GDB 33.0: BATTLING THE BRUINS

Jason Gregor
December 12 2013 12:33PM

The Boston Bruins are not only good on the ice; their marketing team is pretty solid off the ice as well. The Bruins have produced some humourous commercials the past five seasons, and this is one or my favourites. The Oilers aren't a divisional rival, but many Bruins fans have told me they have a healthy disdain for the Oilers due to two Stanley Cup Finals losses in 1988 and 1990.

The Bruins and Oilers are at opposite ends of the NHL standings, and have been since 2007/2008, and the Oilers will need to play their one of their best games of the season tonight, just to keep it close.

The Oilers might catch a break with Tukka Rask battling the flu, but the Bruins are stacked and they haven't lost in Edmonton since October 17th, 2000. That night Dan Lacouture and Brian Swanson scored their first NHL goals in a 6-1 thrashing of the Bruins. Since then, the Bruins have won four straight games in Edmonton including a 3-2 victory in their last visit to Edmonton on February 27th, 2011.

It is hard not to respect the Bruins.

They have skill, size, experience, solid two-way players, great goaltending and they are the toughest team in the NHL led by their captain Zdeno Chara. They don't have any weaknesses, and once again they are sitting first in the Eastern conference with a 21-8-2 record.

The Oilers are playing their best hockey of the seasons, 7-3-1 in their last 11 games, and while they didn't beat up on the top teams in the league, they did grab 15 of a possible 22 points. That is a solid stretch of hockey, but tonight will be a much more difficult task for the Oilers.

The Oilers will need to use their speed, and be disciplined with the puck. They can't continue to turn the puck over, especially on the powerplay, or the Bruins will skate them out of the rink.

LINEUP

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

Boyd Gordon still isn't healthy enough to play. Ryan Smyth is also banged up, and he'll be a game time decision. Eakins will switch up the PP units. They've been really hot or really cold, similar to the overall play of the team. Since November 5th, the PP is 17 for 71 (23.9%) so it's not like it has been terrible. The production has been great, but the bad giveaways are the issue. 

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

Jeff Petry has been cleared to play. He's an upgrade on Potter, and the Oilers need their best lineup against the Bruins.

Dubnyk

QUICK HITS....

  • It was a subtle message, but Dallas Eakins didn't play Taylor Hall in the final five minutes on Tuesday after Jeff Skinner tied the game. You might say it was only five minutes, but it was the most important time of the game, and I'm sure Hall got the message. I'm curious to see how he responds, especially in the defensive end.
     
  • Eakins did put Hall out for the PP in OT, which was a smart, but not being on the ice for the final five minutes of regulation should get Hall's attention.
     
  • It was interesting to note that Hall got a short stint on the bench, but Sam Gagner, despite some equally bad defensive decisions never missed a shift. Eakins must be giving him some leeway due to the injury, or he wants to keep throwing him over the boards with the hope it builds his confidence.
  • Firing Feaster today makes sense. There is no point waiting until the end of the season to can him, if the Flames knew he wasn't their guy moving forward. You can also expect the Flames' new GM to fire Hartley before the start of next season. The Flames should look at Oilers to see that firing coaches frequently doesn't change much, if you don't give the new coach better players.
     
  • Good luck to all of you in Fantasy Football playoffs...whether you are going for a championship, or trying to avoid losing the Toilet Bowl. Good luck. I have Manning, Decker and Moreno on my team...Please don't pick tonight to have an off night.

TONIGHT....

GAME DAY PREDICTION: Because everyone expects them to lose, the Oilers stun the Bruins with a 4-3 victory. P.S... I put the team logos in front of my son, and whichever one he touches, I go with that team to win. He is 8 days old, and his record is already 2-0.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers lineup has a combined four career goals vs. the Bruins; Hemsky, Perron, RNH and Ference each have one goal. Two Oilers will score their first career goal against Boston tonight.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Now that he isn't a member of the Calgary Flames, the Oilers will give St. Albert native, Jarome Iginla a healthy cheer when he announced over the PA. Iginla will be honoured, and he'll return the favour by scoring a second period goal. After the game, Oilers fans collectively decide never to cheer for an opposing player, who never played for the Oilers, ever again.

