GDB 16.0: OIL CHANGE NEEDED

Jason Gregor
February 21 2013 01:20PM

"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." For years many attributed this quote to Albert Einstein, however, there is no proof he actually uttered those words.

"Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results," first appeared in the basic text of Narcotics Anonymous which was copyrighted in 1982. Brownlee can attest this is very true, having tried to kick the habit for years, and I wonder if Ralph Krueger is starting to wonder the same thing about his hockey team.

Tonight the OIlers play their 16th game of the season, which is 1/3 of the abbreviated 2013 season, and they haven't been able to improve their five-on-five scoring.

In the first 7 games they scored 7 ES goals, and in the last 8 they also scored 7. Through 15 games they have shown zero improvement. Sure, they have produced some quality chances, but scoring chances won't win you games; you need to score goals.

I applaud Krueger for showing patience and not firing up the McBlender every few games, but at some point he can't keep hoping guys will produce. The line of Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle should be producing more goals, and eventually they will, but how long can Krueger wait?

That line has fired 57 shots on goal during the past five games, but they've only scored four times and one of those was an empty net goal. On 56 shots with a goalie in net they've combined for three goals and a woeful 5.3 SH%. Eventually they will start scoring more, but if Krueger doesn't try something to generate more scoring this team could find themselves out of the playoff hunt sooner than they'd like.

The Oilers had an optional skate this morning, but after chatting with a few people it sounds like Krueger will rotate the bottom three lines tonight.

Yakupov-Gagner-Hemsky

They've played together for most of the year, but they've had limited success at ES. It was smart to move Yakupov away from Eric Belanger, because he wasn't generating anything, but this trio hasn't produced enough to be assume that they will automatically produce.

Smyth-Belanger-Eager

I like moving Eager up the lineup and giving him some more icetime, but if the Oilers don't score early tonight, I wouldn't hesitate to move Eager into the top-six and try to get some energy and net presence.

Hartikainen-Vande Velde-Paajarvi

Hartikainen and Paajarvi are struggling to find some consistency, and I'd look at slotting them in amongst the top-six as well. Both of them need to watch film on Ryan Jones in the offensive zone and try to do what he does.

THEO DEBUTS

After a four game conditioning stint, mixed in with a subtle message to be more focused, Theo Peckham makes his season debut tonight beside Mark Fistric. He will add some much needed abrasiveness and Krueger is hoping his attitude and style will help his offensive players. "To augment our skill you need guys who are difficult to play against. That's what Theo brings to our lineup," said Krueger.

N.Schultz-J.Schultz

They have been a solid pair, but if J.Schultz is going to be considered an offensive D-man he needs to start generating some points five-on-five. Schultz is tied for 22nd in scoring by D-men with eight points, which is very good for a rookie; however he is 142nd amongst D-men in ES scoring with only one point.

Smid-Petry

I'd like to see much more from Jeff Petry. He has no points in 15 games despite playing over 21 minutes a game. At some point he needs to generate something offensively..

Dubnyk

Nikolai Khabibulin has been great in his three appearances this year, and I had no issue with playing him v. Los Angeles. The backup needs to play at some point, but Dubnyk is their starter and he needs to have a bounce back game and after an average first period v. Colorado and third period v. Dallas.

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers are 14-26-5 v. the Wild since the 2005 lockout, but they are 10-10-2 at home. If this team has any hope of staying in the playoff race this is a game they need to win. They will reward their loyal fans with a 3-2 win.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Despite adding Zach Parise and Ryan Suter fans still think of the Wild as a boring team. Even though they've played some very exciting games the past few seasons, the Wild are still not a team that has Oiler fans excited to see. Rexall will not be electric tonight.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: After Joey Moss gives birthday boy Ryan Smyth (37) the gears by calling him "older than dirt," he tells Smyth what he got him for his birthday. "Before the game I called my good buddy Wayne Gretzky and asked him to bless your stick. I held it in my hands as Wayne said his blessing," Joey told Smyth. 

Smyth is Gretzky's second biggest fan, behind Joey, and his face lit up after hearing Joey's story. Smyth walks back to the dressing room with a huge smile on his face staring at his stick imagining what Gretzky said, and it inspires him to play like a young Ryan Smyth. He scores tonight, gets a huge ovation from the fans and after the goal you see him high-fiving Moss behind the Oilers bench.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#51 Jasmine
February 21 2013, 02:34PM
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DSF wrote:

OGDP's

Peckham fights Konopka and is done for the season with a concussion.

One of the kids get Clutterbucked.

So now fans are wishing injuries on the Oilers players. How classless.

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#52 VK63
February 21 2013, 02:47PM
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@Jasmine

I think the intent was humour. But who knows.

