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Lowetide
December 04 2011 11:48AM

Lots of anger on the internet today over last night's loss to Calgary. I would like to offer a somewhat opposing view to what has been written so far.

The best news for this fan last night was Taylor Hall's recovery timeline. Hall makes a practice of scaring the daylights out of us and then returning quickly (I'll always remember the Mem Cup broken neck play and the goal minutes later), and apparently he's miles ahead of schedule.

Here are some other observations:

  • The Calgary Flames are a much better team than the standings indicate. Although not playing consistently, the Flames have made some important moves (Comeau) and are getting stellar play from some important men (JayBo, Kipper) in the lineup.Bouwmeester played 30 minutes last night against the best Edmonton can offer.
  • The second game in as many nights is a tough item for any NHL team, even if both games are at home.

 

  • Sam Gagner had his best game this season. If Samwise can get rolling while Hall is out and then find some chem with two of the bottom 6 forwards on a third line this team should get scoring from three lines from here on out. They have the talent.
  • This was a winnable game. Coach Renney's line matching decisions combined with some rookie errors meant the third period was more sad than glad. The Oilers were in the game entering the third period, something that's been a trend for quite some time.
  • Ryan Whitney isn't going to be a go-to option against the toughs for some time. 
  • Oilers goaltending doesn't steal games like it did early in the season.
  • The powerplay died last night. Edmonton had been very effective with the man advantage but the Flames were exceptional, in fact I don't think any of the PPs saw many breakdowns at all. Seriously. The best opportunities all night came when two forwards were a hair late into the zone. But once there, it was textbook and CGY's PK men were on their game all night long.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Sometimes you have to give the other man his due. When Michael Douglas was 56 years old, he married 31 year old Catherine Zeta-Jones. What are you going to do? I mean holy crap, that's pretty impressive. Tip your hat, move on.

There are some things to be learned. Coach Renney was manhandled by my eye and never did find a way to either stop the 2 CGY lines that were going or get his 2 scoring lines loose. In fairness, that 4th line must have snuck out on the ice in the third period when he wasn't looking, and the kid Petry had some tough moments.

Either way, it's a loss and they've been doing that a lot lately. However, I'm less upset about this one than the Minny game where they had a 2-0 lead and found a way to blow it. Last night's game was 2 in 2 nights and Calgary wasn't exactly lying back and thinking of England.

Last night the winderkid was just averagekid, the coach got his show run, the goaltending was not spectacular and the PP was noxious. Plus some rookies looked rookieie (is that a word? should be). If it were a country song it might be "Tonight the bottle let me down" but as a hockey game it serves as an education. For a few member of the Oiler organization.

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Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on TSN 1260.
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#1 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
December 04 2011, 11:53AM
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i can still blame MacT. right?

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#3 Quinn the Eskimo
December 04 2011, 11:55AM
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I'm generally philosophical about the ups and downs of an emerging hockey superpower and tend to give them the benefit of the doubt on most losing nights. But damn that p*ssed me off last night. Dropping another 2 goal lead to Flemmes hurt. But in the cold light of day, I know LT is right. Damn.

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#4 T.C.
December 04 2011, 11:56AM
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I was so pissed watching that game because these are the games we ned to win to the promised land and it was the shames i wanted to finally stick it to their dipstick fans.

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#6 TM8Trent
December 04 2011, 12:02PM
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To me, the game screamed for Taylor Hall. His tenacity, and balls to the wall effort changes games and swings momentum. The Oilers NEED him.

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#7 toetag247
December 04 2011, 12:03PM
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It's nice you can take ANOTHER loss to the despised Flames in stride. Yes, it was educational. Yes, it will (it better!) make the Oil a better team in the long run. But I won't take it with a shrug of the shoulders. Too long has "we learn lots from losing!" been an acceptable attitude in Oil country. This SHOULD sting. It SHOULD make all of E-town howl and curse and drive like idiots (the Oilers' constant losing causes that, right?). Enough. The ONLY thing that will do is a cow town beatdown next Saturday. I want them humiliated and broken, on the phone to Theo Fleury asking him to come back to help teach the Flames how to start to heal. I want the stupid torches in the saddledome to go unlit for an entire evening, to have to replace the red light behind Kipper-soft, for Iginla to suddenly think "hey, that Smyth may have been on to something with HIS trade request last summer!". Down with Calgary. Are you with me?

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#8 Zamboni Driver
December 04 2011, 12:04PM
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First time I've ever looked at JayBo and went "Wow, he's good". He seemed to care.

