During the twenty-first year of the rule of Glen Sather, Kevin Lowe was promoted to the position of general manager and Sather moved on to become the richest manger in the league in New York City. Lowe managed for nine years and he did evil in the eyes of Yahweh. It was unlike the evil of his predecessor, but it was nonetheless displeasing to Yahweh.
It was in the the seventh year that the teams of the Western Conference came up to attack Lowe who had been their vassal. Under the terms of their agreement they had permitted him to make the playoffs from time to time under strict orders that he never move into the second round. But it was that spring that the Western Conference - and especially the Red Wings, Sharks and Ducks - realized that Lowe was a traitor for he had been trying to win this whole time! The Sharks and Ducks, who had never won a Stanley Cup, were particularly infuriated by this betrayal. So that summer Brian Burke, the ruler of the Ducks at the time and a man never ashamed to self-promote or take advantage of a friend, convinced Lowe to make a trade. And listening to Burke was a great sin. And from then on every team in the Western Conference led their teams into Edmonton and marched against them year after year, laying siege to it for three years until finally Lowe was
dismissed promoted. It was in the ninth year of the reign of Kevin Lowe that he was finally dismissed promoted and the teams of the Western Conference put a new puppet in his place: Steve Tambellini. Under the terms of their agreement Tambellini would be granted the title of general manager and would be allowed to spend to the cap but would be completely forbidden from even making the playoffs. Knowing that he would never otherwise be given the title of general manager, Tambellini was very pleased and since that day all the teams of the Western Conference have praised Tambellini for his loyal service.
San Jose Sharks (16-6-4) @ Edmonton Oilers (10-12-3)
Rexall Place, 7:30 P.M. MDT
Television: Sportsnet West
Visiting Team Scouting Report: The San Jose Sharks are a team with two very good lines and two very good defenders and, in my opinion, some very good coaches. So far, it's been enough to make them a very good team. If you look at the lineup below those top two lines are going to roll over most groups and both Boyle and Vlasic are top notch but after that things start looking a little scary. Of all the skaters outside of their top eight (ten if you include Blake and Setoguchi), only Ben Ferreiro and Douglas Murray have a positive Corsi number. The defense normally has Rob Blake but with him out, man do things look ugly. My feeling is that they'll beat up on teams without much depth but when they run into a team like Chicago or Pittsburgh who has the horses to run with their big guns, they'll get clobbered. But hey, they're still a really good top eight guys and if some of this dreck at the bottom of the roster works out and/or they supplement their roster at the deadline, they could be a fantastic team.
The Sharks are interesting because the team isn't terribly dissimilar from the team the Oilers might be trying to bulid. Move some of the money off the back end and try to pick up an elite forward or two and the Oilers might look pretty similar. If the Oilers had added, say, Gaborik and Tanguay to the forward group this summer, kept only three of their four big money D and shipped out some middle salary, they'd be a somewhat similar team. Go top-heavy salary and filling the middle and bottom of the roster with Ryan Stones, Marc Pouliots and Gilbert Brules. I think this is the model that they're trying to pursue and the Heatley attempt sure looked like it. Let's hope they figure it out.
Edmonton Oilers (10-12-3):
Penner - Gagner - Brule
Jacques - O'Sullivan - Horcoff
Moreau - Cogliano - Potulny
McDesperate - O'Desperate - Sucktini
Gilbert - Souray
Smid - Visnovsky
Strudwick - Staios
San Jose Sharks (16-6-4)
Heatley - Thornton - Marleau
Clowe - Pavelski - Malhotra
McGinn - Nichol - Ortmeyer
McLaren - Zalewski -Ferreiro
Murray - Boyle
Vlasic - Joslin
Huskins - Demers
Behind the Numbers:
- Dany Heatley is second in the race for the Rocket Richard trophy with 18 goals but he's only taken 73 shots which puts him on pace for 230 shots over 82 games which is at the low end of this career norm.
- Joe Thornton leads the league in assits with 26 but only ??? of his passes have lead directly to a shot on goal. Wouldn't that be an interesting statistic to have!
- In 25 games so far this season the Oilers have outshot their opponents 20% of the time. They've also been victorious in 20% of those games.
- In games decided by more than one goal the Oilers are 6-9 so far this year. The Sharks have a record of 11-5.
- The Oilers record in regulation with Souray, Visnovsky, Horcoff, Hemsky and Penner all in the lineup is 2-4-3 which suggests that (1) the Oilers have had at least one of their best players out of the lineup for a lot of the season and (2) the Oilers may not be a very good team even with all of their best players in the lineup.