After yet another season out of the playoffs had been guaranteed some of the bloggers and other fans of the team pleaded with Katz. "Mr. Wayne," they said, "we remember that while he was still the general manager that deceiver said, 'I have a five-year plan to put a winning team together.' It has now been three years and we have seen no progress, so please, give the order and have him fired. Otherwise, he may, by some sly trick, convince you that his dithering puppet is to blame; he'll steal his old job back and he'll again make promises that he cannot keep! This second deception would be even worse than the first!"
"Take your keyboards," said Katz. "Make your case against this man in every way, reminding the people of his treachery. Perhaps then I will remember not to install him back to his old post." And so the bloggers and other fans did what they could to ensure that any discussion of a Kevin Lowe resurrection would be met with scorn.
Edmonton Oilers (24-46-7) @ Phoenix Coyotes (47-25-6)
Jobing.com Arena, 8:00 P.M. MDT
More analysis after the jump...
Visiting Team Scouting Report:
The Coyotes were a decent team before the trade deadline. At the deadline they were one of the busiest teams and the results since March 3rd have been impressive. The Coyotes have outshot their opponents 365-329 at even strength. That means they've taken 52.6% of all the shots taken in their games. This was already a strength of the Coyotes prior to the deadline but the additions of strong EV players like Lee Stempniak and Wojtek Wolski have made the team even better. Wolski in particular was one of Colorado's best players in terms of controlling territory. Since joining the Coyotes, Woski's line has been dominant territorially with the Coyotes outshooting their opponents 127-84 when Wolski is on the ice. On top of that, he's also a very dangerous scorer. The Coyotes' forwards are now much improved and the team as a whole is much more talented now than they were at the start of the year. If they can draw the Kings or Predators instead of the Red Wings in the first round, they probably have a really good chance at winning their first playoff round since arriving in Phoenix.
Edmonton Oilers (24-46-7):
Moreau - Horcoff - Pisani
Penner - Potulny - Linglet
Jones - Pouliot - O'Sullivan
Comrie - Cogliano - Nilsson
Gilbert - Whitney
Strudwick - Chorney
Johnson - Arsene
Phoenix Coyotes (47-25-6)
Prucha - Hanzal - Vrbata
Pyatt - Fiddler - Doan
Wolski - Lombardi - Stempniak
Winnik - Nokelainen - Korpikoski
Jovanovski - Michalek
Yandle - Morris
Lepisto - Aucoin
Behind the Numbers:
- Ignoring the lockout season of 1994-95 the Oilers have never accumulated less than the 60 points they managed in 1992-93. With 55 points on the board and only
seven sixfive games to go it's looking more and more like a new franchise record will be set. The lowest point total since the lockout belongs to the 2006-07 Philadelphia Flyers who earned 56 points in their 82 games. But I figure two points in the next seven sixfive games should be something the Oilers can accomplish.
- Twenty-one different Oilers have missed at least one game this season due to injury. I don't know whether or not that's a record but it sure seems like it should be close. Bonus points to anyone who can name them all without checking.
- At the beginning of December the Oilers rattled off five straight wins on the road. Since that time they've won once (in a shoot-out!) in twenty-one tries. I can't believe the Kings lost that game.
- Shane Doan leads the Coyotes in scoring with 53 points (Wojtek Wolski's 60 points came mostly with the Colorado Avalanche). That puts him in a tie for 71st in league scoring.
- Lee Stempniak has 13 goals and a 30.2 shooting percentage in 14 games since joining the Coyotes. How in the hell did Wayne Gretzky score 50 goals in 39 games? I understand that the man took a lot of shots but that's some pretty extraordinary finish.