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:       

  • Oilers 1st quarter vs. 2nd quarter
  • Taylor Hall set to face his former team
  • GDB 40.0: Bounce back in Boston
  • GDB 39.0: Striving to break the streak
  • Chiarelli deserves credit: Oilers are more than McDavid 
  • GDB 37.0: King Nothing
  • Sekera, Puljujarvi, Caggiula and a Big Thank You
  • 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 The older I get, the better I was...
    January 10 2017, 01:54PM
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    Going to be a tough game to watch on TV with Remenda having a love fest with his Sharks....

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    #2 mithaman
    January 10 2017, 01:39PM
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    MAROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON. Glad Puljaarvi is finally in the AHL.

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    #3 TruthHurts98
    January 10 2017, 01:39PM
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    If they can generate shots and possession like the last 2 games it will be a good game. Yes SJ is better than Ottawa and NJ, but when the Oilers come with passion and grit they are hard to stop. Hope Patty Maroon lights the lamp again!!

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    #4 Natejax97
    January 10 2017, 01:44PM
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    Who is the backup goalie tonight?

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    #5 Keepyourstickontheice
    January 10 2017, 02:49PM
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    Let's go Oil, beat those ZZ Top cosplayers!

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    #6 Big Jacks Meat
    January 10 2017, 02:47PM
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    PS - looch , this is why we got you , for games such as this. Do what you do Brutha.

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    #7 Dinojr
    January 10 2017, 02:14PM
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    How awkward must it be for Gusthjgkfhgkjdf to still be in that locker room right now

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    #8 OldOilerFan
    January 10 2017, 01:49PM
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    I gotta say, I get tired of the line blender sometimes. I actually liked Hendricks, Letestu, and Kassian as a line. Sigh. As long as he doesn't change the top line.

    Let's go boyz! Second half push starts tonight!

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    #9 Big Jacks Meat
    January 10 2017, 01:46PM
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    The Oilers seem to get up for games against the big boys. They need to realize they are now a growing teenager and not the nerdy kid that gets his lunch money taken day in and day out.

    The teenage is getting bigger and tougher and cockier , not a man yet but very close.

    Pay attention Sharks , you are the old withering Dad , [ Like Me ] The kid can kick your butt now if you are not looking.

    Edmonton Oilers- They are coming.

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    #10 Muddy
    January 10 2017, 09:36PM
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    Momay_Phudian wrote:

    I think it's time to throw a jersey on the ice.

    Don't be an idiot

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    #11 Bills Bills
    January 10 2017, 02:42PM
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    I still believe each team should be represented at the all star game. Even the worst team in the league has fans and those fans deserve to have an all star on their team. Does it mean that maybe a better player doesn't go? Maybe but the game is for the fans, not for the players. Yes players are excited to be named and can get bonuses but again, players are paid because of the fans. So make sure every team in the league has their fans represented.

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    #12 Natejax97
    January 10 2017, 01:43PM
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    Goooooooooo Oilers!!!!!

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    #13 Reg Dunlop
    January 10 2017, 02:04PM
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    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.

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    #14 tileguy
    January 10 2017, 02:20PM
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    "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"

    Well he is half right, Lucic is a second line player in charge of protecting baby Nuge and Ebbs, let's hope he does his job.

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    #15 Trainreck Is Over??
    January 10 2017, 03:25PM
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    TeddyTurnbuckle wrote:

    Thought Gus was sent down?

    Condors did not want him either!

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    #16 Big Jacks Meat
    January 10 2017, 02:45PM
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    When needed Lucic will be there with a timely goal,busting a head , crashing he crease. May be too much of a contract but 25 teams would have been after him. Be glad he is ours.

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    #17 Derian Hatcher
    January 10 2017, 09:12PM
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    Oh my goodness Remenda give it a rest. Your man crush on the sharks is pathetic. Isn't that the organization that let you go? "It could have been a penalty shot" Go pound sand.

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    #18 Chaz
    January 10 2017, 03:07PM
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    It appears that The Decade of Darkness is behind us. IMO, One of the most painful aspects of it was a constant feeling of helplessness watching the Mighty Oil falter and fall in the standings knowing the only resolution was patience and hope for a brighter future. Well that future is now, and anyone attending home games during this upcoming stand has an opportunity to be part of the solution.

    The new rink is too quiet and I think it's because we are nervous and unsure how to deal with actually being in the playoff discussion past Halloween. Our home record is not good enough and Oiler nation it's time to look in the mirror and realize we haven't done our part to ensure our boys are tougher to face at home. Here's what I humbly suggest to anyone stepping foot in the Silver Pork Chop during this home stand:

    Be loud, be proud, be hostile to the visitors, support our guys and let them know we have their backs, cheer like you've never cheered before, berate and disrespect opposing players at every opportunity, stomp your feet, bang the glass, let the entire God-damned league know this team this city and this rink is for real. Remind our team how much they mean to us and that we'll go to hell and back with them for a home win. This is our chance to shed the stink off of us from the past ten years. 8-9 points on this 6 game homestand will go a long was to cement a playoff birth. I implore you to do whatever you can do to help the cause Oil nation.

    Just don't be that DB who stands turns around and waves to the camera as the play enters the end where u r sitting. Please don't be that guy.