Maybe Renney can swipe whatever Jay is drinking and give it to our "injured" Tin Man, Hemsky.

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#9 Quicksilver ballet
December 04 2011, 12:09PM
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It certainly looks as though the sad sackage Calgary Flames are still clearly a better hockey club than our Oilers. 16 wins over the Oilers in the last 18 games played must certainly reveal this. The Oilers do have a brighter future we can all agree... but the future isn't now. Here's to hoping we can get the best of them for only the third time in the last 19 games next Saturday. Paajarvi is spinning his wheels here being a perimeter player. Always taking the bad/easy ice and not trying to advance the puck into more difficult areas. He avoids the difficult areas at all costs. Till he decides to challenge/engage defenders he's a waste of a jersey. What a disappointment so far. The Oilers allowing him to remain on the roster with this little commitment/willingness to compete at this level is a mistake. Might just as well have easily intimidated on his namebar rather than Paajarvi.

Tarbender....another double rye and coke please..

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#10 ken
December 04 2011, 12:10PM
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The oil have no accountability.Sutton takes two stupid penalties one of which lets the flames back in the game.In both cases he reacted to someone giving the stick to him,The game before there was more of the same with a stupid boarding penalty.Cut his ice time to give him a clue As pointed out on C@B the oil lead the NHL in bench minors{read two many men}.As Renney was saddled with Smith/Bucky combo by Lowe you have to feel sorry for him but going forward something has to be done about hiring incompetent good old boys.My worry is that they will tie the can to Renney and saddle the new coach with the same old baggage.

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#11 @NateInVegas
December 04 2011, 12:15PM
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If the Oilers let Renney go, would another team fire their coach and hire Renney within 72 hours??? Me thinks not...

Andy Sutton can't take that penalty after the Flames timeout down 0-2.

And I'm not sure RNH-Gagner are ready to play 22-23 mins a night at the end of back-to-back games.

Can someone slash Glencross ala J-Bo v Horcoff?

Can Renney explain why Belanger's on the PP??

Is it time to give Dubnyk a few games???

Beating the Oilers is like winning the Stanley Cup for Calgary. Every loser point they get against Edmonton only delays their rebuild. I'll take the learning experience Calgary provides the Oilers, if it means the Flames can't land a franchise prospect.

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#12 OnlyOil
December 04 2011, 12:16PM
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long time lurker, I was livid with the effort the oilers put in last night. They may have shown up for about 10 mins in the whole f'n game, I understand they are young and need to grow and experience these disgraceful display of character, or lack there of. They simply didn't compete,although #89 played well I thought.. I guess they really miss what #4 brings...gutz and balls!

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#13 The Farmer
December 04 2011, 12:27PM
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After a restless sleep, amazingly the sun came up this morning. I didn't think it would but here we are, and still ahead of the flames in the standings. You have to remember what that game meant to the flames last night. All they hear is how great Edmonton is and how lame they are, and I'm sure it ticks them off, to the point where that was their playoff game last night. Similar to edmonton's two game win streak over Vancouver last year.

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#14 Ken
December 04 2011, 12:33PM
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This was a winnable game. Bad penalties cost us this game and a couple of others earlier in year.The coach and staff are allowing the same players to do this. Our team is built more like chicago and Detroit minus the skill level.These teams are near the bottom in penalty minutes while we are close to the top.We have figure this out or we are going to end up in lottery again

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#15 VK63
December 04 2011, 12:43PM
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Meh... looked like two bad teams trying to look legitimate to me. One failed a bit less than the other.

On the coaching thing....... Renney gets his show run all the time... reference, minnesota, detroit, vancouver, phoenix, dallas and now will get it run by Hitch and probably Boudreau.

Moving on.

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#16 Mitch
December 04 2011, 12:57PM
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It gets boring talking about education and all the other words Renney uses time and time again. They lost, they don't have enough players that will do whatever it takes to win games consitantly. When your 30 games into a season in the new NHL you should no what it takes to win, last ight they didn't have it.

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#17 O'Reilly
December 04 2011, 12:59PM
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Maybe I should be keeping these thoughts in my head but here it goes.

Is it just me or are there others who believe coach Renney isn't the right man for the job here in edmontown now. Maybe he was a couple years ago. But now that expectations are raised a little I think the oilers need a coach who will light a fire under the hemsky's and the hall's. Renney seems to soft.

I HATE THE FLAMES. 16 losses in 18 IS NOT acceptable. IT IS NOT!!!!

