Around the league - Nov 12, 2009

Jason Gregor
November 12 2009 10:53AM

After a hot start, scoring has leveled off, and right now only six players are on pace for 100+ points. Anze Kopitar is on fire and on pace for 129, however, no one has tallied that many since 1996 when Mario Lemieux had 161 and Jaromir Jagr finished with 149. It is doubtful he can keep up this pace.

Alex Ovechkin was on pace for 134 until he got injured, and if he isn’t out much longer he is still on par for another 100 point season. Marian Gaborik (112), Rick Nash (110), Niklas Backstrom (100) and Corey Perry (100) are the others. Only Backstrom seems capable of maintaining this pace because he plays on the same team as Ovechkin and Alex Semin.

Sidney Crosby is currently 31st in league scoring, but I’m certain he will still finish top-five. Too many of the top stars have been hurt this season and that is a reason why we’ve seen such a dip amongst the supposed top-scorers. If Evgeni Malkin, Marc Savard and Ilya Kovalchuk didn’t get hurt, they’d be on pace for 100 points.

While it doesn’t look like we will see many in the Century Club, there are many players currently in the top 30 in scoring who are on pace to set career highs. Nash has never had more than 79 points. Perry has never scored more than 72 points. Ryan Smyth’s career high is 70 points, but is on pace for 94.

The two biggest early season surprises have been Rene Bourque and Dustin Penner. Penner is almost half way to his season high of 47 points, and he is on pace to double that and finish with 94 points. Bourque could have the biggest increase. He already has 18 points and is on pace for 92, which would shatter his previous career-high of 40.

Pavel Bure had one of the biggest increases going from 60 points his first season to 110 in his second. Very few players have had 40 or 50 point increases from a previous career-high, and if Penner or Bourque can complete the Cinderella season, they will join a very select crew.

ICE WOMAN OF THE WEEK

Courtesy of www.thefourthperiod.com do any of you recognize this Oiler fan? Even if you don’t like the Oiler colours you probably don’t mind this ensemble.

RANDOM THOUGHTS

  • This week the Devils won their 8th consecutive road game, which would be an NHL record, but they won three of them in shootouts. I wonder if the NHL stats guys will allow the Devils to be the new record holders. The Pittsburgh Penguins lost 18 games, but one of them was in OT and they got a point, so the league doesn’t consider that 18 consecutive losses. If they do that for losses, I wonder if SO wins will be considered differently than regulation wins. If not, it would seem somewhat hypocritical.
  • The Devils have quietly won six straight, and they are a perfect 8-0 on the road, but surprisingly they are only 4-4 at home. Jacques Lemaire has them playing exceptional defence, having only allowed 34 goals in 16 games. But Zack Parise isn’t struggling under Lemaire with eight goals and 19 points in 16 games. If Parise scores 80+ points will Lemaire shed his “boring” coach mantra?
  • Here is the front page picture on the Devils website:



    Is it just me or do all three Bobbleheads look eerily similar? Jamie Langenbrunner, Patrik Elias and Zack Parise don’t look alike at all in real life, yet these bobbleheads make them look like brothers. Horrendous imitations.
  • Lots has been said about Craig Anderson playing 18 of Colorado’s first 19 games, but the Sharks’ Evgeni Nabokov and the Kings’ Jonathon Quick have played 17 of 19 games. Ray Emery has played in 13 of the Flyers 14 games, while Martin Brodeur, Mikka Kiprusoff, Niklas Backstrom, Ryan Miller and Ondrej Pavelec have all started all but two or their respective teams’ games. Last year four goalies, Nabokov (76), Marty Turco (74), Backstrom (71) and Henrik Lundqvist (70) played 70 games. Minny and Dallas didn’t make the playoffs and the Sharks and Rangers lost in the first round. Not many goalies, excluding Marty Brodeur can play 70 games and then excel in the playoffs.
  • The Capitals are 3-1 without Alex Ovechkin, and they have scored 17 goals in the four games he has missed. They haven’t missed him; YET.
  • Ken Hitchcock coached his 1000 game last night; unfortunately it was a forgettable evening as the Jackets lost 9-1. Hitchcock became the 16th coach to coach 1000 games. Marc Crawford did it last week, and the other active coaches with more than 1,000 games include Pat Quinn (1,337), Ron Wilson (1,189), Jacques Lemaire (1,147) and Jacques Martin (1,116). Joel Quenneville and Lindy Ruff will join the club next year. Quenneville will be at 999 at the end of the year, while Ruff will sit at 984.

LEADERS THROUGH THE WEEK

Here are the top ten in pts, goals, assists and other stats.