    GOil!!!!

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    #19 DieHartOiler
    January 10 2017, 01:58PM
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    when it comes to GDB's, I mostly enjoy Jason's. Post game its the baggedmilk ONLY!!!!

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    #20 giddy
    January 10 2017, 03:03PM
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    Keepyourstickontheice wrote:

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

    Okay, I've never heard that one and it's funny.

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    #21 Spydyr
    January 10 2017, 09:28PM
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    I think Nuge needs to grow a Burns beard.

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    #22 Muddy
    January 10 2017, 09:46PM
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    Momay_Phudian wrote:

    Mark my words, oilers are going to miss the playoffs because of games like this.

    Fair enough but if your mentality is to throw a jersey on the ice when we are in 3rd place in the west then maybe you should change your name to "Oilerskinda4everbutnotreally"

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    #23 dolenator
    January 10 2017, 02:09PM
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    Loved the lunch money comment. Its been a long time since a oiler took someone's lunch money never mind the other team admitting it. Go oilers let's hope the 3rd line can hold there own.

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    #24 notarealdoctor
    January 10 2017, 03:33PM
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    It's ridiculous to blame the fans for poor home shows. A more pertinent problem is the ice. How can we have poor ice in a brand new building? Inexcusable. That and Remenda. Always Remenda.

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    #25 Chilly Canadian
    January 10 2017, 02:01PM
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    Natejax97 wrote:

    Who is the backup goalie tonight?

    Backup is Gus. Brossoit plays tonight in Bakersfield, decision will be made after the game.

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    #26 Dolby
    January 10 2017, 09:23PM
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    Reg Dunlop wrote:

    Oilers are going to lose this game but they have shown that they are finally in the same league as elite teams like the Sharks. This is one morale victory I can live with. They just got out-goalied.

    enough with the moral victories, time to start winning some games at home.

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    #27 Anton CP
    January 10 2017, 08:30PM
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    Anyone knows if we can directly call to sportsnet to complain about Remenda? That baldy troll is annoy, someone from Sharks called him as "Trump without hair".

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    #28 oilersfan30
    January 10 2017, 08:40PM
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    Dolby wrote:

    we've all seen this game before, brutal effort, could be worse though, could be at the game

    Idk about you, but im seeing a different game. Good effort by the Oilers, but unfortunately Martin Jones showed up to play tonight

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    #29 Reg Dunlop
    January 10 2017, 09:20PM
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    Oilers are going to lose this game but they have shown that they are finally in the same league as elite teams like the Sharks. This is one morale victory I can live with. They just got out-goalied.

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    #30 Heavy Stick
    January 10 2017, 02:06PM
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    OK can somebody NOT named Maroon score. This is not sustainable.

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    #31 Oilcounty88
    January 10 2017, 02:12PM
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    This is a game we really need McDavid at his finest. Sharks have a lot of depth at D and I think it's going to be difficult for the bottom half of the lineup to put up those secondary points.

    Biggest game of the season thus far.

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    #32 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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    #33 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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    #34 Anton CP
    January 10 2017, 09:06PM
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    Funny about even after trail by 3 goals that I don't feel that all hopes are lost. It is a different team after all. Good effort to make a push for comeback.

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    #35 Momay_Phudian
    January 10 2017, 09:17PM
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    Jones ... now there's a #1 goalie.

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    #36 Big Jacks Meat
    January 10 2017, 03:46PM
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    Yeah , what is with the ice in the Palace ?

    It should be cut and groomed for Connor. If they cant do it , get rid of them and find someone who can glass it. 1.2 MPH faster for Connor equals ..well couldn't even explain warp factor 12.

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    #38 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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    #39 ¯\_(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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    #40 Not a First Tier Fan
    January 10 2017, 08:26PM
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    Well, Remenda will be happy going home tonight - even if no one else is... *sigh*

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    #41 Dolby
    January 10 2017, 08:31PM
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    we've all seen this game before, brutal effort, could be worse though, could be at the game

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    #42 Kaplan
    January 10 2017, 02:38PM
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    MARROOOOOON for the Hatrick in a 5-4 Oilers win. McDavid with a goal and assist, and RNH with a pair of assists. Let's give Benning another goal, too.

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    #43 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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    #44 Momay_Phudian
    January 10 2017, 09:37PM
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    Muddy wrote:

    Don't be an idiot

    Mark my words, oilers are going to miss the playoffs because of games like this.

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    #45 gretsky days...
    January 10 2017, 10:00PM
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    Its a sad day sad when the only way to enjoy a game is to turn off audio to eliminate Remenda...

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    #46 99CupsofCoffey
    January 10 2017, 03:38PM
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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....

    Ah, you had to go and say it....

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    #47 Not a First Tier Fan
    January 10 2017, 03:42PM
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    Big game tonight. Feels awesome to be saying that in January..

    Talbot is better...

    When grow up I want to be Paddy Maroon. Bet he gets all the babes.

    Hell yeah!

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    #48 Anton CP
    January 10 2017, 09:38PM
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    It is a tough loss to a good team.

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    #49 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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    #50 Momay_Phudian
    January 10 2017, 09:34PM
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    I think it's time to throw a jersey on the ice.

    Comments are closed for this article.