GDB 25.0: A TOUGHER TEST...

Jason Gregor
November 25 2013 12:27PM

Fresh off a three-day break, the Oilers will try to extend their three-game winning streak vs. the defending Stanley Cup champions. Since the start of the 2010/2011 season the Oilers are 6-5-1 against the Hawks. The Oilers are 2-3-0 at home at 4-2-1 on the road.

The games in Edmonton have been blowouts. The Oilers have won by scores of 9-2 and 8-4, while the Hawks won 4-1, 5-0 and 4-1. The Oilers have outscored their opponents 15-3 during this short winning streak, but beating Chicago should be more difficult than beating Calgary, Columbus and Florida.

The Oilers' are playing their best hockey of the season, but so are the Hawks. Chicago is 10-2-1 in their last 13 games and they've scored 4+ goals in nine of those games. Patrick Kane is on a ten-game scoring streak and has 16 points in 13 games, while Jonathan Toews has 15 points in that same span, and they are on different lines.   

LINEUP

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

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

Dubnyk

No reason to change anything when you are winning, although at some point you'd like to see more from Jesse Joensuu. He hasn't done much, and once they lose I could see Ryan Jones and Marc Arcobello re-inserted into the lineup.

Marian Hossa is in Chicago taking care of a personal matter, so look for Brandon Saad to play with Toews and Patrick Sharp. Kane has Brandon Pirri as his centreman, and recently acquired Kris Versteeg will play the other wing.

QUICK HITS

  •  This is the healthiest we've seen the Oilers in years, and if they can stay healthy we will get a much more accurate assessment of who they are as a team. The Blackhawks have 12 skaters who have played every game. Their top-five D-men; Keith, Seabrook, Hjalmarsson, Oduya and Leddy, and forwards Toews, Sharp, Kane, Shaw, Saad, Kruger and Bollig. Hossa had missed four games and Bickell has missed two. Being healthy, especially when it is yoru best players, gives you a much better chance to win.
     
  • Look for the Oilers to attack Kane when he has the puck and not give him time to set up. If Kane has time to set up in the offensive zone he will embarrass you. Eakins said he'd rather see the puck on Kane's linemates' sticks.
     
  • Ken Hitchcock moving close to Hall of Fame, a goalie the Oilers have to look at in free agency, and a major blunder by the CFL. Read here.
     
  • Marc Arcobello has been a good surprise, but anyone who felt he was the team's MVP in the first quarter of the season wasn't watching close enough. It is great to want him in the lineup, but don't overestimate his contributions.
     
  • After reading Willis' solid piece on Perron's spike in shots on net, I asked the winger about his increased totals. "I've always liked to shoot, and right now I'm getting a lot of chances to shoot. I'm not sure if the system allows me more chances, or if I'm just getting more right now. It is early, but it seems every game I'm in a good spot to shoot. I really like playing with Gordo (Boyd Gordon) and Smitty (Ryan Smyth). We work well together and they get me the puck in good areas. I don't think I'm doing anything really different than I have in the past, but I noticed I have almost as many shots this year than I had all of last season, so hopefully I can keep it up," Perron said.

    He said he wanted to shoot more the past few years, but this year he said he has tried to shoot the puck quicker, and felt that he had more shots blocked last year. Interesting.
     
  • The Oilers PP is now 9th in the league at 21.5%. After going 6 for 49 (12.2%) in their first 15 games, they are a sizzling 11 for 30 (36.7%) in their last nine games. The Oilers are 18th in PP chances, but if you went by games played, they'd be closer to 23rd.
     
  • The Oilers PK has moved up to 15th overall at 83%. In their first 15 games they allowed 13 goals in 55 attempts (76.4%), but in their last nine games they've only allowed 2 goals in 33 kills (93.9%).
     
