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Oilers v. Coyotes - Psalm 94:1-23

Yahweh is a God of unrelenting vengeance!
So then, vengeful God, let your fury rain down!
Rise up, Judge of all the earth,
and give these wicked men what they deserve!
How long, Yahweh, will fools -
will wicked fucking fools decide the future of this team!?

Arrogant words pour out of their mouths;
they boast about "doing it right".
In reality, they make a mockery of your people,
and oppress those you love.
They lie to the players, to the taxpayer,
and to one another!
They say, "Yahweh does not see us!
The great God of Edmonton will let us live!"

Those of you who believe in these fools,
when will you become wise?
Does he who signed Khabibulin understand free agency?
Does he who traded for O'Sullivan understand trades?
Does he who hired Quinn understand coaching?
Does he who employs Strudwick understand anything?
Yahweh sees these plans and face-palms
because he knows that they are futile.

The team Yahweh disciplines is blessed;
the team he purges of all evil should rejoice.
Yahweh grants relief in these days of trouble
by helping us to dig a pit for these leaders of darkness.
For even if he rejects those sons of Satan,
he will never forsake his one chosen team.
His rage is founded on righteousness,
and all the upright will declare his fury blessed.

Who will speak out against the wicked?
Who will stand against these evil leaders?
If it wasn't for Yahweh's help,
I would have stopped caring long ago.
But when we said, "Our interest is waning,"
Yahweh blessed us with Quinn's head on a platter.
As anxiety takes us over again,
just imagine the good gift that Yahweh has planned!

Can corruption and goodness be allies?
Can God's chosen be led into the promise by evil men?
The wicked band together against the righteous,
and use zambonis for intimidation.
But Yahweh is our impenetrable fortress,
our ice plant that never grows old.
He will repay them for their sins,
and fuck them with a stick:
Yahweh our God will destroy them.

Phoenix Coyotes (8-5-5) @ Edmonton Oilers (4-10-3)

Rexall Place, 7:00 p.m. MST
Television: Sportsnet West

More analysis after the jump...

Visiting Team Scouting Report:

The Coyotes are coming off a win against the Flames, but they didn't play particularly well, getting oushot and outchanced by a significant margin, even when the game was close. Now, that probably won't happen against the Oilers, but it's been happening an awful lot so far this season. To this point, they have a shot differential of -5.7 per game, which is still significantly better than the Edmonton Oilers (-9.5 per game, which would be the worst full season since the 2001-02 Thrashers if they can maintain it), but well off the pace they set last season when they actually outshot their opponents (+0.9 per game). If the Coyotes hope to make the playoffs for a second consecutive year, they're going to need to be better at sustaining territory: no team since the lockout has made the playoffs with a shot differential worse than -4.5 per game.

Expected Lineups:

Edmonton Oilers (4-10-3):

Hall - Horcoff - Eberle
Paajarvi - Cogliano - Jones
- Gagner - Hemsky
Jacques - Fraser - Stortini

Whitney - Gilbert

Peckham - Foster
Vandermeer - Belle


Phoenix Coyotes (8-5-5)

Whitney - Hanzal - Vrbata
Wolski - Belanger - Stempniak
Upshall - Fiddler - Korpikoski
Pyatt - Turris - Prucha

Yandle - Morris
Jovanovski - Aucoin
Lepisto - Yonkman


By the Numbers:

  • A belated congratulations is appropriate for Shawn Horcoff, who has now moved into 9th spot on the Oilers' all-time points list after passing Kevin Lowe. So far this season, Horcoff has 10 points in 14 games, and has done an excellent job providing a stabilizing presence for two rookies for most of the year. Based on only the first seventeen games of the season, I'd take Shawn Horcoff as the team's most valuable player.
  • Gilbert Brule is going to be a healthy scratch tonight for the first time this season, but of the regular top nine forwards, he's probably not the one who's struggled the most. Although Brule's Corsi of -20.85/60 is poor, it's actually quite a bit better than Magnus Paajarvi's -25.08/60. Paajarvi's scoring chance differential is also the worst on the club, and he's struggled by eye as well. Neither player has been very good so far this year, and both have certainly earned some time in the press-box.
  • For those who are wondering, the Oilers don't have a single player with a positive Corsi on the season. Shawn Belle is close after one game (he's even), but Belle aside, Dustin Penner leads the club with -3.95/60. And for those of you looking for some encouragement, Taylor Hall is next in line.
  • Ray Whitney is Phoenix's leading scorer with only 11 points in 16 games, which puts him on pace for just 55 points if he plays in every game until the end of the season, which is, coincidentally, the exact same number of points that Shane Doan had last season when he led the Coyotes in scoring (Wojtek Woslki spent most of the year in Colorado). The only other teams to have a leading scorer with 55 points or less last season? The Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins, Nashville Predators, and New York Islanders. I was very surprised that the majority of those teams made the playoffs.
  • I often talk about looking at a goaltender's EV save percentage to determine skill, but the issue there isn't that goaltending on the PK is all luck. Rather, the issue is sample size. If we look at totals since the lockout, we'll have a much better sample to judge a goaltender's real skill. Ilya Bryzgalov, for example, has an .873 save percentage on 1618 total shots. It's not really enough, but it should give us a better indication of Bryzgalov's true talent (slightly above average). That said, there's a tremendous amount of volatility in the distribution of those saves: Bryzgalov has individual seasons of .910 (188 shots) and .832 (322 shots).