Come quickly, O God, and save us!
Stretch out the long arm of your favor once again!
May those who want to end our streak
be put to shame and confusion!
May those who want to ruin us
be ruined themselves!
May those who say, "Aha! Those shot totals betray you!"
be completely dominated!
But may your team who seeks after you
continue to receive your saving help!
We know that we are poor and needy,
and we know that our victories come from your hand.
We know you are our great deliverer,
and we implore you to never leave us again.
Edmonton Oilers (8-2-2) @ Phoenix Coyotes (6-4-2)
Jobing.com Arena, 8:00 p.m. MDT
More analysis after the jump...
Home Team Scouting Report:
The Coyotes have shifted some roles around this year, and so far the changes look to be paying off for Dave Tippett. In previous seasons, Tippett had used players like Eric Belanger, Martin Hanzal and Vernon Fiddler to take the tough zone-starts and tough competition in order to shelter his younger players from difficult situations. But this year's team doesn't have many of those younger players. The youngest player on the club up front is Mikkel Boedker who's 21 and who came into the season with over 100 games of NHL experience. The result is Tippett giving those tough zone-starts to newcomer Boyd Gordon, and providing shelter for his more talented offensive players, including Martin Hanzal. As a result, Hanzal is on pace for 74-point season so far, which would blow his previous career-high of 35 right out of the water. Even if he doesn't quite get that many, his new contract looks like it's going to be great.
Edmonton Oilers (8-2-2):
Smyth - Horcoff - Jones
Hall - Nugent-Hopkins - Eberle
Paajarvi - Belanger - Gagner
Eager - Lander - Petrell
Smid - Gilbert
Petry - Potter
Peckham - Teubert
Phoenix Coyotes (6-4-2):
Boedker - Langkow - Doan
Whitney - Hanzal - Vrbata
Torres - Gordon - Korpikoski
Pyatt - O'Sullivan - Bissonnette
Yandle - Morris
Ekman-Larsson - Aucoin
Klesla - Schlemko
By the Numbers:
- After spending a good chunk of last season ripping up the AHL - he scored 48 points in 36 regular season games with the Houston Aeros - Patrick O'Sullivan is back in the NHL. Right now, O'Sullivan is centering the team's fourth line, which means that one of the guys he beat for the job is old friend Marc-Antoine Pouliot.
- Ten Oilers have played in all twelve of the Oilers' games so far this season: Shawn Horcoff, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Smyth, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Magnus Paajarvi, Eric Berlanger, Ryan Jones, Anton Lander, Tom Gilbert, Ladislav Smid. With Smid playing big minutes, and leading the league in blocked shots (45), his durability is particularly impressive.
- Going into the game against the Kings, there were a bunch of players who had yet to be on the ice for an Oiler goal. But Lennart Petrell's tally helped a bunch of them get off the schneid, and now all of the regulars have been part of an on-ice celebration during five-on-five play. At the other end of the ice, Ben Eager has still yet to be on the ice for an opposition goal five-on-five in just over an hour of ice time.
- Even though Magnus Paajarvi has now been on the ice for a goal, he's still without a point, and as it turns out, no forward in the NHL has played more minutes than Paajarvi without registering at least one.
Corey Potter has been impressive for a lot of reasons so far this season, but one that I haven't seen mentioned much is his ability to play the game without taking penalties. Through ten games, Potter hasn't taken any penalties during five-on-five play (he did get one hooking penalty while the Oilers were short-handed). His penalty minute totals from the AHL don't suggest that he's particularly good in this area, but then, his totals from the AHL didn't suggest that he'd be this good at all!