GDB 29.0: SHOW UP AT HOME

Jason Gregor
December 03 2013 01:24PM

Home ice advantage has been a mirage for the Edmonton Oilers so far this season.

The Oilers are 3-8-0 at home this year. They've been outscored 38-23. They've allowed 3+ goals in 9 of the 11 home games and they've scored once or been shutout seven times. There is no other way to say it, they've been awful on home ice, and it's about time they start giving their fans something to cheer about.

In 2010, on their way to drafting Taylor Hall at least they were competitive at home, 18-19-4, and 9-28-4 on the road.
In 2011, they were pretty much the same team at home on and on the road; 13-22-6 at home and 12-23-6 on the road.
In 2012, they were 18-17-6 at home, and 14-23-4 on the road.

Last year, the Oilers won more games on the road than they did at home, 9-11-4 at home and 10-11-3 on the road.

There is no reason the Oilers should be this horrendous at Rexall Place, and it has to change. The games are still announced as sell outs, but I know some fans are wasting their tickets and not showing up. The Oilers must be aware of this.

When that many fans elect to just "waste" their tickets, Oilers management better take notice. This happened in the early 90s, and once the team wasn't competitive, 1993-1996, the fans stopped buying tickets. The Oilers shouldn't be naive enough to believe that couldn't happen again.

Fans have been incredibly loyal and patient, but if the Oilers don't start winning some home games soon, I sense we could see even more empty seats as the season progresses.

LINEUP

Hall-RNH-Eberle
Perron-Arcobello-Yakupov
Jones-Gagner-Hemsky
Smyth-Acton-Joensuu

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

Dubnyk

Ryan Jones has played with desperation since coming out of the pressbox, and Eakins rewarded him by bumping him up the lineup. Eakins moved Yakupov back to the right wing, and put Perron on the right side with him and Arcobello in hopes of creating two scoring lines.

I'm curious to see if Eakins starts to try and get better matchups at home. Will he try to give "softer" minutes to Arcobello's line so they can produce offence, or will he do that with the Gagner trio?

Joensuu has to play with the same passion and determination that Jones did to earn a promotion. I think Joensuu has more to offer, and he needs to start showing it.

TUESDAY TIDBITS...

  • It will be back next week, but this week we incorporated into the GDB.
     
  • Ray Ferraro had an interesting take on my show regarding Taylor Hall, when I asked him what change Hall should make in his game that would help him become a more dominant player.
    I think there is one thing he could do that would elevate his game and he could do it quickly. If he would learn, or accept, that he is not the best option on the ice all the time, I think that could help him a great deal.

    I will give you an example. When he gets the puck, and when he gets moving, if he would give it up a little quicker and separate, because no one is going to catch him, and then get it back; that small change to his game would change his game immensely. He loves to lug the puck. At times he looks like a punt returner. He gets it in his zone and is going to go as far as he can with it, and he can because he's that talented.

    I think if he takes a couple of strides and moves it to a centreman -- and obviously in Edmonton he is playing with talented players so the puck will come back to him --now he is moving again. If he moves it to the middle the defenceman has to take a step to the middle, because he has to defend the centreman, and that will give Taylor another five feet when he gets the puck back. Now the D-man has to cross over and come back, and I like Hall's chances better if he has that much more room to skate, than if he was just lugging the puck all the time.

    I think it is a small change, and if he can get his head around it and try it, he would find that he is going to get more room on the ice than he already creates with his speed.
     
  • Ferraro knows a thing or two about creating offensive chances. Ferraro is currently the 99th highest scoring player in NHL history. Ferraro admitted it isn't easy for players to make sudden changes to their game, and while he said it was small, it would take some time to adapt properly. Hall has carried the puck his entire career, and he's had success with it, so any change is tough, but it makes a lot of sense. Hall's speed already scares D-men, and if he gain a quarter or a half of a step advantage he could be even more dangerous.
     
  • Sidney Crosby will play his 499th game tonight, and he'll play his 500th game vs. the Sharks on Thursday. Crosby already has 701 points in 498 games and whatever points his picks up in the next 72 hours will put leave him with the 6th most points in NHL history through 500 games.

    Wayne Gretzky is first with 1,186.
    Mario Lemieux tallied 971.
    Peter Stastny had 759.
    Mike Bossy scored 757.
    Jari Kurri is 5th with 730.

    Crosby will join a very elite crew, being only the 6th player in NHL history to score 700+ points in his first 500 games.
     
