Whoever loves knowlege loves winning,
but those who hate to be challenged are stupid.
Those with good plans receive God's favor,
but those with foolish plans receive only bad luck.
Rexall Place, 8:00 p.m. MST
Visiting Team Scouting Report: If you've been following Derek's Power Rankings series, then you know that the San Jose Sharks are one of the best teams in the league. It is perhaps helpful to put things in perspective by saying that the Sharks are good in about the same proportion that the Oilers are bad: the Oilers have earned ten points in the standings so far this season, while the Sharks have missed out on getting nine. Given that the Oilers haven't scored a goal at home in their last three games, having the Sharks come to town may well help them to set a record for scoring futility, which I suppose gives this game a bit more drama than most of the rest will have this season.
Edmonton Oilers (4-14-2):
Hall - Nugent-Hopkins - Eberle
Yakupov - Gagner - Hemsky
Smyth - Gordon - Perron
Joensuu - Acton -Gazdic
Ference - Petry
Belov - Larsen
Schultz - Potter
San Jose Sharks (12-2-5):
Marleau - Couture - Kennedy
Nieto - Pavelski - Havlat
Hertl - Thornton - Wingels
Sheppard - Desjardins - McCarthy
Stuart - Braun
Vlasic - Boyle
Hannan - Demers
By The Numbers:
- From 2011-12 to 2013-14, Taylor Hall is tied for 13th in the NHL with 0.97 points per game. Jordan Eberle is tied for 26th with 0.88, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is tied for 59th with 0.74. That's already more firepower than most teams boast, and the Oilers have another first overall pick in Nail Yakupov looking for his chance to explode offensively. I know that we all know these young players are good, but when things are looking particularly hopeless, it can be good for us to remind ourselves.
- Tomas Hertl has emerged as an excellent player for the Sharks this season with 17 points through his first 19 games. Now, his 20.8% shooting percentage is bound to go down, so we're probably not going to see him score close to a point per game over the whole season, but he's still very likely to post excellent numbers. Hertl's path is particularly interesting because he spent the last two years playing in the top league in the Czech Republic rather than coming over to North America to play as a teenager in the CHL. The last player to make the jump from the Czech league to the NHL in his Draft +2 season? Martin Havlat in 2000-01.
- Coming into tonight, the Oilers have had 30 different skaters play in at least one game, the most in the NHL, and three more than the 27 of second-place Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal. The Oilers haven't been very good this season, and that's for sure, but they've also had to deal with an awful lot of churn.