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Oilers v. Flames - Isaiah 43:1-7

But now, these are the words of Yahweh,
he who created you, O Oilers,
he who formed you, O Oilogosphere:

Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name and you are mine.
When you pass through an Avalanche, I will be with you;
and when you journey through the Wild, I will be your guide.
When you walk through Flames, you will not be burned:
the Flames will never set you ablaze.
For I am Yahweh, your God,
the Holy One of Edmonton, your saviour.
I gave Hartford for your ransom,
Winnipeg, and Quebec City in your stead.
I blessed you with a dynasty because you were precious in my sight,
and even in your punishment, have remained faithful,
preventing the Canucks from winning a Cup in your honour.
I have bestowed misery on false priests, who are now incapable of smiling,
contempt on those who, though born near Edmonton, exalt false gods in Calgary.

Fear not, for I am with you.
I bring to you a Cannonball from the east,
and from the west I bring the essence of Clutch.
I have called across the ocean, saying, "Give him up!"
and Smïttÿ has arrived.

Today all of my true sons will gather to worship in my dwelling place,
all who are called by my name,
the Oilogosphere created for my glory,
and the Oilers formed by my hands.

Calgary Flames (0-0-0) @ Edmonton Oilers (0-0-0)

Rexall Place, 8:00 p.m. MDT
Television: CBC

More analysis after the jump...

Visiting Team Scouting Report:

The Flames are banged up and we haven't even begun the year. Daymond Langkow, Matt Stajan, David Moss, Ryan Stone, and Ales Kotalik are all out of the lineup tonight with various ailments, and none of them are expected to return for at least a couple of weeks. Although the injuries have allowed the Flames to get under the cap without waiving any players, I'm sure they'd much rather not have $12.8M (cap dollars) in forwards out of the lineup. I think the Flames are a bit underrated coming into this season, but that's sort of contingent on the team being half-way healthy. In their current state, tonight's game might even be a fair fight!

Expected Lineups:

Edmonton Oilers (0-0-0):

Penner - Gagner - Hemsky
Hall - Horcoff - Eberle
- Cogliano - Brule
Jones - Fraser - Stortini

Smid - Gilbert

Whitney - Foster
Vandermeer - Peckham


Calgary Flames (0-0-0)

Tanguay - Jokinen - Iginla
Hagman - Morrison - Bourque
Glencross - Backlund - Jackman
Meyer - Sutter - Ivanans

Giordano - Bouwmeester
White - Regehr
Pardy - Brodie


By the Numbers:

  • Taylor Hall, Magnus Paajarvi, and Jordan Eberle are all playing in their first career NHL game tonight, but they aren't going to be the only rookies on the ice. T.J. Brodie will also be making his NHL debut with the Flames. Let's hope that his isn't the performance we remember.
  • Just because it's fun to be depressed about the Oilers' goaltending situation, here are the EV save percentages for the four Oiler goalies in camp over the last five NHL seasons: .902, .906, .915, .917. In order, that's Devan Dubnyk, Jeff Deslauriers, Nikolai Khabibulin, and Martin Gerber. The only guy the Oilers felt comfortable risking waivers on? Gerber.
  • Daymond Langkow is a huge loss for the Flames. Last season, Langkow had the most difficult Zone Start ratio, and one of the best Corsi ratios of any Flame. Without Langkow, the Flames will need to find another line to get the puck moving in the right direction. Considering Iginla's recent slant towards more offensive situations, and the inability of the current bottom six to take on the role, the line of Niklas Hagman, Brendan Morrison, and Rene Bourque may well end up getting some pretty tough assignments in the first month of the year.
  • The Flames were not very good at drawing penalties in 2009-10. They had only 268 power play chances, compared to 305 times shorthanded. The Oilers were also shorthanded on 305 occasions in 2009-10, but managed to draw 301 penalties, a much better ratio. It's an area that the Flames, in particular, would like to improve.
  • Both the Oilers and Flames were pretty bad in games that ended in regulation but were decided by only one goal. The Flames had a record of 13-15, while the Oilers were 5-13. The difference is that the Flames were actually quite good in games decided by two or more, with a record of 22-15. Edmonton was 13-34. Edmonton's record of suckitude is quite consistent, but the disparity in Calgary's record suggests that they may have been a better team last year than their record implied.