GDB 32.0: FOND MEMORIES

Jason Gregor
December 10 2013 01:03PM

The Oilers and Carolina Hurricanes don't have much history, except for that outstanding seven-game series in the 2006 Cup finals. The ending wasn't great for the Oilers and their fans, but the 24 games between April 21st and June 19th created some outstanding memories.

I'm guessing most Oiler remember where they were when Pisani scored shorthanded, in overtime no less, to send the series back to Edmonton for games six. Game six was the best atmosphere in an NHL arena that I've ever experienced. It was Saturday night, 6 p.m. start, but the building was packed by 4:30. The emotion and excitement inside Rexall Place was intense, heart pounding and euphoric, all before the game even started.

One of the coolest parts was when the fans showed great respect by singing the Star Spangled Banner prior to belting out Oh Canada. 

Or how about the goal at 4:00 of this video...I'd say it is the nicest goal of  Ryan Smyth's career, and it came in game six of the Stanley Cup finals. 

It was a magical run. Shirts off for Horcoff was an actual thing. The Human Rake was a beast on the blueline. Fernando Pisani was a local here in Edmonton, especially in Little Italy. The Oilers had an outstanding combination of skill, experience, toughness, size, grit and a strong desire to win.

The Rake should have won the Conn Smyth despite losing. He did everything, including scoring on a penalty shot in game one of the Finals.

The forward group had skill in Horcoff, Hemsky, Samsonov, Pisani and Smyth. Grit and toughness with Peca, Torres, Stoll, Moreau and a 4th line that found ways to contribute with Murray, Winchester, Laraque, Dvorak, and Harvey.

Behind the Rake, he played 31 freaking minutes a game, Spacek played the best hockey of his career, while Smith and Staios were all heart and determination, and made the opposition battle for every inch on the ice. The 3rd pair was a mixture of Greene, a big, strong, young D-man who played 10 minutes a game, and Tarnstrom and Bergeron who played 13 minutes a night, mainly ES with 2 min of PP time.

Roloson was a journeyman goalie, who battled on every shot, and Jussi Markanen played very well considering the situation he inherited between games 2-7 of the Cup Final.

Overall, it was an epic journey, and even though the Oilers lost, I'd bet that for most of you reading this, it was the best time of their hockey fan life. Some of you are lucky enough to have been around for the five Cup runs, but the 2006 run was so unexpected that many fans have told me it was the best two months they'd ever experienced, despite the gut-wrenching game seven defeat.

Of course the ending sucked, but that shouldn't overshadow how fun and exciting the previous two months were. That loss likely toughened you up enough that you've been able to sit through eight subsequent seasons of losing.

As you get set for a game 32 of an already frustrating season, take a moment to remember who freakin awesome the '06 run was. For fun, do a quick comparison of those teams, and you will see how many changes the current Oilers need to made  if they ever want to reach the Stanley Cup Finals again.

LINEUP

Perron-RNH-Eberle
Hall-Gagner-Yakupov
Joensuu-Arcobello-Hemsky
Gazdic/Smyth-Lander-Jones

Craig MacTavish was the coach in 2006 and saw first hand the type of 12 forwards you need in order to win. This group's natural maturation will help, but it is clear he'll need to change over at least half of the aforementioned group before this team can win regularly.

Ference-Larsen
N.Schultz-J.Schultz
Belov/Marincin-Potter

We all know MacT's biggest test will be re-shaping the blueline over the next few years. Marincin has looked decent, and I think he is on a solid developmental curve at this point. How far he can improve from here will determine if he can become a solid NHLer, or just a fringe D-man.

Dubnyk 

TUESDAY TIDBITS

  • Chris Kunitz had 25 and 21 goal seasons in Anaheim, (60 and 50 points) before being traded to the Penguins. In his first three seasons in Pittsburgh he scored 50-13-19-32, 66-23-25-48 and 82-26-35-61. If you combine last season and the first 32 games this year, Kunitz has tallied 80-39-44-83 and that is why he is in the mix for team Canada.

    His best 80 game stretch has come at the best possible time for him to be considered for the Olympic team. Playing with Crosby helps, for sure, but over the past 80 games only Ovechkin (54), Stamkos (43), Tavares (40) and P. Kane (39) have scored as much as Kunitz.

