Stars 4, Oilers 1 - Still Waiting On Eight More Goals

Kari Lehtonen – Photo by Ronald Martinez / Getty Images

I’m not an expert on nine goal games, but it tends to be a lot of fun when your team is on the nine goal scoring end of them.  I mean, I think I could get used to the Oilers scoring eight or nine goals every night.

Monday versus the Stars wasn’t that night.  The Oilers continued their struggles in Dallas, dropping their latest instalment by a score of 4-1.

While it’s not nearly as fun as a 9-2 victory, there is a game review after the jump.

Having lost five consecutive games before Monday Night’s affair, the Stars were looking for a slump buster.  Edmonton was able to muster only one goal in sixty minutes of play (and Dallas’ Toby Petersen scored for the first time since the nineteen sixties), and Dallas was able to find their way back into the win column.

In no particular order…

  • SOME GOOD:  Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has played in twenty NHL games.  For his efforts, he has twenty NHL points to show for it.  Nugent-Hopkins didn’t score the prettiest goal in the strawberry patch last night, but it was pretty enough to be his eighth goal of the season and 20th point(8-12-20) on the year.  Both Jordan Eberle and Ryan Smyth had assists on Nugent-Hopkins’ goal.  The assist was also Ryan Smyth’s twentieth point (11-9-20) of the seaason.

    Outlook not so good. Photo courtesy Sportsnet

  • See this?  Don’t do this.  The only reason two players in the same coloured sweater should be this close to each other is if there’s a team bonding exercise that features square dancing or pyramid building.  None of these two are going on here.  Theo Peckham is pinching on this play, and he collides with Ales Hemsky.  Both fall to the ice, and create an odd-man rush for the Stars.  What happens next?  Turn to page 65 to find out.  I’ll give you a hint, it didn’t help the Oilers.
  • Eighteen shots was more than enough to get Edmonton a victory in Montréal earlier in the year.  Unfortunately it’s not enough in Dallas.  Dallas was able to put 35 shots up on Khabibulin and had the lion’s share of scoring opportunities throughout the night.

Before I go any further, we all agree that the object of the game is to score more goals than your opponent, right?  Oilers get more goals than their opponent, they win.  Pretty easy concept, yes?  Okay.  The next few clips come courtesy of Sportsnet.  See if you share my outrage.  These next clips are a HUGE reason why I’m not a fan of the ‘energy line’.

If you click the pics, they become BIGGER.  For some extra fun, watch the clock on the top of the pics.

Let’s pick it up right here.  Souray (DAL) is about to play the puck.  The ‘energy’ line of Petrell (in front of Souray), Belanger (at the blue) and Hordichuk (off camera) are on the ice.  Pretty pedestrian moment, right?  Okay.  Let’s move on.

The puck is cycled to just over the blue line.  By now, you see what’s happening.  Petrell? On his man.  Belanger?  On his man.  Hordichuk?  Going after the puck carrier.  Gosh, I hope Hordichuk gets there before the puck gets unloaded…

The puck is unloaded to Tom Wandell of the Stars (near the bottom of the screen).  Hordichuk appears to be way more concerned with this hit on a player that no longer has the puck.  Alright, moving on…

ANY USE THAT DARCY HORDICHUK COULD HAVE BROUGHT TO THIS PLAY HAS NOW BEEN COMPLETELY REMOVEDWandell has all the ice in the world.  Petrell and Belanger?  Still within one stride of their guys.  I’m willing to grant you that having the Law Offices of Chorney-Teubert on the blue line aren’t an exact plus right now, but Hordichuk has voluntarily taken himself out of the play by not even paying attention to where the puck is right now.  Look at the clock, this is three seconds after the hit.  You think he’ll have time to recover?

Puck is now in behind the goal line.  Five full seconds later.

Four seconds after that, the puck is in the net, and Darcy Hordichuk is checking the goal scorer.  I swear to God, I can’t make this up.

It’s unfair to put this goal 100% on  Hordichuk, but it would be wrong to say that he wasn’t the proximate cause.

Is it too much to ask that you not eliminate yourself from a rush by hitting a guy that’s no longer a part of the play?  I’m going to hear about how it’s not Hordichuk’s role to score goals.   That in itself isn’t a plus, but when you willingly take yourself out of the play by ignoring the puck (and hitting a guy that’s no longer a part of the play), that’s a HUGE minus. You might as well just skate off the ice.

If your job isn’t to score goals, can you at least play a role in helping prevent them?  This is almost as bad as taking a blatant slashing penalty in front of the ref.  There’s no reason for it.  At least if you took a slashing penalty in front of the ref, the guy you slashed is likely to at least have the puck.


The Oilers visit Nashville tonight in an effort to regain the momentum,  or at least two points.


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Tags: Colten Teubert Darcy Hordichuk Eric Belanger Jordan Eberle Lennart Petrell Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Ryan Smyth Taylor Chorney

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