GDB 74.0: LAST CHANCE TO SEE A LEGEND

Jason Gregor
March 28 2014 12:15PM

Teemu Selanne burst onto the NHL scene on October 6th, 1992. He tallied two assists in his first game vs. Detroit, a 4-1 victory, then he scored his first goal two days later in San Jose and on October 14th he tallied his first hat-trick against, you guessed it, the Edmonton Oilers.

In only his 5th NHL game, Selanne had his first of 22 hat tricks. Selanne has 49 goals and 91 career points in 82 games against Edmonton, but in his rookie season he absolutely dominated the Oilers. Selanne had 7 goals and 19 points in 9 games (yes, they played 9 games in one year) as the Jets went 8-1 against Edmonton.

Even though he's lit up the Oilers over the years, I've yet to find an Oiler fan who doesn't like Selanne. He is truly one of the greatest players the NHL has ever seen and tonight could be the last time Oilers fans get to watch him live.

I know the Ducks are back in Edmonton on April 6th, but Selanne might not play that night. The Ducks play in Vancouver tomorrow, and then they play in Vancouver again on April 7th. Selanne is playing tonight, but he will sit out tomorrow, and I'm guessing he will sit in Edmonton on the 6th and play in Vancouver on the 7th.

The Ducks have played 10 sets of back-to-back games so far and Selanne has only played in both games once, and I doubt we see him play both next week, so if you want to see The Finnish Flash one final time in Edmonton, I recommend going tonight.

Selanne is a guaranteed Hall of Famer, but he is a better person than he is a player. He is extremely genuine. I've spoke to thousands of visiting team players over the years, and none have been as nice as Selanne. He treats everyone with respect, and 22 years after he entered the league he is still extremely excited to come to the rink, hangout with his teammates, talk to the media and play the game. I'm not sure I'll meet another player who matches Selanne's class and grace. He is a true gentleman.

Even though he's lost half a step, he is still one of the best skaters in the league, and I hope we see a few flashes of brilliance tonight.

Andrew Ference mentioned the element of Selanne's game that likely gets overlooked,"He comes right back at you if you hit him or stand up on him or try to be tough on him in the corners. He doesn't back away or shy away from driving the net or hitting you back or getting in on the forecheck or even giving you a quick little shot. You don't score that many points without earning your space on the ice, and you were never going to get the upperhand on him competitive-wise."

The young Oilers should read that quote, and then blow it up and put it on their fridge so they can read it every day. I find Hall is the closest one to having that style of game, but all of the Oilers skilled forwards must learn that you need to battle all the time if you want to be an elite, consistent scorer in the NHL.

You will notice Dallas Eakins was on the ice for Selanne's record-breaking goal and he actually dropped the glove that Selanne tossed. "For me it was a Forrest Gump moment, what am I doing there," said Eakins. Tie Domi assisted on the goal, so that is two guys you wouldn't expect to be on the ice during that play.

LINEUP

Hall-Gagner-Perron
Lander-RNH-Eberle
Hendricks-Gordon-Pitlick
Gazdic-Smyth-Jones

Ference-Petry
Klefbom-Schultz
Marincin-Belov

Scrivens

Gagner didn't practice yesterday, but he'll play tonight. This has been a season to forget for Gagner, and he's trying desperately to end the season with a glimpse of positivity. He needs to find his game soon.

Klefbom will move to his natural left side and play with Schultz. I think Schultz has improved a lot away from the puck the last few months. I've watched him closely in the defensive end, and while he'll never be a shut down guy he has become better positionally. Klefbom is the steady defensive guy and the Oilers are hoping they can become a solid pairing in the future.

Belov has played the right side before and he told me he is comfortable playing either side, so he'll play with Marincin.

COGLIANO...

Andrew+Cogliano+Anaheim+Ducks+v+Chicago+Blackhawks+Q2Av3alwuyYl

Andrew Cogliano has 21 goals, and all of them are at ES. Brad Marchand has 21 goals and they are the only two players in the NHL with 21 or more goals, but none on the PP. Cogliano has flourished since moving to the wing and I asked him why he thinks he's having more success not playing centre.

"Wing gives me the opportunity to be ahead of the play more, be first on the forecheck and not have do as much down low in D zone. I also don't have to focus on faceoffs and use a lot of energy in the dot. I'm able to anticipate where pucks are going more from the wing and I can use my speed more to get to pucks."