    I understand why he is in the conversation for the Olympic team, but he wouldn't be my first choice. Seventeen of his 39 goals have come on the PP, only Ovechkin has more 25, and if he does make team Canada, is he going to be on the first PP unit? I doubt it. That is a factor.

    Kunitz and Crosby have chemistry and Kunitz;' 83 points are 6th most over the past calendar year. He is producing, and often a player who is playing the best right now will make it over someone who played great two years ago. Kunitz deserves to be in the conversation, but he is a bubble guy at best.
     
  • Speaking of Crosby, he only plays :38/game on the PK, while Malkin, Kunitz and Neal don't play PK. Craig Adams, Brandon Sutter and Pascal Dupuis are the three main guys, while Tanner Glass is 4th at 1:14/game. The Penguins don't take many penalties; they've been on the PK for only 151 minutes this year, 7th best in the NHL.
     
  • The Oilers have been on the PK for 181 minutes, 23rd most in the NHL, but they've had 192 minutes of PP time, 2nd most in the NHL. The Oilers spend more time on special teams than every other team in the league. They have played 373:33, about an average of 12:04/game. The PP and PK are 13th and 15th respectively, and the only way the Oilers can win is if their PP sits top-five, because their 5-on-5 play is horrible.
     
  • The Oilers have given up 72 goals 5-on-5, but they've only scored 47. The organization needs to stop focusing so much on the PP, stop believing that the PP is the engine that drives the team, and realize that until they improve at ES they won't win. It is painfully obvious.
     
  • The Oilers have scored 22 PP goals, and allowed 19 PK. Their special teams basically cancel each other out.
     
  •  Richard Bachman was re-assigned to OKC today. Jason LaBarbera will be sent down once Bryzgalov has another practice or two. Jeff Petry practiced, but won't play. He is day-to-day.

TONIGHT....

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The ghosts of game-six past will appear and help the Oilers win 4-1.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Hurricanes are 0-3 when the second game of a back-to-back is on the road. The Canes have outshot teams in the first game of those sets, but they've been outshot 78-104 in the 2nd games. Oilers will outshoot the Canes 33-24.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Riley Nash, Oilers first round pick, 21st overall, in 2007 will be booed every time he touches the puck. If Ladislav Smid can be booed, there is no reason that a former draft pick you refused to sign in Edmonton can't. When you don't have much to cheer for, the fans need to find something that will entertain them throughout the game. Riley wears #20, in case you were wondering.

DAY EIGHT...MONTH OF GIVING...

Thank you to the Edmonton Rush for donating their VIP package yesterday and to Robert for bidding on it. Through seven days we have raised $22,450 for charities.

Today's package is unique. There are two items up for grabs, and the winning bid can choose which one they want.

Supply and install one High Efficiency Furnace or a 13 Seer Air Conditioning System courtesy of
G & H Heating and Cooling Solutions.

This is what you get with the furnace:

  • One high efficiency furnace
  • All venting
  • All electrical connections
  • All drains
  • All sheet metal modifications to maximize performance of new equipment.
  • City permit and City inspection fees
  • Removal of old furnace

This is what you get with the Air Conditioning System:

  • One 13 Seer Central Air Conditioning System
  • All electrical connections with outdoor safety disconnect
  • Anti-vibration pad
  • One heat/cool thermostat
  • City permit and inspection fees

You will receive a site visit from one of their comfort advisors before installation to take measurements and determine proper size of Air Conditioning system/Furnace for the home and where it will be installed.

To bid you can call 780.444.1260 between 2-6 p.m. today. Thanks in advance for your bid. All proceeds will go to Operation Friendship Seniors Society.

 

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 BIGDAWG
December 10 2013, 04:28PM
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2006... sniff sniff... im ok.. what a great time!!!!! Driving down whyte with my homemade Stanley hangin out the back window while my buddies took turns holding it. Only to have people on the side of the street come over and pour beer into it and drink out of the top..

it Was just unreal!! I am getting goosebumps as I type this... sigh... we are so far from that right now.. maybe Mac T needs to go over that 06' roster and see what we had...... My spot on the wagon is firm but that doesn't mean it doesn't hurt seeing our boys play yo-yo with our hearts. The GM needs to figure it out, the coach needs to figure it out, and most of all the players gotta figure it out.. Maybe they need to watch all 7 games on what it takes...

still waiting...... still......

