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Oilers @ Stars Game 22 Preview

More drama than two bags o' Doritos, the Oilers bring the circus to Big D

Komrade Horcov
Komrade Horcov
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

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6-13-2, 14 points, .666 p/g Ranks 8-9-4, 20 points, .952 p/g
Western Conference - 14th Western Conference - 10th
29th P/G 23rd
17th ST 26th
28th ES 19th
29th Goal 28th
6:30 PM MDT - SNW
American Airlines Center
The opposing view: Defending Big D

Welcome Back My Friends, To The Show That Never Ends

What a debacle.

The Oilers lost a close game to the Blackhawks on Saturday by a score of 7-1.  If you got lucky and avoided this game like the plague, a cursory glance at the score will let you know that this one was over before it began.  Ben Scrivens was yanked after allowing five goals on thirteen shots, David Perron scored the only Oiler tally well into garbage time, and the Blackhawks put this one well out of reach after just one period of play.  Marian Hossa collected four points with a goal and three assists, and to add insult to injury, fans pelted the Oilers with jeers as they walked through the tunnel after the game.

Getting smoked in your own barn by six goals would probably light a fire under most teams, right?  I mean, it's only year five of the rebuild, but surely these things can't happen in your house on national TV, right?  Something's got to be done about all of this.  Somebody's got to pay.  What did the Oilers do?  They did what any respectable club that got shellacked by six goals on national TV would do.  They did the most sensible, rational thing in the world:  they fired their goaltending coach, of course.  Frédéric Chabot has been replaced by Dustin Schwartz.  Perhaps they can hire a coach that will do something with the power play, or maybe they can hire a coach that helps the GM go get talent during free agency.  Goaltending hasn't been very good, but the Oilers as a whole have been a car wreck over the first quarter of the 2014-15 season.

Schwartz...where have I heard that name before?  Ah yes, the goaltending coach from the Edmonton Oil Kings. Shocker. I'm really not sure if this is an upgrade, a lateral move, or else, but is anyone really shocked that they found a replacement who worked for the Oil Kings?

Oh, right, the game.  Let's go!

The Oilers are saying

"We just don't want to pin this in one place...This is a team game and when one part struggles the other parts have to stand taller and carry more weight.  That's what we need out of the group right now"

That's Oilers coach Dallas Eakins on the wreck of the Edmund Fitz...Edmonton Oilers

Well, where do you start?  The Oilers went 0-4-1 on their five game homestand, and any and all good feelings have been flushed down the latrine.  Everything except the first overall picks and the fourth line is broken.  Hell, I'll take a modified fourth line with Steve Pinizzotto at this point.  In a six win season, I don't want a third line with Jesse Joensuu.  I feel a little bad for Eakins here, as his boat is filling up with ten buckets of water each second and he's only got two hands to scoop it out, but he's equally to blame for not deploying the best players on any given night.

Calgon, take me away.

The Opponent is saying

"That last 20 minutes should have left a bitter taste in everybody's mouth.  It's a win, but we know we can't play like that.  That game could have ended up being a disaster.  It didn't, which is good, but we know we are better than that"
That's Stars coach Lindy Ruff on the Stars giving up a 4-0 lead en route to a close shave 5-4 victory over the LA Kings on Saturday

The Stars haven't had a picnic this season as evidenced by their record of 8-9-4, but I've got a Coca-Cola on them doing a fair bit better than they are right now.  Only  Oilers and Blue Jackets are allowing more goals per game than Dallas.  Kari Lehtonen is playing to a .906 SV% right now, which would be the worst SV% he's had since the 05-06 season with Atlanta.  The Stars have 61 goals on the year which ranks them fifth in the West, but they're not shooting the puck a whole lot (they're 26th in the league)   Something's gotta give.

Have some of this
  • Tonight is Ales Hemsky's first game against his old club.  You remember, Hemsky, yeah?  The Oilers were able to get two draft picks for him when they dealt him to the Senators.  Good work, everybody.
  • David Perron scored only his second goal this year in the Blackhawks game on Saturday.  This coming after he openly criticized coaches and Jultz. I'm sensing a connection here, maybe if you go after KLowe, you'll score a pair tonight.  Couldn't hurt.
  • Wouldn't be too surprised to see Nikita Nikitin find his way back into the lineup after being scratched on Saturday.  Keep your eyes peeled.
  • Luke Gazdic is going to make his season debut tonight on the third line.
  • Who gets the luxury of starting in goal for the Oilers tonight?  Gonna throw a dart and say Viktor Fasth, as Ben Scrivens had a much forgettable night after yielding five goals in thirteen shots against the Hawks on Saturday.  Your mileage may vary.  This of course, means that Ben Scrivens will likely go.
  • The Oilers are still winless against the Western Conference (0-10-1).  Tonight, that all changes.  (drinks)

Rod Phillips with the final word


The Edmonton Oilers

Taylor Hall - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Jordan Eberle

Teddy Purcell - Mark Arcobello - David Perron

Luke Gazdic - Leon Draisaitl - Nail Yakupov

Matt Hendricks - Boyd Gordon - Steve Pinizzotto

Andrew Ference - Jeff Petry

Martin Marincin - Justin Schultz

Nikita Nikitin - Mark Fayne

Viktor Fasth

The Dallas Stars

Jamie Benn - Cody Eakin - Tyler Seguin

Antoine Roussel - Jason Spezza - Ales Hemsky

Erik Cole - Shawn Horcoff - Ryan Garbutt

Travis Moen - Vernon Fiddler - Patrick Eaves

Trevor Daley - Jason Demers

Alex Goligoski - John Klingberg

Jyrki Jokipakka - Jamie Oleksiak

Kari Lehtonen