Oilers 5, Dallas 1 – Game 19 – 2013-02-28 @ 6:30 PM MST – SNETW

By , February 28, 2013 9:20 am
-={ Puttin’ On The Foil Presents… }=-
GDT - Edmonton Oilers at Dallas Stars
logo at logo
7-7-4 Record 10-8-2
Location: American Airlines Center
Date: February 28, 2013 @ 6:30PM MST
TV: SNETW

PRE-GAME RANT

This will be a long ramble today…

The Oilers face the Dallas Stars again tonight.. this is the 3rd meeting of the season, with the first 2 games being at home for the Oilers. We haven’t won versus the Stars this year or even last year. Our last win vs. the Stars came on February 15, 2011, at home. The last win in Dallas for the Oilers came on December 5, 2009. I don’t have to say it, but we simply suck versus this team… more so than most. That has to change somehow.

Jaromir Jagr has been a big factor in the games so far. At 41 years old, he looks more like 30 against us. The Oilers are going to need to find a way to stop the line of Jagr, Jamie Benn and Brendan Morrow somehow. Benn has a goal and 2 assists in the series so far, and Jagr has 2 goals and 2 assists (including one of the game winners in overtime).

The Oilers powerplay sees them in 5th now, which isn’t bad, as it was starting to look a little scary for me, for the wrong reasons. As usual, their 5-on-5 play needs work. They have the worst 5-on-5 GF:GA ratio in the NHL currently. Their opponents nearly outscore them 2 to 1 at evens. That is absolutely horrible, and I don’t know how you can expect to win games if you’re getting beat that badly at 5-on-5. It’s clear that the Oilers need some help on this team. Ryan Jones should factor in a bit, it doesn’t help that Shawn Horcoff is injured. But the Oilers management are good at sitting on their hands and waiting to see what happens… and what has happened the last 6 years? The Oilers have consistently stunk it up.

It’s obvious to everyone that this team won’t get better without more depth.. some guys that can play gritty hockey. We’ve got the PP specialists, we need guys that can score ugly even strength goals like the young Ryan Smyth used to. I like the elevated play I’ve seen from the likes of Ben Eager, Eric Belanger, and even Lennart Petrell but none of those guys can really put the puck in the net consistently (or in the case of Eager/Belanger… really ever). I don’t think any of those guys should be dropped, but we should make them a 4th line unit for checking purposes, and build a line that can actually score some even strength goals.

A line of Smyth, Horcoff and Jones would sure look good right now compared to some of what we’ve seen this year at even strength. I don’t like the patience Tambellini has shown with this roster though. Patience sounds like a good virtue, but in the hockey world, being patient for a few weeks can be disastrous, and that’s what it’s been for these Oilers (although his patience has been for at least 4 years straight). It’s well past time for him to show what he can do. This isn’t the first time I’ve thought it, or said it. Horcoff was known to be out for a month, and I’m not sure how Anton Lander was expected to be out. Really, Anton Lander isn’t the center we need right now either (even though he’s played OK).

I’m curious when they are going to move Ryan Whitney as well too. That could be easier said than done though… it’s one thing to want to trade a player. I assume that Tambellini is at least making effort there, but there isn’t a buyer yet. The Oil really should eat some of that salary in a trade, and they’ll probably increase the chance of a team picking him up asap.

On a good note, the team will get a boost with the return of Taylor Hall. His 3 goals have all come at evens. He’ll need to improve upon that as well too, however.

“Suitcase” offers his take on the Oilers lines

Jason Strudwick had a good post on Oilers Nation about the Oilers lines. I actually can get behind this. Basically, he figured when everyone was healthy we need to change the distribution of players slightly to spark some offense from more lines. His suggestions were to keep the top line untouched, move Yakupov off line two in favor of Ryan Jones, and have Eager, Horcoff and Smyth together. This means that Yakupov would drop down to line 4. I have no problems at all with Yakupov on this team. I really like him, but I don’t think this is a bad idea at all because he does have some learning to do about the game, for example, when not to throw it blindly through the defensive zone. He doesn’t have to be on line 4 to figure that out though. It should be a quick conversation with Krueger that corrects that. But we should be able to afford to be more patient with one of these stars.

