GDB 19.0: THE DREADED STARS

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

  • RexLibris

    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

      • RexLibris

        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

  • vetinari

    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.

  • vetinari

    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?

  • vetinari

    Yakupov well be a good nhl player one day but you can sure tell he’s a rookie. He makes bad decision with the puck whether it’s a bad pass or just trying to do to much on his own instead of making the simple play. But once he figures it all out watch out and that shot he has crazy!!!

  • Jason Gregor

    some definite positives tonight. i really liked seeing them throw more on the net, have more net presence, and not be afraid to dump it in. more grit and simplicity in general and couldn’t come at a better time than against dallas. it was pretty sickening to see dallas start taking cheap shots. i really hope jones is ok and benn gets suspended.

    • vetinari

      They are indeed both playing well. But they are not part of the oilers future. Trade them now while they have top market value and aren’t injured.

      Buy low sell high.

      • West

        Yeah, lets trade our 23 year old leading point getter who has no future with this team. Oh and while we are at it lets also trade our leading goal scorer. Maybe that way we can get #1 overall again.

        • creep

          The bruins traded Esposito when he was their top point getter, every time Gretzky was traded he was the top point getter so was Thornton I think.

          This is about the team dynamic – not the individual. And gagne and hemsky are spare parts going forward. And there will likely never be a better time to trade them than right now.

          • The Oilers with Gretzky: 4 Stanley’s, The Oilers without Gretzky: 1 last Stanley than 20+ years of losing…. Don’t trade your best players for magic beans.

            Pocklington even said the trade wasn’t a hockey trade it was a buisness deal.

            Baaaad example

          • Oh right, after leading the Kings to the SC finals in 93, in which they never returned until last season.

            In 96 he gets traded to the Blues for Patrice Tardif, Roman Vopat, Craig Johnson, and two draft picks (Peter Hogan and Matt Zultek)(i.e. magic beans) they come within one game of the conference finals and he doesn’t resign in the off season.

            In 96 Gretzky signs with the Rangers and in 97 they make it to the eastern conference finals, he retires in 99 and the Rangers dont make the playoffs agin until 08 I think?(not sure on that one)

            I reiterate, you don’t trade your best players for magic beans

  • Rocket

    It’s nice to finally beat the Stars and to beat them handily no less. The Petry goal was karma because the Stars have had their share of garbage goals against us in the past. It’s just too bad that Jagr keeps haunting us and decided to break Dubnyk’s shutout. Regardless, awesome start to the road trip.

    It was a chippy game out there. I loved seeing Fistric stand up for RNH and Gags got his annual fight out of the way. Dillon might be the biggest dude that Gagner’s ever dropped them with though so props to him.

    All in all, nice to see us get the job tonight. Our PP was pretty quiet given the opportunities but it was nice to finally score 5 on 5. Hopefully we can find some energy against the Blues tomorrow night. GO OILERS GO!!

  • The Soup Fascist

    Could someone enlighten me about Ryan O’Reilly? Not a goal scorer.39 goals in 236 NHL games.Never a point per game producer, not even in junior. Good, not great size (6 feet, 205 lbs). Mediocre numbers in a handful of games in the KHL this year, then bails on his team in Russia citing a mysterious “ankle injury”. Then holds out and gets 10 million, including a base of 6.5 mill next year? Yes his numbers improved last year, but might this not be a Horcoff effect? Methinks the Flames will eventually thank their lucky stars that the Avs matched.

  • creep

    @ Real life,

    with less than last five minutes of a game, they provide the team getting the minor the differential….so they can fit in full value to maximize value of the major. its a good rule. Otherwise, any other time left in the game, its the 2 at 4 on 4 then the 3.

  • The Soup Fascist

    I know a lot of people were saying they had to sign him, but this is a real poison pill they swallowed here. Nice player I suppose but ………..

    I suppose the Oilers could find themselves in a similar pickle in a couple of years.

  • creep

    I don’t think Benn’s hit was an automatic suspension, but I have an issue with it. I get the heat of the moment play, like so many have talked about before,the game is fast and sometimes poor decisions are made in the fury of battle. In this case the play was clearly over and it was blatantly obvious the hit was in retaliation of the results on the scoreboard, not on the supposed goalie run. It wasn’t a play that could usually hurt anyone, but it was the cheapest of shots. Cross checking an opponent in the back while the play is dead? Really? That is a cheap shot I can do with out.

  • The Soup Fascist

    I think he is saying if you plan to trade your 23 year old leading scorer who plays with heart …… that is fine. But show him the respect that you actually know his name before you send him packing.