FGD: You Can Do It!

Christian Roatis
January 11 2014 03:50PM

                                                 image: memecrunch   

When an NHL team is struggling in every capacity imaginable, there's no better time to snap out of it, than when matched up against one of the leagues elite teams. Last night, in a village about 3 hours up the QE2, was Exhibit A. The Edmonton Oilers and their dynamic group of underachievers snapped out of a funk that saw them lose 5 of their last 6 games, against the Eastern Conference powerhouse, and Sidney Crosby lead, Pittsburgh Penguins last night. They made dramatic comebacks from 2-0 and 3-2 deficits to emerge victorious, 4-3 in extra time. The Oilers. The Edmonton Oilers. The team backstopped by Devan Dubnyk beat the Pittsburgh Penguins!

Now that, is what the Flames should be focusing on, coming into tonight. Not the fact that Penguins are probably pissed off and motivated to avenge an embarrassing defeat to the worst team in Alberta, when they face the second worst team in Alberta. No, not that. The focus should be on the fact, that if the Oilers can do it, so can they!*

* scoring goals is a pre-requisite for winning

The Team That Can Do It!

  • Cammalleri - Backlund - Stempniak
  • Byron - Monahan - Hudler
  • Galiardi - Stajan - Bouma
  • Westgarth - Colborne - McGrattan
  • Brodie - Giordano
  • Smid - Wideman
  • Butler - O'Brien
  • Berra

The forward group, which has been so effective of late, naturally stays the same as last game - the one where they were shut out 5-zip. You can't really blame Hartley though, it's not like he has a lot to work with. I would still like to see a Cammalleri-Monahan-Hudler line, as I think that could muster up some solid scoring chances, but nonetheless this line-up is about as good as it gets given the resources they have. That's a sad thing to say.

Anyways, Monahan has been better of late in my opinion, I even saw him throw a bodycheck the other night, which was nice. At this point, he's probably one of the teams best offensive options along with his linemate, Jiri Hudler. It never ceases to amaze me how Hudler has played this year. There haven't been too many off nights or dips in his production which, considering the team he plays for, is extremely impressive. The top unit is probably the only one that looks somewhat decent on paper, but on the ice haven't brought much. Stempniak is ice cold while Cammalleri has been playing like a Katy Perry song (link Hot and Cold). Mikael Backlund's progression this season amidst all the disaster has been very encouraging. His confidence is up and the numbers are slowly starting to come up, as well. In fact, he's on pace for a career year!

The defence has been a little shady of late and absence of Kris Russell is clearly being felt, but nonetheless the boys on the blueline have been Calgary's strength this year. Giordano and Brodie have been very solid night in and night out and when it's all said and done, this rebuild and the high level of competition that he faces will only benefit TJ Brodie in the long run. Wideman's return has added a much missed dimension on a misfiring powerplay and his pairing with Smid hasn't been all that bad, although the weren't great against the Blues the other night. Once Russell returns, that Top 4 on the blueline will actually look real solid. The third pairing tonight is uh, well, rebuild friendly.

Berra will get the start tonight because Ramo allowed five goals against the Blues. Ramo got the start against the Blues because Berra allowed six goals against the Coyotes. Basically, the goaltending isn't going all that great either. Berra was spectacular in his debut against the likes of Toews, Kane and Hossa and will need to be equally as impressive against the likes of Crosby, Malkin and Neal if the Flames have a prayer in this game.

The Team They Need To Do It Against

  • Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - Brian Gibbons
  • Jussi Jokinen - Evgeni Malkin - James Neal
  • Tanner Glass - Brandon Sutter - Taylor Pyatt
  • Craig Adams - Joe Vitale - Deryk Engelland
  • Rob Scuderi - Kris Letang
  • Robert Bortuzzo - Brooks Orpik
  • Olli Maatta - Matt Niskanen
  • Fluery

At first glance, one notices Brian Gibbons beside the two Canadian Olympians, Crosby and Kunitz. Well, the 25 year old got the call up in light of the Pascal Dupuis injury and from what I understand has mostly played on the top unit. He has six points in 12 games this year. Aside from Gibbons, the entire top 6 of the Pens is lethal, with legitimate scoring threats in abundance. The third unit is designed to annihilate opponents with behemoths Tanner Glass and Taylor Pyatt winging Brandon Sutter. They also present a scoring threat however with both Pyatt and Sutter possessing decent skill and the entire line offers a relentless work ethic. The fourth line is probably put together for Salary Cap reasons.

