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Oilers v. Red Wings - Lamentations 5:8-11

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We are managed by slaves to stupidity;
there will be no rescue for this season.
We win games to our own detriment,
and our heroes are injured in vain.
The constant losses have darkened our spirits,
as if they were burned in an unquenchable fire.
The Wings have arrived to rape and pillage,
to destroy what little dignity this team has left.

Detroit Red Wings (24-10-5) @ Edmonton Oilers (12-18-7)

Rexall Place, 7:00 p.m. MST
Television: TSN

More analysis after the jump...

Visiting Team Scouting Report:

The Detroit Red Wings are working on their 19th consecutive winning season, and their 13th consecutive with over 50% of their regular season games ending in Red Wing victories. The last time the Oilers won more than 50% of their regular season games? 1987-88 and Wayne Gretzky was an Oiler and I was four years old. It's hard for me to imagine the experience of being a Red Wings' fan. Just being accustomed to winning, accustomed to stars, and accustomed to having a good chance at the Stanley Cup each spring. And this spring will be no different: second in the NHL's overall standings, fourth in shot differential, fifth in goal differential. The Oilers, meanwhile, are on their way to another draft pick and yet another year with less than 42 victories.

Expected Lineups:

Edmonton Oilers (12-18-7):

Paajarvi - Gagner - Hemsky
Hall - Cogliano - Penner
Omark - Brule - Jones

Jacques - Fraser - Reddox

Peckham - Gilbert
Smid - Petry
Vandermeer - Foster


Detroit Red Wings (24-10-5)

Franzen - Zetterberg - Holmstrom
Bertuzzi - Filppula - Hudler
Draper - Helm - Tatar
Miller - Abdelkader - Mursak

Lidstrom - Stuart
Ericsson - Rafalski
Salei - Kronwall


By the Numbers:

  • There are 54 players in the NHL with at least 30 points so far this season. The Red Wings are one of six teams with four players on the list (Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, Nicklas Lidstrom, and Johan Franzen are the players; the other teams are San Jose, Philadelphia, Dallas, Colorado, and Anaheim). The Oilers, by contrast, are one of are one of nine teams without a single representative (the others being Toronto, Phoenix, Ottawa, Long Island, New Jersey, Nashville, Florida, and Boston).
  • Pavel Datsyuk is a fabulous player. With 39 points in 33 games, he's second on the team in scoring (to Zetterberg), but leads the team in points per game. This despite the fact that he's also taken on the toughest ratio of end-zone starts on the club, and takes on the best the opposition has to offer. To me, Datsyuk is one of the top five forwards in the league, which makes his injury a big one for Detroit.
  • Todd Bertuzzi does a terrible job of drawing penalties (0.4 per sixty EV minutes), and he takes a lot of them (1.4 per sixty EV minutes). Ken Holland has made a lot of really good decisions, but the decision to keep Bertuzzi around baffles me each time he makes it.
  • With Ryan Whitney out reasonably long term, there's a pretty good chance that he'll struggle when he gets back. There's an even better chance that his struggles get exaggerated. Before going down, Whitney posted a PDO number of 106.1 at EV, and that's just not going to continue when he gets back. I think that will be an important thing to keep in mind.
  • Liam Reddox starts tonight tied for 10th in AHL scoring with 33 points in 37 games. Of course, he wouldn't be that high in points per game because there are a bunch of guys like Linus Omark who have earned lengthy NHL recalls and so have played fewer games (Omark is tied for 17th in scoring with 31 points in 28 games).