OGDB6: WAR

Jason Gregor
February 24 2010 12:04PM

The playoffs are here, and while most of us were hoping to meet Russia for the gold medal, meeting them in the quarter-final won’t lessen the intensity, excitement or nervousness.

I don’t think last night’s victory over Germany will have much of an impact on tonight’s game, except maybe for Rick Nash now that he has finally scored an Olympic goal. These two teams wanted to play each other and tonight we will have the pleasure of watching what could be the game of the tournament.

It starts with Crosby v. Ovechkin

While these two have a healthy respect for one another, they aren’t friends away from the game. I think it’s great that these two are so competitive that they just can’t be friends. It irks me to no end when I see the great players laughing, smiling and joking around with each other prior to a game.

Crosby and Ovechkin didn’t even joke around with each other when they played for the East in the all-star game. So you know that both of them will be ready for tonight, but with so many stars on the ice I don’t see these two dominating the game like they did when Washington and Pittsburgh battled three weeks ago and they combined for five goals.

Both of them will be a factor, but I think it will come down to who has the best supporting cast. Eric Staal looked great last night alongside Crosby , while Ovechkin has Evgeni Malkin. Toss in Jarome Iginla and Alex Semin and the some would say they are equal, but Iginla has five goals in the tourney—granted they came against Norway and Germany —while Semin doesn’t have a goal yet.

The San Jose trio looked decent again last night, but I’m still skeptical that Joe Thornton can elevate his emotion in a big game. His skill set has never been the problem; it is the emotional part of his game that has let him down. Ilya Kovalchuk doesn’t have a point since the first game of the tourney when the Russians crushed Latvia 8-2. In fact you could argue that the KHL forwards, Danis Zaripov, Sergei Zinovyev and Alexei Morozov have been a better supporting cast to date than the Kovalchuk, Datsyuk connection.

The Russians definitely have some scary fire power, but if Kovalchuk and Datsyuk aren’t a factor tonight I don’t see them winning. Canada has a big advantage on the back end. Andrei Markov, Sergei Gonchar, Fedor Tyutin, Anton Volchenkov and Denis Grebeshkov don’t match up to Duncan Keith, Drew Doughty, Shea Weber, Scott Niedermayer and Dan Boyle. And while the Human Rake has struggled, I’d still take him and Brent Seabrook over the three KHL D-men, Dmitri Kalinin, Ilya Nikulin and Konstantin Korneev.

It is fair to wonder if Roberto Luongo can win the pressure game, but Evgeni Nabokov has only taken the Sharks to the third round of the playoffs once so is he that much more proven?

INTANGIBLES

If this was a seven game series I’d confidently pick Canada in six, but in a one game scenario it is much harder to call. One bad goal, bad penalty, bad pinch, missed open net or a lucky or unlucky break can be the difference. Canada clearly has the crowd advantage and I think that will be the deciding factor. Canada Place will be bedlam tonight, and unless Russia gets off to an early lead I think the crowd can energize Canada throughout the game.

KEYS TO THE GAME

The five things that need to happen for Canada to win:

1. The San Jose trio has to be a factor. Thornton and Patrick Marleau need to be emotionally invested in the game. Use their size to wear down the defence.

2. The energy line of Mike Richards, Brendan Morrow and Jonathon Toews need to by physical early. Be momentum changers with hits and a good cycle down low.

3. Roberto Luongo needs to be steady, not spectacular. Don’t give up a weak goal.

4. Drew Doughty continues to play like he is a ten-year veteran. The kid’s maturity and poise has been unbelievable.

5. If Joannie Rochette gives the pre-game speech. They should show her routine from last night to the players. It was inspirational to see her perform so well, and set a career high in scoring only three days after her mother passed away. If that doesn’t motivate the boys to win, nothing will.

