GDB: OMG BOA

Taylor McKee
December 27 2013 12:01PM

 pic via: PremierofAlberta

It is a great time of year to be a hockey fan. As is boxing day tradition, I am sure many of us set our cell-phones for a painfully early wake-up on boxing day to take in the most hallowed of holiday traditions, the Spengler Cup. As I am sure you all know,  Byron Ritchie helped Canada to a 5-4 win over Viktovice Steel of the Czech league which delighted the entire family I am sure.

It is important to remember that in the eye of the 'Spengler Hurricane' as it were, that is the non-stop wall-to-wall coverage of Team Canada in Davos (who will Alexandre Bolduc be playing with?! Is this Glen Metropolit's last Spengler?!) there is still NHL action to consider, and for Flames fans it doesn't get much better.

It is the 213th installment of the Battle of Alberta tonight and both teams are coming off big victories. With their respective wins in their last games, the Oilers (12-24-3) just snapped a six-game losing streak while the Flames (14-17-6) won for the first time in four games.    

THE LOCAL HEROES

Here is the exact same lineup that shocked the world by erasing a two-goal deficit and beating the Blues in a shootout. Big thanks as always to DailyFaceoff.com for the info.

  • Cammalleri - Backlund - Byron
  • Galiardi - Stajan - Stempniak
  • D. Jones - Colborne - Hudler
  • Bouma - Monahan - McGrattan
  • Giordano - Smid
  • Butler - Brodie
  • Breen - O'Brien
  • Berra

After taking a nasty knee-on-knee hit from St. Louis' David Backes, Many assumed that Matt Stajan would be missing some significant time. Those people forget that Matt Stajan is not just simply a  'player' in our little game called 'ice hockey'. Matt Stajan does not just take up a roster spot and soak up minutes. Matt Stajan is an idea, an idea that can never be defeated by knee, stick, or discouraging word. Matt Stajan makes me want to be a better man.

Because the hockey gods harvest my tears and use them as fuel for the furnace they use to toss ex-Flyer goalies into, Paul Byron might not be able to go tonight after taking a spill in practice. Byron has been playing exceptionally well of late, including a behind the back, no-look pass to Mike Cammalleri in the last game against St. Louis. It does seem as though the accident in practice wasn't too serious, leaving the ice only for precautionary reasons and will be in the lineup for tonight. 

Chris Breen draws in again tonight, so Mark Giordano should prepare to play 59 minutes.

Reto Berra is getting another crack at the Oilers after allowing a Taylor Hall goal when he was less than five seconds away from his first career shutout in his last outing against the Oil. Against St. Louis, Berra was solid, making 32 saves and winning in a shootout. The Oilers will likely try to put a lot of pucks his way tonight as they have had success from let's say interesting angles against Berra in the past:

Hopefully, Berra has a short memory because that one still stings to watch.

Sean Monahan continues to play on the fourth line while he struggles to re-adjust to game speed after the hairline fracture of his foot. You can look up his numbers over the past few games on ExtraSkater.com but I would recomend that you don't. Just know that things have not been going very well for the youngster of late. What has masked Monahan's unceremonious fall from grace has been the ascension of Backlund so it isn't all bad news down the middle for the Flames.

THAT TEAM UP NORTH

 
Here is the Oilers roster tonight thanks to Dailyfaceoff.com

  •  Hall - RNH - Perron
  • Joensuu - Gagner - Eberle 
  • Smyth - Gordon - Hemsky
  • Gadzic - Lander - Yakupov
  • Ference - J. Schultz
  • N. Schultz - Petry
  • Belov - Potter
  • Dubnyk

Both the Flames and Oilers are coming off big victories as the Oil beat the Winnipeg Jets 6-2 on Monday. A game in which Nail Yakupov finished with two points and 12 minutes in penalties. He seems to be adapting well to his new role, playing with Luke Gadzic.

The Oilers are missing Marc Arcobello to a rib injury and Philip Larsen to the flu which explains why Roman Horak was recalled yesterday. However, it does not look as though the Flames will get to show their Horak tribute video tonight as he will likely be watching from the press box. 

The Oilers start beleaguered tender Devan Dubnyk tonight whom is currently sporting a sub .900 SV% and a 3.38 GAA. Dubnyk has had a rough ride this season in Edmonton but it he is hardly the reason that the Oilers are angling for a top-five pick again. However, he has let in some groaners this season from distance, the type of which that gets the fanbase to turn on you in a hurry.