Goals:
Fourteen: Alex Ovechkin and Anze Kopitar
Twelve: Marian Gaborik, Rick Nash, Corey Perry and Steven Stamkos
Eleven: Patrick Marleau, Dany Heatley and Dustin Penner
Ten: Ryan Malone

Assists:
Eighteen: Joe Thornton, Nicklas Backstrom and Tomas Kaberle   
Sixteen: Kopitar and Vinny Prospal
Fifteen: Ryan Getzlaf (five assists this week. Looks like he is healthy)
Fourteen: Paul Stastny Dan Boyle, Marty St.Louis and Brad Richards

Points:
30: Kopitar (leads for 3rd straight week and had six points this week)
23: Ovechkin (didn’t play and is still second), Marleau and Nash.
22: Gaborik, Penner, Backstrom, Thornton and Ryan Smyth
***Rick Nash is the only player in the top ten who is a minus player, sitting at -7***

Plus/Minus:
+14: Matt Carle and Ryan O’Reilly
+12: Alex Goligoski
+11: Wayne Simmonds and Chris Pronger
+10: Ovechkin, Mike Knuble, Henrik Tallinder and Niklas Lidstrom
+9: Penner, Kopitar, Scott Hannan and Davis Drewiske
***The worst +/- goes to Rod Brind’Amour and Brent Burns at a woeful -13. Aaron Ward, Martin Havlat and Robert Nilsson are all -12. Nilsson has only played in 12 games, while the others have played 17 games and Havlat 15. Just another reason why the Oilers need to get players healthy so Nilsson doesn’t get on the ice.***

PP Goals:
Six: Heatley and Stamkos
Five: Gaborik, Smyth, Andrew Brunette, Scott Hartnell and Teemu Selanne
Four: Kopitar, Marleau, Milan Hejduk, Mike Richards, Loui Eriksson, Brooks Laich, Devon Setoguchi, Raffi Torres, Rich Peverley Mikael Samuelsson, Niklas Hagman, Mike Fisher and Shane Doan.

Hits:
71: Ryan Callahan (leads for fifth straight week).
69: Chris Neil
64: Dustin Brown
57: Scott Nichol (had 13 hits this week)
56: Brooks Orpik
55: Stephane Robidas
54: David Backes and Matt Greene
53: J.F Jacques
52: Craig Adams

Shots:
86: Ovechkin (didn’t play and still leads)
72: Zach Parise
66: Nash
65: Jeff Carter
64: Sidney Crosby and Brian Gionta
63: Michael Cammalleri and Dustin Brown
62: Samuelsson, Patrick Sharp and Henrik Zetterberg

FINAL POINT

Sidney Crosby has yet to crack the top-ten in scoring, but he is tied with Kevin Bieksa and Hall Gill for most minor penalties with 13. Rene Bourque leads the Flames with nine, while Denis Grebeskov has taken eight to lead the Oilers.

INJURIES CONTINUE

After a knee-on-knee hit with Derek Roy last night, Denis Grebeshkov has been sent home to Edmonton to have his knee looked at by the Oilers doctor. He will miss the remainder of the trip, and depending on what they find on the MRI, he could be out longer. And Sheldon Souray is skating and is getting closer, but still no set timetable on his return.

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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 Daniel
November 12 2009, 10:58AM
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Those bobbleheads to look the same. Hilarious. How can Nilsson be that much worse than any other Oiler in +/-? Gregor does he get bad matchups, stay out longer??? How does it happen.

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#2 roughneck
November 12 2009, 11:11AM
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Her name is erin, was she miss edmonton grand prix?

No matter, fantastic usage of oiler colors

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#3 BUCK75
November 12 2009, 11:13AM
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Maybe that lady is just modelling the new uniform for the Oilers Ice Women. I think the oil on the cleavage gives a nice effect.

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#4 captainnapalm
November 12 2009, 11:14AM
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Daniel wrote:

Those bobbleheads to look the same. Hilarious. How can Nilsson be that much worse than any other Oiler in +/-? Gregor does he get bad matchups, stay out longer??? How does it happen.

It happens because he's terrible.

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#5 The Towel Boy
November 12 2009, 11:20AM
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Your continuing in depth retrospective on Ice Girls and their history is not only riveting but also thought provoking.

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#6 Salvo
November 12 2009, 11:27AM
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Gregor,

I think you're reaching with the bobbleheads. Granted they are probably more similar then different but Langenbrunner looks quite a bit different then the others. Parise and Elias, I hear ya.

Sidenote: The way this team passes the puck continues to boggle the mind. It's no wonder they don't shoot on the power play, the set ups are always a few inches north or south of where they need to be.

