GDB 24.0: THREEPEAT

Jason Gregor
November 21 2013 01:06PM

I know that a threepeat is usually associated with winning three consecutive championships, but right now a three-game winning streak for the Oilers is as rare as a threepeat, so you need to start somewhere.

The Oilers dominated the Blue Jackets on Tuesday, and while a 7-0 drubbing is unlikely, if the Oilers play with the same speed, tenacity and determination they should defeat the Florida Panthers. However, as the Vancouver Canucks learned, you can't take anyone lightly, and I'd hope that the 29th place Oilers aren't looking at the 28th place Panthers as an easy opponent.

Tuesday was only one game, but the only way you can start a streak is by winning and tonight the Oilers have to build on that strong performance. They Oilers scored first for the first time in ten games. Their PP continues to produce, and they didn't give up any quality chances.

They aren't going to score seven goals every game, and they aren't going to rack up shutouts weekly, but they can find some ensure they have consistency in their game. It is what they lack the most. If the majority of players can learn to play with consistency, then, and only then, can we start to discuss actual progress.

Everyone from the fans, players, coaches, management and media knows the Oilers don't have the right mix of players to be an elite contender, and Craig MacTavish can't fix that overnight, but the players can learn to play with consistency.

The players have to realize that acquiring a top-pairing D-man or some size in their top-nine won't magically solve their problems. It won't instill uniformity in their game; they need to instill it now so when MacTavish adds pieces to the puzzle this team is ready to legitimately be competitive.

Obviously they want to win, but I don't believe they will start winning regularly until they learn to play with conviction, consistency and determination on a nightly basis.

They did that on Tuesday and now they need to do it tonight against a team they are capable of beating.

LINEUP

Hall-RNH-Eberle
Yakupov-Gagner-Hemsky
Smyth-Gordon-Perron
Jonesuu-Acton-Gazdic

Belov-J.Schultz
Ference-Petry
N. Schultz-Potter

Dubnyk

After consecutive victories there is no reason to change the lineup. Eakins will stick with five forward on his first PP unit, but suggested that might only last a few more games. There is a risk if they give up an odd man rush, but Eakins said that shouldn't happen, and the upside it immense with the creativity of the five forwards. In their last eight games the Oilers are 9 for 25 on the PP. Whatever combination they've used has worked.

QUICK HITS...

  • Ryan Smyth and Ales Hemsky are the only players still on the Oilers who played in the Heritage Classic ten years ago. Smyth said the biggest challenge was the temperature change. The benches were extremely warm with the heaters, but then you'd go on the ice and it was -22. He loved the experience and is hopeful the young kids will get to experience an outdoor game.
     
  • I'm hearing the Oilers and the NHL are looking at another outdoor game in Edmonton within the next two or three years.
     
  • Steve Staios tied a career high with three points in the 2003 Heritage Classic. Staios had a goal and two assists and was named 2nd star. He's had five three point games in his career and he had three that season.
     
  • The Oilers placed Steve MacIntyre on waivers today. Not much of a surprise considering he hasn't played one game this season and Luke Gazdic has played well in Macintyre's role. I asked Eakins about Gazdic and why he feels it is necessary to have a tough guy in the lineup.

    "I think it is important right now for our group. I know there is a lot of people out there who think that (fighting) has nothing to do with the game, but they've never stood on the bench and seen how it ignites your bench. I think it is important for all of our players to stand up for each other. It shows you care, especially when you come to one of your guy's defence. I think that goes a long, long way to your group's closeness. The way they will fight for each other, and I don't mean fist fight, I mean they are all pulling on the same rope.

    One of my favourite teams to watch the past few years is the Bruins. You touch one of their guys and five or six guys are waiting for you. That shows a team that is extremely close. There are no scrums where you have two or three guys skating around looking in the stands, everyone is in there supporting each other. You don't have to be big and tough to do that, you just need to stick up each other."
     
  • I then asked Eakins if he thinks his team has enough of a pack mentality, or is he trying to instill that?

    "It is something we are pushing to have happen, but we have gotten way better at since day one. There would be a scrum before and we would have three or four guys sitting back thinking the refs will get in there, but now we are starting to see guys jump in.

    A few games ago against Dallas, their agitator, Roussel, was fooling around with Potter and here comes Taylor Hall and he gives him a swat, chases him away and I was like, 'Yes, I love that from our team.'

    That resonates on the bench. That's why I find it interesting hearing people's views on violence in hockey that say it does nothing to the game, but maybe we should invite them down to the bench and see what it does to the guys who are getting ready to go out on the ice."
     