Tactics-wise, tt is the same old story with the Flames and Oilers, they are going to watch to push the pace and turn the game into a track-meet and the Flames will want to try to establish their offensive pressure below the dots. At times this season, the Oilers defense, and the defensive zone coverage from their forwards and in particular their centremen, has been frightening. The Oilers are dead-last in the NHL in goals allowed with 134 and goals allowed per game with 3.44 (though the Flames are third-last so let's not get too uppity).

SUM IT UP

This particular Battle of the QE2 doesn't have any post-season implications and it features two of the Western Conference's worst teams. But who cares? These games mean something. The last two games against the Oilers, the Flames blew leads in the third period which garnered special attention from Brian Burke during his press conference after Jay Feaster's firing.

I know that we all are realistic about the team this season and most of us have succumb to the idea that losing a lot this season is probably a good thing for the long-term health of this franchise. But you always want to beat the Oiler because, well, it just feels so damn good. So make it happen Flames.

The Puck drops tonight at 7:00 pm MT on SNET West.

112039ec99211abeba03b81d364735ec
Taylor splits time between UVIC and Calgary studying history. Taylor likes the Flames, the Cannons, Buckshot, and the Oxford comma. Taylor scored on his own net on dome ice when he was 8. Twitter: @TaylorMcKee_
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#151 Beerzebub
December 27 2013, 08:21PM
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Stemps hasn't been very good lately. Also, pointless in 8 straight games. (Just trying the good ol' bash-him-and-he'll-score-next trick.)

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#152 vetinari
December 27 2013, 08:21PM
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Monaertchi wrote:

Top line, Monahan, Gio, Butler. Whoever they draft in the top 5 this summer.

Monahan is a keeper... will be dangerous in about 2 years when he fills out his frame.

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#153 Oilerz4life
December 27 2013, 08:23PM
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Quick question off topic, if Toronto came knocking, would you trade Gagner for Phaneuf straight up?

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#154 vetinari
December 27 2013, 08:25PM
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Oilerz4life wrote:

Quick question off topic, if Toronto came knocking, would you trade Gagner for Phaneuf straight up?

Only if Phaneuf was locked into a reasonable 3-5 year contract at around $6.5M to $7.25M per season. Otherwise, no, he's a pending UFA.

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#155 Clyde
December 27 2013, 08:27PM
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Oilerz4life wrote:

Quick question off topic, if Toronto came knocking, would you trade Gagner for Phaneuf straight up?

Gagner! Worth a top. 2 def? Good one

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#156 Burnward
December 27 2013, 08:27PM
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Beerzebub wrote:

Stemps hasn't been very good lately. Also, pointless in 8 straight games. (Just trying the good ol' bash-him-and-he'll-score-next trick.)

Such a piece of crap right now!

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#157 RexHolez
December 27 2013, 08:30PM
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So in the NHL, if I get a puck along the boards all I have to do is turn my back and I'm untouchable?

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#158 Monaertchi
December 27 2013, 08:31PM
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vetinari wrote:

Monahan is a keeper... will be dangerous in about 2 years when he fills out his frame.

Assuming the FN plan is followed, Cammy will we gone at the deadline or in the summer, and Byron isn't a top line guy.

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#159 Burnward
December 27 2013, 08:33PM
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@RexHolez

That was numbers all the way. That's on Belov for being an idiot.

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#160 RexHolez
December 27 2013, 08:36PM
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Burnward wrote:

That was numbers all the way. That's on Belov for being an idiot.

Come on man! That was the swarm defence in glorious action!

*dont worry, I'm confused too

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#161 Oilerz4life
December 27 2013, 08:37PM
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What would you sacrifice off of the Oiler's roster to bring in Shea Weber? Very hypothetical I know lol.

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#162 Jeff In Lethbridge
December 27 2013, 08:37PM
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@RexHolez

careful, your homer's showing.

whAtchu think? should the just smash em face first if the turn on purpose, AKA protecting he puck?

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#163 vetinari
December 27 2013, 08:38PM
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RexHolez wrote:

Come on man! That was the swarm defence in glorious action!

*dont worry, I'm confused too

The only thing better than the swarm is... the "Flying V".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMY_s7karhk

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#164 BurningSensation
December 27 2013, 08:38PM
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Oilerz4life wrote:

Quick question off topic, if Toronto came knocking, would you trade Gagner for Phaneuf straight up?

If Phaneuf is signed - hell YES. Gagner is awful (and probably isn't an NHL center and has to be converted to wing), whereas Phaneuf is a legit top pairing D-man.

If Phaneuf is NOT signed - still 'Yes', but less enhusiastically. Gagner, is really bad at being an NHL #2 C (I'd be trading him anywhere for just about anything), and I would suggest the Oilers improve with his subtraction, regardless of who comes back.

