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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#51 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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#52 NewAgeSys
March 30 2013, 07:13PM
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I hope Ralph has his gameplan ready for the Nucks, we need a solid start.

1st period rule is in effect, no NHS adjstments till we are down 2 goals or the 1st period ends whichever comes first.

My prediction is that the Oilers start off with a simple dump-in gameplan that voluntarily surrenders possesion , and the Nucks love it as its their game and score within the first 2 mins. Ralph will open up the offense to respond not reading properly and they will quick strike again. Ralph then adjusts defensively and we will score a goal in response but it will be to late because once they get the 2 goal lead special teams will eat the minutes and we will essentially lose 2-1 minus special teams goals.

They want to slow the game down for a reason, and Ralph needs to understand it first and foremost, they arent baiting us the ways he thinks I am afraid. Their gameplan is simple and one dimensional.

Lets see if we are ready. Its time to shine.

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#53 hunkybill
March 30 2013, 07:24PM
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NewAgeSys wrote:

I hope Ralph has his gameplan ready for the Nucks, we need a solid start.

1st period rule is in effect, no NHS adjstments till we are down 2 goals or the 1st period ends whichever comes first.

My prediction is that the Oilers start off with a simple dump-in gameplan that voluntarily surrenders possesion , and the Nucks love it as its their game and score within the first 2 mins. Ralph will open up the offense to respond not reading properly and they will quick strike again. Ralph then adjusts defensively and we will score a goal in response but it will be to late because once they get the 2 goal lead special teams will eat the minutes and we will essentially lose 2-1 minus special teams goals.

They want to slow the game down for a reason, and Ralph needs to understand it first and foremost, they arent baiting us the ways he thinks I am afraid. Their gameplan is simple and one dimensional.

Lets see if we are ready. Its time to shine.

Yes and once they play the implied high octane system we will reply in the neutral zone with an illegal hit. Future suspension by fourth liner is worth it as team galvanizes around evicted player with unheralded reciprocuty. The new system execution comes to affruition with two quick goals. Goaltending is the key to advancing the gradfe of excellence. Once key defenders play with the half board advantage it will open us up to additional offensive potential. Go Oilers

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#54 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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#55 DSF
March 30 2013, 07:55PM
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How about that Kadri kid?

3G 1A

Magnus who?

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#56 mac962
March 30 2013, 08:33PM
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Gretz is wearing 94 tonight..shhhhhhhhhhh Mess is wearing #4..

ITS TIME BOYS.

BE OILERS, GO HARD.

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#57 vetinari
March 30 2013, 08:33PM
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Bucknuck wrote:

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.

Give 'em hell, Bucky and have one for me... I'm going to watch from the comfort of my home in Saskatchewan and hoist a pint every time we score...

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#58 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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#59 NewAgeSys
March 30 2013, 08:38PM
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@hunkybill

Yes, but what do you think? Whats your gameplan? What do you have of substance or otherwise to add to help us see your perspective of what the Oilers need to do to win tonight. More humor perhaps?

Cha-Ching. Nice shot Hall.

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#60 vetinari
March 30 2013, 08:41PM
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Sccoooorrreee! Now chug a (root)beer!

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#61 NewAgeSys
March 30 2013, 08:41PM
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Anyone see the key thing we are doing to shut them down already?? The transitional adjustment? We are NOT doing something that was killing us systemwise last year, what is it?

Cha-Ching.

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#62 Darrell
March 30 2013, 08:42PM
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RexLibris wrote:

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.

Dip-sh!t needs some attention .... 2-0 oilers ass !

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#63 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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#64 DSF
March 30 2013, 08:44PM
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RexLibris wrote:

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.

Always important to keep things in perspective.

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

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

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#66 outdoorzguy
March 30 2013, 08:44PM
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WTF???

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#67 NewAgeSys
March 30 2013, 08:46PM
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Nice job of running off the starting goalie. Jesus, Cha-Ching. Another one.

MMMM, now I can say it, we are NOT dumping it in and allowing them to catalyse their system the way they like to we are maintaining possesion of the puck as we leave he n-zone and are and depositing it in the net. If we dumpp it in we die. Simple system solution to shut them down and Ralph hit the nail on the head .

