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Oilers v. Blue Jackets - Psalm 118:26-29

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Blessed is the one who comes in the name of Yahweh,
and that one will be honoured in Yahweh's house next season.
Yahweh is our God
and his light will shine upon us in June.
Grown men will watch and cheer
the arrival of Yahweh's chosen one.
You are our God and we will give you thanks for your mercy!
You are our God and we will exalt you for giving us hope!
Yes, we will give thanks to Yahweh for he is good
and his favour - even in his punishments - will have no end!

Edmonton Oilers (21-40-7) @ Columbus Blue Jackets (27-31-11)

Nationwide Arena, 5:00 P.M. MDT
Television: Sportsnet West

More analysis after the jump...

Visiting Team Scouting Report:

The Blue Jackets may not feel like they're in much of a race right now but they're actually in tight competition with several other teams for 28th overall in the league (I think the Oilers and Leafs have the bottom two spots locked up) and (likely) the third pick overall in this year's entry draft. Unlike the other contenders, the Blue Jackets play in the much tougher Western Conference - in 248 inter-Conference games this season, the Western Conference has won 110 in regulation, the Eastern Conference 80 and 58 have gone to overtime - so they're probably not the worst of this bunch but with Rick Nash and Kristian Huselius hurting, this is a team that could tank. So, here we are, a chart to display the strength of schedule for the teams who are (Bruce, avert your eyes) probably better off losing from here on out. At the very least, they're better off being somewhat extreme and either winning a lot or losing a lot. Here are the contenders:

Falling_medium

So there you have it. These teams are awful. The thing to know with this chart is that lower numbers are always better which leads me to believe that the New York Islanders have the inside track here. Fewer games, plenty on the road and they don't need to play bad teams. On the other side of the coin we have the Florida Panthers who still have a lot of games, more at home than on the road and several against their fellow South-East mates. The one team that might go on a run and take an undeserved playoff spot in the East is the Lightning. They have the most points and a lot of games against crappy teams. If they can win those six and split the other eight down the middle they'll end the season with 88 points which might just be good enough in the pathetic Eastern Conference. The Blue Jackets? They have a real chance here. No big run is going to get them in so the players should already be properly dispirited which might help them in these next few games. A loss tonight would be pretty clutch.

Expected Lineups:

Edmonton Oilers (21-40-7):

Moreau - Horcoff - Comrie
Pouliot - Gagner - Nilsson
Penner - Cogliano - Brule

Minard - Potulny - Stortini

Gilbert - Whitney

Strudwick - Chorney
Johnson - Peckham


Dubnyk

Columbus Blue Jackets (27-31-11)

Huselius - Vermette - Mayorov
Umberger - Brassard - Voracek
Blunden - Pahlsson - Clark
Dorsett - Murray - Boll

Hejda - Methot
Tyutin - Stralman
Russell - Paetsch

Mason

Behind the Numbers:

  • After 48 career NHL games Scott Howson and the Columbus Blue Jackets gave Derrick Brassard a four year contract extension worth 3.2M per season on average. His plat-form year saw him score 25 points in only 31 games. At the end of the 2013-14 season Brassard will not be an unrestricted free agent but his qualifying offer will be 3.7M. The contract was signed last summer before Brassard had played a single game since separating his shoulder the previous year. He does look like he'll be a good player, but that was a pretty risky contract.
  • Gilbert Brule scored 22 points in his first 31 games this season. In his last 25 games he's scored 10.
  • Edmonton and Toronto are tied for last in the league with 231 goals against so far this season. Columbus is 27th 214.
  • Jeff Deslauriers has taken a lot more flack than Devan Dubnyk but, just so we're all aware, Dubnyk has been really bad. Among goalies with at least ten appearances Devan Dubnyk's .869 save percentage is the absolute worst. Remember that Vesa Toskala for Curtis McElhinney trade? Dubnyk's save percentage is worse than both of those guys.

Poll

Who will finish 28th in the league this season?

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    The Oilers break our hearts.
    (8 votes)
  • 10%
    The Leafs make Boston's season even worse.
    (8 votes)
  • 30%
    The Long Island losers.
    (23 votes)
  • 8%
    The pride of Don Waddell.
    (6 votes)
  • 0%
    The laughing-stock Lightning.
    (0 votes)
  • 6%
    Cam Ward's Cup-stealing Carolina Hurricanes.
    (5 votes)
  • 9%
    Team Finland if they were in the NHL.
    (7 votes)
  • 4%
    The Florida - this state has TWO! teams - Panthers.
    (3 votes)
  • 20%
    The Columbus Bumble Bee Civil War Soldiers.
    (15 votes)
75 votes total Vote Now