GDB 34.0: AN OILERS WINNING STREAK?

Jason Gregor
March 30 2013 10:55AM

Tonight the Oilers will try to win three consecutive games for the first time this season. They've won back-to-back games only three times this year, and in their two previous attempts they lost in a SO vs. San Jose and in OT to Detroit. Their inability to put together a winning streak, even a short three-gamer, is the reason why they sit in 12th place in the west.

The Oilers are one of six teams without a three-game winning streak, and not surprisingly all six of them are out of the playoffs. Florida has won two straight game only twice, Oilers have done it three times, the Flames, Avalanche and Flyers four times and the Coyotes have won two straight five times.

No team in the history of the NHL has made the playoffs without a three-game winning streak, so if the Oilers have any post-season aspirations they need a win over the red-hot Vancouver Canucks.

The Canucks skate into Rexall Place on a six-game winning streak. They've won all six by with excellent goaltending and an average offence. Corey Schneider has allowed only 6 goals on 166 shots, .963SV%, while the Canucks have only scored 13 goals in the six wins.

The Oilers faced Roberto Luongo in their previous two meetings this year. They won 3-2 in a SO on January 20th in Vancouver and lost 3-2 in OT at Rexall Place on February 4th. While Schneider is playing great, the Canucks offence isn't that dynamic. They've scored 3+ goals in only 4 of their past 14 games, while the Oilers have tallied 3 or more in 6 of their past 9 games.

I doubt the Oilers can beat the Canucks in a defensive matchup, so they should try to turn tonight into a run-and-gun affair.

LINEUP

Hall/Nugent-Hopkins/Eberle
Jones/Horcoff/Yakupov
Paajarvi/Gagner/Hemsky
Brown/Smyth/Petrell

Smid/Petry
N.Schultz/J.Schultz
Whitney/Potter

Dubnyk

Dubnyk picked up his 9th win of the season after replacing Nikolai Khabibulin 33 seconds into the third period. Dubnyk stopped all nine shots he faced and he'll try to end Schneider's six-game winning streak tonight.

I don't see any reason Krueger makes any other lineup changes. Only option would be to bring in Fistric for Potter/Whitney.

QUICK HITS

  • Ralph Krueger benched Taylor Hall for two shifts at the start of the third period, after two bad turnovers in the neutral zone late in the 2nd period. The Oilers can't afford to sit Hall for an entire period or a game, but Krueger's message was loud and clear. Benching Hall for two shifts sends a strong message to every player, and Hall admitted after the game that he deserved it. The best part was that no one made a big deal about it. Hall got the message, coach got his team's attention and Hall will likely be much smarter with the puck tonight.
     
  • I sat in row one on Thursday and it was a great reminder of how fast the game is. Watching it on TV and from the pressbox makes the game look much easier than it is. It's amazing how quick the players react, how fast even the slowest NHLer is, and how excellent their hand-eye coordination is. 
     
  • Thursdays game might have been the best home game of the season, from a pure entertainment standpoint. The goaltending wasn't great, Khabibulin, but there were three highlight reel goals; Eberle, Anisimov and Hemsky. There were lots of chances, few penalties and an exciting scrap. Fans don't get to experience many of those games, but that one offered something from beginning to end.
     
  • Taylor Hall, 31 points in 30 games, is on pace to become the first point-a-game player in Edmonton since Ryan Smyth tallied 31 goals and 53 points in 53 games in 2007. He finished the season with 15 points in 18 games with the Islanders, so his full season wasn't a point-a-game pace, but he did do it with Edmonton.
     
  • Doug Weight was the last Oiler to play a full season and average over one point-per-game when he tallied 90 points in 82 games during the 2000/2001 season.
     
  • The Penguins announced today that D-man Paul Martin will be out for six weeks. The Penguins still have about $4.5 million in cap space, so don't be surprised if Ray Shero makes another bold move.
     
  • In the past four days, the Oilers' playoff chances have jumped up 8%. After back-to-back wins they are up to 12.1% according to sportsclubstats.com. Could they jump to 16% with a victory tonight...Dare to dream Oiler fans, dare to dream.
     
  • Rumblings from Vancouver today is that the Canucks have put David Booth on LTIR, meaning they have the value of his contract, $4.25 million, to spend above the cap. The Canucks desperately need some more scoring, and this move gives Mike Gillis the cap space to make a move.

