"Run up and down the streets of Edmonton," says Yahweh, "Look east and west! Search the entire city! If you could find even one sane person who believes this team is good, I would rescue its leaders from destruction. Those leaders who say, 'Surely God lives, so he will not abandon us' but they are liars and have deluded some into believing their lies."
Yahweh yearns for a rebellious people. He abuses them, but the cries for change are barely audible. He crushes them again and again, but they refuse to see that "rebuilding" is the refuge of the incompetent. Some are determined to see goodness and an honest effort, where there is nothing but evil and falsehood, and a refusal to repent by means of resignation.
But what should we expect? So many in this great city confuse foolishness for passion; they don't know the goodness of Yahweh, that he would give something better. But the leaders don't know better! They are just as ignorant! It's like the team is being run by a call-in show!
So let Coyotes come out of the desert and rip them apart; an Avalanche come out of the mountains and smother them completely; and have Sharks surround them and eat their remains. Then this people will see that their rebellion has been great, and that their leaders have committed many sins. How could I even think of granting them mercy? They have even turned children against me!
Since the last time these two teams played, the Coyotes have played only one game, an impressive victory over the Canucks in which they outshot the Dynasties in addition to outscoring them. As I mentioned the last time these two teams played, Ilya Bryzgalov aside, the Coyotes haven't been too impressive so far despite the 62.5% points percentage. They have, however, done a much better job of controlling the flow of play in their last two contests, and if they can keep that up, they may well earn a playoff spot in the very tight Western Conference.
Edmonton Oilers (5-10-4):
Hall - Horcoff - Eberle Penner - Gagner - Hemsky Cogliano - Brule - Jones Jacques - Fraser - Paajarvi
Whitney - Gilbert Belle - Foster Peckham - Vandermeer
The Oilers record when leading after two periods is 3-1-2 for a winning percentage of .500, good enough for dead last in the NHL. Phoenix, on the other hand, has been one of the best teams in the league at coming from behind. Their record of 4-2 when trailing after one period is the best in the league (at least by winning percentage; Washington's 8-5, and that's pretty darn impressive), and their record of 2-5-2 when trailing after two periods is also well inside the top ten.
After scoring two points against the Ducks on Sunday, Ales Hemsky has now moved into a tie with Charlie Huddy for 11th place on the Oilers' all-time regular season points list. Dustin Penner's two points in the same game helped him to skip past Anson Carter and into 36th. It's hard to believe that there's a very real possibility of one or both of those players being on different teams by this time next year.
Here is the comprehensive list of forwards who have played at least 100 career NHL regular season games and scored fewer points than Jean-Francois Jacques: Kevin Sawyer, Sylvain Blouin, Jim Thomson, Andrew Peters, Shawn Antoski, Brantt Myhres, Chuck Dinsmore, Marc Potvin, D.J. King, Wade Brookbank, Garth Murray, Stephen Peat, Brad Staubitz, and Jesse Boulerice. Fourteen guys. In history.
The Coyotes have won six games in a row heading into tonight's game against the Oilers. It must be fun to cheer for a team good enough to do that (just ask Derek's son). The last time Edmonton won six in a row (it was actually seven) was May 10th to 23rd 2006, and what a glorious time it was.
Dave Tippett has been using his bench to extremes so far this season when it comes to Zone Starts. Kyle Turris, for example, leads the team with a Corsi rating of +15.43/60. It's extremely impressive until you see that Turris also leads the entire NHL with 80.3% of his end-zone starts coming in the offensive zone (and check out the Sedins in fourth and fifth on that list...). On the opposite end of the spectrum, we see Vernon Fiddler and Taylor Pyatt with only about 36% of their end-zone starts in the offensive zone, which makes their poor Corsi ratings (about -12/60) much more understandable.