Oilers v. Bruins - 2 Samuel 21:20-21

USA TODAY Sports

There was a war in Edmonton that included a truly enormous man. His equipment was so large it seemed that he had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot. This man was as tall as many buildings, and destroyed whole peoples with nothing but his eyes, a descendant of the giants who lived among the Tatra Mountains. When he taunted Edmonton, Taylor Hall--the rightful heir of Gretzky, Kurri, Messier, and all the rest--embarrassed him like none had ever done before.

Boston Bruins @ Edmonton Oilers

Rexall Place, 7:30 p.m. MST
Television: Sportsnet

Visiting Team Scouting Report: The Boston Bruins are currently the top team in the Eastern Conference, but even they seem to have trouble winning against the league's best teams. The Bruins have a regulation record of just 6-5-3 against teams with a points percentage of .550 or better, and their goal differential is a respectable but not overwhelming +5. As you might have expected, that means Boston is cleaning up against the weaker teams in the league with a record of 11-3-3 and goal differential of +17 against teams with a points percentage below .550. In other words, Boston doesn't often let a team like the Oilers sneak by them.

Expected Lineups:

Edmonton Oilers (11-18-3):

Hall - Gagner - Yakupov
Perron - Nugent-Hopkins - Eberle
Jones - Arcobello - Hemsky
Smyth - Lander -Gazdic

Ference - Larsen
N Schultz - J Schultz
Belov - Petry

Dubnyk

Boston Bruins (21-8-2):

Marchand - Bergeron - Smith
Lucic - Krejci - Iginla
Soderberg - Spooner - Fraser
Johnson - Campbell - Caron

Chara - Boychuk
Seidenberg - Krug
Bartkowski - Miller

Rask

By The Numbers:

  • Tyler Dellow recently pointed out that Edmonton's Corsi percentage with the score close over their last ten games is 55.3%, the best mark the team has had since at least the start of the 2007-08 season. It's a pretty impressive accomplishment for the team. The next ten games will see the quality of opponent ratcheted up substantially, but if the Oilers can put up something close to 50% over the next ten games, we might actually be seeing this ship turn.
  • Of course, improved play is only going to make a difference if the Oilers get better goaltending. Devan Dubnyk played in seven of those ten games (he started five), and stopped just 139 of 158 shots, which amounts to a save percentage of .880. The team has been winning more often so the poor number hasn't been quite as noticeable, but this season has been a truly terrible stretch of games for Dubnyk.
  • Carl Soderberg is currently tied for 58th in career points per game (minimum 30 games) among players who started their NHL careers at age 26 or later since the league expanded to twelve teams in 1967 (Soderberg has 17 points in 31 career games). I don't know if he'll end up sticking with the Bruins, but it's not every day that a player gets off to such a good start to his career this late in the game.
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