TONIGHT....

 

 GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers will get their first three-game winning streak of the season with a 4-3 regulation win. Eberle, Hall and Gagner will each have two points.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Saturday night game on a long weekend means 25 people will get booted out during the game. I'll chat with security after the game to see the final tally, but I'm always amazed at how many people spend big bucks to go to the game, but end up allowing the Rexall Beer to get the best of them. Drink responsibly my friends.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Sam Gagner and Alex Burrows drop the gloves in a spirited second-period tilt. Anytime Samwise drops the mitts the fans get energized. Gagner likes to scrap once or twice a year, and after Burrows gives Paajarvi a cheap shot, Gagner flies in to defend his linemate. After the fight the crowd chants, Re-Sign Gagner, Re-sign Gagner... 

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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#1 dougtheslug
March 30 2013, 10:21PM
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DSF wrote:

Always important to keep things in perspective.

It was a good draft and the Oilers ended up with a third liner at 10.

Only,Johannsen and O'reilly have scored more goals and were drafted after Magnus in 09. Of the 200 or so players drafted after Magnus there is only one player(Dmitri Kulilov) that I might say in hindsight (and draft hindsight is a ridiculously silly game to play) I would covet.Look at the players drafted in the first round that year.Calvin deHaan?Peter Holland?Louis Leblanc?Chris Krieder? John Moore? Tim Erixon??? Out to lunch again, DSF.

But I don't care. Oiler up 4-0. And although the 4 goal lead might be the most dangerous lead in hockey, the Oil might be 1 (ONE!!!!) point out of a playoff spot in APRIL!!!!!! by tomorrow. Yeah, I know. Shortened season, a million teams tied for ninth, I don't care. If I was dragging DSF in a sack behind my pickup truck, I couldn't be happier.

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#2 The Soup Fascist
March 30 2013, 03:30PM
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KleptoKlown wrote:

Oilers sniffing at a playoff spot? Here comes the Canucks to (once again) put the cOilers where they belong. The drive for 9th is alive and strong in Edmonton.

@Gregor - you predict Schneider and his .963sv% during this win streak gives up 4 goals...to the Oilers? Bwaaaahahaha. Leave the predictions to Sylvia Brown.

The funny part of all this is the Canucks are missing half of their top 6 forwards, yet are still finding ways to win. Schneider gets his 3rd shutout this month, with a typical Canucks victory.

Only a Canuck fan would be arrogant (or meth baked) enough to talk trash with no cups in 43 years.

Go away Troll. We don't attend your riots ... Stay off our hockey site.

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#3 bazmagoo
March 31 2013, 02:27AM
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I think we all need to ignore DSF, it's pretty obvious he's an idiot. Site wide snub, nobody acknowledge his posts. It will make for a more civil, intelligent discussion.

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#4 One cold Canadian
March 31 2013, 01:58AM
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I rarely see the need to throw my two cents in... However, As a hockey FAN I can appreciate a good team effort from any group wearing ANY jersey. I may not like that team (Vancouver, Calgary ) but I can still find a modicum of respect when they pull out a good clutch win. DSF, you are an ass clown. You troll this site in an effort to evoke some sort of response with your blathering diatribe about how this player is way better then that player and this guys corsi is so much stronger then that players. We all get that you consider yourself a "hockey man" but you reveal yourself to be nothing more then a whimpering little girl stomping her feet for attention.

Flail your arms and hold your breath for an hour until someone pays attention.

I realize that my writing this has made your little heart go pitter/patter as someone is giving you exactly what you want : ATTENTION.

Why the disappearing act after your team got smoked?

You sir...are a turd.

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#5 Rindog
March 31 2013, 12:18AM
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DSF wrote:

Always important to keep things in perspective.

It was a good draft and the Oilers ended up with a third liner at 10.

Really?

One of the dumbest replies/posts I have read.

Be better!!!

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#6 SLAM
March 30 2013, 11:49PM
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KleptoKlown wrote:

Oilers sniffing at a playoff spot? Here comes the Canucks to (once again) put the cOilers where they belong. The drive for 9th is alive and strong in Edmonton.

@Gregor - you predict Schneider and his .963sv% during this win streak gives up 4 goals...to the Oilers? Bwaaaahahaha. Leave the predictions to Sylvia Brown.