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#165 BurningSensation
December 27 2013, 08:40PM
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Oilerz4life wrote:

What would you sacrifice off of the Oiler's roster to bring in Shea Weber? Very hypothetical I know lol.

Anything but Hall or the Nuge.

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#166 vetinari
December 27 2013, 08:41PM
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Oilerz4life wrote:

What would you sacrifice off of the Oiler's roster to bring in Shea Weber? Very hypothetical I know lol.

For Shea Weber? Anyone not named Hall or RNH would be fair game.

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#167 Serious Gord
December 27 2013, 08:43PM
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Goals to the flames are like water to a man lost in the desert. The type of game this is is exactly what the flames wanted, but that bogus call on the first goal has them behind 1-0.

Unless the oilers get impatient or absent-minded - both real possibilities -- the oil win.

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#168 vetinari
December 27 2013, 08:45PM
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Too bad Sportsnet doesn't have a "fan vote" as to the broadcast team that works the next game... very painful listening to these guys and starting next year, we're only going to see more of them.

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#169 TRAV
December 27 2013, 08:46PM
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It's a sad day when this is what the Battle of Alberta has become. Teams coming through our province laugh at playing these two bottom dwellers. I'd chirp Edmonton but I can't get up the energy or care factor enough to do a proper job of it. 1-0 at the end of two. Not much to get excited about. I may throw on a movie....

Flames generally have been exciting to watch because of their effort but this is far from the golden days when no one would dare miss a second of action between these two..

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#170 Oilerz4life
December 27 2013, 08:46PM
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Clyde wrote:

Gagner! Worth a top. 2 def? Good one

If Phaneuf is unhappy in TO and a pending ufa it wouldn't be the first lopsided trade to go down, but its only hypothetical lol.

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#171 Burnward
December 27 2013, 08:47PM
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@Serious Gord

Frustrating game. We got robbed, the Oilers got a gift...and here we are.

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#172 Fresh Mess
December 27 2013, 08:50PM
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Phaneuf should not be a top pairing D man

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#173 Serious Gord
December 27 2013, 08:50PM
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Hypothetical question arising from the comments of kypreos:

If Burke fires Hartley should the oil hire him?

Seems to be doing a hell of of a job with what he's had to work with.

Could he get similar overachieving results from this oiler roster)

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#174 J
December 27 2013, 08:51PM
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Joe colburne is so bad. Monahan is still playing like he is injured. Time for Corban knight

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#175 RexHolez
December 27 2013, 08:52PM
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@Oilerz4life

I love this hypothetical question!! I have 2 packages for them to choose from.

Yakupov, Petry, this years 1st + prospect

Or

Eberle, Schultz, this years 1st

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#176 Serious Gord
December 27 2013, 08:52PM
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Oilerz4life wrote:

If Phaneuf is unhappy in TO and a pending ufa it wouldn't be the first lopsided trade to go down, but its only hypothetical lol.

Seven mill for seven years aught to make him LOVE TO.

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#177 MontanaMan
December 27 2013, 08:55PM
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Edmonton is like that brother you had that always wanted to be the best but never really succeeded. The city is a hole and has always played second fiddle to Calgary. Forget about sports (although it's always good to see the Oilers and the Esks in the basement year after year). Calgary will always be the superior city and Edmontonians will always want to be more like Calgary.

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#178 Oilerz4life
December 27 2013, 08:56PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

Hypothetical question arising from the comments of kypreos:

If Burke fires Hartley should the oil hire him?

Seems to be doing a hell of of a job with what he's had to work with.

Could he get similar overachieving results from this oiler roster)

Does that mean Hartley injects hard work and toughness into the Oilers line-up? That's a pretty tall order lol.

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#179 Burnward
December 27 2013, 08:56PM
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@Serious Gord

IMO, Hartley has done a great job. The team has consistently improved, we have a solid defensive structure in place.

But in your hypothetical scenario, why not?

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#180 Reg Dunlop
December 27 2013, 08:57PM
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Burnward wrote:

Frustrating game. We got robbed, the Oilers got a gift...and here we are.

What could be more tedious than a host of flame supporters whining about a legit call that went down 2 periods ago. Deal with it and while you're at it, marvel at the Oiler skill on display. They are toying with the flames.

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#181 Oilerz4life
December 27 2013, 08:58PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

Seven mill for seven years aught to make him LOVE TO.

Fair enough.

