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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#1 Dobolo
December 12 2013, 02:17PM
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Have you even watched any of the Calgary games. Calgary is at least 10 points ahead of where they should be due to coaching. They would be idiots to fire Hartley. This is coming from an Oilers fan that hates the Flames.

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#2 hankthetank
December 12 2013, 12:44PM
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Lunch pails mandatory.

DO WORK!

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#3 Loweblows
December 12 2013, 10:19PM
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Why was gagne even on the ice at the end? He tipped it right to a Boston player on top of being on the ice for all previous goals! Why wasn't Arco out? I can't stand Eakins crap anymore!

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#4 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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#5 Rotten Ron
December 12 2013, 10:11PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

Iginla is an Oiler Killer.

Dubnyk is the killer, Gagner is an accessory.

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#6 David S
December 12 2013, 12:52PM
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I gotta good feeling the Dr Jekyl Oilers show up tonight.

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Oil win 6-1. Goals by Tikannen, Simpson, Kurri and Coffey with the trick.

Craig Janney gets pasted into the boards by the Moose. Out for the season.

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#8 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
December 12 2013, 10:08PM
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Another nail in Dubnyk's coffin?

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

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#10 Loweblows
December 12 2013, 08:35PM
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Watch the replay on the first goal. Ya Dubnyk is useless but watch gagner. He not once kicks it into high gear to back check. Watch the second goal. He leaves a man in front of Dubnnyk unmolested and then screens him. Watch the third goal. Gagner is once again seen in the distance floating back. Is Eakins being forced to play Gagner as he is MacT's pet? Or is Eakins really that incompetent to keep sending out Gagner?

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#11 **
December 12 2013, 09:07PM
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It's the Arcobello and Perron show, with special guest Luke Gazdic.

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#12 God
December 12 2013, 10:09PM
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That softie by Dub'er did the Oil in.

This team needs a bomb on the powerplay. They should use Yak for his shot on the halfboards.

Arco looked great battling Chara.

The Bs were all battling the flu and still looked far superior in structure to the Oilers. I wish my team was that good.

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#13 RexHolez
December 12 2013, 11:48PM
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bazmagoo wrote:

Just a quick question for Oilersnation, where would be if Perron was Paajarvi? If we hadn't traded for Perron?

Near or at the bottom of league standings!!... Oh wait...

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#14 Rod from Viking
December 12 2013, 09:36PM
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McTavish has to be given props for Perron,Gadzic & Gordon, possibly Ference,Belov,Bryzgalov and Joensuu(only time will tell), thumbs down to Gagner contract.

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#15 Andy7190
December 12 2013, 10:09PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

Iginla is an Oiler Killer.

Dubnyk is an Oiler killer.

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#16 Spydyr
December 12 2013, 10:10PM
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Andy7190 wrote:

Dubnyk is an Oiler killer.

Lowe is an Oiler killer.

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#17 mayorblaine
December 12 2013, 12:35PM
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let's go, Oilers?

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#18 Hayek
December 12 2013, 01:01PM
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Oilers have beat teams like Colorado, Columbus, Dallas, Nashville, and Florida. Don't be fooled, we aren't in the same league as Boston right now.

It's going to take a miracle to keep this game close, as we are going to be outshot by a wide margin. Only positive is Boston really lacks team speed.

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#19 Mo Playoffs Mo Problems
December 12 2013, 01:17PM
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@ Jason Gregor

A little off topic, but I'm curious: do you think the new GM in Calgary will fire Hartley so that he can have "his guy" coach the team?

I haven't watched many Flames games this year, but it seems like Hartley has the team working hard and playing fundamental hockey despite being significantly under-skilled to compete with the Western Conference heavyweights. Do you see this as a "Ralph Krueger" type situation where Hartley won't necessarily deserve to be fired, but will be replaced so the GM can hire the coach he wants?

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#20 Mac962
December 12 2013, 02:28PM
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Dobolo wrote:

Have you even watched any of the Calgary games. Calgary is at least 10 points ahead of where they should be due to coaching. They would be idiots to fire Hartley. This is coming from an Oilers fan that hates the Flames.

Totally agree - Hartley has got the most out his team. If the Oilers worked equally as hard as the Flames and played as smart, we would be so much closer to playoff spot or in one. I hate the Flames, but those dudes work their asses off.

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#21 Toro
December 12 2013, 08:25PM
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Wow Eberles lazy back check was the reason the 3rd goal happened , honestly he should be benched for coasting back when he was right there to cover Marchand

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#22 vetinari
December 12 2013, 09:09PM
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Perron is quickly becoming my most favorite Oiler since Doug Weight...

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#23 Alsker
December 12 2013, 10:03PM
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That almost humorous seeing Arco vs. Chara but godda&n Arco came out with the puck.lol

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#24 Thumby
December 12 2013, 10:09PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

Iginla is an Oiler Killer.

Dub is an Oiler killer....

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#25 camdog
December 12 2013, 11:22PM
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"We want black-and-blue hockey here," Burke said. "That's what we do in Alberta."

