We are almost embarrassed to call on your name
and to cry out for your help in this moment of need.
You have hidden your face from us all year long
and demonstrated that this team is terrible because of its many sins.
Yet, Yahweh, you are our God,
you are like a potter, and this team the clay.
May it be that even in your condemnation you mold something beautiful.
Do not be angry at your chosen team forever;
set aside the bad decisions of the past.
Think of us, the faithful fans,
for we are your people.
Your sacred city, Edmonton, is like a frozen desert;
there are no wins, there is little hope.
The glorious temple where our fathers gathered for endless praise
is now slandered day and night
as people cry out for a new more "impressive" place to gather.
We see our sin but after all this pain Yahweh...
Hold us back from victory!
Keep silent for just one more month!
For "saving" us now would only deepen our misery.
And haven't you punished us enough?
Edmonton Oilers (21-39-7) @ Toronto Maple Leafs (22-33-12)
Air Canada Centre, 5:00 P.M. MST
More analysis after the jump...
Visiting Team Scouting Report:
You don't need me to tell you that the Toronto Maple Leafs aren't a good team. Even just looking at that group of forwards leaves you scratching your head. Of the twelve forwards listed below only Kessel, Lundmark, Primeau and Orr have played over 200 NHL games. The only guys joining them if we move the limit back to 100 are Kulemin, Mitchell and Grabovski. And there are only three names on that list that you'd be excited about having under contract. One of those three cost them their first round draft pick both this season and next. The defenders are alright but the best of the lot is on the last year of a discount contract next season and is already on the wrong side of thirty. Five of them make at least 3.5M per season and several aren't worth the money. They're paying an under-performing goalie 6M for next season so that's not a place to save money either. And on top of it all, they're out 1M in cap space for the next four seasons for buying out Darcy Tucker. I don't know Brian Burke's plan going forward but they're honestly in worse shape over the next few years than the Oilers. Hard times.
Edmonton Oilers (21-39-7):
Moreau - Horcoff - Comrie
Penner - Cogliano - Brule
Pouliot - Gagner - Minard
Nilsson - Potulny - Stortini
Gilbert - Whitney
Strudwick - Chorney
Johnson - Peckham
Toronto Maple Leafs (22-33-12)
Kulemin - Bozak - Kessel
Stalberg - Grabovski - Caputi
Mitchell - Hanson - Lundmark
Primeau - Wallin - Orr
Kaberle - Schenn
Beauchemin - Phaneuf
Gunnarson - Finger
Behind the Numbers:
- The Edmonton Oilers and Atlanta Thrashers are tied for the lowest points percentage in the league in one-goal games: .500. Weird system.
- The Maple Leafs have yet to win a game this season when trailing after two periods. In 35 tries they've posted a record of 0-28-7. The team most likely to come back when down after two periods is the Vancouver Canucks with a record of 10-16-1.
- Andrew Cogliano comes into tonight's game only one point away from 100 for his NHL career. Tom Gilbert only needs two points to join him at 100. When they get there, they'll join Shawn Horcoff, Ales Hemsky, Fernando Pisani, Brett Callighen and Sam Gagner as the only Oilers with 100 career points to never play a game for another NHL team. Only Callighen is retired and even he played for the New England Whalers in the old WHA.
- Edmonton is currently 26th in the league in hits on the road (road only to minimize counting bias in any one arena). The teams below them are Phoenix, Nashville, Chicago and Buffalo. Other teams in the bottom ten include Washington and San Jose. I'm all for physical play when it helps you win but I'm not convinced that whatever gets counted in this "hits" column is the kind of physical play that does it.