Oilers v. Canucks - Romans 16:17-20

I must appeal to you one more time, my dearest friends. Watch out for people who try to cause your fandom to be divided and upset your faith by trying to teach you things that are contrary to the truth we brought from God. If someone says, "You really ought to cheer for the Canadian teams! Let's bring the Cup home!" don't listen to him! If you can't bring yourself to mock these people, just stay away from them entirely. They are not serving God, and do not actually care about the Oildrop. They are trying to deceive the weakest among us who "just want everyone to be happy" or who are still in the infancy of their commitment during this time of great trial.

But I know that most of you reading are obedient to God's call for faithfulness, and that makes me very happy. I just want to remind you so that you continue to walk in the way of wisdom and so remain innocent of any wrongdoing. And do not worry, dearest friends, the God of peace will soon crush the Canucks, first by removing them from the playoffs, and then by purging their Satanic influence from our most holy organization. May the grace of God be with you always.

Edmonton Oilers (18-26-4) @ Vancouver Canucks (29-15-4)

Rogers Arena, 8:00 p.m. MST
Television: Sportsnet West

More analysis after the jump...

Home Team Scouting Report:

Yeah, yeah, the Canucks are really good again. As many of you know, I live in the Lower Mainland so I get to hear about the Canucks all the time. I also have many friends who would consider themselves fans of the Canucks. One of these friends was unwise enough to invite me to watch Game Seven of the Stanley Cup Finals with his family. Some of his kids are young, so sure enough, there were some tears (didn't even need tear gas!). As a compassionate person, I tried my best to bring some joy to this dark moment by laughing. Alas, that didn't seem to make things better. At least I tried. As for this year, I can only hope that the tears aren't reserved for me.

Expected Lineups:

Edmonton Oilers (18-26-4):

Hall - Gagner - Eberle
Hartikainen - Horcoff - Hemsky
Smyth - Lander - Paajarvi
Petrell - Belanger - Jones

Smid - Petry
Peckham - Potter
Whitney - Sutton

Dubnyk

Vancouver Canucks (29-15-4):

Sedin - Sedin - Burrows
Booth - Kesler - Higgins
Raymond - Hodgson - Hansen
Malhotra - Lapierre - Weise

Hamhuis - Bieksa
Edler - Salo
Ballard - Rome

Luongo

By the Numbers:

  • The Oilers have had a lot of injuries this season, but there's been no doubt about who's been getting the toughest assignment. Ales Hemsky, Shawn Horcoff, and Ryan Smyth rank first through third in all three of Gabriel Desjardins' different quality of competition metrics among Oiler forwards. The results over the last while haven't been very good at all, but it's not like there are a lot of options.
  • For most of this season, David Booth has had one of the worst PDO numbers in the league. Even now, he's still near the bottom with a PDO of 94.4 during five-on-five action, but the points are now beginning to come. Since coming to the Canucks, Booth has 15 points in 22 games, including six in his last five.
  • That being the case, it's interesting to see Tom Renney put Teemu Hartikainen on a line with Horcoff and Hemsky. Those are pretty good linemates to get coming out of the minors, but he sure can't expect to get much in the way of protection. Hartikainen set a personal best for ice time this season with 13:56 last night against the Sharks, and will no doubt be looking to earn enough ice time for a new season high tonight.
  • Henrik Sedin is currently seventh in the NHL scoring race with 52 points. Sedin is one of five players looking to finish in the top ten for the third year in a row. The others are Alex Ovechkin (currently 38th), Brad Richards (81st), Steven Stamkos (4th), and Martin St. Louis (32nd).Ovechkin currently has the longest active streak with four consecutive seasons in the top ten.
  • Jordan Eberle was just named to the All-Star Game, and it's tough to argue that he absolutely doesn't deserve to go. He is, after all, leading the Oilers in scoring and up over a point per game (the last Oiler to hit the point per game mark was Ales Hemsky in 2009-10, but he only played in 22 games that year). Still, I can't shake the fact that Eberle is going while Taylor Hall stays home. He hasn't scored as many points, but it seems to me that Hall has been the best Oiler forward this season, an impressive accomplishment for a player who just turned 20 in November.
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