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Oilers v. Kings - Psalm 102:1-7

O Yahweh, hear our prayers for help;
let our cries of anguish be heard.
Do not hide from your pummeled children;
hear their cries even as Kings take what little pride they have left.

Hemsky will soon vanish like smoke;
Penner's time is coming to an end.

My heart empties of feeling and hope slowly dies;
I forget to watch some of the games.
Because of this awful team,
I am reduced to cheering for losses.
I am like a faithful wife with no libido,
always present but never pleased.

Other teams circle this club like vultures but never eat;
even the scavengers are disgusted.

Edmonton Oilers (18-35-6) @ Los Angeles Kings (36-20-3)

Staples Center, 8:30 P.M. MST
Television: Sportsnet West

More analysis after the jump...

Visiting Team Scouting Report: The Los Angeles Kings! Matt Greene is the funny man. Jarret Stoll is the faceoff man, the point shot, the penalty killer and the man that's a magnet for both old women and hooking penalties. Ryan Smyth is the heart-and-soul leader who gets to rest during the Olympic break so that he can win the Stanley Cup. Ales Kopitsky is the European scorer that everyone rags on because he should be better than he is (seriously, they need to call up Schenn to take his spot on the power play). Scott Parsani is the obscure winger taking on some tougher comp poised for a run of strong percentages that will help him cash in. Michal Horczus is the center that everyone wants to kick off the team because he's an overpaid putz that doesn't do anybody any good except take on tough competition and come out ahead. Sergei Samfrolov is the Russian who only tries hard in his contract year but can do some nice things. Raffi Brown is the cheap bugger who can hit to hurt and score some too. Rob Smitheri is the veteran defender that still has some game. Wadek Dvoronds is the guy who goes out there and gets the job done at EV. Drew Doughty is the new and improved Chris Pronger - this time no wives or suspensions! I feel a trade for Roli coming on to shore up that goaltending! The Los Angeles Kings!

Expected Lineups:

Edmonton Oilers (18-34-6):

Penner - Potulny - Nilsson
O'Sullivan - Horcoff - Comrie
Brule - Pouliot - Pisani

Moreau - Cogliano - Jacques

Grebeshkov - Staios

Smid - Visnovsky
Gilbert - Strudwick


Los Angeles Kings (36-20-3)

Richardson - Kopitar - Brown
Smyth - Stoll - Simmonds
Frolov - Handzus - Parse
Ivanans - Moller - Harrold

Doughty - Scuderi
O'Donnell - Greene
Johnson - Drewiske


Behind the Numbers:

  • Rob Scuderi didn't play a single shift in the third period in the Kings last game against the Anaheim Ducks and TSN is listing him as questionable for this evening's game with "flu-like symptoms." I didn't see the game but with him coming out half-way through the second period I wonder whether those "flu" symptoms aren't actually "concussion" symptoms. Scuderi was signed to a big contract this past summer (3.4M per year over four years) and I admit that I was somewhat skeptical of his ability to cover the bet because he doesn't provide much offence, isn't an "elite" guy and is already on the wrong side of 30. A lot of defenders take a big drop sometime in their thirties (I'm looking at you Staios) so the contract seemed like a pretty big risk. But at least for this year, Scuderi has delivered. He's played the most difficult opponents among Kings D and has the most challenging zone-start ratio as well (221 DZ to 190 OZ). In addition, he likely gets a lot more minutes with the Kings protecting a lead than he does when the Kings are trying to make a comeback because of his limited offensive skills. Despite all of those obstacles his Corsi is only mildly negative (-2.02/60) and the Kings have outscored the opposition with Scuderi on the ice at EV (35-27). Three more years like this one (minus the injuries) and Dean Lombardi is a very happy man.
  • Edmonton's 11-game road losing streak is a club record. The longest road losing streak in NHL history is 38 consecutive losses by the 1992-93 Ottawa Senators. The Oilers can't break the record this season and the good Lord knows that I hope we're not still talking about this in October.
  • Devan Dubnyk will be getting the start for the Oilers tonight. In his previous seven starts he has not yet given up fewer than three goals against and has twice allowed six or more. His best save percentage in a start this season is .903.
  • The Los Angeles Kings have the second best winning percentage once silly-season begins. Their combined OT/SO record is 10-3. The only team better is the Pittsburgh Penguins at 10-2. The Oilers are a not-too-bad 4-6.