When I looked up, I saw a new heaven and a new earth, and what was old had passed away. The dominance of the Stars was gone, and I saw a new holy team of Oilers, a gift from God's throne. As we watched them, we were all enthralled, filled with the joy of a husband waiting for his bride. Then I heard a loud cry from the throne: "Look, God's home is among his people! He will cheer alongside them, and they will be his people."
Edmonton Oilers (10-7-2) @ Dallas Stars (11-8-0)
American Airlines Center, 6:30 p.m. MST
Television: Sportsnet Oilers
More analysis after the jump...
Visiting Team Scouting Report:
The Dallas Stars are not a good team. Gabriel Desjardins just posted Fenwick material for all teams, and the Stars don't look good: 25th with the score tied (46.2%), 25th when protecting a one-goal lead (39.8%), and 18th when down by a single goal (55.1%). They got out to a fast start with some incredible goaltending, but when Alex Goligoski was injured and the hot goaltending tailed off, so did the Stars. The team has now lost five in a row and has mostly lost the advantage that they'd gained from that fabulous start, and could be the first team since the lockout (and probably ever) to start the season with 22 or more points in their first fifteen games and still miss the playoffs. At this point, I wouldn't bet against it.
Edmonton Oilers (10-7-2):
Hall - Gagner - Hemsky
Smyth - Nugent-Hopkins - Eberle
Lander - Horcoff - Jones
Hordichuk - Belanger - Petrell
Smid - Gilbert
Peckham - Petry
Chorney - Teubert
Dallas Stars (11-8-0):
Morrow - Ribeiro - Eriksson
Vincour - Benn - Ryder
Ott - Fiddler - Dvorak
Nystrom - Wandell - Petersen
Souray - Robidas
Daley - Grossman
Fistric - Larsen
By the Numbers:
Kari Lehtonen has been outstanding since his arrival in Dallas. In parts of three seasons with the Stars Lehtonen has faced 2,289 shots at even strength, and stopped 2,128 for an outstanding even strength save percentage of .930. Given that the main return on that deal (Ivan Vishnevskiy) has yet to establish himself in the NHL, I'd say that the Thrahsers were absolutely robbed when they dealt Lehtonen away. At least they managed to mitigate the damage by using Vishnevskiy as the main cog in the deal that brought them Andrew Ladd from Chicago.
- The Oilers last game against the Blackhawks sure was a lot of fun: Ales Hemsky potted his first goal of the season (and it was an absolute beauty); Taylor Hall got his second career hat-trick; Jordan Eberle had his first career four-point game; Tom Gilbert had his first career four-point game. The Oilers broke that losing streak in style.
- I was one of the many who thought that Ryan Jones was signed despite some poor play on the ice, and for a statistical performance that he was never going to be able to duplicate. So far this season, his play has been much better, and he's on pace to score 21.6 goals, a small increase on the 18 he scored last season. And you know what? Good for him.
Darcy Hordichuk is back in the lineup tonight, but if you're not careful, you might miss him: in his only two complete games this season he has played less than three minutes both times. That limited ice time can lead to some funky numbers. For example, Hordichuk currently has the best raw Corsi rate on the team at +14.81 per sixty minutes of five-on-five ice time. The best regular? Jeff Petry at +7.91.
- A lot of people are seeing Theo Peckham bad even though he's got a +5 rating in 15 games. What's up with that? Well, Peckham does have the sixth best PDO number in the entire league five-on-five (min. 10 GP) at 109.4. And before we start talking about his ability to prevent chances, that number is being driven by an absolutely ridiculous 15.9% on-ice shooting percentage, the third highest in the league. And I, for one, am not convinced that Peckham is driving the offense.