Oil Refinery: December 27, 2012 – Oklahoma City Barons vs. Texas Stars
It’s time for the first post-Christmas edition of Oil Refinery, where we take a look at the latest from the world of all things Edmonton Oilers. Today we will be previewing tonight’s match-up in Texas between the Oilers’ AHL affiliate, the Oklahoma City Barons (14-10-1-3), and the Dallas Stars‘ affiliate, the Texas Stars (15-9-3-2).
The Barons are currently sitting in fourth place in the AHL’s South Division with 32 points, while the Stars are in second with 35. The Barons have won three of four match-ups with the Stars this season, including a 6-4 victory in their only meeting in Texas back on November 21. The Barons split a pair of games at home with the Stars this past weekend, and will face the Stars at home yet again on New Year’s Eve.
After last weekend’s games against the Stars, the Barons are currently 28 for 120 on the powerplay this season (23.3%) and have killed 100 of 126 penalties they have faced (79.4%). Justin Schultz (16-24-40) and Jordan Eberle (19-21-40) continue to be light years ahead of everyone else on the Barons’ roster–not to mention the rest of the AHL–in points, but are followed up Taylor Hall (9-15-24), Mark Arcobello (8-13-21), Teemu Hartikainen (8-11-19), Magnus Paajarvi (4-14-18) and Martin Marincin (3-10-13). Cody Eakin (9-11-20) and Reilly Smith (8-11-19) lead a total of nine Stars players who have scored at least 10 points this season, so the Barons will once again be facing a very balanced attack.
Tonight’s battle could come down to whichever team can keep their cool the best. Texas continues to rank near the top of the AHL in terms of fewest PIMs, while the Barons rank 3rd in the Western Conference in most PIMs.