GDB: OMG BOA

Taylor McKee
December 27 2013 12:01PM

 pic via: PremierofAlberta

It is a great time of year to be a hockey fan. As is boxing day tradition, I am sure many of us set our cell-phones for a painfully early wake-up on boxing day to take in the most hallowed of holiday traditions, the Spengler Cup. As I am sure you all know,  Byron Ritchie helped Canada to a 5-4 win over Viktovice Steel of the Czech league which delighted the entire family I am sure.

It is important to remember that in the eye of the 'Spengler Hurricane' as it were, that is the non-stop wall-to-wall coverage of Team Canada in Davos (who will Alexandre Bolduc be playing with?! Is this Glen Metropolit's last Spengler?!) there is still NHL action to consider, and for Flames fans it doesn't get much better.

It is the 213th installment of the Battle of Alberta tonight and both teams are coming off big victories. With their respective wins in their last games, the Oilers (12-24-3) just snapped a six-game losing streak while the Flames (14-17-6) won for the first time in four games.    

THE LOCAL HEROES

Here is the exact same lineup that shocked the world by erasing a two-goal deficit and beating the Blues in a shootout. Big thanks as always to DailyFaceoff.com for the info.

  • Cammalleri - Backlund - Byron
  • Galiardi - Stajan - Stempniak
  • D. Jones - Colborne - Hudler
  • Bouma - Monahan - McGrattan
  • Giordano - Smid
  • Butler - Brodie
  • Breen - O'Brien
  • Berra

After taking a nasty knee-on-knee hit from St. Louis' David Backes, Many assumed that Matt Stajan would be missing some significant time. Those people forget that Matt Stajan is not just simply a  'player' in our little game called 'ice hockey'. Matt Stajan does not just take up a roster spot and soak up minutes. Matt Stajan is an idea, an idea that can never be defeated by knee, stick, or discouraging word. Matt Stajan makes me want to be a better man.

Because the hockey gods harvest my tears and use them as fuel for the furnace they use to toss ex-Flyer goalies into, Paul Byron might not be able to go tonight after taking a spill in practice. Byron has been playing exceptionally well of late, including a behind the back, no-look pass to Mike Cammalleri in the last game against St. Louis. It does seem as though the accident in practice wasn't too serious, leaving the ice only for precautionary reasons and will be in the lineup for tonight. 

Chris Breen draws in again tonight, so Mark Giordano should prepare to play 59 minutes.

Reto Berra is getting another crack at the Oilers after allowing a Taylor Hall goal when he was less than five seconds away from his first career shutout in his last outing against the Oil. Against St. Louis, Berra was solid, making 32 saves and winning in a shootout. The Oilers will likely try to put a lot of pucks his way tonight as they have had success from let's say interesting angles against Berra in the past:

Hopefully, Berra has a short memory because that one still stings to watch.

Sean Monahan continues to play on the fourth line while he struggles to re-adjust to game speed after the hairline fracture of his foot. You can look up his numbers over the past few games on ExtraSkater.com but I would recomend that you don't. Just know that things have not been going very well for the youngster of late. What has masked Monahan's unceremonious fall from grace has been the ascension of Backlund so it isn't all bad news down the middle for the Flames.

THAT TEAM UP NORTH

 
Here is the Oilers roster tonight thanks to Dailyfaceoff.com

  •  Hall - RNH - Perron
  • Joensuu - Gagner - Eberle 
  • Smyth - Gordon - Hemsky
  • Gadzic - Lander - Yakupov
  • Ference - J. Schultz
  • N. Schultz - Petry
  • Belov - Potter
  • Dubnyk

Both the Flames and Oilers are coming off big victories as the Oil beat the Winnipeg Jets 6-2 on Monday. A game in which Nail Yakupov finished with two points and 12 minutes in penalties. He seems to be adapting well to his new role, playing with Luke Gadzic.

The Oilers are missing Marc Arcobello to a rib injury and Philip Larsen to the flu which explains why Roman Horak was recalled yesterday. However, it does not look as though the Flames will get to show their Horak tribute video tonight as he will likely be watching from the press box. 

The Oilers start beleaguered tender Devan Dubnyk tonight whom is currently sporting a sub .900 SV% and a 3.38 GAA. Dubnyk has had a rough ride this season in Edmonton but it he is hardly the reason that the Oilers are angling for a top-five pick again. However, he has let in some groaners this season from distance, the type of which that gets the fanbase to turn on you in a hurry.

