GDB 38.0: They’re all big games

Jonathan Willis
April 06 2013 10:30AM

The out-of-town scoreboard wasn’t particularly kind to the Oilers yesterday. St. Louis, Detroit, and San Jose all won. Dallas won too (though they’re far enough back that it’s a secondary concern), while Columbus lost in regulation – though given that they lost to the Blues, that’s not really great news.

The Oilers aren’t particularly likely to catch Los Angeles, but they need the win today to keep pace with Detroit and St. Louis, the two most catchable teams.

Playoff chances

Via sportsclubstats.com, here are the playoff odds for teams still in the hunt in the West entering action today:

  • 3. Los Angeles: 98.2%
  • 4. Vancouver: 97.1%
  • 5. San Jose: 95.4%
  • 6. Minnesota: 90.8%
  • 7. St. Louis: 88.6%
  • 8. Detroit: 71.3%
  • 9. Edmonton: 24.6%
  • 10. Phoenix: 14.3%
  • 11. Columbus: 8.4%
  • 12. Dallas: 5.7%
  • 13. Nashville: 5.5%

None of the other games going on today are particularly critical for the Oilers. Nashville hosts Chicago, Phoenix hosts Colorado, and Calgary is in Vancouver – all the teams involved are around the periphery of that list above. A Phoenix win, coupled with an Oilers loss, would move them past Edmonton on the chart above, so that’s probably the most important of the games being played today outside of the one the Oilers are playing.

Lineups

No information is available as of yet regarding tonight’s Oilers’ lineup, though it’s a decent bet there will be some changes due to the acquisition of Smithson and the loss to Vancouver. My guess – Mark Fistric draws in on the third pairing, Smithson draws in on the fourth line, and Ryan Smyth moves into the top-nine, replacing Ryan Jones. It also seems likely that Devan Dubnyk will start in net.

This will be updated as soon as the lines become available.

Update: Jerred Smithson will draw in, though exact forward lines remain unknown. The defence will stay the same as against the Canucks, meaning Petry-Smid, Schultz-Schultz, and Whitney-Potter.

Update II: Via the Oilers' official Twitter feed, we have the forward lines:

  • Hall - Nugent-Hopkins - Eberle
  • Smyth - Horcoff - Hemsky
  • Paajarvi - Gagner - Yakupov
  • Petrell - Smithson - Brown

Predictions

Game day prediction: Both games between the Oilers and the Kings have been nail-biters this season, with the Oilers winning one in overtime and the Kings scoring the winner with less than a minute in regulation last time. This one will be, too, but the Kings will win 3-2 in overtime.

Obvious game day prediction: With the Oilers down by a goal with two minutes left in the third, Ralph Krueger will pull his goaltender – and Nail Yakupov will tie the game to force the extra frame.

Not-so-obvious game day prediction: Jerred Smithson hasn’t had a fight in more than three years, but eager to make an impression with his new team he’ll square off against Colin Fraser. The fight itself will be a non-descript affair, but Smithson will be applauded by his new teammates, with nobody happier to see it than Mike Brown.

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Jonathan Willis is Managing Editor of the Nation Network. He also currently writes for the Edmonton Journal's Cult of Hockey, Grantland, and Hockey Prospectus. His work has appeared at theScore, ESPN and Puck Daddy. He was previously founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue. Contact him at jonathan (dot) willis (at) live (dot) ca.
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#51 Alsker
April 06 2013, 04:13PM
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Man I thought we were done with trying to react to what the opp. does and simply drive the play and make them react...they did it for 5 games and now we're back to the same old again. Playoff team vs. bubbleteam, thats how far we still have to go.

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#52 Mac962
April 06 2013, 04:18PM
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NewAgeSys wrote:

Gagner has the o-zone entry right, carry it in and do that short dumpin.

Their d-men are cheating up high and are meeting us and engaging us very eary on their blueline, and they are both coming up high to do this, so use an upspeed man coming through the middle off the give and go or do as Gagner did use the short dump in, but we need to carry it in through the n-zone.

If we use the Flying V we can pick those d-men off with contact WE initiate, its to our advantage to do this because if we gang rush them from the n-zone and they get caught cheating we should have odd-man advantages.

I will say it for everyone. Shut The F--k Up. You know Jack S--t about Hockey and are just the Cliche King.

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#53 oilman3
April 06 2013, 04:20PM
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DSF wrote:

He's got all of 11 points and is -4.

