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.
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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#1 yawto
January 20 2013, 12:16PM
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SQUEEEEEEEEEE FIST GAME NEW SEASON!!!!!! FIST WIN!!!!

Edit: I Think Krueger is yelling.....FIST!!! (OR maybe Squeee)

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#2 Marcus
January 20 2013, 12:18PM
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Lets get it on!

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#3 rob
January 20 2013, 12:21PM
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Oilers win 5-1,their speed and Canucks injuries and goaltending show more holes. Yakupov first star with Eberle showing up as well,Dubnyk will silence critics! Wish they dressed Fistric to put a Sedin on his butt though!

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#4 A-Mc
January 20 2013, 12:26PM
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GDP: vancouver comes out firing like mad but the oil come from behind and win 4-3 im OT.

OGDP: Taylor Hall Bull charges into the corner and gets leveled by a Van D. oiler fan gasp as flashbacks of halls injuries come to them. Hall gets up, passes to Ebs who back hands it top cheddar to tie the game.

NSOGDP: Horti scores a goal by throwing a puck at luongo from the press box. Refs count it!

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Thanks Jason Gregor

We needed the predictions

ITS GAME DAY BITCHES*

* 5-7-5...hockey is back, and so are the Haikus

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#6 Rama Lama
January 20 2013, 12:35PM
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Win or lose, I don't care........Hockey is back! Can't wait to see our two new stars play.

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#7 Spydyr
January 20 2013, 12:35PM
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GAME ON.......FINALLY!!!!

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#8 Wäx Män Riley
January 20 2013, 12:36PM
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IT'S GAME DAY BITCHES!!

I know it is a bit early, and I know I am jumping the gun, but what the heck... Let's get this started!

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#9 Mac962
January 20 2013, 12:39PM
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GDP I Obviously hope the young guns light it up but, and he is a youngster as well, OUR TEEMU !! Hartikienen... Hope he causes Chaos in front and gets a coupe dirtys. No, not girls, Goals. The other dirtys will come later ! Go Hartksi !! Goal and an assist. I think some vets are going to win us this one.

Is it 7 YET ?

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#10 book¡e
January 20 2013, 12:40PM
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Ok, I entered the draft!

Now, why the hell isn't it 7pm yet.

Waiting

Waiting

Waiting

Waiting

Waiting

Ok, is it 7pm yet?

Nope, Damn, why the hell isn't it 7pm yet??

Waiting...

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#11 Clyde Frog
January 20 2013, 12:42PM
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Pre-empting all you stuck in places that do not allow you to watch/listen through regular means; such as cable, the radio or NHL Centre Ice.

http://forum.wiziwig.eu/threads/80835-NHL-Today-Sun-Jan-20th

PS. Let this day forever be known as the day DSF rocked himself to sleep softly crying about how "Vandemeer and Barker will make my team better... Vandemeer and Barker will make my team better... Vandemeer and Barker will make my team better... Vandemeer and Barker will make my team better..."

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#12 Wäx Män Riley
January 20 2013, 12:43PM
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It's also game day sooooooooo......

PROPS FOR ALL!!!!

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#13 book¡e
January 20 2013, 12:45PM
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Wäx Män Riley wrote:

It's also game day sooooooooo......

PROPS FOR ALL!!!!

I was going to do that and then I forgot and then now I remembered so PROPS FOR EVERYBODY!!!!!

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#14 DSF
January 20 2013, 12:52PM
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Clyde Frog wrote:

Pre-empting all you stuck in places that do not allow you to watch/listen through regular means; such as cable, the radio or NHL Centre Ice.

http://forum.wiziwig.eu/threads/80835-NHL-Today-Sun-Jan-20th

PS. Let this day forever be known as the day DSF rocked himself to sleep softly crying about how "Vandemeer and Barker will make my team better... Vandemeer and Barker will make my team better... Vandemeer and Barker will make my team better... Vandemeer and Barker will make my team better..."

Depth makes any team better.

Didn't watch much of that game as I was mainly focusing on Minnesota/Colorado (Granlund looked very good) but don't see Vandermeer or Barker in the box score.

Tarasenko and Huberdeau were also lights out.

STL is scary good...my pick for cup winner.