Tactics-wise, tt is the same old story with the Flames and Oilers, they are going to watch to push the pace and turn the game into a track-meet and the Flames will want to try to establish their offensive pressure below the dots. At times this season, the Oilers defense, and the defensive zone coverage from their forwards and in particular their centremen, has been frightening. The Oilers are dead-last in the NHL in goals allowed with 134 and goals allowed per game with 3.44 (though the Flames are third-last so let's not get too uppity).

SUM IT UP

This particular Battle of the QE2 doesn't have any post-season implications and it features two of the Western Conference's worst teams. But who cares? These games mean something. The last two games against the Oilers, the Flames blew leads in the third period which garnered special attention from Brian Burke during his press conference after Jay Feaster's firing.

I know that we all are realistic about the team this season and most of us have succumb to the idea that losing a lot this season is probably a good thing for the long-term health of this franchise. But you always want to beat the Oiler because, well, it just feels so damn good. So make it happen Flames.

The Puck drops tonight at 7:00 pm MT on SNET West.

112039ec99211abeba03b81d364735ec
Taylor splits time between UVIC and Calgary studying history. Taylor likes the Flames, the Cannons, Buckshot, and the Oxford comma. Taylor scored on his own net on dome ice when he was 8. Twitter: @TaylorMcKee_
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#101 Jeff In Lethbridge
December 27 2013, 06:12PM
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vetinari wrote:

You know, those are all good points. But let's look closer at the history of the two franchises.

Let's look at who had more Cups... my friend Wikipedia tells me the Oilers have 5 to Calgary's 1...

Let's look at whose last Cup was more recent... again, it looks like Calgary's sole Cup came in 1989 while the Oiler's last Cup was in 1990...

And whose team made the most recent appearance in the Stanley Cup finals since their last Cup victory... well, Calgary was there in 2004 while the Oilers were there in 2006...

Seems to me that if the Oiler's accomplishments were a long time ago then Calgary's accomplishments were an even looooooonger time ago...

I'm thinking more of how the Flames have dominated the oilers for 10 years, winning 27 of 29 games, or something like that (sorry I don't know the exact number)

So, if the Flames suck so bad, imagine where that leaves the oilers who are worse? Oh ya, the last in the NHL 5 years running hahahaha :-)

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#102 vetinari
December 27 2013, 06:13PM
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Primo wrote:

I suggest you go back and join the Oilernation website and align yourself with the ailing Oiler fans and talk about the over 500 losses your team has incurred during the recent years. You might want to also mention the pathetic Eskimos and enjoy the pathetic state of affairs in Edmonton! Losers!

@Primo

Uh, buddy, you do know that there is a long standing tradition for BOA blogs to be posted on BOTH the OilersNation an FlamesNation sites on game day, right? So, Oilers G IS POSTING on OilersNation AND FlamesNation simultaneously? I know, mind-blowing, right...

If you want, we can all wait here while you go get Kent Wilson or one of the other Flame dudes to explain it to you...

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#103 RexHolez
December 27 2013, 06:13PM
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Can't decide if I should bother watching, which is sad considering its a BOA

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#104 Truth
December 27 2013, 06:15PM
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DonDon wrote:

Changing the subject, have any of you read this from the Beacher Report today on Jan Hejda?

“There was a time when Colorado Avalanche defenseman Jan Hejda contemplated quitting on the National Hockey League.

“That’s according to a story in The Denver Post, which chronicled Hejda’s struggles in the Edmonton Oilers system during the 2006-07 season, when he first broke into the league. His time with the Oilers also included a stop in Hamilton in the American Hockey League.

“Not the greatest situation for a then 27-year-old with a young family in a new country.

‘It was tough. I was a 27-year-old guy who’d already won a world championship with the Czech, but they were treating me like I was 19 and just a rookie,’ Hejda told The Denver Post. ‘I’m doing bag skates in Hamilton, missing my family. I wanted to go home.’

“After his troubles in the Oilers’ organization, Hejda has moved on to find success in the NHL, with the Columbus Blue Jackets and now with the Avalanche. He also played for the Czech Republic in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

“In his third full season with the Avalanche, and at the age of 35, he’s averaging just over 22 minutes of ice time a game, which is second on the team behind his partner on the blue line Erik Johnson.”

With this kind of reputation, it's not difficult to understand why the Oilers have great difficulty in developing players or attracting UFA.

I must be missing something. The Oilers have a bad reputation due to sending a poor player to the AHL to work on his game?? Just because he accomplished something with the Czech team didn't make him an automatic NHLer. Maybe it's that exact move that motivated Hejda to play better to stay in the NHL? Horrible example to use as a shot at the Oilers.

