Don't harden your hearts like your ancestors did in the early '90s,
like those who couldn't bear to watch a team in the Conference Finals.
It was then that Edmonton's grumbling tested my patience,
for I had given them nothing but greatness for many years.
For four years I was angry with them, and I said,
"These people are spoiled rotten;
they must be taught humility."
In my anger I took an oath, saying:
"No one playing NHL hockey today
will see the Oilers lift the Cup before the day he retires."
Canadian Tire Centre, 12:00 p.m. MDT
Visiting Team Scouting Report: The Ottawa Senators have one very successful line and three others that are still looking to find success. The players listed on the second line below have an average Corsi percentage of 58.5%. The players listed on the other three lines? 44.4%. That's a pretty big contrast. With the first line, you can at least make the excuse that they're getting some of the tougher ice time, but the bottom two lines have just been disastrous. The Oilers don't exactly have sterling depth themselves, but against the really good teams, the Senators are likely going to struggle unless they can find some better players for the bottom two lines.
Edmonton Oilers (1-6-1):
Hall - Arcobello - Perron
Yakupov - Nugent-Hopkins - Eberle
Smyth - Gordon - Hemsky
Gazdic - Acton - Jones
Belov - J Schultz
Smid - Petry
N Schultz - Ference
Ottawa Senators (3-2-2):
Michalek - Spezza - Conacher
MacArthur - Turris - Ryan
Greening - Smith - Neil
Kassian - Pageau - Condra
Methot - Karlsson
Cowen - Wiercioch
Phillips - Gryba
By The Numbers:
- The Oilers have allowed three goals or more in each of their eight games so far this season. The last time the Oilers allowed at least three goals in eight straight games (not including goals awarded for winning in the shoot-out) was February 2-19, 2012, a series of games in which the team compiled a 3-4-1 record. The last time the Oilers allowed at least three goals in nine straight games was January 5-26, 2010, a series of games in which the team compiled a 0-7-2 record on its way to drafting Taylor Hall a few months later.
- Jason Spezza is one of the most underrated offensive players in the league today. Starting with the 2005-06 season, Spezza has scored 1.09 points per game, which is sixth best in the NHL behind only Sidney Crosby (1.42), Evgeni Malkin (1.22), Alex Ovechkin (1.22), Peter Forsberg (1.13), and Joe Thornton (1.13). Despite that accomplishment, Spezza has never been named a First or Second Team All-Star, and wasn't even invited to the Canadian Olympic Orientation Camp.
- The Oilers are really struggling on the penalty kill so far this season: they have allowed nine four-on-five goals, worst in the NHL; they have allowed 68.0 shots per sixty minutes, third-worst in the NHL; and their four-on-five save percentage is .816, fourth-worst in the NHL. Presumably, one of the advantages of having skilled players on the penalty kill is the opportunity to score, but the Oilers don't have any short-handed goals, and are generating just 4.2 shots per sixty minutes, sixth-worst in the NHL.