Not much to get excited about.

big surprise that our local wannabe statistician throws out the numbers for us. do you seriously think most of us aren't aware of the numbers? personally i love what i'm seeing from paajarvi. he's still very young and has made a huge adjustment not only to the nhl but coming from europe which has a lot challenges in itself. he continues to evolve into the player they're asking him to be. he will probably never be a big points guy, but he's been all around the net, has been playing more physically and his chances have been coming. if he is willing to forecheck hard, and battle in the blue paint he is filling a need on this team. i know it's been said before but if all you're doing is coming on here throwing out numbers and bashing the team. what exactly are you hoping to accomplish? my prediction is you will continue to bash on the team until they become successful and then you'll disappear. why don't you set up your own little website where you can bash the oilers with people who actually value your "insights?"

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#54 StHenriOilBomb
April 06 2013, 04:22PM
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NewAgeSys wrote:

Come on already, talk hockey, whats your problem?

I think you are on the wrong site if you are here to simply flame other posters and be a general pain in the arse.

Shut up with the spelling and vocabulary BS, ok, we are here for hockey, all of us, not to score cheezy little brownie points.

Anything hockey related to say or were you just making sure you used up your thirty seconds of fame?

We need two quick ones here men, lets get on it, time is a wasteing.

Hopefully we can see some nice n-zone pressure and some odd-man rushes in our favor.

just thought I'd take a cheap shot.

I mostly ignore you because your posts are usually overly-long and come off as arrogant. You're not so much part of the conversation as you are like an old man blabbering to the wind from his front porch rocking chair. Maybe you know hockey, but you don't know how to chat.

I agree, a big third period would be exciting. It seems we're losing every individual battle though, and I'm not sure the systems even matter when things are going that way...

edit: I actually think you're the first one I've ever 'flamed'. Consider it a compliment...

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#55 Alsker
April 06 2013, 04:26PM
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Is NAS = Howie Meeker, took him a few seasons to figure out how to get his point across in the time frame allowed, once he did he was entertaining and informative(sort of)

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#56 NewAgeSys
April 06 2013, 04:28PM
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Stretch passes made from a foot inside the n-zone will hurt them immediatly, not made from ddep, but skated up and made from a foot into the n-zone maybe a few feet. We have done this before with the Kings defense. It catches them cheating with the defense up high.

So we can take the puck into the n-zone deep just before their blueline and then pass it back to our blueline but still inside the n-zone crossice to a man pinched on the boards, then the high man who made the first n-zone pass just steps into the o-zone for the breakin passback. The Kings specialised in this last year.

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#57 OilersBrass
April 06 2013, 04:28PM
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People must be bored today, so much trolling going on.

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#58 Alsker
April 06 2013, 04:28PM
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Epic, first time Hemsky looks awake AND he hits Quick in the crest with his shot...lol

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#59 Alsker
April 06 2013, 04:35PM
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OilersBrass wrote:

People must be bored today, so much trolling going on.

Bored, are you watching the game?? No seriously, whos "trolling", Du_bS_up_dF_c__r only has couple posts today at most.

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#60 NewAgeSys
April 06 2013, 04:37PM
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StHenriOilBomb wrote:

just thought I'd take a cheap shot.

I mostly ignore you because your posts are usually overly-long and come off as arrogant. You're not so much part of the conversation as you are like an old man blabbering to the wind from his front porch rocking chair. Maybe you know hockey, but you don't know how to chat.

I agree, a big third period would be exciting. It seems we're losing every individual battle though, and I'm not sure the systems even matter when things are going that way...

edit: I actually think you're the first one I've ever 'flamed'. Consider it a compliment...

Are you still chirping? Fly away little bird. Nice observations about my dynamic interactions in the chat dept., that is intentional on my part by the way,arrogance is in the eye of the beholder, and yes i agree the posts are long but so is the natural and everpresent communication gap between all people everywhere .

How nice of you to mention something hockey related. Nice observation about the individual battles, they are playing us very close one on one all over the ice, they are trying to make it a skating game with as little passing as possible on both sides.

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#61 StHenriOilBomb
April 06 2013, 04:42PM
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NewAgeSys wrote:

Are you still chirping? Fly away little bird. Nice observations about my dynamic interactions in the chat dept., that is intentional on my part by the way,arrogance is in the eye of the beholder, and yes i agree the posts are long but so is the natural and everpresent communication gap between all people everywhere .

How nice of you to mention something hockey related. Nice observation about the individual battles, they are playing us very close one on one all over the ice, they are trying to make it a skating game with as little passing as possible on both sides.

zzz...

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#62 NewAgeSys
April 06 2013, 04:57PM
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Mac962 wrote:

I will say it for everyone. Shut The F--k Up. You know Jack S--t about Hockey and are just the Cliche King.

I am sorry you weasel but you speak for yourself first, just like you would in real life in the parking lot or anyplace else with the exception of here in cyberspace.

