GDB 35.0: TRYING TO BRYZ BY THE DUCKS

Jason Gregor
December 15 2013 09:51AM

Ilya Bryzgalov has been cleared to play and should return to the lineup tonight against his first NHL team, the Anaheim Ducks. The Oilers are hoping he injects some life, enthusiasm and even some humour into a downtrodden dressing room.

The Oilers were dominated in Vancouver, and despite a solid 40 minutes against the Bruins on Thursday, the Oilers are 0-2 in their six-game stretch against elite teams. They will need to put forth a much better effort tonight, if they want to avoid being blown out by the red-hot Ducks.

The Ducks have won four straight, and are 7-1-2 in their last ten games and they've only allowed 22 goals in their past ten games. The Ducks finished 2nd in the west last season, and some suggested that their underlying statistics suggested that was a lucky 48-game stretch.

If you combine last year's 48 games with their first 34 this year you see an outstanding 82-game stretch.

The Ducks are 52-19-11 good for 115 points and they've outscored the opposition 248-205. The Ducks are a very good team and despite not having a true dominant #1 D-man, their blueline has been very steady even with Francois Beauchemin missing the last ten games. 

  GP  G  A  P  +/-  PIM  TOI/G
Cam Fowler 34 3 16 19 6 8 24:03:00
Francois Beauchemin 24 0 6 6 15 19 21:54
Ben Lovejoy 32 1 4 5 9 10 20:03
Hampus Lindholm 32 2 8 10 14 12 19:17
Bryan Allen 31 0 6 6 12 34 18:51
Luca Sbisa 9 0 1 1 -5 25 18:00
Sami Vatanen 26 3 4 7 0 12 17:54
Mark Fistric 13 1 1 2 -1 14 15:47
Nolan Yonkman 2 0 1 1 -1 0 14:53
Alex Grant 2 2 0 2 3 2 12:10

Fowler is playing in every situation. He plays 3:15/game on the PP and 2:47/game on the PK. Since Beauchemin went down, he's started playing even more and he's only 22 years old.

Hampus Lindholm played 44 games in the AHL last year as an 18-year old, and at 19 he has stepped into the NHL and performed very well. Ben Lovejoy was acquired for a 5th round pick last February, and he's turned out to be a steal for the Ducks.

They play a very solid game in their D-zone, and when they get the puck Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry take over. Getzlaf is 4th in NHL scoring with 16-22-38, while Perry is 6th with 21-15-36. Both of them are locks to make the Olympic team again, and their line, with Dustin Penner, is carrying the Ducks offensively.

Whoever matches up against that trio tonight is in for a tough game.

The Oilers are 1-5-1 over the past two seasons vs. the Ducks, and they've been outscored 21-8 in those seven games. They've struggled handling the Ducks' size, especially Getzlaf and Perry, and the Oilers will be hard pressed to avoid their 7th loss in 8 games vs. Anaheim.

LINEUP...UPDATE

Hall-RNH-Eberle
Smyth-Gordon-Perron
Joensuu-Arcobello-Yakupov
Gazdic-Gagner-Jones

Ales Hemsky is out with a rib injury, from the Ryan Kesler hit in Vancouver.

Ryan Smyth will draw in and Eakins will have to change his lines. Gagner will need to earn his way back into the top-nine I suspect, and I won't be surprised to see Smyth back with Gordon and Perron. The Oilers need Hall, RNH and Eberle to match the intensity and determination of Perron. If they do that, this team will have a much better chance of winning more games.

***Update***

Looks like I was wrong...Gagner gets promoted to 2nd line...

Hall-RNH-Eberle
Perron-Gagner-Yakupov
Smyth-Gordon-Jones
Joensuu-Arcobello-Gazdic

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

Eakins could switch his pairs and maybe try to match Petry and Ference vs. Getzlaf's line, otherwise Larsen or J.Schultz could be in for some long shifts in the D zone.

Bryzgalov

I'm assuming he starts. The Ducks are one of his former teams, and the Oilers will need a strong performance in goal to stay in this game.

QUICK HITS....

