GDB 19.0: THE DREADED STARS

Jason Gregor
February 28 2013 11:50AM

The Dallas Stars domination over the Edmonton Oilers has become laughable. In 74 meetings the Oilers have won a meagre 15 games. The Stars have won 79.7% of the games. No other franchise has dominated the Oilers like the Stars, but if the Oilers want to make the playoffs, or at least stay in the hunt, they need to beat the Stars.

I don't see a scenario where both of these teams make the playoffs, so the Oilers need to win. A win would give them a 33.3 winning percentage against Dallas this year, which would be a big step forward.

You can't pinpoint one specific reason why the Oilers have struggled to beat Dallas since they moved from Minnesota at the start of the 1993/1994 season. There has been 14 different head coaches between the two teams during this period and hundreds of different players, yet the Stars have completely dominated the Oilers.

Just for fun here is a look at how the Oilers have fared v. all the Western teams since October of 1993. I only calculated wins, not ties (ended in 1999) or points for losing in OT or SO. 

Opponent GP W Winning%
Dallas 74 15 20.2
Detroit 73 24 32.8
Calgary 109 41 37.6
St. Louis 72 28 38.8
Colorado 102 40 39.2
Vancouver 111 44 39.6
Chicago 73 29 39.7
Nashville 53 22 41.5
Minnesota 70 30 42.8
San Jose 81 35 43.2
Los Angeles 82 39 47.5
Phoenix 74 41 55.4
Columbus 45 28 62.2
TOTAL 1019 416 40.8

The last 18 and 1/3 seasons haven't been stellar for the Oilers or their fans, but the Dallas Stars have absolutely owned the Oilers.

LINE UP

Hall/Nugent-Hopkins/Eberle
Jones/Gagner/Hemsky
SmythBelanger/Yakupov
Eager/Vande Velde/Petrell

Interesting to note it looks like Yakupov might play right wing tonight. We will see if he is more comfortable attacking from the right side and if he has any troubles on his off-wing in his own end. Krueger didn't play him on the RW to start because he felt it was harder to play the puck along the boards in the defensive zone.

Smid/Petry
N.Schultz/J.Schultz
Fistric/Potter

It sounds like Whitney and Peckham will be the healthy scratches, but that isn't confirmed. I thought Peckham played decent in his only game of the year, and feel he deserves another chance, but clearly the coaches see it differently.

Dubnyk

QUICK HITS

  • A source tells me the Oilers did put a claim in for Aaron Volpatti, but the Capitals were ranked lower so they got him first. Currently the Oilers are 7th on the waiver wire. CBJ, BUFF, WSH, FLO, NYI and COL are ahead of them based on standings.
     
  • Volpatti wasn't going to be a major difference maker, but it is obvious the Oilers need more grit. Not just fighting grit, but guys who hate to lose and will do anything to win.
     
  • Watch how Ryan Smyth plays tonight, if he has an average game they might rest him during back-to-back tomorrow in St.Louis.
     
  • Oilers have 16 ES goals in 18 games. They are averaging 0.88 ES goals/game. Last year the Minnesota Wild were the worst in the league with 112 in 82 games, 1.36 ES goals/game.  The worst ES scoring rate since 1979 expansion was the 2003 Carolina Hurricanes with 98 ES goals in 82 games, 1.19 ES goals/game.
     
  • To avoid becoming the most anemic ES offence in the past 30+ years the Oilers will need to score 42 ES goals in their next 30 games. Not a crazy number, only 1.4 ES goals/game, but that is almost double the production from their first 18 games.
     

  • UFC Ring Girl and model Arianny Celeste will be at the Nation's 5th birthday party tomorrow night at the Pint off Whyte. You can watch the Oilers/Blues and talk MMA with Arianny. There are only 30 tickets left. All proceeds to go to Inner City Children's Program and you get a T-shirt and $45 in GCs. Hurry and buy  them here.