On defence, a solid mix of youth and veteran presence make them equally as dangerous. Letang is viable to score every time he's out there, with his partner Scuderi taking care of business in his own zone has one of the best stay at home defensemen in the league. Bortuzzo and Orpik are both big, hard to play against blueliners who will pound the Flames into the ice at every opportunity and the third pairing features a guy who the Flames could've drafted but Jankowski is better, obviously.

Jeff Zatkoff played last night in Edmonton so it'll probably be MA Fluery in tonight for the bird who can't fly. Someone should tell him this is a playoff game so the Flames have a better chance of scoring!

Sum It Up

Is there a chance the Flames come away victorious in this one? Yes. Is it a good one? No. It's more than likely that this game will be more fuel for Lambert's negativity fire, than for my positivity one (which is more of smoulder than anything that this point). The Penguins are really good and the Flames are really not. Those are facts, but the Oilers proved last night that facts can be meaningless sometimes, sparking a little bit of hope for the home side tonight. If Berra can put on his best Kiprusoff impersonation and the Flames actually score once or twice, they stand a chance. They proved a couple weeks ago that they can hang with the Penguins, but then again, that was back when they could score.  

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Christian Roatis is a European by birth, Calgarian by heart. Other than writing at FlamesNation, he writes about and scouts NHL Draft Prospects at Future Considerations. Follow him on Twitter @CRoatis!
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#1 Jeff In Lethbridge
January 11 2014, 05:50PM
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Red Deer Oil wrote:

You pukes in " we wanne be" town just can't refrain from slamming the Oilers can you. Is it deep down inside you know their current state will turn around and when it does your pathetic excuse for a hockey club will be what is typically found on on toilet paper ? Yes, the Oilers have issues, but i assure you the talent is there and that is what scares you. You have none - zero - not the slightest of hope. Monahan ? Yeah , he is good but thats all you have besides arrogance for no reason.

So shut your pie hole Flamers and Flamers Media buffoons, you have nothing to slam Edmonton or the Oilers about. You my friends are a hair away from being the , yes THE doormats with no future. Your coach is soon to be gone as well. Look in the mirror Calgary and tell me what you really see. And save the slamming of the City of Edmonton, I've lived in Calgary, it really is not all that you think it is. Wanna Be's , you just can't figure it out can you. Pathetic.

Enjoy an Angry Penguins Team tonight you sad sack doormats.

PS - Go back to Atlanta where you belong.

I know, I know... "how good the Oilers are GOING to be some day" ya I know... I have heard that may times and you know, in spite of the Oilers still being at the colon end of the league,right there behind Calgary's sphincter, I DO still believe you...

hahahahahahah

PS: the bitterness of so many years of Oiler suckage is painful to watch - you should get some counseling for that!!!

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#2 suba steve
January 11 2014, 05:51PM
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@Red Deer Oil

With all due respect, you are as bad as those that you are lashing out at. Sad that you didn't see that before you hit "Post comment".

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#3 red deer
January 11 2014, 11:35PM
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Red Deer Oil wrote:

You pukes in " we wanne be" town just can't refrain from slamming the Oilers can you. Is it deep down inside you know their current state will turn around and when it does your pathetic excuse for a hockey club will be what is typically found on on toilet paper ? Yes, the Oilers have issues, but i assure you the talent is there and that is what scares you. You have none - zero - not the slightest of hope. Monahan ? Yeah , he is good but thats all you have besides arrogance for no reason.

So shut your pie hole Flamers and Flamers Media buffoons, you have nothing to slam Edmonton or the Oilers about. You my friends are a hair away from being the , yes THE doormats with no future. Your coach is soon to be gone as well. Look in the mirror Calgary and tell me what you really see. And save the slamming of the City of Edmonton, I've lived in Calgary, it really is not all that you think it is. Wanna Be's , you just can't figure it out can you. Pathetic.