  • The Oilers still take too many penalties. They've been shorthanded 88 times thus far, tied for 7th most in the NHL. Eakins has no problem with aggressive penalties, but he feels his team still takes too many stick infractions. They've been one of the most penalized teams for the past four seasons, and eventually that needs to change if they want to start winning.
     
  • A big thank you to everyone who came out to DJ Suitcase party on Friday. It was a great night and we raised over $15,000 for the Inner City Children's Program. Nice work.

LOOKING AHEAD....  

GAME DAY PREDICTION: Fans will be entertained with nine goals, but this won't be a blowout...The Hawks pick up their second 5-4 victory over the Oilers this season.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Hall picks up two more points. Hall has 7-10-17 in 11 career games vs. the Hawks.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Sam Gagner scores the first goal of the game, and a few people suggest he's on his way to another 8-point night. That won't happen, but Gagner picks up an assist to finish with two points. Gagner gets rocked by Andrew Shaw early in the 2nd period, and can't drop the mitts because his jaw isn't 100%, so Andrew Ference rushes in and he and Shaw have a spirited tilt.  

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 Mike Krushelnyski
November 25 2013, 11:13PM
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I have high hopes for the Bryzgalov-era Oilers. They've looked pretty good ever since he's been in net for them!!

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#52 Mike Krushelnyski
November 25 2013, 11:13PM
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I have high hopes for the Bryzgalov-era Oilers. They've looked pretty good ever since he's been in net for them!!

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#53 Jeff In Lethbridge
November 26 2013, 07:34AM
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michael wrote:

Why is Potter still an Oiler? Own goal.Pp and Sh goal. The Oil are finding all kinds of ways to piss this game away. Oh well. Looks like a recipe for failure tonight. BTW Columbus kicks the crud out of TO tonight 6-0. Friday night should be brutal for the Oil.

5-1 final tonight I think I 'll go watch a Miley Cyrus video on You Tube. Isn't that the joke? What's worse than watching the Oilers play Chicago? Answer? Watching Miley Cyrus.

Oil have been winning 3 of 4 games recently - 75%!

at this reate the squueeeeeeek into the playoffs for sure!!

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#54 JJmorrocco
November 25 2013, 12:30PM
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Ference with the fisticuffs again gotta love it!

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#55 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
November 25 2013, 01:37PM
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@Dog Train

Ebs is long overdue for a hatty.

And re: my comment about Perron being the most playoff ready, I might retract that statement and say Ference is the most ready. But Perron looks a close second.

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#56 Oilerz4life
November 25 2013, 03:33PM
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John Chambers wrote:

Q - would anyone be open to trading Ales Hemsky straight up for Martin Erat?

Erat is a drama queen who demands a trade 15 min. after arriving in any town he plays. At least Hemsky has staying power, you must be kidding?

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#57 pkam
November 25 2013, 03:34PM
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John Chambers wrote:

Q - would anyone be open to trading Ales Hemsky straight up for Martin Erat?

Hemsky and Yakupov are having some chemistry going lately, why do we want to destroy that with a trade for a guy who is 2 years older and half productive as Hemsky, and cost almost as much and still has one year left in his contract?

Looks worse than trading Smid + Roy for Horak + Brossoit.

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#58 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 25 2013, 04:08PM
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oilers2k10 wrote:

Arcobello should be in Hemsky out simple as that.

Well, this is fundamentally insane.

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#59 pkam
November 25 2013, 04:28PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

Well, this is fundamentally insane.

Some poster is just more desperate to get thumb down than DSF.