  • I've been critical of the Oilers overall lack of toughness for years, and not just fighting. I have noticed they are slowly getting better at standing up for one another, and that is a necessary step to showing a willingness to do whatever it takes to win.
     
  • For the past five years, I've participated in the Junior Chamber International of Edmonton Holiday Hamper program. You sign up and they place you with an underprivIleged family. They supply a grocery shopping list and you go buy the food and one small present for each member of the family. You then deliver the hamper to their house.

    It has made Christmas much more enjoyable for me, because it truly is about giving. The JCI is hoping to help 750 families this year and they need about 250 more people to sign up. This is a great bonding experience for your family and a great way to show your children how to help others in need. If you are interested in helping out go to www.holidayhamper.ca and click on hamper. They are hoping to fill the spots by December 1st.
     

THE FUTURE....

GAME DAY PREDICTION: THREEPEAT, THREEPEAT, THREEPEAT... Oiler fans aren't used to witnessing a three-game winning streak, but it will happen tonight. Oilers win 4-2.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: After a big win the 50/50 will be back above $65,000. Winning makes fans feel better and willing to poney up some more cash in hopes of winning.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Anton Belov, Nick Schultz and Sam Gagner are the only Oilers who have played 10 games and haven't scored. Gagner ends his drought tonight, and Belov shocks all of us as he decides to actually shoot the puck. He fires a career-high four shots on goal and scores his first NHL goal.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR 

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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#51 Johnnydapunk
November 21 2013, 10:07PM
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Well that was rather enjoyable.

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#52 loweblows
November 22 2013, 09:35AM
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Quintana wrote:

Arcobello doesn't fit in this team. He is 5.6 ft, and by now he's trade bait.

acton I believe won 1 faceoff and was a complete non-factor-arco has proven to be a better all round player despite his size-so please stop trolling this site mr.keith acton

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#53 Rama Lama
November 21 2013, 02:15PM
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Whenever there is a trade rumour it usually involves someone who is NOT of the mold of what we are looking for.......by that I mean size and toughness included.

We went and brought in Ference, the smallest defenceman we could find.......he is neither adept at moving the puck or being overy physical, now there is a rumour that we are looking at Del-Zotto?

He is another Justin Schultz except smaller and less talented........I for one hope if MacT is looking for a defenceman that is no shrinking voilet, we have enough of those! If there is a trade to be made, I would much rather a big less skilled defenceman, than someone how has tons of skill but is afraid to make a hit.

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#54 **
November 21 2013, 02:27PM
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Obvious prediction: Dubnyk plays solid again.

Wild prediction:

Oil take this one 9-0. Belov scores, somehow Gagner will be held off the net but chips in on a couple of assists.

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#55 Bucknuck
November 21 2013, 03:34PM
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The last few years, after the Oil have a big dominating win, they come out flat the next game. So I am nervous. I hope they get the threepeat and break the trend.

We'll See. I believe they will win, and Yak will get a pair.4-2 sounds right.

Go Oilers.

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#57 Mac962
November 21 2013, 05:48PM
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WONGER wrote:

Why didn't MacIntyre even get one game? C'mon MacT have a heart. He is one of the best, most genuine people you could ever meet and can knock people out with either hand! Recall him if it's not too late! Florida, Pittsburgh, Calgary or Toronto, I'm betting on Pittsburgh or Toronto, will claim him for sure! ARGH!!!! HELP GREGOR!!!! Can you start a SAVE THE BIG MAC CAMPAIGN???? Do a favour for your Good Buddy (great chinese food restaurant name)the one and only WONGER - often immitated but never duplicated)! HELP GREGOR!!!!

Go hang out on the Canucks or Flames site you Intelligence deprived soul. Seriously, what do you see in the mirror ?

In your logic WONGER, I HAVE HOUSE PLANT SMARTER THAN YOU ! Duh.

You should just put your jammies on and go to bed, it's way too late for you. Don't forget your coloring book.

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#58 Hauk15
November 21 2013, 07:55PM
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I've always enjoyed the crisp breeze of the Rexall Place announcer's voice after an Oiler goal. He has a stunning, Morgan Freeman like voice.

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#59 Mike Krushelnyski
November 21 2013, 08:01PM
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Though you'd think when he's got the other guy's stick stuck in his visor for 30 seconds, the high sticking penalty is kind of implied.

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#60 Rocket
November 21 2013, 08:05PM
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I'm watching the Florida feed.

The play-by-play man:"Nugent-Hopkins' pass gets picked off by Gilbert."

*Head explodes*

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#61 Rip van Winkle
November 21 2013, 10:36PM
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxopViU98Xo&noredirect=1 that is all

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#62 K_Mart
November 22 2013, 12:57AM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

Not a bad game, good PK & the PP is red hot.