Justin Schultz

There’s some buzz that perhaps Justin Schultz is losing some steam because he is tired. It’s quite possible.. he’s up to 52 games played now this season. He hasn’t played that many since his BCHL days. That’s one of the things about College hockey I hate the most… you don’t get enough games in. He also plays heavy minutes with the Oilers. He’s actually getting the most ice time of any Oiler, currently.. averaging 22:40 per game. I’d imagine though that eating up ice time is not a new thing to Schultz. In reality, I think that the perceived drop in Justin Schultz’s play is not due to him dropping, but rather to the ridiculous bar that Oilers fans set after seeing him tear it up in the AHL and then come to the NHL and look brilliant his first few games. I fully expect him to be brilliant at the NHL level one day, but I don’t expect that today. He’ll have his ups and downs. But really, he’s doing just fine anyways and not at all an issue. His defensive game seems consistent from game to game (solid, but not otherworldly). His offense has dropped, but the entire team’s offense has dropped. That doesn’t rest solely on his shoulders. Justin Schultz is doing fine.. great, I’d say… so people can stop panicking. I actually like the Oilers defense more and more. Yah, we do run around in our own zone, but I think for the most part the defense are doing their job well.

Very interesting Oil Change sequence

An interesting take away from Oil Change Season 3 episode 2… after a loss vs. Vancouver where the Oilers blew it in overtime with 30 seconds left, Ladislav Smid was seen going back to the locker room enraged. He was on the ice with Jeff Petry, Jordan Eberle, and Nail Yakupov for the Canucks game-winning goal. He laid into a nameless player, saying they allowed a Canucks defenseman to get into the slot untouched to score the winner. They should have been playing defense first and not trying to break away out of the zone. He was very vocal and angry about it (and that’s one thing that might earn some fans in favor of Smid as captain some day).

The play unfolded like this… Dubnyk kicked a save off a Daniel Sedin shot to the corner. Henrik Sedin and Jeff Petry pursued the puck, with the puck rolling up past the hash mark of the circle to Dubnyk’s left. With Henrik Sedin gathering the puck up, and Keith Ballard pinching in, mystery forward 1 veered away from the play (he was literally in poke check range previous to this) and circled to center ice line where he waited… while Jeff Petry battled Keith Ballard and Henrik Sedin alone for the puck. Ballard got the puck loose to Henrik, who passed it to Daniel Sedin, who then dropped it to Chris Tanev who was streaking in from the right point, untouched. At this point, mystery forward 2 realizes that no one is covering Tanev, and there is now double man coverage on Daniel Sedin due to the way the play progressed. Mystery forward 2 turns and goes down to block the shot (face and all), but the wrister buzzes past his helmet and in the net.

Now of all the players on the ice, who would you think it was that was “Mystery Player 1″, hovering near center ice while the Canucks still had the puck in the Oiler zone? Nail Yakupov, right? No, it was actually Jordan Eberle. Now, obviously I won’t rip on him because.. Eberle is friggen awesome and is critical to this team. But I just thought it interesting. Most would instantly assume that Yakupov was cherry picking. In reality, Yakupov was covering Daniel Sedin, until it became clear that no one was watching Tanev. So, credit to Yakupov for at least attempting to do his job. During that play, Tanev was hovering back with Eberle at center, until Ballard broke off back to the point, and Tanev then came in from the point to score the game winner.

Peckham

Hello? Where are you…. I thought you were healthy now. Why isn’t he playing? He had a good first game, and he’s been scratched the last two.

OILERS LINES (Lines per Gene Principe)


Hall – Nuge – Eberle
Jones – Gagner – Hemsky
Smyth – Belanger – Yakupov
Eager – Vande Velde – Petrell

N. Schultz – J. Schultz
Smid – Petry
Fistric – Potter

Dubnyk
Danis

LIVE CHAT



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6 Responses to “Oilers 5, Dallas 1 – Game 19 – 2013-02-28 @ 6:30 PM MST – SNETW”

  1. dawgtoy says:

    These lines make more sense to me then the lines in Chicago. Obviously having #4 in the lineup makes it easier on coach K. I liked Paajarvi vs Chicago and I’m somewhat disappointed in the decision to take him off the second line so quickly. Chicago is a good hockey club that ate our top two lines for breakfast. Paajarvi should be in, Petrell out IMO. Yak gets the opportunity to play on his favored RW as well. Should be fun to watch.