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#52 A-Mc
December 10 2013, 04:32PM
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pkam wrote:

I was wondering which Weber you are talking about, is it Mike or Yannick.

Never thought you mean Shea until the last sentence.

"THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE"

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#53 Dave "Killer" Carlson
December 10 2013, 04:39PM
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Every time I see that goal a shiver goes down my spine. Same goes for hearing "Pump It" by the Black Eyed Peas - the song played at Rexall as the Oil came onto the ice. Worst part about the 'Canes winning was that I had a friend who was actually a 'Canes fan. Weird, right?

And can someone please explain to me what "The Human Rake" refers to? I must've missed where that started. I've always just referred to him as CFP (shouldn't be hard to figure out what the F stands for) and refuse to speak his true name.

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#54 pkam
December 10 2013, 04:39PM
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A-Mc wrote:

"THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE"

I was mislead with Omark, Smid and Yak. It is unlikely for that Weber with this package.

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#55 Romulus' Apotheosis
December 10 2013, 04:45PM
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pkam wrote:

I was mislead with Omark, Smid and Yak. It is unlikely for that Weber with this package.

I think that was his point… i.e., let's all enjoy some wild speculation surrounding an old hobby horse to kill time/have fun…

The Omark/Smid inclusions are a bit of a giveaway here.

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#56 mayorblaine
December 10 2013, 04:46PM
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when you speak of 2006. i think not of the fun times leading up to game 7. i know they existed but i cannot think past game 7.

what a bitter pill. the worst pill.

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#57 ValleyviewSports
December 10 2013, 04:49PM
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mayorblaine wrote:

when you speak of 2006. i think not of the fun times leading up to game 7. i know they existed but i cannot think past game 7.

what a bitter pill. the worst pill.

my thoughts exactly.

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#58 Zarny
December 10 2013, 05:13PM
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Winning is always about the right mix players and the 2006 Oilers had it in spades.

If only we could throw Smitty in a Delorean dialed in for 2006. Exactly what the current top 6 lack.

And like him or not, that's how good Pronger was. On the ice for 25 min a night and you don't score. Boy would one of those be nice right now.

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#59 pkam
December 10 2013, 05:37PM
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Zarny wrote:

Winning is always about the right mix players and the 2006 Oilers had it in spades.

If only we could throw Smitty in a Delorean dialed in for 2006. Exactly what the current top 6 lack.

And like him or not, that's how good Pronger was. On the ice for 25 min a night and you don't score. Boy would one of those be nice right now.

Pronger is good but the MVP in that run IMO is Roloson.

If he was not injured, I believe we would have won the cup and he would be the Conn Smythe winner.

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#60 BLAKPOO
December 10 2013, 05:58PM
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Zarny wrote:

Winning is always about the right mix players and the 2006 Oilers had it in spades.

If only we could throw Smitty in a Delorean dialed in for 2006. Exactly what the current top 6 lack.

And like him or not, that's how good Pronger was. On the ice for 25 min a night and you don't score. Boy would one of those be nice right now.

I think you meant to say "Jump back to 2006 and pick up Smytty, then bring him back".. which would be great.

Bring Nurse back when you go and drop him off. We could use the "7 years from now" version right now.

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#61 Mac962
December 10 2013, 06:04PM
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2006 Team is in a playoff spot - Yes of course they almost won the cup so they would be. That was an awesome mix.

This mix - needs to go into the blender. Oil inflict pain on the canes. 6-2

Suck it Cam Ward!

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#62 SiD
December 10 2013, 06:06PM
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I remember being finished school and having an Oilers jersey on at the bar spending my last $20 on $1 pints on whyte, then a dude came up and was so stoked he gave me cab fare home just for being a fan. Craziest unity in the city I've ever seen

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#63 Rob Grieve
December 10 2013, 06:11PM
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I remember the cup run of '06 I was 16 years old and I was on a band trip to California when we played Detroit We got on the bus to return to the hotel one night and the band director picked up the mic for the bus's intercom to say "The Oilers have defeated the Detroit Red Wings tonight and are going on to the second round" Everyone on the bus was losing it but none of us figured we would get to the finals I have many other memories of that run... most of them of Pisani being a badass watching these videos reminded me of home and why I am from the best place in the entire world despite not living there anymore Thank you for reminding me why I am still a fan of this hockey club despite all they put me through

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#64 Rocket
December 10 2013, 06:24PM
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That 2006 playoff run was amazeballs!