I was at the game tonight and what I watched was two very bad teams 5x5.

The defensive mistakes by the Oilers were ghastly!

By my eye I counted about 4 or 5 alarming turnovers, not a huge deal against the Panthers but the Oilers need to tighten that up before going into Dec & Jan.

Also good to see Dubnyk regain a little confidence but that letting in one awful goal a game is still there.

Glad to see Gagner get that goal, seems him and Yakupov got good chem going.

I'm still pretty pissed about the team & the first two months......

Agree with everything except for the Dubnyk comment. It was from a bad angle, but those go in sometimes. He stopped something like 23/24. Better than good, that is great. Besides, the shot was placed perfectly and there was JUST enough room for it to go in. Not really that bad of positioning on DD part. If he keeps this up, which he won't, we would win 3/4 games. A .95 sv% just doesn't last. An avg of .920 is where we need him, and that's where I expect him to play.

3 in a row is nice. I'll enjoy it. I hope this team can knock off 30 more wins this year. That would be HUGE. Not enough for the playoffs, but still respectable.

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#63 Rama Lama
November 22 2013, 10:36AM
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Quintana wrote:

Arcobello doesn't fit in this team. He is 5.6 ft, and by now he's trade bait.

Arco's stats are wrong........he is more like 5'10" and 190! In any regard he plays like he is 6'2" and 220lbs.

He is a faster more aggressive version of Sam........the guy has vision and heart, what is not to like?

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#64 Walter Sobchak
November 22 2013, 11:03AM
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Rama Lama wrote:

Arco's stats are wrong........he is more like 5'10" and 190! In any regard he plays like he is 6'2" and 220lbs.

He is a faster more aggressive version of Sam........the guy has vision and heart, what is not to like?

I for the life of me can't understand why Arcobelo is not playing and Acton is?

Better offence - better face off %. - better speed - better vision - better hitter

It doesn't make sense.

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#65 Will
November 21 2013, 01:38PM
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The only thing you can count on with the Oilers is their unpredictability. The Oilers should take their 7 - 0 win and play a similar engaged and up tempo game. The Oilers should be able to beat this team as they've demonstrated to do so recently. The Oilers should come away with a win tonight. But what the Oilers should be able to do and what they actually do are hardly ever the same. What really stuck out at the game on Tuesday was the team's ability to draw penalties against another team that was not engaged, and the team's ability to get back and break up offence with some smart defensive plays.

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#66 sizzay
November 21 2013, 03:03PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

I've always liked Shore, but I'm willing to bet that FLA would give up Matthias before Shore, ether way I think both players would be great addition for the Oilers.....just a hunch.

Agreed. I think Shore is a good long term choice to replace Gagner and Matthias could be a good addition to centre or wing as he plays both.

Last year Matthias scored 14 in a shortened season so it may be worth trying him in the top 6 at C and if it doesn't work you have a responsible C in the bottom six. He's an upgrade on Acton

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#67 bulldog12
November 21 2013, 06:56PM
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I don't understand Arco sitting in the press box Second on team for face offs,near the top on hits,and points. Try some actual skill mixed with some size on the 4th line and see how they do. Arco can kill penalties,take D zone face offs and move up the lineup if someone's having an off night ( Hemsky) Acton doesn't do nothing for me, as Mac T says the most you can hope for is to be a non factor. That’s Acton to a t.

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#68 Old School G
November 21 2013, 08:39PM
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And once more:

Though you'd think when he's got the other guy's stick stuck in his visor for 30 seconds, the high sticking penalty is kind of implied.

Thank You Mike

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#69 camdog
November 21 2013, 10:39PM
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bulldog12 wrote:

Why does the 4th line need all size and grit. All they do is hit the other teams 4th line and 3rd pairing dmen. How does that wear down anyone that has any affect on the game. Arco hits as much as anyone,is good defensively and the 4th line might actually create some scoring chances. You could play them more than 5 to 7 minutes a night. Gotta think outside the box.

Eakins doesn`t want the 4th line playing more minutes. At the beginning of the season he stated that he expected the skilled forwards to be conditioned to play heavy minutes. These minutes of course are the expense of the 4 th line forwards.

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#70 bassguy
November 21 2013, 10:55PM
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sorry I cant spell correctly!

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#71 Andrew
November 22 2013, 12:31AM
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Now the Oil are off until Monday I wonder if any of the rumoured trades for a "D" man might happen during this fairly long break between games? Just wondering.

