GDB 23.0: A DATE IN DETROIT

Jason Gregor
March 07 2013 01:15PM

The Oilers skate into Detroit hoping to match the effort they played with last Thursday in Dallas. Over the last 18 years the Stars owned the Oilers, but the Oilers dominated them last week, and tonight they face a Wings team they've only beaten 24 times in their last 73 meetings.

Can they slay the dragon for the second Thursday in a row?

It will be a daunting task, but few people expected the Oilers to get a point in Chicago and two in Dallas, and that's exactly why we will all be watching tonight.

LINE UP

Hall/Nugent-Hopkins/Hemsky
Paajarvi/Gagner/Eberle
Smyth/Belanger/Yakupov
Jones/Vande Velde/Brown

The top lines stay the same, while Chris Vande Velde draws in and Ben Eager takes a seat in the press box. Krueger stated this morning the need to get all four lines going, but realistically I think he'd settle for getting two going.

If you are wondering why Eager is out, and why the Oilers acquired Brown, take a look at these sobering numbers that Micheal Parkatti graciously sent me when I asked for them. Parkatti does a recap of every game at boysonthebus.com 

Name While on ice Game 1 Game 11 12 13 G14 G 15 G 16 G 17 G18 G 19 G 20 G 21 G 22 Totals
Eager Shots Attempts For 6 6 2 1 13 9 9 14 4 7 5 1 9 86
Eager Shots Attempts Against 14 11 5 12 12 13 11 12 12 15 23 13 11 164
Eager Net Shot Attempts -8 -5 -3 -11 1 -4 -2 2 -8 -8 -18 -12 -2 -78
Team Net Shot Attempts 0 -16 -19 -4 25 -31 -3 2 -37 -17 -19 -8 -7 -134

The percent of net differential while Eager is on the ice is a mind-blowing 58%.

For non-believers of Corsi, that is incredibly high considering how little time he spends on the ice. Keep in mind that includes all shots attempts; shots on goal, blocked shots and shots that missed the net.

Someone might look at Eager's +/- and suggest he's only -4, but that is in 13 games with only 9:36 of TOI/game. Either way you slice it, it is brutal. And it explains why the Oilers added Brown. Brown isn't perfect either, but he hasn't been a defensive liability along the lines of Eager, and his reputation suggests he's more consistent in his physical play.

I want to be clear that Eager isn't the reason the Oilers are losing, but obviously he isn't pulling his weight. Krueger will be looking for more consistency out of his 4th line and hopefully some production. Jones has proven in the past he can score in limited minutes, so we'll see if he can produce on the 4th line.

Realistically if the Oilers are going to win tonight, their top two lines need to be good, and their PP needs to awaken from its recent slumber. They are 3 for 25 in their last 7 games, and in the three games where they scored a PP goal they won twice and lost in OT.

The Oilers lack of finish with the man advantage in Columbus cost them a point. If they score on that 4-on-3, they win and Eberle had two glorious chances. We all saw his reaction after he couldn't lift the puck over Bobrovsky's pads, but that is a shot Eberle has to make. Ideally you don't want all the pressure to win on the shoulders of your young players, but that's how it is in Edmonton and I guarantee you Eberle is livid he didn't score in OT.

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

Petry has three goals and five points in the first five games of the road trip. He's had some luck by just putting pucks on net, and you wonder if his teammates follow suit. Whitney has two goals in the last three games and he's been much more involved offensively. The good news for the Oilers is that they are finally getting some production from their blueline.

Dubnyk

He is 2-0-1 with a 2.47 GAA and 0.931 SV% vs. Detroit. Yes, it is a small sample size, but he's got 5 of 6 points in his career v. Detroit. In fact, all three games have gone to OT. He's 1-1 in OT and 1-0 in the SO. His only start in Detroit he stopped 42 of 44 shots on March 11th, 2011.

QUICK HITS

  • Watched the entire Chicago/Colorado game last night. The Hawks are entertaining to watch regardless of who they play. They push the pace the entire game. They never sit back, and Toews has to be amongst top-five centres, if not higher, in the game. Very complete player.
     
  • If Patrick Sharp is out for any extended period of time, that would be a huge blow for them. He left midway through the 3rd favouring his shoulder. He'll miss some games, just not sure how many according to Quenneville.
     
  • If the Oilers continue their trend of turning the puck over at the offensive blueline, the Wings will dominate territorially and on shot attempts. Datsyuk is the best in the league at creating turnovers so the Oilers need to be smart with the puck.
     
