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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#201 Burnward
December 27 2013, 05:08PM
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@Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

Pfffft. Homer was a hack.

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#202 Oilerz4life
December 27 2013, 05:17PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

I had the same reaction. God this team is a mess.

That said, on paper the oil should win easily - Glencross and Russell are out and that really robs Calgary of a lot of their toughness and determination.

And the oil needs this game far more than the flames do.

With Doobie in net I'm going with a shakey GDP of 5-2 oil.

(but if doobie lets in a laugher or two and/or the team comes out giving less than 100% it could be a rout for the flames...)

I don't think it would take much to throw this current Oiler's roster off their game and slant the ice in Calgary's favor.

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#203 Burnward
December 27 2013, 05:20PM
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@Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

Lucretius, brah.

"Nil fieri ex nihilo, in nihilum nil posse reverti."

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#204 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
December 27 2013, 05:21PM
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Oilerz4life wrote:

lmao

Lmao too ...that's why we're here.

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#205 Jeff In Lethbridge
December 27 2013, 05:23PM
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Oilerz4life wrote:

We're not missing Omark, he plays for Buffalo now remember, lol.

there's a bright one there! hahaha

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#206 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
December 27 2013, 05:25PM
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Burnward wrote:

Lucretius, brah.

"Nil fieri ex nihilo, in nihilum nil posse reverti."

I propped this because Burnward has style........now I'm gonna go look it up....

(Actually, I'm gonna go have supper....I'll look it up during the first intermission once the Oilers have established an insurmountable 3-0 lead)

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#207 Keith Fredlund
December 27 2013, 06:17PM
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vetinari wrote:

You know, those are all good points. But let's look closer at the history of the two franchises.

Let's look at who had more Cups... my friend Wikipedia tells me the Oilers have 5 to Calgary's 1...

Let's look at whose last Cup was more recent... again, it looks like Calgary's sole Cup came in 1989 while the Oiler's last Cup was in 1990...

And whose team made the most recent appearance in the Stanley Cup finals since their last Cup victory... well, Calgary was there in 2004 while the Oilers were there in 2006...

Seems to me that if the Oiler's accomplishments were a long time ago then Calgary's accomplishments were an even looooooonger time ago...

I don't recall the hawks red wings Bruins constantly bragging about past cups. I guess there is a difference between the oil and teams like that. CLASS.

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#208 gussey
December 27 2013, 06:20PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

We're on a mission to collect as many first overall picks as we have Stanley Cups......it's going to take a while.

More like the oilers are going for as many first road picks as how many times you would get robbed walking downtown Edmonton.. that will take a while.

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#209 Burnward
December 27 2013, 06:25PM
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@RexHolez

The boys are playing well lately. You'll appreciate the team game and effort for sure.

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#210 RexHolez
December 27 2013, 07:32PM
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Bogus call on eberle! This game is a complete lesson in team defence! Who's been stockpiling 1st overall picks and rebuilding for 4 years?

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#211 Primo
December 27 2013, 07:38PM
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vetinari wrote:

You're rude, you babble and you seem to be slightly irrational... want to be the next GM of the Flames? You seem qualified...

Vetinari...if you have ever played the game you will realize it's all about winning and the Oilers are not very good at it. Despite all the first overalls the league has granted the Oilers they continuosly show ineptness. Until 6 rings can show that he is a competent leader and is able to build a competitive hard working team like the Flames you will continue to be ridiculed by people like drdoogie. Suck it up!

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#212 Burnward
December 27 2013, 07:50PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

That is the most Ryan Smyth goal ever.

Hahaha! A career in an instant.

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#213 nunyour
December 27 2013, 08:03PM
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It's a tie,both teams suck.Does suicide hurt?

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#214 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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#215 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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#216 gusto
December 27 2013, 10:40PM
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Spaz wrote:

Really? I can't wait until these teams play in April, May or June...

Even better!

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#217 #ThereGoesTheOilers
December 28 2013, 05:55PM
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@Jeff In Lethbridge

Claiming the Flames are better off than the Oil in any capacity is akin to claiming your colonoscopy was a pleasant and memorable experience.

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#218 Caleb
December 27 2013, 12:59PM
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@I Remember the Orange Jerseys

#OilersPositives

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#219 Burnward
December 27 2013, 01:50PM
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@Mullen Mania

Whoops. Double post.

Truly excited today!