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#72 VK63
November 22 2013, 07:17AM
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@bassguy

Paulina lip synched as well. (insert current paulina reference here)

I remember cochran waiting for the intro buildup before he hit this big assed power chord on his acoustic... he totally missed the cue.. but it sounded awesome! That thing would have been so far out of tune it would have sounded like a cross between a belch and someone strangling a cat.

I remember one of my Oilpatch cohorts who was so drilled, after the legends game he went up for another bump, as soon as he got to the concourse, whack... he passes out.. I can still hear the sound of his melon hitting the concrete.

Former golden bear captain Russ Hewson was a cop at the time and got him up and into a cab. I still bug the old pail head every time I see him.

One of our group borrowed a neck tray from a beer salesmen as it was pointless to wander around with beer popsicles for sale, filled the tray with triples and a splash of coke... still froze....

The place emptied out by about 70% when the 50/50 was drawn. We hung in there till the bitter end... geared up in sasky ice fishing attire, fully loaded with diesel and totally immersed in the experience.

Ill do it again!! Ha!

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#73 camdog
November 22 2013, 08:52AM
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Quintana wrote:

Arcobello doesn't fit in this team. He is 5.6 ft, and by now he's trade bait.

On "this" team with these forward Arco is the perfect replacement player for when one of the skilled guys gets hurt. When this team is healthy he's a bench player.

He's worked hard enough to stick with the team, other forwards know they can be replaced. He well get additional games when the time is right. I am sure that the kid is loving the NHL life right now, and good for him.

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#74 Oier Al
November 22 2013, 09:29AM
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Alright that was a good practice, now the real hockey starts... Hawks in town on Monday.

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#75 rob
November 22 2013, 10:13AM
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Harlie wrote:

Perron is our modern day Peca. Just need our Pronger and a sweet deadline deal next year and we could roll.

we have him,his name is nurse!!!

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#76 Walter Sobchak
November 22 2013, 11:00AM
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K_Mart wrote:

Agree with everything except for the Dubnyk comment. It was from a bad angle, but those go in sometimes. He stopped something like 23/24. Better than good, that is great. Besides, the shot was placed perfectly and there was JUST enough room for it to go in. Not really that bad of positioning on DD part. If he keeps this up, which he won't, we would win 3/4 games. A .95 sv% just doesn't last. An avg of .920 is where we need him, and that's where I expect him to play.

3 in a row is nice. I'll enjoy it. I hope this team can knock off 30 more wins this year. That would be HUGE. Not enough for the playoffs, but still respectable.

Agreed on Dubnyk, however, I will say this, when the tougher teams come and it's 1-1 with five left to play and he lets a goal like that in its deflating! It's a team & game killer.

I'm still sceptical the Oilers have really pulled out of this, I'll wait to see them play a tough team up close, then I'll get a better sample of how they have changed and hopefully for the better.

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#77 sizzay
November 21 2013, 02:34PM
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DSF wrote:

Don't forget the Panthers also have Shawn Matthias, Marcel Goc, Jesse Winchester and Scott Gomez (injured) at C.

Drew Shore would be a great pick up for the Oilers and, as you say, the price might be reasonable.

Another option is Mark McNeill, Chicago prospect, 2011 1st rounder. He is the guy I was hoping the Oilers took at 19, but was snagged. Chicago has lots of Centre prospect depth with upside.

I think he would be a heftier price in comparison to Shore. With him though, he could be a good 3C option for them, so they may not see a need to move him.

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#78 DSF
November 21 2013, 02:39PM
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sizzay wrote:

Another option is Mark McNeill, Chicago prospect, 2011 1st rounder. He is the guy I was hoping the Oilers took at 19, but was snagged. Chicago has lots of Centre prospect depth with upside.

I think he would be a heftier price in comparison to Shore. With him though, he could be a good 3C option for them, so they may not see a need to move him.

Chicago is still looking for a #2C so I doubt they would move McNeill if they think he has that potential.

The thing with Florida is they are just loaded with young C's (remember Huberdeau was also a C in junior) so, for the right deal, I think they might move one.

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#79 Walter Sobchak
November 21 2013, 02:59PM
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DSF wrote:

Chicago is still looking for a #2C so I doubt they would move McNeill if they think he has that potential.

The thing with Florida is they are just loaded with young C's (remember Huberdeau was also a C in junior) so, for the right deal, I think they might move one.

I've always liked Shore, but I'm willing to bet that FLA would give up Matthias before Shore, ether way I think both players would be great addition for the Oilers.....just a hunch.

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#80 TigerUnderGlass
November 21 2013, 03:14PM
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Old School G wrote:

I'm not sure I understand

Which part, "Trademark" or "Three-peat"?