  • Might only interest me, but in the limited games he's played Chris Vande Velde has faced the 5th toughest competition amongst Oiler forwards. And really it is 4th because he didn't play when Horcoff was in the lineup.

JUST BECAUSE

 

GAME DAY PREDICTION: Just when you think the Oilers are done, they surprise you with an effort like tonight. 3-2 win.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Datsyuk will have you sitting in awe at least once with one of his "sick" dangles.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Tootoo Train and Moustache Mayhem will collide at centre ice for one of the best hits of the season. The great part is that neither one will have had the puck, and neither fanbase will know who initiated the contact.

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 DSF
March 07 2013, 02:04PM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

So every team that employed Eager before the Oilers did WASNT wrong?

I find this difficult to believe.

I tried to tell them.

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#52 Dodd
March 07 2013, 02:11PM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

So every team that employed Eager before the Oilers did WASNT wrong?

I find this difficult to believe.

No, the takeaway here is that every team that parted with him on his way here was right.

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#53 vetinari
March 07 2013, 02:12PM
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Playing the Wings @home during an epic roadtrip... I say that they come out flat in the first... show up for the second... and then collapse in the third when the Wings turn on the jets... Oilers 2 Wings 4.

God, I envy the Wings and their organization... they lose a generational player to retirement, have an aging core and they still are in a playoff spot... learn Tambi... learn...

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#54 Matt Henderson
March 07 2013, 02:20PM
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DSF wrote:

Dubnyk is overdue for a stinker and it happens tonight.

6-2

He's had two good games in his last 7 starts. I think he's more due for a good outing.

Last 7 Starts for Devan:

.921 .907 .867 .971 .893 .750 .862

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#55 Ducey
March 07 2013, 02:32PM
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When did Gregor start relying on fancy stats?

Not that I am complaining...

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#56 tileguy
March 07 2013, 02:40PM
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OGDP. Those lines will be in a blender before the halfway mark, Yak with Smyth and Belanger (roll eyes) NSOGDP. No money in the budget for the porkchop so Katz throws a tantrum and fires K low and mr dithers and a parade down Jasper Ave breaks out.

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#57 Hayek
March 07 2013, 02:41PM
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I agree that Eager is a problem, but not THE problem. However Brown is no solution. You are replacing one player who is below NHL replacement level, with another that is below NHL replacement level.

That's where the frustration is coming from.

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#58 VK63
March 07 2013, 02:44PM
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@Ducey

those aren't fancy stats.

they are simple stats.... not much subjective interpretation in shots.

Well a bit... but its minimal.

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#59 Ogie Oilthorpe
March 07 2013, 02:48PM
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northof51 wrote:

I agree... I go from excited, to dejected, to angry on most gamedays. Excited at the possibility of the Oilers finally breaking through and showing off their wicked talent. Dejected when they throw up a stinker and get outplayed soundly. Enraged when I realize that I am feeling depressed about a bunch of millionaires playing hockey for a living

I couldn't agree more, had to buy the center ice package to watch Oil, again. Every game day I can't wait to see the lineup, get excited about the prospect of a 60 minute effort, and then go to bed pissed off because the boys showed the heart of Pencakes in a regular season game and the offensive zone presence of the Japanese women's olympic team.

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#60 VK63
March 07 2013, 03:14PM
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@Quicksilver ballet

No no no.

the mantra is thus

No Stones= Seth Jones

Luv twitter btw. Very funny people on there.

Speaking of which.

Wanye... you gonna insult any sensitive types tonight? ;))

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#61 justDOit
March 07 2013, 03:24PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Anyone know of a smokin hawt new puzzle recently?

Looking for something interesting to do instead. One looking up into the blackness of space, a few pretty stars would be fine as well.

Just heard of this puzzle - I think RK plays it several times per day.

Take the following numbers, and rearrange them in a 3 x 4 grid that will result in wins for the Oilers:

4-13-14-20-28-54-64-83-89-91-93-94

Good luck!

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#62 justDOit
March 07 2013, 03:37PM
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DK0 wrote:

It's simple, you align them 4x3 instead of 3x4. I think we could win with 3 forward lines of 4 players, CONSTANT POWERPLAY!!!

I gave you props for that, until I reminded myself of how much the PP stinks. It seems as though they play better with fewer players on the ice.

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#63 justDOit
March 07 2013, 03:38PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

55-4-64

83-93-14

94-20-89

13-54-16

.....am i doing it right?

That's the beauty of this game - no wrong answers!

Edit: Well the 16 is less correct than the others.

