Then God said, "Let us make the Oilers in our image, and in our likeness; they will rule over the Sharks of the sea, over the Ducks of the air, over the Coyotes and the entire Pacific division, and over every team that skates along the ice."
So God created Oilerdom in his own image;
In the image of God he created them.
Oilers and Oilogosphere he created them.
Edmonton Oilers (14-22-7) @)
Honda Center, 6:00 p.m. MST
Television: Sportsnet West
More analysis after the jump...
Visiting Team Scouting Report:
The Anaheim Ducks are not a particularly strong team. They have some terrific individuals, but the team is regularly outplayed. In fact, the only reason the Ducks are still in the playoff hunt is Jonas Hiller's wonderful season. He has faced more shots than any goaltender in the league, plays in front of a defense that includes two rookies almost every night, and has the forward support of defensive luminaries like Joffrey Lupul. Despite this, he's currently among the league leaders with a .926 save percentage. If he can play just a little bit better for the rest of the year, the Ducks might make the playoffs. It's kind of like playing for Switzerland.
Edmonton Oilers (14-22-7):
Penner - Hall - Hemsky
Omark - Gagner - Paajarvi
Reddox - Cogliano - Jones
Jacques - Fraser - MacIntyre
Peckham - Gilbert
Smid - Petry
Foster - Chorney
Anaheim Ducks (24-19-4)
Beleskey - Ryan - Perry
Blake - Koivu - Selanne
McMillan - Lapierre - Lupul
Sexton - Marchant - Parros
Visnovsky - Lydman
Sbisa - Sutton
Fowler - Lilja
By the Numbers:
- Jean-Francois Jacques has the best shooting percentage on the team this season (aside from Ryan O`Marra) at 22.2%. Too bad he's only taken nine shots, the fifth-lowest total among forwards with at least twenty games played. The only guys with fewer shots are Cam Janssen, Paul Bissonnette, Trevor Gillies, and Derek Boogaard; Kevin Westgarth is tied at nine. All of these players have at least seven fights... except for Jacques... who has none. Serious question: is J-F Jacques the most useless forward to play at least twenty NHL games this season?
- Teemu Selanne is pretty amazing. The 40-year-old forward is on pace to score a point per game this season with 39 points in his first 38 games. When Jari Kurri was 40 he had been retired for three seasons. Kurri really was a fabulous player, but every year Selanne keeps doing what he's doing, the "greatest Finn" debate gets easier and easier to call.
- Do you know who else is scoring better than a point per game? Corey Perry. He's doing this despite taking some pretty rough starting positions and playing mostly against the other team's best players. And if you don't believe Gabe's QC numbers, you might recall Perry being out against the Oilers' best players when his knee "somehow" managed to knock Shawn Horcoff out of the Oilers' lineup for the last several weeks. Corey Perry. Man, I hate that guy.
- Both the Oilers and Ducks are outshot in almost every game they play. The Ducks shot differential stands at -5.9 shots per game, which is pretty darn poor (no team has made the playoffs since the lockout with a shot differential of -4.5 per game or worse). The Oilers have actually gotten better in this area over the last several games and have a shot differential of "only" -7.4 per game.
- Joffrey Lupul has played in more NHL playoff games than any player on the Oilers' roster with the exception of Nikolai Khabibulin. So thank God for the Maginot Line, or that could have been embarassing.