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#68 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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#69 Buttonpusher
March 30 2013, 08:49PM
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What the?!?

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#70 PapaMike
March 30 2013, 08:53PM
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woohoo! i am even yelling out of excitement at my tv! Uh oh, the refs are drinking the heroin beer it seems

hattie for hall! yee haw

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#71 KleptoKlown
March 30 2013, 08:53PM
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lol...

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

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#73 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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#74 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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#75 I tried it at home
March 30 2013, 08:55PM
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WTF?!?!? I missed the first 22 minutes coming from work, tuen on the tv and its 3-0 Oilers. Im still wondering if my eyes are playing tricks on me, and Edmonton goes on the PP and Hall gets a goal! Hattrick??? AND IM SOBER :((

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#76 PapaMike
March 30 2013, 08:58PM
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vetinari wrote:

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

I will help you with that! 4 goals on 5 SHOTS! we may be in a coma by the middle of the second period if this keeps up!

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#77 vetinari
March 30 2013, 08:58PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

Steady Big Fella! Hope you are not driving.

Only have to stumble from my living room to my bedroom tonight!

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#78 The Soup Fascist
March 30 2013, 08:59PM
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vetinari wrote:

Only have to stumble from my living room to my bedroom tonight!

Then fill your boots! Hope you have to drink a pail full! Cheers!

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#79 NwAgeSys
March 30 2013, 09:04PM
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They are now bringing the puck into the zone instead of dumping it in and are posting up two feet inside our blueline and catalysing offense from there, we need to be aware of that play.

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#80 I tried it at home
March 30 2013, 09:06PM
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Am I the only one wondering "if they can do this to the Canucks... what are they gonna do to the iggy-less flames?" Hmmmmmmmmmmmm

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#81 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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#82 michael
March 30 2013, 09:16PM
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Where the frak is the Safeway score a million? Hall looks good for 5. 10-0?

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#83 michael
March 30 2013, 09:16PM
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Where the frak is the Safeway score a million? Hall looks good for 5. 10-0?

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#84 michael
March 30 2013, 09:16PM
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Where the frak is the Safeway score a million? Hall looks good for 5. 10-0?

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#85 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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#86 Rod from Viking
March 30 2013, 09:20PM
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I sure hope Bieksa has to fight the cheap shot chicken shi#.

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#87 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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#88 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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#89 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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#90 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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#91 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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#92 Time Travelling Sean
March 30 2013, 09:28PM
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This is fun.

Though if Bieksa wants to play like that why can't Brown do the same? I hate Bieksa but I wish we had someone like him.

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#93 NewAgeSys
March 30 2013, 09:33PM
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I expect the Nucks will go back to the dumpins to start the 2nd period, they will regroup like last year in the first few games of their series with LA and will go right back to their bread and butter, they like to dump it in to you and then pressure you to do the same it is how they control the pace of the game for their system. If we get another quick one they will go back to trying to skate it into the zone like they finished the 1st doing.

We really should see the men relaxing and setting Hall up for the rest of the game and going hard for him. If we openly start feeding him every possesion it will make it easier for us to break their system not harder, the only limiting factor to this tactics offensive production potential is how long Taylors legs can hold up to the hard work that comes with beong the triggerman every shift.

I see MPS stepping up soon, someone else is going to find another seam to open up soon.

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#94 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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#95 @Oilanderp
March 30 2013, 09:41PM
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I like these shorter posts, NewAgeSys.

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#96 @Oilanderp
March 30 2013, 09:50PM
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2 posts for Paajarvi... keep doing the right things and they'll go in eventually!

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#97 TonyT
March 30 2013, 10:13PM
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Is this really happening!?

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#98 oilcan
March 30 2013, 10:17PM
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great game...flash of the future...l can not understand how brown isnt dealing with bieksa...he cant do this. our best players...he has been hunting hall...where is Semenko?

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#99 oilcan
March 30 2013, 10:17PM
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great game...flash of the future...l can not understand how brown isnt dealing with bieksa...he cant do this. our best players...he has been hunting hall...where is Semenko?

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#100 @Oilanderp
March 30 2013, 10:19PM
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@oilcan

Brown and Sestito both got 10 minute misconducts at the beginning of the second period.

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