In the stands of Rexall we sat and wept
when we remembered the days of our dynasty.
In was in those rafters that we hung the jerseys of our heroes
that now hang there mocking us.
Visiting fans look at us and laugh:
"Tell us again how great your team was in the 80's!
Tell us again about the greatness of Kevin Lowe!"
Dallas Stars (31-19-6) @ Edmonton Oilers (16-32-8)
Rexall Place, 7:00 p.m. MST
Television: Sportsnet West
More analysis after the jump...
Visiting Team Scouting Report:
Over their last ten games, the Dallas Stars haven't been playing so well. They've only won in regulation against the Oilers (twice), and other than that, have been doing lots of losing. This doesn't come as much of a surprise. The Stars have pretty consistently been among the league's worst teams at generating possession at EV this year, and their improvement since Christmas now looks more like a blip in a consistently bad season: in their last ten games, the Stars Fenwick% with the score close is 45.0% (+94 -115), considerably lower than their season average. Derek and I don't always agree, but when it comes to the Stars missing the playoffs, he and I are in lockstep.
Edmonton Oilers (16-32-8):
Penner - Horcoff - Hemsky
Hall - Cogliano - Eberle
Paajarvi - Gagner - Omark
Jacques - Reddox - Jones
Peckham - Gilbert
Smid - Chorney
Vandermeer - Foster
Dallas Stars (31-19-6)
Morrow - Ribeiro - Vincour
Neal - Ott - Langenbrunner
Eriksson - Wandell - Wathier
Sutherby - Gagnon - Williams
Niskanen - Robidas
Skrastins - Fistric
Woywitka - Daley
By the Numbers:
Despite the Oilers posting a scoring chance differential of +41 -39 at EV while Jeff Petry was on the ice over his last seven games, Petry was sent down to Oklahoma and Taylor Chorney was recalled. The line on Petry is that he had been making too many "big" errors, and that may well be true. To be honest, I prefer mostly good with some mega-blunders to plain old mostly bad; it just seems far more correctable. I bet we see Petry again soon.
- As for Chorney, the recall makes a lot of sense, despite some recent struggles. He's been playing the toughest competition in Oklahoma and in his NHL stint, he was actually pretty good. He earned a Corsi of +12.15 per sixty minutes of ice time, and while that's a lot less valuable when you don't even have sixty minutes of ice time (he actually has 79 minutes), it's not nothing either. Chorney is a restricted free agent this summer and will need to clear waivers if the Oilers re-sign him. Bringing him up to take a look is a very good idea.
Brad Richards is currently tied for ninth in the NHL in shots on goal with 215, one of three Stars in the top fifty. The other two are James Neal (tied for 48th with 153) and Brendan Morrow (tied for 50th with 151).
- The Stars have been much better in one-goal (+ empty netter) games than in games decided by two or more. The Stars record in regulation in one-goal games is 10-6-15, compared to a record of 12-13 in games decided by two or more. That's a pretty big difference, and yet another indication that the Stars are probably not as good as their record suggests.
Nikolai Khabibulin continues his long and painful run at Don Beaupre's twenty-three consecutive regulation losses again tonight. With fourteen in the bag, Khabibulin only needs nine more. If he makes it, there's a good chance that the Oilers themselves will set a record for the lowest number of points in a season since the lockout. Right now that record is held by the 2006-07 Philadelphia Flyers who earned 56 points over an entire season, and while the Oilers are on pace for 59 points if we look at their play over the whole season, they've been playing at a 37-point pace for their last twenty games. If they keep that up for the rest of the season, they'll end the year with 52 points and yet another record!