Enjoy an Angry Penguins Team tonight you sad sack doormats.

PS - Go back to Atlanta where you belong.

why don't you go back to your Oiler loving blog dueshbag !! Flames will rebuild in half the time its taken the Oilers. You are pathetic. The Oilers have and continue to be doormats for almost a decade. As far as cities are concerned Edmonton is a dump. Your team is probably a lot like you. Overrated and undersized.

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#6 Red Deer Oil
January 11 2014, 04:58PM
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You pukes in " we wanne be" town just can't refrain from slamming the Oilers can you. Is it deep down inside you know their current state will turn around and when it does your pathetic excuse for a hockey club will be what is typically found on on toilet paper ? Yes, the Oilers have issues, but i assure you the talent is there and that is what scares you. You have none - zero - not the slightest of hope. Monahan ? Yeah , he is good but thats all you have besides arrogance for no reason.

So shut your pie hole Flamers and Flamers Media buffoons, you have nothing to slam Edmonton or the Oilers about. You my friends are a hair away from being the , yes THE doormats with no future. Your coach is soon to be gone as well. Look in the mirror Calgary and tell me what you really see. And save the slamming of the City of Edmonton, I've lived in Calgary, it really is not all that you think it is. Wanna Be's , you just can't figure it out can you. Pathetic.

Enjoy an Angry Penguins Team tonight you sad sack doormats.

PS - Go back to Atlanta where you belong.

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#7 Jeff In Lethbridge
January 11 2014, 05:48PM
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envy or what ? wrote:

It would really be nice to see a Flames blog without the mention of Edmonton. A lot of envy goin around down here lately. How about we don't get shutout tonight and we can go from there. Baby steps...

ENVY???

Bwaahahahahahahahaaaa

haaa

haaa

cough cough

don't do that, my lungs now hurt!

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#8 Primo
January 11 2014, 06:06PM
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Red Deer Oil wrote:

You pukes in " we wanne be" town just can't refrain from slamming the Oilers can you. Is it deep down inside you know their current state will turn around and when it does your pathetic excuse for a hockey club will be what is typically found on on toilet paper ? Yes, the Oilers have issues, but i assure you the talent is there and that is what scares you. You have none - zero - not the slightest of hope. Monahan ? Yeah , he is good but thats all you have besides arrogance for no reason.

So shut your pie hole Flamers and Flamers Media buffoons, you have nothing to slam Edmonton or the Oilers about. You my friends are a hair away from being the , yes THE doormats with no future. Your coach is soon to be gone as well. Look in the mirror Calgary and tell me what you really see. And save the slamming of the City of Edmonton, I've lived in Calgary, it really is not all that you think it is. Wanna Be's , you just can't figure it out can you. Pathetic.

Enjoy an Angry Penguins Team tonight you sad sack doormats.

PS - Go back to Atlanta where you belong.

An angry pathetic Oiler fan that is a loser and supports what is clearly the worst pro franchise in sports history that has had over 500 losses since 2006. And those are only the Oilers, we won't even mention the Eskimos! What a pathetic fan and City.

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#9 FlameinATL
January 11 2014, 09:23PM
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We in Atlanta will gladly take the original boys back.

Still miss 'em to this day.

But, ah, the memories...

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#10 Kent Wilson
January 11 2014, 10:39PM
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Flames played pretty well. Backlund with an incredible game.

Maybe this turns things around a bit.

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#11 Spaz
January 11 2014, 06:03PM
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suba steve wrote:

With all due respect, you are as bad as those that you are lashing out at. Sad that you didn't see that before you hit "Post comment".

Jokingly ripping on either "Shelbyville" is one of the few joys you can get from two crap-tacular teams. I wonder if Islander and Panther fans do the same?

It's just a bit sad when some people take it so seriously. News flash: neither of these beloved Hindenburgs of hockey are getting in the playoffs anytime soon.

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#12 Priom
January 11 2014, 06:31PM
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Spaz wrote:

Just out of curiosity I looked at the regular season totals since the lockout and was shocked to find that the flames have only won 18 more games than the Oilers over the last 7.5 seasons.

Hurray for the loser point / shootout?

EDIT miscounted the first Oiler failure season, it's actually 59 games! Or on average 7-8 games a year.