Five things that need to happen for Russia to win:

1. Luongo forgets to sharpen his skates and can’t stand up in the crease.

2. It doesn’t matter, because they won’t win.

3. This is our game, in our country and we will end our eight game losing streak v. Russia at the Olympics TONIGHT.

4. It doesn’t matter, because they won’t win.

5. They lace our water bottles with Vodka.

THIS WILL BE ONE HELL OF A GAME

Paint your face, cheer your ASS off and around 8:10 MST you can relax in your chair after Canada scores an empty net goal to cement the victory. I’m calling 5-3 Canada with an empty netter, in what will be an electrifying hockey game. The rollercoaster of emotions will make this game even better. I suspect you will be filled with joy, pain, fear and elation throughout the game.

We will see Sweden on Friday.

BELIEVE IT.

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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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#51 Archaeologuy
February 24 2010, 05:07PM
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@PattQuinn'sChesthair

i dont think Price is very good. I'd rather have Halak, if I was cherry-picking from Montreal's goaltenders.

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#52 Ender
February 24 2010, 05:10PM
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While the Americans have earned a minimum of fourth now, I would still rather see them get that fourth place finish and miss out beating them for the gold medal than to beat them in the medal round and have to watch them get silver. I don't care how they lose; I just want it to be as badly as possible.

While the showing hasn't been everything hoped for by the Russians and the Canadians, they are still two of the most power-packed teams in the tournament. It is a damn shame that one of them is going home without seeing the medal round. Here's hoping it's not us.

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#53 PattQuinn'sChesthair
February 24 2010, 05:17PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

i dont think Price is very good. I'd rather have Halak, if I was cherry-picking from Montreal's goaltenders.

Ageed. Halak is much better but I think it will be Price who goes at the deadline.

The thing that get's me to bite on this if I'm running thigs is the Horcoff for Richards aspect. One overpay for another but at least Richards is an upgrade in the scoring dept.

Leaves the Oilers a little short on defence but what the hell, they have to fill some spots with call ups in a rebuild anyways.

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#54 Ender
February 24 2010, 05:19PM
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As long as we're throwing rumours around, Spector posted a story today that the Coyotes may be sending Peter Mueller to Edmonton seemingly straight across for Cogs. How does that deal grab you?

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#56 Milli
February 24 2010, 05:23PM
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when is the trade freeze over? Monday?

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#57 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
February 24 2010, 05:24PM
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PattQuinn'sChesthair wrote:

Here's a laugh from eklund (please, no death theats)

On the Montreal/Edmonton/Dallas...

To Montreal: Cogliano, Brunnstrom, Smid and Dallas #2 2010, #1 2011. To Dallas: Grebeshkov, Horcoff, another prospect player from Edmonton and Montreal's 3 in 2010. To Edmonton: Price. Richards, a Habs Prospect, a Stars #2 next season.

If I'm Tambi, I would stepover my stroking grandma to do this deal (only if the Rehab goes into retirement and his salary is magically erased.) If I'm the owner in Dallas I pay a hit man to end Joe Nieuwendyk's life. And the Hab's come out smelling pretty good.

does this sh*t even fly in any NHL game for the mighty X-Box?

****mutters under his breath and wishes people would stop giving that "guy" the time of day****

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#58 Zamboni Driver
February 24 2010, 05:28PM
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One thing about Bobby Lou tonite.....anyone notice it's always the OTHER goalie standing on his head? Time for a Canuck tender to do that?

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#59 PattQuinn'sChesthair
February 24 2010, 05:31PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Richards has one more year, Horcoff has five. We can talk about "won't happen" rumours once Olympics is over, let's focus on tonight's game.

SSSSSSSHHHHHHHHH!!!

the game is starting.

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#60 Rigger
February 24 2010, 05:35PM
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Woooo, let's DOOOOOOOOOO this!

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#61 PattQuinn'sChesthair
February 24 2010, 05:35PM
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Ok in all seriousness.

4-3 shootout victiory.

Crosby opens the scoring 2 mins in and scores the SO winner

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#62 17
February 24 2010, 05:40PM
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Wooooooo Getzlaf!

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#63 Pajamah
February 24 2010, 05:44PM
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Let's beat them so bad, that communism feels it

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#64 OILERSORDEATH
February 24 2010, 05:53PM
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How are our boys doing?? Whats the score?

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#65 Rigger
February 24 2010, 05:56PM
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Wooooo!!!! 2-1 for democracy!

