Oilers v. Canucks - Exodus 2:5-10

Then the daughter of Gillis went to find her seat in the stands along with some of her friends. There, she saw a young boy crying into his jersey, and she felt sorry for him. "This must be a young Oiler fan!" she said.

The young boy's sister then appeared and said, "We moved here three years ago, and my poor brother has endured nothing but relentless taunting."

"That's terrible!" Gillis' daughter replied. "Let me find this boy a new jersey with a more appropriate logo on it so that he will no longer endure such torment. I will pay for it myself, and I will be a friend to your young brother. Who knows? Maybe one day he will help my father to lead this team!"

So they went together to get the boy a new jersey that he could wear without shame. Gillis' daughter had "Moses" written on the back of the jersey for, she said, "I lifted him out of misery!"

Edmonton Oilers (32-39-10) @ Vancouver Canucks (50-22-9)

Rogers Arena, 8:00 p.m. MDT
Television: CBC

More analysis after the jump...

Home Team Scouting Report:

This is a big game. If the Oilers win, they deny the Canucks any chance at a second consecutive Presidents' Trophy. Only four franchises have won two in a row since the trophy was introduced in 1985-86, namely, the Edmonton Oilers, the Calgary Flames, the Detroit Red Wings (twice), and the Dallas Stars. I have no desire to see the Canucks join that list. A win in a regulation could also bump Vancouver down to second in the Western Conference, something that could be very relevant if the Blues and Canucks end up meeting in the third round of the playoffs. Last year, the Oilers did their part at the end of the year when the ever-clutch Jordan Eberle mind-controlled Raffi Torres into getting suspended without actually hurting him. This year, they could do that one better.

Expected Lineups:

Edmonton Oilers (32-39-10):

Hartikainen - Nugent-Hopkins - Eberle
Jones - Gagner - Hemsky
Smyth - Horcoff - Belanger
Eager - VandeVelde - Petrell

Whitney - Schultz
Sutton - Petry
Barker - Teubert

Dubnyk

The Embodiment of Evil (Booooo!):

Lapierre - Sedin - Burrows
Booth - Kesler - Raymond
Higgins - Pahlsson - Hansen
Weise - Ebbett - Bitz

Hamhuis - Bieksa
Edler - Salo
Rome - Gragnani

Luongo

By the Numbers:

  • The Canucks have not been the dominant possession team this season that they were last season. In 2010-11, they were fourth in the NHL with a Fenwick percentage of 53.6% with the score tied during five-on-five play. This season, the Canucks are eighth at 52.5%, and behind five other Western Conference playoff teams (the Blues, Kings, Red Wings, Sharks, and Blackhawks).
  • The Canucks have four players among the top twenty-five in the NHL in terms of Corsi per sixty minutes of ice time: the whole top line of Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, and Alex Burrows, who get some of the most favorable zone starts in the league, plus mid-season acquisition David Booth.
  • Both the Cancuks and Oilers have six players with at least ten even strength goals, and another who has nine. Seems strange to me. I'd have guessed that the Canucks were way out in front in that particular category.
  • Cory Schneider has a better statistical profile than Roberto Luongo this year (.937 save percentage compared to .919), but Luongo has a much longer track record. The bulk of that gap also comes on the PK where Schneider was a .959 to .870 edge. His lead on Luongo at even strength is pretty negligible (.931 to .929). If this were my decision, I'd go with Luongo, but I can certainly see why some would favor Schneider.
  • The Edmonton Oilers will finish the season in either 28th or 29th in the NHL.
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