If anything the Oilers should be knocked for not acquiring enough veteran depth to allow players to develop in the minors.

The Oiler's can't attract UFA's because they suck and they aren't located in a tropical climate. Something that, if all progresses as the majority of the "experts" predict, the Flames will struggle with for a lot longer from now on.

Also, whatever happened to the mighty Roman Cervenka? How come he didn't return for another season in cowtown?

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#105 Burnward
December 27 2013, 06:16PM
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@RexHolez

Must be an Oiler fan! Ha!

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#106 Burnward
December 27 2013, 06:17PM
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@Truth

Cervenka sucked ballz. Over-hyped and couldn't adapt to the game over here.

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#107 Keith Fredlund
December 27 2013, 06:17PM
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vetinari wrote:

You know, those are all good points. But let's look closer at the history of the two franchises.

Let's look at who had more Cups... my friend Wikipedia tells me the Oilers have 5 to Calgary's 1...

Let's look at whose last Cup was more recent... again, it looks like Calgary's sole Cup came in 1989 while the Oiler's last Cup was in 1990...

And whose team made the most recent appearance in the Stanley Cup finals since their last Cup victory... well, Calgary was there in 2004 while the Oilers were there in 2006...

Seems to me that if the Oiler's accomplishments were a long time ago then Calgary's accomplishments were an even looooooonger time ago...

I don't recall the hawks red wings Bruins constantly bragging about past cups. I guess there is a difference between the oil and teams like that. CLASS.

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#108 vetinari
December 27 2013, 06:18PM
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Jeff In Lethbridge wrote:

I'm thinking more of how the Flames have dominated the oilers for 10 years, winning 27 of 29 games, or something like that (sorry I don't know the exact number)

So, if the Flames suck so bad, imagine where that leaves the oilers who are worse? Oh ya, the last in the NHL 5 years running hahahaha :-)

There is only one person who can reply to that argument and it is Kevin Lowe... here he is in his own words:

"In terms of the group that messed things up, you’re talking about the group that had a team one period away from winning the Stanley Cup, and you know the cycle of that. You know that we chased a dream for a few years, for our fanbase, like a lot of teams do. And then at some point in that timeframe we realized that’s a bad plan and we made a change. We’re finishing year three of that plan. Are you saying to me you’re getting impatient after three years? And lastly I’ll say, there’s one other guy I believe in hockey today, that is still working in the game, that has won more Stanley Cups than me, so I think I know a little bit about winning if that’s ever a concern."

So, hey, if Kevin Lowe says that everything is alright and that HE knows a little bit about winning, who am I to question him?*

*I question him... I so frickin' question his sorry a$$... but even if Calgary has been winning the 2000s BOA, it keeps me warm at night that they've won nothing since 1989.

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#109 RexHolez
December 27 2013, 06:20PM
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Burnward wrote:

Must be an Oiler fan! Ha!

I might be a flames fan after tonight

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#110 gussey
December 27 2013, 06:20PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

We're on a mission to collect as many first overall picks as we have Stanley Cups......it's going to take a while.

More like the oilers are going for as many first road picks as how many times you would get robbed walking downtown Edmonton.. that will take a while.

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#111 Truth
December 27 2013, 06:22PM
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@Burnward

Maybe he should have spent some time learning the North American game in the AHL.

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#112 Burnward
December 27 2013, 06:24PM
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@Truth

Perhaps. Not sure about his eligibility with waivers and the such though.

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#113 Burnward
December 27 2013, 06:25PM
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@RexHolez

The boys are playing well lately. You'll appreciate the team game and effort for sure.

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#114 drdoogie16
December 27 2013, 06:57PM
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You Oilers idiots actually confirmed my suspicions and cannot read, thus not knowing what stats entail (but that's okay as long as you can drive your Ford F150 with your hoodie on to your O & G service work - Have fun with that) Flames have been in most one goal games in the league this year and unlike the 'Oil' have beaten the likes of L.A., Chicago and St. Lou this year (pretty sure all Oil victories have been against non-playoff teams but I digress). So, predicting a 5-2 victory is... well so Oil fan like, not knowing the stats leading up to the game and all. Enjoy the game Fedorchuk, Krupinski or whatever your names are and close your eyes when McGrattan closes Gadzic's with an overhand right.

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#115 Jeff In Lethbridge
December 27 2013, 06:58PM
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I wonder if the Oilers could transfer to the Swiss elite league?

