GDB 40: Groundhog Day at RX1

Jason Gregor
January 09 2009 12:56PM

Let me apologize for the lameness of this post. Like Jason Arnott, “I just wasn’t into it tonight.” That is how I am today. I rarely complain about the weather, but I’m sure sick of this -57 crap every morning, and going to the Oiler locker room feels like Groundhog Day.

Same story over and over, except Phil Connors was able to save the kid from falling from the tree, stopped a guy from choking, learned to play the piano and ended up with sexy Rita.

Today I got none of it. I won’t be helping Dustin Penner learn to show up even 60 per cent of the time, Ales Hemsky is still hurt, the music will still be sub par at the game tonight and I’ll be sitting by Rishaug not some hottie in the pressbox.

There was one difference today. It was an optional practice, on a game day no less, and Robert Nilsson showed up with all of his teammates except Shawn Horcoff. Horcoff will dress, and while MacTavish didn’t want to reveal who will be his right winger, I discovered it will be Liam Reddox. MacTavish likes to play Horcoff against the other team’s top line, so Reddox gets the call. YIPPIE.

MacTavish did admit that this team is still in a state of flux when it comes to their system.

“There is a bit of transitional period where you go from a team two years ago that was going to be physically reliable and had a certain amount of power to our game and we could rely on that. Now we are transitioning more to offensive puck moving team, and it has been a slower transition than what we would have anticipated based on what we saw last year. I still feel we are making good progress in that regard, and I look forward to a healthy team to see what we have.”

FYI Craig, you will be at the halfway point of the season on Sunday. Outside of Hemsky, and Horcoff’s wonky back your team has been healthy. Of course, Hemsky makes a world of difference. This team isn’t good enough to absorb his absence, and because no one else can score changing up the lines makes little sense.

But I’m kind of torn with his statement. I can go ballistic and say, “What you talking about Craig,” or I could applaud the coach for being patient with young guys and sticking to their strengths. Because it is clear the Oilers don’t have the horses to play anything resembling a power game. Well, the former is where I stand.

I said at the start of the year, 40 games is where I would evaluate this team, and here we are hours away from game 40 and this team is still as inconsistent as ever. Jekyll and Hyde have nothing on the Oilers. They didn’t take advantage of an extended stay at home and now they are in chase mode again. Win five or lose five in a row, at least do something unexpected. How about a line brawl? Or score eight goals. Do something, anything that would be outside of the same old same old routine of the past three seasons.

But just like the Groundhog Day, a win or a loss tonight won’t change a thing. The coach isn’t going anywhere, the players have yet to learn to be consistent, the music will still be sucky tonight, and I will spend a Friday night at the rink with Rishaug. How depressing. (Let’s hope the camera guy at least puts a few of Edmonton’s finest on the big screen tonight).

And yes, Dwayne Roloson will start tonight.

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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 jdrevenge
January 09 2009, 01:04PM
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I hear that. I'm feeling pretty schizophrenic this year. One foot on the bandwagon and one foot off.

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#2 The Towel Boy
January 09 2009, 01:07PM
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Masterful image editing in the GDB pic. Masterful. I raise my chalice to thee.

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#3 Monday Guy
January 09 2009, 01:10PM
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Now Gregor,

"Don't Drive Angry"

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#4 CurtisS
January 09 2009, 01:11PM
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Geeze thats depressing to read Gregor.

I thought Fridays were happy days.

Like I said in Gretz blog

We are 15-17-3 since our 4-0 start. We are getting worse not better.

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#5 Zamboni Driver
January 09 2009, 01:12PM
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Translation:

"We have not a blessed clue what we're doing, or how to do something else. Therefore it makes perfect sense to play another nameless-faceless smurf on the first line of an actual professional hockey team."

Kids, wear your helmet. Or when you get old, this is what happens.

[Though getting to be friends with real rich people who happen to be your boss is a good move too.]

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#6 rindog
January 09 2009, 01:16PM
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It's not a lame post JG - it is a SAD state that this team is in.

Everyone has the a right to expect more - but I guess we are all just kidding ourselves??

Maybe we should stop expecting anything from our own players and just be happy to be considered an "NHL" city??

Maybe if we could just approach every game as an opportunity to watch the star players on the other teams - our experiences would be much more enjoyable.

As for the music - I can put up with the music knowing that I will get a chance to cheer on either the copper or blue car race around the rink sign!!!!!

