O Yahweh, come back to us!
How long will you make us wait just for competence?
When will you finally take pity on us?
O Yahweh, show us your unfailing love in every game
So that we might sing your praises all night long!
Give us as much reason to cheer as we've had for mourning,
One Cup for each last-place finish!
Let us, your devoted Edmontonians, see your works again!
And let our children see your glory for the first time!
O Yahweh our God, come back to us!
And make all of our games victories!
Every night a reason to celebrate!
Edmonton Oilers (2-2-1)
Rexall Place, 7:30 p.m. MDT
Television: Sportsnet Oilers
More analysis after the jump...
Visiting Team Scouting Report:
We've seen the Wild once already this season, and the game ended in a 2-1 shootout loss. The Oilers, however, deserved a much worse fate. The Wild outchanced the Oilers 22-12, but were turned away time after time by Nikolai Khabibulin. But that drubbing isn't all that indicative of how the Wild have played for most of the year. Through six games, their game against the Oilers was only the second time that they managed to outshoot their opponents, and the other was a game in which they outshot the Islanders but managed just 21 total shots and trailed 2-0 after the first period (and 10-2 on the shot clock), so it would be difficult to argue that they controlled the play. If the Oilers are going to be better this year than last, they need to be able to carry the play against teams like the Wild when they have the last change.
Edmonton Oilers (2-2-1):
Hall - Nugent-Hopkins - Eberle
Smyth - Horcoff - Jones
Paajarvi - Belanger - Omark
Eager - Lander - Petrell
Smid - Gilbert
Whitney - Potter
Sutton - Barker
Minnesota Wild (2-2-2):
Setoguchi - Koivu - Heatley
Bouchard - Cullen - Latendresse
Gillies - Brodziak - Clutterbuck
Bulmer - Powe - Staubitz
Zanon - Zidlicky
Schultz - Scandella
Stoner - Spurgeon
By the Numbers:
- Even though Jeff Petry is the one who was sent to the minors yesterday, it seems clear to me that Theo Peckham is the guy who's seen his stock fall the most. I wonder how much of that has to do with the fact that the coaching staff had him playing mostly the right side once the season started after playing the left side through pre-season. It's not always an easy change, and Peckham has struggled. Despite playing less than any of the other defenseman save Ryan Whitney, David Staples has Peckham with the highest number of individual scoring chances against at even strength (11), which isn't any huge surprise what with the puck usually being in the Oilers' zone with Peckham on the ice.
- The big winner in the shuffling so far is Corey Potter who has established himself on the roster and in the Oilers' lineup with all of the defensemen healthy. I know that Tom Renney had some familiarity with this player from their time in New York, but that's still a tremendous accomplishment for a 27 year-old with nine career games before the season started.
- The small winner is Ryan Keller. The Oilers have recalled the winger from Oklahoma City for tonight's game (after placing Darcy Hordichuk on IR) in case the flu bug keeps folks out of the lineup. But even if Keller doesn't get into the lineup, I don't think he'll complain: each day on the roster earns him $3,378, or $2,162 more than what he makes for every day he's in the AHL.
- With the Oilers at home, look for Tom Renney to match Smyth, Horcoff, and Jones against Minnesota's top line, and let Eberle, Nugent-Hopkins, and Hall run wild (har har har) on the rest of Minnesota's lineup. At least, that's been the pattern so far: in nine home games (combined), the young trio has earned eleven points compared to one point in five games on the road.
- Through two games, Ben Eager has played a total of 6:49. That's more ice than Darcy Hordichuk saw in three games, but it's also a lot less than what Eager has generally logged with other teams over the last several years. I know that he's coming back from an injury, but if this keeps up for much longer, it will be very interesting to see how Eager reacts.