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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#1 David S
December 10 2013, 01:18PM
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Ference-Larsen

N.Schultz-J.Schultz

Marincin-Potter

*Barfs*

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#2 Sailge
December 10 2013, 01:15PM
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That Game 6 of the Finals is also be the last time any of us would be fortunate enough to have Mr. Paul Lorieau sing the anthems.

That's too bad.

Our next home playoff game won't be the same without you, Paul.

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#3 The Soup Fascist
December 10 2013, 10:04PM
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I am beginning to think the Oilers may be a team with some flaws in their defensive play.

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#4 NJ
December 10 2013, 02:43PM
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OGP: the Oilers underestimate the hurricanes in the same way they underestimated the flames. Result? The very talented Mr. Skinner scores a natural hat trick and Cam Ward holds the oilers to a single goal, scored by... Obviously, David Perron.

I hate being the pessimist, but the Oilers have left me in this sad state after a dreadful 8 years and counting.

/wrists

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#6 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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#7 Disappointed Italian Oiler Fan
December 10 2013, 01:24PM
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Why is Belov still out?! He was our second best D-man so far. Yeah, good for Marincin to get some NHL experience but wouldn't it be better if Eakins would pull out the best players available...?

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And that's why Hall is not in the Oly conversation.

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#9 TDSM31
December 10 2013, 11:12PM
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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.

He is being Sam Gagner.

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#10 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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#11 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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#12 S cottV
December 10 2013, 09:37PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

Gagner has the defensive acumen of France circa 1940.

Don't know how anyone trashes this one. Game is totally in control and Gagner pulls that move? I would be mad at a Peewee centreman for puck sucking that bad. No excuse for a veteran centreman, he is just never gonna get it.

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#13 RL
December 10 2013, 09:40PM
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Gagner needs to sit when Gordon is back!! That was the worst turnover ever. Please scratch him an get Gordon in.

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#14 Reg Dunlop
December 10 2013, 09:51PM
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Nice move by Staal, looked like Sittler in '76. Nice pass by Ebs. Looked like a bantam player about to have his backside stapled to the bench.

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#15 Spydyr
December 10 2013, 10:59PM
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cubsfan wrote:

la 6 - monreal 0.....PK (-2).....so is he off the team olympic again?

Hall ,with his give away at his own blue-line with less then six minutes in play resulting in Carolina's tying goal.

Could you imagine him doing that in the gold medal game.

The people picking the team can and that is why he is not in the conversation.

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#16 BIngBong
December 10 2013, 01:39PM
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David S wrote:

Ference-Larsen

N.Schultz-J.Schultz

Marincin-Potter

*Barfs*

While I basically agree, I have really liked Larsen's game the past week. He looks like what J. Schultz is supposed to.

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#17 NsxZero
December 10 2013, 01:43PM
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Damn that Pisani goal brings a smile to my face. Not just the goal but the celebration after where everybody is going nuts and giving high fives all around. Damn I miss the playoffs.

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#18 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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#19 vetinari
December 10 2013, 01:05PM
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RESERVED.

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#20 BLAKPOO
December 10 2013, 03:21PM
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Smokey wrote:

Double Barf on d corps tonight. Luckily Carolina is a soft bad team. What GM plays a line up with 4 defenders under 200, and 3 of them are under 190...yikes.

Looks like the top 4 will be rolled out non stop if the game is tight. We gotta get a jump on Carolina before they realize how small the defence is. They should be licking their chops. I wish Klefbom would develop already...face palm.

If you'd been watching Larsen play the last few games, you'd see that he uses his size very efficiently. He's making contact, disrupting plays, and winning battles.

Yeah, he's not going to be smashing out the glass or breaking ribs with massive hits, but he's where he needs to be most of the time. He's also extremely quick, generates good speed through the neutral zone on breakouts, and can dish on the fly.

He's definitely playing J.Schultz out of his ice time right now.

"Judge me by my size, do you?" - Yoda

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#21 #PennerForSochi
December 10 2013, 01:16PM
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Hey Gregs, what are your thoughts about Nash? Why'd he not want to sign with Edmonton? It doesn't seem like a bad thing, he hasn't been overly successful at college level and Marincin seems like a better prospect. What went down?

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#22 Bishai in the Benches
December 10 2013, 02:00PM
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Call Pronger "The Rake" one more time why dontcha.... Frick.