He admitted that when he was in Edmonton he felt he was better suited to play centre. "I was stubborn, I thought I'd never get the puck with speed if I played the wing, but that isn't the case. The wing is better for me. I've had to play centre a few shifts this year, and to be honest, now I hate it."

Cogliano isn't very big, but he forechecks hard and his speed allows him to get on D-men quickly, pressure them and often that leads to turnovers. Cogliano also shared with me that he changed up his off-season routine this past summer.

"I worked a lot on the mental side of the game this off season. I worked on getting my confidence back, believing I could make plays and score. It has worked very well. I feel like I'm hungrier to score now. I believe I can do it," Cogliano explained.

The mental part of the game is huge, but it is something that can't be tracked in stats or by simply watching the game. It is the huge wildcard in sports, and it will always have a major impact on how players perform regardless of what we see or track.

Cogliano is 3rd on the Ducks in shots on goal this year. He is getting more chances, but he said much of that is a direct result of the mental work he did this summer. He believes he can score so he is wiling to shoot more.

TONIGHT....

octane

GAME DAY PREDICTION: Ducks win 4-3. Selanne scores his 50th career goal vs. the Oilers and the fans give him a standing ovation.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Cogliano, a former Oiler, scores his 22nd of the season and takes over the lead for most ES goals without a PP goal.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers manage two powerplay goals. They haven't scored two PP goals in a game since January 26th.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR:

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
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 RexHolez
March 28 2014, 12:21PM
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best thing about being an oiler fan?... watching the other teams play

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#2 27Ginge
March 28 2014, 12:34PM
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If you've got a problem with Teemu. You've got a problem with your self.

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#3 baggedmilk
March 28 2014, 12:34PM
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My missus is going to the game tonight and she's got a perfect loss record of 0-15. That's got to change at some point, right? RIGHT!?!

*sigh*

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#4 Naky
March 28 2014, 02:34PM
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Really? People are going to wax poetic about losing Cogliano now? Really? I remember these comments section when he was around and he was easily one of the biggest whipping boys around here. Cogliano joins a long list of players of the likes of Torres, Stoll, Greene, etc. who were strapped up by the wrists by fans and begged to be moved for a bag of pucks only to turn into fine players that this team actually requires right now down the line.

But of course, -you- weren't one of those people, right? No, sirree! *trashes comment to hide feelings of guilt* See? Always wanted him here, cried for days when he was gone.

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#5 james_dean
March 28 2014, 05:13PM
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I bought the ex a cogs jersey in 09.

She text me today sayin shes wearin it to the game tonight.

Hopefully this new guy is rich. She drinks ALOT

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#6 The Sultan
March 28 2014, 01:10PM
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I believe Cogs ironman streak was at 587 straight games when the Ducks played the Flames. Why did the Oilers trade this guy again?

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#7 watkinator
March 28 2014, 02:39PM
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Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

If I recall correctly, at the time Gags did look to be the better player than Cogs, let's not get too misty eyed about the past. I believe many people here referred to him as the second coming of Marchant: speed for days, hands of granite.

That being said, ask me who I'd rather have today.

Agreed except on that last part. Tell me, with a straight face, that you don't believe that if it was Gagner who went to the Ducks instead of Cogs that we'd be here thinking that we traded the right guy. A bunch of Gags problem (not all) is that he has only ever played for the Oil. If Cogs had never left we'd be talking about running him out of town instead.

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#8 Mason Storm
March 28 2014, 01:05PM
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"This has been a season to forget for Gagner, and he's trying desperately to end the season with a glimpse of positivity. He needs to find his game soon" He's only been looking for 8 seasons, I hope it turns up.

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#9 Shredder
March 28 2014, 01:04PM
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We traded the wrong smurf? Why am I not surprised.

Gagner to RW sounds about right. 2 seasons ago. That would put him on the 3rd line behind Ebs and Yak.

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#10 D-Unit
March 28 2014, 05:32PM
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Old Timer wrote:

The Oilers traded him because the fans demanded someone be traded to improve the team.

Kind of like when they demanded that Jason Arnott be traded.

Or when they demanded Jaret Stoll be traded.

