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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#151 Richard
December 03 2013, 10:24PM
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Is 8 enough for Daryl Katz?

FIRE KEVIN LOWE

48 19 22 7

82 32 40 10

82 25 45 12

82 27 47 8

82 38 35 9

82 41 35 6

82 32 43 7

Quite the record

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#152 BingBong
December 03 2013, 10:27PM
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The game I just watched was Phoenix 5 - Perron 2.

Oh, and it's time to send Petry down to OKC for a little seasoning. Wait, what? He's our best dman?!?

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#153 Zamboni Driver
December 03 2013, 10:28PM
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BingBong wrote:

The game I just watched was Phoenix 5 - Perron 2.

Oh, and it's time to send Petry down to OKC for a little seasoning. Wait, what? He's our best dman?!?

Not to quibble, but it should have been Phoenix 7

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#154 Dog Train
December 03 2013, 10:29PM
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The title should be changed to shown up at home. And the song plays on...

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#155 Serious Gord
December 03 2013, 10:30PM
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Just looking at the games remaining for the month and the first week of jan:

The halfway point is almost exactly at the end of that period (44)

If the oil continue to lose practically every game to opponents who are " in" the playoffs they will lose 11 and win 4. Including the loss tonight the record. Will be:

13 - 27 - 4 give or take a win or two that's a gawdawful record.

The low point of the oil was mine games ago. Then they were 4 - 15 - 2 at the quarter pole of the season.

December looks to be a dark month in more ways than one...

Meanwhile mr Katz has even more money to count and fold...

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#156 Taylor Gang
December 03 2013, 10:31PM
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"Just when I think I'm out, they pull me back in"

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#157 tyler
December 03 2013, 10:37PM
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you know the "keys to the game" they put up at about the 5 minute mark? I think for this Oiler team it should be to not be down a goal or more before they post the "keys to the game" for the rest of the season...sure would like to not want to turn the game off before the 10 minute mark on most nights.

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#158 Greg
December 03 2013, 10:38PM
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lol, didn't watch or go to the game tonight, just checked the box score. and when i looked at it it make me laugh. beating the oilers is as easy as 1-2-3.

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#159 Oilcruzer
December 03 2013, 10:38PM
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On the plus side, I don't need to set aside money for playoff tickets.

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#160 BingBong
December 03 2013, 10:40PM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

Not to quibble, but it should have been Phoenix 7

Yup, my bad.

Did anybody else laugh when Petry fell on Yandle's goal? I laughed.

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#161 11-2-99
December 03 2013, 10:46PM
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Trying to keep it LOIL in the YYC, the father in law is loving it!

Dubnyk and Petry at least give the sports select a chance!

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#162 kale
December 03 2013, 10:47PM
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Oilcruzer wrote:

On the plus side, I don't need to set aside money for playoff tickets.

Hopefully you have been putting the money away and with eight years of savings, you should have a nice Oiler non-playoff pension plan

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#163 Slats
December 03 2013, 10:47PM
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tyler wrote:

you know the "keys to the game" they put up at about the 5 minute mark? I think for this Oiler team it should be to not be down a goal or more before they post the "keys to the game" for the rest of the season...sure would like to not want to turn the game off before the 10 minute mark on most nights.

Keys to the game - one time I wish they would say

"Oilers should not give up an early goal with Dubie not controlling his rebounds enroute to his league leading .818 save %, followed by pretty passing on the FIRST PERIOD PP with guys in the slot (Hall, Eberle guilty 5x), followed by inept performance from its 4th line going a combined minus effing 7 - really -7!!!

DECEMBER 3rd = ROCK BOTTOM.

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#164 BingBong
December 03 2013, 10:51PM
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Serious question: Are Petry, Gilbert and Poti all college hockey grads? Just looking for the pattern...

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#165 S cottV
December 03 2013, 10:53PM
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Wow - that was horrifying. Dubnyk was bad on a couple but omg that's the worst d zone coverage in the history of the world. What the ---- is Petry doing? Sorry - but Eakins does not look like a leader. His body language is awful - even in the early going. Be a cheer leader, sound a battle cry or kick a water bottle, but don't just stand there pouting and looking beat. Geezes - MacT may have to do the unthinkable - punt Eakins and get his exposed @ss on that bench. .

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#166 Walter Sobchak
December 03 2013, 10:56PM
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I knew the last 10-12 games against teams that are not going to be in the playoffs was a telling sign.

Enjoy the next two games folks, it's going to get grim around here.

This team from owner & management to coaches has there head so far up there arse's.

This team desperately needs people who know what the hell is going on!

Anyway, December & January is going to test a lot of fans.

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#167 Greg
December 03 2013, 10:58PM
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its dumbfounding that Klowe is still here...

and where the hell is Katz during all this? when is the last time anybody heard from that guy? i know we all beat up on Klowe for being the idiot that drove this team through the ground. hell if i was Klowe i wouldn't quit. just show up and "run" a hockey team... get paid the big bucks... ive exhausted myself trashing Klowe on here. i think its about time i start directing all my hatred towards Katz. after all this is is product, and he's the one stuffing is pockets during these, depending on how you look at it, horrible/terrific times.

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#168 Oiler Al
December 03 2013, 10:59PM
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Gretsky, can be traded, but Gagner cant...

