WHERE WERE YOU?

Jason Gregor
February 02 2012 11:37PM

If you missed tonight's game you'll be kicking yourself for a long time. For all the struggles, losses, bad signings, injuries and long nights Oiler fans have had to endure for the past six years, a night like tonight makes it pretty damn exciting to be an Oiler fan, I would think.

EIGHT FREAKING POINTS.

If you weren't old enough to watch the Oilers in the 1980s, tonight gave you a sense of what it felt like numerous times every season. The game was freewheeling, end-to-end action and damn exciting. The building was electric and every Oiler player was happy to be a part of history.

In case you missed it, Sam Gagner had a game that Oiler fans haven't witnessed since March 14th 1986, when Paul Coffey tallied two goals and eight points in a 12-3 romp over the Red Wings. Wayne Gretzky had eight points twice. He tallied four goals and eight points on January 4th, 1984 in a 12-8 win v. Minnesota and he had three goals and eight points on November 19th, 1983 in a 13-4 win over New Jersey.

EIGHT FOR EIGHT

Gagner was in on all 8 Oiler goals. That will never happen again. Going 8 for 8 is seriously unbelievable. IT has only ever happened once before.

For one night, Tom Renney should be applauded for maybe the most genius in-game line juggling ever. He put Gagner, Hall and Eberle together to start the 2nd period.

Gagner had no points in the first period, three in the 2nd and he tied another Oiler record with Jari Kurri for most points in a period with 5 in the 3rd. Gagner, Taylor Hall and Jordon Eberle scored on five consecutive shifts in the third period they said. Think about that for a moment. You can't score on five straight shifts in men's league, nevermind the best league in the world.

Everyone of Gagner's teammates was absolutely loving it.

I haven't seen a dressing room that excited since the 2006 playoffs, and this was a different type of excitement. They knew they had just witnessed something they will never see again.

I'm sure you will witness some incredible things from Hall, Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in the future, but you will never see another 8 points on all 8 goals again. It won't happen.

"I won't be in the same breath as Gretzky or Coffey, if it is anything but this," said a humble Gagner. "Even before this you never expect to do something like this. It is a great lesson to never set limits. The great players that have played here before never did that, and I was never thinking about that tonight. I was just looking at continuing to play and we just kept scoring. It was crazy."

I asked Gagner what was the most memorable about tonight, and his response says a lot about the young man.

"The Gagner, Gagner chants from the fans were crazy. I've been through a lot in Edmonton. The last few years have been really hard, especially the losing, but the chants from the fans and the excitement from my teammates gave me chills."

Gagner was very sincere and heartfelt when he uttered those words. You could tell he was truly humbled by their reaction, and to be mentioned in the same breath as Gretzky.

His teammates were just as excited. Taylor Hall set a career-high with four points, but on this night it was all about the one you call Samwise.

"I feel like a bit of a pigeon with only four points tonight," laughed Hall. "It was a crazy night, and every time we got the puck we were in the offensive zone tonight, especially in the third period. The puck always seemed to be on Sam's stick and every time he made a great play with it. It was fun to see and I'm really happy I was able to be on the ice with him for all the goals. It's a real cool moment."

"I think Crosby had six points, maybe seven, yet we had eight or nine goals, but I've never seen eight for eight," said Ryan Whitney. Gagner was in on all of them, it was unbelievable. I'll never see that again, and I'm sure none of us will. It is just crazy," continued a shocked and excited Whitney.

What were the guys thinking on the bench?

Whitney ---- "I looked up when we got our fifth and it said two and three (goals and assists for Gagner.) I didn't know that, I thought he had four. Then he got the sixth point, and then we just started laughing in amazement. I was out with him for a few of them, and as he kept putting up more we just kept smiling and laughing. He didn't even know what to say, you could tell by his face that he didn't believe it. It was awesome."

Ryan Smyth ---- "There was talk on the bench that they scored on five straight shifts, so we were saying get back out there. Late in the game our line was up, but I looked at Sam and said 'you go.' I wanted to see him give it every effort to break Gretz' record. It's not very often anyone has a chance to beat one of his records. It was a very special night."

JUST ENJOY IT

Tonight and tomorrow is not the time to wonder if Gagner can be a consistent 2nd line centre, instead you should just enjoy what you witnessed tonight. If you missed it TSN 2 will be replaying the game at 11:30 p.m. I'm sure many of you will want to watch it again and just sit back in disbelief and awe.

