GDB 01: THE WAIT IS OVER...

Jason Gregor
January 20 2013 12:12PM

 

Is Ralph Krueger yelling, "Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls are you ready?"

After 288 days that included watching other teams compete for the Stanley Cup, drafting Nail Yakupov, winning the Justin Schultz sweepstakes, being frustrated by another lockout and being teased by the success of Schultz, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Taylor Hall in the American League, the Oilers will finally play another meaningful NHL game, and Krueger will step behind the bench for the first time with the title of head coach.

All those factors, along with being the last fan base in the NHL to see their team play, have pushed the excitement level in OilersNation off the charts. Even the most pessimistic fan can't wait to see if Ralph Krueger's new system will generate more victories and a spot in the post-season for the first time in seven years.

Oiler fans are dying to cheer for a winner. Since the glorious, stunning and surprising Cup run of 2006 Oiler fans have had to watch their team lose 297 times. You've watched 492 Oiler games since the start of the 2006/2007 season and you've only seen 195 victories.

I'm amazed many of you still have the intestinal fortitude to buy tickets, or go the places like The Pint off Whyte, Pint Downtown or On The Rocks to watch a game or just sit at home and spend countless hours yelling at the TV. I tip my hat to your dedication.

God bless your loyalty and ability to continue cheering for the Oilers. Your devotion might finally pay off this season. I guarantee the Oilers will be better than last season. I know that's not saying much considering they were 29th, but it's true.

The important question is how good can they be? We won't know for a few months, but this season should be the most exciting regular season in a long time.

LINE UP

Hall-RNH-Eberle
Yakupov-Gagner-Hemsky
Smyth-Horcoff-Hartikainen
Eager-Belanger-Petrell

Krueger has used these four lines since day one of training camp, and he's expecting all of them to contribute. The Oilers might finally have two legitimate scoring lines, and if they top-six produce like many expect they should, then everyone else's job becomes easier.

Smid-Petry
N.Schultz- J.Schultz
Whitney-Potter

I'm very surprised Mark Fistric isn't dressed tonight, but I expect he'll be in the lineup soon. The Oilers can't expect to win with only one physical D-man. And please, don't say Detroit did it because they didn't. Kronwall and Stuart are two of the best open-ice hitters in the game. I assume that Krueger wants more puck movers against the Canucks, but will add Fistric against a group of big forwards like San Jose and LA. That's just a guess though.

Dubnyk
Danis

Cory Schneider was brutal last night for Vancouver, giving up five goals on 14 shots. The Canucks defensive and neutral zone coverage was horrendous as well, but Schneider needed to make some stops. Dubnyk can't afford a start like that. Dubnyk is extremely confident and told me that he's aware of all the critics and would love nothing more than to prove them wrong.

Reports out of Vancouver mentioned that Alain Vigneault planned to start Schneider v. the Ducks and Roberto Luongo v. the Oilers. Will he stick with that, or does he want to get Schneider back in the pipes ASAP. Vigneault is in a tough spot. If he starts Luongo and he plays well, then what. If he starts Schneider and he gets blown out again, then what?

I love goaltending controversies...It will be very interesting to see what Vigneault does, and if that decision was correct.

THE TRADITION RETURNS

 

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Canucks will be fired up after last night's 7-3 spanking by the Ducks, but the Oilers youth will be just as amped up to play. "I expect our guys to be revved right up. Their excitement is rubbing off on me. I don't think I've ever been this excited for the first game of the season," Nick Schultz told me on Friday. Expect lots of offence and the Oilers win 5-4.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Justin Schultz scores the Oilers first goal, on the powerplay on a nice pass from Nugent-Hopkins. Instantly fans believe is the chosen one and Wanye starts plans for a Schultz photoshop contest.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Eric Belanger scores in the second period on a nifty feed from Ben Eager. For a brief moment OIler fans sit in silence, unsure of what they've seen, but seconds later they'll be delirious with excitement about the possibility of having a fourth line that can contribute.