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#64 Quicksilver ballet
March 07 2013, 03:46PM
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I vote Jason Gregor do the next "Re-lowered Expectations" article, at the conclusion of this roadtrip.

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#65 rubbertrout
March 07 2013, 03:53PM
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I'm a Scientist! wrote:

God I love her. That is all.

Unfortunately that really seems to be the only thing that is very positive to take away from the article.

I'm almost getting ready to put my Oilers jammies back into mothballs for another lottery pick.

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#66 justDOit
March 07 2013, 03:54PM
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@vetinari

I posted on the Gregor's Chicago article that the Oilers could continue on their current 10 game pace of 3-5-2 for the rest of the season, while the Hawks could lose every game over that same span, and the Hawks would still finish higher than the Oilers.

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#67 Alsker
March 07 2013, 04:13PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

I vote Jason Gregor do the next "Re-lowered Expectations" article, at the conclusion of this roadtrip.

What he said...I dont know why, maybe this should be the next POLLZ

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#68 MAC962
March 07 2013, 04:23PM
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One of the kids breaks out tonight with a big night. Not saying they win, but someone will have a fire under their a$$. I am guessing Eberle dazzles as he he is still ticked off.

Yak - i feel for you playing with players with no offensive talent game in and game out unless its on the PP.

Funny how Hall - Eberle - Hoppy were given each other

to succeed,, and you get ...crap. Give the kid a chance..

GO OIL.. You usually come throiugh when we least expect it.

4-3 OIL.

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#69 They're $hittie
March 07 2013, 04:27PM
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they’re shi!!y

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#70 StHenriOilBomb
March 07 2013, 04:36PM
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When the season started, I didn't expect the Oilers to be in the post-season, but I would be lying if I said there wasn't a sliver of hope that they'd make some noise and we'd all be talking about the Oilers SUTBSOHC. Now - with boatloads of dramatic suck witnessed this past month - the sliver of hope is gone, and this year feels like a sorry reproduction of 2010.

I'll watch the games, and deep down I'll be waiting for a miracle, but every crappy period is a stark reminder of how far this team is from contention, and how little confidence I have in management to get them there.

Go Oilers. I guess.

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#71 They're $hittie
March 07 2013, 04:37PM
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@dawgtoy

nope

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#72 Dog Train
March 07 2013, 04:42PM
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I actually have liked what I've seen out of VV. He isn't flashy but he knows his role and he doesn't deviate from it. Eager's D is brutal and he was covering Boll when Boll got the assist on the first Blue Jackets goal. It is so deflating to have an opposing fourth line score on you.

I think the Oilers will show up in this one. They tend to play weak in winnable games and show something in tough games. I will say 3-2 Red Wings in the SO.

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#73 Mike Krushelnyski
March 07 2013, 05:22PM
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I was thinkin bout watching this but I'm gonna count my balls instead.

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#74 Quicksilver ballet
March 07 2013, 05:36PM
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Okay, okay........okay, i got one.

After many hours of reseach, i've come up with a decent trade proposal. Ryan Jones and Linus Omark to Anahiem, in exchange for 21 minute and night +13 d'man Sheldon Souray......since the Oilers are still paying him anyways?

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#75 DSF
March 07 2013, 05:53PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Okay, okay........okay, i got one.

After many hours of reseach, i've come up with a decent trade proposal. Ryan Jones and Linus Omark to Anahiem, in exchange for 21 minute and night +13 d'man Sheldon Souray......since the Oilers are still paying him anyways?

You should see his Corsi Rel!

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#76 The Other Ron Burgundy
March 07 2013, 06:29PM
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I'm a Scientist! wrote:

God I love her. That is all.

Who is her?

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#77 steelymac
March 07 2013, 06:50PM
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Rumour has it Detroit has interest in Whitney.If thats the case we need TOOTOO the guy is a prick out there and we need some of that.A Eager Tootoo Brown could be tough to play against.Your thought DSF cause your sure to have one.

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#78 m3sh
March 07 2013, 07:20PM
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I am growing so tired of watching this team. Struggling to find any real differences to last year's team - not surprising since it's pretty much the same roster. But still.

Another second period of no compete.

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#79 Shaun Doe
March 07 2013, 07:38PM
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I have to wonder what it would take for the Oilers to board leave Michigan with one of Abdelkader, Miller or Helm. Could we dare to dream?

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#80 pelhem grenville
March 07 2013, 08:07PM
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...is there a link to watch? & should I ?

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#81 vetinari
March 07 2013, 08:09PM
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pelhem grenville wrote:

...is there a link to watch? & should I ?