The 5 minute major and subsequent PP was pretty bad last night but what was truly alarming was the moment(s) they played dump and chase during it----with no speed though the neutral zone. I suppose they get a bit of a pass because a lot of the top 6/7 had already played 19 minutes-ish. That was tough to watch, the tying goal was there for the taking

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#7 Nick Dynasty
November 12 2009, 11:38AM
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we really missed Souray last night. if he was in the lineup last night we almost definitely score that tying goal with the 5 minute major. hopefully he's not too far away, especially with Grebber getting hurt last night. and seriously, we need Jacques and Stone back.

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#9 quicksilver ballet
November 12 2009, 12:07PM
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roughneck wrote:

Her name is erin, was she miss edmonton grand prix?

No matter, fantastic usage of oiler colors

Behind every fine looking woman is a man who's getting tired of her crap.

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#10 David S
November 12 2009, 12:08PM
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So I wonder if Jason has "leaked" the Edmonton Ice Girls' team outfit? If so, I'M ON BOARD!

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#11 WTF
November 12 2009, 12:48PM
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NICE CAMELTOE...I love the moose knuckle!

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#12 Boris
November 12 2009, 12:56PM
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I am almost definitely on board with the Ice Girls outfit too...sorry Nick, couldn't help it.

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#13 Ogden Brother
November 12 2009, 12:58PM
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Nilsson is having arguably the worst start to the season I've ever seen.... One empty net goal and a -12 in one game. The guy does not belong in the NHL.

@ Gregor: JFJ and Stone must be close to returning?

...please tell me they are close to returning..

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#15 The Towel Boy
November 12 2009, 01:21PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Stone is at least a week away. Jacques is still in Edmonton, and isn't skating, so I'm guessing longer than they originally thought.

aye carumba.

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#16 freeze
November 12 2009, 02:09PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

The Oilers have sent Ryan O'Marra back to Springfield, which would lead me to believe that Shawn Horcoff will be ready to go in Atlanta. This three day break will help them injury wise.

Hopefully they run a bunch of passing drills in the next three days.

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#17 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
November 12 2009, 03:13PM
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quicksilver ballet wrote:

Behind every fine looking woman is a man who's getting tired of her crap.

hahaha, well done

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#18 Jonathan Willis
November 12 2009, 03:27PM
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Daniel wrote:

Those bobbleheads to look the same. Hilarious. How can Nilsson be that much worse than any other Oiler in +/-? Gregor does he get bad matchups, stay out longer??? How does it happen.

Partially it's his on-ice shooting percentage (4.35%)

Partially it's his on-ice save percentage (.872)

Partially it's the fact that he's played very, very, badly.

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#19 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
November 12 2009, 03:33PM
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So here we've got Gregor making fun of bobble-head manufacturers, and not a word about the logistics behind transporting Dion Phaneuf's Halloween costume to Calgary (as pictured above).

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#20 OvenChicken8 - Team JSBM
November 12 2009, 03:38PM
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@Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things

LOL!

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#21 Hemmertime
November 12 2009, 04:23PM
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ANOTHER fking PPV game? Ridiculous.

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#22 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
November 12 2009, 04:27PM
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Hemmertime wrote:

ANOTHER fking PPV game? Ridiculous.

Yep who is going to buy this game that is on at 12 in the afternoon when there is how many free NFL games and CFL games?

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#23 Dan the Man
November 12 2009, 04:31PM
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The worst bobblehead of all time has to be this Ryan Smyth one.

http://i.ebayimg.com/02/!BU9jF2QB2k~$(KGrHgoH-CUEjlLl1UPiBKQJKLwStg~~_12.JPG

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#24 cambosmash
November 12 2009, 04:38PM
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@Dan the Man

The Ryan Smyth dressed up as Liam Reddox for Halloween bobble-head doll.

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#25 Chris.
November 12 2009, 04:51PM
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So who all listened to Allan Watt (Oiler VP of Communications) on Stauffers show today?

I love how he got all indignant at the suggestion that the Oilers were gouging their fans with the PPV concept... ~Why we are just providing Oiler fans with an opportunity to watch games that would otherwise not be televised~ *Note how he didn't mention that the Oilers deliberately black out games that people have already payed for with center ice subscriptions... or don't bother to make the sportsnet east feed available through the internet, etc, etc...*

I also find it despicable that he never addressed the fact that fans in other markets pay considerably less for PPV services... Or that with average viewership above 15000, the club could charge $4.99, reach a larger audience, and still make a profit... Maybe not a 225% profit; but still a profit. To call charging your fans, and season ticketholders, $16 to watch a road game on television anything BUT gouging insults our intelligence Allan... But thanks for comming out!