GAME DAY PREDICTION: Eventually the Oilers have to win, right? You've been saying that for years, so why should tonight be any different. Sadly it won't, Oilers lose 4-3.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The remaining 30 tickets to the Nation party will be scooped up before puck drop. You don't need any extra incentives to party, but when it includes charity, hotties and a Nation T-shirt it's a no-brainer.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: After learning the Oilers put in a claim for Aaron Volpatti, Ben Eager responds with a solid game. He lays out Jamie Benn and scores a goal in the 2nd period. After the game the Oilers brass start looking at the waiver wire wondering if there is anyone else they can put a claim on, but don't end up getting, with the hopes it fires up a few other players.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR

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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 Ales Hallsky
February 28 2013, 05:24PM
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When did O'Reilly become a big deal? 26pt, 26pt and 55pt seasons are OK, but not amazing. Must be his charachter.

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#52 Wax Man Riley
February 28 2013, 05:28PM
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Romanus wrote:

Did it work on NHL 2013?

Nope.

He also forgot to trade Omark and Plante for Crosby

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#53 justDOit
February 28 2013, 05:30PM
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Flames could be giving up a potentially high 1st round pick if they get him - in a draft that everyone is salivating over. Desperation. Nice.

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#54 Harlie
February 28 2013, 05:32PM
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Mr. Sense Common wrote:

Shocked that KLowe forgets the fruit salad of the glory days....skill, tenacity, a few sons of ****es (Napier, mclelland, tik), a few nutters (semenko, muni) and most of all, the many hustlers (Jackson, mcsorley, bookeboom and his best bud, macT) those guys are the reason Jari and Wayne danced around. Amazing departure from the past.

What, and you aren't happy with Belanger and his non-Nedved like moves?

Or Paajarvi who can skate like the wind yet won't get his nose dirty?

Or Nick Schultz our "big lumbering stay at home defenceman" who I have yet to see run anyone into the boards?

Etc

Etc

....

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#55 bwar
February 28 2013, 05:54PM
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Ducey wrote:

Don't like the move from Calgary's perspective.

They have an aging core, with Kipper and Iginla just about done. Who is O'Reilly going to center for the next 2 yrs?

If they miss the playoffs and that pick winds up in the top 5 in a real strong draft? Wow. Could be Mike Millbury bad.

Could get them into the playoffs, maybe, (O'Reilly is not a miracle worker) but to give up a top 10 pick for 2 years of ROR doesn't make any sense long term.

Baertschi and Glencross or Cammallari most likely. This move all depends on where that first round draft pick ends up being. If Calgary tanks or even misses playoffs this could turn into being a huge folly. Roll the dice. At least Calgary does something to try and make their team better. Especially with Iginla and Kipprusoff being at the end of their careers.

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#56 Mikey
February 28 2013, 06:16PM
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bwar wrote:

Baertschi and Glencross or Cammallari most likely. This move all depends on where that first round draft pick ends up being. If Calgary tanks or even misses playoffs this could turn into being a huge folly. Roll the dice. At least Calgary does something to try and make their team better. Especially with Iginla and Kipprusoff being at the end of their careers.

Yea they tried something that has a good chance of delaying them from being good. Crap why didn't edmonton do that...

Why do something just to do something?

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#57 RexLibris
February 28 2013, 06:19PM
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Here's what I said about the O'Reilly signing over at FN:

I won't argue that adding O'Reilly makes the Flames a better team immediately. However, in the long run I am less enthusiastic.

At the very least this will allow the Flames to run O'Reilly, Cervenka, Backlund and Stajan down the middle, which is far and away a better option than, well, whatever it is they have now.

Also, I have to disagree that anything short of a Tavares-level player is equal compensation for O'Reilly [this was Kent's point in his response]. That seems like a bit of a stretch.

For the record, I would have offered up Gagner and a 2nd round pick for O'Reilly, so by no means am I saying that he is a bad player.

However, I see in this move, and the potential repercussions, some troubling signs for the organization. Namely, despite their stated desire to focus on the draft they have knowingly now forfeit their three first picks in what is widely considered to be a deep draft.

The cap hit for O'Reilly is $5 million, when the club has to re-sign Backlund, Cervenka, presumably Iginla, Brodie, Byron, and a host of AHL players and graduating prospects. The team is committed to $48 million out of a projected $64 million next season.

Spending $5 million on a 22 year old centre is hardly a bad move, but taken in concert with the contractual obligations and the fact that the team is at the maximum contract limit should this go through, it foreshadows some problems down the road.