I was working construction that spring and summer while I went to university. My boss was a big hockey fan so we would always quit early on game days and make up the extra time on off days. Worth it.

Going to bars with a big group of friends every game was unreal. Good times....

For tonight's game I don't know; let's say The Oilers win 2-1. Give the fans a win at home for once.

Holy smokes does the Oilers defence look soft. I hope they play better than expected though.

OGDP: Gags goes minus, Fans after the game obsess about the backcheck, MacT doesn't solve obvious problems.

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#65 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
December 10 2013, 07:17PM
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I don't even know why they bother interviewing players. Like, ever.

"Yeah I think the team's played okay the last few games, there's been some ups and downs but we're hoping we can get some wins and build some momentum moving forward."

Rinse and repeat. Fire all the PR guys, they've turned every player into mindless drones. I literally cringe whenever I hear an 'interview' these days.

More Bryz and Jumbo Joe-calibre quotes, please.

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#66 Alsker
December 10 2013, 07:33PM
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Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

I don't even know why they bother interviewing players. Like, ever.

"Yeah I think the team's played okay the last few games, there's been some ups and downs but we're hoping we can get some wins and build some momentum moving forward."

Rinse and repeat. Fire all the PR guys, they've turned every player into mindless drones. I literally cringe whenever I hear an 'interview' these days.

More Bryz and Jumbo Joe-calibre quotes, please.

LOL...is it the PR or PA's fault.. pretty sure it states in CBA that guys only have to be entertaining on the ice. Wait a sec, how many guys have actually been entertaining on the ice here in the last half dozen years

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#67 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
December 10 2013, 07:38PM
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@Alsker

I'll blame Bettman. I mean, why not right?

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#68 bulldog12
December 10 2013, 07:42PM
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Pittsburgh doesn't play Crosby Malkin Kunitz or Neal on the PK. Eakins should take note and quit playing Hall Eberle Gagner and RNH on the PK. Leave that to Smitty Gordon Jones Lander and the 3rd 4th line guys Guys that know how to play defense, will block shots, battle along the boards and out work the opposition. Then throw out the 1st line guy's against there 3rd and 4th lines. If it's good enough for Pittsburgh it's good enough for me. With the cap going up they just said they think there's going to be a 15 million dollar man in 3 years. Makes our 6 million dollar men look good. Good foresight MacT.

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#69 James
December 10 2013, 07:49PM
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How the hell does Yak get an assist there? Clearly it was passed to Hall by Gagner.

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#70 Alsker
December 10 2013, 07:54PM
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James wrote:

How the hell does Yak get an assist there? Clearly it was passed to Hall by Gagner.

Yak started the play outside the blueline checking the 'cane player and sending gags and Hall in.

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#71 I tried it at home
December 10 2013, 08:06PM
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My first night back from camp, and Im watching the game at the west end Kilt. Big diff from'06? Im the ONLY jersey in the pub. Anyway, great shot by Yakcity, now lets see some secondary support from a few guys whovhad better be worried about their jobs.

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#72 James
December 10 2013, 08:11PM
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@Alsker

Yeah I know, but they gave Yak the first assist and Schultz Jr. the second one. I see they fixed it though. It was a head scratcher for a minute.

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#73 Alsker
December 10 2013, 08:11PM
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One line going tonight, thank goodness that's one more than Carolina..not exactly awe inspiring action but hey we're winning.

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#74 James
December 10 2013, 08:12PM
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Yak is buzzing tonight. Nice game so far.

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#75 James
December 10 2013, 08:14PM
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Way to go Nuge! Let's see some more of that boys.

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#76 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
December 10 2013, 08:17PM
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I can't tell if the Oil are playing well or if the Hurricanes are just playing that bad. Not even trying to be funny here.

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#77 Arius Mumin
December 10 2013, 08:23PM
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James wrote:

How the hell does Yak get an assist there? Clearly it was passed to Hall by Gagner.

Calm yourself Mrs. Gagner.

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#78 Richard
December 10 2013, 08:24PM
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One thing about the Oilers if you give them room , they play well, in a non contact league they would definitely be a playoff team

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#79 James
December 10 2013, 08:33PM
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@Arius Mumin

Just a question guy, no need to throw out insults.

