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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#101 kgo
December 10 2013, 09:24PM
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Alsker wrote:

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.

The last guy who tried to play goalie all the time was Smid.....the guy before that? Gilbert.....the guy before that? Staios.....

Gagner is gone at the deadline for sure....Mark my words, If for no other reason than pissed MacT off with the negotiations.

Besides, Gagner has millions and a superhot fiancee...he's gonna go the way of Mike Comrie.

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#102 The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33
December 10 2013, 09:50PM
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Brutal hit. Suspendable for sure.

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#103 Andrew
December 10 2013, 10:00PM
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Why wouldn't Freakins call a time out to get the Oilers PP on the same page. Especially when they flounder on a 5 minute PP. WTF!!!!

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#104 cubsfan
December 10 2013, 10:13PM
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cubsfan wrote:

someone get in front of net

thank you, thank you , thank you

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#105 Reg Dunlop
December 10 2013, 10:14PM
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That win felt like a loss. Still, some redemption for #14.

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#106 Dog Train
December 10 2013, 01:33PM
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Unfortunately all we have left are memories. I was in grade 8 during the 2006 run. I don't know what we did to piss off the hockey gods after that season but holy crap have they ever gotten us back for having so much fun.

As for tonight, this is an entirely game and we've been win one, lose one for the last little while. We need this win before the big bad Bruins bully us on Thursday. I'll say 4-2 good guys.

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#107 Smokey
December 10 2013, 01:46PM
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BIngBong wrote:

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

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.

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#108 ValleyviewSports
December 10 2013, 02:12PM
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I gotta disagree with Gregor in saying that "of course the ending sucked. but that shouldn't overshadow how fun and exciting the previous 2 months were." It's the other way around. We were in it to win and the heartbreak of the Justin Williams empty-netter and the realization that it wasn't happening for us...that stinging feeling overshadows all the magic that lead up to it. As an 18 year old at the time, nothing stands out more in my high school graduation year than the collective dejectedness of all my friends in the 24 hours after the game. I want the Oilers to win this game more than any other game so far this year to say the very least.

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#109 Justino
December 10 2013, 02:21PM
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The 2006 Stanley cup run was when i became an Oiler fan. I was 15 and the last time they won the cup i was a baby. I have alot of fond memories of that run and I cant wait to experience that again. 7 years and counting.

I say the Oilers win 3-2 tonight

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#110 David S
December 10 2013, 02:59PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

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.

Thanks for this totally fresh, never mentioned before perspective!

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#111 A-Mc
December 10 2013, 03:07PM
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Favorite 2006 Playoff run Memory:

Helping this guy slam a 15 pack of Kokanee in the alley just off whyte. The Fuzz were out in full force and this guy was trying to bail his 15er before he got arrested. My friend and I happily obliged.

2nd favorite memory: A bunch of us were walking to the pub on Whyte and my friend kicked me in the ass. Po-Po saw it and took him down. haha what a goober. This is around the time where police were getting a little aggressive because of shenanigans gone-wrong from games prior.

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#112 Romulus' Apotheosis
December 10 2013, 03:14PM
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"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"

This is undoubtedly part of the logic used in picking these teams, but it is really poor decision making.

"Riding the hot hand" is more of a crutch than a linchpin in a small sample size. It is simply unreliable, esp. as a forecaster of the future. How often is today's "hot hand" tomorrow's "cold"?

Pretty much every single time.

"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. "

While I completely agree that ES results should be the motor every team wants driving their outcomes… I'm not convinced this isn't a straw man.

I've certainly heard Eakins, after a particularly bad game of special teams, say he wants to focus on the PP/PK and hold a practice to that end… more than once even.

But I don't see any evidence that the organization believes the PP is the engine that drives the team. That certainly doesn't seem to be reflected in Eakins/MacT's philosophy or public statements.

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#113 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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#114 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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#115 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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#116 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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#117 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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#118 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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#119 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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#120 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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#121 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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#122 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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#123 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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#124 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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#125 I tried it at home
December 10 2013, 09:23PM
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@Doctor Smashy

**UPDATE** Im drunk. Oilers still winning. Shweeeet. Calgary still sux, right?

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#126 Alsker
December 10 2013, 09:32PM
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kgo wrote:

The last guy who tried to play goalie all the time was Smid.....the guy before that? Gilbert.....the guy before that? Staios.....

Gagner is gone at the deadline for sure....Mark my words, If for no other reason than pissed MacT off with the negotiations.

Besides, Gagner has millions and a superhot fiancee...he's gonna go the way of Mike Comrie.