Or when they demanded Gagner and Yak be traded.

The fans always know best don't they.

Well, first off as a fan, I do not know best.

Secondly, if the management could build a good team, in a reasonable amount of time, fans wouldn't be so demanding. Related to this point, a GM with a backbone should not be making trades because fans want them.

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#11 DrunkGuyTy
March 28 2014, 05:27PM
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What would it take to get her to throw her sweater on the ice?

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#12 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
March 28 2014, 02:22PM
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If I recall correctly, at the time Gags did look to be the better player than Cogs, let's not get too misty eyed about the past. I believe many people here referred to him as the second coming of Marchant: speed for days, hands of granite.

That being said, ask me who I'd rather have today.

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#13 Ari Gold
March 28 2014, 03:53PM
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I couldn't stand Cogs when he was an Oiler. I thought he was useless. The truth is, he was. Most players are useless when they play for the Oilers. Then they leave and turn into NHL players.

This organization is a black hole for talent.

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#14 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
March 28 2014, 01:03PM
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Cogs is one tough little SOB. Has he missed a game yet?

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#15 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
March 28 2014, 01:23PM
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@Bishai in the Benches

Best part of that picture is that her eyes talk to you.....and they're saying "put this on ...you're gonna need it".....

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#16 Oiler Al
March 28 2014, 02:01PM
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Got to salute Selanne, got a few miles on him , but can still score, and go the net. It all started in 92-93 @ Wpg, Jets, rookie of the year and 132 pts. WOW.

I think 92-93 was a benchmark for the OIlers,.. lowest number of points in a season : 60 pts - 26 wins.

PS. Re pix of Octane chick, dont recall seeing here in the line up with the Herfords.

PS 2. When Cogs went to Anaheim, at that time Gagner was more the keeper.. Maybe not so much now.

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#17 Zarny
March 28 2014, 07:46PM
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The lamenting over Cogs is bit comical considering he's only hit 40 pts once in his career despite never missing a game.

Gagner, by contrast, has topped 40 pts every season except last year where he had 38 pts in 48 games. That would be 2 more pts than Cogliano has this year in 72 games lol.

But perhaps Cogs can be a lesson for all those that have wet themselves this year. He's 26 now not 20-22. Surprise! His game has improved. Being in your prime will do that.

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#18 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
March 28 2014, 01:56PM
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He's not one of ours, so lets not get all googly about stuff that happened 20 yrs ago.

Only thing I want is to see Hendricks separate his head from his shoulders tonight. He's the friggen opponent tonight, treat him like one.

Bow down before the alter that is Teemu Selanne..........not. He's not one of ours/Oiler.

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#19 kale
March 28 2014, 07:54PM
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Zarny wrote:

The lamenting over Cogs is bit comical considering he's only hit 40 pts once in his career despite never missing a game.

Gagner, by contrast, has topped 40 pts every season except last year where he had 38 pts in 48 games. That would be 2 more pts than Cogliano has this year in 72 games lol.

But perhaps Cogs can be a lesson for all those that have wet themselves this year. He's 26 now not 20-22. Surprise! His game has improved. Being in your prime will do that.

Silly comparison given that Gagner gets the best minutes, power play etc and Cogliano plays on the third line

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#20 Benny Botts
March 28 2014, 04:02PM
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Ari Gold wrote:

I couldn't stand Cogs when he was an Oiler. I thought he was useless. The truth is, he was. Most players are useless when they play for the Oilers. Then they leave and turn into NHL players.

This organization is a black hole for talent.

~~Ya totally, same thing happened to Omark, belanger, Nielson, and the list goes on~~

Haha come man, get real. Thanks for making me laugh on a friday though.

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#21 Taylor Gang
March 28 2014, 01:11PM
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Thank you Gregor, I was saying the other day how Schultz' defensive play has definitely improved since the beginning of the season. Maybe there is still hope he can be a top 2 defender.

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#22 2015Playoffs?Nope!
March 28 2014, 02:41PM
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No chance this game is close. 6-1 Ducks

Selanne scores the last hat trick of his career. Against his old goaltender. And Fasth gets pulled.