It's not very often you get to say "I was there," for record breaking moments. If you were lucky enough to be in the building or watching at home smilling from ear-to-ear, just enjoy the moment.

Too often in life, and in sports, we don't fully ingest the wonder of something truly special.

Tonight was one of those games.

It was a night Sam Gagner will never forget, and I'm happy to say I got to watch it, as well as the reaction from the fans, Gagner and his teammates.

Nights like these are what make sports great. How many of us dreamt of having a night like this when we were kids? I'd bet most of you did, and to watch it happen for someone is very rare and special.

UPDATE

It turns out Gagner is only the 2nd player in NHL history to score eight points in a game where his team only scored eight goals. Mario Lemieux was the other.

Only 12 players in NHL history have ever scored 8 points in a game, and it has only happened 15 times in league history.

Lemieux did it three times, Gretzky twice and Maurice Richard 1944, Bert Olmstead 1954, Darryl Sittler 1976 (10 points), Tom Bladon (D-man) 1977, Bryan Trottier 1978, Peter Stastny 1981, Paul Coffey 1986, Patrik Sundstrom 1988 and Bernie Nicholls 1988 did it once.

Lemieux tallied all three of his 8-point games in one sizzling season, and prior to Gagner he was the last player to accomplish the feat on April 25th, 1989. (playoff game)

The Oilers franchise is the first one to have three different players register 8-point games. The Canadiens had two in Richard and Olmstead.

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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 PeOiler
February 02 2012, 11:38PM
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ASININE

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#2 Colin
February 02 2012, 11:41PM
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Im not first but I'm going to do it anyway......

Fantastic Is Sam Tonight.

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#3 filthymotherpucker
February 02 2012, 11:49PM
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shows we still need a little more patience with Samwise #22yearsold

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#4 Tha Legion
February 02 2012, 11:50PM
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Embarassing but I was competing in a beer chugging contest at a comedy birthday party at brixx, I feel like I failed like a pregnancy test, plus side.. i'm pretty drunk, or as rappers cal it drizzy!

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#5 nofool6110
February 02 2012, 11:51PM
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Samwise. To quote Tolkein, you're back.

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#6 Gator21
February 02 2012, 11:54PM
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I was in the building for Gretzky's 50th goal in 39 games, Gretzky breaking Gordie Howe's record for all time points and now Sam Gagner's 8pt night. How lucky is that? Makes up for those awful nights against Minnesota & Calgary.

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#7 KMac
February 02 2012, 11:54PM
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Just amazing to watch. Nice to see a bit of Oilers history being made since I wasn't alive for any of the Stanley Cups!

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#8 JohnQPublic
February 02 2012, 11:54PM
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That was something else to watch. I saw Gretzky do it and this was just as exciting. For one night Sam G. = Wayne G.

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#9 Al Davis
February 02 2012, 11:55PM
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As an Oilers fan born a tad too late to remember the '80s dynasty years, that was the greatest regular season game I have ever seen.

I finally somewhat understand what it must have been like to witness the great Oilers teams in the '80s doing this on a regular basis.

I don't know what else to say. Congrats to Sam. Congrats to the Oilers. Congrats to the all of us Oilers fans.

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#10 Bak04
February 02 2012, 11:56PM
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To answer your question Mr. Gregor, I was at the game with my girlfriend (it was her first time seeing the oil live) and the only reason we were there is because you gave us the tickets off your show today at 6 o'clock. Thank you, we will never forgot it.

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#11 CheeseTR
February 02 2012, 11:57PM
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I can't believe I missed this! So happy for Sam and the entire team. Moments like this do wonders for a team and obviously the player's psyche. I'm sure I won't be the only one dead tired for work in the morning after staying up to watch the replay.

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#12 Simon say
February 03 2012, 12:00AM
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Good for Sam. He deserves all the accolades after tonight's performance. Something tells me he won't be getting much sleep tonight and he wakes up with sore cheeks from smiling in his sleep.

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#13 Bleak Winter
February 03 2012, 12:03AM
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I'm old enough to have grown up with the Oilers of the 80's as my "normal" but I was young enough to not realize at the time that I was witnessing anything historical.

Even the 2006 cup run seemed more like a run of good fortune... It's been a long, long time now since I can remember seeing anything that I would describe as magic. But THIS night I would describe as magic!

Thanks Sam!