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#53 match16
February 21 2013, 02:48PM
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@Jasmine

You must be new here...

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#54 Smokey
February 21 2013, 02:50PM
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Fistric and Wreckum, which ones the puck mover. Is the writing in the wall for Whitney. I imagine Wreckum plays about 12 minutes tonight and tries to murder Clutterbucket and takes a couple bad penalties. I hope he's in a growly mood since he's been but on his liquid and salad diet. Go Teddy Peckman. Make Grapes proud young man.

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#55 Muji
February 21 2013, 02:55PM
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Crazy and sad that a healthy scratch for Whitney does not even deserve a mention in the GDB anymore.

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#58 Starving Student
February 21 2013, 03:24PM
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Cripes! Is the 3rd pairing only going to play PK?! Who's going to advance the puck between Peckham and Fistric?! Whitney may no longer be the player he was, but he can at least make a pass! We're going to watch a pairing stuck in the D-Zone all night!

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#59 Pucker
February 21 2013, 03:36PM
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I'm wishing Gilbert the best of luck. I'm wishing Peckham the beast of luck. I'm wishing Duby the best of luck. I'm wishing everyone the best of luck.

Except Clutterbuck and all those other Wild's I hate. I guess that's about all of them except Gilbert and I'll probably hate him after the game.

Oil win 5-0. Magnum gets a hat-trick.

Suter would look good in oiler blue. Any chance we can get him for Omark and a late-rounder? It would help Minny with their cap.

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#60 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
February 21 2013, 03:48PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Yes, because no other teams have ever put a bigger, less skilled player with two skilled players.

LA had Trevor Lewis with Richards and Carter. He's not even big and he was put with two skilled players.

I guess only coaches with Stanley cup rings are allowed to make moves like that.

Really not sure why people don't want to see a skilled player on line 3. Lets try throw 3 offensive lines at the opposition. Not like the current top 6 is creating all that much at ES.

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#61 oilers2k10
February 21 2013, 04:02PM
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Mark McNeil is the future of Oilers third line/second line center from time to time against bigger, tougher teams.. Make it happen Tambo!

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#62 6 ring circus
February 21 2013, 04:08PM
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This year was supposed to be different with all the talent the Oilers have put together,this team is still a few years and players away from being competitive.I have no faith in Tambellini at all, to make any trades or moves.The sooner the organization gets a new GM, that's not afraid to make a trade, the sooner we will become a competitive team. Until then its going to be the same BS over and over!!!

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#63 match16
February 21 2013, 04:12PM
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book¡e wrote:

As in you must be new here to call DSF a fan. He is more of a fan of annoying Oiler Fans.

That's exactly what I meant lol.

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#64 The Soup Fascist
February 21 2013, 04:25PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

LA had Trevor Lewis with Richards and Carter. He's not even big and he was put with two skilled players.

I guess only coaches with Stanley cup rings are allowed to make moves like that.

Really not sure why people don't want to see a skilled player on line 3. Lets try throw 3 offensive lines at the opposition. Not like the current top 6 is creating all that much at ES.

I think Gregor may have been answering with a hint of sarcasm.

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#65 Dog Train
February 21 2013, 04:42PM
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We could have trouble moving the puck tonight. If Peckham really wants to impress the fans, he'll do something about Clutterbuck tonight. This could be a big swing game for both teams. The Wild are not as good as they think they are. They added two premier players to an already horrible team and expected to compete for a cup right away. I say tonight is one of our good nights and we win 3-2. GO OILERS GO!!

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#66 Ducey
February 21 2013, 04:43PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Yes, because no other teams have ever put a bigger, less skilled player with two skilled players.

Then I am sure you will have no problem listing off all the other teams that currently play a tough guy in their top 6.

Remember Eager has never (in 8 seasons) had more than 17 pts in an NHL season.

I don't have a problem with him on the team, just keep him off the lines designed to score.

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#67 Copperblueandwhite
February 21 2013, 04:56PM
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It's good to see Cheeseburger Peckham back in the lineup....I guess!

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#68 michael
February 21 2013, 04:59PM
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NSOGP. Clutterbuck nails Eberle at center ice in front of the Oilers bench with an elbow to the head which leads to Theo Peckham jumping off the bench to go clean Clutterbucks clock. The fans go nuts. Theo gets a 10 game suspension which has the fans lauding him for standing up for his team mates. Theo gets back in the good books of the team coach's and fans.

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#69 Todd
February 21 2013, 05:10PM
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Jasmine wrote:

So now fans are wishing injuries on the Oilers players. How classless.

