GDB 43.0: Improve at Home

Jason Gregor
January 10 2017 01:30PM

Cam

(photoshop: @NewfieMikey)

The Oilers have nine home victories, the fewest of any Western Conference playoff team. The good news is their 12 road victories are the most in the Western Conference. But as they begin a six-game home stand tonight against the San Jose Sharks, the Oilers are focused on improving their record in the Ice District.

The Oilers have had home success against Western Conference opponents, going 6-2-2, and as they enter the second half of the season divisional games become even more important. The Oilers are 3-1-1 at home versus the Pacfic, with victories over Calgary, Los Angeles and Anaheim, an OT loss to Vancouver and a regulation loss to Arizona.

They host the Sharks for the first time this season tonight, and first place is on the line. That is not a misprint. A game in Edmonton, in January, for first place in the division. My, how times have changed, Oilersnation.

The Sharks and Anaheim Ducks have 50 points while the Oilers are one back with 49. These teams battled on December 23rd in San Jose with the Sharks winning 3-2 in OT. Much of the chatter from the Oilers dressing room this morning focused on them becoming a better home team. They need better starts, and they need to attack the Sharks more than they did 18 days ago.

The Oilers had a season high six PP chances in San Jose, but their PP only generated five shots in 12 minutes of PP time.

The Oilers are 14-2-3 when they score a PP goal, and they are 9-12-4 when they don't. The Sharks are 14-5-0 when they score a PP goal and 10-9-2 when their PP shoots blanks.

Scoring on the PP has lead to much more success for both teams, where as both have been able to overcome allowing a PP marker. Edmonton is 8-7-2 when they surrender a powerplay goal, while San Jose is also 8-7-2. 

Unlike past seasons, these teams are evenly matched.

The Oilers are 10th in GF/G at 2.81, the Sharks are 19th at 2.58.
San Jose is 4th in GA/G at 2.25 and Edmonton sits 13th at 2.62.
Edmonton's PP is 10th at 21.2% and San Jose is 21st at 16.4%.
The Sharks PK is 11th at 83% while the Oilers are 19th at 80.6%.
The Oilers are +5 in 5x5 GF/GA ratio, while the Sharks are +7.

The one obvious difference is shots against. Cam Talbot, 37, and Martin Jones, 35, have started the most games in the NHL, but Talbot has faced 209 more shots. The Sharks surrender the second fewest shots per game, 26.8, and the Oilers will need to protect the puck better tonight than they did in San Jose, maintain possession and generate more shots and chances against Jones.

LINEUP

Oilers

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Jordan Eberle was back with RNH and Lucic today, while Kassian slid down with Caggiula and Pouliot. Slepyshev was the extra forward.

Brandon Davidson still isn't ready so it'll be the same D pairs as last game, and Talbot starts.

Sharks

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The Sharks get a big boost with the return of Olympian Marc-Edouard Vlasic. He's missed a few games with fractures in his face.

QUICK HITS

  • Unlike most West teams the Sharks have dominated the Eastern conference, 15-6-0, but they are only 9-8-2 versus the West. They are 2-2 versus the Ducks, 1-1-1 versus the Coyotes, 2-1-1 versus the Kings, 1-1 versus the Flames and 1-0 versus Edmonton. The Sharks are a team the Oilers can beat if they play well.

  • Joe Thornton needs 12 assists to reach 1000 in his career and he'll become only the 13th player in NHL history to accomplish that amazing feat. Wayne Gretzky (1963), Ron Francis (1249), Mark Messier (1193), Ray Bourque (1169), Jaromir Jagr (1137), Paul Coffey (1135), Adam Oates (1079), Steve Yzerman (1063), Gordie Howe (1049), Marcel Dionne (1040), Mario Lemieux (1033) and Joe Sakic (1016) are the others.

    Thornton is a guaranteed Hall of Fame player, and if he plays another three seasons (he's looking for a three-year deal from the Sharks), he should reach 1100 assists.

  • Brent Burns has 15 goals and 39 points. The rest of the Sharks defence has 11 goals and 48 points. He is a such a dynamic player and the Oilers must be aware of him in all three zones.

  • Not surprisingly Jonas Gustavsson cleared waivers. He'll be the backup tonight, while Laurent Brossoit starts in the AHL. McLellan said a decision will be made after the game. I think we can assume that means Brossoit comes up and Gustavsson goes down.

  • Martin Jones got the nod in goal over Cam Talbot for the All-Star team. You could make a strong argument Talbot deserves it more, facing 209 more shots and having a better SV%, .920 to .917. It sucks for Talbot, but it likely is good for the Oilers with Talbot getting more rest over All-Star weekend. Mike Smith was the other goalie. Arizona needed someone to represent them and it was Smith.