The funny part of all this is the Canucks are missing half of their top 6 forwards, yet are still finding ways to win. Schneider gets his 3rd shutout this month, with a typical Canucks victory.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA !!!!!

How's that 0% save percentage working out for those knuckleheads?

Well at least SOMEONE got a shutout tonight...

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#7 rob
March 30 2013, 05:12PM
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KleptoKlown wrote:

Oilers sniffing at a playoff spot? Here comes the Canucks to (once again) put the cOilers where they belong. The drive for 9th is alive and strong in Edmonton.

@Gregor - you predict Schneider and his .963sv% during this win streak gives up 4 goals...to the Oilers? Bwaaaahahaha. Leave the predictions to Sylvia Brown.

The funny part of all this is the Canucks are missing half of their top 6 forwards, yet are still finding ways to win. Schneider gets his 3rd shutout this month, with a typical Canucks victory.

Just like in 06 when the Canucks pooped the bed and the Oil had to run to the cup?wake up tommorrow morning when the oil win 7-2,slap yourself for even cheering for the west coast cry babys,come back on this site and apologize for you complete stupidity!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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#8 RexLibris
March 30 2013, 08:37PM
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DSF wrote:

How about that Kadri kid?

3G 1A

Magnus who?

The Oilers never had a chance to draft Kadri, so this comment doesn't really seem to make much sense.

It would make slightly more sense to say "Schenn who?" but even then, we aren't yet five years out from that draft.

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#9 vetinari
March 30 2013, 08:53PM
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4 - 0 !!!!!!!!!! I CAN'T DRINK THAT FAST!!!

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#10 vetinari
March 30 2013, 09:40PM
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@NewAgeSys - congrats on keeping the posts to 100 words or less... actually been reading them instead of skipping them... keep it up, bud!

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#11 @Oilanderp
March 30 2013, 09:41PM
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I like these shorter posts, NewAgeSys.

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#12 dawgtoy
March 30 2013, 11:06AM
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I'll be chanting re-sign Gagner re-sign Smid.

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#13 oilman3
March 30 2013, 09:06PM
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trust dsf to come on here talking about drafting mistakes when we're up by 4. we get it, you hate the oilers. nobody likes you. go away.

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#14 Oil Change?
March 30 2013, 09:22PM
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DSF wrote:

Always important to keep things in perspective.

It was a good draft and the Oilers ended up with a third liner at 10.

You depress everyone troll. Go away

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#15 Oilersfan4
March 30 2013, 09:25PM
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Very good period but someone please go after Kevin Bieksa,wow that guy is a dirty player.Don Cherry said he would fight anyone, BS he well.

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#16 Rod from Viking
March 30 2013, 09:28PM
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DSF wrote:

How about that Kadri kid?

3G 1A

Magnus who?

These posts would be better on Hockey Buzz

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#17 bazmagoo
March 31 2013, 01:13AM
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I've been a pretty big critic of Ralph and Potter this year, but I have to admit they have both been impressing me lately. Good for Potter, guy has taken the long road to the NHL but he's proving me wrong recently.

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#18 Acumen
March 31 2013, 09:29AM
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bazmagoo wrote:

I think we all need to ignore DSF, it's pretty obvious he's an idiot. Site wide snub, nobody acknowledge his posts. It will make for a more civil, intelligent discussion.

Please, for the love of God, everyone do this.

It's the easiest way to just get him to shut up: don't rise to the bait. Trying to sift through all the angry responses to the clown is the one aggravating part about looking at the conversation generated on this site.

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#19 Reg Dunlop
March 30 2013, 11:11AM
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Canucks are not what they were 1 or 2 years ago. The old window has closed for them. However, the window has yet to open for us; van over the oil 3-1. The difference is goaltending, top of the list of things needing adressing this summer.

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dessert1111 wrote:

Why not put Yakupov back with Gagner for an easy minutes line and Hemsky with Horcoff for a tough minutes line? They're at home and have last change, and they'll need to favourable match-ups to beat the Canucks tonight, imo.

I kinda like Yak playing with Horcoff. The kid has a lot to learn and #10 is the best mentor we have. It worked really well when Hall and Eberle broke in the league.

