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Oilers v. Red Wings - Zephaniah 2:4-7

Detroit will be abandoned
and Joe Louis arena left in ruins.
Your streets will be emptied,
your homes left behind for almost nothing.
Woe to you who cheer for the Winged Wheel,
you people of playoff success.
the word of Yahweh is against you,
you people of the Presidents Trophy:
"I will destroy even your hockey team,
and there will be nothing left of their dynasty."
Joe Louis Arena, once reserved for celebration
will become the dwelling of vagrants and panhandlers.
The only celebration will be held by your opponents
who will night after night celebrate your defeat.
This evening it is the Oilers who will come by
to the house of Yzerman.
There Yahweh will care for them;
there he will restore their fortunes.

Edmonton Oilers (10-13-4) @ Detroit Red Wings (13-9-4)

Joe Louis Arena, 5:00 P.M. MDT
Television: City TV (What?)

More analysis after the jump...

Visiting Team Scouting Report: In one important way the Oilers and Red Wings are similar teams: they've both had a steady helping of injuries so far this year and it has certainly had an effect on their performance. For the Wings it's guys like Johan Franzen, Niklas Kronwall, Valtteri Filppula and now perhaps Brian Rafalski who left yesterday's practice with a tight back. The Wings responded by calling up Jakub Kindl. However, the Wings remain a quality club with players like Lidstrom, Zetterberg and Datsyuk there to pick up the slack. The Wings remain solid in the outshooting department (+7.0 per game, second in the league) but have been having some trouble with the percentages (and distribution, beating Columbus 9-1 is great and all, but you'd like to see that spread out a bit), though some recent strong play from goalie Jimmy Howard has helped immensely. The poor percentages combined with the injuries have pushed the Wings back from a top team in the Western Conference down to the playoff bubble, while the Oilers have ridden poor percentages and injuries from the bubble to the basement. That would actually be a nice slogan for the Oilers: "From the Bubble to the Basement: 15 Years of Oiler Hockey." What do you think?

Expected Lineups:

Edmonton Oilers (10-13-4):

Penner - Gagner - Brule
Jacques - Horcoff - O'Sullivan
Moreau - Cogliano - Potulny

Stone - Stortini (What?) - Nilsson

Smid - Visnovsky

Staios - Souray
Strudwick - Gilbert


Detroit Red Wings (13-9-4)

Holmstrom - Datsyuk - Bertuzzi
Leino - Zetterberg - Cleary
Miller - Draper - Helm
May - Abdelkader - Maltby

Lidstrom - Ericsson
Stuart - Lebda
Meech - Kindl


Behind the Numbers:

  • Ladislav Smid has now gone 150 consecutive games without a goal. I believe the record of 256 consecutive games belongs to retired (pun!) New Jersey defender Ken Daneyko. Over half-way there Laddy! Now, it has been 96 consecutive shots on goal without one going in so the odds are in his favour but if he starts next season with the streak intact I think we need to put a countdown in the sidebar.
  • Both the Red Wings and Oilers have goalies who need to play in several more games in order to avoid group 6 unrestricted free agency. Jimmy Howard needs to play in 10 more games while Jeff Deslauriers needs to play in 11 more games. In order for a game to qualify the goaltender must play at least thirty minutes so Deslauriers' last start against the Canucks didn't count.
  • The Oiler record for fewest shots in a season (minimum 60 games) is held by Sean Brown who had 30 shots on goal in 62 games in the 2000-2001 campaign. The record for a forward is shared by Dave Brown (1989-90) and one other player with 32. I would have never guessed the other player: Adam Oates (2003-04).
  • The Oilers have the worst points percentage in the league when the other team scores first at 21.4% (14 games). The Red Wings are at 50.0% (16 games). The league leaders are the Washington Capitals at 85.7% (7 games) who have yet to lose a game in regulation when their opponents score the first goal.
  • Jimmy Howard, who seems to have taken over as Detroit's starter has a very respectable EV save percentage of .927 (13 games, 11 starts). That's well clear of Chris Osgood's .903 (the same number as Jeff Deslauriers) and ranks 16th in the league among goalies who have played in at least 10 games.