DAY TEN...MONTH OF GIVING

Yesterday we raised another $2,800 for Santas Anonymous.

Today we have an excellent and very generous package that was donated to us by The Home Matchmaker Michelle Derk from Remax Elite.

  • Up for grabs is the seller's commission for your house. (In a regular sale half the commission goes to the seller realtor and half to the buyer. So this is $3.5% on the first $100,000 and $1.5% on the balance).

On a $500,000 house that is a value of $9,500.00 just to give you a reference point.

You can bid on this package by calling 780.444.1260 between 2-6 p.m. today.

Thanks in advance.

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 Soccer Steve
December 12 2013, 06:52PM
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I really hope the fans at Rexall don't cheer for Iginla. He was a Calgary Flamer. We even booed Smid last Saturday (until a puck to the face flattened him and he got up slowly).

If there was ever an expert cheat-shot artist beneath a wide smile it's Jarome.

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#52 sizedoesmatter
December 12 2013, 06:54PM
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If they don't start the game shorthanded as usual and the power play scores the Oilers may pull off the upset. They should be motivated

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#53 Serious Gord
December 12 2013, 06:59PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

I'm guessing the new GM will bring in a new coach before next year. Easy to can Hartley after finishing 25th his first year and likely even worse this year...

Most GMs like to hire their guy, and I doubt this will be different. The two bad years just make it easier to say Hartley isn't the guy. Hard to say how good or bad a coach is when you coach a team like the Flames, that doesn't have much talent.

I doubt that Burke will fire Hartley. The flames are playing very well given the talent level - esp when giordano is in the line up. For what it's worth Burke gave a very strong endorsement of Hartley today.

And if, as you say its hard to judge a coaches performance when they have little talent to work with then ipso facto you can judge a coaches performance more easily when he does have talent to work with. Using your logic we should be very well armed in making a judgement on Eakins around jan 15.

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#54 Serious Gord
December 12 2013, 07:01PM
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5-2 bruins.

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#55 Spydyr
December 12 2013, 07:27PM
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NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Gazdic after spending all but six minutes on the bench.Tapes his stick like a candy-cane.Eakins notices this and puts him on late in overtime.Gazdic scores the winner Muckler um Eakins looks like a genius.

If you don't get this ask your Dad.

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#56 Harlie
December 12 2013, 07:36PM
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Why is Tambellini skating with Eberle in a bank commercial??

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#57 vetinari
December 12 2013, 07:42PM
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So, predictions on shot totals tonight? I say 45-20 for Boston...

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#58 Spydyr
December 12 2013, 07:43PM
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vetinari wrote:

So, predictions on shot totals tonight? I say 45-20 for Boston...

I say closer the Oilers hang in till late in the game because Boston only plays well enough to win.

35-30 Boston

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#59 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
December 12 2013, 07:47PM
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If we make it out of this game without any major injuries, I'll consider it a victory.

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#60 vetinari
December 12 2013, 07:57PM
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Okay, Dubnyk lovers, any comment on that first goal?

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#61 Serious Gord
December 12 2013, 07:57PM
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The worst goal against dubnyk to date.

The phrase "that's a dubnyk" may soon enter the hockey vernacular.

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#62 RexHolez
December 12 2013, 07:58PM
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Honestly... Can we give up on Dubnyk yet?? Where's Bachman? I bet he can put up average stats too

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#63 vetinari
December 12 2013, 07:59PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

The worst goal against dubnyk to date.

The phrase "that's a dubnyk" may soon enter the hockey vernacular.

I suggest that we take it one step further:

"Did you see that 50 foot Dubnyk, lobbed from the blue line?"

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#64 Andy7189
December 12 2013, 08:01PM
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After watching Brian Burke earlier and Dallas Eakins in the game tonight...

I am not sure who is most in need of a stylist.

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#65 Hauk15
December 12 2013, 08:01PM
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Are they really discussing Eakins haircut? Theres a hockey game being played, also Dubynk is brutal.