As for Roli starting - even I agree with MacT on that one....but it doesn't matter. I am going to just be happy that I get to watch the likes of: Nabokov, Thornton, Marleau, Boyle & Blake in person.

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#7 Colin
January 09 2009, 01:27PM
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"Now we are transitioning more to offensive puck moving team, and it has been a slower transition than what we would have anticipated based on what we saw last year."

Okay that bit seems about right.

"I still feel we are making good progress in that regard, and I look forward to a healthy team to see what we have.”

WTF MacT! outright lies and deflection. Healthy my ass, Hemsky is out for 5-8 games, Horcoff is 75% and that's it, your injuries to roleplayers don't count man; any team should be able to take a couple of those. How about some F-ing accountability?

And Reddox getting more 1st line minutes instead of AHL minutes(where he belongs)?

MacT's decision making these season seems to lack any common sense/reasoning. Either that or he needs to pass the bong, 'cause that must be the good stuff. Either way I think it's time for him to be shown the door.

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#8 Steele
January 09 2009, 01:28PM
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Jason,

I am new to the Oiler Blogosphere, but not the Oilers. I have been an Oiler fan since I lived near Lee Fogilin & had Wayne G. and his girlfriend, drive accross our lawn after a team party. So, 40 games in, aren't the Oilers performing "as usual?" Truly, I have been upset at thier play, but then I realized that I got my hopes up at the beginning of the year by all of the "Oilers Chatter." Mac T talking about being excited etc. etc. etc.

So, aren't the Oilers just doing what they always do?

~Steele

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#9 rindog
January 09 2009, 01:30PM
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@ Colin:

I'll bet there are 200 players in the AHL just as good or better than Reddox....

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#10 rindog
January 09 2009, 01:33PM
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@ Steele:

Expecting them to do what they always do would be okay if they didn't have 3 former all stars on the team (not counting Hemsky)!!!!

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#11 Wanye Gretz
January 09 2009, 01:37PM
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Steele wrote:

I have been an Oiler fan since I lived near Lee Fogilin & had Wayne G. and his girlfriend, drive accross our lawn after a team party.

Note that reads Wayne G not Wanye G. I roll in a tank - had I driven across Steele's lawn there wouldn't be a house standing afterwards.

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#12 atastypie
January 09 2009, 01:40PM
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Calling a '72 Chevy Suburban a tank is a bit of a stretch, don't you think?

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#13 freeze
January 09 2009, 01:42PM
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I want to call an Oilers win but I'm just not feeling it.

Please don't be a blow out! At least make it an exciting game for a change!

Thanks.

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#14 Jordan
January 09 2009, 01:50PM
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Jason: Brule scratched tonight? Will it be Potulny turn next?

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#15 The Towel Boy
January 09 2009, 01:52PM
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I thought Wanye drove a white, 86 chevy panel van.

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#16 baggedmilk
January 09 2009, 02:18PM
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The Towel Boy wrote:

I thought Wanye drove a white, 86 chevy panel van.

That is JSBM that rolls in that whip.

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#17 MattL
January 09 2009, 02:30PM
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CurtisS wrote:

We are 15-17-3 since our 4-0 start. We are getting worse not better.

Yeah, but they were 4-0 prior to their last 35 games. That's undefeated! Aside from 20 games, they've gone 15-0-0. Numbers are awesome!

I would have preferred to see Brule for one more game on the first line, even though he didn't do anything the first go around. Either way, we're not getting much production from the RW next to Horcoff. Without Hemmer, that line is basically a checking line anyway, so I don't mind Reddox up there.

Might prefer to see an offensive player like Schremp beside Cogs and Pouliot though if you lose Hemsky's offense.

Penner-Horc-Reddox Nilsson-Gags-Cole Schremp-Cogs-Pouliot Moreau-Brodz-Storts

Something like that, so you at least have 2 offensive lines. Roli can't do backflips for another game against the Sharks, can he?

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#18 bdubya
January 09 2009, 02:58PM
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Totally off topic, but does anyone know what happened to the bearded flute guy who plays every game in the LRT station? He hasn't been there in forever. Come back, the Oil need you you sexy musical beast.

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#19 MattL
January 09 2009, 03:01PM
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He was there before the Vancouver game, tin-fluting like a man with a tin-flute.