  • Jason LaBarbera must feel like he won the lottery. He struggled in Edmonton, was demoted to the AHL, got recalled due to an injury and then he was dealt to the first place Chicago Blackhawks. When Corey Crawford returns from his injury, I suspect the Hawks will send Raanta back to the AHL and LaBarbera will stay as the back up. The Hawks don't need to rush young players, and they will want Raanta to play more games in the AHL I suspect.
     
  • It was a smart trade by MacTavish. They free up a roster spot, plus it allows them to keep Laurent Brossoit in OKC and share time between the pipes with Richard Bachman. LaBarbera was the wrong choice in the summer, and the Oilers will need to do a better job next year when they go searching for a back up. They can't sign the wrong guy again.
     
  • The Ducks special teams aren't very good. Their PP is 19th and the PK is 21st, but the Ducks dominate teams at ES. They've outscored their opponents 78-55 at 5-on-5. They are 2nd in ES goals in the league.
     
  • The Oilers are almost the exact opposite to the Ducks at ES. The Oilers have given up the most goals 5-on-5, 78, and they've only scored 53. If the Oilers are going to win tonight, they likely will need at least two goals from their powerplay. 

WHAT DO WE SEE....

GAME DAY PREDICTION: Oilers struggles against the top teams continue with a 3-1 loss.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Dustin Penner scores and the Penner supporters say, "I told you the Oilers should have re-signed him."...The fact he is playing with two Olympians won't be mentioned. Penner is a very smart player defensively, and the Oilers could desperately use someone with his size, skill and smarts, but there is no way he'd have the same success in Edmonton as he is having in Anaheim. Plus, I doubt he would want to return to Edmonton.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Nick Schultz scores his first goal of the season. Schultz loves playing the Ducks. He has six goals in 43 career games vs. Anaheim, but he only has 21 goals in 800 games against the rest of the league. Schultz scores on a seeing shot from the point.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR 

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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 YFC Prez
December 15 2013, 06:46PM
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Even though it's tied that was a very good road period against a very good team. Oilers actually look like they belong in the NHL tonight.

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#102 Fresh Mess
December 15 2013, 06:47PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

I beg to differ. Smyth has been unimpressive since re-signing with the oils and really wasn't that great during his Odessey away from the team. He certainly takes nights off; really isn't that chippy; doesn't seem to be much of a mentor or leader.

He is far more myth than reality. But then the same can be said for a lot of players in the oilers past Glenn Anderson being #1 in that regard.

You mean the Glenn Anderson who is the 4th highest scorer all time in NHL playoff history?

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#103 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
December 15 2013, 06:48PM
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Spydyr wrote:

What those stats fail to show is he was the most fearless forward going to the net I have ever seen.In the time when nets were held in the ice with pipes.

He took absolutely no crap from anyone.More then a few times oppositions players got hit by a "errant" high stick trying to run him.

Finally..."weebles wobble but they don't fall down ."He was the hardest guy in the NHL to knock down.

Oh the memories.

Edit : talk about serendipity post 89 a player who is almost a mirror opposite when it comes to playing hard and being hard to play against.

makes me weep thinking about the good ole days and having to watch this version.

edit/ so far so good tonight however.....dare i hope. Someone hold me.

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#104 YFC Prez
December 15 2013, 06:50PM
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I gotta throw it out there even though it's not really all that fair with the season he's had so far. With the benefit of hindsight would you keep Gags and send Cogs packing like they did or would you still like to see cogliano with the oil and Gags elsewhere.

Props for Gags. Trash for Cogs.

Lol. I always wanted to do one of these.

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#105 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
December 15 2013, 06:52PM
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Sportsnet panel thinks continuity is important... Eakins will show em.

Sorry negativity slipped out

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#106 ubsfan
December 15 2013, 06:55PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

Anderson shouldn't be in the HOF - nor should several others (Clarke Gilles comes to mind) a life-long second liner who got to play against other teams second line with mess as his center man. Only a dozen or so more points than theo fluery who played super-tough first line minutes and isn't in the HOF.

As for his teammates pumping his (and by connection, their) tires is hardly surprising and surely you don't take their word for it.

