GDB 02: SHARK HUNTING

Jason Gregor
January 22 2013 01:28PM

The Oilers are 19-8-5 (actual ties) in home openers including a perfect 3-0 v. the San Jose Sharks. They beat the Sharks 3-2 in a shootout in 2008, 3-2 in 1993 and 5-2 in 2003, so with it being 2013 it only seems fitting they open their home schedule v. San Jose.

I know technically this is the 2012/2013 season, but their home opener is in 2013 so just go with it.

Both teams won their season openers on the road, Edmonton in Vancouver and San Jose in Calgary, and both will try to become the 9th NHL team to start the season 2-0.

Shawn Horcoff, Sam Gagner, Taylor Hall and Ben Eager weren't on the ice for the optional morning skate. Eager's eye is swollen from his fight against Zack Kassian on Sunday and he won't play tonight. The other three were just resting.

LINEUP

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

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

Dubnyk
Danis

"We'd like to incorporate him into the PK tonight," Krueger said about Paajarvi. When I asked Krueger about having more forwards involved killing penalties he said he plans on using more, but felt they weren't ready for the season opener. He wants to ensure his young guys are well-versed and completely understand the system.

In Vancouver, Krueger and Steve Smith didn't want to disrupt the ryhthm of their defence and they didn't try to hard to match lines. When I asked Krueger his strategy for home games," I look at each game as a different story. A lot of it will depend on how the game is unfolding."

Ladislav Smid liked the strategy in Vancouver because it allowed the defenders to stay in a consistent flow. He also joked that it was nice not having to defend the Sedins every shift. Smid and Jeff Petry both relish the opportunity to try and shut down the opposition's best line, and tonight they expect to see a lot of the Joe Thornton/Patrick Marleau/Joe Pavelski line.

Krueger was very complimentary of Corey Potter today and explained why he has him ahead of Fistric. He likes his body positioning and how he moves the puck. I'm curious to see when Fistric will draw in. The Sharks have a big team, but they aren't overly physical which is why Krueger replaced Eager with Paajarvi. Paajarvi was amped up to play and he is hoping to make a good impression early in the game.
 

SHARKS

Marleau-Thornton-Pavelski
Clowe-Couture-Havlat
Wingels-Handzus-Galiardi
Mclaren-Desjardins-Burish

Stuart-Vlasic
Boyle-Irwin
Murray- Braun

Niemi

Joe Pavelski is the only right-handed shot in the Sharks top-six, and he's enjoying playing the wing with Thornton and Marleau. "Joe demands the puck a lot, so I've had to alter my game a bit and learn to dish it off, but it is easy because I know Joe will get it back to me in a better position."

The Sharks are without Brent Burns and Jason Demers, and Matt Irwin looked very good in his first NHL game in Calgary. "We put him with Boyle from the first day of camp to make him feel comfortable," said Sharks' head coach Todd Mclellan. "We wanted to instill some confidence in him early by putting him with Boyle and on the PP with Thornton. I saw his confidence grow all week and he looked good in game one."

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers are a perfect 4-0 in home openers/season openers v. the Sharks. They've won all three home openers in Edmonton and they also beat the Sharks in San Jose to open a season. The Oilers speed will be an issue for the Sharks and they win 4-2.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: It will feel like a playoff game for fans. The building will be loud, the Octane will unveil a few new routines and with an 8 p.m. start many fans will be a tad "louder" when the game starts. Nail Yakupov scores his first NHL goal and follows it up with a triple fist pump.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: When they Oilers start announcing winners of the signed Oiler Jerseys, at least three diehard Oilersnation readers will win. They will instantly brag about it, rightfully so, in the comments section. And knowing Nation readers they will pick guys a jersey like Kurt Brackenbury #15, Stan Weir #21, Dave Brown #32, Jim Dowd #34 or Marty Reasoner's #19. The Nation readers set trends, they don't follow them.

GET OFF YOUR WALLET

You have five days left to win a $5,000 shopping spree at United Cycle or any of the 99 other prizes in the Nation's First Annual hockey draft. It is only $20 bucks with a portion of the funds going to charity. Bragging rights are on the line boys and girls, so enter today. We are almost sold out.