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#14 Simon says
February 03 2012, 12:07AM
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Jason,

Thank you for writing this article. You resisted the temptation to start a gossip colum about Gagners future. Instead focusing on what was truly an amazing night for Sam, the Oilers and even us fans.

Thanks for being a class act. This site needs more columnists like you.

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#15 Rip van Winkle
February 03 2012, 12:13AM
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as the cat in the hat would say, Go Sammy Go!!!!!

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#16 knobby
February 03 2012, 12:14AM
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Props to Gagner. That performance by him and his team-mates really defies description. I have seen him give lots of try and I thought he was too slow and just seemed out of sync. I guess I was wrong. He was flying tonight. I hope this phenomenal night gives him the confidence to move foward and elevate his game to the next level.

I think maybe more people's opinions than mine were changed tonight.

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#17 Jim Roepcke
February 03 2012, 12:16AM
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I went to the theatre to watch Kevin Smith Live from Behind. And I forgot to set the PVR. FML. (But KS was awesome)

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#18 Dog Train
February 03 2012, 12:44AM
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Sammy has been through a lot of ups and downs but for a night or two, he is definitely the King of Edmonton. Whether you're a fan or not, you have to have loads of respect for what he did tonight. ATTABOY SAMMY!

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#19 OilDrop89
February 03 2012, 12:57AM
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Section 301, Row 53 (very top) seat 14. Bought a single ticket for 11 bucks this morning with every intention of sitting alone and watching a Blackhawks beatdown of the Oilers. By some insane amount of luck my best friend growing up's seats were right beside mine. It was a night meant to be, history, something I will never forget! Thank you Sam Gagner. Thank you Oilers!

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#20 Greenlingj
February 03 2012, 01:05AM
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Dear Edmonton Oiler's and Fan's:

I won a ticket to tonights game in a draw at work I sat in the Telus Executive suite which in my mind is pretty amazing in itself.

To sit back down a few beers and watch history unfold in front of my eyes was something else.

Gagner, I hope you single handedly silenced every critic you ever had. You are a definite top 6 forward with your performance as of late. the 8 points was simply amazing.

I will never forget this night.

I now have some idea what it was like to be in the stands during the dynasty years, and the 05-06 run.

The Leagues collective mouth was dropped tonight and they can't pick it up off the floor.

Congrats to Sam. and the Oilers.

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#21 They're $hittie
February 03 2012, 01:07AM
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ah from the summer of Sam (draft day 07, and the super series) and his rookie year. There was no reason to doubt he belonged in the nhl as an 18 year old. Few years later and he was rushed in according to everyone. But for the first time since the end of his rookie year this might be the first (actually second but sam was hurt at the beginning of the year) that the team looks like they are getting better. How do you personally get better and develop when your team gets worse and than much worse. Some good line mates and confidence go a long long way.

If he is this good when he cant skate, cant shoot, cant win a battle, and is too small (still middle of the pack as far as oiler forwards are concerned) imagine what he can do when he learns to shoot, and skate.

Congrats 89. Glad I wont have to take your jersey off the wall on deadline day now.

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#22 one cold canadian
February 03 2012, 01:17AM
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And there i was stuck in Toronto. Try asking the bartender to find the Oilers game...

"oh no, the HABS are playing"

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#23 one cold canadian
February 03 2012, 01:31AM
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But, on the other hand.. While you guys are walking through the office doors at 8am with red eyes and a fuzzy brain, I'll be walking through the doors of the hall of fame!

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#24 Time Travelling Sean
February 03 2012, 01:45AM
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I gave my cousin those tickets so he could go with his mom to his first hockey game.

When he came home he beaked me into depression. :c

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#25 Rick C.
February 03 2012, 01:58AM
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I have been an Oilers fan from the begining,I thought I seen it all(Gretzky and Co.)but man,simply the best game I have seen in a long time...congrats Sammy...keep it up and hope to see you for years to come as na OIler...

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#26 VK63
February 03 2012, 02:03AM
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I was there. Totally hilarious vibe in the rink.

In a long list of surreal experiences in that building, tonight ranks among the most bizarre.

Sam with a minus 8 is believable, this...... not so much.

HOWEVER

It happened... and I shall remember it fondly as much for its unpredictability as its magic.

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#27 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
February 03 2012, 04:30AM
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I was listening to the game at work. I had the PVR set, but when I watched it later that night, the sound on the broadcast was screwed and you could only hear the arena noise. Then, the recording finished with 5 minutes left to play in the third.