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#60 Time Travelling Sean
November 25 2013, 04:36PM
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gcw_rocks wrote:

Here is something to think about:

Since the 2009 draft, Chicago has the following home grown non-first round players in their top 9: BRANDON PIRRI 2ND (59TH OVERALL) 2009 BRANDON SAAD 2ND (43RD OVERALL) 2011 ANDREW SHAW 5TH (139TH OVERALL) 2011

On the roster, you can add: BRYAN BICKELL 2ND (41ST OVERALL) 2004 BEN SMITH 6TH (169TH OVERALL) 2008 NIKLAS HJALMARSSON 4TH (108TH OVERALL) 2005 DUNCAN KEITH 2ND (54TH OVERALL) 2002 COREY CRAWFORD 2ND (52ND OVERALL) 2003

The Oilers have Petry. Hall, Hemsky, Eberle, Yakupov, Gagner, Dubnyk, and Smyth were all 1st rounders. If the Oilers did half as well as the Hawks in drafting after the 1st round this team would be a playoff team right now.

Sigh…

Having a great team makes role players look a lot better than they really are or would be on a more mediocre team.

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#61 Mac962
November 25 2013, 04:44PM
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$3M wrote:

The sexism Gregor adds to his articles is totally unneccessary!Put in some pictures of house plants instead so MAC iq 6.29 can be happy!

Still Bothered are You Mr. Wronger ? Tsk Tsk You make me laugh, no really, you do.

Lets Go Oilers, Show time.

MAC 6.29 or whatever Wronger super Millionaire calls me.

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#62 Smokey
November 25 2013, 05:02PM
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oilers2k10 wrote:

Arcobello should be in Hemsky out simple as that.

Arco should of been over Gagner or Acton. Hemsky has been alright lately.

Those who suggested Hemsky for Erat. That trade is for the taking. Washington should be kicking doors on that, however that's not a trade you make straight across. Erat destroyed his value, and Hemsky is a lot more now. People say Hemmers made of glass, but he's been healthy this year, and he's still got his mojo some nights. Still think he's a legit top 6 with 50 point potential. Frankly would not touch Erat personally.

The greater question is what you can get for Hemmer at the deadline. Like to see a legit 3rd line type. I think he will be up for grabs for say a couple 2nds to a team going into the playoffs, cause Hemsky can be a complete X-factor player when motivated. Can't see a first unless really late.

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#63 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 25 2013, 05:06PM
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gcw_rocks wrote:

Pirri and Saad play in the top six. Shaw and Bickell anchor the third line. Hjarlmsson plays top for minutes. Crawford is the starting goalie. Keith is a top pairing defender. What's your definition of a role player?

Think Andrew Ference on the Bruins and Andrew Ference on the Oilers.

Team/line effects are real. Good teams have the ability to shelter up and coming and waning players in a variety of ways.

None of which is to say that making the most out of opportunities and succeeding in roles above your weight class can be ignored. They are big achievements.

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#64 Harlie
November 25 2013, 06:21PM
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Awesome to hear that Suitcase and Gregor have the pull and raised 15G's for charity in addition to Suit's work on the Blades and the 35G's from there.

Props to you G's!

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#65 David S
November 25 2013, 06:50PM
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DSF wrote:

You are old enough to be their grandfather you creep!

Oh DSF, you SO pwned me.

My response?

http://youtu.be/9n4-oVOKoLY

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#66 Alsker
November 25 2013, 08:41PM
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Finally, the Bryzster should have started this period and the 4thline needs to be sent to OKC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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#67 vetinari
November 25 2013, 08:46PM
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I hope that the Chicago model is our future... they're loose, talented, back check, control gaps and can wheel on a dime...

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#68 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
November 25 2013, 08:46PM
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Good shift there from the kid line.

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#69 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
November 25 2013, 08:54PM
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Looking good so far, Breezy-G

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#70 Alsker
November 25 2013, 09:01PM
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Sir Bryz gives me the feeling I had when Cujo/Rollie/Fuhrsie were here. I'm sure its the rum but damn you just get that sense that things even up between the pipes.

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#71 Reg Dunlop
November 25 2013, 09:36PM
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Ryan Smyth is like the Smiths tachometers on old Norton motorcycles. They are gear driven, old technology and they have a delay where they climb even after the engine revs are dropping. Smyth is always chugging away in the opposite direction to the play. Can't skate well enough, please retire.

