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Oilers v. Canucks - A Personal Reflection

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So last night some friends and I decided to watch Georges St. Pierre beat the tar out of Josh Koscheck, and on that score, the night was a rousing success! The card as a whole was lots of fun, and St. Pierre's performance was simply dominant. Of course, this being a bar in Surrey, the televisions flipped immediately to the Canucks once the fights were done, just in time for Henrik Sedin's goal to bring the Canucks with one, and I quickly realized that I wasn't in quite as much agreement with the crowd.

A few minutes later Keith Ballard came steaming down the wing and I had a chance to feel the pain of Conkkannen all over again. Did you know that the Lightning have allowed both the fewest shots and most goals in the Eastern Conference? True story. And trust me Lightning fans, we feel your pain. Anyroad, after Dan Ellis sieved Ballard's fifty foot blast, the party was on in the pub... and then Ryan Kesler took a high-sticking penalty just before the game headed into overtime.

The overtime began with the Lightning in control in Vancouver's zone. Marty St. Louis took the puck to the FO dot and then dropped it back for Steven Stamkos at the point who blasted it by a bewildered Bobby L... Cory Schneider. Way to ruin the alliteration, Cory (just like you ruined Markus Naslund night). There were a lot of sullen faces in that bar, let me tell you - the perfect end to a glorious evening.

Vancouver Canucks (15-8-4) @ Edmonton Oilers (11-12-5)

Rexall Place, 6:00 p.m. MST
Television: Sportsnet West

More analysis after the jump...

Visiting Team Scouting Report:

They are hateful.

Expected Lineups:

Edmonton Oilers (11-12-5):

Hall - Gagner - Eberle
Paajarvi - Cogliano - Penner
Omark - O'Marra - Jones
Jacques - Fraser - Brule

Hot Sauce - Fried Fish

Roast Beef - Worn Set of Snow Tires
Smid - Foster

Dubnyk

Vancouver Canucks (15-8-4)

Sedin - Sedin - Burrows
Samuelsson - Kesler - Tambellini
Torres - Malhotra - Hansen
Glass - Bolduc - Andersson

Hamhuis - Bieksa
Edler - Ballard
Alberts - Rome

Luongo

By the Numbers:

  • There are seven Oiler forwards with a positive Relative Corsi so far this season (i.e. a Corsi rate above the team average): Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Dustin Penner, Ales Hemsky, Sam Gagner, Shawn Horcoff and... I'll tell you in the fifth point below. But itsn't it exciting to see Hall and Eberle at the head of the list?
  • With an assist on the Oilers' first goal against the Lightning, Dustin Penner moved into a tie for 30th place (with Jarret Stoll) on the Oilers' all-time regular season scoring list with 165 points as an Oiler. The next man on his hit list is Joe Murphy, who won a Cup with Edmonton in 1990 and kept them afloat for a couple seasons in the early 90s before being sent to Chicago. Thanks for the memories, Joe. With Ethan Moreau's departure for nothing, the Joe Murphy trade genealogy is now also officially closed, unless of course, this great blog comes out of retirement.
  • The Oilers have only allowed one power play goal in their last four games, but will likely have a hard time tonight against the top power play in the league. The Canucks have clicked on over 25% of their power play chances, and also have a league-leading PP goal differential of +27.
  • Only two players (Kyle Turris and Cam Janssen) have more favourable Zone Start ratios than Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin, and Alex Burrows. Only seven players (Zenon Konopka, Jerred Smithson, Jon Sim, Blair Betts, Adam Burish, Jean-Francois Jacques(!), and Steve Ott) have more challenging Zone Start ratios than Manny Malhotra and Raffi Torres. It's a (very effective) strategy that the Canucks used last season to steal a Hart Trophy for Henrik Sedin, but it doesn't look like those most helpful circumstances will be enough for a repeat performance.
  • Andrew Cogliano is that seventh man with a positive relative Corsi for the Oilers. He's taken some guff so far this season for any number or reasons. He's only got eight points. He's got the worst +/- on the team at -10. Despite working hard on his faceoffs all summer, his FO% is a very poor 42.3%. But there have been some okay things too. All eight of his points have come at EV, and while a 23-point pace at EV still isn't good, he should be able to improve on it with the extra ice time he'll get in the next few weeks. He also has the worst PDO number of any forward on the team at 97.7, so that +/- should get better too. His FO's are so bad even after all of the work, so maybe - just maybe - he'll be ready to move over to the wing. If he does, I remain convinced that Andrew Cogliano can be an effective top nine winger in this league.