Jan 232010

When things go wrong, you’ll find they usually go on getting worse for some time; but when things once start going right they often go on getting better and better. – C. S. Lewis

500px-Logo_Edmonton_Oilers This is the only way that fans can look at the Edmonton Oilers season right now. Last night against the Dallas Stars was again a shining example of how those things that can go wrong, just continue to go wrong.

The Oilers started the game desperately trying to hand the game to the Stars. With 4 penalties in the first 11 minutes it appeared that the team was just going to play a lazy game and lie down and play dead. For the second straight game, they gave their opposition a 5 on 3 power play by taking 2 penalties at the same time. On this night it was again 2 veterans with Horcoff and Pisani both getting nailed. Again this was untimely as it was only 41 seconds after the Stars had scored to take a 1-0 lead. With the Oilers having the 29th ranked penalty killing unit you expected the Stars to make it 2-0 quickly. On this night, however, it was not the Sedin twins on the ice and the Oilers were able to kill that off. What did they do to celebrate this kill? Less than a minute after the brilliant kill Sam Gagner took a holding penalty and were again able to kill that off. With 6 seconds left in that penalty they Patrick O’Sullivan was pegged for unsportsmanlike conduct and with the team shorthanded for almost 6 consecutive minutes, the Stars finally solved the Oilers PK and made it 2-0. The shots at this time were 17-2 for the Stars and it looked like this was going to be Monday all over again.

The Stars did their best though to throw the Oilers a bone and 14 seconds after their second goal, they gave the Oilers a power play of their own with Kris Barch being caught for holding. Ryan Potulny only took 25 seconds to narrow the gap to 2-1. By the end of the period the Oilers had managed to narrow the shots gap to 18-11.

The second period was a better period for the Oilers as they controlled most of the play and ended the period outshooting Dallas 14-5. Dallas scored first in the period against the run of play with Taylor Chorney pinching at the Dallas line and getting caught. Jamie Benn finished the 2 on 1 we a perfect shot to beat Devan Dubnyk who was making his second straight start for the Oilers. Edmonton’s dominant play finally paid off with 19 seconds left in the period as Sam Gagner found the twine and again narrowed the score to a 1 goal game.

The third period was again a good period for the home team and they should have faired better at least had a few more power plays but the referee’s (Wes McCauley and Justin St. Pierre) swallowed or lost their whistles and allowed several plays, that were far worse and more blatant than some of the calls made in the first period, go unpunished. It just so happened that most of those blown calls would have gone in Edmonton’s favor. Finally, with Dubnyk on the bench in favor of the extra attacker, Sam Gagner scored his second goal of the game. 1:02 to go and it looked certain that the Oilers hard work was at least going to get them to overtime and get them a point. It would have made sense considering the first 2 games between the teams this season had gone to the shoot-out.

Unfortunately for the Oilers, a late minute brain freeze cost them the game. It was that situation that when things go bad they just continue to go bad. Jason Strudwick fell to the one side of the net while covering Brad Richards which allowed a wide open James Neal to pot the winner. 23 seconds left and the Oilers were again down and had lost the game in the final minute once more. The Oilers did make it close in the final 10 seconds but Marty Turco was able to shut the door and hold on for victory.

Another hard effort by the Oilers that probably deserved a better fate but again it was an L beside their name on the game sheet. Again, Devan Dubnyk was in line to maybe pick up his first victory but again the Fickle Finger of Fate was shown to him and he added another loss to his stat line. 

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