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

    • Ducey

      The Oilers could finish in 25th and win the lottery.

      Giving up Seth Jones and Ryan Jones for a guy who is one hit away from being out of hockey would result in the Oilers really getting “Jonesed”.

  • It appears as if the dead horse that is the Oilers 1st line is still being kicked by Krueger.

    Jones is being showcased on the 2nd line. He has to be, I can’t see no other reason why the Oilers would have him there.

    I feel for Yakupov, poor kid.

    Paajarvi over Petrell.

    Defense is alright, but I would play Chugham over Potter.

    Oilers will lose again due to the fact that their coach doesn’t know how to utilize the offense he has at his disposal.

    I believe the management is smart enough to see the short comings and is allowing it to take course for a greater cause. The ends justify the means.?

  • northof51

    Wow, those win totals are astoundingly terrible. Just curious if you had stats for Anaheim as well?

    NSOGDP – Oilers force a shootout with only 15 shots on net. Locked in a scoreless tie through the first 11 rounds, Nieuwendyk trades Lehtonen, Benn and himself for Jussi Jokinen, who makes it back to American Airlines Arena in time to pot the winner (while still wearing his Hurricanes jersey).

  • I kinda thought that with the retirement of Modano that the Oilers fortunes would change vs the Stars.

    His HOF induction should have come with a points vs the Oilers asterisk.
    Or at least a nod to the contributions made by the Tom Poti’s of the Oilers past.

  • vetinari

    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

      ….

    • Ducey

      Yeah! If the Oilers dressed 3 or 4 scrappers that would really help their ES scoring woes! If it wasn’t for Semenko, Gretzky wouldn’t have amounted to anything!

      I am interested to see how DD plays tonight. Given the injury to Bulin, there is a lot riding on a good performance.

      No MPS? I’d like them to play MPS and waive Petrell. He is a decent PK guy but doesn’t have any offensive upside doesn’t intimidate anyone.

      • You bet it would. Every time Ebs and Noogie’s frail bodies take a hit, slash or abuse, not only does it amount to their apprehension 5 on 5, it makes them change the way they play to compensate for the abuse….so many layers of negatives when you dig deep. Moron management has never been able to pursue and persuade 3 Steve Ott’s to play in Edm? What a joke

        • Ducey

          You mean the Steve Ott who is leading Buffalo to 29th place?

          You are right though, they have never been able to get three Steve Ott’s to play here.

          In his defense I would point out that Tambo is not a villain in a science fiction movie and therefore cannot clone anyone.

          If he did learn, I suggest he start by cloning other people than Steve Ott.

          • northof51

            Finally. Someone who understands that adolescent midgets cant alone stickhandle through the nhl.

            I suppose your defense of Tammy is well-placed, I shouldn’t be too tough on Tammy and the non-fiction he has created in Edmonton

            So lets have a friendly bet? what period do you think the Oil will score their 1 goal tonight? me thinks…3rd

    • The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33

      She stopped by my house first. She tried calling you but her mouth was full.

      And since we’re dreaming…..Oilers win 5-2

  • Milli

    Gregor,
    For the love of God, please ask Tammy and KLowe the next time they are on the show to explain their aversion to size and muscle. Why do they prefer midgets to beef? Very confusing
    Thanks