  2. Racki says:

    I have nothing against Paajarvi, but I wouldn’t pull Petrell out in his place. I know a lot of people don’t like Petrell because he isn’t a glorious looking player out there. He plays simple and hard, and limits mistakes though. Add to that, he’s an animal on the puck, much like Hartikainen. He wants the puck bad. Plus he’s one of few guys that throws his weight around. I think he’s harder for a team to play against than Paajarvi is.

    Paajarvi is getting better, and I like what I see more from him, but he’s definitely a different type of player. Paajarvi’s offense is a non-factor now, so it comes down to defense and checking, in my opinion, and I think Petrell is better in both regards. Plus that shorthanded goal vs. Chicago was a thing of beauty. Petrell did all the work with a brilliant deke on Emery, but hit the post. The wild rebound off the post allowed Petry to tap it into the gaping net.

    I’m not sure who I’d pull out of the line up for Paajarvi. His offensive output (or lack of) is disappointing to say the least, but he’s been asked to change his game. That said, he should still be able to score through grittiness, like a guy like Jones can. So I don’t give him a free pass. He’s got to find more ways to be relevant out there. However, I think lately he HAS been showing that he can be a good 3rd liner. He’s throwing the body a bit now and is looking a little stronger on the puck. So I’d like to see him get more opportunities, I just don’t know who you pull out. Maybe Eager?

  3. Racki says:

    Apparently Danis starts?? I guess Dubnyk is chop liver. Maybe they’re hoping in a back to back that the backup goaltender will get it done like how backups typically kill us.

    Not sure if it’s true he’s starting though. SNET reported it, and no one else seems to have picked up on that.

  4. Racki says:

    This one deserves some sort of post game wrap up, so a few things… great game all around by the team. Smid is a fucking warrior out there, taking abuse, and keeps on ticking. I honestly think the NHL should have an award for players that regularly sacrifice themselves out there (aside from Lord Stanely’s mug). Jamie Benn.. dirty cross-check on Ryan Jones, and if he watches the replay later, he’ll see how stupid an idea that was, as the contact by Jones on Lehtonen was definitely not intentional or malicious, or even severe. Good to see Fistric put Antonie Roussel on his ass when he started pushing Nugent-Hopkins around. That’s the toughness we need. All cylinders were firing tonight. The Oilers punished Jagr several times tonight. Good physical game, even though they took their lumps too.

    Now they need to follow this game up with a good game in St. Lou!

  5. hemmerlady says:

    Nice fight from Samwise… punching way above his weight: He bows to no one.

    I liked the total fluke goal for the simple reason that Petry just threw it at the net– good stuff happens when you’re not always going for the pretty play.

    Hemmer is sure feeding Steve-o’s man-crush.

    Only saw the highlights but I was a bit concerned about what seemed to be a lot of odd-man rushes and hanging Dubey out to dry a bit – he played great tonight but that’s just not gonna get it done when luck’s not on our side, which let’s be honest – it often isn’t.

    Very relieved to get the 2 pts. I’ve been really taking crap from Nucks fans lately. Suckage.

  6. Racki says:

    Oilers outplayed the Stars in this one. Closer than the score looked, I’m sure, but the Oilers spent a lot of the game without Potter (thanks to that asshat Nystrom) and Smid (who luckily came back after though). The blue all had an incredible game. Mark Fistric was a physical beast out there, nailing Jagr, and shoving some jackass on his butt that started going after the Nuge. Petry had one of his best games in a while. The Schultz bros looked really good tonight.

    Offensively, it seemed like shots were going in that shouldn’t have.. or maybe shouldn’t have by Oilers standards, but other teams score. But I thought the Oilers played a “great road game”, as they say, and deserved the win. Dallas punished them physically, but the Oilers dished it out too and got their claws out too.

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