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#66 Spydyr
December 12 2013, 08:02PM
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vetinari wrote:

Okay, Dubnyk lovers, any comment on that first goal?

Not a Dubnyk lover in the least but my comment is Dammit Dubnyk.

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#67 Soccer Steve
December 12 2013, 08:03PM
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RexHolez wrote:

Honestly... Can we give up on Dubnyk yet?? Where's Bachman? I bet he can put up average stats too

The Oilers 'organization' has so many elephants in the room they can't keep them straight anymore. Whoever 'they' are.

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#68 tileguy
December 12 2013, 08:05PM
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Did sportsnet hire a bunch of highschool sound techs tonight? And these guy are a telecommunication company. Glad they have tv rights for the next 12 yrs.

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#69 Spydyr
December 12 2013, 08:05PM
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Soccer Steve wrote:

The Oilers 'organization' has so many elephants in the room they can't keep them straight anymore. Whoever 'they' are.

Cough Gagner cough.

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#70 @Oilanderp
December 12 2013, 08:05PM
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Oilers hopes of winning 0-0 SHATTERED by a 55' Seidenberg knucklepuck.

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#71 God
December 12 2013, 08:06PM
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Playing one of the best teams in the league and Dub'er gives up the softest of softies.

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#72 Spydyr
December 12 2013, 08:07PM
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tileguy wrote:

Did sportsnet hire a bunch of highschool sound techs tonight? And these guy are a telecommunication company. Glad they have tv rights for the next 12 yrs.

I thought the game was being broadcast in SD. Actually had to check that it was in HD.

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#73 Andy7190
December 12 2013, 08:09PM
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@Hauk15

I missed that goal. I have no idea if they are discussing the need for a professional stylist in either Alberta city.

But they should.

Oops. Another goal. Dubnyk down again.

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#74 OilMan31
December 12 2013, 08:09PM
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And Game...

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#75 vetinari
December 12 2013, 08:09PM
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Shots, 17-8 for Boston.

Score, 2-0 Boston.

No fair, they brought NHL players...

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#76 @Oilanderp
December 12 2013, 08:09PM
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Fargin Lusic.

Good comeback shift though.

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#77 Spydyr
December 12 2013, 08:10PM
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If Dubnyk is the answer. The question is who is the weakest starting goalie in the NHL.

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#78 Rotten Ron
December 12 2013, 08:11PM
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Good job of Gagner getting out of the Iginlia's shot.

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#79 RexHolez
December 12 2013, 08:11PM
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This game kinda sums up there season... Dubnyk blows it early, and now we gotta pretend to care for the rest of it

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#80 Spydyr
December 12 2013, 08:12PM
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RexHolez wrote:

This game kinda sums up there season... Dubnyk blows it early, and now we gotta pretend to care for the rest of it

Beer helps me to pretend to care.

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#81 vetinari
December 12 2013, 08:13PM
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3-0 Boston... SH goal... again????

Please stop giving us PP's... they are killing us.

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#82 Rotten Ron
December 12 2013, 08:13PM
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Men vs Boys

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#83 @Oilanderp
December 12 2013, 08:14PM
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Wow... what a piss poor backcheck on that second goal (or was it the third? *chews his own fingers off*). Piss poor. I can't tell who it is as my grainy internet feed isn't good enough. Their number ended in 4. Eberle? Smyth?

Someone tell me who that was. Unacceptable.

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#84 Spydyr
December 12 2013, 08:14PM
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Rotten Ron wrote:

Good job of Gagner getting out of the Iginlia's shot.

Come on now.He was only been here seven years.Give him a chance. Besides he had an injury a couple months back.

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#85 Chainsawz
December 12 2013, 08:15PM
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I don't understand. The Oilers had a defenceman on the ice. How did they score a shortie there?

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#86 vetinari
December 12 2013, 08:16PM
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Could we stop with the blueline turnovers while on the PP? They are getting old already.

I expect Chara and Boychuk to be smoking cigars on the bench between shifts during the second...