To cap it all off, two of my friends (who aren't Oiler fans) were at the game after one of them managed to trade some guy an energy drink for two tickets.

Either way, 8 FRICKIN' POINTS.

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#28 Petr's Jofa
February 03 2012, 04:35AM
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I fell asleep when it was 2-0 for the Hawks (Damn +3.5 hr time zone). Woke up and watched the TSN highlights completely stunned. I can't believe they won that game after the horrible 1st the had let alone created a magical night.

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#29 pelhem grenville
February 03 2012, 04:51AM
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...i had to get up early this morning ....i watched the game til it was two two then PVR'd it ...

don't tell me how it ended

K?

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#30 Hat Pughes
February 03 2012, 07:15AM
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Had a Dinner Meeting and got home at the first intermission -- guess I missed nothing.

Like Gregor said it was an 80's night all over. That was surreal. Everytime the three of them were on and had the puck you knew the outcome -- bingo bango bongo, a flashing red light and a bullhorn going off...(somewhere late last night Patrick Kane was walking the streets of Edmonton out of his mind).

One thing about Gagner's play lately though is that he competes -- yea hes not big or fast but he brings game.

Also loved the cele of Whitney!!

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#31 Gerald R. Ford
February 03 2012, 07:21AM
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On January 13th, Sammy stood up, took a beating, and restored some honour to the beloved oil drop. Last night, he restored some of the long-lost magic. Good things happen, collectively, when people care, and good things happen, individually, to people WHO care. Maybe that's sappy, maybe it's simplistic. To that, I say, "Perhaps." In the same breath, I would also say, "Scoreboard, bitchez."

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#32 freeze
February 03 2012, 08:08AM
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By far, the most amazing hockey game I've ever been to! Go Gagner!! I need to find a copy of that game because I forgot to set my DVR.

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#33 sitting-at-my-desk
February 03 2012, 08:15AM
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I was there!!!!!, thanks for the tix!!

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#34 Banger
February 03 2012, 08:18AM
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I changed the channel after 6. There was no way he was going to get to 8. Epic fail on my part.

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#35 I tried it at home
February 03 2012, 08:27AM
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Colin wrote:

Im not first but I'm going to do it anyway......

Fantastic Is Sam Tonight.

Colin, this is the first, last and ONLY time I will ever say this to a fister... Well Done, sir.

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#36 vetinari
February 03 2012, 08:34AM
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I caught the back half of the game when the game got tied at 3, and once the Gagner line got rolling in the third, they looked unstoppable. I felt like it was an '80s version of a Oilers v. Hawks tilt.

I'm happy for Gagner (who needed to receive a break), I'm happy for the Oilers (who needed the morale boost) and I'm happy for the fans (who needed some light in an otherwise dark season).

Maybe now people will spell his name correctly?

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#37 Bob Loblaw
February 03 2012, 08:59AM
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Well, as we all know, Gagner means "to win" in French.

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#38 Nameless Ned
February 03 2012, 09:16AM
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What a game....I'm not trying to be a buzzkill or anything, I think the 8pts is awesome!!! but on the Whitney goal...didn't Bolland try to clear the puck (aka touched it) but accidently cleared it to whitney...thus making it no assist for gagner? again, I'm not trying to kill the buzz, I'm just curious. What a game though, hope this ups his value for a good Dman trade or boost his confidence so he can continue to play like this (obviously not many more 8pt games) but would be cool if he became a point per game player

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#39 Clarko
February 03 2012, 09:23AM
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Nameless Ned wrote:

What a game....I'm not trying to be a buzzkill or anything, I think the 8pts is awesome!!! but on the Whitney goal...didn't Bolland try to clear the puck (aka touched it) but accidently cleared it to whitney...thus making it no assist for gagner? again, I'm not trying to kill the buzz, I'm just curious. What a game though, hope this ups his value for a good Dman trade or boost his confidence so he can continue to play like this (obviously not many more 8pt games) but would be cool if he became a point per game player

I noticed that too. The NHL is generally very loose with giving out assists (like rebounds and what not). Unless the Hawks had 'clear possession', than an assist could be recorded. I would agree that assist was borderline, but could go either way.

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#40 I'm a Scientist!
February 03 2012, 09:24AM
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I was there.

That is pretty much all I have to say. Bragging.