As for Smyth - he was an effective player back in the day - never said he wasn't. But please point to evidence that he was ever a team leader other than by example and while he may have never taken a shift off in his first ten years he certainly has since so what message/leadership does that give his current teammates? And even though he has faded skills wise there remains nil evidence that he has assumed the role of mentor/leader. Thus the commenters claims above are based on myth not fact.

dude youre so negative.......didnt your parents hug you as a kid....i havent heard or read anything positive from you on the radio or this website.....lighten up man....

mind you not much positive to talk about this years version of oilers

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#107 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
December 15 2013, 06:56PM
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YFC Prez wrote:

I gotta throw it out there even though it's not really all that fair with the season he's had so far. With the benefit of hindsight would you keep Gags and send Cogs packing like they did or would you still like to see cogliano with the oil and Gags elsewhere.

Props for Gags. Trash for Cogs.

Lol. I always wanted to do one of these.

I believe cogs needed a new team. gain a different perspective perhaps (or actually be in a good organization that can develop players)

Gregor has made mention on his show several times that some of the youngins will be traded and I believe this is true.

Hypothetical: What if Dubnyk ends up in Phoenix next season under Sean Burke as goalie coach. Could he be fixed?

And if so would there be ramifications here in the coaching staff?

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#108 Reg Dunlop
December 15 2013, 06:58PM
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A couple of possibilities; 1)the young oil are inconsistent and tonight they are on 2)the Ducks are not really as good as their record 3)the Ducks thought that this game was a free spot on the bingo card. I say 1-20%, 2-20%, 3-100%.

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#109 Serious Gord
December 15 2013, 07:05PM
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brad wrote:

Sure, Captain Canada was more myth than reality... how old are you? Did you see him in his hayday? I think not my friend.

I'm 51. Saw lots of him. That was then this is now. And now he is not what he was then.

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#110 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
December 15 2013, 07:08PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

I'm 51. Saw lots of him. That was then this is now. And now he is not what he was then.

What?

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#111 Reg Dunlop
December 15 2013, 07:10PM
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Debrusk: 'Goaltenders are a lot tougher than people give them credit for'. When, in the history of televised hockey, has any commentator questioned the toughness of a tender who exposes himself to damage by 100mph pucks daily? What a moron.

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#112 Serious Gord
December 15 2013, 07:12PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

I don't have to take their word for it. Anderson's stats showed his ability to score big goals when the team needed it. Also was fearless going to net when they were glued on, and made his own space on the ice. Yes, he was a brutal player.

I guess you are smarter than the Hall of Famer voters, which by the way needed 75% votes to put him in.

The same clubby group that keeps lindros out? Give me a break - the HOF committee has no credibility.

Anderson never played a second of first line minutes his entire career.

He had the great good fortune of being on the greatest team in history in the highest scoring era - that pads his playoff numbers. Take the playoffs out of the equation and he is comparable to and found inferior to theoren fleury and others. On a more mortal team he would have been an also ran - which is what he was when he played on those kind of teams.

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#113 Rocket
December 15 2013, 07:13PM
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Wow this game got chippy fast. Glad to see a little push back from The Oilers.

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#114 Rocket
December 15 2013, 07:16PM
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I couldn't see who it was but an Aneheim defender lays a hit from behind on Hall who crashes into the boards and there is no call.

Potter does the same and he gets a game. SMH

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#115 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
December 15 2013, 07:16PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

The same clubby group that keeps lindros out? Give me a break - the HOF committee has no credibility.

Anderson never played a second of first line minutes his entire career.

He had the great good fortune of being on the greatest team in history in the highest scoring era - that pads his playoff numbers. Take the playoffs out of the equation and he is comparable to and found inferior to theoren fleury and others. On a more mortal team he would have been an also ran - which is what he was when he played on those kind of teams.

c'mon this has to be a troll. Anderson was one of the cornerstones of that offense. Wasn't good fortune it was hard work and drive to succeed.

hate to say this but the HOF committee also put Sundin in on his first ballot only cause he was a leaf. But that doesnt take away from how great anderson was.

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#116 Reg Dunlop
December 15 2013, 07:17PM
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@Serious Gord

So, if Messier played 2nd line centre behind 99 HE doesn't belong in the HOF?

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#117 YFC Prez
December 15 2013, 07:18PM
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Rocket wrote:

Wow this game got chippy fast. Glad to see a little push back from The Oilers.

Anyone know kassians address. I think he deserves some Christmas cards. His lack of class last game just may have been the mouse that finally sank the ship. They look like a team. Let's see them kill this one off for Potter.