Burkie didn't say that's what we do in Calgary, no that's what we do in Alberta. Burkie's going to make it his mandate to beat the snot out of the Oilers.

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#26 Spaceman Spiff
December 12 2013, 02:02PM
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Listen, I think Burke's takeover in Calgary is a bit of a scary move. We can all make fun of Burke and his bombastic, truculent style, but the guy’s won in this league and I think he knows how to build a team.

He made Vancouver a contender (his legacy is still there) and he won a Cup in Anaheim. The Leafs, although up-and-down a bit this year, turned a corner last year and it was largely with players he drafted or acquired. He drafted (and later traded for) Chris Pronger and pulled a bunch of complex strings to get the Sedin twins together. His career as a GM makes many others pale in comparison nowadays (which is probably a bit sad, but that’s not his fault). He’s not Cliff Fletcher or Glen Sather, obviously, but he’s been pretty damn good at the job for a long time.

We all knew this was coming, of course – although who knew it would take this long? Feaster couldn’t bring himself to even utter the word “rebuild” until sometime last year and that’s obviously set the franchise back at least two years. The O’Reilly almost-signing was an almost-disaster of epic proportion. In the first round of the draft, he took a high school kid from a hockey country where high school hockey has ZERO upside (Canada). He dithered on Iginla for too long and got little in return. He got nothing for Kiprusoff, who probably could have helped two or three playoff teams last year. And all of the above in the last 12 months!

No doubt, it will certainly be entertaining as Burkie squabbles with the Calgary media. But, from up here, you’ll hear no crowing from me.

Burke’s Calgary takeover further turns up the heat on Oilers management ... a group that hasn’t accomplished anything close to what Burke’s done in this league. As far as I’m concerned, MacT and the Oilers are now REALLY on the clock. I’m just hoping Burke doesn’t pick it up and hit them over the head with it.

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#27 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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#28 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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#29 Rod from Viking
December 12 2013, 08:38PM
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Eakins should just show Arcabello high-lights to the team on the flight to Vancouver, "this is what compete means".

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#30 OilMan31
December 12 2013, 09:13PM
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We are paying Gagner 4.8 million to turn over pucks and be a terrible 2nd line centerman. Yet we pay Perron 3.8 million to be our leading scorer!!! Dump Gagner to anyone who will take him (and absorb some of the salary if needed). There is no way the Oilers will be a winning club with Gags playing the role he his playing now.

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#31 Rama Lama
December 12 2013, 12:44PM
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This will be a very interesting game ..........two teams built totally different which will highlight how size matters.

Hate to predict this but the Bruins will totally dominate using physical play and no one on the Oilers will be able to match Lucic or any of their heavy forwards.

Bruins win 6-2.

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#32 **
December 12 2013, 01:12PM
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It's a trap!

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#33 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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#34 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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#35 David S
December 12 2013, 12:53PM
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50/50 really.

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#37 Spydyr
December 12 2013, 08:46PM
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@Oilanderp wrote:

If that fight had an effect on you as a fan, imagine what it did to the bench.

Sure, Gagner is now hiding under the bench.

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#38 vetinari
December 12 2013, 09:37PM
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Here's our strategy for the third:

"Perron. You're being double shifted. Everyone feed Perron. Even if he is on the bench."

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#39 Oilcruzer
December 12 2013, 10:37PM
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Let's play a game. You are a GM. I'm MacT. I have my starting goalie and number two centre to offer in a trade. Would you even talk to me?

Probably not.

Does any other GM in the league have that problem?

It's a mess.

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#40 God
December 12 2013, 10:48PM
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Gagner was garbage again. Arco is getting better every game. He's hitting more, skating faster, stronger in the dot.

In the decision of who to keep, is 'being a man' in the criteria? If so, Arco wins hands down.

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#42 @Oilanderp
December 12 2013, 08:52PM
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Marcobello is impressive.

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#43 Rocket
December 12 2013, 08:56PM
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@Oilanderp wrote:

Marcobello is impressive.

I saw on one shift: he gets a good shot on net, throws a solid bodycheck and then backchecks like a mofo.

More like him please.

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#44 vetinari
December 12 2013, 09:08PM
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Apparently, Perron has decided to do all the scoring by himself tonight... 3-2 Boston.

Let's see: Perron has showed up; Gazdic has showed up; and LaBarbera hasn't hurt us.

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#45 Loweblows
December 12 2013, 10:23PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Lowe is an Oiler killer.

Gag-me is an Oiler killer. If Eakins is preaching accountability then Gag-me better be sitting next game. And on another tangent, would Louie DeBrusk please go away!

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#46 Quicksilver ballet
December 12 2013, 11:54PM
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bazmagoo wrote:

Just a quick question for Oilersnation, where would be if Perron was Paajarvi? If we hadn't traded for Perron?

It's difficult to fathom, the Blues opted out of David Perron, cast him adrift, sending him away, and he's the Oilers best player.......a Blues cast off.

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#47 Eddie Shore
December 12 2013, 01:13PM
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4-2 Oil. Book it.

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#48 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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#49 Rotten Ron
December 12 2013, 08:13PM
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Men vs Boys

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#50 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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