Oilers v. Maple Leafs - 1 Corinthians 4:14-21

Abelimages

We do not write these things to make you feel ashamed, but to help you come to a knowledge of the truth, which is what you should really want. Most teams--we're not talking about the teams in Florida or Arizona here--have hundreds of thousands of fans, but there are not many willing to speak what is true. And so we appeal to you based on evidence rather than gut feeling to listen to what we are saying.

It was for this reason that we sent Sean McIndoe, a beloved and faithful servant of the truth, and a friend both to you and to us, to remind you of what the evidence really says. Some of you, thinking that you'll be different, that your team won't be like all the others, have become arrogant. Your day of reckoning will come soon, if the Lord wills, and those whose arrogant words come from a position of power will receive the harshest punishment. For winning depends not on arrogant words but on actual ability and of course the unpredictable favor of the Lord. But what would you have us say? Should we lie and promise you the Lord's favor? Or should we talk about what we know, and warn you of what's to come?

Edmonton Oilers @ Toronto Maple Leafs

Rexall Place, 5:00 p.m. MDT
Television: CBC

Visiting Team Scouting Report: The Toronto Maple Leafs have picked up right where they left off: getting hammered in the possession numbers but winning games regardless. One of those two things is very likely to change, and my bet is that it's the winning that goes away, mostly because that's what I thought before the season started. Five games shouldn't be enough to change anyone's mind (except... um... playoffs), and that's especially true when the possession numbers look just the way you expected anyway. That said, there are signs that this club might be a bit better than last year's team. Toronto's Corsi percentage is a brutal 45.6% so far this season, but (a) that's actually better than last season and (b) that number is so bad at least in part because they've led far more often than they've trailed. The Leafs have played more five-on-five minutes than any team in the league so far this year (just over two hours) and their Corsi percentage is a much-better-but-still-bad 48.8%. I don't think this is a playoff team, but I do think they'll post better possession numbers this season than they did a year ago.

Expected Lineups:

Edmonton Oilers (1-3-0):

Hall - Nugent-Hopkins - Eberle
Perron - Gordon - Hemsky
Joensuu - Arcobello - Yakupov
Gazdic - Acton - Brown

Ference - J Schultz
Smid - Petry
Belov - N Schultz

Dubnyk

Toronto Maple Leafs (4-1-0):

Van Riemsdyk - Bozak - Kessel
Broll - Kadri - Lupul
Raymond - Bolland - Leivo
Ashton - McClement - Orr

Gunnarson - Phaneuf
Rielly - Franson
Ranger - Gardiner

Bernier

By The Numbers:

  • When Will Acton is on the ice, the Oilers have been absolutely wretched so far this season. Acton's five-on-five Corsi percentage of 26% (+8 -23) is probably one of the worst in the league. Maybe second worst. Anyway, you get the idea. So when I saw that the Oilers had told Acton to find a place in Edmonton, I couldn't help but find it completely ridiculous. On the bright side, at least I can be confident that Acton knows it's ridiculous too: the man knows ridiculous when he sees it.
  • Since the 2005-06 season, just twenty-four forwards have earned at least 0.9 points per game during a season where they played at least 40 games at age 22 or younger. Three of those players are Oilers: Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and... Ales Hemsky (2005-06 was a long time ago). Another of those players is Toronto Maple Leaf Nazem Kadri who doesn't seem to get much respect outside (and sometimes inside) Toronto. I took some flak for rating him higher than Max Pacioretty when I was looking for the best young core in the league, but while I agree they're close, it's a rating I stand by. Nazem Kadri is one of the best young players in the NHL.
  • With Dallas Eakins ready to pull his goaltender much earlier than most coaches, the Oilers are probably going to allow more empty net goals than most teams. They've already allowed two through four games, which puts them on pace for forty-one, which would absolutely crush the record of fifteen shared by the 2010-11 Atlanta Thrashers and 2009-10 Carolina Hurricanes. (Note: I only found data going back to 1987-88).
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