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#20 J&J
January 09 2009, 03:04PM
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Reddox!!WHY LORD WHY!!

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#21 J&J
January 09 2009, 03:11PM
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When Reddox was brought up it was because we didnt want to bring up a skilled guy to play on the fourth line. I get that! now we have a skilled guy out and we still keep reddox with the big club? while Brule sits in the press box? Replace skill with skill(obvious you cant replace Hemsky's skill but at least you can try) Replace plugger with plugger. was that not he reason they gave for not bringing up Schremp before?I will never understand what this team does!its mind blowing.

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#22 BUCK75
January 09 2009, 03:11PM
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J&J wrote:

Reddox!!WHY LORD WHY!!

That is BS, you got Brule to be the same guy as Reddox - except with goal scoring abilities. 1/2 a game on the first line & MacT has seen enough of him to fall back on his guy Reddox. Absolutly absurd!!! Develop talent, don't put a plug into a "talent" role!!!

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#23 CurtisS
January 09 2009, 03:12PM
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@ MattL:

You sound like Oilers managment

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#24 Milli
January 09 2009, 03:12PM
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Ya well, I had ticket to the last game, front row, right beside the Penalty box.....I could touch the goddamn glass....well, and the end of the first, me and my wife go for a few of the most expensive beers in the world.....After, after I pay for the worlds most expensive beer....AFTER....we are surrounded by what looks like Mall Security, but, as it turns out the 6 clowns are RX1 (the no fun arena) security.....I am told she has to leave....intoxicated....Ya well, you just sold us more friggin beer...Oh, now I have to leave to....being beligerent...you ain't seen beligerent!!!! 2 tickets....driving 6 hours each way.....hotel room....BOOZE (aparently too much)....Food (I guess not enough)......REALLY EXPENSIVE!!!! NEVER HAVING TO TAKE MY OLD LADY TO ANOTHER GAME......PRICELESS!!!!!!!!

HEY REXALL.....SCREW YOU!!!!!!!!

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#25 J&J
January 09 2009, 03:13PM
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@ BUCK75: Isnt that What i said?

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#26 Steele
January 09 2009, 03:17PM
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@ Milli:

Milli,

This is an Oilers Chat Stream, not a F'in AA meeting. Take your Mother to the park next time until she learns how to hold her booze. Hitting on the RX1 staff at her age will get you booted for sure.

~Steele

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#27 Deep Oil
January 09 2009, 03:24PM
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jdrevenge wrote:

I hear that. I’m feeling pretty schizophrenic this year. One foot on the bandwagon and one foot off.

That is called the Oiler two step - break a leg...... 0.500 here we are...

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#28 Wanye Gretz
January 09 2009, 03:27PM
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@ Milli: Did that really happen Milli? Be honest with your ol' pal Wanye. Were you "second period drunk" or "Wanye-at- 9-AM-on-a-Tuesday-morning-can-barely-stand-drunk?"

You are a superfan my man. That must have sucked big time given how far you came too....

@ Steele:

Easy there my San Francisan friend. Driving across a province only to get booted is fair game on here.

Not fair game on here: A 24 page manifesto of how I truly believe that the new rule of "no beer once the puck drops in the third" was actually put in place by the brain trust of Diesel Ultra Lounge across the street.

Come to think of it, they probably secretly employ all the RX1 staffers who shoo you out of doors thirsty as can be...

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#29 Jason Gregor
January 09 2009, 03:27PM
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Jordan wrote:

Jason: Brule scratched tonight? Will it be Potulny turn next?

Looks that way for Brule. I don't see a Potulny call up anytime soon.

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#30 Deep Oil
January 09 2009, 03:28PM
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Jason - why do you want Oilervision cameras to put photos of cops (Edmonton's finest) on the jumbotron - is that 6 month ban up yet of the wonderful lady that flashed her gravity resistant ta ta's at the camera - she had more bounce than this team.

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#31 MattL
January 09 2009, 03:31PM
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@ CurtisS:

You got me. I am in Oilers Management.

I'm the Assistant VP of Asinine Message Board Comments and Questionable Hires. I hired Mark Schultz to annoy everyone during the breaks when they shovel the snow off the ice at RX1, the DJ who picks non-pump-upatory music during the games, and I'm also the guy who hired the Moffatts to do the anthem during the playoffs that year.