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#87 Harry
December 12 2013, 08:17PM
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Craig MacTavish is a absolute pansy ass poser. Send him to whatever hole Jay Feaster just crawled into.

Mark my words. Im going to the Blues vs Oil game Dec. 21st and if were still last in the west you'll see me with a paper bag over my head and written in Black sharpie it will have the finishes of the last 6 seasons written on it.

Complete and total amaturish BS!!!!!!

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#88 RexHolez
December 12 2013, 08:17PM
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@Spydyr

Beer use to help me... These days only whiskey gets the job done

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#89 Quinn The Eakimo
December 12 2013, 08:18PM
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Larsen is brutal on the PP. he can't handle the pressure. Why play him?

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#90 Hockey fan 1976
December 12 2013, 08:18PM
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Scary thing is Boston isn't even playing as physical as as I know they can play, maybe they are looking at this game as practice before their actual NHL this weekend. Thank you Barons for the great scrimmage !!!

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#91 Spydyr
December 12 2013, 08:19PM
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RexHolez wrote:

Beer use to help me... These days only whiskey gets the job done

If you have to move on to crack get help.

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#92 Rocket
December 12 2013, 08:19PM
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@@Oilanderp

It was Eberle and a horrible back check. Yes Larsons shot got blocked but Eberle had no idea how to tie up the guy waiting for the pass.

Good to see Perron and Belov mix it up. Belov has never seen Lucic so isn't afraid to take him on.

Is it me or is The Oilers' most physical player tonight Arcobello? He seems to be hitting guys twice his size and going to the dirty areas.

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#93 Geoff
December 12 2013, 08:19PM
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Oilers the best flag football team in the NHL.

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#94 Fresh Mess
December 12 2013, 08:21PM
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Plan the parade, or fire everyone ?

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#95 Rotten Ron
December 12 2013, 08:21PM
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Rotten Ron wrote:

Good job of Gagner getting out of the Iginlia's shot.

Good job of getting out of the way of Iginlia's shot.

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#96 TonyT
December 12 2013, 08:21PM
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Is Eakins doing the "accountability" thing tonight, if so I fully expect to see Eberle stapled to the bench to begin the 2nd. Terrible back check, that's fully on him.

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#97 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
December 12 2013, 08:21PM
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@Harry

I've got tickets to the Oil v Jets game on the 23rd, I'll do my best to start a 'fire everybody' chant.

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#98 Rocket
December 12 2013, 08:22PM
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Harry wrote:

Craig MacTavish is a absolute pansy ass poser. Send him to whatever hole Jay Feaster just crawled into.

Mark my words. Im going to the Blues vs Oil game Dec. 21st and if were still last in the west you'll see me with a paper bag over my head and written in Black sharpie it will have the finishes of the last 6 seasons written on it.

Complete and total amaturish BS!!!!!!

The only other game I'm going to this season is when The Penguins come to town and I'm not going to see The Oilers play if you know what I mean.

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#99 **
December 12 2013, 08:23PM
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vetinari wrote:

I suggest that we take it one step further:

"Did you see that 50 foot Dubnyk, lobbed from the blue line?"

HE totally Dubnyked that one

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#100 Rod from Viking
December 12 2013, 08:23PM
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Rod from Viking wrote:

I don't expect the Bruin's "A" game tonight due to injuries,flu and on the road, I also don't think the Oiler's will win but it may be a close game. I am more interested in tomorrows game in Vancouver, this is the first game since Zack(the simpleton) Kassian broke Sam's jaw. Let's compare the team toughness; Canuck's have Kassian, Bieksa,Sestito,Stanton,Alberts and Garrison, The Oiler's have Gadzic and Ference(kind of) and who else? After the Canuck's ran the Oiler's show in Edmonton McTavish picked up McIntyre. With no chance for play-offs I hope he is called up but I won't hold my breath.

OK, the Bruins don't need their B game to dominate this team, that howitzer first goal really set the tone, Gagner if you are going to stand in front of our net either block the shot, tickle Lucic or something, nice shot Larson and great back checking Eberle (wow)

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