@Jasmine - I assume you are new here, and don't know the resident douche bag Canuck fan DSF. Don't mind him.

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#70 40oz
February 21 2013, 05:10PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

It didn't actually happen. Or at least not that I know of.. NSOGDP is usually a-pie-in-the-sky prediction that could happen, but hasn't officially occurred.

My god, the things you ignore while reading from your phone...

Either way, I'm just going to believe it really happened. It's just easier to bask in that glorious thought.

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#71 Walter Sobchak
February 21 2013, 05:37PM
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NSOGP- After giving Gagner the gears for the last two days straight, he breaks out and scores 4 points, one goal three assist, not to be out done, but Yakupov records his first hatty.

What's more impressive is that Gagners line is a total of +4 and spends limited time in there own end, not to be forgotten is Gagners outstanding FO% going a mind blowing 90% in the dot.

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#72 jake
February 21 2013, 05:48PM
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Brodziak with the Gordon Howe tour de chapeau, Gilbert with 2 assists.....any other ex-oilers playing for the Wild ? - if so, give them an assist each.

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#73 Milli
February 21 2013, 07:53PM
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Just win baby! I am kinda excited to see Teddy out there, hope he can get back to that mean as hell tough as nails Dman he was 2 years ago. And Eager in the top 6, couldn't hurt for a shirt or 2.

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#74 Butters
February 21 2013, 08:27PM
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Peckham is wearing 24 again. All is good.

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#75 ubermiguel
February 21 2013, 08:45PM
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Watching the US feed. Mike Keenan between periods is saying the Oilers have lots of skill but no "personality"...as in Lowe and Muni-style grit.

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#76 OILERSORDEATH
February 21 2013, 09:18PM
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How in the Hell is this team not able to score!! Unf$&kinbelievable!

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#77 nofool6110
February 21 2013, 09:19PM
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So yeah. Continue to bless the stick.

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#78 Alsker
February 21 2013, 09:20PM
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,,hmm...Muni,Jackson,Hunter,Hughes,Semenko like grit...never appreciated Pat Hughes as much as maybe we should have but dont forgot the fuel that fed the fire 99,17,11,9,77....SMITTYYYYY....NICE

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#79 Let's Rebuild
February 21 2013, 09:20PM
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Thank goodness for Joey Moss

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#80 Alsker
February 21 2013, 09:21PM
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What the Belanger triangle has been broken....

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#81 Poolanov
February 21 2013, 09:48PM
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ubermiguel wrote:

Watching the US feed. Mike Keenan between periods is saying the Oilers have lots of skill but no "personality"...as in Lowe and Muni-style grit.

Pay no attention to Mike Keenans comments as he is an idiot %-0

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#82 Alsker
February 21 2013, 10:20PM
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Man 10 chances and 10 ooohs and aaaaws they get 1 and the red light flashes..f*#k really...ELPH again

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#83 Mikey
February 21 2013, 10:22PM
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Clutterbuck got Halled!

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#84 Shaun Doe
February 21 2013, 10:23PM
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So I wonder what playing without Hall for a couple games is going to be like...

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#85 Sanaa Montana
February 21 2013, 10:30PM
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Eberle attempts to pass it to Yakupov, clueless to see surroundings Gagner breaks up the pass and keeps it in our zone. C'Mon Son.!..

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#86 Sanaa Montana
February 21 2013, 10:31PM
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rebelsdb wrote:

Is it too early for No winning for Mckinnon? Let the fans keep booing as long as we get Drouin? Let them pick the meat off the bones we need Jones?

The fans at Rexall were unaware that the Wild had scored their 3rd goal, they were to busy doing the #@$%ing wave.

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#87 Alsker
February 21 2013, 10:34PM
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RE: Shaun Doe

Might do the Oil some good tho Im not sure if they're man enough to pick up the slack...atleast RK can play with lineup without us questioning his decision...

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#88 DSF
February 21 2013, 10:35PM
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Darrell wrote:

OGDP - Oilers win; your no where to be seen after the game due to single malt and return three days later repeating: Wild just turned over 40% of their line-up and they will be fine ..... If the Wild win; you anal extract a stat showing they are now Cup contenders and use "Good Grief" three times in the rest of the BLOG ..... cheers :)

Here I am.

What?

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#89 BingBong
February 21 2013, 10:35PM
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Come on, let's look at the positives here. Eager played well...Peckman looked half-decent...Hall had a nice "hit" at the end...ah screw it, that was garbage.

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#90 Sanaa Montana
February 21 2013, 10:37PM
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Time Travelling Sean wrote:

What a boring couple of games.

With the line up Krueger has been blessing us with, there wil be a lot more games like these for us to enjoy.