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#32 Deep Oil
January 09 2009, 03:35PM
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Milli wrote:

Ya well, I had ticket to the last game, front row, right beside the Penalty box…..I could touch the goddamn glass….well, and the end of the first, me and my wife go for a few of the most expensive beers in the world…..After, after I pay for the worlds most expensive beer….AFTER….we are surrounded by what looks like Mall Security, but, as it turns out the 6 clowns are RX1 (the no fun arena) security…..I am told she has to leave….intoxicated….Ya well, you just sold us more friggin beer…Oh, now I have to leave to….being beligerent…you ain’t seen beligerent!!!! 2 tickets….driving 6 hours each way…..hotel room….BOOZE (aparently too much)….Food (I guess not enough)……REALLY EXPENSIVE!!!! NEVER HAVING TO TAKE MY OLD LADY TO ANOTHER GAME……PRICELESS!!!!!!!! HEY REXALL…..SCREW YOU!!!!!!!!

Trust me - the beers are going to get more expensive when the alleged RX2 opens - Edmontonians are not ready for world beer pricing - pay to play - get over it - just place your mickey of CC or Crown in your kids diaper bag or wifes purse - Northlands is not onto that trick yet - I smuggle peanuts and plastic caps in too - beating the system is great - LOL.

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#33 CurtisS
January 09 2009, 03:39PM
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@ MattL:

It took you that many words to say "Im a loser"

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#34 Steele
January 09 2009, 03:40PM
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@ Wanye Gretz:

Thanks Wanye! I just get a bit antsy when the Oilers loose a lot, people get better seats than me, people actually having an "Old Lady" when I have only Lucy & Regina.

Sorry Milli. I'll buy you a beer sometime if the Mall let's me off early from work. Security is a tough business. A lot of Wakkos out there!

~Steele

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#35 Deep Oil
January 09 2009, 03:42PM
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MattL wrote:

@ CurtisS: You got me. I am in Oilers Management. I’m the Assistant VP of Asinine Message Board Comments and Questionable Hires. I hired Mark Schultz to annoy everyone during the breaks when they shovel the snow off the ice at RX1, the DJ who picks non-pump-upatory music during the games, and I’m also the guy who hired the Moffatts to do the anthem during the playoffs that year.

Why can't we get some hot ice girls instead the blue pants northlands farmers - hire the RUSH DJ to pump up the oil and END player interviews (boring) after each period - having a casino and gentlemen's GOLD club in RX2 might be a great addition - but then you would very few people in their seats for the third period. Can you hire the Jonas brothers next time - please.

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#36 Chris
January 09 2009, 03:43PM
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At the twenty game mark the mighty Oil were at 9-9-2. It was just beginning to dawn on the citizens of Oil Country that all might not be well...again. Robin Brownlee posted an excellent article speculating that the Oil would need to go 15-4-1 over the next twenty to keep the heat off MacT...This kind of record over twenty was to be considered very achievable based on the quality of competition and relatively easy schedule. Well after tonight the Oilers will probably be 19-18-3, meaning we went 10-9-1 over that stretch. Five full wins shy of acceptable over a mere twenty games. At our current pace the Oil will finish between 84 and 86 points on the season and be tied for 9th or tenth place. Funny thing is: MacT will not be fired, not step down, and will likely return next year if they marginally up their game and sneak into 8th spot. I don't know why I bother following this team at all...It's like a bad soap opera: you can miss six months and then watch just one episode and be up to speed.

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#37 CurtisS
January 09 2009, 03:46PM
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@ Chris:

Yet the future will be so bright come October.

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#38 Deep Oil
January 09 2009, 03:51PM
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@ Chris: I have to watch as it's like a car accident or train wreck, how can you underperform for 8 years (except lightning in bottle 2006) and still keep your job - maybe MacT will get the boot between the first and second period....... no trades until deadline date - our contracts are too heavy being incredibly average. Last time I checked the oil were sold out - so they could care less about fan feedback.

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#39 Steele
January 09 2009, 03:53PM
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@ Deep Oil:

I am down with a Gentleman's Club to raise the Spirit of the Oiler's Faithful after a loss on the ice, but Ice Girls? That's as Dumb as Crystal Leger talking to me about hockey when the woman has never suited up for a game. In fact, can she skate?