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#220 Johnny Larue
December 27 2013, 02:48PM
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Does anyone know if the game is online anywhere as I am in Antigua over the holidays and alas it is not on the tube

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#221 DonDon
December 27 2013, 02:49PM
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Butters wrote:

This game is just a warm-up. Next year Conner McDavid will be on the line.

McDavid doesn't qualify for the entry level draft until 2015.

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#222 Rama Lama
December 27 2013, 02:54PM
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Now I understand why the Oilers bought extra turkeys for all the Flames players........let's hope they gorged and gorged and are feeling a little sleepy out there.

SMID will be looking to run some players he did not like........should be interesting!!

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#223 Rod from Viking
December 27 2013, 03:30PM
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There were so many good scraps back a few years, Dave Brown vs The Dim Sleeper, Semenko vs Hunter, Don Jackson vs Peplinski and many more(why would you show fights that an Oiler didn't win on ON? LOL). You can see in the press conference clip K-Lowe keeps getting more and more pissed as the questions keep coming, he has always been very competitive and has a short fuse and he would sure like that last part back. I thought Mac T handled it just fine,I don't think any of us would handle those questions better than he did. I am going to wait until July 5th 2014 and then grade the current GM.

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#224 coachedpotatoe
December 27 2013, 03:52PM
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Glad to here that Stajan was not as badly injured as first thought,

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#225 Rama Lama
December 27 2013, 04:05PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

Smid run somebody??..........Ladislav Smid??.....hahahaha....good one!

Yea Smid.........he was one of the toughest on our team, and was never really recognized for his contribution in that regard.

Who is our new tough defenceman back there now? Stringbean?

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#226 Burnward
December 27 2013, 04:15PM
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@Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

Hahahaha! Well played!

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#227 Burnward
December 27 2013, 05:24PM
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@vetinari

See above. Just messing around anyways.

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#228 Burnward
December 27 2013, 05:31PM
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@Jeff In Lethbridge

It's the other half that gives me comfort.

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#229 Burnward
December 27 2013, 06:16PM
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@RexHolez

Must be an Oiler fan! Ha!

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#230 Serious Gord
December 27 2013, 07:57PM
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That was a brutal no goal call. No Toronto review?

I trust that there will be some kind of quality critique of the refs for it.

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#231 RexLibris
December 27 2013, 08:05PM
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nunyour wrote:

It's a tie,both teams suck.Does suicide hurt?

Not according to Johnny Mandel.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gO7uemm6Yo

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#232 Monaertchi
December 27 2013, 08:19PM
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@vetinari

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

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#233 Jeff In Lethbridge
December 27 2013, 08:20PM
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officiating... painful.

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#234 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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#235 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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#236 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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#237 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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#238 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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#239 Burnward
December 27 2013, 10:16PM
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@Spaz

Oh yeah, that crap can go far, far away!

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#240 SmellOfVictory
December 28 2013, 02:32AM
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Spaz wrote:

The 'whining' I can understand, the 'my city can beat up your city' is a bit childish. I'm happy in living in Edmonton but have no misconceptions that it's a pageant winner.

Just be glad Banff or Victoria don't have NHL teams, what would you say then!

If Banff had an NHL team my smack talk about STDs would be relentless.

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#241 Burnward
December 27 2013, 01:50PM
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@Mullen Mania

It's a different kind of exciting is all...

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#242 Burnward
December 27 2013, 04:12PM
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@Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

We're simulcast on both Nations again today.

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#243 Keith Fredlund
December 27 2013, 04:21PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

What's that? ...a blowj*b from Stempniak's wife!

He's gonna need dentures when McG is done with him.

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#244 Jeff In Lethbridge
December 27 2013, 05:29PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

I propped this because Burnward has style........now I'm gonna go look it up....

(Actually, I'm gonna go have supper....I'll look it up during the first intermission once the Oilers have established an insurmountable 3-0 lead)

can't make nothin from nothin

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#245 Jeff In Lethbridge
December 27 2013, 05:49PM
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Burnward wrote:

It's the other half that gives me comfort.

you and me both :-D

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#246 Burnward
December 27 2013, 06:17PM
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@Truth

Cervenka sucked ballz. Over-hyped and couldn't adapt to the game over here.

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#247 Burnward
December 27 2013, 06:24PM
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@Truth

Perhaps. Not sure about his eligibility with waivers and the such though.

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

Are we watching the same game?

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#249 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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#250 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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