  • I think the NHL should strongly consider going with the best eleven players from each division, and not worry about a representative from each team. The All-Star game result means little, the game is just for fun, but the best players should be in it, not one from each team. I've never liked the rule and with Vegas entering the league next year it will make having a Vegas player on the team even more ridiculous.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING...

From Fear the Fin

It’s hard to figure out exactly what the best lines are for Edmonton because Todd McLellan likes to blend lines in Alberta just as much as he did in San Jose. Maroon has spend time with Connor McDavid, Jordan Eberle and Leon Draisaitl — sometimes with two of the aforementioned three. And Edmonton can’t resist sending Milan Lucic out on the top line with McDavid, despite his skillset being better suited to a third-line role.

That gives San Jose an advantage, of course. McDavid took the Sharks’ lunch money in their last meeting by embarrassing Joe Thornton and company with his speed, but keeping a hit-first player like Lucic out there helps mitigate the damage. That might change with Timo Meier on the ice, but McDavid is going to be the best player in the NHL before his career is over, so expect the Sharks to take the L while he’s on the ice.

TONIGHT

GDB

(photoshop: @TomKostiuk)

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers win their 10th home game of the season and hand the Sharks their 10th regulation road loss. Oilers win 4-2.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Thornton picks up an assist. In 55 regular season games versus the Oilers he has 11-50-61. He's had five three-point games, 16 two-point games and 14 one-point games. He loves playing the Oilers.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Mark Letestu has zero goals in eight Tuesday games this year. However, he has 10 career points in 14 games versus the Sharks. He breaks his Tuesday drought with a goal tonight.

Recently by Jason Gregor:       

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  • 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
    Avatar
    #51 chickenStew
    January 10 2017, 04:38PM
    Trash it!
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    Jay (not J) wrote:

    Don't just b!tch. Petition!

    http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/replace-drew-remenda

    Sorry Jay, but something like that is completely useless.

    If you are passionate about change, you have to hit them in the wallet. That is the only language big business speaks.. and Rogers is big business.

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    #52 Rhettimus1
    January 10 2017, 04:42PM
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    "the Oilers are focused on improving their record in the Ice District."

    Should read "in Ice District." :) Go Oil!

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    #53 Oilfaninvan
    January 10 2017, 04:43PM
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    Let's have some secondary (second line) scoring tonight please

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    Keepyourstickontheice wrote:

    Let's go Oil, beat those ZZ Top cosplayers!

    Awesome. They'll be singing "He's got legs" when Connor blows by.

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    #55 BobbyCanuck
    January 10 2017, 04:55PM
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    The older I get, the better I was... wrote:

    Going to be a tough game to watch on TV with Remenda having a love fest with his Sharks....

    I do not mind Remenda's commentaries, he sheds some interesting light on the trials/tribulations/anecdotes of whomever we are playing, we get enough homer news about the Oilers, do not need it for the entire game as well.

    That being said, I discovered the Remenda sweet spot and so can you, this is how it works

    The play by play is a few decibels higher than the colour commentary

    Play with your tv volume, you will find that at a certain volume, you can hear the play-by-play reasonably well, but if you want to hear the colour commentary, you have to strain your ears a bit.

    What happens is that if you do not want to listen to Remenda, you will not be able too as your ears have to really concentrate to hear what he is saying

    Try it out!

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    #56 S cottV
    January 10 2017, 05:09PM
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    Too bad that Kass couldn't generate enough offense with Lucic / Nuge.

    McL doesn't give much time before hitting the blender button and I think it's over done. Interesting the SJ comments would indicate some frustration with McL over the same issue, when he was with the Sharks.

    I really don't like Lucic - Nuge - Eberle. You have to keep the puck in the o zone, for Lucic to be effective. Nuge and Eberle are both rush oriented guys. Lucic is a big fish outta water, having to skate 200 ft north and south laps.

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    #57 Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"
    January 10 2017, 05:12PM
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    Not sure what those players do during the 10 min pre game time but they need to change it up. Eat some prairie Oysters, punch a replica of Harvey The Hound on the way out the gate. Take Viagra! Just get up for the game!!!

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    #58 OilersGM
    January 10 2017, 05:16PM
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    I think Talbot should've been an all star ahead of Mike Smith, they should've took OEL from the desert dogs.

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    #59 Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"
    January 10 2017, 05:21PM
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    Big Jacks Meat wrote:

    If attacked BY A SHARK what do you do . Punch it in the face repeatedly.