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#26 Heavyd
November 12 2009, 05:32PM
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I am writing today to complain about the ppv games. I rthink the price is a little high. Also i want to know why you guys dont have any new things on the ppv. You show the same thing every ppv. The thing with dan tencer, crsytal legeir, and the interview with the coaches. Im not sure what you could add but I would like to wacth different things on all the ppv, not repeats from the other ppv, especally if i am paying 16 bucks. Maybe bring back the mic up segement. Things like that, I dont mind paying for 16 games this year, i just want different things in each ppv. And can you bring back the locker room after the game, and before the game, and maybe inbetween intermissions things like that. Thanks for reading this and hoping that some changes will happen. Thanks again. and just so you know most people feel the same way i do. If you listen to the call in shows and the fourms you can see that the fans are getting mad about the same things on ppv everytime.

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#27 Heavyd
November 12 2009, 05:32PM
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Sent the above to the edmonton oilers.

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#28 Oilersordeath
November 12 2009, 05:46PM
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Does anyone know why this organization still thinks Nilsson is going to develope into a solid NHLer?? He's not! Cant he be put on waivers and bring in O'marra or someone and give them a chance. Hell bring up Minard he's lightning in up in Springfield!

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#29 Hemmertime
November 12 2009, 05:55PM
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Sweet, the Oilers chick in the photo has the same Jersey as me.

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#30 Chris.
November 12 2009, 05:55PM
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I think, as fans we need to organize a PPV Boycott. Vote with your money and let the Oilers know that more than 10 games at more than ten bucks won't fly in this market.

If we keep bending over, they're gonna keep screwing us.

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#31 David S
November 12 2009, 06:31PM
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Oilersordeath wrote:

Does anyone know why this organization still thinks Nilsson is going to develope into a solid NHLer?? He's not! Cant he be put on waivers and bring in O'marra or someone and give them a chance. Hell bring up Minard he's lightning in up in Springfield!

Seems to me Nilsson was pretty decent a couple of years ago, which is why he got the contract everybody is whining about.

~And yeah. Its common knowledge guys who light it up in the AHL are sure locks to do the same in the NHL. I mean, for godsake look at Schremp.~

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#32 Ogden Brother
November 12 2009, 07:05PM
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@ Chris

Supply and demand. Just like those that complain about high ticket prices - thiers no one to blame but the fans themselves.

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#33 Ogden Brother
November 12 2009, 07:08PM
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@ Oilersordeath

I'm fairly confident the don't think he will... they simply are short on bodies.

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#34 RossCreekNation
November 12 2009, 10:50PM
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Congrats to flamesnation.ca writer Kent Wilson, who had an article he wrote for SB Nation featured on the front page of the NHL.com website. An Ode to Craig Conroy... http://www.matchsticksandgasoline.com/2009/11/12/1142696/an-ode-to-craig-conroy#storyjump

C'mon... how can you hate Craig? Show some love for a writer of thee Nations.

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#35 Shaun Doe
November 12 2009, 11:01PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

Congrats to flamesnation.ca writer Kent Wilson, who had an article he wrote for SB Nation featured on the front page of the NHL.com website. An Ode to Craig Conroy... http://www.matchsticksandgasoline.com/2009/11/12/1142696/an-ode-to-craig-conroy#storyjump

C'mon... how can you hate Craig? Show some love for a writer of thee Nations.

Maybe cause Craig threw a fellow player under the bus when he took a shot at Horcoff's salary. While his salary is inflated he should keep his yap shut about what he thinks about it. Just sayin.

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#36 HansBaurMesserschmittWatson
November 12 2009, 11:32PM
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the problem witht the oilers before anything else, and im suprised no one else here has pointed it out. when you watch the next game keep an eye out on the oilers number one mistake as a team............................line changes..............

line changes.

trust me.

watch the game and we will argue come sunday night and monday morning.

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#37 HansBaurMesserschmittWatson
November 12 2009, 11:35PM
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WTF wrote:

NICE CAMELTOE...I love the moose knuckle!

i think its the design on the suit, shes too skinny to have a toe or a knuckle.

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#38 HansBaurMesserschmittWatson
November 12 2009, 11:40PM
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Oilersordeath wrote:

Does anyone know why this organization still thinks Nilsson is going to develope into a solid NHLer?? He's not! Cant he be put on waivers and bring in O'marra or someone and give them a chance. Hell bring up Minard he's lightning in up in Springfield!

because its the same orgnization that thinks horcoff is a number 1 centre. give nillson a break, its not his fault the skates they gave him are too big.