GOOD KARMA...UPDATE

I`m doing my show live at the Pint off Whyte today and at 2:10 Jessie strolled in and handed me a pair of tickets to tonight`s home opener. He wanted to give to a diehard fan. What a guy.

I will be giving them away at 6:30 p.m. You have to be here to win. Good luck.

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 Archaeologuy
January 22 2013, 01:35PM
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The Octane are Horrible! - Nobody who has seen that pic

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#2 FootballJimmy
January 22 2013, 01:38PM
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I was going to boycott Oilers games in protest of the lockout. If the picture above is an accurate depiction of this year's Octane uniform, I will certainly reconsider that position.

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#3 mc79hockey
January 22 2013, 01:40PM
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Gregor -

Why do you expect such a restrained celebration from Yakupov?

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#4 book¡e
January 22 2013, 01:41PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

The Octane are Horrible! - Nobody who has seen that pic

To be fair, that was Photoshopped a fair bit from the original photo which can be seen here

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#5 justDOit
January 22 2013, 01:42PM
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mc79hockey wrote:

Gregor -

Why do you expect such a restrained celebration from Yakupov?

You beat me to it! Nail does a double fist-pump after the anthems.

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#6 Rick
January 22 2013, 01:43PM
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The Sharks may not be overly physical but they look like the broadstreet bullies compared to the line up the Oilers are icing.

I don't get it myself, they have guys elsewhere in the line up that can give you what PRV and Potter give so why the aversion to icing a lineup that can give you a couple different dimensions.

Today's lineup has to be the least intimidating lineup in the league.

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#7 Spydyr
January 22 2013, 01:45PM
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Kurt Brackenbury.

Now that brings me back.He never meet anything moving he did not like to hit.

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#8 VK63
January 22 2013, 01:46PM
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Struds says if you get one of his jerseys signed you can co-host his show for an hour.

Ill do it but we gotta interview glenX..... :-)). I have stories!!!!

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#9 Oilfred
January 22 2013, 01:48PM
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Rick wrote:

The Sharks may not be overly physical but they look like the broadstreet bullies compared to the line up the Oilers are icing.

I don't get it myself, they have guys elsewhere in the line up that can give you what PRV and Potter give so why the aversion to icing a lineup that can give you a couple different dimensions.

Today's lineup has to be the least intimidating lineup in the league.

I'm not sure its an issue. I kinda like the 4th line if Belanger can continue his level of play on game one then its as close to a "roll 4 lines" team as I've seen in years.

#nice to have legit options

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#10 IfBruceLeeWasAnOiler
January 22 2013, 01:57PM
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@book¡e

i laughed my ass off thank you, also oilers 4-1 sharks looked a bit dry that first period against calgary maybe we get a couple early, looking at you yakupov

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#11 bdiddy18
January 22 2013, 02:08PM
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I'm torn...if I win a jersey can't decide between Jaroslav Pouzar or Reijo Ruotsalainen

gems

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#12 gcw_rocks
January 22 2013, 02:08PM
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Man I wish Krueger would hold off on the man crush on Potter until he sees Fistric play a game or two.

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#13 Thinker
January 22 2013, 02:08PM
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I want a signed Dean Clark jersey. See them find one of those.

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#14 justDOit
January 22 2013, 02:13PM
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I'd love a Klima jersey - because I can still make that vein in my buddy's forehead stand out just by mentioning Klima's name. He's a Bruins fan.

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#15 Dr Dangler
January 22 2013, 02:13PM
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Dissapointed Fistric isn't in the line up. I'd like to see what he adds. A former first rounder so you know he has some pedigree. Hopefully he gets a shot sooner than later.

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#16 Pucker
January 22 2013, 02:14PM
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book¡e wrote:

To be fair, that was Photoshopped a fair bit from the original photo which can be seen here

Cowboy Flett !!