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#80 OILERSORDEATH
December 10 2013, 08:33PM
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Wow, can't believe it took Eakins that long to realize Hall and Yak actually play well together.

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#81 Harry
December 10 2013, 08:36PM
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How the hell those clowns in the front office let Greene go for nothing is an absolute crime

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#82 Arius Mumin
December 10 2013, 08:36PM
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James wrote:

Just a question guy, no need to throw out insults.

hahahahahahahahahaha

if you can get worked up so quick: why can't I?

I was just adding some humour to the comments, no need to get your panties in a knot.;-')

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#83 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
December 10 2013, 08:38PM
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Great forecheck from Arco, like the spin.

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#84 Alsker
December 10 2013, 08:39PM
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Man Arco makes puck retrieval look so easy doesn't he? Nice hustle and determination.

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#85 Jackson
December 10 2013, 08:39PM
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Arius Mumin wrote:

hahahahahahahahahaha

if you can get worked up so quick: why can't I?

I was just adding some humour to the comments, no need to get your panties in a knot.;-')

You want humour watch this

http://vimeo.com/70478549

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#86 Mo Playoffs Mo Problems
December 10 2013, 08:40PM
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Please can Joensuu stay healthy and play every night like he has tonight?

I almost forgot what it was like to see an Oiler forward that was bigger than an opponent's D-men...

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#87 S. Horco**
December 10 2013, 08:41PM
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my favorite memory of 2006 was the big fat contract i signed 'SUCKUZ'..

S. Horkoff

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#88 Arius Mumin
December 10 2013, 08:44PM
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Jackson wrote:

You want humour watch this

http://vimeo.com/70478549

I'll assume it is a video of S.Gagner backchecking.?

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#89 James
December 10 2013, 08:45PM
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@Mo Playoffs Mo Problems

Yeah I like his play so far tonight. Back injuries are the sh*ts.

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#90 bazmagoo
December 10 2013, 08:53PM
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Can someone please tell me what Gagner was doing on that second goal? Leaves Staal all alone in the slot and screens/nudges Dubnyk, wow.

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#91 Alsker
December 10 2013, 08:56PM
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bazmagoo wrote:

Can someone please tell me what Gagner was doing on that second goal? Leaves Staal all alone in the slot and screens/nudges Dubnyk, wow.

Well lets see,~ missed golf swing in an attempt to clear and then attempt to recover by playing goalie. Of course since there already is one you must pin him against the post so you can make the save~ in other words, you're f^ckin guess is as good as mine.

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#92 The Soup Fascist
December 10 2013, 08:56PM
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bazmagoo wrote:

Can someone please tell me what Gagner was doing on that second goal? Leaves Staal all alone in the slot and screens/nudges Dubnyk, wow.

Gagner has the defensive acumen of France circa 1940.

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#93 Ari Gold
December 10 2013, 08:57PM
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Quinn sounds terrible on the commentary tonight! Flu? Or did his wife leave him?

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#94 The Soup Fascist
December 10 2013, 09:00PM
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Ari Gold wrote:

Quinn sounds terrible on the commentary tonight! Flu? Or did his wife leave him?

Thinking the same thing. But waaaay worse than the wife leaving. Maybe his dog died.

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#95 Alsker
December 10 2013, 09:03PM
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@bazmagoo

Careful dude, the Gagner fans(both of them) are trashing every negative comment.

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#96 Jerod
December 10 2013, 09:05PM
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Jackson wrote:

You want humour watch this

http://vimeo.com/70478549

That was funnny

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#97 Reg Dunlop
December 10 2013, 09:08PM
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If Gagner is worth 5mil per annum what is Arco worth? Infinity mil?

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#98 Alsker
December 10 2013, 09:10PM
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Arco and Jonesuu attacking the net even with the good lead. Everyone else take note...

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#99 Doctor Smashy
December 10 2013, 09:15PM
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I hadn't noticed....I'm still reeling from Debrusk saying "and there was Ryan Nugent-Hopkins sniffing backdoor...."

Sheesh...Rogers has some work to do...

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#100 Harlie
December 10 2013, 09:18PM
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My pick for humour vid

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ts86gCo7Q2k

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