NSOGDP: JSchults scores on his own net. On TSN, they argue how it is all Yakupovs fault. Dregger insists that Eakins did all he could for the troubled winger, and that its best for him to sit in the pressbox. In the offseason, Oilers trade Yak to Toronto for Reimer and future considerations. Dregger goes back on TV proclaiming the Maple Leafs the next big contender in sports as they just traded for "exactly what they need"

Oilers officially stop their streak of consecutive sell outs as even Master Katz isnt able to afford 12,000+ tickets a night to keep the streak going.

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#23 baggedmilk
March 28 2014, 02:43PM
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Bishai in the Benches wrote:

BM is your missus the one in the picture??

*drools *immediately fixes all the stuff in your house that you've wrecked

My missus is a saint and the most beautiful woman in the world! *please let her read the comments*

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#24 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
March 28 2014, 04:07PM
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Gagne I can understand, but Garner...?

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#25 D-Unit
March 28 2014, 05:27PM
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The Sultan wrote:

I believe Cogs ironman streak was at 587 straight games when the Ducks played the Flames. Why did the Oilers trade this guy again?

Regardless of why they traded him, would the Oilers be much better off if they didn't? I say no.

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#26 Czar
March 28 2014, 02:07PM
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Selanne was my last pick in our draft his rookie year, had it locked up by Christmas. He was my last pick this year, been out of the running since Christmas.

Sorry for getting all googly there QS

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#27 Dog Train
March 28 2014, 02:18PM
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Selanne's a gem for sure. I guess we couldn't have used Cogliano's 21 goals or his speed on the PK or his durability or his forechecking. I also love how he called his team out after they were blown out by the Flames a few weeks back. Getting rid of him was another one of the useless management decisions that bring us to where we are today.

Our record in the Pacific division is abysmal. I'm not expecting that to change tonight. Ducks win 5-2.

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#28 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
March 28 2014, 03:22PM
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This Bruce Urban character from the Rush. Does he think we were all born yesterday?

He's so envious of the crowds that the Buffalo and Colorado teams are getting. He mentions everything except the fact that ticket prices here in Edmonton are twice the price in those two other markets.

No wonder they can fill the building when the best seats there are 35.00 for the best seats in the house. Urban is gouging the Edmonton public for 70.00 for that same seat. Combined with the gouging that also happens to park your vehicle, as well as at the consessions. Good riddance Mr. "There are more important things than money". Your actions with the Rush scream the opposite.

Take a hike Mr. No playoff (home) games in 9 years.

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#29 ubermiguel
March 28 2014, 05:43PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

Anyone who understands the game knows that the most valuable asset a player can have is speed. Skill is useless if you just get caught up to all the time.

You never saw Brett Hull or Nick Lidstrom play did you? I'll take a player that knows how to position himself over a guy that needs to be fast because he's always in the wrong spot. Combining the two is ideal of course.

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#30 He Who Knows
March 28 2014, 06:31PM
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The Finnish Flash, one of the greats ever!

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#31 Oilcruzer
March 28 2014, 06:50PM
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I will be there just to salute a legend. Not many remember, he would have been an Oiler if Winnipeg didn't trade up at the last second, one spot ahead of Edmonton.

First ballot. No brainer.

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#32 wiseguy
March 28 2014, 09:51PM
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Rod from Viking wrote:

Mike Comrie wouldn't rebate part of his salary to be traded to Anaheim for Cory Perry. That was absolutely the worst and dumbest thing K-Lowe ever did, do you think he squirms a bit when the Oil play Anaheim or watches team Canada play.

Lowe doesn't squirm or regret any moves he's made or not made because there's only one man in hockey today that has more rings than he does. He's also built a roster that half the league would die to switch with.

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#33 Reg Dunlop
March 28 2014, 10:22PM
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Yes, I know the oil were outplayed much of the game. Outshot 2-1, I get it. But they battled, they didn`t mail in an effort like Saturday against calgary. I saw lots of positives now that my expectations have been tempered. Good job boys, next year thing will be different. Like George and Weezy, we be moving on up.

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#34 Old Timer
March 28 2014, 04:46PM
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The Sultan wrote:

I believe Cogs ironman streak was at 587 straight games when the Ducks played the Flames. Why did the Oilers trade this guy again?

The Oilers traded him because the fans demanded someone be traded to improve the team.

Kind of like when they demanded that Jason Arnott be traded.