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#118 Reg Dunlop
December 15 2013, 07:24PM
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What an amazing difference having a NHL goalie makes. Everyone's attitude and compete level raises knowing that victory is possible tonight. Here's hoping we never see DD again.

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#119 vetinari
December 15 2013, 07:27PM
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I hate to say it but overall, I like Bryzer's game a lot and think that a veteran goalie settles the team down better than "Up and Down-nyk".

Bryzer's positioning is way better, he plays the shot and then follows it to the ice in case he drops it (which is rarely), he knows how to look around players in his crease, he knows where the play is going and responds by repositioning himself, and he actually directs his defencemen... overall, when he has started, the team looks less jittery and disorganized in front of him.

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#120 Serious Gord
December 15 2013, 07:31PM
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reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan) wrote:

c'mon this has to be a troll. Anderson was one of the cornerstones of that offense. Wasn't good fortune it was hard work and drive to succeed.

hate to say this but the HOF committee also put Sundin in on his first ballot only cause he was a leaf. But that doesnt take away from how great anderson was.

He was a good - not great - player and every team he played on treated him as such.

The HOF is a joke and Anderson being in it is proof - much as Clark gillies is in because of his role in the NYI dynasty.

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#121 G-Unit
December 15 2013, 07:32PM
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reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan) wrote:

What?

I was a big fan of Smyth for years, but he is no longer a NHL player. For that matter neither are 1/2 the defence playing for this team. Larson, Belov, Putrid. I would gladly take a one-dimensional d-man like Peckham or Fistric than a zero dimensional player. They are so worried about a number one defenceman that the ignore the 3 through 6 defence they have that suck.

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#122 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
December 15 2013, 07:32PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

He was a good - not great - player and every team he played on treated him as such.

The HOF is a joke and Anderson being in it is proof - much as Clark gillies is in because of his role in the NYI dynasty.

Everyone was right your not a troll. Sorry to engage here

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#123 I Remember the Orange Jerseys
December 15 2013, 07:34PM
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@Quicksilver ballet

You asked about the orange jerseys in a previous thread. This was their original road jersey during the WHA years.

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#124 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
December 15 2013, 07:36PM
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Damn another slump busted.

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#125 Reg Dunlop
December 15 2013, 07:37PM
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Would someone please throw some blue and orange paint on Bryz' mask! It's like a guy not intending to stay long so he never bothers to unpack.

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#126 Serious Gord
December 15 2013, 07:39PM
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Reg Dunlop wrote:

So, if Messier played 2nd line centre behind 99 HE doesn't belong in the HOF?

Messier was second behind the third best player in hockey history (Orr and Lemieux being one and two) so he got the great benefit of second line minutes to pad his numbers but he was a dominant player on every team he played for.

Anderson played behind kurri - big difference and he never played first line anywhere.

As for sundin mentioned above he was the second best swede to ever play for the leafs. But he was also the softest 6'5" player of his era. Got a lot of easy points when the leafs were often awful.

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#127 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
December 15 2013, 07:40PM
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Reg Dunlop wrote:

Would someone please throw some blue and orange paint on Bryz' mask! It's like a guy not intending to stay long so he never bothers to unpack.

maybe he isn't. His mask in philly was solid black wasn't it?

maybe solid white is to reverse his fortune. (i say with having no real clue what he intends)

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#128 G-Unit
December 15 2013, 07:40PM
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Rocket wrote:

I couldn't see who it was but an Aneheim defender lays a hit from behind on Hall who crashes into the boards and there is no call.

Potter does the same and he gets a game. SMH

As usual the player that hit Taylor Hall was Taylor Hall

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#129 Reg Dunlop
December 15 2013, 07:42PM
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Everytime I see Eakins I think of MacT dressed in a white lab coat saying one point twenty one gigawatts.

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#130 Sailge
December 15 2013, 07:42PM
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Haha another birdie for snowpants. -1.

What a great player. 5 goals in the last 40 some games dating back to last year?

All the while being an absolute disaster defensively. Wow.

Not a 2C on a team that wants to be better than bottom 5 every season.

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#131 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
December 15 2013, 07:43PM
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Thread the needle, boys. Seeing lots of passes going off skates tonight.