~Steele

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#40 Wanye Gretz
January 09 2009, 04:00PM
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@ Steele:

I wasn't trying to be mean earlier. My only point is that the Nation has free discussion as long as you aren't being profane, incredibly stupid or as we have learned earlier racist.

Free discussion is tolerated here as we are independant. It takes a bit of getting used to.

Now a strip club inside RX1? Now we are getting somewhere. That's unfortunately where Northlands seems to think having ice girls will lead.

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#41 Deep Oil
January 09 2009, 04:03PM
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Steele wrote:

@ Deep Oil: I am down with a Gentleman’s Club to raise the Spirit of the Oiler’s Faithful after a loss on the ice, but Ice Girls? That’s as Dumb as Crystal Leger talking to me about hockey when the woman has never suited up for a game. In fact, can she skate? ~Steele

Gary Bettman can't skate and he is running this league into the ground - I don't discriminate against female reporters vs male - Metz had a good eye for the candy with this one.... but why would any attractive lady speak to you Steele.... Ice Girls are at least an attraction in between opposition goals. If you need a favor - I can get in you no line no cover at Eden, Diamonds or Showgirls - my Harley Owners Group is tight with the boys.

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#42 Jack Bauer
January 09 2009, 04:06PM
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I sneak a mini mick in each game too. As long as you look normal and are polite they wont search you.

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#43 Deans
January 09 2009, 04:14PM
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I think Gregor hit the nail on the head. I have been feeling the same way this year. What makes it even worse is that this team has become increasingly boring. See also: predictable See also: uninspired

In TV terms this team has jumped the shark. I just need something new, fresh, creative or innovative. Any change from the status quo would be greatly appreciated. Most of all, I'm desperatly tired of the system (or lack of a system) the Oilers play. I dont neccesarily think MacT should be fired from a performance perspective but I do think he should be fired from an entertainment perspective.

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#44 freeze
January 09 2009, 04:27PM
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@ Deep Oil: at the Vancouver game they showed a gigantic rack on the 'tron. twice! They were massive, and she was pushing them out in a stretch. I smiled, the crowd cheered, I drank more of that overpriced beer.

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#45 Steele
January 09 2009, 04:27PM
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@ Deep Oil:

Mr. Oil,

Chicks are awesome. I dig them. A few of them even like me, but why does "the media" always go to the lowest common denominator and put a Chippy on T.V. that appeals to the "male (edited) mentality." Do I really need Hot Chicks & good hockey at the same time? Do you?

~Steele

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#46 Chris
January 09 2009, 04:37PM
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MacT said today that he has seen improvement... the results don't lend validity to this statement. 9-9-2 to start. Then the next twnty: 10-9-1. (assuming we lose tonight) This isn't an improvement! In fact, if you consider that the schedule was way easier over the second group of games, the Oilers have gotten worse! Or at least the results have. Tambo...Fire MacT! You are the GM. If Lowe and Katz won't play ball... Quit! Nobody will respect you if you don't seize the job and save the season.

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#47 Chris
January 09 2009, 04:39PM
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I know this reads the same as my earlier post. I'm sorry. I'm FREAKING OUT!

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#48 Ssseth
January 09 2009, 05:09PM
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Gregor must be reading my mind. I've been feeling the exact same way this week.

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#49 socaldave
January 09 2009, 05:25PM
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@Milli:

ah contraire, mon ami - head on down to Staples Center for $11 Heinekens! Good times! And yes - that's AMERICAN DOLLARS, not pesos.

so what if I had 7? (roll on Feb 14!!)

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#50 Deep Oil
January 09 2009, 05:38PM
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socaldave wrote:

@Milli: ah contraire, mon ami - head on down to Staples Center for $11 Heinekens! Good times! And yes - that’s AMERICAN DOLLARS, not pesos. so what if I had 7? (roll on Feb 14!!)

I love the buffet in the end zone for $30, the beauty of Staples is for fast food addicts there is a MacDonalds - I am heading there for Valentines Day and then to PHX for the Monday game against WAYNER - FORE - make sure you check out Barcelona's in Scottsdale if any OILER NATION ever go - this is the best bar on the planet - BAR NONE -

Barcelona Arizona - 4:21pmNightclub Voted Scottsdale's Best Nightclub by Scottsdale Magazine readers in July 2007, The Nightclub at Barcelona is North Scottsdale's destination dance ... www.barcelonaarizona.com/ - 3k - Cached - Similar pages -

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