Then he will say to those on the left, "Get away from me. You are cursed and will become a city like Regina, which has no hockey team, a city that was created for the Devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger to you and you wrote mean things about me, I needed a new arena but you provided none, I had a sick team in need of support and you visited less frequently or with less passion."
And the people will reply, "But you're a billionaire! Isn't this story supposed to be about helping the po-"
"Truly, I tell you, it is the rich who are blessed, and you will gain favor with God by blessing those blessed by God. Remember, if you do not help me, your team will be taken away from you forever, but if you act with righteousness, you will be blessed with this team for all of your days."
Edmonton Oilers (9-7-2)
Rexall Place, 8:00 p.m. MST
More analysis after the jump...
Visiting Team Scouting Report:
We just saw the Chicago Blackhawks a few days ago, and if you love watching a dominant performance, it was a lot of fun to watch. Jonathan Toews was a beast when these two teams met in Chicago. Toews scored twice, led everyone on both teams with seven shots on goal, had a +7 scoring chance differential five-on-five (+11 -4), and he did it all playing mostly against the Oilers' top line. The numbers, of course, are impressive, but he also did it all with a certain elan that made the performance one of the finest I've seen all year. Sadly, while I do enjoy watching players at the top of their game, I also love watching the Oilers win games, and from that perspective, the lasting outing against the Hawks was a lot less fun. We can only hope that this one turns out a little bit better.
Edmonton Oilers (9-7-2):
Hall - Horcoff - Jones
Paajarvi - Gagner - Hemsky
Smyth - Nugent-Hopkins - Eberle
Lander - Belanger - Eager
Smid - Gilbert
Peckham - Petry
Chorney - Teubert
Chicago Blackhawks (12-5-3):
Stalberg - Toews - Hossa
Carcillo - Kane - Sharp
Brunette - Bolland - Mayers
Bickell - Kruger - Frolik
Keith - Leddy
Hjalmarsson - Montador
Lepisto - Scott
By the Numbers:
- According to Dennis King, the Oilers have been outchanced in six consecutive games. The last time they won that battle was in their first game of their last road trip against the Los Angeles Kings.
- Magnus Paajarvi and Eric Belanger are both still looking for their first goal of the season. Paajarvi is currently tied for 9th in the NHL in shots on goal among players without a goal with 27, while Belanger is tied for 19th with 23. Other Oilers or former Oilers in the top fifty include Eric Brewer, Ethan Moreau, Marty Reasoner, Jeff Petry, Radek Dvorak, Sam Gagner, Steve Staios, and Dustin Penner.
- Anton Lander has the worst Corsi rate on the team at -31.0 per sixty minutes. For perspective, that number is worse than the three worst performers by that measure on the club last year: Steve MacIntyre (-30.2), Ryan O'Marra (-23.6), and Jason Strudwick (-19.4). I know that the kid just scored a goal, but it might be an idea to have him spend some time in Oklahoma City.
- Theo Peckham has had a rough start to the year. One of the ways that it's showing up in the numbers is his penalty rate (2.3 per sixty minutes), which is actually higher than it was last season (1.7).
- Having three different options for Quality of Competition at Behind the Net is a great thing because when all three measures agree, you can be pretty confident about the story that they tell. And with the Oilers, it's been clear that Shawn Horcoff, Ryan Smyth, Ryan Jones, and Ales Hemsky have been getting the toughest opponents, which is exactly what we see in the numbers: each guy is ranked in the top five in all three categories.