PARTING SHOTS

  • Instead of driving yourself crazy looking at your watch/clock/phone every two minutes wondering why it isn't 7 p.m. yet, take a few moments and enter the FIRST ANNUAL NATION draft. It is $20 bucks to enter, with a portion of proceeds going to charity. First place is a $5,000 shopping spree at United Cycle. How &**@*()@ awesome is that. Click here to sign up. Great cause, lots of fun chirping other Nation readers and there will be over 100 prizes. So hurry up and enter. Deadline is Saturday.
     
  • Do you want to go to the home opener? I'm having a contest on The Jason Gregor Show facebook fan page today. Predict who scores the Oilers first goal, in what period and at what time and you'll be going to the Oilers home opener on Tuesday.  It will be closest time without going over. If you choose 10:15 and someone chooses 10:13 and the goal happens at 10:14, the person with 10:13 wins. Good luck. You have to LIKE the page to be eligible. If you submit your choice here it won't be valid to win.
     
  • After the game tune into TEAM 1260 as Jason Strudwick  hosts the post-game show. He'll have some great insight into what transpired tonight. Once the game is over, tune in or call and vent/praise at 780.426.8326 or 1.800.243.1945.
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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 Romulus' Apotheosis
January 20 2013, 10:12PM
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxopViU98Xo

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#52 DSF
January 20 2013, 03:43PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

St..Louis and the Wild looked good, even Heatly seem's motivated.

I predict the Calder will come down to Schultz or Teresenko.

Being a bias Oilers fan and being a GDB I'll go with Schultz jr.

On another note, see what happens to teams when there centers go down and have to play against the other teams bigger centers, you get walked on like the Ducks did to the Canucks.

Oilers can't have one center go down this year.

Exactly. Depth at centre is critical.

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#53 Snowdropper
January 20 2013, 04:22PM
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@book¡e

Will that gallery come complete with a wing devoted to Wanye's MS Paint masterpieces?

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#54 Where's Your Towel
January 20 2013, 05:10PM
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I don't have anything to write, but I'm so amped and time is passing SO SLOWLY.

GOILERS!

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#55 Hall for Captain
January 20 2013, 05:37PM
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Taylor Hall. Hat-trick. Book it.

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#56 15w40
January 20 2013, 05:47PM
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I think its a mistake not to swap out Hordichuk for Eager. He is more willing to engage in what could be a real hornet's nest after last nights debacle

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#57 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
January 20 2013, 10:16PM
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EDMONTON OILERS 2013 STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONSSSSSA

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#58 The Soup Fascist
January 20 2013, 10:18PM
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Random thought # 22. If Luongo was any deeper in his net on ebs / Hemsky goals he would be visiting Gene Principe.

Random thought # 34. Schneider - fail. Luongo - fail. Does anyone still have Alex Auld's number?

Random thought # 37. Should Gary Valk be this annoying to me after 3 minutes?

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#59 Bob Cobb
January 20 2013, 10:26PM
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Oilers Win, Flames and Canucks lose! The world suddenly makes sense.

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#60 positivebrontefan
January 20 2013, 07:29PM
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Funny watching the Anthem singer crap himself at the end of the song there.

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#61 The Soup Fascist
January 20 2013, 09:42PM
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Louuuuuuuuuuuuu ..........ser

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#62 Oilfan69
January 20 2013, 10:10PM
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SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

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#63 Gerald R. Ford
January 20 2013, 10:21PM
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positivebrontefan wrote:

Funny watching the Anthem singer crap himself at the end of the song there.

What the hell WAS that? Was Wanye just out of frame giving him an atomic wedgie? And talk about 'Ancient Aliens' hair. Ewwwww.

I loved the completely disillusioned look on that little kid's face behind the Canucks' net when 83 stabbed a knife in his little heart. Get used to that, son. More to come!