There may be one... but no... definitely no... save yourself the time and trouble. It's on SportsNet West and it's time I'll never have back again...

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#82 Poolanov
March 07 2013, 08:12PM
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Looks like a case of bad puck luck tonight, we really don't look that bad

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#83 Butters
March 07 2013, 08:18PM
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This BLPH is making barf.

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#84 OILERSORDEATH
March 07 2013, 08:18PM
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Holy cow 0 goals for our Oil! Shocking!!!

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#85 Butters
March 07 2013, 08:19PM
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I mean, this BLPH is making me barf.

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#86 moe
March 07 2013, 08:21PM
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SO im gonna throw it out there ! we loose next game there will be a coach change. I can't even get mad anymore i just expect a weak effort every night . Maybe these bums should move to seattle. All they bring too edmonton is shame . !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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#87 pelhem grenville
March 07 2013, 08:25PM
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...mercifully its all but over 2 zip...no highpowered offence tonite?

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#88 David S
March 07 2013, 08:36PM
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Quintana wrote:

Krueger has to go!!! now.

C'mon dude. It's not Krueger. Take a look at our roster compared to the Wings. Buncha young guys and scrubs on the bottom 6 for us.

Wings? SLIGHTLY better.

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#89 Serious Gord
March 07 2013, 08:37PM
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"she" is Megan (ahem) Fox.

...

"Gazing up into the darkness I saw myself as a creature driven and derided by vanity; and my eyes burned with anguish and anger."

James Joyce - Araby. It applies to the above and what follows below... ... With the loss tonight we drop to 14th and have an approximate .408 record.

another game where the oil loss occurred regardless of the team's makeup - it was the quality of the effort.

And it's hard to see how they pull out of this funk without a major change.

And the only change that makes sense is the coach...

And it is ridiculous to do that without removing the GM - especially if the GM is going to be removed in the off season. The New GM should be the guy who picks the coach.

And looking for a GM in mid-season means you are picking from a fairly limited list as most employable GMs are... employed right now.

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#90 The Dude
March 07 2013, 08:37PM
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Fricken Quintana....that creep can roll, man.

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#91 Newj
March 07 2013, 08:38PM
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I thought Yak had a decent effort/game, but he doesn't get the opportunity to be on ice when they pulled the goalie?

I dunno....just getting very frustated by the lack of juggling line-ups to maybe try to find something that clicks or some chemistry.

Same old. Same old.

Quicksilver had a few interesting line combinations.

Do something different... PLEEEASE.

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#92 serious gord
March 07 2013, 08:48PM
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The Dude wrote:

Fricken Quintana....that creep can roll, man.

He's a pederast dude...

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#93 GVBlackhawk
March 07 2013, 08:49PM
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steelymac wrote:

Rumour has it Detroit has interest in Whitney.If thats the case we need TOOTOO the guy is a prick out there and we need some of that.A Eager Tootoo Brown could be tough to play against.Your thought DSF cause your sure to have one.

Eager-Tootoo-Brown would be a bad AHL line.

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#94 GVBlackhawk
March 07 2013, 08:52PM
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Quintana wrote:

Krueger has to go!!! now.

Yes, blame another coach. Don't focus your blame on the management.

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#95 GVBlackhawk
March 07 2013, 08:55PM
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Poolanov wrote:

Looks like a case of bad puck luck tonight, we really don't look that bad

Bad puck luck? Have a look at shots on goal, attempted shots on goal, and scoring chances. All heavily favour the Red Wings. Take off the Oiler goggles. They sucked again.

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#96 DSF
March 07 2013, 09:02PM
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GVBlackhawk wrote:

Eager-Tootoo-Brown would be a bad AHL line.

This.

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#97 Quicksilver ballet
March 07 2013, 09:04PM
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Wooo Hoooo!

2 pts out of deadlast boys, and one step closer to Jones or Drouin. Last place is a lock by the time these boys come home. Be great to see the Fire Lowe and Tambo chants reach a feverish pitch next week. Lets not be hating on the players.

Then finally, all of our wildest dreams will come true!

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#98 Newj
March 07 2013, 09:14PM
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DSF wrote:

Good grief...the Wings scored 2 even strength goals (not counting EN) and Yakupov was on the ice for both of them.

Kid can't play.

That's an astute assessment. Trade him for a bag of pucks then.

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#99 master of my domain
March 07 2013, 09:16PM
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the draft is more exiting than playoffs anyways

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#100 dougtheslug
March 07 2013, 09:17PM
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The Dude wrote:

Fricken Quintana....that creep can roll, man.

8 year olds, Dude

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