Oilers v. Sharks - Romans 4:16-20

Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

Know that the promise of many Cups is received by faith. This kind of success is a gift that we are eligible to receive whether we're altogether cynical about the team's leadership, or completely ignore the machinations of management and cheer loudly through the most trying seasons. Remember Wild Bill Hunter, the spiritual father of this team. God told him, "I have entrusted you to bring professional hockey to your home." Wild Bill believed that this would be so, and walked in faith, knowing that, if necessary, something could be brought out of nothing.

Even when it seemed like there was no reason for hope, having been rebuffed by the best league in the world, Wild Bill kept on hoping. He believed that the promise would be fulfilled, for God said to him, "Your hope will be the foundation of a whole league with many teams!" When difficulties kept on coming, Wild Bill did not weaken. His faith in the promise never wavered, but in fact, grew stronger with every setback, and with this resolve he brought hockey to Edmonton and glory to God.

San Jose Sharks @ Edmonton Oilers

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

The Race to the Bottom (It's Happening Again):

Race_to_the_bottom

Visiting Team Scouting Report: The Sharks have been one of the best teams in the league for a long time now. The club has made the playoffs for nine consecutive seasons, and is going to run that number to ten this season. That's the second-longest active streak, and will become the longest if the Red Wings inexplicably miss the playoffs after moving to the Eastern Conference. Interestingly, the team has almost completely turned over since the streak began in 2002-03 with only Patrick Marleau being present for every season (Scott Hannan was there in 2002-03, left, and then returned). And while the Sharks have several older players on their roster, they've also got a strong group in their prime: Joe Pavelski, Brent Burns, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Justin Braun, Logan Couture, and Tomas Hertl are all under thirty years old, and are likely to provide the foundation this team needs to continue their playoff streak for years to come.

Expected Lineups:

Edmonton Oilers (17-32-6):

Hall - Nugent-Hopkins - Eberle
Yakupov - Gagner - Perron
Hendricks - Gordon - Jones
Gazdic - Smyth - Joensuu

Marincin - Petry
N Schultz - J Schultz
Belov - Potter

Scrivens

San Jose Sharks (34-13-6):

Pavelski - Thornton - Nieto
Wingels - Marleau - Burns
Kearns - Desjardins - Kennedy
Hayes - McCarthy - Brown

Boyle - Irwin
Vlasic - Demers
Stuart - Braun

Niemi

By The Numbers:

  • Only two Oilers have played at least three hundred minutes and achieved a plus/minus in positive territory: Martin Marincin (+2) and Ryan Jones (+1). Given that both players started the season in Oklahoma City, the three hundred minutes is a surprise in and of itself! The next best plus/minus on the team? David Perron's -6.
  • The San Jose Sharks have had one of the best power plays in the league for the last several seasons, and this year is no different. The Sharks lead the NHL in shots per sixty minutes of five-on-four ice time with 62.3. After some early promise, the Oilers are back to being awful at this, by the by, notching just 47.3 shots per sixty minutes of five-on-four ice time, good for 25th in the NHL.
  • Ben Scrivens will be making his fourth start for the Oilers tonight, and so far, his numbers look pretty good (even if Scrivens has looked pretty lost looking for rebounds on a couple of the goals against). Scrivens has a .926 save percentage (88 saves on 95 shots) through three games, and while that doesn't tell us much, it likely buys him enough time for us to get a better read. A worse start, and he becomes Jason LaBarbera who started just four games before being waived.
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