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#21 Quicksilver ballet
March 30 2013, 04:37PM
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Krueger, what a nimrod. Sits Hall just long enough to see the Bluejackets take the lead early in the third. Taylor Hall suddenly became a whole lot wiser for the rest of the game i bet. Sitting you best left winger, yeah, that ought to teach him Good thing he didn't sit him 3 shifts, and let the Jackets get up 2..... could've been lights out for the Oilers.

Krueger = minor leaguer all the way. Fire his butt along with Tambellini.....

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#22 Bucknuck
March 30 2013, 07:10PM
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I do think this game is the pivotal one insofar as whether the Oilers are Sellers or Buyers at this trade deadline. I think if they win, it might inspire Tambellini to add roster players instead of trading them away.

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#23 NewAgeSys
March 30 2013, 08:55PM
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The Safeway Million is in real jeoprody tonight, and so is Sams Big Night, I hope everyone helps Hallsy out and feeds him all night long until his skating legs fall off, light these puppies up boys.

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#24 @Oilanderp
March 30 2013, 10:53PM
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It's times like this that the Canucks need to ask themselves, 'What would Kyle Wellwood do?'.

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#25 rockmoss
March 30 2013, 11:05PM
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Wow! One of the best games I have seen them play in a long time. If Luongo doesn't stand on his head, the score would have been a lot worse. Great effort!

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#26 vetinari
March 30 2013, 11:23PM
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Saw three distinct phases to the Oilers' game tonight... period one was explosive firepower and pure energy... period two was a two-way battle and balance... period three was a defence first/playoff hockey period... great team outing from top to bottom... only thing that I would have liked to see added to their game was some more physicality, especially with a response to Bieksa running Hall.

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I think we should start the parade at the new arena site and end it at West Edmonton Mall and have a big beach party in the waterpark.

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#28 Ryan2
March 31 2013, 12:29AM
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DSF wrote:

Always important to keep things in perspective.

It was a good draft and the Oilers ended up with a third liner at 10.

Hey DSF, how is your wonderboy from the pre-season Granlund doing this year? He is really tearing it up with the Wild, isn't he?

We will see in a couple of years how MPS is doing. My guess is he will be higher than a third liner, but if all he is a third liner that can score 20 a year, shut down the opposition's top line, and kill penalties effectively then he will be a player that every team in the league will want. In addition, that will mean that the Oilers will have another stud left winger after Hall which will mean an even stronger team overall. Not that bad of a scenario to have, is it?

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#29 Old Retired Guy
March 31 2013, 09:44AM
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Acumen wrote:

Please, for the love of God, everyone do this.

It's the easiest way to just get him to shut up: don't rise to the bait. Trying to sift through all the angry responses to the clown is the one aggravating part about looking at the conversation generated on this site.

Perhaps, rather than asking everyone to ignore him.......( you will always get newbies who don't know who he is)....you should just ask all the regulars to respond to ANY DSF post with the term "5SC".......this is the thing that DSF has no answer for.....5 Stanley Cups.... 5SC could become as popular as FIST!

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#30 Bucknuck
March 31 2013, 11:32AM
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i loved being at a bar on the west coast last night cheering for the Oilers. three minutes in and all the trash talk stopped for some reason. it was beautiful.

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#31 dessert1111
March 30 2013, 11:39AM
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Why not put Yakupov back with Gagner for an easy minutes line and Hemsky with Horcoff for a tough minutes line? They're at home and have last change, and they'll need to favourable match-ups to beat the Canucks tonight, imo.

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#32 justDOit
March 30 2013, 11:54AM
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Chet134 wrote:

Kruger should get benched for playing Ryan smyth. I understand we are losing games cuz we can't score 5 on 5 in our top six or win certain battles. However playing Ryan smyth at centre on the fourth line is a freaking joke. Why not develop lander or another centre from the farm. Waste of time. Put him on wavers ASAP .

Your argument might get a little more respect if you could back up your reasoning with some stats or logic of some kind, or maybe even spell Krueger's name correctly.

Merely stating that the coach is dumb (and you're smart) by playing a certain player and not another is not reasonable.

Lander and Van de Velde both sank abruptly when dumped into the NHL this year. Lander then got injured, and has only played a few games recently in the AHL. With Belanger injured again, there's little the coach can do about the center position.

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#33 They're $hittie
March 30 2013, 12:20PM
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@Gregor

Really! No mention tonight that is Sam 400 game, and he is only 23.