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#81 pkam
November 21 2013, 03:31PM
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3rd of a 5 peat or 10 peat

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#82 Dog Train
November 21 2013, 03:32PM
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When you're in 29th place, you can't look at anybody as an easy opponent. I really hope that we build off of Tuesday's big game and play a really energetic game tonight.

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#83 justDOit
November 21 2013, 05:29PM
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3 goals per PERIOD for the last four periods (going back to the 3rd against Flames), and their THIRD win in a row, for the first time since... Since...

I need a drink!

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#84 DSF
November 21 2013, 05:54PM
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I see the Red Wings have called up Gustav Nyquist.

Scores his 1st goal on his first shift.

Also worth noting, Peter Holland scores his 1st goal as a Leaf and is 100% on the dot in the first period.

Oh, what should have been. 😳

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#85 YFC Prez
November 21 2013, 08:02PM
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@Bryzarro World

Doesn't quite hit like Smac but who does really?! But he can play a little too , I like him also. Face punchers who can skate FTW

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#86 Hauk15
November 21 2013, 08:31PM
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Hey mike how'd you manage to comment the same thing over a hundred times?

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#87 Alsker
November 21 2013, 09:08PM
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@Mike Krushelnyski

I for 1 am impressed sir, you finally found a way to keep DSF off the comment section for 4 whole pages..10,000 props to you and a big cheers!!!!!!!

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#88 DSF
November 21 2013, 09:20PM
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Alsker wrote:

I for 1 am impressed sir, you finally found a way to keep DSF off the comment section for 4 whole pages..10,000 props to you and a big cheers!!!!!!!

Ha.

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#89 DSF
November 21 2013, 09:20PM
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Alsker wrote:

I for 1 am impressed sir, you finally found a way to keep DSF off the comment section for 4 whole pages..10,000 props to you and a big cheers!!!!!!!

Ha.

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#90 bulldog12
November 21 2013, 10:07PM
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Hauk15 wrote:

Arcobello has zero size, the forth line needs grit and a bit of nasty. not 5'6" 168 lbs skill.

Why does the 4th line need all size and grit. All they do is hit the other teams 4th line and 3rd pairing dmen. How does that wear down anyone that has any affect on the game. Arco hits as much as anyone,is good defensively and the 4th line might actually create some scoring chances. You could play them more than 5 to 7 minutes a night. Gotta think outside the box.

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#91 Sidney Frosby
November 21 2013, 11:35PM
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vetinari wrote:

Alright you post-happy Luddites, quit with the triple-quadruple posts... you look like you have OCD...

Look at this idiot.... He thinks people are doing this purposely

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#92 JJ
November 22 2013, 08:22AM
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Alsker wrote:

I for 1 am impressed sir, you finally found a way to keep DSF off the comment section for 4 whole pages..10,000 props to you and a big cheers!!!!!!!

Well, DSF instantly made up for that by posting 20 times in a row. It's almost like he was taunting everyone...

"Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha."

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#93 TigerUnderGlass
November 21 2013, 01:22PM
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My favorite fact about the phrase "Three-peat" is that it has been trademarked by Pat Riley (Riles & Co.)

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#94 Old School G
November 21 2013, 02:12PM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

My favorite fact about the phrase "Three-peat" is that it has been trademarked by Pat Riley (Riles & Co.)

I'm not sure I understand

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#95 Danger Pay
November 21 2013, 02:50PM
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This is the week of Oilers Dominance that one hater keeps posting about!

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#96 Old School G
November 21 2013, 03:26PM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

Which part, "Trademark" or "Three-peat"?

Your comment is about basketball. Worse yet it's about basketball and the Miami Heat.

C'mon Man

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#97 Puck JammeR!
November 21 2013, 03:57PM
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Gagner and Eberle for Jordan and Eric Staal.

BOLD MOVES

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#98 smiliegirl15
November 21 2013, 04:07PM
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Thanks for the link to JCI. I am now a Holiday Hamper Elf!

Hopefully the confidence they've gotten in the last couple games will carry the Oilers into this game too. We know they have the ability and talent to do better.

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#99 madjam
November 21 2013, 04:17PM
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Chances are it is going to be much more than just a 3-pete . The oil is ignited .

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#100 **
November 21 2013, 04:30PM
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kgo wrote:

Arco will be fine, The adversity will make him stronger.

It's funny how in two months people go from calling Mac T an idiot for not sigining an experienced centre...two sh$tting bricks because a rookie is scratched for a few games.

I still think Mac Tavish needs to get a better, bigger 2C and a better 4C, and it rattles my mind that one of the best players on the team is sitting on the bench (rookie or not, what should matter is how you play and Arco has been one of the best and more consistent if not the best).

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