Typical Oiler fan that can't add simple numbers. Tell me what these numbers mean?? 30, 30, 28 etc etc. Sound familiar? Want to know why the Oilers have better talent? Could it possibly be the league grants basement dwellers 1st overall draft choices?? Guess what Oilers are going to get another one this year. More shattered dreams and careers for young top talent. Becoming an Edmonton Oiler! What a nightmare!

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#13 Spaz
January 11 2014, 06:43PM
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@Kurt

No I was just trying to see if it was really as bad as he said it was. I do think they're pretty equal in the current bad team department but what Calgary lacks in 'skill' they make up for in effort usually. The one thing both fans have in common is they both seem to think their rebuilds are going 'better' than they really are. It's just the Oilers have years more of practice at being terrible. High draft picks mean nothing with poor management, just ask Islander fans... I mean Oiler fans...

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#14 Colin.S
January 11 2014, 08:29PM
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Anyone else looking at Maatta right now and thinking he would look good wearing red instead?

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#15 ianberg1
January 11 2014, 04:12PM
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Maybe Giordano or Monahan will throw the team on their back tonight and the Flames win like the Oilers did... Maybe...

Either way, I'm still going to enjoy an order of Dome nachos tonight.

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#16 envy or what ?
January 11 2014, 05:02PM
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It would really be nice to see a Flames blog without the mention of Edmonton. A lot of envy goin around down here lately. How about we don't get shutout tonight and we can go from there. Baby steps...

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#17 Kurt
January 11 2014, 05:30PM
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@Christian Roatis

The Oilers won because they got a couple goals that read like this:

Nugent Hopkins from Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle

There is exactly zero chance of a couple goals like that happening for us.

I get that we take pleasure in ridiculing the Oilers, but yikes.... I actually watched a bit of that game last night and it was really depressing as a Flames fan. Why? Because the Coilers suck so, so bad, but wow. It put into perspective how thin we are as a team.

We have nobody. Seriously, nobody.... Honestly we have a long long road ahead of us. Malkin, Crosby, Neal. UMMM ya... But even the Coilers have so many players that are better than ANY of ours.

Oh well, Ekblad should help.

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#18 Peekin Saprykin
January 11 2014, 05:55PM
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Red Deer Oil wrote:

You pukes in " we wanne be" town just can't refrain from slamming the Oilers can you. Is it deep down inside you know their current state will turn around and when it does your pathetic excuse for a hockey club will be what is typically found on on toilet paper ? Yes, the Oilers have issues, but i assure you the talent is there and that is what scares you. You have none - zero - not the slightest of hope. Monahan ? Yeah , he is good but thats all you have besides arrogance for no reason.

So shut your pie hole Flamers and Flamers Media buffoons, you have nothing to slam Edmonton or the Oilers about. You my friends are a hair away from being the , yes THE doormats with no future. Your coach is soon to be gone as well. Look in the mirror Calgary and tell me what you really see. And save the slamming of the City of Edmonton, I've lived in Calgary, it really is not all that you think it is. Wanna Be's , you just can't figure it out can you. Pathetic.

Enjoy an Angry Penguins Team tonight you sad sack doormats.

PS - Go back to Atlanta where you belong.

As a dedicated Flames fan, I have to say that you're right. We are nearly devoid of talent. But we're just starting this whole bottom team in the league thing. That thing that the Oilers have been doing for a few consecutive years now. Not trying to put them down, that's how you get the Halls, Nugent-Hopkins' and Yakupovs. Give us a couple years, we'll show some promise too. There was a time when all the Oilers had to brag about was Ales Hemsky! This is that time for the Flames.

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#19 Peekin Saprykin
January 11 2014, 05:58PM
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Also, if a team belonged in Atlanta, the second one would've worked out. Just saying

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#20 Kurt
January 11 2014, 06:38PM
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Priom wrote:

Typical Oiler fan that can't add simple numbers. Tell me what these numbers mean?? 30, 30, 28 etc etc. Sound familiar? Want to know why the Oilers have better talent? Could it possibly be the league grants basement dwellers 1st overall draft choices?? Guess what Oilers are going to get another one this year. More shattered dreams and careers for young top talent. Becoming an Edmonton Oiler! What a nightmare!