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#17 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
January 22 2013, 02:20PM
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Man, there are so many options for a signed jersey: Reasoner, Kovalenko, Buchberger, McAmmond, Grier, Marchant, Mironov, Marchment, Oliver, de Vries, and the list goes on.....

Ahh the glory days for those of us who missed the glory days.

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#18 RexLibris
January 22 2013, 02:27PM
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Weir, Flett, Bailey, Ruotsolainen, Randy Gregg. Nobody asking for a Jiri Dopita or Dick Tarnstrom jersey?

"Nail does a double fist-pump after the anthems". Love this.

I can't remember the last time I was this excited for a game against the Sharks.

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#19 JOE NOSABONADDA
January 22 2013, 02:34PM
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i'd pick a guy called Esa Tikkanen, BEEEUUUTAHHHY!!!!!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Esa_Tikkanen_@_Kopparberg_Street_Hockey.jpg

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#20 Six Rings
January 22 2013, 02:35PM
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If I won I think I'd get the old Igor Ulanov #55.

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#21 BaconWrapped
January 22 2013, 02:35PM
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Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy! wrote:

Man, there are so many options for a signed jersey: Reasoner, Kovalenko, Buchberger, McAmmond, Grier, Marchant, Mironov, Marchment, Oliver, de Vries, and the list goes on.....

Ahh the glory days for those of us who missed the glory days.

You forgot Hulbig!

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#22 Walter Sobchak
January 22 2013, 02:36PM
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book¡e wrote:

To be fair, that was Photoshopped a fair bit from the original photo which can be seen here

Gold! Absolutely gold!

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#23 Walter Sobchak
January 22 2013, 02:37PM
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justDOit wrote:

You beat me to it! Nail does a double fist-pump after the anthems.

I'm calling the bow and arrow! Book it!

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#24 Archaeologuy
January 22 2013, 02:48PM
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I legitimately want an Igor Ulanov Jersey. That guy was incredible. Pain threshold of a corpse.

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#25 Mac962
January 22 2013, 02:55PM
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I would bet Fistric is hugely impressed. Home town boy, opening night and he is a scratch on Favor of Bobby Orr himself. Against a Big team none the less, yes the sharks are not overly physical, but when they see the small lineup facing them you know they will be pumped to thump.

Its not like Potter is giving you something so special you just cant take him out. Yup, bet Fistric's family is impressed as well. Yes, we are here to win Hockey Games, but you are not sitting Eberle for Curtis Hamilton for crying out loud.

Be a bit of a Players Coach Ralph.. my gawd. I still hope there is another reason for not playing him.

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#26 Ales Hallsky
January 22 2013, 02:55PM
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I'd have a hard time deciding between elden reddick and Mariusz Czerkawski....ZDENO CIGER!!

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#27 Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate
January 22 2013, 02:57PM
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Oh come on now guys,

Dave Dryden, Eddie Mio.

Love old school goalies.

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#28 Mac962
January 22 2013, 02:58PM
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I will take a Glen Sather / John Muckler co-signed Jersey.

If not Peter Pockington !! Can you imagine someone wearing a Peter puck autographed jersey ?? ha ha hilarious. The old goat did do some good however.

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#29 BK
January 22 2013, 03:03PM
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WHERE DID YOU FIND THAT PHOTO!!!!

She's Octane!?!?!

By the way, WHAT THE HELL IS THE OCTANE OBSESSION WITH BAD 70's FASHION?

http://oilers.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=66416

Really, in a day and age of LuLuLemon do you really need to dress Cheerleaders like that?!?!

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#30 justDOit
January 22 2013, 03:07PM
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Mac962 wrote:

I would bet Fistric is hugely impressed. Home town boy, opening night and he is a scratch on Favor of Bobby Orr himself. Against a Big team none the less, yes the sharks are not overly physical, but when they see the small lineup facing them you know they will be pumped to thump.

Its not like Potter is giving you something so special you just cant take him out. Yup, bet Fistric's family is impressed as well. Yes, we are here to win Hockey Games, but you are not sitting Eberle for Curtis Hamilton for crying out loud.