  • In case you are wondering, Alex Ovechkin had 643 points in his first 500 games, including 309 goals.
     
  • The Penguins ability to throw out two dominant centres makes life much easier for head coach Dan Bylsma. While Crosby had a "slow" month, picking up 15 points in 15 games, Evgeni Malkin was on fire with 25 points in 15 games. After a slow start Malkin is now 2nd in league scoring, 35 points, and he's only one back of Crosby.
     
  • I was perplexed in the summer when some people didn't have Corey Perry on the Olympic team. He was great in 2010, and I don't think his foot speed is an issue. He and Ryan Getzlaf are off to a great start, with 29 and 31 points respectively. For me, both of them are locks to make the squad.
     
  • I wonder if the St. Louis Blues are concerned about how they match up vs. the Sharks and Kings. The Sharks have beat them 6-2 and 6-3 this year, while the Kings dominated the Blues for 55 minutes last night, before two late goals made the 3-2 final look more respectable.
     
  • The Blues need a pure finisher, and Marian Gaborik is a UFA at the end of the season. The Blue Jackets likely won't re-sign him, and he would fit perfect in St. Louis. Gaborik won't lead your team to the Cup, but he could be an excellent complementary player in their top-six. With David Backes and Alex Steen down the middle, the Blues don't need a defensively responsible scorer. They need a finisher. The Blues have about $2 million in cap space at the deadline, and if they are willing to spend it, they could fit Gaborik under the cap, by moving out a small salary.
     
  • The Coyotes have scored the 5th most goals in the western conference, but only Calgary and the Oilers have given up more goals. Mike Smith has a .307 GAA and a respectable .910 SV%. He hasn't played as well as they would like, but the Coyotes are giving up way too many shots. The Coyotes, 34.5, are giving up four more shots against than the Oilers, 30.5.
     
  • Dave Tippett's Coyotes aren't playing as defensively as they have in the past.

TONIGHT...

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Coyotes have lost four of their last five, and they've given up 4 goals in each loss. The Oilers finally give their fans something to cheer about as defeat a playoff team for only the 2nd time this season. Oilers win 4-1.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Hemsky picks up a point. He has 34 points in 33 career games vs. the Coyotes.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Justin Schultz becomes the first Oiler D-man to score two goals in a game since Corey Potter did it late last season. After reading the previous sentence, many of you are stunned that Potter was the last Oiler D-man to score two goals in a game. I was too. Entering tonight the six blueliners have played a combined 2,118 NHL games, and Andrew Ference is the only one to have a multi-goal game. He scored twice on January 5th, 2004. J.Schultz' two goals will indeed be a rare occurrence.

DAY FOUR...MONTH OF GIVING...

Yesterday we raised another $2,500 for Santas Anonymous. Thanks to Ken for the bid and especially to Robert for re-donating the Messier jersey.
 

It includes:

You can bid by calling 780.444.1260 or 1.800.243.1945. All the proceeds will go to the Christmas Bureau. Thanks in advance to all of those who make a bid.

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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#101 Rod from Viking
December 03 2013, 09:48PM
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Alsker wrote:

Lets hope the Bryzzly bear returns thursday...can't stand the DD show(considering my love of cleavage and push up bras this is not easy to say).

Dubynk back to pre Bryz signing stellar form and the team isn't helping him at all.

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#102 LOIL
December 03 2013, 09:48PM
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Petry and Gilbert are junk

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#103 LOIL
December 03 2013, 09:49PM
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Petry and Gilbert are junk

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#104 LOIL
December 03 2013, 09:49PM
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Petry and Gilbert are junk

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#105 LOIL
December 03 2013, 09:49PM
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Petry and Gilbert are junk

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#106 Bucknuck
December 03 2013, 09:50PM
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dammit Dubnyk, WOULD YOU SAVE SOMETHING!? friggin pylon.

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#107 madjam
December 03 2013, 09:50PM
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Size is killing us this game ! No contest.

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#108 Hockey fan 1976
December 03 2013, 09:50PM
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When is Bryz back????? DDumbnuts suuuuuuckkkksss!!!!

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#109 Sailge
December 03 2013, 09:51PM
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Great prediction with the oil winning, Gregor.

Are you kidding me?

Everyone knows that after at least a 2 game road trip we win like 1% of the time the first home game back.

Plus we suck at home in general. Unbelievably bad.

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#110 Reg Dunlop
December 03 2013, 09:51PM
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Nice goal by Yandle but who doesn't like the high end potential of the oil? Who wants a generic player like Moss when you can have 12 million invested long term in Hall and Ebs?