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#72 steelymac
November 25 2013, 10:04PM
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4 goals on 14 shots we were done basicaly when it started.

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#73 Rob...
November 25 2013, 10:13PM
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Hall needs to sit for a game. Those turnovers were far less excusable than Yakupov's bobbling of the puck on the short-handed goal.

I'd also bagskate every player who decided the best play was to blindly pass it behind them while deep in their own zone and under pressure.

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#74 Mike Krushelnyski
November 25 2013, 11:12PM
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I have high hopes for the Bryzgalov-era Oilers. They've looked pretty good ever since he's been in net for them!!

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#75 Mike Krushelnyski
November 25 2013, 11:12PM
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I have high hopes for the Bryzgalov-era Oilers. They've looked pretty good ever since he's been in net for them!!

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#76 Mike Krushelnyski
November 25 2013, 11:13PM
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I have high hopes for the Bryzgalov-era Oilers. They've looked pretty good ever since he's been in net for them!!

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#77 Mike Krushelnyski
November 25 2013, 11:13PM
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I have high hopes for the Bryzgalov-era Oilers. They've looked pretty good ever since he's been in net for them!!

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#78 Haywood Jablome
November 25 2013, 11:25PM
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Jason Gregor with another bang on game day prediction. Hey Jay, how are you gonna pump your tires on the radio tomorrow?

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#79 tileguy
November 25 2013, 01:20PM
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Did Perron really say he loves playing with Smitty and Gordo? Gawd love him and his attitude any everything else about him. If we had to pick an Oiler MVP today it would be him without a doubt.

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#80 S cottV
November 25 2013, 01:40PM
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Probably 5 to 4 like Gregor says because the Hawks will be thinking that a personal points night and 2 points in the standings are both achievable. Progress would be a 3 to 2 loss, with reasonable control demomonstrated by the Oilers. Regularly giving up 4 or 5 GA's has got to go away at some point. Will be interesting to see how the Oilers take their 3 game win streak, up against the top end of the league. Hope the Oilers take the lead and scare the Hawks into full gear, so - we can really see where the oil leaks show up.

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#81 A-Mc
November 25 2013, 01:59PM
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Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

Hockeydb has him at 6'0", 195 lbs. He's stated he wants top 6 minutes, so the question is, is he better than our top four wingers? Kinda seems like more of the same.

Ya i figured that after i posted it. I edited my post to include that for some reason i thought he was a Defenseman.

My first thought was that there was a decent defeseman not getting playing time that wants out of washington, could the oilers use him!? but i was way off as he's a winger.

Even as a winger though, i dont know what type of game he brings. Ales Hemsky is worth a full 1Mill/yr more and if Erat fits our style a little better (not sure?) then perhaps there is a trade we could do involving hemsky for Erat.

I must admit i dont know much about Erat, so i'm totally blowing smoke here. I'll leave it to the people in-the-know to make comments on how Edmonton might be able to use him, if at all.

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#82 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
November 25 2013, 02:03PM
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@A-Mc

Yeah, I know nothing about him either. But I'd play Hall, Ebs, and Perron before Erat, and I think having him in the top six would cut into Yak's development. If only he were a centre. And 3" taller/25 lbs heavier...

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#83 Lowe Expectations
November 25 2013, 02:28PM
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Chicago Ice Girls. High maintenance doing ice maintenance.

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#84 OilClog
November 25 2013, 02:41PM
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Early in the season when Arco was playing 2nd line pivot.. It's not ridiculous at all to suggest he was our MVP or in the top 3. He was!

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#85 Lloyd B.
November 25 2013, 03:18PM
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John Chambers wrote:

Q - would anyone be open to trading Ales Hemsky straight up for Martin Erat?

NOooooooooooooooo!!!

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#86 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 25 2013, 05:12PM
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Smokey wrote:

Arco should of been over Gagner or Acton. Hemsky has been alright lately.