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#91 Quicksilver ballet
February 21 2013, 10:40PM
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Missed the game but it'll be good to see an Oiler lashing out and getting suspended. It's good to see some killer instinct in one of the younger kids.

Bodybag hockey rules! Good on you Taylor. A couple more hits like that before the end of this nothing season, may buy you more space going into next season.

Clutterbuck probably plays next game.

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#92 Smokey
February 21 2013, 10:51PM
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Taylor Hall's popularity will never be higher among his peers. I betya he's getting a lot of thank you tweets tonight. Hope he like Recall hotdogs and lollipops.

Is it to early to put Nail on the top line.

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#93 Gerald R. Ford
February 21 2013, 10:55PM
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Hall was a wee bit testy with Spector in the post-game scrum. At least someone cares enough to show emotion.

I am so sick of this crap.[/obvious]

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#94 DSF
February 21 2013, 10:56PM
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Dog Train wrote:

What a boring freaking game. Ben Eager has arguable been our best forward the past two games and no offence to him, but that is not a recipe for success.

As for Hall's hit towards the end, I hope he doesn't get suspended. He leaned in with his shoulder, didn't stick his leg out and caught #22 trying to get out of dodge. The NHL likes to suspend the result and not the process so I wouldn't be surprised either way.

This game was a complete waste of time.

Late hit.

Clearly an intent to injure.

3 games.

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#95 Bonvie
February 21 2013, 11:01PM
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OILERSORDEATH wrote:

How in the Hell is this team not able to score!! Unf$&kinbelievable!

Oilers are playing on the outside, and teams aren't giving anything up on the rush. The few chances they have in the slot they miss the net.

Outside of that one minute of glory where Smyth does his patented wrap, this game was painful to watch boring,dull,and lack-luster.

Minnesota fans have to watch this awful hockey every night though, they have had the same boring, lets not make the playoffs, since these losers were moved to Minnesota, maybe this hockey is their penance for letting the Stars move to Dallas in the first place.

I don't like the Oiler lines the way they are at all. When the puck is in the offensive zone with the talent on the ice nobody is battling in front of the net, nobody drives for rebounds, and nobody is driving the puck to the net. Nobody sounds like a play-off performer, this guy should be signed.

Die-hard Oiler fans have been waiting since 2007, for this team to come together and have been patient with the youth. I am wondering right now if the plan is going to be to be to do what the management has proved most recently we are the best at. FINISHING TO GET THE FIRST OVERALL PICK.

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#96 kgo
February 21 2013, 11:08PM
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DSF wrote:

Late hit.

Clearly an intent to injure.

3 games.

Hit wasn't late, Clutterbuck kicked the puck less that a second before contact. LESS THAN A SECOND IN SLOW MOTION YOU IDIOT.

However I agree there was an intent to injure, but to injure his sternum with a clean check. Ever had your sternum fractured before DSF? ever even played contact hockey?

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#97 Reagan
February 21 2013, 11:11PM
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Clutter*uck carma at its best. No sympathy for that reject. I may sound like a complete jerk, and but the amount of crap that guy has dished out. I He f*ing deserves it. There was no knee on knee intent there.

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#98 Dog Train
February 21 2013, 11:15PM
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I think the refs deserve some blame as well. I remember a shift earlier in the game where Eberle was chasing Clutterbuck and Clutterbuck held Eberle's stick. Then when Eberle caught up to him, Clutterbuck punched him right in the face. The refs let a lot of garbage go today and the players are as confused as anybody about what is going to get called on a nightly basis.

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#99 Walter Sobchak
February 21 2013, 11:26PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Missed the game but it'll be good to see an Oiler lashing out and getting suspended. It's good to see some killer instinct in one of the younger kids.

Bodybag hockey rules! Good on you Taylor. A couple more hits like that before the end of this nothing season, may buy you more space going into next season.

Clutterbuck probably plays next game.

Was at the game, Clutterbuck couldn't even put his leg down, medics assisted him into the ambulance for a ride to the U.

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#100 Walter Sobchak
February 21 2013, 11:29PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

I never thought I would be enough of a scumball to say this about an injured player..... But I will.

Could not have happened to a nicer guy, unless of course it was Lapierre or Burrows .

You make a career throwing cheap hits and playing like a knob, well Karma is a bitch.

About time we start seeing a pissed off Oiler. We need more of them.

I feel bad taking any satisfaction in another person's suffering. But if anyone "deserved" a borderline hit it was the guy carted off on a stretcher.

God (or Lowetide) forgive me.

Couldn't agree more, also there was no intent, low bridge but still three games.

Good on Hall for trying to make that hit, not so good for the outcome

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