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#182 Clyde
December 27 2013, 09:01PM
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Fresh Mess wrote:

Phaneuf should not be a top pairing D man

He's a plus 11 on a minus team playing big minutes. He has his warts but is still a top pairing guy

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#183 MontanaMan
December 27 2013, 09:05PM
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I don't understand why Edmontonians are so patient with their team. The Flames are an awful team with limited talent, numerous injuries and sub par goaltending, and yet, they are ahead of the Oilers in the standings and the Oiler faithful seem to think battling Buffalo for last place is acceptable. We heard last year that "this is our year" and this year "this is really our year. We will make the playoffs." But the reality is the OIlers are further from the playoffs than the Flames. And Oiler fans, that should be frightening.

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#184 Baceda
December 27 2013, 09:05PM
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Where the f*&@ is Backlund? Seem's like he's barely played since that great opening shift

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#185 RKD
December 27 2013, 09:06PM
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If it weren't for Berra, this game could have gotten ugly.

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#186 Serious Gord
December 27 2013, 09:06PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

Glencross and Russell?..........and we're missing Linus Omark and Ben Eagre...so that's like a draw.

The oil would kill for the likes of glencross and Russell. They are very much the type of players they need.

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#187 The Soup Fascist
December 27 2013, 09:06PM
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Burnward wrote:

Frustrating game. We got robbed, the Oilers got a gift...and here we are.

Somebody call a waambulance. Or at least dial 9-Wah-Wah.

This game has all the edge of a wet Kleenex. Criminal Minds marathon a more appealing choice.

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#188 Clyde
December 27 2013, 09:07PM
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I would trade one of rnh/hall, Schultz and a first for a difference making machine who can play 30 tough minutes a night any day. If Nashville wants klefbom or marancin, I would still do it. He would make the oil that much better

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#189 Reg Dunlop
December 27 2013, 09:08PM
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@MontanaMan

Wow, you nailed it. I guess that's why Edmonton is the capital.

Regardless, it hurts to face such a harsh chirp from one of about 10 calgarians that have the internets AND can read.

One question: what is in the Ed Whalen broadcast booth? Dan Kroffat's boots or the fire extinguisher that Bad News Allen used to break the Stomper's kid's back? Sad that pro rasslin is the only sporting claim to fame that Calgary can boast.

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#190 Clyde
December 27 2013, 09:09PM
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Baceda wrote:

Where the f*&@ is Backlund? Seem's like he's barely played since that great opening shift

He doesn't go to the dirty areas. Apparently he is a good possession player so is loved at flames nation

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#191 RexLibris
December 27 2013, 09:11PM
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RKD wrote:

If it weren't for Berra, this game could have gotten ugly.

Did you ever think you'd say that?

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#192 Burnward
December 27 2013, 09:13PM
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@Reg Dunlop

Are we watching the same game?

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#193 vetinari
December 27 2013, 09:13PM
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RKD wrote:

If it weren't for Berra, this game could have gotten ugly.

Ever consider nicknaming him "Yogi"? You could then also find another guy to name "BooBoo"...

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#194 MontanaMan
December 27 2013, 09:14PM
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Hey Reg - next time you take the Red Arrow south, check out our downtown and the beauty of our city. Then head back home and look at your delapitated downtown. Check how many head offices are in Edmonton. I work with many people from Edmonton and it doesn't take long to notice the difference. The difference is people WANT to move to Calgary. Accept the reality that Edmonton will never be the city Calgary is. The sooner you accept it, the easier it will be.

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#195 Clyde
December 27 2013, 09:14PM
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J wrote:

Joe colburne is so bad. Monahan is still playing like he is injured. Time for Corban knight

Knight has 2 more points after 1 period tonight

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#196 Baceda
December 27 2013, 09:21PM
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@Clyde

Ya, accurate rhetoric from both points of view aside, I just checked the game stats and it turns out he has spent a lot of time on the ice tonight, he just hasn't been very noticeable. So, nevermind my original question I suppose.

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#197 Baceda
December 27 2013, 09:28PM
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After watching this game I definitely am starting to look forward to some of those Big/Skilled players that we're all expecting Burke to bring in now

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#198 Baceda
December 27 2013, 09:29PM
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I like Stempniak but he's looked weak out there tonight

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#199 MontanaMan
December 27 2013, 09:30PM
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Has Eberle been this bad all year? And based on how he's playing, hard to believe Petry had spent time in the press box off and on all year.

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#200 cubsfan
December 27 2013, 09:30PM
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MontanaMan wrote:

Edmonton is like that brother you had that always wanted to be the best but never really succeeded. The city is a hole and has always played second fiddle to Calgary. Forget about sports (although it's always good to see the Oilers and the Esks in the basement year after year). Calgary will always be the superior city and Edmontonians will always want to be more like Calgary.

what r u 5 years old.....intellectually....?

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