Now, to all of you younger players, I need to ask that you respect those have poured out blood and sweat for this team for many years. They wear letters on their jerseys and puff themselves up because of it even though they sometimes only play well against teams that are rumoured to be interested in them but they are in fact over you in the Lord. He is testing your patience with them, so be respectful and hold them in high regard because of all of the work they have done for God's chosen team and because they invited you into their homes. All of you must live in peace.
And for the veterans, I urge you to admonish those among you who are lazily playing out the string, encourage those among you who really belong in the AHL, give grace to those among you who are dealing with injuries and at all times have patience with everyone. Make sure that teammates do not start paying one another back, eye for an eye, but that instead they would always be governed by a spirit of teamwork.
Anaheim Ducks (29-25-7) @ Edmonton Oilers (19-35-6)
Rexall Place, 5:00 P.M. MST
More analysis after the jump...
Visiting Team Scouting Report: Well I just wrote about the Ducks two games ago and the team hasn't made any significant changes since then. I talked then about the great contributions from Getzlaf, Perry and Koivu and the not-so-great contributions from all of the other forwards. But I didn't really get into how this effects the Ducks at the team level at EV. It's not pretty. The Ducks are handily outshot at EV overall (1546-1350) though the disparity - in terms of the percentage of shots for relative to total shots - isn't as bad when the score is close (950-861). The team is getting by largely on percentages. Jonas Hiller is a great goalie and it makes a difference. The Ducks EV save percentage this season is .927. Combine that with an above average shooting percentage of 8.4 and the Ducks have been able to get around a bad penalty differential and less-than-stellar EV play to come out with a chance at the playoffs.
Edmonton Oilers (18-34-6):
Penner - Potulny - Nilsson
O'Sullivan - Horcoff - Comrie
Brule - Pouliot - Pisani
Moreau - Cogliano - Stortini
Grebeshkov - Staios
Smid - Visnovsky
Gilbert - 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:
- Dustin Penner is only three goals away from having 100 in his career. That is, unless you're like Bruce and you like counting playoff goals. If that's the case he already passed that milestone without fanfare and stands at 103.
- Tom Awad has a statistic called goals versus threshold that's now featured at Behind The Net. Awad describes the method in several of his articles (example) but the basic premise is that it measures how many goals individual players have contributed above replacement level. Despite appearing in only 9 games so far this season Devan Dubnyk is second last in the league (not just goaltenders) at -8.2. Jeff Deslauriers is way up in 16th last in the league with -2.7. The top ranked player appearing in this game is Jonas Hiller who's 21st overall with a score of +15.6.
- The Ducks have one of the worst records in the NHL when they score first. Their winning percentage of .567 is 25th in the NHL (the Oilers are an even worse .542). But, the Ducks are one of the better teams when their opponents score first - 8th in the NHL with a .387 winning percentage (the Oilers are second to last at .167).
- The Ducks have a reputation as a team that takes a lot of penalties and it's well earned. They've taken the 5th most minor penalties in the league so far this season with 290 (but they have the fewest bench minors, with just one). Corey Perry leads the team (4th most in the NHL) with 33. Ryan Getzlaf is next with 28 (11th most in the NHL), followed by Ryan Whitney with 24 (24th most in the NHL). It's an area that the Ducks most talented players need to improve.