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#116 Chad
December 27 2013, 07:00PM
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The sportsnet opinions on the reason why the Flames are better than expected are so bad. Hard work and crediting Bob Hartley. So lazy. Just looking for a narrative that fit their preconceived notions on the team instead of looking at results.

No mention of the players that are over performing in Hudler, Giordano and Russell.

Also fails to mention that the goal-tending, while better than last year is still bad and the bottom of the roster is what is really holding the team back this year. The team isn't great at the top but better than expect really good in the middle part of the roster and then bad bottom 2 lines and bottom pairing d-men. You would never learn that by listening to sportsnet.

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#117 vetinari
December 27 2013, 07:11PM
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drdoogie16 wrote:

You Oilers idiots actually confirmed my suspicions and cannot read, thus not knowing what stats entail (but that's okay as long as you can drive your Ford F150 with your hoodie on to your O & G service work - Have fun with that) Flames have been in most one goal games in the league this year and unlike the 'Oil' have beaten the likes of L.A., Chicago and St. Lou this year (pretty sure all Oil victories have been against non-playoff teams but I digress). So, predicting a 5-2 victory is... well so Oil fan like, not knowing the stats leading up to the game and all. Enjoy the game Fedorchuk, Krupinski or whatever your names are and close your eyes when McGrattan closes Gadzic's with an overhand right.

You're rude, you babble and you seem to be slightly irrational... want to be the next GM of the Flames? You seem qualified...

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#118 Hauk15
December 27 2013, 07:13PM
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a huge face palm to dallas eakins forward lines and starting goaltender .

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#119 Serious Gord
December 27 2013, 07:17PM
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Charlie simmer is THE worst colour guy in the business. Very poor tone and empty input.

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#120 Hauk15
December 27 2013, 07:20PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

Charlie simmer is THE worst colour guy in the business. Very poor tone and empty input.

I will never complain about Debrusk & Quinn again. Flames guys are terrible.

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#121 Monaertchi
December 27 2013, 07:21PM
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Flames are not shooting the puck enough for my liking.

The oilers are sucking enough for my liking, though.

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#122 Monaertchi
December 27 2013, 07:22PM
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vetinari wrote:

You're rude, you babble and you seem to be slightly irrational... want to be the next GM of the Flames? You seem qualified...

All true, and all sad.

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#123 Monaertchi
December 27 2013, 07:24PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

Charlie simmer is THE worst colour guy in the business. Very poor tone and empty input.

Simmer is terrible. Kerr is bearable, and SO much better than Loubardias or Millions before him.

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#124 RexHolez
December 27 2013, 07:29PM
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Remember the good old TSN and CBC days

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#125 RexHolez
December 27 2013, 07:32PM
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Bogus call on eberle! This game is a complete lesson in team defence! Who's been stockpiling 1st overall picks and rebuilding for 4 years?

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#126 Jeff In Lethbridge
December 27 2013, 07:37PM
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what a crap no goal call...

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#127 Primo
December 27 2013, 07:38PM
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vetinari wrote:

You're rude, you babble and you seem to be slightly irrational... want to be the next GM of the Flames? You seem qualified...

Vetinari...if you have ever played the game you will realize it's all about winning and the Oilers are not very good at it. Despite all the first overalls the league has granted the Oilers they continuosly show ineptness. Until 6 rings can show that he is a competent leader and is able to build a competitive hard working team like the Flames you will continue to be ridiculed by people like drdoogie. Suck it up!

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#128 Kent Wilson
December 27 2013, 07:38PM
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Pretty ridiculous no-go call against the Flames there.

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#129 RKD
December 27 2013, 07:40PM
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How much did Oilers management pay off the refs tonight?

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#130 Lofty
December 27 2013, 07:40PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Pretty ridiculous no-go call against the Flames there.

Agreed and I'm an oil fan... But did you notice how pretty Hemsky's circles were?

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#131 RexHolez
December 27 2013, 07:43PM
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See hemsky, you can't pass it to smytty, you gotta think of as a pylon and bank it off him

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#132 RexLibris
December 27 2013, 07:44PM
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Sacred goal. Off the blessed crest of St. Smytty and into the heathen net.

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#133 Kent Wilson
December 27 2013, 07:44PM
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That is the most Ryan Smyth goal ever.

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#134 RexLibris
December 27 2013, 07:48PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

That is the most Ryan Smyth goal ever.

Nah. It didn't go off his face.

;)

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#135 Burnward
December 27 2013, 07:50PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

That is the most Ryan Smyth goal ever.

Hahaha! A career in an instant.