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#64 Puritania
January 20 2013, 10:42PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxopViU98Xo

Infinite props you beautiful bastard! Came here to post this.

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#65 Snowdropper
January 20 2013, 10:44PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxopViU98Xo

Oh how I've missed this!

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#66 Czar
January 20 2013, 10:44PM
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DSF wrote:

If the Canucks had a second line, the game would have been over in the second period.

Since the Canucks always start slowly and Kesler and Booth will return with a month, I wouldn't pump your tires too much.

In other news, the Wild have won their first two games and only given up 2 goals.

Who could have seen that coming?

At least Suter wasn't -1 tonight!

They didnt have a 2nd line and they lost!

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#67 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
January 20 2013, 10:50PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

and if the canucks scored more goals they would have won.

and if your tires are overinflated you're in trouble.

if i eat to much cheese i get wicked gas

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#68 Romulus' Apotheosis
January 20 2013, 11:01PM
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dougtheslug wrote:

Please take that April 7 score down NOW!!

Damn straight!

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#69 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
January 20 2013, 11:50PM
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DSF wrote:

If the Canucks had a second line, the game would have been over in the second period.

Since the Canucks always start slowly and Kesler and Booth will return with a month, I wouldn't pump your tires too much.

In other news, the Wild have won their first two games and only given up 2 goals.

Who could have seen that coming?

There should be a negative props button. This guy's props would lower than Horcoff's +/-.

Troll.

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#70 pelhem grenville
January 21 2013, 04:24AM
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...that sound my friends is the sound of a most deservedly long silence after the excruciating lockout where the best troll ever to come to this site took great pleasure making us all nuts at times and who is now girding up his canuck loins so as to jump ship and make squishy noises about his newfound two man love crush in Minnesota...

who'da seen that coming?

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#71 positivebrontefan
January 20 2013, 06:42PM
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I'll be fifty FIST to say Canucks will suck tonite.

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#72 Dog Train
January 20 2013, 07:03PM
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There's nothing like panic in VanCity. Gotta love them chanting Lulu's name last night after basically booing him out of town. Time to add to their misery!

Oilers come out flying and win 4-3. Goals by J. Schultz, Nuge and 2 by Ebs. Hall with 3 assists. GO OILERS GO!!

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#73 Dan the Man
January 20 2013, 07:10PM
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SUCK IT CANUCKS!!

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#74 Uhoh!
January 20 2013, 07:12PM
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Has anyone else got no sportsnet 10 mins to gametime? As in a black screen where sportsnet should be? Making me really nervous... The second half of the calgary game was gone for me as well.

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#75 Dan the Man
January 20 2013, 07:16PM
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Uhoh! wrote:

Has anyone else got no sportsnet 10 mins to gametime? As in a black screen where sportsnet should be? Making me really nervous... The second half of the calgary game was gone for me as well.

It's working fine for me.

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#76 Wanyes bastard child
January 20 2013, 07:19PM
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ITS GAME DAY BITCHES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

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#77 Uhoh!
January 20 2013, 07:21PM
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@Dan the Man

Yes!! Shaw came thru, i got it. Let go oilers!

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#78 black screen
January 20 2013, 07:22PM
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whats with the black screen ? :( this is a cruel joke

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#79 Dan the Man
January 20 2013, 07:27PM
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What the hell happened to the rest of the Canucks anthem singer?

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#80 vetinari
January 20 2013, 07:28PM
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Make Vancouver eat Orca, Oilers!

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#81 justDOit
January 20 2013, 07:29PM
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After 288 days without the Oilers, I'll be happy with a competitive effort against a good team. Remember, this is a young team on the road guys.

OT loss for the Oilers 4 - 5.

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#82 Dan the Man
January 20 2013, 07:29PM
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Canucks are already in mid-season diving form.

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#83 Alsker
January 20 2013, 07:31PM
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WTF...only 2 comments on Cansucks nation and both of us bleed copper and blue...did someone drive the band wagon into the ocean???????

