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Oilers v. Rangers - Habakkuk 1:1-4

The oracle that Lowe, the prophet received:

How long, O Yahweh, must I call for help
if you will not listen?
Or cry out, "Enough with the fucking injuries,"
if you will not save us?
Why do you make me gaze upon injustice?
Why do you tolerate Iginla stealing the needle from a child?
"Aren't you a man of God?" they asked
And he said, "The one thing I know is that God loves ME,
And has a wonderful plan for MY life.
That kid who was supposed to get the shot? He must be on God's shit list."
Why is your hand paralyzed in the face of this hubris?
Why does your justice not bring them down in the standings?
Will the wicked hem the righteous in again tonight?
Will Sather's Rangers trample us as well?

New York Rangers (9-6-1) @ Edmonton Oilers (7-7-1)

Rexall Place, 7:30 PM MDT
Television: PPV

More analysis after the jump...

Visiting Team Scouting Report: Before the season started I was pretty unimpressed by the New York Rangers. They have some strong forwards and strong goaltending, but the defenders just looked awful. Surely the Rangers would love to get out from under the contracts of Wade Redden and Michal Rozsival because it's really been the other four defenders that have stepped up. Michael Del Zotto leads the team in power play minutes and is filling them effectively. Dan Girardi and Marc Staal are taking on the toughest assignments. Matt Gilroy leads the team in 5v5 +/-. To top it off the Rangers have stayed perfectly healthy on defence with those six guys playing in every game. Sooner or later their depth will be tested and they may take a step back. On the other hand, if it's Redden or Rozsival that goes down, they might be able to use the LTIR to make the team stronger.

Expected Lineups:

Edmonton Oilers (7-7-1):

Penner - Gagner - Hemsky
Jacques - O'Sullivan - Nilsson
Moreau - Cogliano - Pisani

Comrie - Brule - Stortini

Grebeshkov - Gilbert

Chorney - Visnovsky
Strudwick - Staios


New York Rangers (9-6-1)

Higgins - Prospal - Gaborik
Anisimov - Drury - Kotalik
Avery - Dubinsky - Callahan
Brashear - Boyle - Voros

Staal - Girardi
Girardi - Redden
Del Zotto -Rozsival


Behind the Numbers:

  • Unlike the last several seasons, the New York Rangers have actually been slightly outshot so far this season. Their shot differential is currently -1.9 per game and none of the defenders have a positive Corsi number. Although Tom Renney didn't leave his outshooting in New York, he certainly hasn't brought it with him to Edmonton. The Oilers currently rank last in the NHL in both shots per game (25.1) and shot differential per game (-8.8).
  • Denis Grebeshkov currently "leads" the Oilers with seven minor penalties. On the other hand Andrew Cogliano hasn't yet taken a penalty this year. And speaking of penalties Ethan Moreau is currently only 15 Pims away from passing Marty McSorley for 13th place on the Oilers all-time list. That said his 733 Pims are less than half-way to the all-time leader, Kelly Buchberger, who had 1,747 Pims.
  • Marian Gaborik is currently tied for second in the NHL with 11 goals on the year behind only the injured Alex Ovechkin. Maybe one of SumOil's crazy predictions will actually come true!
  • Wade Redden leads the NHL in PP points per 15 minutes of ice time with 6.00/15. Unfortunately for Ranger fans, that total comes in only 2.5 minutes of ice time.
  • The four men listed at center for the Oilers have a combined EV faceoff percentage of 43.4% compared to Shawn Horcoff at 51.4%. Shawn Horcoff has taken 57 short-handed faceoffs, the rest of the team only 37. The faceoff dot could be an interesting place.
  • The Oiler leaders in +/- are Dustin Penner (+9), Lubomir Visnovsky (+7) and Ladislav Smid (+7). The team leaders in PDO numbers are Ladislav Smid (111.3), Lubomir Visnovsky (110.4) and Dustin Penner (109.7).