8 points (sam gagner hattrick) would top things off nicely.

Eberle still waiting patiently for your first Hattrick. Taylor probably keeps reminding you of this.

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#34 Oiler Al
March 30 2013, 01:51PM
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madjam wrote:

Center Horcoff on the trading block to several clubs ? We like to put our captains on block it seems .

Flames [Iginla] and Stars [Morrow] just did it. Whats the big deal? Guys are given a chance to win the cup..

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#35 Shane
March 30 2013, 02:12PM
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Virtual_Xi wrote:

no way man, by having smyth play centre, there's 25 feet less ice he has to skate. Ryan Smyth chipping it in and thinking he can outskate the dman and get that puck cycling is a dream he has too often as a winger. At least as the centre he doesn't get the choice... :)))))

Actually I think centers skate more. No?

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#36 Bucknuck
March 30 2013, 02:52PM
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I do wish they would cut Smyth's ice time and keep him on the wing. I think he can be effective, but not when he's bagged and playing out of position. I think I prefer Vande Velde or Lander in that role.

Or better yet, get on the phone and pick up Stafford and Steve Ott from Buffalo for the 1st pick + a prospect.

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#37 PapaMike
March 30 2013, 03:36PM
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For some unknown reason (beer) I got a good feeling for tonite. Oilers 6 nuckleheads 2. Yak attack with 4 points!

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The 'Real' Ron Burgundy wrote:

I apologize in advance guys, I'm off to the game tonite and haven't witnessed a win since the SC finals in 2006. I lost track of my personal loss streak somewhere around 21.

At least I won't have to witness the Belanger Triangle live!

Can you try wearing your undies inside out or maybe outside your pants. Anything to break the streak.

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The 'Real' Ron Burgundy wrote:

I apologize in advance guys, I'm off to the game tonite and haven't witnessed a win since the SC finals in 2006. I lost track of my personal loss streak somewhere around 21.

At least I won't have to witness the Belanger Triangle live!

Can you try wearing your undies inside out or maybe outside your pants. Anything to break the streak.

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#40 Bucknuck
March 30 2013, 07:45PM
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I'm suiting up. I am in Canuck land I am going to invade the local pub with pro-Oiler sentiments. They better not let me down or its gonna be a looooong night.

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#41 vetinari
March 30 2013, 08:43PM
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Sccccoooorrrrreee x 2! Smid... I may be trashed before I even hit the second! Chug... chug... chug...

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#42 vetinari
March 30 2013, 08:44PM
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3-0... can't... walk... straight... to... fridge... for... another...

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#43 vetinari
March 30 2013, 08:47PM
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Apparently, Krueger stepped into the Waybackmachine and brought the 1988 Oilers to the rink tonight...

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#44 The Soup Fascist
March 30 2013, 08:55PM
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vetinari wrote:

4 - 0 !!!!!!!!!! I CAN'T DRINK THAT FAST!!!

Steady Big Fella! Hope you are not driving.

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#45 oilman3
March 30 2013, 09:18PM
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that's the problem with taking it to the sucks. in typical canuck style the cheap shots start coming fast and furious.

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#46 6 ring circus
March 30 2013, 09:23PM
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It's time Brown goes and does some Sedin head hunting in the second!!! The Oilers can't let them take liberties with our players especially Hall!!!

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#47 vetinari
March 30 2013, 09:28PM
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I'm hoping that Brown goes and introduces himself to either one of the Sedins or to Bieksa in the second period.

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#48 @Oilanderp
March 30 2013, 10:37PM
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Corey Perry doesn't play for the Oilers!

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#49 OilersBrass
March 30 2013, 10:40PM
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Seems like the refs were paid off tonight. Missed a ton of calls.

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#50 NewAgeSys
March 30 2013, 10:43PM
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I am really enjoying Ralphs performance tonight, he is dialed in and invloved, verbally and emotionally tempered but definitively engaged, he was actually yelling from the bench at the to many men penalty, outstanding. It really seems to help maintain the teams energy level when Ralph is chatting it up from the bench like he is tonight they seem to stay focused more.

Ralph and his crew are on top of their games and have been involved and letting the men know it for a full 6o mins and the Players are Rallying behind that leadership. You need to call it as you see it and this coaching staff really did save the best for last this year.

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