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Oilers v. Stars - Isaiah 14:18-23

All the great players of other teams are exalted,
lifted to the rafters and honoured by fans.
But you exile your hero to Russia
like a loathsome cap hit.
Wandering the outskirts of hockey relevance,
he is forgotten.
You have neglected his proper exaltation
and have trampled his memory under your feet.

You will not be named among the truly great teams,
because you have not honoured your past
and you treat your heroes with disrespect.

May your team never see success again!
We will prepare slaughter for those who now wear the Star
because of the guilt of those who came before them.
Let them never rise to prominence in the league
or cover the Stanley Cup with their names.

"I will rise up against them," says Yahweh, the leader of the angel armies, "and will take away from the Stars their name and their city just as I did with the North Stars before them. Soon, no remnant of the North Stars will remain. And that will be a sign: these Stars will have not last forever," says Yahweh. "I will turn their rights over to a new owner who will sweep them out of Dallas by my decree. I will sweep with them out of Dallas with the broom of destruction." Yahweh, the leader of the angel armies, has spoken.

Edmonton Oilers (11-13-4) @ Dallas Stars (13-8-7)

American Airlines Center, 12:00 P.M. MDT
Television: Sportsnet West

More analysis after the jump...

Visiting Team Scouting Report: Before the season I didn't think the Stars were much of a club and made that pretty clear the first time they played the Oilers. I'm still not particularly impressed with the Stars so far this year but their record in regulation (10-8-10) is certainly a lot better than that of the Oilers (You-Don't-Wanttoknow). So what were some areas I didn't like and how are they outperforming my expectations? Well, I noted the defense as a weakness and still believe that the Stars don't have much depth. Fortunately for them, they've only had to play seven different defenders to this point in the season. Although their bottom pairing guys haven't been that strong the top pair of Robidas and Grossman have been very good. They've taken on the toughs and the defensive zone starts and have managed to come out on top in terms of goal differential and only have a slight negative in the Corsi column. Good health and stand-out performances at the top of the roster have really helped the defence pull through. The same can be said of the Stars forwards where only fourteen forwards have played more than two games. And their good health persists today with no significant injuries on the roster. They've also had tremendous performances from three different lines which makes them quite difficult to defend for teams that don't have the requisite depth. Brad Richards in particular has been able to carry a line through some pretty tough sledding. He may not be worth his contract over the long haul but so far this season he's more than covered the bet. In goal, Marty Turco has generally been very good so far this year. I'm still not convinced the Stars will end up being a playoff team but it looks like they're going to be in the mix which is ahead of where I had them at the start of the year.

Expected Lineups:

Edmonton Oilers (11-13-4):

Penner - Gagner - Brule
Jacques - Horcoff - O'Sullivan
Moreau - Cogliano - Potulny

Stone - Stortini (What?) - Nilsson

Smid - Visnovsky

Staios - Souray
Strudwick - Gilbert


Dallas Stars (13-8-7)

Eriksson - Richards - Ott
Neal - Modano - Lehtinen
Morrow - Riberio - Benn
SwJesus - Wandell - Petersen

Grossman - Robidas
Daley - Skrastins
Niskanen - Fistric


Behind the Numbers:

  • The Stars do not have any forwards with more than two games played who have taken more draws in the defensive zone than the offensive zone.
  • Brad Richards is tied for first in the NHL with 16 points on the power play. Dustin Penner leads the Oilers with 11 points.
  • James Neal leads the Stars with a shooting percentage of 18.2% which is better than any Oiler dressing for tonight's game. The closest is Ryan Potulny's 17.5%.
  • The Edmonton Oilers only have six skaters with a shooting percentage higher than 0% but lower than 10%. They're all in the lineup tonight. A gold star calf... nevermind, you'll get nothing, but try to name all six without checking.