In the stands of Rexall Place we sat and wept
when we remembered the days of our dynasty.
It 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!"
How can we offer cheers of celebration
in the midst of such torment?
But if we forget how to cheer, O God,
replace us with those who will.
May this team be swept away entirely
if we let the glory of this game be tainted by the awful present,
if we forget that this team can and will again be a source of great joy.
Rexall Place, 8:00 p.m. MST
Visiting Team Scouting Report: In some areas, the Dallas Stars have had a pretty good start to the season. Their starting goaltender, Kari Lehtonen, is healthy and off to a strong start with an even strength save percentage of .924 (tied for 11th among goalies with at least ten starts) and an overall save percentage of .928 (7th among goalies with at least ten starts). At even strength, the team is holding their own with a Corsi percentage of 50.1% during five-on-five play. The thing really letting them down? Their penalty killing. Dallas is 29th in the NHL with a penalty kill that allows 71.4 shots against for every sixty minutes of five-on-four play. Now, they've only been short-handed for about 82 minutes, and that number is so bad that it's almost certain to improve a little. But for Dallas to have a shot at getting themselves into the playoff race, it'll need to improve a lot.
Edmonton Oilers (4-13-2):
Hall - Gagner - Hemsky
Perron - Nugent-Hopkins - Eberle
Smyth - Arcobello - Yakupov
Joensuu - Gordon - Jones
Ference - Petry
Belov - Larsen
Schultz - Potter
Dallas Stars (8-7-2):
Benn - Seguin - Nichushkin
Roussel - Eakin - Chiasson
Whitney - Fiddler - Peverley
Garbutt - Horcoff - Cole
Daley - Goligoski
Dillon - Robidas
Benn - Gonchar
By The Numbers:
Corey Potter makes his season debut after a strong stint with the Oklahoma City Barons. Jonathan Willis is in OKC counting shots, and has relayed that "in the three home games I've tracked with Potter, the Barons are +21/-15 in shots/missed shots with him on ice, +47/-61 without." Let's hope Potter can duplicate that success at the NHL level.
- Shawn Horcoff makes his first regular season visit to Edmonton tonight, and as much as the Oilers have been kicked in the teeth by injuries up the middle this season, I doubt that moving Horcoff is on the list of Craig MacTavish's regrets. Horcoff's offense (five points in seventeen games) hasn't been great to start the year, but perhaps more concerning is the fact that he's just eighth among Dallas forwards in time on ice per game with 14:16.
- After wins by Buffalo and Florida last night, the Oilers are just one point out of last place in the NHL. They've got a favorable schedule in terms of their home/road split, but will be playing much more frequently against Western Conference opponents than their race-to-the-bottom opponents. You might have figured that Buffalo's one regulation win in their first twenty games would have guaranteed a last-place finish, but as it turns out, this race is far from over.