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#132 Reg Dunlop
December 15 2013, 07:45PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

Messier was second behind the third best player in hockey history (Orr and Lemieux being one and two) so he got the great benefit of second line minutes to pad his numbers but he was a dominant player on every team he played for.

Anderson played behind kurri - big difference and he never played first line anywhere.

As for sundin mentioned above he was the second best swede to ever play for the leafs. But he was also the softest 6'5" player of his era. Got a lot of easy points when the leafs were often awful.

I know you are only fishing for some attention, calling 99 the 3rd best and saying Andy doesn't belong in the Hall. I'm not biting.

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#133 Serious Gord
December 15 2013, 07:47PM
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That second goal was all on Ference. Didn't clear the puck then lost it along the boards to selanne.

Teemu Selanne - now there is a first ballot hall of famer.

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#134 Serious Gord
December 15 2013, 07:49PM
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Reg Dunlop wrote:

I know you are only fishing for some attention, calling 99 the 3rd best and saying Andy doesn't belong in the Hall. I'm not biting.

And I'm not joking.

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#135 Serious Gord
December 15 2013, 07:57PM
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Jason: fowler might not be a dominant first line defenseman, but he's a pretty good one - he'd be a shoo-in number one on the oil.

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#136 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
December 15 2013, 07:59PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

And I'm not joking.

yes you are. This is hilarious gord. Bravo on your trolling sir.

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#137 Serious Gord
December 15 2013, 08:03PM
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reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan) wrote:

yes you are. This is hilarious gord. Bravo on your trolling sir.

Ask bob stauffer if I'm joking. He and I have had this discussion (along with my claim that the worst draft mistake ever was Mtl picking lafleur (stauffers hero) over Dionne) on several occasions over the years.

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#138 G-Unit
December 15 2013, 08:10PM
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Why does the team so convinced that Arcobello isn't a full-time NHL player? I see a player making the most of his opportunity and the team thinks he is too small. He and Perron are the 2 most physically effective forwards on the team.

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#139 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
December 15 2013, 08:12PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

Ask bob stauffer if I'm joking. He and I have had this discussion (along with my claim that the worst draft mistake ever was Mtl picking lafleur (stauffers hero) over Dionne) on several occasions over the years.

It's the commitment to the troll that I applaud. Love it man. Good on ya

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#140 YFC Prez
December 15 2013, 08:17PM
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Gagner 85 % on the dot. Is this real life ?!

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#141 Serious Gord
December 15 2013, 08:19PM
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Ben love joy was an undrafted pickup by the ducks. Why don't the oil ever find such players?

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#142 vetinari
December 15 2013, 08:20PM
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Gags???!!!!????

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#143 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
December 15 2013, 08:20PM
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YFC Prez wrote:

Gagner 85 % on the dot. Is this real life ?!

aaaand scores as well. niiiice

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#144 YFC Prez
December 15 2013, 08:20PM
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And he scores driving to the net! Nope definetly not real life.

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#145 offthebandwagon
December 15 2013, 08:20PM
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Ganger! I mean Gagne! I mean Gagner!!

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#146 wiseguy
December 15 2013, 08:21PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

He was a good - not great - player and every team he played on treated him as such.

The HOF is a joke and Anderson being in it is proof - much as Clark gillies is in because of his role in the NYI dynasty.

If the HOF is such a joke, why do you care so much about it being affirmation of a player's greatness?

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#147 Reg Dunlop
December 15 2013, 08:21PM
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@Serious Gord

Is that the same Lovejoy who Gagner went 'hoop around a barrel' on that goal?

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#148 Serious Gord
December 15 2013, 08:28PM
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Reg Dunlop wrote:

Is that the same Lovejoy who Gagner went 'hoop around a barrel' on that goal?

Looked like beauchemin broke the wrong way and got caught...

I'd have to look at a replay to be sure. Nonetheless I'd have him on the oils defense wouldn't you?

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#149 Serious Gord
December 15 2013, 08:30PM
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wiseguy wrote:

If the HOF is such a joke, why do you care so much about it being affirmation of a player's greatness?

I very much want it to be a respected institution - that's why I'm so critical of it. It desparately needs reform.

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#150 G-Unit
December 15 2013, 08:32PM
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Putrid finally scores!!!!!

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