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Oilers v. Senators - Numbers 14:26-30

Then Yahweh said to Bryan, "I will not put up with your wicked community of complainers! I hear them whining day and night, so you can tell them that their cries are heard, but also tell them that this: 'As surely as God lives, he will make all of your fearful complaints come true: you will never see a Stanley Cup victory in Ottawa! Because of your constant complaints, all of you who were born before October 8, 1992 will die without seeing this club win the ultimate prize. When your club was filled with talent, I prevented you from capitalizing because I knew how you would treat my servant Muckler. And as for the Maple Leafs, who you look upon with contempt, they will be the next team from Ontario to lift the Stanley Cup!

Edmonton Oilers (6-12-4) @ Ottawa Senators (11-12-1)

Scotiabank Place, 5:30 p.m. MST
Television: Sportsnet West

More analysis after the jump...

Visiting Team Scouting Report:

The Senators are in the thick of the playoff race despite having the fourth worst goal differential in the NHL (-14). They're also the fourth worst team in the league in terms of outshooting at -4.0 shots per game. So while disappointment at the 11-12-1 record in Ottawa is perfectly reasonable, it's probably worth pointing out that the Senators are actually lucky to be that good, and of course, luckier still that the Eastern Conference is so bad that they still have a chance at the playoffs if they can right the ship.

Expected Lineups:

Edmonton Oilers (6-12-4):

Hall - Horcoff - Eberle
Penner - Cogliano - Brule
Jones - Gagner - Paajarvi
Jacques - Fraser - Stortini

Whitney - Gilbert

Smid - Foster
Peckham - Vandermeer


Ottawa Senators (11-12-1)

Regin - Spezza - Alfredsson
Michalek - Fisher - Kovalev
Foligno - Kelly - Neil
Ruutu - Shannon - Winchester

Phillips - Gonchar
Kuba - Karlsson
Campoli - Carkner


By the Numbers:

  • Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza, and Alex Kovalev are all having their worst offensive seasons since the lockout this year. Alfredsson is scoring 0.75 points per game, his lowest rate since 1998-99; Spezza is scoring 0.74 points per game, his lowest rate since 2003-04; and Kovalev is scoring 0.58 points per game, his lowest rate since 2003-04.
  • Pascal Leclaire's EV Sv% is a hilariously bad .884. Considering how bad Leclaire's been over the last several seasons, it's simply baffling that he's started one third of Ottawa's games so far this year. What's more baffling still? Three goalies have a worse EV Sv% and have actually started more games! Big points to you if you immediately thought of Rick DiPietro, Mike Smith, and Antti Niemi.
  • Penalties have been a major concern for the Senators so far this season. The combination of taking an above average number of penalties with a below average penalty kill has given the Senators the second worst goal differential in the league while shorthanded at -18. I think we all know which team is the worst, and they're sitting at -25.
  • This has been such a disappointing time in Oilers' history that it can be easy to forget that some of these players have been around for a while now: eight different current Oilers have played at least 200 regular season games with the organization. Recognizable Oiler names from the past who never made it to that number include Roman Hamrlik, Igor Ulanov, Andrei Kovalenko, Marc-Andre Bergeron, Mark Lamb, Radek Dvorak, Mariusz Czerkawski, and Adam Graves.
  • The Senators are one of only two teams not to have played in a single shootout so far this season. In fact, they've only gone to overtime once in their first twenty-four games. While constantly playing to a result in regulation makes Bruce McCurdy smile, missing out on all of those three-point games isn't helping them in the standings.