicated some of Barker's skills. With Barker out of the picture for essentially the whole season, an actual NHL defenceman--albeit an aging one--seems like a great option. What do you think?

I'm a bit concerned about your enthusiasm for making a trade, even from a position of weakness. Like Lowetide and the rest have been saying with regards to Gagner, I think we need to be patient. I'm not against any trade, but the Oilers need to strike a balance between developing winning habits now and their long term potential.

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#131 The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33
November 18 2011, 11:35PM
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justwondering wrote:

Gee and I got called an idiot the other day for saying Horcoff should not be on the top two lines! Totally agree with you Rama. They need to build around the kids, I like Horcoff but he needs to lead from the 3rd or 4th line.

You're both idiots and probably the same person.

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#132 Ed in Mada
November 19 2011, 01:07AM
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1. Gregor - Why do the Oil "have to do something"? So far this year they have exceeded all reasonable expectations and are simply slipping back down to their true performance level after a hot start. The run of injuries on the D will hurt wins and losses but gives another chance for CT to develop. 2. Trades are between hard and impossible to make prior to the trading deadline. The last thing the Oil should do is trade from a point of weakness to make the 25th placed team into the 20th placed team. 3. It will be very interesting to see what happens to Hemsky this season and in teh free agent market. Best case scenario is for Hemsky to have a good remainder of the season to build up his value and then do a deal at the trade deadline. Hemsky is a world class talent that many confuse as a world class player.

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#133 Saytalk
November 19 2011, 06:39AM
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This is a young team and a lot of players are still learning how to play at the NHL level. Renney needs to get these forwards to throw the puck on net and bang in some rebounds. The young guys who learn this will start racking up points; the young guys who can't learn this should be traded. There are a thousand ways to score but if you can't get the most common one right, then you can try to make YouTube highlights on another team.

As for a veteran defenceman, how about signing Craig Rivet? Or do we have to compensate Elmira/Columbus to get him?

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#134 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 19 2011, 07:47AM
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Wow... this thread fell off the rails... Gregor must have bought a few rounds last night.

Seriously though, it's times like these that I wish I lived in the big E so I could have joined you all. It's awesome that you do events like this Gregor. I'm sure your community appreciates it.

to the down with Hemsky/Horcoff crowd. I've explained why I disagree with you on both counts extensively elsewhere. But I will say this: you aren't idiots. That's no argument and it would be a jerk move to call you that. But you hold idiotic positions IMO. There is a difference.

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#135 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 19 2011, 07:53AM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Just came back from the Oil Kings game. Gernat looks like he has some real skills out there. Crisp passes and such. He played a ton, it seemed. He was out there in every situation.

I know offense is the first thing to disappear when a defenseman moves up to the bigs, but it's also hard to teach those instincts. Definitely a case of saw him good tonight.

Great report! Thanks for the saw him good update. LTs last update on Gernat was really promising too.

How was Reinhart? LT seems to think MBS might have a strong interest in him for our first pick (of course, we have no idea right now how high we will go)

Also, can anyone explain the actual status of the affiliation of the Oil Kings with the Oilers?

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#136 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 19 2011, 08:01AM
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@Haney

thanks for the update. I don't live in Edmonton, or follow twitter... so basically if it isn't on here somewhere or in the general NHL news i get from TSN I'm in the dark about it.

I always find it funny the way news cycles. One week all you talk about is the Lombardi fiasco and then when the news finally breaks you barely hear about it.

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#137 Archaeologuy
November 19 2011, 08:25AM
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@Romulus' Apotheosis

Reinhart didnt play. I think it might have had to do with that Russian series because there were a few higher profile Oil Kings sitting out, but thats a guess. I did see him eating Pizza and pop. The guy is a man-child.

Maybe the highlight of the game was a fight where the Oil King took some many bombs to his head that I was getting motion sick watching his noggin rock side to side. I dont think he played another minute after the fight.

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#138 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
November 19 2011, 08:32AM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

thanks for the tip... I'm not a twitterer myself... is it that useful?

also... does 6 weeks sound short for a broken ankle to anyone else?

is anything other than porn useful on these interwebs?

it is a good time waster, and a decent way to get info quick. most of the beat reporters around the league are on twitter, so the info gets out quick.

