Who forgot to tell Kari Lehtonen that he was supposed to suck in the second game of a back-to-back? Final Score: 3-2 Stars
How many of you guys remember the epic battles between the Oilers and Stars from the late 90s and early 2000s? It seemed like every year the Oilers would scratch and claw their way into the playoffs they would run into the Dallas Stars in the first round. If you remember it, chances are that the Stars are still a team that brings back those old hateful feelings whenever they come up on the schedule. They’re like a bad ex-girlfriend that will always annoy you anytime you run into each other, and, over the last decade, it’s been horrible to see that “ex” doing better than we are. The Oilers have sucked and the Stars have ranged from anywhere between awesome and mediocre. But they’ve always been better than us.
Coming into tonight’s game I thought the Oilers had a good chance to put two points up on the board and end their losing streak at one game. In fact, I was so confident that the Oilers were going to win that I even started making a list of reasons of why they would win. The Stars played last night, they’re banged up, they have Korpikoski. That’s really as far as I figured I had to get. If the Oilers want to prove they’re legit then they need to beat tired and depleted teams. Kick a guy when they’re down, ya know? That said, the Oilers have their own share of injuries to deal with and, not to mention, there was the threat of the mythological first-game-back-from-the-road-trip-rust. You know what I’m talking about. Unfortunately, my crystal ball seems to be completely useless because, once again, a game that I felt the Oilers should be able to win handily ended up being much closer than I expected.
While the Oilers were able to maintain offensive zone pressure and outshot the Stars, they also gave up some five-star chances that ended up in their net. Edmonton looked sluggish early on and even though the Stars played last night in Calgary they were gifted an early goal which compensated for any lack of energy. Once again, the Oilers were able to come back after two early deficits and get themselves back into the game, but the third time was just too much. While the Oilers did get plenty of shots on goal, and ample time in Dallas’ end, they weren’t able to beat a red hot Kari Lehtonen. There were definitely things to like about tonight’s game, but the poor start and special teams loss ended up being the difference.
Wrap it like it’s hot.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Connor McDavid was flying tonight, and the Stars defenders couldn’t do anything about it. It was amazing watching him fly past NHLers like they were pylons. I’ve never seen anything like it. Connor finished the night with one assist, thousands of miles skated, and my love forever.
- I love Patrick Maroon. The guy has been on fire ever since Todd McLellan bumped him up to McDavid’s line and the streak continued tonight. The Oilers, yet again, let their opponent get an early goal and Patrick Maroon was there to cue the comeback and tie things up. Maroon’s sixth goal of the year puts him in the lead for the Oilers.
- Lance “Don’t Call Me Tyler” Pitlick scored a huge goal late in the first period that tied the game at two. Pitlick continues to expand on his career year with yet another big goal (his fifth) and solid game all around. Pitlick must really hate Bakersfield because he’s playing like he never wants to go back.
- The Oilers were excellent in the faceoff circle. They finished the night at 59%.
- Even though the Oilers allowed a goal on the Stars’ first power play chance of the night, they didn’t allow anything after that. The Stars went shotless on more than one of their PP chances and Edmonton’s penalty killers did a really nice job of keeping the Stars to the outside.
- Wasn’t it nice not to have to hear the Taylor or Tyler debate for the first time in six years? Despite the trade, I was still expecting to hear something about Taylor and Tyler but it never happened. Nice.
- The game being in Edmonton meant no banging on the glass guy in the tan jacket.
- Oilers outshot the Stars 42-30. Sometimes you just run into a hot goalie. If it weren’t for another bad start we’d be talking about a win. Need to lock it up.
- Atta punch some face, Darryl! In the first period, Darnell Nurse squared off against Curtis McKenzie and put on a clinic as he rained down fist kisses until McKenzie went down. I don’t think you want to mess with ol’ Darryl. The fight isn’t up yet but you’ll be able to check out over at HockeyFights.com.
THE FACE PALMERS
- The Oilers gave up another goal within the first couple minutes of the game. Darnell Nurse got his pocket picked and the Stars were able to capitalize. Has it been three games in a row? What’s up with that? It’s like they’re not ready to play when the puck drops regardless of how often everyone tells them they have to be ready to play.