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#66 Lofty
February 24 2010, 06:01PM
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This is what hockey is all about! If you dont like the way this game has started you dont like sports

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#67 Pajamah
February 24 2010, 06:03PM
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3-1 good guys, keep it going Canada

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#68 Zamboni Driver
February 24 2010, 06:08PM
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Honest to god, the 20 year old is frickin' awesome.

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#69 Pajamah
February 24 2010, 06:08PM
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Brendan Morrow you fantastic bastard

4-1 Strong and Free

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#70 Rigger
February 24 2010, 06:10PM
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Yesss! Where was this team against the US? *fist pump*

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#71 Pajamah
February 24 2010, 06:20PM
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Lofty wrote:

This is what hockey is all about! If you dont like the way this game has started you dont like sports

Or freedom

however, if you're unhappy with the start of the game, you could always find solace in a bottle of smirnov

in mother Russia, hockey game loses you

-Yakov Smirnov (sp)

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#72 Lofty
February 24 2010, 06:32PM
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Pajamah wrote:

Or freedom

however, if you're unhappy with the start of the game, you could always find solace in a bottle of smirnov

in mother Russia, hockey game loses you

-Yakov Smirnov (sp)

Agreed,

I wet my pants half way through that period. Ovechkin is nowhere to be found and Canada is flat out dominating. I'm still feeling good on my prediction of a Getzlaf hatty.

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#73 Rigger
February 24 2010, 06:33PM
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Did I hear right, we got like 22 shots in the first period? Sh*t this is amazing! 6-1 and we're not half way through the game.

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#74 RossCreekNation
February 24 2010, 06:43PM
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Where's all the Perry yappers now?

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#75 DoubleJ
February 24 2010, 06:47PM
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This is what you get for picking half your team from the KHL. They're killing the KHL lines.

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#76 Zamboni Driver
February 24 2010, 06:52PM
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Fantastic pace, effort, heart, finish.

(and I guess I was wishful thinking about Bobby Lou....it shouldn't matter, but he's not exactly filling me with confidence, even 7-3.)

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#77 Pajamah
February 24 2010, 07:15PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

Where's all the Perry yappers now?

As head of the "Perry benefits of Getzlaf and otherwise we be widely considered a talentless bum" ....he sure shoved it up the backsides of me

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#78 Crash
February 24 2010, 07:19PM
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Well I'm hoping this puts an end to the guys on here who were going ga ga before the tournament on the skill of the Russian forwards...

Talk about overhype

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#79 Pajamah
February 24 2010, 07:40PM
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Crash wrote:

Well I'm hoping this puts an end to the guys on here who were going ga ga before the tournament on the skill of the Russian forwards...

Talk about overhype

To be fair, other than the 3rd, it's been more about the skill of Canada's forwards, than how we shut down te vaunted Russian attack.

I'd say it's at worst, a great all around game, but not a defensive gem

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#80 JackBauer
February 24 2010, 07:43PM
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Have you guys seen this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHDJrVggOtU&feature=player_embedded

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#81 RossCreekNation
February 24 2010, 07:48PM
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Pajamah wrote:

As head of the "Perry benefits of Getzlaf and otherwise we be widely considered a talentless bum" ....he sure shoved it up the backsides of me

LOL

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#82 RossCreekNation
February 24 2010, 07:50PM
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SING IT!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsaTElBljOE

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#83 Dan the Man
February 24 2010, 07:52PM
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WOOOOooOoooOOO! Take your ugly socks and mismatched gloves and go home komrades!

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#84 SmellOfVictory
February 24 2010, 08:03PM
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Crash wrote:

Well I'm hoping this puts an end to the guys on here who were going ga ga before the tournament on the skill of the Russian forwards...

Talk about overhype

Russia's top line is still incredibly talented, but when there is an entire set of five guys from Team Canada dedicated to checking said line, they're naturally going to have some difficulty producing. The second line is nothing to sniff at, either, but after that I don't really know how deep their forward talent goes.

Besides, the Toews line was balls-out amazing the entire game. That's not going to happen every game with any line.