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#41 Clyde Frog
February 03 2012, 09:27AM
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Nameless Ned wrote:

What a game....I'm not trying to be a buzzkill or anything, I think the 8pts is awesome!!! but on the Whitney goal...didn't Bolland try to clear the puck (aka touched it) but accidently cleared it to whitney...thus making it no assist for gagner? again, I'm not trying to kill the buzz, I'm just curious. What a game though, hope this ups his value for a good Dman trade or boost his confidence so he can continue to play like this (obviously not many more 8pt games) but would be cool if he became a point per game player

Nope you are wrong.

Nothing to see here, kkthxpleasedriveonthrough!

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#42 DoubleJ
February 03 2012, 09:30AM
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Our basketball team is in the playoffs after the first period we watched the rest of the game from the bar with no sound. Still amazing even with no sound. I have it PVR'd can't wait to watch it tonight after work.

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#43 Milli
February 03 2012, 09:50AM
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That was amazing! I had forgotten about the beatdown Sam took!!! Crazy when you think he is only 22. If he is traded, I would say the return needs to be good or it is a mistake. The kid is still a kid, he will develop alot more than he has and we will regret it!

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#44 Scott in Grande Prairie
February 03 2012, 09:52AM
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I’m old enough to remember the Glory Years of the Oilers heyday and, watching last night brought back memories – not necessarily of the eight-point nights that Gretzky and Coffey had, specifically (I didn’t have cable so I never saw those games)- but of an entirely different era of the NHL.

The long-lost-feeling I had was the realization that, for one night in February, the lights of the hockey world – indeed the (North American) sporting world – were on Edmonton.

Oh sure, we had that trip to the final in 2006 – plenty of the hockey world would have been watching then. But last night was different – a non-descript February night in Edmonton illuminated by a remarkable individual performance.

That hasn’t happened in a long time, friends. Long, long time.

It used to happen all the time.

Last night, young Oiler fans, was like stepping into a time machine. You just got to live what it was like to be an Oiler fan back in the 1980s. Back then, it wasn’t just the Cups and playoffs – it was the February nights at Northlands when magical things happened.

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#45 Pajamah
February 03 2012, 09:59AM
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I just read the last 3 threads worth of comments, care to wager how many "Gagne" misspellings I saw...??

NONE

Sammy, you've arrived

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#46 rindog
February 03 2012, 10:00AM
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Nameless Ned wrote:

What a game....I'm not trying to be a buzzkill or anything, I think the 8pts is awesome!!! but on the Whitney goal...didn't Bolland try to clear the puck (aka touched it) but accidently cleared it to whitney...thus making it no assist for gagner? again, I'm not trying to kill the buzz, I'm just curious. What a game though, hope this ups his value for a good Dman trade or boost his confidence so he can continue to play like this (obviously not many more 8pt games) but would be cool if he became a point per game player

Even though you may be right, you are so very wrong!!!

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#47 The Beaker
February 03 2012, 10:01AM
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Pajamah wrote:

I just read the last 3 threads worth of comments, care to wager how many "Gagne" misspellings I saw...??

NONE

Sammy, you've arrived

Gagner in. "Our" out.

lol

I'm still pumped though. Some students are getting their ear talked off about that game today.

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#48 Clarko
February 03 2012, 10:09AM
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On top of the Gagner performance, the team is also playing significantly better! Collected 7 of 8 points in their last 4 games against some really good competition including Chicago, Vancouver, and San Jose. I think this team has the potential to get between 75-80 points (around .500 for the remainder of the season). I know there are those on here that would like us to tank to get a higher pick, but I would personally love to see improvement and winning! It is much more fun to watch this team than the one over the previous 2-3 months.

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#49 rubbertrout
February 03 2012, 10:11AM
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Pretty good for the Oiler's 4th best young forward. If memory serves, 22 years was when Guy Lafleur really started to hit his stride. He is only 22 guys!

Compare him with Backlund from the Flames. Same draft year although not quite the same pedigree.

Sam's dollars and production are just fine thank you very much. Hopefully they don't throw away this kid for magic beans.

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#50 Simpsonite
February 03 2012, 10:11AM
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rindog wrote:

Even though you may be right, you are so very wrong!!!

I think, and I only think on this one, I think that because Chicago never actually controlled the puck it is still an assist...like when you bank it off the goalies pad or a defenseman's face to your teammate...same deal applies...Gags tried to take the puck through and his dealiyo caused Bolland to swing and bat it to Whitney who bagged it. Now had Bolland gone for a skate and then gave it to Whitney, well then we might be up to something...but no control therefore...8 points!

That's good enough hey? HEY GUYS???

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