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#39 HansBaurMesserschmittWatson
November 12 2009, 11:43PM
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Shaun Doe wrote:

Maybe cause Craig threw a fellow player under the bus when he took a shot at Horcoff's salary. While his salary is inflated he should keep his yap shut about what he thinks about it. Just sayin.

why should he keep it shut, to not hurt horcoffs feelings ?

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#40 Nail Yakupov
November 13 2009, 12:15AM
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We need ice girls.

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#41 Reagan
November 13 2009, 12:43AM
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Oilers are still pathetic... Nothing will ever help.

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#42 Maggie the Monkey
November 13 2009, 01:05AM
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Reagan wrote:

Oilers are still pathetic... Nothing will ever help.

Uh, Reagan, I think the answer to your pessimism was offered in the comment before you by Pennertrate: "We need ice girls".

Even the 92/93 Oilers, sporting Shane Corson as captain, would have looked better with Ice Girls.

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#43 Shaun Doe
November 13 2009, 07:55AM
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HansBaurMesserschmittWatson wrote:

why should he keep it shut, to not hurt horcoffs feelings ?

No HansISayRandomStuffBecauseIThinkImFunny not to avoid hurting Horcoff's feelings. He should keep his yap shut because its not his place to discuss the contracts of other players with the media. He wasn't asked to comment on Horcoff's salary so why should it be mentioned? Even if he was asked to comment on it there really is no reason to elaborate.

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#44 Dyckster
November 13 2009, 08:07AM
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David S wrote:

Seems to me Nilsson was pretty decent a couple of years ago, which is why he got the contract everybody is whining about.

~And yeah. Its common knowledge guys who light it up in the AHL are sure locks to do the same in the NHL. I mean, for godsake look at Schremp.~

Please enlighten us as to what year Schremp "lit it up" in the AHL. That was part of his problem, he never did make a big splash there, hence him not earning a real chance with the Oil.

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#45 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
November 13 2009, 08:36AM
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Dyckster wrote:

Please enlighten us as to what year Schremp "lit it up" in the AHL. That was part of his problem, he never did make a big splash there, hence him not earning a real chance with the Oil.

07-08 when the team was brutal he lead the time in scoring by 30 points.

And yes I see David S ~.

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#46 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
November 13 2009, 08:39AM
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Just throwing it out there but last year wasn't there an Eskimo game on the TV listing channel? Couldn't the Oilers make some sort of deal with them or the Shaw channel to show these games that are on PPV?

I really don't know who the Oilers are trying to fool by always saying it is a way to give fans to watch a game and that the Oilers make little money off of them. If they don't want to make money off of them then put them on one of those two channels, but we all know that it is another way for the Oilers to make money so they won't. Mind ya, have commercials on those channels and I'm sure you can make some money.

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#47 rubbertrout
November 13 2009, 08:59AM
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WTF wrote:

NICE CAMELTOE...I love the moose knuckle!

I thought the moose knuckle was the male camel toe?

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#48 Ogden Brother
November 13 2009, 09:55AM
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Throwing this out there for the MacT haters.

This years team is on pace for 78 points. MacT lead teams had less then that only once. His teams averaged 88 points/season.

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#49 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
November 13 2009, 10:17AM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

Throwing this out there for the MacT haters.

This years team is on pace for 78 points. MacT lead teams had less then that only once. His teams averaged 88 points/season.

How many players did MacT have out by game 20 last year or any other years? Again it has nothing to do with MacT being a good or bad coach, when you are with a team for that long and you lose the team what is management to do?

Edit, and some players have came out already and said that at times the message is similar but hearing it from a different person makes them think differently.

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#50 BigE57
November 13 2009, 10:25AM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

Just throwing it out there but last year wasn't there an Eskimo game on the TV listing channel? Couldn't the Oilers make some sort of deal with them or the Shaw channel to show these games that are on PPV?

I really don't know who the Oilers are trying to fool by always saying it is a way to give fans to watch a game and that the Oilers make little money off of them. If they don't want to make money off of them then put them on one of those two channels, but we all know that it is another way for the Oilers to make money so they won't. Mind ya, have commercials on those channels and I'm sure you can make some money.

One, you are assuming that all the people complaining about the PPV are in Edmonton and have Shaw programming. I don't and I'm sure there are others in the same position. And two, local tv stations apparently have no money for this kind of thing anymore, that is why they are begging to be subsidized by someone, government or satellite/cable providers just to be able to provide a small amount of local programming.

I'm with you though, I would like to see some games on the local stations, perhaps the Oilers could look at it as doing something for the fans and not actually charging them for it.

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