Game Day Blog 9/82: Trying to Tie Our Longest Winning Streak of the Year, Stars @ Oilers

Actual footage of Oilers using speed to score (via 1997):

I’ll never get sick of watching Todd haul absolute ass by Dallas to send the boys into the second round. It’s probably my third favourite moment in Oilers history, behind getting Connor, and game six against Carolina. And this might have been the second most spectacular moment in the history of the Oilers/Stars rivalry, thanks to Patrik Stefan.

Tonight’s Opponent: Dallas Stars

What a year they had. I know this is bad luck and bad timing and what not but odds are Niemi or Lehtonen would have let that in anyway. Dallas soaked all the goals Niemi could possibly let in for two years before deciding to mercifully end their suffering and buy his ass out this summer. He lasted all of about three minutes in Pittsburgh before they realized that possibly anybody else was a better option in goal. That’s the difference between the back to back champions and a franchise whose greatest moment also happened to be an illegal goal.

Anyways, they attempted to solve this shit awful goaltending display in the summer by bringing in none other than:

What do they have? BEN BISHOP!!!:

Tampa is 23-6-1 since donating Bishop to the Kings last season, so naturally Dallas gave him a SIX (!!!) year deal worth $29.5 million. Ben’s short yet eventful time in Dallas has already jumped off to a fluent and utterly transparent start:

There you go. Bishop hasn’t even been in Dallas long enough to learn his teammates’ names and he’s already blaming the coaches for all his shittery. And the Stars had no problem at all dropping this on Twitter, in their featured stories on their website, probably on billboards across their town, etc. Do not be distracted by Ben’s somehow decent stats this year. He is bad. He is very, very bad. He’s so bad that Calgary almost nearly practically traded for him two summers ago and then willingly decided to go after Brian Elliott (!!) instead, even after Bishop actually agreed to waive his no-trade to go to Calgary. He’s so bad that Linus Omark scored on him. Watch as he makes 85 saves for a 2-1 win tonight.

Other than being terminally unable to find a superstar goalie, Dallas might actually rock a sneaky alright roster. Their top six comes as advertised, especially their elite first line. But what’s surprising is that their blue line isn’t exactly a detriment to their organization anymore, assisted by the full-time addition of young guys like Julius Honka and Esa Lindell. Thanks to the Oilers lottery rules, Miro Heiskanen is in the Stars’ pipeline and he’s outstanding. Stephen Johns has quietly had a solid start to the year, and John Klingberg is doing vintage John Klingberg things (9 points in 9 games).

HOWEVER!!

Stephen Johns is out with a concussion tonight, and for some reason Hitch doesn’t love Honka (probably because he’s good), meaning Greg Pateryn and (OH MY GOD YES YES YES) Jamie Oleksiak (!!!!!!) will both play tonight.

YES!! Jamie Oleksiak playing is exactly what this offense needs to open the floodgates. Tonight, you’ll be able to witness the only thing slower than Milan Lucic in overtime. Everybody get your cell phones out if Oleksiak is accidentally out there at the same time as McDavid. He’s dressed in five games this year and I’m really happy to report that literally nothing has changed:

Penny’s brother was the 14th overall pick from the 2011 draft and is quite possibly the consensus worst player in hockey, maybe of all time. As you can tell from above, he’s off to yet another captivating start, going dash five in five games while rocking a CF% Rel of -7.5 (for those who don’t know, that’s really fucking bad). Watching Oleksiak play hockey is equivalent of what staring at a solar eclipse is to the naked eye. This is my favourite Oleksiak clip ever. Watch him, #5:

The best part isn’t his humiliating attempt at carrying the puck out. It’s not even him stumbling over literally nothing all by himself. No. It’s that he makes Patty Maroon look like Kareem fucking Hunt.

After all that shit I said about Bishop he’s a pretty decent 5-1-1 with a 1.82 GAA all time against the Oilers so think about that while we generate a fraction of a buzz at some point tonight.

What do we have? At the risk of sounding obvious, we do not have a lot of goals. We have 15, to be exact. In eight games. We’re scoring under two goals per game. And I’m not going to lie, I’m not exactly confident that this will fix it:

A) Free Jesse, B) Mark Letestu – good fourth line centre – is starting the game on line two… as a right winger, because reasons. If only we had a skilled and speedy right winger that we didn’t trade away for a pack of Crayolas. Suffocating RNH between Lucic and Letestu like he’s a dependant clause inside of a goddamn parentheses might not be the best way to trigger secondary scoring. Food for thought.

Ryan Strome thinks the team is starting to find rhythm:

I’d like to find Ryan Strome.

It’s Tony Time again so naturally Todd has him stapled on the fourth line. Chia took apart our right wing this summer and left us with virtually nothing, except Slepy, who apparently is forbidden from leaving the fourth line, and Jesse, who is riding the goddamn bus. Our top six left wingers are slower than AOL dialup. It’s a good thing we weren’t gifted the fastest player in hockey history. Need to slow the game down around McDavid. Grit. Character.

Yama is a scratch.

Who cares about our defense.

Cam’s in the cage. I sort of thought maybe they’d give LB a go tonight thinking, you know, that Cam’s started every game but one this month and is once again on pace to play in about 70 games and Washington and Pittsburgh are our next two meetings and we’ve just come off a road trip BUT Cam’s playing like the Jesus again so fuck it. Ride or die baby, the Iceman cometh.

Did you know? Stars fans are few and even less between but every time the word ‘star’ appears in the US anthem all six fans in the stadium will yell it like a rage-induced 16-year-old playing online Call of Duty.

Prediction: I remember how fun it was to pummel this guys last year, and I really would enjoy much of the same again tonight. We outscored Dallas 14-6 in three games last year, including a 7-1 world clobberer of a game back in March. And what better way to get the fellas back to this status quo than to fire Mark Letestu on the second line wing.

I hate everything. 3-1 Oilers, I guess, because like hell we’ll ever actually score four. Tyler Pitlick scores because obviously he will.

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