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#18 dano
December 04 2011, 01:06PM
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It kinda looks to my eye like a tired team out there the last few weeks. We have had a pretty vigorous schedule, hopefully a couple days off will be what this team needs to start putting more consistent W's up

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#19 bcoil
December 04 2011, 01:07PM
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Petry looked like he had been called from the Oil Kings that afternoon .....and it was compounded by Renney's horrible line matching .....poor kid I hope he isn't scared for life ...he was "really " bad Maybe time to bring up Tulupov ..6'4" 230 and plus 4

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#20 Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate
December 04 2011, 01:13PM
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LOWETIDE, rookieie = rookieish

EDIT: may not be a real word, but like rookieie, IT SHOULD BE

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#21 Robin Brownlee
December 04 2011, 01:19PM
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Every time the Oilers had a power play, I found myself checking the bottom of my shoes to make sure I hadn't stepped in anything.

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#22 jake
December 04 2011, 01:24PM
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I think the team is tired, 6 games in 9 days.

Belanger on the powerplay makes no sense to me. Renney in the Columbus pre-game commented that 20 "is improving" on being the L handed point man on PP. 33 year old faceoff/3rd liner guy being developed for the PP on a rebuilding team???

Bouwmeester's slash and rib job on Horcoff needs to be responded to somehow if they aren't going to call either of them.

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#23 VK63
December 04 2011, 01:29PM
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@Robin Brownlee

yah..... i was kinda hoping for a 5 on 3 so I could reference those days when Souray and the smurfs would go out there and lose the draw then chase around the ice trying to get the puck back, then set up a SS howitzer off the glass and invariably into the mesh. Reset.... and repeat.

Good times!

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#24 D
December 04 2011, 01:29PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Every time the Oilers had a power play, I found myself checking the bottom of my shoes to make sure I hadn't stepped in anything.

My coffee went through my nose when I read that comment! Hilarious!

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#25 VK63
December 04 2011, 01:32PM
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Perhaps a stupid question but if #6 cant keep up and is not capable of skating at an nhl level without more rehab.

Why is he back?

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#26 Robin Brownlee
December 04 2011, 01:37PM
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For starters, because 75 per cent of Ryan Whitney is better than 100 per cent of anybody else the Oilers have. It takes time to get back to speed and you can't do it skating by yourself or in practice.

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#28 tyler
December 04 2011, 01:49PM
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@The Farmer

you would have to of thought thatthe oilers wouldve treated that game like a playoff game last night after the comments that feaster made about the oilers calling them basically a joke. I was shocked at how horrible the oilers backchecking was it was like they didnt care

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#29 tyler
December 04 2011, 01:56PM
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@Robin Brownlee

if you were to tell me that we would have 6 powerplays before the game I would tell you that we would win. The oilers looked so lathargic with no energy on the powerplay it looked like calgary was on the powerplay everytime we got a powerplay it was like we looked worse and worse everytime gilbert carried the puck up the ice it was so slow, and the fact that calgary double teamed hopkins really helped them to.

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#30 tyler
December 04 2011, 01:59PM
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I dont know who is slower on the ice teubert or whitney

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#31 @NateInVegas
December 04 2011, 02:03PM
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LT,

How hard is Renney's "test" to pass if Whitney's back in the lineup? He looked slower than Ulanov last night.

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#32 rocket
December 04 2011, 02:05PM
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5 wins in last 15 games...

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#33 VK63
December 04 2011, 02:07PM
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@@NateInVegas

Its not a speed test per se', its a recovery test thus more focused on cardio fitness.

Gregor explained it on here one day.

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#34 dave
December 04 2011, 02:10PM
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Last nights loss was one of the toughest to swallow in years! (new expectations yay!) The loss: gives me greater appreciation for Hall; makes me wonder how PRV couldn't get some PP time over Belanger (hey if belanger scored on the rebound we'd be singing prv's praise); you can't tell on the TV but our backcheck must have been absent given the flames chances on the rush; got outcoached to not find some opportunity for our skill; and makes me wonder why we won't pull the trigger on another NHL defenseman. I think the last point is most disturbing to me.

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#35 Gerald R. Ford
December 04 2011, 02:23PM
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Michael Douglas didn't *marry* Zeta-Jones so much, as he *bought* her.

And, now, she's crazy.

Good short-term deal, though. His scouting staff couldn't have foreseen that.

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#36 Rob...
December 04 2011, 02:30PM
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I can handle a loss when players are working hard and on average making good plays, but lately our losses come at the hands of ridiculously stupid passes straight to the opposing team and players deciding that they can wait for listless passes to get to them along the boards.