All in all, a good move by Feaster, in light of the organization's refusal to consider other long-term options.

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#58 bwar
February 28 2013, 06:25PM
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Mikey wrote:

Yea they tried something that has a good chance of delaying them from being good. Crap why didn't edmonton do that...

Why do something just to do something?

If O'Rielly is a bonafide first line center (which I think he is or at least will be in the near future) then trading a 1st and a 3rd to get him is a pretty sound trade.

Also this could be a move that move Calgary into the playoffs which would diminish the value of that 1st round pick. Really this signing can't be evaluated until we know who that first round pick is.

Could be folly, could be genius. Either way its a bold move and I think it is an immediate and longterm improvement for Calgary.

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#59 Alsker
February 28 2013, 06:29PM
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Hard to sell HOPE if all you have to announce is a new design for the teams bathtowels or blinds in the office...that 2nd year salary is going to be killer the following year if the cap stays low...but who cares its the Shames...Why was tambo in OKC lastnite when McT + Klowe were in Philly?? Did he have to sit at the little kids table or was it past his bedtime??? As for tonite the 15 pack infront of me says we win...atleast until my eyes refocus tomorrow

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#60 DSF
February 28 2013, 06:44PM
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bwar wrote:

If O'Rielly is a bonafide first line center (which I think he is or at least will be in the near future) then trading a 1st and a 3rd to get him is a pretty sound trade.

Also this could be a move that move Calgary into the playoffs which would diminish the value of that 1st round pick. Really this signing can't be evaluated until we know who that first round pick is.

Could be folly, could be genius. Either way its a bold move and I think it is an immediate and longterm improvement for Calgary.

You can't really evaluate the deal until, likely, five years after the next draft.

Until then, the Flames win.

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#61 Quicksilver ballet
February 28 2013, 06:52PM
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Good on Feaster, going out on a limb like that with his job in jeopardy. A small gamble for a kid who could wear the Flames jersey for the next 10 yrs. Feaster and their pro scouting staff obviously like this kid alot.

Atleast one GM in Alberta is trying to do something to prevent a prolonged pathetic aimless walk in the desert. Good on Calgary, hope he doesn't become another Oiler killer for the next decade.

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#62 Harlie
February 28 2013, 06:53PM
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uhh..why is Sportsnet saying Danis is starting?

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#63 Mikey
February 28 2013, 07:06PM
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Jones hit leads to turn over to goal.

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#64 Dennis
February 28 2013, 07:11PM
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Nice start to this game so far. Gagner getting a goal 1 minute in doesn't suck. Good on Jones for creating the traffic.

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#65 Harlie
February 28 2013, 07:39PM
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BELANGER TO PETRELL!!!

* be still my beating heart *

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#66 Dennis
February 28 2013, 07:41PM
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Harlie wrote:

BELANGER TO PETRELL!!!

* be still my beating heart *

Hahaha, no doubt!

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#67 Bucknuck
February 28 2013, 07:42PM
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Anyone else notice that those were both even strength goals? Nice work, Oilers.

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#68 Romulus' Apotheosis
February 28 2013, 07:48PM
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Damn that wall J. Schultz has hit! Damn its eyes!!

If only he could score more and at EV!

What a waste now that the other teams have figured him out!

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#70 Alsker
February 28 2013, 08:15PM
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wow didnt Col long to match..a PP goal would have been nice but still a good game so far

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#71 Dennis
February 28 2013, 08:16PM
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Belanger couldn't get a shot on the break away...say it isn't so.

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#72 Alsker
February 28 2013, 08:16PM
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Belanger couldnt decide which move to use...

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#73 Alsker
February 28 2013, 08:19PM
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Nice kill...oh Belanger was going for the highlight reel bank off the goalie out of the corner...good try

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#74 Dennis
February 28 2013, 08:24PM
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Booing for a hurt player? Stay classy Dallas.

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#75 Harlie
February 28 2013, 08:24PM
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Yikes...smells that bad eh Ladi?

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#76 Alsker
February 28 2013, 08:32PM
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nice aggressive play Dubby

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#77 RexLibris
February 28 2013, 08:33PM
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I lost respect for the Dallas fans back in 2000 or 2001 when the fans threw garbage at the Oilers after they won a playoff game there.