Be a bit of a Players Coach Ralph.. my gawd. I still hope there is another reason for not playing him.

I read somewhere that Coach K said that Fistric needs more time with the team before seeing game action.

You REALLY want lineup changes based on whose family might be in the stands? These are the kinds of posts I expect to read on a late Friday afternoon.

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#31 Phixieus666
January 22 2013, 03:12PM
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I want a Ralph Kruger Jersey with an aka Freddy on it. Signed please. And why you might ask...... Because nobody else has one.

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#32 Mac962
January 22 2013, 03:13PM
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justDOit wrote:

I read somewhere that Coach K said that Fistric needs more time with the team before seeing game action.

You REALLY want lineup changes based on whose family might be in the stands? These are the kinds of posts I expect to read on a late Friday afternoon.

Not at all, i want wins. Thats why i stated at the end of my post, i hope there was another reason. Ralph has not relayed this to the Fans/media [not that he has too] that this is the Reason Fist is not playing yet. So dont get your panties in a knot ! lol...i want Victories-period.

Go Oil...

Perhaps an audition in COWTOWN Saturday night is best. Book it.

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#33 DSF
January 22 2013, 03:14PM
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Stan Weir

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#34 I tried it at home
January 22 2013, 03:16PM
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Id love to have my Roloson jersey back someone took from me, but if its any choice, maybe a Satan or "Goalie Bob" Essensa. Just for fun.

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#35 Time Travelling Sean
January 22 2013, 03:20PM
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If I ever won I'd take an Igor Ulanov jersey, I loved him.

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#36 Hall for Captain
January 22 2013, 03:21PM
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Pucker wrote:

Cowboy Flett !!

Blast from the past! I still remember going with my Dad to the bank back in '79 and seeing Cowboy Flett walk in with cowboy boots and cowboy hat to cash his game cheque at the local CIBC. Weird how that memory stuck in a 8 year old's head all these years.

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#37 Rob...
January 22 2013, 03:22PM
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I'd ask for an Oilers Brian Leetch Jersey. Not only would Brian have a WTF moment when they asked him to sign it, but it'd make for some interesting discussions or bets when wearing it in public.

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#38 book¡e
January 22 2013, 03:23PM
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I'd take a Ray Whitney jersey and wear it all of the time just to remind the Coach and GM not to be as stupid as Ron Low (and Sather who should have forced the issue) was regarding Ray Whitney.

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#39 CopperBlueBalls
January 22 2013, 03:26PM
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I had a feeling it was going to be 4-2 Oiler win myself. Would like to see Fistric, but i trust Krueger.

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#40 The Goalie 1976
January 22 2013, 03:29PM
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Mac962 wrote:

I would bet Fistric is hugely impressed. Home town boy, opening night and he is a scratch on Favor of Bobby Orr himself. Against a Big team none the less, yes the sharks are not overly physical, but when they see the small lineup facing them you know they will be pumped to thump.

Its not like Potter is giving you something so special you just cant take him out. Yup, bet Fistric's family is impressed as well. Yes, we are here to win Hockey Games, but you are not sitting Eberle for Curtis Hamilton for crying out loud.

Be a bit of a Players Coach Ralph.. my gawd. I still hope there is another reason for not playing him.

No Doubt! The Sharks are the 'biggest soft team' around. I would looooove to see Fistric bust Thornton through the glass into the 1st row of seats.

I would have dressed both Hordy and Fistric.

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#41 tileguy
January 22 2013, 03:32PM
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Wilf Paiemennt with #99, ooops wrong team.

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#42 justDOit
January 22 2013, 03:34PM
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Mac962 wrote:

Not at all, i want wins. Thats why i stated at the end of my post, i hope there was another reason. Ralph has not relayed this to the Fans/media [not that he has too] that this is the Reason Fist is not playing yet. So dont get your panties in a knot ! lol...i want Victories-period.

Go Oil...

Perhaps an audition in COWTOWN Saturday night is best. Book it.