    Get my drift ? Rumble in our jungle.

    If you turn a Shark over on its back and rub it's belly it is so disorientated it will lay there peacefully till spring.

    Not sure what you do with all those lumps under the ice though!

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    #60 Canoe Ride 27.1
    January 10 2017, 05:22PM
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    The older I get, the better I was... wrote:

    Going to be a tough game to watch on TV with Remenda having a love fest with his Sharks....

    Just have the mute button handy at the whistles.

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    #61 tileguy
    January 10 2017, 05:23PM
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    Now remember the tidbit Drew pointed out how the Sharks like to quickly pressure the man with the puck on the penalty kill, let's see if Woodcroft has designed a pp to beat that.

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    #62 Total Points
    January 10 2017, 05:43PM
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    chickenStew wrote:

    Sorry Jay, but something like that is completely useless.

    If you are passionate about change, you have to hit them in the wallet. That is the only language big business speaks.. and Rogers is big business.

    Last year I sent an e-mail to Rogers about George S.

    I send 2 e-mails last year and 1 e-mail this year regarding a microphone in the post game presser with Todd M.

    Both were changed. Not sure how much my little effort had to do with it but both were changed.

    Even got an e-mail back from the Oilers regarding the microphone.

    They listen to e-mails more than most people think

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    #63 @Hallsy4
    January 10 2017, 06:11PM
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    Thanks for the read GREGS. Hope for a win tonight brother.

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    #64 OriginalPouzar
    January 10 2017, 06:16PM
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    The time has come to start to become a dominant team at home.

    Its great that we have had such a nice season on the road but we need to play better at home and make Rogers Place a tougher building to come in to and get points.

    Lots of up arrows this year so far and its time for the home record to become an up arrow.

    For this team to truly turn the corner, they must become better at home.

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    #65 BlueHairedApe
    January 10 2017, 06:44PM
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    Does anyone know the reason why Gustafson was put on waivers two days ago?? Just kidding but why put him on waivers and then keep him in the lineup? Was it just to keep the fans and media at bay or are they trying to humiliate this guy in front of the home crowd? I don't get it.

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    #66 Finnish Oiler fan in Edmonton89
    January 10 2017, 06:44PM
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    Total Points wrote:

    Last year I sent an e-mail to Rogers about George S.

    I send 2 e-mails last year and 1 e-mail this year regarding a microphone in the post game presser with Todd M.

    Both were changed. Not sure how much my little effort had to do with it but both were changed.

    Even got an e-mail back from the Oilers regarding the microphone.

    They listen to e-mails more than most people think

    God I hated George Strompawompapilousousas

    I don't even care about Remenda the way some people around here do

    But George S would throw me into a rage

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    #67 ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
    January 10 2017, 07:10PM
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    Best introduction to an anthem I've heard in a while: Remenda starts talking and they cut his mic to play the anthem.

    I think I'll watch the San Jose feed just to get a little more balanced commentary.

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    #68 tileguy
    January 10 2017, 07:10PM
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    C'mon Gene, it was "what an ULTRA maroon"

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    #69 Mitch92
    January 10 2017, 07:13PM
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    Reg Dunlop wrote:

    Pavelski is always a thorn in our sides. I want to see the Oil tackle him at every opportunity, like teams tackle McDavid without penalty. Thornton and Marleau are too old and slow to be a concern but that Pavelski... he is a problem. Of course, the biggest problem will be listening to Remenda.

    Going out on a limb... Oil win 3-2 in regulation.

    Pavelski is a problem but I am more concerned about that firestarter Brent Burns.

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    #70 chickenStew
    January 10 2017, 07:14PM
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    Total Points wrote:

    Last year I sent an e-mail to Rogers about George S.

    I send 2 e-mails last year and 1 e-mail this year regarding a microphone in the post game presser with Todd M.

    Both were changed. Not sure how much my little effort had to do with it but both were changed.

    Even got an e-mail back from the Oilers regarding the microphone.

    They listen to e-mails more than most people think

    You're right. Personal communication is listened to. You are a consumer. One who takes the time to voice your concerns. Mention a sponsor or two and you get their attention teally quickly :)

    My point about the petition stands. It isn't the consumer anymore (in the PR world). Easy to sign, easy to ignore. Plus it doesn't get to the right eyeballs.

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    #71 Butters
    January 10 2017, 07:14PM
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    Gorddammit

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    #72 Dolby
    January 10 2017, 07:18PM
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    Ebs has some jump....hahahahaahahahahahaha...