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#85 Crash
February 24 2010, 08:07PM
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We just pulled even with the US in 1st place finishes...gold and silver in Womans bobsleigh.

gold count Canada 7 US 7

Our anthem has played just as many times as theirs.....way to go Canada

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#86 Dan the Man
February 24 2010, 08:10PM
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1 Gold, 2 Silver, 1 Bronze and a hockey victory for Canada today....nice days work.

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#87 David S
February 24 2010, 08:23PM
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-aJROW6cuEM

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#88 Samwise
February 24 2010, 08:33PM
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Tracie wrote:

MAN!!! I'm so nervous and excited!!! I can't believe I have to listen to the first part of the game on Fan960 b/c no Edmonton stations are carrying the game!

I think this is as good a reason as any to leave work early!

101.7 in Edmonton is broadcasting all hockey games

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#89 Samwise
February 24 2010, 08:38PM
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cambosmash wrote:

All the games have been playing on an FM station called World FM. Peter Maher has been doing the games with John Garret so it's been pretty solid. It's 101.7FM in Edmonton for anyone that can't get to a TV.

So I need to read the entire thread before I post... Sorry 'bout that (I'm such a Canadian I apologize for everything)

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#90 Harlie
February 24 2010, 08:41PM
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notice how ever since we dropped the "own the podium" focus that we've started doing better? Cleaned up in women's bobsleigh today as well.

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#91 Crash
February 24 2010, 08:45PM
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Harlie wrote:

notice how ever since we dropped the "own the podium" focus that we've started doing better? Cleaned up in women's bobsleigh today as well.

And the way things are going, we may not own the the whole podium but we have a shot at owning the tallest portion of it....

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#92 Jamie B.
February 24 2010, 08:56PM
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Harlie wrote:

notice how ever since we dropped the "own the podium" focus that we've started doing better? Cleaned up in women's bobsleigh today as well.

Prior to the Olympics starting, the COC or someone did say that they anticipated more medals in the second week of the Games and asked people to please not freak out if we started slowly. Let's hope they can finish strong, getting the most golds would be pretty damn nice. Women's hockey, over to you ...

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#93 Kaiser Wilhelm
February 24 2010, 09:31PM
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Harlie wrote:

notice how ever since we dropped the "own the podium" focus that we've started doing better? Cleaned up in women's bobsleigh today as well.

I still think "Loan the podium" fits Canada's current medal total better to point, but maybe they can adress that in the next week

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#94 vishcosity
February 24 2010, 09:37PM
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I think we can all thank the Americans for pushing the Canadians to tonight's level. Had they won that game I suspect they wouldn't have been able to perform as well.

TLP - would you consider a straight up wager on a Canada US final?

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#95 SmellOfVictory
February 24 2010, 10:06PM
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vishcosity wrote:

I think we can all thank the Americans for pushing the Canadians to tonight's level. Had they won that game I suspect they wouldn't have been able to perform as well.

TLP - would you consider a straight up wager on a Canada US final?

Winner has to say five nice things about the other person's country? :D

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#96 SmellOfVictory
February 24 2010, 10:06PM
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*loser

I really have no excuse for that little fookup

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#97 Archaeologuy
February 24 2010, 11:00PM
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Anybody notice that Tampa Bay didnt want the world to forget how inept they are during these Olympics? They just fired assistant coach Wes Walz without even telling the head coach what was going on.

The only thing they could do to make the franchise more of a joke would be to hire Eklund as the new GM.

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#98 TheDiplomat
February 24 2010, 11:15PM
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http://tv.gawker.com/5479767/mike-milbury-calls-russian-olympic-hockey-team-eurotrash

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#99 OilFan
February 24 2010, 11:29PM
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TheDiplomat wrote:

http://tv.gawker.com/5479767/mike-milbury-calls-russian-olympic-hockey-team-eurotrash

Really don't see the big deal. We have all been thinking it for years.Good for Mike for speaking out.God bless freedom of speech and eff the FCC.

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#100 Phil
February 24 2010, 11:50PM
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@OilFan

“They came,” said Russia goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov of the Canadian onslaught, “like gorillas coming out of a cage.”

lol, Bryz is a beauty.

didnt mean that to be specifically for OilFan obviously.

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