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Oilers v. Blues - Zechariah 5:5-11

Then the angel who was speaking to me came closer and said, "Look up, do you see those numbers floating in the sky?" And so I asked, "What do the numbers mean?" Then the angel of Yahweh replied saying, "They are wins and losses and near-losses all counted and assigned to the Oilers as payment for their sins." Then all of the numbers came together and formed one large number and that number was eighteen. And the angel said, "This number is the number of wickedness!" and I understood the meaning of the large number. The angel swatted at it and all the smaller numbers dissipated back into the air. Then I looked up and I saw that the numbers had come together again, but this time in two groups. I saw the numbers two and seven flying in the air. And so I asked the angel, "What do these numbers mean?" And the angel said, "Do you not remember the sign of the Flying Fridge? Twenty-seven will be the number of Oiler victories this season. But it is also a number of hope, for the Fridge will root out all wickedness so that this team might be prepared when the appointed time arrives for its deliverance."

Edmonton Oilers (24-43-7) @ St. Louis Blues (35-30-9)

Scottrade Center, 4:00 P.M. MDT
Television: Sportsnet West

More analysis after the jump...


Visiting Team Scouting Report:

Much like the Anaheim Ducks, the St. Louis Blues are basically just playing out the string. They are technically still alive - which is more than you can say for the Oilers - but 10 points back with eight games to go isn't a good spot. They'll need to win out to have any chance at the post-season and even then, they'd need the Colorado Avalanche to get five points or less in their last eight games. The last half of that equation is unlikely but by no means impossible. But eight straight? Well, the Blues did have one stretch this season where they won seven of eight games. The only loss in that stretch was... to the Avs. Whoops. The other team that they might think about catching is Nashville. The Predators only have six games left in the season and two are against St. Louis. If the Blues can win those two in regulation they'll need the Preds to be 1-3 in their other four games. And St. Louis would, again, need to win out. So basically, I'm telling you there's a chance.

Expected Lineups

Edmonton Oilers (24-43-7):

Moreau - Horcoff - Pisani
Penner - Cogliano - Brule
Comrie - Pouliot - Stortini

Nilsson - Potulny - O'Sullivan

Gilbert - Whitney

Strudwick - Chorney
Johnson - Arsene


St. Louis Blues (35-30-9)

Perron - McDonald - Boyes
Oshie - Tkachuk - Backes
Kariya - McClement - Crombeen
Winchester - Berglund - Janssen

Jackman - Polak
Colaiacovo - Johnson
Brewer - Weaver


Behind the Numbers:

  • Since we last checked in the Oilers lost and the Maple Leafs won which puts the Oilers' tragic number at four. We've almost clinched!
  • Today's game will feature four of the six most difficult zone-starts ratios among defenders in the entire league: Roman Polak (230 OZ and 424 DZ = 35.2%), Barret Jackman (227 OZ and 368 DZ = 38.2%), Mike Weaver (187 OZ and 282 DZ = 39.9%) and Taylor Chorney (95 OZ and 158 DZ = 37.5%). Taylor. Chorney. The third most difficult zone-start ratio in the NHL.
  • The Corsi numbers of those four defenders? Polak is at -2.14 per 60 minutes, Jackman -2.04 and Weaver -2.92. Polak and Jackman are also taking on the most difficult competition. Beasts. Chorney is at -25.27 per sixty minutes. But he has to play with Strudwick most of the time.
  • Polak and Jackman are both signed for next season, Jackman for two more seasons at 3.625M and Polak for one more at 1.1M. The Blues also have Paul Kariya's 6M coming off the books, as well as Chris Mason's 3M (Ty Conklin has been just fine for the Blues and is signed for next year at 1.3M). They don't have any real mill-stones to look after either (possible exceptions: Eric Brewer and Andy McDonald but neither is crippling). With some intelligent spending this off-season the Blues could be in very good shape.