Now all of you who suffer with me do not need to be reminded that we cannot be distracted by individual games or seasons. The day of the Lord's deliverance may seem to tarry but ou know as well as I do that its coming is certain. Opposing coaches may continue to say, "With the Oilers in town victory is assured" but defeat will come suddenly, like a thief, and even on their home ice they will be surprised by their inability to escape. But you, my fellow sufferers, are not blind and walking in darkness so this coming Oiler resurgence should not come to you as a surprise! Instead, your hearts are filled with the light of God's promise!
You know that our club is not like the hateful Ducks who have not yet purged Lupul - that disgraceful sinner - from their midst. The Oilers recognize the need to remain attentive and self-controlled, knowing that those who sleep through the night are awake during the game and that those who drink through the night sleepwalk through whole periods the next day. Each night every player puts on the shoulder pads of love, the skates of hope and the helmets of salvation waiting for the great and glorious day of God's favour. For they know as well as you that God did not raise this team up for destruction but for salvation! And we will enjoy this glory as well!
So whether you are still alive when the promised deliverance comes or whether you have passed away, know that it is coming! Now, armed with this knowledge, be sure to encourage one another in this most holy faith!
Edmonton Oilers (18-34-6) @ Anaheim Ducks (28-24-7)
Honda Center, 8:00 P.M. MST
More analysis after the jump...
Visiting Team Scouting Report: The Anaheim Ducks have been a very good team so far this season. With the departure of the designated "checking" line the Ducks have depended on players like Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Bobby Ryan to play against the other team's best players. The results have actually been pretty good with all three players finishing in the black in terms of scoring and both finishing very close to even in terms of Corsi (three of the top four on the Ducks). Getzlaf and Perry are also among the team "leaders" in terms of faceoff ratio, with both of them taking more defensive than offensive zone faceoffs (though Todd Marchant is really carrying the mail here with 254 DZ draws compared to only 155 in the OZ). Getzlaf's needs to be in the lineup for this team to win so I'm sure Ducks fans are relieved to know that Getzlaf's injury last night wasn't serious.
The problem for the Ducks has been the rest of the forwards. With those three taking on the toughs to a draw or better (for the most part) the rest of the lineup has struggled against the lesser lines. Of the remaining forwards only Saku Koivu has a positive Corsi number. Outside of the big three, Koivu is also the only other forward with a +/- number at EV better than +1. The addition of Jason Blake will likely help and if the Ducks add some forward depth at or near the deadline they could be a real force should they make the playoffs.
Edmonton Oilers (18-34-6):
Penner - Potulny - Nilsson
O'Sullivan - Horcoff - Comrie
Brule - Pouliot - Pisani
Moreau - Cogliano - Stortini/Jacques
Gilbert - Staios
Smid - Visnovsky
Gerbeshkov - Strudwick
Anaheim Ducks (28-24-7)
Ryan - Koivu - Perry
Blake - Nokelainen - Selanne
Chipchura - Marchant - Bodie
Beleskey - Carter - Brown
Niedermayer - Wisniewski
Eminger - Whitney
Festerling - Brookbank
Behind the Numbers:
- The Anaheim Ducks have won ten consecutive games at home with only one of those games making it to overtime. The Oilers have lost ten straight road games with none of them going to overtime. Since the start of December the Ducks are 15-4-3 against teams outside the Pacific division. On the year the Ducks are 22-12-5 against teams outside their division. That's pretty darn good.
- The Edmonton Oilers are 3-21-2 over the last 26 games. If they performed at that rate over an entire season they would have 25 points at the end of the year. And that's actually slightly better than the worst team in NHL history. The 1974-75 Washington Capitals only managed 21 points in 80 games. So things could be worse.
- Shawn Horcoff has the 6th worst PDO number in the league among forwards with at least 30 games played (93.3). Rod Brind'Amour is last (91.6). Horcoff averages at least four more minutes per game at even strength than anyone below him. The Oilers have two other forwards in the bottom thirty (Nilsson, O'Sullivan).
- George Parros has the highest EV save percentage in the league behind him (.984). He also has the fourth worst on-ice shooting percentage (3.7%). In close to four hours of EV ice time there has been a total of five goals scored with Parros on the ice.