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Oilers v. Penguins - Melody of McGuire 5:2-8

Last night I was asleep,
but my heart was awake!
Listen! I heard him! And I spoke aloud:
"Score for me my countryman, my Olympic captain,
my El-Kabong, my flawless one!"
My head was drenched with sweat,
my hand with the wetness of the night.

I had taken off my robe -
did I really need to put it on again?
"For fuck's sake, man!"
Gord never understands.

I closed my eyes and saw my Crosby's strong powerful legs skating through defenders;
my heart was pounding.

I again arose to open for my "MONSTER!"
and my hands dripped with myrrh,
my fingers with perfume -
a truly beautiful fragrance, like the sweat of my beloved.

I had twice opened for my lover,
but when I opened my eyes he had departed; he was gone.
My heart sank when I realized I was alone.
I wandered the hotel room trying to find him,
I closed my eyes and called out.

Then Gord found me;
he didn't look pleased.
He punched me and bruised me,
and took away all of my posters and videos.
"Enough's fucking enough!" he yelled
"I'm telling the boys in Toronto I need my own fucking room!"

Fellow admirers of Crosby, I ask you -
if you find my greatest friend,
what will you tell him?

Tell him I admire his ability to play hockey. No more, no less. Of course.

Pittsburgh Penguins (29-18-1) @ Edmonton Oilers (16-24-5)

Rexall Place, 7:30 P.M. MST
Television: TSN

Visiting Team Scouting Report: The Penguins are a strong club this season, as most predicted. They've been consistently outshooting opponents and have weathered the injury storm to remain close to the top of the conference. They'll probably have a hard time catching the Devils (who are six points ahead with four games in hand) but are the favourites for the fourth seed which will likely give them a matchup with either the Bruins or Flyers, two very good teams. The Penguins record in games decided by more than one goal is only 15-12 so they're not exactly blowing teams away. On top of that, their record against teams with a goal differential of +15 or better is only 5-7-1 so they've also struggled some against the best teams in the league. Some of that is injuries, some of it is poor goaltending. Fleury was named to the Canadian Olympic team but his .907 save percentage isn't strong for a starting goalie; he's tied for 26th in the league among goalies with at least 15 appearances. The third best Canadian goalie by save percentage (Bruce is going to kill me) is actually Carey Price and if we're going to be grooming a Canadian "goalie of the future" Price may have been the way to go. Back to the Pens overall, I really thought they'd be more dominant this season. Several of their key players are getting more mature and are just starting their prime. Maybe now that they have their team getting healthy on D they'll have a big second half.

Expected Lineups:

Edmonton Oilers (16-24-5):

Penner - Horcoff - Nilsson
Moreau - Gagner - Pisani
Cogliano - Potulny - O'Sullivan

Jacques - Stortini - Stone

Gilbert - Souray

Smid - Visnovsky
Grebeshkov - Staios


Pittsburgh Penguins (29-18-1)

Dupuis - Boy Toy - Guerin
Fedotenko - Not Ovechkin: Sucks - Talbot
Cooke - Not Eric: Sucks - Kennedy
Rupp - 2006 Cup Champ: Sucks - Godard

Gonchar - Eaton
Letang - Goligoski
McKee - Lovejoy


Behind the Numbers:

  • The "Ryan Smyth Deathmarch" had a record of 2-16-1. The current "AHL Goaltending" Oilers have a record of 1-11-1 in their last 12 games. Eight more losses and they'll have set the record for worst twenty game stretch in Oiler history. Come on guys, let's do this thing!
  • Sam Gagner will play the 200th game of his NHL career tonight. Congratulations to Sam!
  • Sidney Crosby is currently second in the league in goals scored with 30 and third in points with 57. He's also tied for 13th in minor penalties with 21, only five behind teammate Evgeni Malkin and the most dishonourable whiner of the week, Alex Burrows (couldn't have happened to a nicer guy... well... maybe Matt Cooke... but Cooke isn't dumb enough to pout in public).
  • Marc-Andre Fleury's EV save percentage is .913 which is only good enough for a tie for 32nd among goalies with at least 15 appearances. His backup, Brent Johnson, doesn't have enough appearances to qualify, but does have a .927 EV save percentage on 247 shots. Johnson's career overall save percentage is .904. Fleury's is .907. If Johnson starts tonight, the Oilers likely aren't getting much of a break.