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#84 RyanCoke
January 20 2013, 07:37PM
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Got excited about the give away in van zone until I seen it was horcoff... If it was eberle that woulda been in no problem.

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#85 Thumby
January 20 2013, 07:39PM
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Just hooked up my 65" Panasonic gt50 plasma purchased specifically to watch OIler domination,

Game On!

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#86 RyanCoke
January 20 2013, 08:48PM
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Gagner caught looking at Daniel instead of covering his guy

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#87 Wanyes bastard child
January 20 2013, 08:59PM
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EBERSQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

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#88 Oilfred
January 20 2013, 09:03PM
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Amazing goals by the wonderkind. Watching a canucks feed JG blames Lou for the bad angle goal.

Its called SNIPE douche bag.

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#89 justDOit
January 20 2013, 09:15PM
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That last-second goal by Eberle is the definition of 'sustainable shooting percentage'.

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#90 The Soup Fascist
January 20 2013, 10:09PM
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Definite

Shootout

Failures

........finally figured out what it stands for!

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#91 m3sh
January 20 2013, 11:20PM
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@DSF - shouldn't the perenial slow start of the Canucks be a cause for greater trepidation since you don't have an extra 34 games to leverage? Slow start in this season, you don't have the same time to reel it back in.

Not that I'm crazy enough to think the nucks won't make the post season, but hey, "I had a dream".

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#92 GVBlackhawk
January 20 2013, 11:35PM
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DSF wrote:

If the Canucks had a second line, the game would have been over in the second period.

Since the Canucks always start slowly and Kesler and Booth will return with a month, I wouldn't pump your tires too much.

In other news, the Wild have won their first two games and only given up 2 goals.

Who could have seen that coming?

And in other news, the Minnesota Wild remain offensively challenged. Reports state that the Wild overpaid for Parise's tepid offensive acumen. More to follow...

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#93 Wax Man Riley
January 20 2013, 11:44PM
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@DSF

Thanks for the unblock-us tip!

I watched the game on NHL Gamecenter tonight. Great quality feed too!

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#94 GVBlackhawk
January 20 2013, 11:45PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

Random thought #17.

Why do Krueger and Tambo like Potter so much? He has been terrible. Fistric could NOT be worse.

Fistric just doesn't have enough "Oilers experience " to slot in.

Potter bad.

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#95 Clyde Frog
January 21 2013, 08:39AM
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I'm just glad we don't have 9 million of our cap hit tied up with two goalies...

Maybe they'll move Schneider to 2nd line centre, that way they won't have to decide to sit over 4 million of their cap space EACH AND EVERY GAME...

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#96 DonDon
January 20 2013, 06:00PM
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Are we ready for the 48-game sprint? Some more appropriately definite it as a meat grinder. And for what? The Oilers making the playoffs after a seven year drought? Being a contender for the SC? Another 29th or 30th place finish? Some believe an 11th place finish.

With the revised lottery under the CBA the five bottom place winners won't constitute a lottery any more as the lottery has been extended to all 14 teams that miss the playoffs.

More likely the Oilers' finish will depend on injuries, depth and partially the degree of coaching. IMO, the lack of grit in past seasons has contributed to the long list of injuries. No team fears the Oil. But there is skill in the top six forwards and top four defence. Soon enough it will become clear as to goaltending.

I'm going to buckle my seat belt and hang on to the ride. It promises to be very different and will define the future of the top hockey ops people, especially Tambellini.

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#97 Alsker
January 20 2013, 06:02PM
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Finally...GDXwife I mean GDB..tho I would have rather played the cansucks last night...we still prevail Oil: 4-2

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#98 Dennis
January 20 2013, 07:45PM
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EFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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#99 RyanCoke
January 20 2013, 07:46PM
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What a softie

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#100 RyanCoke
January 20 2013, 07:46PM
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Damn potter

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