So YOU STFU you spineless sack of fluid. You cant even open that crack in your head wide enough to post hockey related data, you knob.

Keep your cheap arse opinions to youself.

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#63 oilman3
April 06 2013, 05:04PM
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well that was frustrating. once again we see the importance of size and what a good defensive system can do. edmonton was not allowed any time and space out there and had a very hard time getting to the front of the net. the kings played exactly the way they need to as they gear up for another playoff race.

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#64 StHenriOilBomb
April 06 2013, 05:04PM
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NewAgeSys wrote:

I am sorry you weasel but you speak for yourself first, just like you would in real life in the parking lot or anyplace else with the exception of here in cyberspace.

So YOU STFU you spineless sack of fluid. You cant even open that crack in your head wide enough to post hockey related data, you knob.

Keep your cheap arse opinions to youself.

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

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#65 StHenriOilBomb
April 06 2013, 05:07PM
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"THEY’RE ALL BIG GAMES"

...not any more.

Too bad. Hopefully the boys can keep it close for the sake of learning to compete. Well hope, I'll see you next season. It finally feels like next year could be for real (and not in Feaster's sense of the phrase).

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#66 Dog Train
April 06 2013, 05:10PM
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Looks like our playoff hopes are slipping away. Regardless of what happens, this summer is huge. We are clearly not able to handle playoff teams like the Kings. We don't manage the puck well at all. We spend 30 seconds to a minute at a time in our own zone and it kills all the flow in our game. Next season we will be in a division with Vancouver, LA, Anaheim and San Jose. We have lots of work to do and it shows time and time again when we play physical, defensive teams.

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#67 Justin
April 06 2013, 05:13PM
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STL is not catchable. Detroit is the only team Edmonton could catch.

Problem for Edmonton teams are taking then seriously now, they bring their A game. With the standings so close every team is bringing it.

Oilers cannot compete with teams that take away space and ice. They have no power players in their top 6.

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#68 Mac962
April 06 2013, 05:16PM
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NewAgeSys wrote:

I am sorry you weasel but you speak for yourself first, just like you would in real life in the parking lot or anyplace else with the exception of here in cyberspace.

So YOU STFU you spineless sack of fluid. You cant even open that crack in your head wide enough to post hockey related data, you knob.

Keep your cheap arse opinions to youself.

zzzzzzzz is right. How little you know , tsk tsk. If you only knew.

Go away little Boy. Or better yet come and shine my shoes You probably need the cash don't you ?

Enough of you.

Mom still doing ok ? lol.....

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#69 Frank
April 06 2013, 05:21PM
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Problem for Edmonton on making the playoffs is

Nashville , Phoenix and Detroit know how to play playoff Hockey. 1 of these teams will finish 8th .

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#70 Fresh Mess
April 06 2013, 05:44PM
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Does this mean the bipolar, bandwagon-jumping fanboys are finished with their love in and want everyone traded/fired again? Because a few short days ago they were praising Oiler management for not taking advantage of a seller's market and trading away useless spare parts in exchange for valuable assets.

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#71 sofarsogood
April 06 2013, 05:47PM
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Have not read the GDB, or any of the posts. MEN against boys. We need size and strength and grit. WoW. Tambi last chance with me is this summer. One should not feel this frustrated on a saturday afternoon.

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#72 DSF
April 06 2013, 05:56PM
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Justin wrote:

STL is not catchable. Detroit is the only team Edmonton could catch.

Problem for Edmonton teams are taking then seriously now, they bring their A game. With the standings so close every team is bringing it.

Oilers cannot compete with teams that take away space and ice. They have no power players in their top 6.

STL plays DET tomorrow .

End of the line.

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#73 oilman3
April 06 2013, 06:10PM
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DSF wrote:

STL plays DET tomorrow .

End of the line.

they do? who knew? thanks for the update.

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#74 Serious Gord
April 06 2013, 07:29PM
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If Dallas and phx win EDM will be tied for thirteenth before they play again.

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#75 DSF
April 06 2013, 07:42PM
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@Serious Gord

Phoenix already leading Colorado 1-0.

That won't end well and Phoenix moves ahead.

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#76 sammy
April 06 2013, 09:09PM
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Mac962 wrote:

I will say it for everyone. Shut The F--k Up. You know Jack S--t about Hockey and are just the Cliche King.

I spend a lot of time lurking in the shadows here. I enjoy the blogs and different contributions made from the writers. My favorites are Willis and Brownlee. I also like reading the comments from the fellow oilers fans and know a lot of your opinions from the months of reading them.

seems lately though the nation has been a little clique lately. New age gets told to "shut the f--k up" because you don't like what he has to say, he gets this type of response from several of the nation faithful. . Why not just skip past newage's posts if they bother you? Not to sure why open discussion and varying opinions would be discouraged on this site. The other day DSF wasn't even allowed to post on an article.