The fact that he decided to check Dubnyk rather than a 'cane doesn't choke me near as much as his turning away from a check and the trying the wild golf swing in the corner. He did it in the first period and banked it off the glass and over the boards but show some balls and make the simple play.

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#127 vetinari
December 10 2013, 09:59PM
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Sad PP... Lost all the jump from the first period... It's like they are all standing around, waiting for Carolina to tie things up. What is their glitch? They play sometimes like they think that they don't deserve to win...

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#128 steelymac
December 10 2013, 10:01PM
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Joke

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#129 Hauk15
December 10 2013, 10:06PM
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Alsker wrote:

Not sure if the deserve to lose but sure as h3ll don't deserve to win.

Are you kidding me? Did you see that powerplay? They aren't even skating and got scored on shorthanded.

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#130 Rocket
December 10 2013, 10:18PM
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Ugly win. But it's still a win so YAY!

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#131 pkam
December 10 2013, 11:00PM
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It is an ugly win for sure but still a win, it is even more special in a night when all the other Canadian teams lose.

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#132 Ari Gold
December 11 2013, 02:49PM
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tileguy55 wrote:

Anybody else think that penalty on Nuge in OT was cheap? Somebody has got to teach that kid to protect himself and not put himslef in vulnerable positions. He turned his back at the very last second, what is a checker to do?

Did you see the lil twinkle of embarrassment in his eye when asked about it post-game? I think this means one of two things:

1. He dove. (I suspect this.)

2. He knows he put himself in a foolishly vulnerable position.

I'm happy we won but he needs to either smarten up or just get smarter.

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#133 Ducey
December 10 2013, 01:33PM
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Thats a lot of goalies on the farm:

Labarbera Bachman Rimmer Bunz Brossoit

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#134 Mike Matthews
December 10 2013, 02:32PM
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That goal was scored on my 18th birthday. I guarantee it will be one of the highlights of my life, and I can only pray we win a cup within the next 5 years (or i'll be in my 30's)

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#135 tileguy
December 10 2013, 03:14PM
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Perron-RNH-Eberle

Hall-Gagner-Yakupov

Joensuu-Arcobello-Hemsky

Smyth-Lander-Jones

it is clear he'll need to change over at least half of the aforementioned group before this team can win regularly.

my 6, eberle, gagner, joensue, smyth, lander, jones.

I kept hemsky because he will be a good sign at 3mil.

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#136 A-Mc
December 10 2013, 04:21PM
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Arguing for the sake of arguing is strong this season!

I think we need more Omark for Weber trade proposals, especially since Weber has like -500pts this season.

ALright how 'bout this: Omark, SMID (signed cut-out) and Yakupov for Weber?

2x potential 50+ goal scorers and a picture of the meanest, most awesome SOB around - for ol pissy Weber. I mean honestly.. who names their kid Shea? what a sissy

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#137 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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#138 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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#139 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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#140 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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#141 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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#142 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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#143 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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#144 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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#145 The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33
December 10 2013, 09:51PM
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I need edema cation to find my purpose.

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#146 Hauk15
December 10 2013, 10:04PM
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vetinari wrote:

Since the game is likely in the crapper... anyone else think that Eakins looks like Charlie Sheen's long lost brother?

He might look kinda mean if he got rid of his tool haircut.

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#147 The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33
December 10 2013, 10:14PM
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This team is as baffling as the Nicholls for Sandstrom and Granato trade. Head scratcher man.

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#148 china town man
December 10 2013, 01:39PM
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Wouldn't it be awesome if we could recreate the 06 show down with the singing of our Canadian anthem and Crazy loud rexal place !!!

OH YEAH THE KEY WORD IS CREATE

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#149 ValleyviewSports
December 10 2013, 02:44PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

How could it happen the other way around, unless you actually thought they were a Cup contender before the playoffs started.

The win over Detroit started it, and then it grew with wins over San Jose and Anaheim...If those don't happen, you don't feel the excitement of the Finals or the gut wrenching defeat...

I'm saying the suckage of the ending completely overshadows all the joy and elation leading up to it. Of course, it was an amazing run filled with incredible memories. The one memory that stands out above them all is the fact the we didn't get it done in Game 7. That sucked.

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#150 geoilersgist
December 10 2013, 02:45PM
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Man living in Calgary during that run was awesome I can't imagine what it was like living in Edmonton. I will never forget 2006 as I was just a little young to remember the last two cups.

I would give almost anything to get a run like that again (hoping it happens every year after).

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