Here's a hint for the players... if it's going to take 10 seconds for the puck to get to you as it slowly crawls along the boards the other team will get to it first if you don't move your ass.

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#37 nofool6110
December 04 2011, 02:41PM
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BLAME ME. I POSTED ON THE OTHER GDB THAT WE WERE GOING TO ROCK THE POWER PLAY.

I CURSED US!!!!!

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#38 Semenko and Troy
December 04 2011, 03:00PM
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On a team where the NHL equivalence of little kids and seniors are our best players, we have to expect inconsistency.

At least what we have seen so far are indications of what this team will be, not what it may be.

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#39 VK63
December 04 2011, 03:10PM
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nofool6110 wrote:

BLAME ME. I POSTED ON THE OTHER GDB THAT WE WERE GOING TO ROCK THE POWER PLAY.

I CURSED US!!!!!

U know.... its probably just that easy to derail this fragile choo choo...... sadly.

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#40 Quicksilver ballet
December 04 2011, 03:12PM
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...anyone in for the fire Renney rally?

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#41 Chaz
December 04 2011, 03:13PM
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Terrible game. Petry was awful. Belanger on the PP? Why Renney why? Bad penalties and not enough 'Jam'. So sick of always getting beat by them. I'm sure the Oilers are sick of it too....wish they'd play like it though. I know we can't expect too much on the second half of a back to back, but Sat night on CBC against the Flames?....C'mon Oilers, we deserve better. I hope they are as disappointed in that effort as I am....

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#42 Jodes
December 04 2011, 03:14PM
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I guess we shouldn't worry.. Management is still assessing our size up front and the D situation right?

Right?

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#43 thepeetso
December 04 2011, 03:20PM
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Paaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnniiiiiiiiiic!!!!!!!!!

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#44 Kevin
December 04 2011, 03:24PM
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Tambo must have hung his balls on the christmas tree. All I want for Christmas is a new GM.

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#45 DSF
December 04 2011, 03:26PM
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Surprised no one has mentioned that the wheels are falling off the Khaboose.

Just a couple of weeks ago, his SV% was in the range of .965 and now has dropped more than 30 points.

The Oilers early season success was almost totally dependent on unsustainable goaltending and it's no surprise that it is reverting to the mean.

At his current .932, Khabibulin is still sitting higher than his best ever season of .923 recorded 12 years ago in Phoenix.

I expect you'll see him get close to his post lockout average in the .905 range in the next 10-12 games and that means more losses.

Dubnyk is currently sitting at .905 and sports a record of 4 wins, 5 losses and a GAA of 2.90.

That's the likely outcome going forward.

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#46 Kevin
December 04 2011, 03:33PM
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Jodes wrote:

I guess we shouldn't worry.. Management is still assessing our size up front and the D situation right?

Right?

Ya- great point ! I'm not worried either. We all sleep better at night knowing we have a GM assessing the situation, addressing our needs and such. He'll be wondering who yanked his drawers down when Feaster puts in an offer sheet for Hall. Timed nicely as Iginlas contract expires. Dear Santa can you please send us Oil faithful a GM.

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#47 Mike Krushelnyski
December 04 2011, 03:42PM
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Good analysis, LT, but despite all that it came down to the Oil getting beaten by giving up 2 PP goals on after the whistle roughing minors. I like that the team has been feistier, even dirtier, lately but they need to learn to play rough intelligently.

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#48 freewheeling
December 04 2011, 03:46PM
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Our d needs some serious upgrading .Sutton is a 6th or 7th d.Peckham needs more time in OKC.Both are far to slow.Whitney has looked very ordinary.The kids are still 2 to 3 years away.We miss Potter big time.Might be time to go big fish hunting.Size up front is still an issue

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#49 The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33
December 04 2011, 04:47PM
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Relax people, remember it's only year two of the rebuild.

Our PP sucked last night. And as bad as we played, if the puck didn't hit Kipper's stick on the Smitty rebound, the result would've have been different.

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#50 I'm Batman
December 04 2011, 04:52PM
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I was furious last night watching that sorry excuse for an effort. The most frustrating thing was the lack of response to the J-BO crosscheck. I'm not saying they shoulda jumped the guy, but at the very least show some emotion in your game. Hit something. How come Calgary, who has been more terrible than good this year can get up for a game like this and we can't. This is the battle of Alberta, and if you can't show some emotion in the battle of Alberta then there are some locker room issues to deal with I think. If they don't play next Saturday like it's a playoff game, then Feaster was right in saying that he looks forward to watching the battle of Alberta for years to come.

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