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#111 HOFFFF
December 03 2013, 09:52PM
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Wow. How embarassing.

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#112 They're $hittie
December 03 2013, 09:52PM
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MoneyMoe wrote:

Time to Make a SERIOUS move Mack!!

Old Shultz to Carolina For Dman T.Gleason ...

Larson & draft pick to Pens for Dman D.Engelland...

And Hemsky, Omark draft pick to Philly for Wayne Simmonds!

All of a Sudden we have players who can "Play" "hit" and fight if or when needed in the regular rotation ...

If u can't pull 1 off. Then let's go after the young Russian Dman from Florida

not one of these trades would be accepted. would be nice though.

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#113 RexHolez
December 03 2013, 09:52PM
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I have to wake up in 6 hours for work. The sad part is I know better than to stay up to watch this team.

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#114 damndubie
December 03 2013, 09:52PM
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Way to make a save dubie....how long until Bryz is back again?

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#115 Cameron
December 03 2013, 09:53PM
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The Oilers have brought more people to atheism than Richard Dawkins!

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#116 RexHolez
December 03 2013, 09:54PM
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I work in 6 hours, the sad part is I know this team isn't worth staying up to watch but I wasted my time again

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#117 Poolanov
December 03 2013, 09:55PM
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Hey Dumbnik, figured you'd just pop that soft rebound out to the opposing forward did you? nice play

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#118 HOFFFF
December 03 2013, 09:56PM
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Dubnyk's positioning is horrendous. His glove side is always open. After most goals the right post is directly behind his back. Half his body covering nothing.

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#119 They're $hittie
December 03 2013, 09:56PM
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Did Wayne program the site to double post all the comments to trick advertisers?

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#120 11-2-99
December 03 2013, 09:57PM
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Petry and Dubnyk go play for Florida or something

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#121 Alsker
December 03 2013, 09:58PM
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LOIL wrote:

Petry and Gilbert are junk

Ummm...we turfed Gilbert a couple years ago, unless you're understating the obvious.

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#122 PapaMike
December 03 2013, 09:58PM
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MoneyMoe wrote:

Time to Make a SERIOUS move Mack!!

Old Shultz to Carolina For Dman T.Gleason ...

Larson & draft pick to Pens for Dman D.Engelland...

And Hemsky, Omark draft pick to Philly for Wayne Simmonds!

All of a Sudden we have players who can "Play" "hit" and fight if or when needed in the regular rotation ...

If u can't pull 1 off. Then let's go after the young Russian Dman from Florida

Thank you for the laughs, I really needed something lame to laugh at as the Oilers are just making me cry.

Hemsky and Omark for Wayne Simmonds....still makes me LOL!!!!

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#123 Reg Dunlop
December 03 2013, 10:00PM
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To see the amount of concern on Hall's face says it all. Future captain material.

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#124 JJ
December 03 2013, 10:00PM
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Why does this arena continue to sell out? As a fan, why would you want to pay any money to see this piece of **** team play. Can anyone answer this for me? Don't you get it by now? You're just going to get ****** over and over and you don't learn.

Anyway, I'm very happy at the current score. Blow these bastards out, Phoenix. Dubnyk, get the **** out of edmonton. Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out, mother ******

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#125 Alsker
December 03 2013, 10:00PM
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Some emotion from Ference, good on him!!!!!

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#126 Rod from Viking
December 03 2013, 10:00PM
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I like how the local media Kool-Aid dispensers have said the team is pointed north, i would say we are still in Antartica. "Good job Ference" we won one battle tonight.

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#127 Zamboni Driver
December 03 2013, 10:01PM
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What heart.

What a leader.

Oh? It's 6-2?

Nevermind.

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#128 They're $hittie
December 03 2013, 10:02PM
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Are you guys sure that Ekblad, Nurse and Kelfbom would not be a big upgrade to our D next year?

Three rookies ya, but all the others look like rookie AHL players right now.

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#129 Rod from Viking
December 03 2013, 10:03PM
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HOFFFF wrote:

Dubnyk's positioning is horrendous. His glove side is always open. After most goals the right post is directly behind his back. Half his body covering nothing.

The Coyotes had lots of room on the glove side all night and could have more goals, come on Perron get a hat trick.

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#130 Richard
December 03 2013, 10:03PM
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How many times can we say FIRE KEVIN LOWE?

Look at the results since the 2005 lockout.

