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Dallas Stars @ Edmonton Oilers Game 20 Preview

Keep on rockin' in the free world

Christian Petersen



8-7-2, 1.06 p/g
Ranks 4-13-2, .523 p/g
Western Conf: 11tth Western Conf: 14th
16tth P/G 29th
25th ST 17th
18th ES 28th
23rd Goal 30th
8:00 PM MDT - TSN

Rexall Place

The opposing viewDefending Big D

Top Story:

  • The season will be 25% completed at the conclusion of tonight.  I know when the offseason rears its ugly head, I count the days down until the beginning of next season.   If this season was one of those "Be-A-GM" seasons from the popular EA NHL video game franchise, I would rip the disc out of the console and fling it across the room with much hate and bitter derision while muttering "this isn't real!" Nail Yakupov is once again being cast as a very bad man in Edmonton for talking to his agent Igor Larionov about his lack of ice time.  I love the Oilers, but man, I hate the Oilers right now.

The Oilers are saying:

"I just want to help my team win every game...I love this city and I want to play for this team"

That's 2012 first overall pick and current Edmonton Oilers winger Nail Yakupov being forced to clear the air on his private conversation with agent Igor Larionov,

Can we stop doing this to our players yet?  In 19 games, the team has four wins.  Four.  That's a number that most people on the Earth who have been blessed with five fingers can count to on one hand.  Four.  People in any way involved with this team are frustrated from the top down.  I've got to imagine that management is quite frustrated, the fans are no doubt very frustrated, I'm frustrated, you're probably frustrated.  The players?  They're sick of losing, they've got to be frustrated.  The point I'm after?  Nail Yakupov allegedly had a conversation about being underutilized on this Oilers team.  Larionov airs it to MSM, and now the kid has an attitude problem, he's not doing his job, he's the worst plus minus, and so on.

Knock it off.  If you're writing about hockey and don't know that +/- isn't very useful, then I don't know what else I have for you.  Yeah, Yakupov is struggling.  So is the rest of the team.  Stop trying to put a 20 year old kid who's first language isn't English in a bad spot.  You're doing this on purpose, you've done it before, and you'll do it again after Yakupov is traded for crackers.  Stop it.  Stop it now.

The Opponent is saying:

"It's going to be emotional"

That's former Oiler captain and current Dallas Star Shawn Horcoff on playing his first game at Rexall Place since he was dealt to Dallas this past offseason.

I get that it's nice to say nice things about the team you spent the first thirteen years of your career with, but I'm going to guess that it's going to be most emotional once Horcoff steps back onto the airplane that will fly away from Edmonton International.  "Get me the hell out of here" kind of emotional.  While we're talking about players that have been chewed up and spit out,  Horcoff couldn't buy a look after he signed his contract in the summer of 2008, and what a terrible hockey player he was, am I right?  Oh, everyone had nice things to say about Horcoff once he was dealt for a seventh round pick and Philip Larsen, but Horcoff was the new cancer while he was here.

Boy oh boy, remember when we started the season without a platter of centres, and the team traded a pretty good one away for a late round pick and a defenceman during the offseason?  Good times.

Of note:

It's impossible to overstate that the line of Sweet Lou Gazdic, Will Acton and Steve MacIntyre were a thing in practice yesterday. If this team ever ices that line, we get what we deserve.

Corey Potter is up, Taylor Fedun is down.  If you thought the Oilers traded Smid to keep Fedun up based on two games, fat chance, laddies

Speaking of Smid, here's what Ladislav Smid looks like in a Calgary Flames sweater.  Fortunately, we improved our defence OHL goaltending with this trade.

Projected Lines & Pairings:

The Edmonton Oilers

Taylor Hall - Sam Gagner - Ales Hemsky

David Perron - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Jordan Eberle

Jesse Joensuu - Boyd Gordon - Ryan Jones

Ryan Smyth - Mark Arcobello - Nail Yakupov

Andrew Ference - Jeff Petry

Nick Schultz - Corey Potter

Anton Belov - Philip Larsen

Devan Dubnyk


The Dallas Stars

Jamie Benn - Tyler Seguin - Valeri Nichushkin

Antoine Roussel - Cody Eakin - Alex Chiasson

Travis Morin - Vernon Fiddler - Rich Peverley

Ryan Garbutt - Shawn Horcoff - Lane MacDermid

Brenden Dillon - Stephane Robidas

Trevor Daley - Alex Goligoski

Sergei Gonchar - Aaron Rome

Kari Lehtonen