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    #73 3 Little Birds
    January 10 2017, 07:21PM
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    Come on PP time to even this up and change the momentum.

    Not a strong start at home...

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    #74 Momay_Phudian
    January 10 2017, 07:27PM
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    I fcuking hate the oilers power play!!! Why the fcuk hasn't Woodcroft been fired yet?

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    #75 @Hallsy4
    January 10 2017, 07:28PM
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    Good guy GREGS what's with the PP brother it's terrible you suck

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    #76 Finnish Oiler fan in Edmonton89
    January 10 2017, 07:35PM
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    Another win for Russell against analytics

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    #77 Mitch92
    January 10 2017, 07:37PM
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    The Count!

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    #78 nrXic
    January 10 2017, 07:41PM
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    I was watching Pouliot like a hawk that shift...he didn't look sharp but he kept his legs moving, getting into battles...while he couldn't outright win a battle he caused enough trouble that made things hard for the opposition...just play like that and I'm happy.

    I should probably expect more from his pay grade but at this stage I'm an easy to please fan I guess. :P

    If that line could pay like that all night that'd be greeeat.

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    #79 Anton CP
    January 10 2017, 07:41PM
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    You can almost tell that Remenda just come when he was talking about Thornton's penalty.

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    #80 Mitch92
    January 10 2017, 07:45PM
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    Damn caveman!

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    #81 @Hallsy4
    January 10 2017, 07:46PM
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    What the hell boys cm on Griggs!

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    #82 Anton CP
    January 10 2017, 08:05PM
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    A new drinking game: whenever Remenda mentioning Joe Thornton's name, take a shot.

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    #83 Petrolero
    January 10 2017, 08:07PM
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    I bet remenda slides his hands under his pants every time he talks about the sharks.

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    #84 Momay_Phudian
    January 10 2017, 08:08PM
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    Talbot ... once a backup always a backup. Yeah he shows moments of brilliance from time to time but let's admit it, he's not a true #1.

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    #85 Finnish Oiler fan in Edmonton89
    January 10 2017, 08:08PM
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    Talbot looked like the Monster on that 3rd goal

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    #86 Anton CP
    January 10 2017, 08:10PM
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    @Finnish Oiler fan in Edmonton89

    We must have watched a different game, what I saw was Pouliot turned over behind the net then failed to cover an open man after.

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    #87 Reg Dunlop
    January 10 2017, 08:10PM
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    Finnish Oiler fan in Edmonton89 wrote:

    Talbot looked like the Monster on that 3rd goal

    True, but that give away by Pouliot was BRUTAL. Why he suits up is a mystery.

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    #88 Mitch92
    January 10 2017, 08:11PM
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    We want Gus, we want Gus! I kid, I kid!

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    #89 Petrolero
    January 10 2017, 08:12PM
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    Remendar just said: "this power play needs to get the sharks back in the game".

    I spit on your face you stupid, seriously that turd needs to go.

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    #90 Momay_Phudian
    January 10 2017, 08:13PM
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    McDavid needs to cleanup up his finish around the net.

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    #91 Anton CP
    January 10 2017, 08:14PM
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    Remenda give it up already, the Sharks will not hire you back no matter how much you kiss up to their ass.

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    #92 OldOilerFan
    January 10 2017, 08:15PM
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    Early goal in first. Late goal in first. early goal in 2ns. These are habits i was hoping we were over. Hope Pouliot sits again after that giveaway.

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    #93 OldOilerFan
    January 10 2017, 08:20PM
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    Throws remote ....

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    #94 Mitch92
    January 10 2017, 08:20PM
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    Gee, that was a long delay to clean up all those hats.

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    #95 Anton CP
    January 10 2017, 08:22PM
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    That was a good tip-in...oh well.

    Think it would be less frustrating if not having Remenda doing the commentating.

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    #96 OTOF2
    January 10 2017, 08:22PM
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    How many does Sadbot have to let in before giving Gus a chance to redeem himself?

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    #97 madjam
    January 10 2017, 08:22PM
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    Game over .

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    #98 Cain
    January 10 2017, 08:22PM
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    Momay_Phudian wrote:

    McDavid needs to cleanup up his finish around the net.

    My, but you're working hard tonight you little troll...

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    #99 HardBoiledOil 1.0
    January 10 2017, 08:23PM
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    OldOilerFan wrote:

    Throws remote ....

    ya, i just shut it off and now doing other things. they are whipped !

    "Improve At Home"....not tonight !

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    #100 Petrolero
    January 10 2017, 08:23PM
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    It's going to be hilarious if they pull talbot on the day the monster clears waivers

    Comments are closed for this article.