Liberals live in a world of intentions and reality smacks them in their face.

How many smacks does Daryl need?

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#131 HOFFFF
December 03 2013, 10:04PM
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C-O-W....-E-I-E-I-O

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#132 Zamboni Driver
December 03 2013, 10:05PM
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By the way, the worst player on this team right now is Sam Gagner. How he isn't benched is absolutely beyond me.

"But he's still a kid" - You'd think after 7 years in the NHL he'd have half a clue what to do in his own zone. He has none.

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#133 PapaMike
December 03 2013, 10:05PM
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JJ wrote:

Why does this arena continue to sell out? As a fan, why would you want to pay any money to see this piece of **** team play. Can anyone answer this for me? Don't you get it by now? You're just going to get ****** over and over and you don't learn.

Anyway, I'm very happy at the current score. Blow these bastards out, Phoenix. Dubnyk, get the **** out of edmonton. Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out, mother ******

I am wondering why you are watching them on TV? oh, your mom won't let you stay up late. Go on and watch Glee and you will be much happier.

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#134 kgo
December 03 2013, 10:07PM
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Is that Tambellini in the ATB commercial?

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#135 kgo
December 03 2013, 10:08PM
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Oh, and send Justin pussypants Shultz to the AHL please

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#136 Reg Dunlop
December 03 2013, 10:08PM
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Looks like Eakins fell asleep or passed out due to malnutrition. Get him a donair.

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#137 HOFFFF
December 03 2013, 10:08PM
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Hall won't go to the net....back hand to avoid a bump. Soft.

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#138 MG
December 03 2013, 10:09PM
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Petry has been terrible as of late. I cringe everytime that he is on the ice. I may be a little late, but I think heis my official goat selection. I also desperately wish that the first line would shoot the puck; in fact, it would be nice to see all the lines putting the puck on net. It would so be nice to see Dubnyk stop a puck, ha!

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#139 Alsker
December 03 2013, 10:09PM
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Glad they practiced all day on the PP yesterday, made a huge difference tonight.

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#140 Jzed
December 03 2013, 10:10PM
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Pheonix KNOWS that there is no one on the Oil that will finish a check on them, that the Oil won't fight through or return their hacking and slashing. Ho hum. Then the Oilers start to yap, having to speak up to be heard over their home crowd's boos. Any hopes of turning the corner after the last road trip are gone. What an embarrassment.

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#141 Reg Dunlop
December 03 2013, 10:11PM
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Gagner fall down and not 1 team mate skates over to check on his wellbeing. Gotta love the skill on display, however.

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#142 Alsker
December 03 2013, 10:12PM
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Can we make the clock go faster please.

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#143 Rod from Viking
December 03 2013, 10:12PM
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Reg Dunlop wrote:

Looks like Eakins fell asleep or passed out due to malnutrition. Get him a donair.

It wouldn't hurt to see some emotion out of the coach and walk the talk about making players accountable.

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#144 Hockey fan 1976
December 03 2013, 10:12PM
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How do you not score on a 5-3? Show some ****ing emotion Eakins. How embarrassing with 10 min left arena is half empty. Other than Perron, Arco and Nuge fire everyone. !!!! Screw you Coilers!!!!

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#145 Zamboni Driver
December 03 2013, 10:13PM
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Dear Rogers,

When you take over the world. Please tell Kevin Quinn that when a game is 6-2 with less than two minutes...

IT'S NOT NECESSARY TO SAY 'REGULATION TIME'.

There will be no overtime, Kev.

Also please give Debrusk a job as a cable installer. He seems like a nice fellow.

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#146 PapaMike
December 03 2013, 10:13PM
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Reg Dunlop wrote:

Looks like Eakins fell asleep or passed out due to malnutrition. Get him a donair.

Or a donut....

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#147 Zamboni Driver
December 03 2013, 10:15PM
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Incidentally. Watch them scramble like crazy on the PP. Why?

Stats.

You were wondering where rock bottom is?

It's now.

Pathetic. Heartless. Gutless collection of me-first p*ssies.

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#148 Zamboni Driver
December 03 2013, 10:20PM
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I totally think Steve Kelly was misunderstood, btw.

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#149 Stack Pad Save
December 03 2013, 10:22PM
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Why can't I stop watching them? It's like staring at a car crash, you know you shouldn't, but you keep doing it.

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#150 bulldog12
December 03 2013, 10:24PM
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Wow We wonder why it looks like men against boys That's what it is Its going to a long winter

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