Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Pre-Game: Game #13 Stars vs. Oilers

The Oilers are back at it again tonight against the Stars. The games are coming fast and furious in this shortened season. Its a big game for both squads because if this game ends in regulation, one team will be inside the playoff bracket while the other team will be on the outside. The Oilers looked disjointed all weekend. They managed to steal a win in Columbus while losing in Detroit. The Oilers looked anywhere from supbar to downright awful in the two games. One thing that wasn't awful was the goaltending. The Oilers only gave up 3 goals but surrendered 70 shots over the weekend. The goaltending was very sharp and it needed to be in order for the Oilers to stay in the games over the weekend. The Oilers need to find their game quickly, they cannot allow the losses to pileup and talk playoffs at the same time. They need to find a way to stay afloat and to find the right combination of players that will allow them to find some offense. The Oilers finally scored 3 goals for the first time in a awhile, though it was aided by an empty net goal. The Oilers dropped a 3-2 overtime decision against these same Stars last Wednesday night. We know the Oilers can hang with them, its just a matter of finding that extra gear in order to put them away. The loser point has been saving the Oilers early on this season, its time to start turning some of those games into wins. Preparation and proper mindset is key for the Oilers. With a quarter if the season already in the books, the Oilers need to be flying from the start of the game.

Forwards Stars
- I just can't give this to the Oilers right now even though they have more skill on paper. The lines are a mess and the Oilers continue to have issues at center.
Defense Oilers
- The Oilers defense has played well even though the shots are piling up. The shots against speak more to the forwards lack of maintaining pressure in offensive zone. Stars defense can be pressured.
Goaltending Oilers
- Kari Lehtonen has played well for the Stars this season but as of now, Devan Dubnyk could be a Vezina candidate if the Oilers manage to sneak in the playoffs.
Special Teams Oilers
- Oilers special teams are still very good statistically even though the powerplay has gone stone cold. Oilers are 6th on the PP and 5th on the PK. Stars are 17th on the PP and 9th on the PK.
Coaching Stars
- Ralph Krueger is slowly losing the grip of his team. Needs to figure out line combos quickly while working with a depleted lineup. Glen Gulutzen is very much in the same boat as Krueger.
Intangibles Oilers
- Oilers start a five game homestand tonight which could be a blessing or a curse. Oilers need a win tonight.







Game Time - 7:30 PM MT @ Rexall Place on Sportsnet West.

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