It was more than the actions of a few hotheads.

Too bad Colorado matched. Would've been funny watching Feaster try and work his way back into the draft before round 4.

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#78 Dennis
February 28 2013, 08:34PM
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Ok boys, lets not waste this. Good opportunity to drive the knife in a bit farther.

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#79 RexLibris
February 28 2013, 08:34PM
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So NOW does Whitney draw in for the next game?

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#80 Butters
February 28 2013, 08:36PM
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5 on 3. If only the Oilers had a player with a laser for a one-timer *cough number 64 cough*

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#81 Alsker
February 28 2013, 08:37PM
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Wheres Yak havent seen him this period

Someone beat me to it

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#82 Dennis
February 28 2013, 08:38PM
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I'd love to see the stats on 5 on 3, I bet we're one of the worst teams at that.

Gagner fights!!! About time someone showed some fight.

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#83 RexLibris
February 28 2013, 08:39PM
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Gagner needs to play the wing. I'd love to see a line with he and Curtis Lazar as centre. No lack of fight between those two.

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#84 Butters
February 28 2013, 08:42PM
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A fluke goal not against the Oilers? WTF?

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#85 Mikey
February 28 2013, 08:43PM
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Slow down on these EV goals oilers your going to use them up before the road trip is over!!!!

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#86 Alsker
February 28 2013, 08:43PM
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Ummm...I thought those kind of goals only get scored against us...hey they all count

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#87 RexLibris
February 28 2013, 08:52PM
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Anyone here remember the save Salo made with the back of his pants? Sometimes the Hockey Gods give us a break.

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#88 tyler
February 28 2013, 09:01PM
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wheres nail yakupov how is he not out their for the 5 on 3 or 5 0n 4 bad coaching. you could argue that hes our most dangerous powerplay player,how do u not put a guy out their that excels at that and u dont even play him 5 on 5 like u mise well not play him all krueger is useless i thought we were trying to win the game

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#89 Dennis
February 28 2013, 09:04PM
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tyler wrote:

wheres nail yakupov how is he not out their for the 5 on 3 or 5 0n 4 bad coaching. you could argue that hes our most dangerous powerplay player,how do u not put a guy out their that excels at that and u dont even play him 5 on 5 like u mise well not play him all krueger is useless i thought we were trying to win the game

Um, we ARE winning the game. It's 4-0 in case you didn't notice. Though I agree, Yak should have seen some ice time on at least one of those.

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#90 RexLibris
February 28 2013, 09:04PM
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Assist to Yakupov?

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#91 tyler
February 28 2013, 09:14PM
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@Dennis

ive noticed that our powerplay isnt really that effective without yakupov and if u dont put him out their where he excels its a waste and its bad coaching and we got luck that petry scored a flukey goal or it would have been 2 -0 and it would have looked bad because the oilers did nothing on those powerplays u wont win very many games if u dont utilize wat u have

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#92 Alsker
February 28 2013, 09:15PM
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Yak 1 shot/1gva 8 min..same as eager/petrell Cant remember him since 1st period

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#93 Harlie
February 28 2013, 09:20PM
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Leht-it-in

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#94 @Oilanderp
February 28 2013, 09:22PM
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Wow! Eager/Petrell

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#95 Alsker
February 28 2013, 09:23PM
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Nice...everythings working tonite...about f^n time

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#96 Alsker
February 28 2013, 09:24PM
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The Yak makes an appearance...

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#97 Butters
February 28 2013, 09:35PM
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Good ting they kicked Benn out of the game. Gags took his number....

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#98 Harlie
February 28 2013, 09:41PM
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DING DING...good night DALLAS

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#99 vetinari
February 28 2013, 09:45PM
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Wow. Did we play Chicago and then Dallas on the road and come out with 3 of 4 points??? If we can snag at least a point in St. Louis tomorrow, we might survive this road trip in semi-decent shape.

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#100 RealLife
February 28 2013, 09:52PM
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I am thoroughly confused. How do the Oilers get a 3min power play after Jones takes a 2min minor and Benn takes a 5min major on the same play? Should be 4on4 for 2min THEN Oilers get their 3min penalty. Wtf is that?! Since when can you have offsetting penalties, one a minor the other a major? Did the NHL change the rules?

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