And now back to the shadows

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#77 DSF
April 06 2013, 09:31PM
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4-0 Phoenix.

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#78 Serious Gord
April 06 2013, 09:44PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

If Dallas and phx win EDM will be tied for thirteenth before they play again.

Sorry tied for 12th

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#79 Walter Sobchak
April 06 2013, 09:49PM
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@DSF

@ Sammy

"The other day DSF wasn't even allowed to post on an article"

Is this true?

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#80 DSF
April 06 2013, 10:01PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

@ Sammy

"The other day DSF wasn't even allowed to post on an article"

Is this true?

Yes.

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#81 Rocket
April 06 2013, 10:07PM
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DSF wrote:

Yes.

Wow that sucks. I don't always agree with your posts but you should still be able to share your opinion freely.

@Sammy: I think fans are pretty frustrated watching The Oilers get dominated in games again & are taking it out on each other. Stay classy Oiler fans.

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#82 DrunkGuyTy
April 06 2013, 10:12PM
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Have they ever won a Saturday afternoon game in CA?

We know the standings fluctuate every day and frankly, things don't look real good. But ... they're getting a better picture of what they're really gonna need to bring to the table EVERY game if they wanna compete with the big kids. Even if they don't sneak in, there's some learnin' to be learned. It's up to them to get after it. Still good arrows.

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#83 StHenriOilBomb
April 06 2013, 11:12PM
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Mac962 wrote:

zzzzzzzz is right. How little you know , tsk tsk. If you only knew.

Go away little Boy. Or better yet come and shine my shoes You probably need the cash don't you ?

Enough of you.

Mom still doing ok ? lol.....

zzzzzzzzzzzzzz......

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#84 Walter Sobchak
April 07 2013, 03:10AM
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Rocket wrote:

Wow that sucks. I don't always agree with your posts but you should still be able to share your opinion freely.

@Sammy: I think fans are pretty frustrated watching The Oilers get dominated in games again & are taking it out on each other. Stay classy Oiler fans.

^ This

@ DSF

Sorry to hear about this, Last time I checked this was a fundamental freedom of ours.

We all need to be better.

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#85 andrewmk20
April 07 2013, 06:30AM
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@NewAgeSys

Yeah you use a thesaurus, that's quite impressive. Using big words does not make your argument more effective, it's just pretentious.

The fact is simple the Oilers just need to be smarter about their zone entries. They need someone who already has forward momentum through the neutral zone before dumping in the puck because without that pressure the goalie and dmen can simply get behind the net and move the puck out without pressure. Too often the Oilers aren't set before the dump in. They need to look up the definition of dump and chase, they seem to only have the first part down.

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#86 RDS
April 07 2013, 09:09AM
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Looks like we are all a little grouchy after having our hopes dashed. I agree with the poster who said this summer will be key. Management must see what we are missing and have to make the right moves. That is why they make the big bucks. To sit back and do nothing is worse than making the wrong move.

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#87 The Soup Fascist
April 07 2013, 11:25AM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

^ This

@ DSF

Sorry to hear about this, Last time I checked this was a fundamental freedom of ours.

We all need to be better.

Free DSF?

While I disagree with many of DSF's views, get annoyed by his fact twisting and circular arguments and think his intent is more often to aggravate than debate - he should have every opportunity to do it.

He isn't overtly abusive to anyone and can be entertaining. He is like the "heel" in wrestling. You love to hate him but in the end he makes the "show" better. The old adage, " I hate what he says, but I defend his right to say it" comes to mind.

I suppose the blog managers can do what they want as they pay the bills but think it was a step backwards to ban a guy, even for a day - just because he annoys people.

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#88 Rama Lama
April 07 2013, 12:22PM
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Why cant we all just get along?

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#89 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
April 07 2013, 04:20PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

Why cant we all just get along?

im allergic. sorry.

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#90 Ryan2
April 07 2013, 06:25PM
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DSF wrote:

He's got all of 11 points and is -4.

Not much to get excited about.

And here are the stats for DSF's boy wonder, Mikael Granlund, from Minny this season:

20GP 1G 5A 6TP -3

A ton to get excited about there, right?

While I agree with some of your comments, you need to give it up on MPS already. It is funny how you are willing to give the benefit of the doubt to a a small (5'10", 180lb) 21 year old center with average (being generous here) speed and no physicality, while still harping on MPS as, at the over the hill old age of 21, he is showing that he is learning how to play in the show.

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