Then God said to Daryl, "Make sure to designate certain positions within the organization as positions of refuge. That way anyone of particular significance who does harm to the team accidentally can retreat to this position and be spared from the anger of the crowds who are calling for his execution."
Rexall Place, 6:00 p.m. MST
The Race to the Bottom (It's Happening Again):
Visiting Team Scouting Report: The Oilers last played Minnesota on February 27th, which isn't long ago at all. The Oilers lost that home game 3-0 with the Wild scoring one goal in each period and strangling the game to the point that the teams combined for just 42 shots on goal (21 each). Today's game will be in Minnesota and the Wild have added Mikko Koivu, Matt Moulson and Marco Scandella since their last meeting while the biggest changes for the Oilers are the change between the pipes from Scrivens to Fasth and the departure of Ales Hemsky (who has six points in his last two games). I'm not particularly optimistic.
Edmonton Oilers (22-35-8):
Hall - Gagner - Yakupov
Perron - Nugent-Hopkins - Eberle
Hendricks - Gordon - Joensuu
Gazdic - Smyth - Jones
Marincin - Schultz
Larsen - Petry
Ference - Fraser
Minnesota Wild (34-22-8):
Parise - Granlund - Pominville
Moulson - Koivu - Coyle
Cooke - Brodziak - Niederreiter
Heatley - Haula - McCormick
Suter - Spurgeon
Scandella - Brodin
Stoner - Prosser
By The Numbers:
- Matt Hendricks continues to get much more ice time with the Oilers than he had at any of his previous stops. He has played at least 14 minutes in 10 of his 16 games with the Oilers compared to just 8 times in 44 games with Nashville this season and 12 times in 48 games with Washington last season.
- One of the ways that I like to measure the quality of teams (especially playoff teams) is by looking at their record against other good teams. So how has Minnesota done against the six teams above them in the Western Conference standings? Given that these teams are all ahead of them, I think the Wild hold up pretty well. They have a regulation record (W-L-T) of 5-6-7 and a -7 goal differential (+39 -46). It's not great, obviously, but they're certainly not getting slaughtered.
- The Oilers have three goalies who have played at least 100 minutes with the score tied so far this season. With Ilya Bryzgalov, their Corsi percentage is a very poor 45.7%, with Devan Dubnyk, it's even worse at 42.5%, and with Ben Scrivens it's worse still at 40.1%. It's a tremendous credit to Scrivens that the Oilers are winning more often with him in goal.