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Oilers v. Thrashers - Ecclesiastes 2:17-26

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I have hated life because all of the work that people do on the ice was grievous to me; all of it meaningless, like chasing after the wind. I especially hated all of my own personal toil on the ice for its success or failure is immediately left to those who come onto the ice after me. And who knows if that one will be a dumb-ass veteran or some kid with an awful mustache? Maybe both! And yet they will have control over the success or failure of all of my effort poured out onto the ice. So I sat out of the lineup with a despairing heart and called it a bad shoulder for I could barely watch what was coming of my efforts. For a man may do his work with wisdom, knowledge and skill and then leave it to those who will almost surely piss it away. What an evil world! And what does a man get for his toil? I got millions! My friend and fellow worker got kicked to the curb, picked up by Atlanta where his fate is tied to the managerial competence of Don Waddell. Now we will both toil for poor clubs until our usefulness has run its course and we, yes us, become the dumb-ass veterans that will be cursed by the very generation we worked so hard for when they were young. My work is meaningless.

So a man can do nothing better than to indulge in food and drink and find some enjoyment in his work. For all of these are truly from the hand of God and without him, who will eat or find meaning in meaningless toil? To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge, happiness and 5.5 million dollars a year for six years. To the who does not please him, God gives a one-way ticket to Atlanta to toil for the ever-incompetent Don Waddell in an effort to keep his job. Yes, this whole system is meaningless, like chasing after the wind.

Edmonton Oilers (8-9-2) @ Atlanta Thrashers (9-6-1)

Philips (how is this the correct spelling?) Arena, 12:00 P.M. MDT
Television: PPV

More analysis after the jump...

Visiting Team Scouting Report: The Atlanta Thrashers are probably one of my favourite non-Oiler teams to follow. Firstly, how can you not love Marty Reasoner. That guy is awesome. Secondly, the Falconer is awesome. His name sounds like a minor league pro wrestler which is great to begin with but he also puts out a ton of awesome blog work. I decided to start tracking touches in select games after seeing the Falconer (I bet he wears a Luchadore mask 24/7) do so with the Thrashers. He's also put out some must-read stuff just before the playoffs (oh, and this) and around draft time the last couple of years. I've also linked to this article of his on how cap spending and playoff berths are related about a ba-zillion times. Oh, and if you really only care about Oilers-related stuff, check out this interview that the Falconer (his finishing move would probably be called the "Thrashers' Talons") did with Toni Rajala at the U-18 World Championships.

Right. Thrashers preview. Well, they're getting badly outshot (sound familiar!) but have been able to win games in spite of that (less familiar). I picked them to make the playoffs before the season and have actually been a bit disappointed in their process so far. Somewhat inexplicably, coach John Anderson has been using the combination of Todd White and Slava Kozlov to take on the toughs (they're getting killed) while proven tough minute guys like Reasoner and Armstrong have been getting much softer matchups (both are outscoring big though, much like the Thrashers as a whole, they're doing it with gaudy percentages). Ondrej Pavelec has been a pleasant surprise at the NHL level so far and if he can keep his save percentage above .910 this team has a real chance to get the Thrashers their first playoff win in franchise history (why is Don Waddell still employed?).

Expected Lineups:

Edmonton Oilers (8-9-1):

Penner - Horcoff - Hemsky
Comrie - Gagner - O'Sullivan
Reddox - Brule - Potulny

Moreau - Cogliano - Stortini

Smid - Visnovsky

Staios - Gilbert
Strudwick - Arsene


Khabibulin

Atlanta Thrashers (9-6-1)

Kovalchuk - Antropov - Afinogenov
Kozlov - White - Little
Kane - Peverley - Armstrong
Boulton - Reasoner - Thorburn

Kubina - Enstrom
Bogosian - Hainsey
Schubert - Popovic

Pavelec

Behind the Numbers:

  • Ondrej Pavelec's .917 save percentage is currently being propped up by a .932 save percentage on the PK. His even strength save percentage is actually .912 which is only good for 28th (out of 41 goaltenders) in the league. His save percentage in the AHL last season was .914 and the year before that, it was .911.
  • This will be Atlanta's third game in four days but they had an off-day yesterday and their game on Friday was in Atlanta so I doubt the schedule will have any effect on their play.
  • Players likely to play tonight with a positive Corsi (both sides): Peverley, Kozlov, Afinogenov, Popovic, Hemsky, Penner, Arsene/Souray.
  • Only seven Thrashers have a PDO number under 102. Kozlov (97.7) and White (96.1) sure aren't getting much help against the toughs. I wonder if that's normal?
  • Through the first 250 games of the NHL schedule the Oilers were 28th in Corsi ratio with the game tied (+276 -355) while the Thrashers were 27th (+132 -167). JLikens has put together a ton of even strength play information for every NHL team which you can see here.
  • Ilya Kovalchuk has seven points in the two games he's played since returning (early) from injury. He sure would look good with Hemsky. If the Oilers are tanking this year I'd bet Tambellini could extract a king's ransom from Don Waddell if the Thrashers are in it come playoff time. Maybe something like Bogosian, Kane and a mid-1st-round pick for Hemsky and Grebeshkov.

Poll

Who wins this trade: To Oilers: Zach Bogosian, Evander Kane, 1st round pick (10th-20th overall) To Thrashers: Denis Grebeshkov, Ales Hemsky

This poll is closed

  • 11%
    Obviously the Thrashers
    (7 votes)
  • 59%
    Obviously the Oilers
    (37 votes)
  • 12%
    It's about even, but the Oilers shouldn't do it
    (8 votes)
  • 16%
    It's about even, and the Oilers should do it
    (10 votes)
62 votes total Vote Now