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#15 positivebrontefan
January 20 2013, 12:59PM
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GDP; Oilers win 7-3 OGDP; Yak gets a hatty from Hemmer NSOGDP; After getting pulled for a second game in a row Schnieder is found crying, saying over and over, "Lennay said I could do this, where is she?"

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#16 Rhett H
January 20 2013, 01:02PM
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Nice Mid-article plug Gregor, weak sauce.

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#17 Clyde Frog
January 20 2013, 01:12PM
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DSF wrote:

Depth makes any team better.

Didn't watch much of that game as I was mainly focusing on Minnesota/Colorado (Granlund looked very good) but don't see Vandermeer or Barker in the box score.

Tarasenko and Huberdeau were also lights out.

STL is scary good...my pick for cup winner.

So they would have had a worse outing if they lacked the Oiler's sloppy seconds?

Also you have already jumped off Minnesota's bandwagon?

http://oilersnation.com/2013/1/18/will-the-oilers-make-the-playoffs/page/1#comments

It must be getting tough to remember all your bandwagon jumping...

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#18 Wäx Män Riley
January 20 2013, 01:31PM
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DSF wrote:

Depth makes any team better.

Didn't watch much of that game as I was mainly focusing on Minnesota/Colorado (Granlund looked very good) but don't see Vandermeer or Barker in the box score.

Tarasenko and Huberdeau were also lights out.

STL is scary good...my pick for cup winner.

STL is scary good. My pick for the cup final out of the west.

During one of my pools (an auction pool), I bid a very small amount on Tarasenko. the other guys were all "Who is Tarasenko?"

Suckers.

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#19 Death Metal Nightmare
January 20 2013, 01:39PM
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definitely need Ralph Krueger photoshop jobs with Freddy's sweater, etc, etc, etc... especially based on that pic up top.

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#20 Wäx Män Riley
January 20 2013, 01:44PM
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So does this mean that after tonight Justin Schultz and Nail Yakupov will finally be in NHL'13?

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#21 DSF
January 20 2013, 01:44PM
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Clyde Frog wrote:

So they would have had a worse outing if they lacked the Oiler's sloppy seconds?

Also you have already jumped off Minnesota's bandwagon?

http://oilersnation.com/2013/1/18/will-the-oilers-make-the-playoffs/page/1#comments

It must be getting tough to remember all your bandwagon jumping...

Not at all.

Minny wins the WC but STL, playing in a tougher division, ends up with fewer points (could go either way.)

STL is perfectly built to be a very good playoff team.

Adding Tarasenko and Schwartz was exactly what they needed to take the next step.

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#22 DSF
January 20 2013, 01:50PM
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Wäx Män Riley wrote:

STL is scary good. My pick for the cup final out of the west.

During one of my pools (an auction pool), I bid a very small amount on Tarasenko. the other guys were all "Who is Tarasenko?"

Suckers.

LOL.

Suckers for sure.

Scores on his first shot in the NHL, ends up the night with 2 goals on five shots.

Quite a debut.

Huberdeau with 1G 2A 3P +2 and 5SOG in his debut.

Florida has him playing on a line with Peter Mueller and Alex Kovalev.

If Mueller stays healthy and Kovalev stays motivated, that could also be a scary good line.

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#23 Johe
January 20 2013, 01:58PM
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I believe that photo of Krueger is from last night. Like us, he was watching the Canucks game.

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#24 Muji
January 20 2013, 02:04PM
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7-0 win by the Oilers. Eberle gets a hat trick and Justin Schultz gets only 4 points (1G 3A).

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#25 Chris.
January 20 2013, 02:07PM
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GAME DAY BITCHES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Game Day Prediction: The Hockey Gods (still angered by the cancellation of the preordained Battle Of Alberta) smile upon the Oilers this evening... 6-2 for the good guys on the strength of only 21 shots.

Obvious Game Day Prediction: All four Oiler lines chip in offensively; as opposed to the Canucks who have no production from anyone not named Sedin.

Not-So-Obvious Game Day Prediction: Ben Eager gets 5, 2, and a game forcing Burrows to be accountable for his rat like behavior... Justin Schultz leads the rush short handed and is standing behind the goal line when Petrell pops one in. Twitter will then explode with fans praising Petrell's glorious ginger mini mullet.