Those who suggested Hemsky for Erat. That trade is for the taking. Washington should be kicking doors on that, however that's not a trade you make straight across. Erat destroyed his value, and Hemsky is a lot more now. People say Hemmers made of glass, but he's been healthy this year, and he's still got his mojo some nights. Still think he's a legit top 6 with 50 point potential. Frankly would not touch Erat personally.

The greater question is what you can get for Hemmer at the deadline. Like to see a legit 3rd line type. I think he will be up for grabs for say a couple 2nds to a team going into the playoffs, cause Hemsky can be a complete X-factor player when motivated. Can't see a first unless really late.

CBC mentioned Ottawa as a possible target for Hemsky this past Sat. But that trade (and numerous others for Hemsky) have been talked about forever. The return wasn't mentioned. (IIRC)

Another report had this to say:

"The Oilers need help everywhere, however, teams are asking for young players in return. “They want to do something but they overrate their players which means the prices are high,” said a league executive. He should be able to get a top pick for UFA RW Ales Hemsky"

http://www.ottawasun.com/2013/11/23/phillys-captain-claude-giroux-set-for-sochi-olympics

Not sure what a "top pick" could mean other than a 1st rounder. But that would be full value for the player.

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#87 YFC Prez
November 25 2013, 06:26PM
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Harlie wrote:

Awesome to hear that Suitcase and Gregor have the pull and raised 15G's for charity in addition to Suit's work on the Blades and the 35G's from there.

Props to you G's!

Why would someone trash this? Trigger happy whack job.

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#88 Alsker
November 25 2013, 07:28PM
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How can we not pick the Oil to come up big tonite,5-2 sounds about right, hell Columbus are up 6-0 over the laughs. Obviously anything can happen. And yes rum is definitely the reason behind my optimism.

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#89 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
November 25 2013, 07:49PM
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Oil are really fighting the puck right now.

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#90 Johnnydapunk
November 25 2013, 07:51PM
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Bit of a shocker of a start, hope the SH goal doesn't completely throw them back into panic nervous hockey mode that they seem to default into fairly easily when the game is close or they allow a bit of a bad goal. Not saying the goal was Dubnyk's fault by any means, but you shouldn't have giveaways like that.

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#91 YFC Prez
November 25 2013, 08:04PM
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I have a very unhealthy reaction whenever I see Duncan Keith's face. He seems like a world class jerk face. Someone in a blue jersey do something terrible.

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#92 Alsker
November 25 2013, 08:05PM
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Oh that Smyth opportunity would have helped.

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#93 Alsker
November 25 2013, 08:23PM
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We get outshot, out chanced but not dominated like in Philly. Do you bring in Bryz in hopes to add a spark and give him a non-pressure appearance infront of the home crowd?

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#94 BingBong
November 25 2013, 08:55PM
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Well at least we know Arcobello will play next game.

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#95 Alsker
November 25 2013, 09:03PM
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So when does Wanye show Sir Bryz the photo-shop finalists so he can choose one for his mask.

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#96 Moog's helmet
November 25 2013, 09:43PM
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Has any team in NHL history spent the last 63 games of the year trying to play spoiler? So far this rebuild I've noticed two things. 1. Good teams make us look like we have a long way to go. 2. Bad teams make us look like we're almost there.

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#97 moog's helmet
November 25 2013, 09:54PM
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Got to admit I like Eakins' layoff beard.

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#98 Alsker
November 25 2013, 09:57PM
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moog's helmet wrote:

Got to admit I like Eakins' layoff beard.

Beard or not he reminds me of Dr.Who...wonder where he parks his tardis?

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#99 FireKLowe
November 25 2013, 10:03PM
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Boys against men!!! What a joke! Fire the dumb fcuk KLowe.

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#100 Clyde
November 25 2013, 10:03PM
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Anyone still wondering why Saad was a Calder finalist and Yak wasn't?

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