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#139 justwondering
November 19 2011, 08:47AM
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The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33 wrote:

You're both idiots and probably the same person.

Gee when did you learn that word? what are you... horcoff's mom or his shower buddy? A..hole.

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#140 Romanus
November 19 2011, 09:32AM
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grishnackh wrote:

WHO?IT IS ONLY THE SECONDED YEAR OF THE REBUILD.

you don't realize that grishnackh comments come from being in the know. He has a personal line to the oilers organization and knows all the attempted moves and as a result can provide this informative commentary.

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#141 VK63
November 19 2011, 09:40AM
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I was at the flames game last night and naturally post game topics included the bubble bursting in etown and how awesome the flames were last night. (they werent) Chicago was kinda brutes.. especially Dunk... he sucked.... bad.

However.

One interesting topic was how bad Penner has been, post edmonton, with the usual he looked above average on a brutal team (oil) stuff.... it grew tiresome and I injected... he got married.. what did u expect.

:-))

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#142 Chris.
November 19 2011, 10:08AM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

wildly off-topic... but this is the best thing you will read/hear all damn day:

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=380783

The only thing more arrogant than that team is it's fans. Good read.

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#143 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 19 2011, 10:09AM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Reinhart didnt play. I think it might have had to do with that Russian series because there were a few higher profile Oil Kings sitting out, but thats a guess. I did see him eating Pizza and pop. The guy is a man-child.

Maybe the highlight of the game was a fight where the Oil King took some many bombs to his head that I was getting motion sick watching his noggin rock side to side. I dont think he played another minute after the fight.

I can imagine. He's listed at 6'4" 208 at only 17! crazy... I'm guessing he either ate the whole pizza or ate a slice as an afterthought between meals.

what's this Russian series?

When I was a kid in Vic. we used to host these exhibition games with various countries. A russian team visited (I was about 7 or 8 so my memory is foggy) but I got to meet Vladislav Tretiak and get his autograph.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m75-on3xpwI

Another time the Finnish team came and I got to meet Jari Kurri and he signed some cards... must have been after he left the Oil, but before resigning in the NHL with the Kings. It was literally my biggest kid moment! He was really nice... waited around and signed everything for a big hoard of kids.

anyway, sucks that the highlight was an Oil king getting his face handed to him.

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#144 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 19 2011, 10:13AM
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Chris. wrote:

The only thing more arrogant than that team is it's fans. Good read.

It's funny. I poked around C-army after I read that and didn't see it mentioned... hmm, hits too close to home perhaps... they did have a bunch of posts about Lucic though. I think that Cup final caused some psychological damage... to the already fragile and insecure (otherwise why all the excessive boasting right?) psyche of nuck fans/players.

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#145 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 19 2011, 10:26AM
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@VK63

wait... Penner got married and you think that contributed to his terribleness... interesting... I wonder (seriously actually) if we have any adv. stats on that... or more broadly homelife and production, you'd think they'd be correlated in some way, right?

anyway, here's Nietzsche on marriage:

Thus the philosopher abhors marriage, together with all that might persuade him to it, - marriage as hindrance and catastrophe on his path to the optimum. Which great philosoher, so far, has been married? Heraclitus, Plato, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Kant, Schopenhauer - were not; indeed it is impossible to even think about them as married. A married philosopher belongs to comedy, that is my proposition.

Genealogy of Morality, III, §7

and

You can recognize a philosopher by his avoidance of three shiny loud things, fame, princes, women: which does not mean that they avoid him.

Ibid., §8

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#146 Archaeologuy
November 19 2011, 10:59AM
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@Romulus' Apotheosis

Well, the OK won the game 4-3 on a goal with 5 seconds left. There were some big collisions and a penalty shot goal, but that fight stands out.

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#147 Peterborough
November 19 2011, 02:02PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Just came back from the Oil Kings game. Gernat looks like he has some real skills out there. Crisp passes and such. He played a ton, it seemed. He was out there in every situation.

I know offense is the first thing to disappear when a defenseman moves up to the bigs, but it's also hard to teach those instincts. Definitely a case of saw him good tonight.

The only good news for the Oil in weeks! Tonight is totally going to suck. Its back to dreaming about the possibilities of a great prospect pool.

. . . at least thats sure to continue to improve the way this season is about to turn.

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