- From where I blog, the Oilers, at times, fly the defensive zone a little bit early. Their breakouts haven’t been as tight over the past few games and some of the turnovers have given the opponents some great chances down low. The Stars scored a couple goals as a result of those giveaways/gifts.
- The Stars had six players injured (Sharp, Spezza, Hudler, Hemsky, Eakin, Janmark) tonight, and the Oilers couldn’t take advantage.
- Jordan Eberle’s backcheck was non-existent on Dallas’ third goal by Roussel. Eberle coasted back towards his own end, lost his check, and the Stars took advantage. The goal, of course, ended up being the game winner.
- Nuge is snakebitten right now. He had seven shots on net tonight and got nothing for it. His career shooting percentage is around 10.5% which would have him around four goals right now, but that’s just not happening. Needs to get a greasy one, or find a chicken to sacrifice. Either way, Nuge needs to score.
- Quiet night for Jesse Puljujarvi. As he makes his way through the NHL learning curve there are bound to be quiet nights, and tonight was one of those. Puljujarvi was replaced by Slepyshev on the second line in the third period.
- The Oilers needed their power play to score but they couldn’t get the goal. That’s not to say that the PP was horrible, but they couldn’t score when they needed one and it ended up being the difference. The power play went 0/3 on the night.
- Cam Talbot wasn’t as sharp as we’ve come to expect. Not that I’m saying he was bad, but it would have been nice if the team was able to pick him up for a change. Taldad finished the game with 27 saves and a .900 save%.
- Of course, Korpikoski scored. Of course he did.
- I will not complain about the refs. I will not complain about the refs. I will not complain about the refs.
- Refs complaints aside, the Oilers gave the Stars way too many power play chances. Even though they only allowed one power play goal they still provided the Stars too many opportunities.
- Connor’s goalless drought has reached seven games. He’s getting all sorts of chances, though, so it’s only a matter of time.
- Speaking of Connor, when does Jamie Benn decide he wants to play with Connor McDavid?
- Gregor predicted that Korpikoski wouldn’t score and that the Oilers would win 5-2. I blame Gregor.
|00:28||Dallas||Lauri Korpikoski (3) ASST: Jamie Benn (8)||1-0|
|03:37||Edmonton||Patrick Maroon (6) ASST: Jordan Eberle (7), Connor McDavid (13)||1-1|
|04:51||Dallas||PPG – Patrick Eaves (4) ASST: Tyler Seguin (9), Jamie Benn (9)||2-1|
|19:31||Edmonton||Tyler Pitlick (5)||2-2|
|15:00||Dallas||Antoine Roussel (3) ASST: Tyler Seguin (10), Patrick Eaves (6)||3-2|
BEST OF THE TWEETS
Vimy Ridge in 2009. Unforgettable and unfathomable pic.twitter.com/JZ2zlOIU0c
— Grant Johnson (@GrantTheJohnson) November 11, 2016
This Rogers place video person has game! pic.twitter.com/BacHbPx5Oi
— Kerry McGowan (@vintagekerry63) November 12, 2016
— Todd Van Berkel (@ChillyCanadian) November 12, 2016
— Rick Lopez (@ohyeahitsrick) November 12, 2016
— Maysy Man (@MaysyMan) November 12, 2016
@jsbmbaggedmilk he’s NHL94 on Sega Genesis where you can rap on ‘C’ without the puck for turbo but he’s allowed to do it WITH the puck.
— David S. Pumpkins (@Baresnake) November 12, 2016
“Look at the speed of McDavid!”
I love it when you talk dirty, Drew Remenda.
— gordy in 140 (@TheNationChris) November 12, 2016
— Rhys Albrecht (@rhysalbrecht) November 12, 2016
SPIDERMABLE THE MOVIE
Many of you will remember SpiderMable – the 6-year-old cancer-fighting superhero who had her wish granted by the Children’s Wish Foundation to fight crime with Spider-Man in the City of Edmonton. SpiderMable The Film want to tell this incredible story about one little girl’s transformation from cancer fighter, to superhero to charity ambassador, but they need your help. The filmmakers have launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to help raise the necessary funds to complete film. For more info on SpiderMable’s story and to contribute, go to igg.me/at/spidermablethefilm.