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#26 Time Travelling Sean
January 20 2013, 02:10PM
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Why am i so excited? Its not like I'm gonna be playing.

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#27 Rocknrolla
January 20 2013, 02:14PM
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Game day bitches! Didn't realize how much I missed Gregors game day predictions!

Let's do this!

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#28 m3sh
January 20 2013, 02:14PM
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OMFG have been waiting too long!

GDP: 3-2 win for Oilers, late PP goal by Ebs, Nuge and J. Shultz assisting.

OGDP: Vancouver fans will surreptiously go from "Looing" to real, actual "booing". Only Oiler's fans will be able to tell the difference.

NSOGDP: Yakupov will say the Nucks play dirty and make the hand bighting gesture in reference to Burrows. Burrows will try to run Yakupov in game while Eager (that goat) will look the other way.

LIGHT EM UUUUUUUP!

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#29 TOM//MTL
January 20 2013, 02:28PM
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YAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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#30 David S
January 20 2013, 02:29PM
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If you guys are looking for something to occupy the time until 7:00, two rockets are playing tennis at the Australian Open right now on TSN2.

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#31 Walter Sobchak
January 20 2013, 02:35PM
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DSF wrote:

Not at all.

Minny wins the WC but STL, playing in a tougher division, ends up with fewer points (could go either way.)

STL is perfectly built to be a very good playoff team.

Adding Tarasenko and Schwartz was exactly what they needed to take the next step.

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.

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#32 DC
January 20 2013, 02:43PM
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Here we go, Here we go, Here we go!

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#33 Time Travelling Sean
January 20 2013, 02:49PM
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One game, and Colorado doesn't have their 1st/2nd line center... and both of Heatley's goals were on the PP, let's see if he can score 5v5, which is what players with his contract are paid to do.

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#34 Snowdropper
January 20 2013, 03:06PM
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Over/under of number of times a Schultz is misidentified tonight? I'm going with 15.

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#35 Talbot17
January 20 2013, 03:17PM
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SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

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WHY IS IT NOT 7 PM YET??????

I MEAN I TOOK A NAP AND EVERYTHING.

DAMMIT, HURRY UP 1900 hrs

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#38 Lofty
January 20 2013, 03:29PM
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Over/under for points is 5.5. I'll take the over all day. Van will come out after yesterday and dominate 5-1 or the oil win 8-2.

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#39 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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#40 dougthelug
January 20 2013, 03:48PM
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Lupul, Edler, Zajac.....Wow. Good thing we had this lockout, so things would really change. Thanks owners. Thanks for nothing. Now we can watch the players be put through a 4 month meatgrinder. Way to protect your assets. Yeah, I'm in. Yeah I want to see us win. But Jeezus I'm still p*ssed off.

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#41 book¡e
January 20 2013, 03:56PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

You are complaining that I'm giving away free tickets or plugging sponsors...Wow, some people just need to bitch and moan.

Jason, I am pretty sure Rhett was referring to your mention of the Pint, a damn fine place to watch NHL hockey, in your column. Rhett doesn't seem to like that OilersNation has a business relationship with the Pint, a great place to sit with your friends while watching hockey, and places like OoodleNoodle (the butter chicken is great). I suppose mentions of Cougarlife (best cougars I have ever had) and Dr. Pimsleur (Я говорю на десяти языках, и это только взял меня десять дней, чтобы изучить их.) likely bother him as well.

I for one hope that reputable businesses like The Pint, OodleNoodle and Cougarlife continue to purchase adds on ON because then someday they might be able to afford to set up the OILERS ART GALLERY!

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#42 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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GDP: Oilers win 9-4, Eberle with six points becoming the NHL and AHL points leader.

OGDP: me loves hockey, hockey's back, me happy

NSOGDP: I got nothing.

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#44 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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#45 Olli Jokinen
January 20 2013, 05:36PM
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Rhett H wrote:

Nice Mid-article plug Gregor, weak sauce.

Your name is Rhett... that's weak sauce

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

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#47 positivebrontefan
January 20 2013, 05:39PM
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I am passing the time giving props to all!

It's a propapolooza!

GO OILERS!!!

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#48 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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#49 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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#50 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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