I think his point was that we both suck basically equally. But they have Nugent Hopkins, Eberle, Hall and Yakupov to show for it. Pretty hard to argue we aren't the bigger losers coming out of the last 7 years.

Thats why I'm so glad we finally got it right this year and are going for #1 overall. If only Buffalo could win a few more games.

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#21 Kurt
January 11 2014, 07:58PM
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Spaz wrote:

No I was just trying to see if it was really as bad as he said it was. I do think they're pretty equal in the current bad team department but what Calgary lacks in 'skill' they make up for in effort usually. The one thing both fans have in common is they both seem to think their rebuilds are going 'better' than they really are. It's just the Oilers have years more of practice at being terrible. High draft picks mean nothing with poor management, just ask Islander fans... I mean Oiler fans...

I just looked at the Penguins drafting that built their team. It took 5 years of top 5 picks (4 of them being top 2). FIVE!

Whitney (5), Fleury (1), Malkin (2), Crosby (1), Staal (2)

Thats even more suck than even the Oilers have endured. AND they got Staal the year after they had Malkin AND Crosby in the lineup.

My point is just that I hate our mgmt for not starting this a few years ago. Because history dictates we have a lot of pain ahead of us....

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#22 ChinookArch
January 11 2014, 09:47PM
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Burnward wrote:

Sweet Jesus. What did we do over Christmas to make the hockey gods this angry?

I know we're not very good, but this is getting freaking ridiculous.

We dressed 2 pungilists with no hockey skills. The Hockey Gods are insulted.

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#23 Walter White
January 11 2014, 10:32PM
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A couple of bad goals against and some bad puck luck was the difference.....

Other than that we were in this one...

WW

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#24 Spaz
January 11 2014, 06:37PM
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@Priom

So I had a small goof and missed one tally in a 7.5 field and when I double checked my results I pointed it out. Regardless the actual number wasn't close to 500 which is why I started looking to begin with.

But I appreciate your personal attack really I do! Stay classy Priom / Primo!

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#25 beloch
January 11 2014, 10:41PM
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@Walter White

I'm starting to think it should have been "At Last".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZXvLsltu2A

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#26 RKD
January 11 2014, 10:41PM
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The Flames score a goal, Hallelujah! Praise the Lord. Glad it was Backs too.

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#27 Burnward
January 12 2014, 01:11AM
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@Derzie

I've always gone with "douche."

For freshness and spelling.

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#28 Baalzamon
January 11 2014, 07:57PM
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@coachedpotatoe

Klimchuk has three points and Eric Roy has a goal. Let the offense flow through you, Calgary...

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#29 negrilcowboy
January 11 2014, 08:21PM
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too bad mcgratton cant hit the net with those hands, would be a 50 goal man

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#30 Walter White
January 11 2014, 08:23PM
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That will increase McGrattans trade value... Now is the time for a trade.

WW

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#31 Burnward
January 11 2014, 10:17PM
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Cammi. Assclown.

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#32 Burnward
January 11 2014, 10:21PM
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MICKIS. NOT ASSCLOWN!!!!

WOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

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#33 beloch
January 11 2014, 10:33PM
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Well, at least Backs got a sweet goal and they kept it a close game right down to the buzzer. I'm starting to think the new alternate sweaters were dyed using a rare flower harvested from an indian burial ground though.

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#34 Spaz
January 11 2014, 06:21PM
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Primo wrote:

An angry pathetic Oiler fan that is a loser and supports what is clearly the worst pro franchise in sports history that has had over 500 losses since 2006. And those are only the Oilers, we won't even mention the Eskimos! What a pathetic fan and City.

Just out of curiosity I looked at the regular season totals since the lockout and was shocked to find that the flames have only won 18 more games than the Oilers over the last 7.5 seasons.

Hurray for the loser point / shootout?

EDIT miscounted the first Oiler failure season, it's actually 59 games! Or on average 7-8 games a year.

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#35 Spaz
January 11 2014, 08:16PM
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@Kurt

History dictates that most rebuilds aren't like Pittsburgh's!

