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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.