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
    Avatar
    #1 Gravis82
    January 10 2017, 02:08PM
    Trash it!
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    There is not a single trash yet on any of the comments! All coming up roses right now

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    #2 Momay&Phudian
    January 10 2017, 09:34PM
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    I think it's time to throw a jersey on the ice.

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    #3 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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    #4 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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    #5 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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    #6 Momay&Phudian
    January 10 2017, 09:17PM
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    Jones ... now there's a #1 goalie.

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    #7 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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    #8 Momay&Phudian
    January 10 2017, 09:26PM
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    Has dumbfk TM heard of shortening the bench and going all out in offence mode to try to tie the game?

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    #9 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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    #10 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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    #11 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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    #12 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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    #13 Natejax97
    January 10 2017, 01:44PM
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    Who is the backup goalie tonight?

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    #14 TeddyTurnbuckle
    January 10 2017, 02:41PM
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    Thought Gus was sent down?

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    #15 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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    #16 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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    #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 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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    #19 GK1980
    January 10 2017, 09:28PM
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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.

    Ottawa was a moral loss, Edmonton's EX back up lost that one for them. Edmonton playing well against SJ. Consistently the Oilers have been playing way better then the past decade.

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    #20 chickenStew
    January 10 2017, 04:38PM
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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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    #21 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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    #22 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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    #23 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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    #24 Anton CP
    January 10 2017, 09:38PM
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    It is a tough loss to a good team.

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    #25 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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    #26 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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    #27 Jay (not J)
    January 10 2017, 03:48PM
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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....

    Don't just b!tch. Petition!

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

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    #28 _Bubba
    January 10 2017, 04:04PM
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    Gregor, so Gustavson clears waivers but we still bring him back as backup? Does that mean he has to go to waivers again? Is he in the 10 day window? Brain is melting...

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

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    #30 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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    #31 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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    #32 @Hallsy4
    January 10 2017, 08:50PM
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    Cmon EBS need ya brother

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    #33 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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    #34 Spydyr
    January 10 2017, 09:28PM
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    I think Nuge needs to grow a Burns beard.

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    #35 Spydyr
    January 10 2017, 09:40PM
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    The Sharks came to play tonight. Talbot outplayed by the other teams goalie....again.

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    #36 Oilersrule99
    January 10 2017, 10:10PM
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    It seems overly quiet in Rogers place these days , the fans gotta get the team going sometimes.

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    #37 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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    #38 Big Jacks Meat
    January 10 2017, 04:38PM
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    Big Jacks Meat for tonight.

    Cooked Shark !! Side order of Panther cooked like a devil found by a Predator and cooked on High FLAME.

    :-)

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    #39 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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    #40 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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    #41 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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    #42 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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    #43 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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    #44 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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    #45 3 Little Birds
    January 10 2017, 09:04PM
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    Me likey!!!

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    #46 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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    #47 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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    #48 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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    #49 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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    #50 Dolby
    January 10 2017, 08:58PM
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    @@Hallsy4

    yes we do, we have needed him for a while

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