I know it's easy to get fed up with being an average or mediocre team but I'm not sure advocating a rebuild is always the right path. They were lucky, drafted well and had good management, for every success there is a comparable failure.

Although Calgary could have picked a good time to do so if the McDavid hype train is the real deal.

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#36 Kurt
January 11 2014, 08:47PM
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Baalzamon wrote:

"AND they got Staal the year after they had Malkin AND Crosby in the lineup"

No they didn't. Malkin didn't start playing until after Staal was drafted.

Ah, ya I see Malkin stayed in Russia after his draft year. But my point stands. They sucked harder and longer than the Coilers have. And that got them a powerhouse for 10+ years.

Chicago, LA are also examples of 5+ years of suck comparable to the Oilers. LA took almost 10 years.

I'm not saying the Oilers are awesome, they clearly suck bal1sac. But I've noticed we like to point at them and laugh and say how we will do it better and faster. I highly doubt it. But I'm actually quite happy. Ekblad this year, McDavid next year. Now thats something to talk about!

Just saw this on TSN - "Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun believes the Flames could trade Cammalleri, Stepniak, Matt Stajan and Chris Butler before the trade deadline. All four will be unrestricted free agents after this season. Francis also speculates that defenceman Dennis Wideman could be traded if a team is willing to pick up contract and he waives his no-movement clause."

We might be able to catch Buffalo afterall!

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#37 prendrefeu
January 11 2014, 09:37PM
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So... I've got an (ir)rational fear that this slump will be an element going through Johnny Gaudreau's mind, and I'm afraid that we'll lose him.

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#38 piscera.infada
January 11 2014, 09:50PM
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@prendrefeu

Ridiculous. If anything, it proves there's a roster spot and a need for what he brings when he's ready to make the jump.

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#39 Burnward
January 11 2014, 10:10PM
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@prendrefeu

I heard a comet may strike the Earth and kill us all.

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#40 Burnward
January 11 2014, 10:15PM
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Bortuzzo. Assclown.

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#41 piscera.infada
January 11 2014, 10:17PM
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Is Monahan actually 8 for 8 on faceoffs tonight? That's something.

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#42 Walter White
January 11 2014, 10:36PM
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Burnward wrote:

Let's go boys!!!

196 minutes 15 seconds. Insane.

I'm not sure what all the fuss was all about earlier this year about picking a goal song....

WW

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#43 Spaz
January 11 2014, 04:21PM
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Actually Zatkoff played last night, probably due to the oil being the worst in the west. Honestly I'd rather have Fleury in net as he might have a wheels off the bus performance to gift Calgary a win.

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#44 Jeff In Lethbridge
January 11 2014, 05:46PM
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My prediction:

Paul Byron will get into a fight to either defend another player or spark the team,while our depth forward line (Grats, FridgeGarth)will give the Pen's shutdown line fits.

Like usual.

Yay, we get to be on HNIC!!! wait... can we take a rain check on HNIC? this could get embarrassing.

See ya all at the barn... be there or be square!

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#45 beloch
January 11 2014, 08:48PM
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Wow. Grapes sure likes the truculence Burke's bringing into town!

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#46 Baalzamon
January 11 2014, 09:05PM
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@Kurt

Yeah, it'll be painful for sure. But worth it! (hopefully).

Pittsburgh definitely picked the right time to be terrible, though. Crosby AND Malkin. Yeesh.

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#47 negrilcowboy
January 11 2014, 09:14PM
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reto berra translated from swiss to english means gaping 5 hole

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#48 Burnward
January 11 2014, 09:17PM
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Sweet Jesus. What did we do over Christmas to make the hockey gods this angry?

I know we're not very good, but this is getting freaking ridiculous.

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#49 Burnward
January 11 2014, 11:52PM
Trash it!
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red deer wrote:

why don't you go back to your Oiler loving blog dueshbag !! Flames will rebuild in half the time its taken the Oilers. You are pathetic. The Oilers have and continue to be doormats for almost a decade. As far as cities are concerned Edmonton is a dump. Your team is probably a lot like you. Overrated and undersized.

I bet these guys can find a barn.

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#50 negrilcowboy
January 11 2014, 04:31PM
Trash it!
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@Spaz

i prefer gilles meloche get teh start for the pens tonight.

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