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#136 RexHolez
December 27 2013, 07:51PM
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Judging by the amount of high quality saves Dubnyk has made, I'd say there's atleast 2 blue line floaters coming up

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#137 Burnward
December 27 2013, 07:52PM
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RexLibris wrote:

Sacred goal. Off the blessed crest of St. Smytty and into the heathen net.

Beautiful.

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#138 Burnward
December 27 2013, 07:53PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Pretty ridiculous no-go call against the Flames there.

Yeah. That was weaksauce.

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#139 Serious Gord
December 27 2013, 07:57PM
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That was a brutal no goal call. No Toronto review?

I trust that there will be some kind of quality critique of the refs for it.

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#140 vetinari
December 27 2013, 07:57PM
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Primo wrote:

Vetinari...if you have ever played the game you will realize it's all about winning and the Oilers are not very good at it. Despite all the first overalls the league has granted the Oilers they continuosly show ineptness. Until 6 rings can show that he is a competent leader and is able to build a competitive hard working team like the Flames you will continue to be ridiculed by people like drdoogie. Suck it up!

@Primo - ah, you're just sensitive that someone had to tell you that OilersNation and FlamesNation are linked together tonight.

You, sir (madam? other?)), seem to think that we actually LIKE our management team. We know that they are incompetent. And that they have stripped a once proud franchise down to pretty much nothing but hope, underachievers and unfulfilled promises.

And we all know the storyline of 2013-- the Flames are "hard working" while the Oilers are "talented underachievers".

But let me let you in on a little secret: hard work without talent gets you just as far as talent without hard work (check the standings if you don't believe me). But I'd rather have underachievers on my team than talentless plugs because you can't teach talent and once they get motivated, watch out...

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#141 Burnward
December 27 2013, 08:01PM
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@vetinari

You're buying into another narrative though, that the Flames are "talent-less plugs."

We may not have first overall talent, but we are far from that.

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#142 nunyour
December 27 2013, 08:03PM
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It's a tie,both teams suck.Does suicide hurt?

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#143 vetinari
December 27 2013, 08:04PM
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Burnward wrote:

You're buying into another narrative though, that the Flames are "talent-less plugs."

We may not have first overall talent, but we are far from that.

I, obviously stand corrected-- please tell me about the talent that Calgary has assembled? Educate us heathens...

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#144 RexLibris
December 27 2013, 08:05PM
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nunyour wrote:

It's a tie,both teams suck.Does suicide hurt?

Not according to Johnny Mandel.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gO7uemm6Yo

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#145 Primo
December 27 2013, 08:11PM
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vetinari wrote:

@Primo - ah, you're just sensitive that someone had to tell you that OilersNation and FlamesNation are linked together tonight.

You, sir (madam? other?)), seem to think that we actually LIKE our management team. We know that they are incompetent. And that they have stripped a once proud franchise down to pretty much nothing but hope, underachievers and unfulfilled promises.

And we all know the storyline of 2013-- the Flames are "hard working" while the Oilers are "talented underachievers".

But let me let you in on a little secret: hard work without talent gets you just as far as talent without hard work (check the standings if you don't believe me). But I'd rather have underachievers on my team than talentless plugs because you can't teach talent and once they get motivated, watch out...

Thanks for letting me in on the secret. Do I need to wait another 8 years for those underachievers to start achieving? I admire your patience but no thanks. I will settle for the direction the Flames are on after 6 months of rebuild rather than wait another lifetime and seeing more shattered dreams of great young hockey talent drafted by the Oilers.

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#146 Monaertchi
December 27 2013, 08:11PM
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vetinari wrote:

I, obviously stand corrected-- please tell me about the talent that Calgary has assembled? Educate us heathens...

Well, no player on the oilers has more points than the Flames' Hudler.

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#147 vetinari
December 27 2013, 08:15PM
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Monaertchi wrote:

Well, no player on the oilers has more points than the Flames' Hudler.

Good example, but both Hall and Hudler have 33 pts on the season... although Hall did it in 33 games to Hudler's 38. But, yes, I like Hudler's game and two way play... anyone else I should pay attention to?

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#148 Burnward
December 27 2013, 08:16PM
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vetinari wrote:

I, obviously stand corrected-- please tell me about the talent that Calgary has assembled? Educate us heathens...

Just watch the game. That's all I can say.

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#149 Monaertchi
December 27 2013, 08:19PM
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@vetinari

Top line, Monahan, Gio, Butler. Whoever they draft in the top 5 this summer.

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#150 Jeff In Lethbridge
December 27 2013, 08:20PM
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officiating... painful.

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