I have heard the taunts out of Calgary,
and the endless snark from Toronto.
These cities taunt my people endlessly,
boasting about their own limited success.
And so Calgary will become like Atlanta,
and the Maple Leafs like... the Maple Leafs!
They will look for wins in all the wrong places,
and will try to buy luck instead of skill.
The Oilers will plunder them for decades,
and what's left of Oiler fandom will rejoice.
This will be their just reward,
for scoffing at my people in their darkest hour.
Yahweh will be terrible to them,
and they will bow down to everyone,
doormats to the Red Wings and Blue Jackets alike.
Rexall Place, 8:00 p.m. MDT
Visiting Team Scouting Report: The Red Wings have gone from being a strong team in the Western Conference to being a strong team in the Eastern Conference. But given how weak the East has been this year, shouldn't the Red Wings be better? Against the East, they are. Detroit's record against the Eastern Conference is a very strong 5-2-1, whereas their record against the West is fairly mediocre. If the Wings can improve their record against the West (and their history suggests that they can), it seems to me that they should still be considered on of the favorites to hold down the top seed in the East.
Edmonton Oilers (3-9-2):
Yakupov - Nugent-Hopkins - Eberle
Perron - Arcobello - Hemsky
Gagner - Gordon - Lander
Jones - Acton - Eager
Belov - J Schultz
Smid - Petry
Grebeshkov - Ference
Detroit Red Wings (8-4-2):
Zetterberg - Datsyuk - Bertuzzi
Cleary - Franzen - Alfredsson
Tatar - Weiss - Abdelkader
Miller - Andersson - Eaves
Kronwall - DeKeyser
Quincey - Smith
Kindl - Lashoff
By The Numbers:
- Despite taking 31 shots through the first 14 games of the season, Mark Arcobello is still looking for his first goal. Only one forward has taken more shots without a goal so far this season, New York's Brian Boyle (33). It's a testament to his strong play that Arcobello could have such a bad run of luck and still manage to establish himself on the roster.
- Daniel Alfredsson is off to a fine start in Detroit with 11 points in his first 13 games and a positive on-ice Corsi percentage (52.0%). It must be a big change coming from a team where he was the guy to Detroit though. Alfredsson is currently getting about three minutes less per game than both of Detroit's big guns, Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk.
- The start of Nail Yakupov's season has been a nightmare. He has just one goal and three points through the team's first fourteen games, and he's been a healthy scratch twice. His plus/minus is also a team-worst -10 (and a team-worst -8 during five-on-five play). He hasn't been great, but those last numbers are partially because he's had all of the percentages running against him too: 6.6% on-ice shooting percentage five-on-five, 85.6% save percentage five-on-five, and no goals on any of his 19 shots five-on-five. With all of that considered, it's perhaps surprising to note that Yakupov's average ice time has actually increased by more than two minutes per game compared to last season, going from 14:34 per game to 16:52.