by Lisa McRitchie on 03/03/12 at 06:00 AM ET
Oilers lose 3-1 to Stars
Some games it looks as though there is no way that the Oilers will finish in the bottom three of the NHL, and then there are games where bottom three looks to be the reality. This was one of the latter.
Up to this point, the Stars have owned the series against the Oilers through their physical play and their stingy defence. Of course the most interesting person of note on the Stars defence is ex-Oiler Sheldon Souray a player that many had thought would never play another game in the NHL. Look at him now.
This was Souray’s first game in Edmonton and the boo-birds knew it. Every time Souray touched the puck, the arena filled with the sound of fan dissatisfaction. Souray was the most notable free agent signing in recent memory; he was supposed to be a player who would help turn the team around. Instead Souray was a player in a very public media battle with the Oilers’ organization and while sent to play in the AHL for the Washington Capitals’ affiliate team, the Hershey Bears, Souray was passed by by every team in the NHL. The Oilers even put Souray on recall waivers with the hopes of facilitating a trade. No one bit, and so it was not the fans’ fault for thinking that Souray may be done.
Oilers’ winger Lennart Petrell received a promotion to the first line along with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle. Although this was only one game, it looks as though the team will continue to do some line shuffling. This was not their best line combination of the season, despite Renney’s assurance that they may try it again.
The second line was the only Oilers line to score, and only a single goal with 30 seconds to play. Even with simple math, that one goal was not enough to compete with goals from ex-Oiler Radek Dvorak, Tomas Vincour and an empty net goal from Michael Ryder.
Things may have been quite different had the team received any chances on the power play. Leading the league in power play goals, the Oilers could have written a different story for themselves. Instead, new Oiler Nick Schultz took the games only two penalties and those four minutes took could account for some of the shot disparity between the two teams.
Nikolai Khabibulin faced only 20 shots, while on the other end of the ice, the Oilers only got off 15 of their own. Khabibulin had a better night than he could have, his five hole didn’t hold the team back as it has in some of his worst games. If the win and you’re in policy is back in effect, Devan Dubnyk will suit up to face the Ducks on Monday night.
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Lisa McRitchie is a fairly new writer, online at least, but makes up for inexperience with passion for the game of hockey and memories of Mrs. Leskiw’s English AP class; who knew they would pay off one day.
Oil Patch focuses on the Edmonton Oilers, the Edmonton Oil Kings, The Oklahoma City Barons and Team Canada Hockey with game coverage, news updates, speculation and interviews.
Although the Oilers have had a difficult past decade… or three, here at Oil Patch, the future looks bright.
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