Or when they demanded Jaret Stoll be traded.

Or when they demanded Gagner and Yak be traded.

The fans always know best don't they.

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#35 shanetrain
March 28 2014, 06:01PM
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You know Cogs is going to pot one tonight. It seems to be the Oiler way.

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#36 Jakester
March 28 2014, 06:02PM
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"Jeff in lethbridge" states that he wouldn't trade Paul Byron for yak.. Okay, I've officialy heard it all now.

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#37 vetinari
March 28 2014, 06:21PM
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Jakester wrote:

"Jeff in lethbridge" states that he wouldn't trade Paul Byron for yak.. Okay, I've officialy heard it all now.

Jeff is in Lethbridge, and not managing the Oilers, for a reason...

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#38 Kr55
March 28 2014, 01:18PM
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It's definitely all about what the other team is bringing to town these days to have motivation to go to Oiler games.

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#39 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
March 28 2014, 06:29PM
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@Jakester

If I'm thinking of the right guy, 'Jeff In Lethbridge' is as smart as your average Flames fan. So, you know, not.

Not to be confused with 'Rod From Viking', who usually posts good stuff.

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#40 Loweblows
March 28 2014, 07:46PM
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james_dean wrote:

I bought the ex a cogs jersey in 09.

She text me today sayin shes wearin it to the game tonight.

Hopefully this new guy is rich. She drinks ALOT

Anyone who watches the oilers should drink alot.

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#41 Rod from Viking
March 28 2014, 09:06PM
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Klefsbom looks better every shift, with a few more games under his belt he should pick up the physicality, I sure hope his injuries are behind him too.

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#42 Rod from Viking
March 28 2014, 09:23PM
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Mike Comrie wouldn't rebate part of his salary to be traded to Anaheim for Cory Perry. That was absolutely the worst and dumbest thing K-Lowe ever did, do you think he squirms a bit when the Oil play Anaheim or watches team Canada play.

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#43 Lochenzo
March 28 2014, 02:41PM
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Thanks for the reminder. didn't even occur to me that this might be the last game he laces up for in Edmonton.

Selanne is enough reason to cheer for the Ducks this post-season. A gentleman, a scholar and one helluva player.

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#44 Oilers Coffey
March 28 2014, 03:41PM
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Forest Forest Gump catches the magical glove! That's Eakins logic in a nut shell, he was more worried about the glove than celebrating the magic. Finish Flash finishes his career against the Oilers the way he started it with a hatty.

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#45 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
March 28 2014, 03:48PM
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@watkinator

I was going to argue, but then I thought about it and you're right. Cogs' supporting cast in Anaheim definitely doesn't hurt either.

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#46 TKB2677
March 28 2014, 03:56PM
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Gee, aren't Cogliano (when he was an Oiler) and Gagner almost twins? They are both small players who came into the league as "centers". Both struggle at faceoffs, both struggle with the responsibilities of the center and both are stubborn in the fact that they are reluctant to play the wing.

IN the brief times that Gagner "tried" playing wing, he didn't give it his best effort and admitted every time, he was "more comfortable" as a center even though he clearly doesn't have the skill set to be a good one.

It's too bad Gagner wouldn't do what Cogliano did and actually try playing wing. He might actual excel like Cogliano is doing now. Unfortunately for Cogliano, it took being traded and another team telling him he was a winger before it sunk in and he gave it a legit shot.

I'm going to assume that Gagner will be the same.

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#47 Zarny
March 28 2014, 07:50PM
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Total Points wrote:

Ducks score first Gagner missed his man. What else is new

Sorry bud, but that was Perron's man.

Or did you miss Perron's weak a** poke check on Bonino right before he scored?

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#48 Total Points
March 28 2014, 07:51PM
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Total Points wrote:

Ducks score first Gagner missed his man. What else is new

well at least Gag got it back. good job

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#49 Total Points
March 28 2014, 08:24PM
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Zarny wrote:

Sorry bud, but that was Perron's man.

Or did you miss Perron's weak a** poke check on Bonino right before he scored?

Gags went to the wall where Hall was. Gags should have stayed in the middle. Peron had the other wall

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#50 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
March 28 2014, 10:21PM
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Whoa, great footrace there from Hall and Cogs. I felt the wind from here.

Scrivens with the win.

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