I think everyone here is anxious for wins. Was the Vancouver game, where the Oilers have not had much success in the past, not good enough for you? The Oilers played that one just like the Swiss national teams - they hung around and kept it close. The difference being that the Swiss team never had talent like Ebs or Hemmer to eke out a win like that.

You questioning the most level-headed coach this team has had in years, and demanding that roster changes happen because of where a player was born, is patently absurd. But please, more personal insults about my undergarments - I can't get enough of that.

In trying to find common ground here, I'll agree that IF he's ready, the Calgary game would be a perfect time to put Fistric in the lineup. I too, am eager to see him paste some guys into the boards, but not if he isn't up to speed on the systems.

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#43 jeanshorts
January 22 2013, 03:34PM
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Only one game in and people are already losing their minds over which 6th DMan is playing.

WELCOME BACK EVERYBODY!!

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#44 The Goalie 1976
January 22 2013, 03:43PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

Only one game in and people are already losing their minds over which 6th DMan is playing.

WELCOME BACK EVERYBODY!!

I think the issue is, with the lockout everyone is so frustrated that a good glass breaking open ice hit from Fistric would make us all feel a little better. Expecially is we imagine he is crushing Bettman/Fehr in the other teams jersey.

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#45 The Goalie 1976
January 22 2013, 03:45PM
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justDOit wrote:

I think everyone here is anxious for wins. Was the Vancouver game, where the Oilers have not had much success in the past, not good enough for you? The Oilers played that one just like the Swiss national teams - they hung around and kept it close. The difference being that the Swiss team never had talent like Ebs or Hemmer to eke out a win like that.

You questioning the most level-headed coach this team has had in years, and demanding that roster changes happen because of where a player was born, is patently absurd. But please, more personal insults about my undergarments - I can't get enough of that.

In trying to find common ground here, I'll agree that IF he's ready, the Calgary game would be a perfect time to put Fistric in the lineup. I too, am eager to see him paste some guys into the boards, but not if he isn't up to speed on the systems.

Good points. As badly as we have needed a big dangerous hitter like Fistric in the past, we must wait until he is up to speed in the systems.

In Ralph we Trust!!!!!

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#46 Czar
January 22 2013, 03:51PM
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Kent Nilsson because I'd like to talk to him face to face about his kid.

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#47 David S
January 22 2013, 03:52PM
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book¡e wrote:

To be fair, that was Photoshopped a fair bit from the original photo which can be seen here

Ah. Book's going for the all-time prop record. Might as well help him out. *Props*

Well played old chap.

http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ma7m4vesnz1rdiecno1_400.jpg

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#48 StHenriOilBomb
January 22 2013, 03:54PM
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Mac962 wrote:

Not at all, i want wins. Thats why i stated at the end of my post, i hope there was another reason. Ralph has not relayed this to the Fans/media [not that he has too] that this is the Reason Fist is not playing yet. So dont get your panties in a knot ! lol...i want Victories-period.

Go Oil...

Perhaps an audition in COWTOWN Saturday night is best. Book it.

Krueger has explained himself:

"Krueger was very complimentary of Corey Potter today and explained why he has him ahead of Fistric. He likes his body positioning and how he moves the puck."

It was in that article you didn't read.

Also, for free, and as a complimentary jersey in the collection, it would be fun to get a #64 with the name Bonsignore. It would consistently remind me of how far the Oilers have come.

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#49 jeanshorts
January 22 2013, 03:55PM
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The Goalie 1976 wrote:

I think the issue is, with the lockout everyone is so frustrated that a good glass breaking open ice hit from Fistric would make us all feel a little better. Expecially is we imagine he is crushing Bettman/Fehr in the other teams jersey.

Oh I DEFINITELY want to see him go out there and ruin people's nights, that's for sure.

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#50 Rama Lama
January 22 2013, 03:58PM
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Dr Dangler wrote:

Dissapointed Fistric isn't in the line up. I'd like to see what he adds. A former first rounder so you know he has some pedigree. Hopefully he gets a shot sooner than later.

You will soon enough.........suffice to say he hits like a truck, and he is built the same way.

Good pick up for a seventh defenseman but his speed will keep him in the press box more often than not.

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