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#23 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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#24 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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#25 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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#26 Reg Dunlop
December 10 2013, 10:11PM
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Anyone else holds their breath whenever Carolina shoots? DD does not inspire confidence. Buchburger, however, really seems to know his stuff. Next head coach. Watch the intensity when he chews that gum. Also, nice response on Faulk. He turned around expecting to get pummeled and... crickets.

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#27 vetinari
December 10 2013, 01:06PM
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Didn't want to see anybody getting "fisty"....

As for the game, I think we can win this one. Oilers 3-2.

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#28 David S
December 10 2013, 01:16PM
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vetinari wrote:

RESERVED.

CROWN ROYAL RESERVE!

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#29 cubsfan
December 10 2013, 09:33PM
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thanks gene principe for reminding us oilers picked steve kelly just before shane doan...........

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#30 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
December 10 2013, 09:54PM
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It literally took them over two minutes to gain the zone for the first time on that major.

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#31 Slyers
December 10 2013, 10:09PM
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The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33 wrote:

And that's why Hall is not in the Oly conversation.

What about Gagner another give away at the blue line and still He plays!!!??????? He's out in the freeeeking last minute. What a joke this guy is the most over rated player in OILER HISTORY!!!!!

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#32 freeze
December 10 2013, 01:38PM
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One of my favourite memories from the cup run was watching games at my friend's place downtown. As the games ended we'd turn down the volume and open his windows. When time expired you could hear all kinds of cheering and honking coming from the city. What a great time to be in this city. Hopefully my infant daughter gets to experience that at some point too...

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#33 BIngBong
December 10 2013, 01:46PM
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Speaking of d-men, Weber and Suter aren't putting up particulary great numbers this year. Weber has 13 points and is a -7. Suter has 0 goals in 32 games and is even. I know these guys are 2 of the best, but I figured their numbers would be much better than that.

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#34 Rama Lama
December 10 2013, 02:21PM
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I thought that Samwise was benched and banished to the pressbox.........for resetting??

If Sam can cough the puck up continuously and never be called out from the coach, exactly how is accountability being served?

Exactly who is Riley Nash ? A nobody and playing like it........who was the idiot that drafted him? I would have loved a fly on the wall when he was being interviewed. With scouts like that it's no wonder we are where we are.

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#35 Spydyr
December 10 2013, 03:03PM
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OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Jason Gregor continues his wonderful charity work.Wow, what a package today. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your awesome work for those who need it most.

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#36 Walter Sobchak
December 10 2013, 03:27PM
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I remember both very well. You know what I also remember, Defensemen!

Big ass nasty defensemen named Jackson-Beukeboom the two Smiths – Pronger to name just a few.

Petry & Schultz………..Pfffttt.

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#37 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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#38 James
December 10 2013, 08:12PM
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Yak is buzzing tonight. Nice game so far.

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#39 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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#40 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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#41 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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#43 vetinari
December 10 2013, 09:48PM
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Horrible, horrible turnover on the pass from Ebs... Why didn't Larsen close on Staal or at least slide and take the lower half of the ice away from him?

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#44 Alsker
December 10 2013, 09:57PM
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Wow, one dump in by Yak and lead to the only pressure we have on the whole major..

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#45 Hauk15
December 10 2013, 09:58PM
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Because of that abysmal effort on the powerplay I hope Carolina comes back and wins. Complete $hit.

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#46 Hauk15
December 10 2013, 10:02PM
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Oilers deserve to lose.

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#47 I tried it at home
December 10 2013, 10:04PM
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Keep Bryz. Send down joensuu for retraining. Dangle Eberle as trade bait.

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#48 S cottV
December 10 2013, 10:06PM
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Wow - Gagner gaffe, Eberle abomination and Hall turns it over twice in his own zone? It's unbelievable...

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#49 Harlie
December 10 2013, 01:28PM
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Damn! I just got a garage/shop heater installed on Friday or I would be bidding on this package for sure! Good luck to all who are bidding and just think about how good you will feel if you win the auction and know the money goes to charity.

Believe me I know how it feels as I jumped at the auction on the first day and was able to get a 1 year lease on a sweet 2014 GMC from the guys at Petersen Buick GMC in Sherwood Park. Through Jason's hardwork and through the charity I have had the chance to meet the GM at Petersen and the Sales Manager and other great people and can definitely say they are great dealership and they are huge sports fans. Especially the GM over there!

Good luck on the auction everyone, it feels good to give!

Oh, and GO OILERS!

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#50 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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