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#169 kale
December 03 2013, 11:04PM
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S cottV wrote:

Wow - that was horrifying. Dubnyk was bad on a couple but omg that's the worst d zone coverage in the history of the world. What the ---- is Petry doing? Sorry - but Eakins does not look like a leader. His body language is awful - even in the early going. Be a cheer leader, sound a battle cry or kick a water bottle, but don't just stand there pouting and looking beat. Geezes - MacT may have to do the unthinkable - punt Eakins and get his exposed @ss on that bench. .

Eakins said post game that Arcobello had a really rough game. I know it was not a perfect game but to me he appeared more productive than many. Last game they lost Eakins said it was because of physical fitness. This team is becoming as mechanical as he is. I have never seen the team so emotionless. The team really mimics its coach in my humble opinion. I just dont see this coach leading this team to the next level.

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#170 Slats
December 03 2013, 11:08PM
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@kale

Arcobello???????

Really Eakins - next time watch the game instead of bumbling around behind the bench Mr. Bean!

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#171 Rod from Viking
December 03 2013, 11:09PM
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Did I hear right? Did Eakins throw Arco under the bus?What about the golden boys and every other player not named Perron.

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#172 Cubsfan
December 03 2013, 11:09PM
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is there a worse franchise in professional sports right now?

Dubnyk was awful cause he figures his job is secure now that Bryz is injured

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#173 Zamboni Driver
December 03 2013, 11:17PM
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So Arcobello - AHL player in the NHL because the brain trust can't scout. Gets an assist. Is minus 1.

HE is the problem.

Gagner. 33% faceoff. -2 (as were stellar linemates Tinman and Smyth) $3.2 million. 5'9.

Not the problem.

Gotcha coach.

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#174 kale
December 03 2013, 11:18PM
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Rod from Viking wrote:

Did I hear right? Did Eakins throw Arco under the bus?What about the golden boys and every other player not named Perron.

He actually said he didnt want to throw Arco under the bus but he had a really rough game. So i dont know, you tell me, if that doesnt sounds like someone being thrown under the bus

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#175 Rod from Viking
December 03 2013, 11:24PM
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@kale

Didn't want to throw him under but he did, Arco has been the most consistent player all year and has done everything he can, Eakin's comments were brutal, how about the rest who have been poor most games.

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#176 bazmagoo
December 03 2013, 11:26PM
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Oiler Al wrote:

Gretsky, can be traded, but Gagner cant...

Only saw the first half of the game, but Gagner looked ridiculous out there tonight. Getting outplayed every shift by Arcobello, who by the way is less than 1/7 the cost. Been saying it for a month or two now, Eakins is in over his head as well. Wonder how long before the next "Oil Change".

So glad I didn't watch the second half of the game.

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#177 Quintana
December 03 2013, 11:27PM
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kale wrote:

Eakins said post game that Arcobello had a really rough game. I know it was not a perfect game but to me he appeared more productive than many. Last game they lost Eakins said it was because of physical fitness. This team is becoming as mechanical as he is. I have never seen the team so emotionless. The team really mimics its coach in my humble opinion. I just dont see this coach leading this team to the next level.

At this stage of the rebuilding we need a senior management, coaching and leadership........Eakins is not, Mc-T is not , "6 rings"is a failure....go figure!!

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#178 bazmagoo
December 03 2013, 11:29PM
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Cubsfan wrote:

is there a worse franchise in professional sports right now?

Dubnyk was awful cause he figures his job is secure now that Bryz is injured

I used to think Dubby was legit, but now it's obvious he's lost it. Time to move on ASAP and bring some competition in for that #1 spot.

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#179 starpac99
December 03 2013, 11:30PM
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On a positive note... in a few seasons these guys will have a kick ass state of the art stadium to SUCK!! in!! Roger that!! A taxing thought!! BAHAAAAAA!!!

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#180 God
December 03 2013, 11:30PM
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I'm tired of feeling terrible. Time to stop watching the Oilers.

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#181 Mike Krushelnyski
December 03 2013, 11:38PM
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Well that sucked

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#182 Mike Krushelnyski
December 03 2013, 11:38PM
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Well that sucked

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#183 Mike Krushelnyski
December 03 2013, 11:38PM
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Well that sucked

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#184 Mike Krushelnyski
December 03 2013, 11:38PM
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Well that sucked

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#185 Mike Krushelnyski
December 03 2013, 11:38PM
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Well that sucked

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#186 Mike Krushelnyski
December 03 2013, 11:38PM
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Well that sucked

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#187 Mike Krushelnyski
December 03 2013, 11:38PM
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Well that sucked

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#188 Mike Krushelnyski
December 03 2013, 11:38PM
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#189 Mike Krushelnyski
December 03 2013, 11:38PM
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Well that sucked

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#190 Mike Krushelnyski
December 03 2013, 11:38PM
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#191 Mike Krushelnyski
December 03 2013, 11:38PM
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Well that sucked

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#192 Mike Krushelnyski
December 03 2013, 11:38PM
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Well that sucked

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#193 Mike Krushelnyski
December 03 2013, 11:38PM
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#194 Mike Krushelnyski
December 03 2013, 11:38PM
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#195 Mike Krushelnyski
December 03 2013, 11:38PM
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#196 Mike Krushelnyski
December 03 2013, 11:38PM
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#197 Mike Krushelnyski
December 03 2013, 11:38PM
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#198 Mike Krushelnyski
December 03 2013, 11:38PM
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#199 Mike Krushelnyski
December 03 2013, 11:38PM
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Well that sucked

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#200 Mike Krushelnyski
December 03 2013, 11:38PM
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