Then Bruce called all of the people together, both young and old, journalists and bloggers, intellectuals and emotionalists, every man, woman and child who wears the jersey of the Oildrop, but doesn't take to the ice.
Bruce said to the people, "Long ago, some of us and some of our fathers lived in a time before the Oilers, and so we worshiped at the feet of the Canadiens and Maple Leafs. But then God brought Wild Bill Hunter across the prairies, led him to Edmonton, and blessed both him and us with many things. Through him, Edmonton received Memorial Cups, the WHL, the WHA, the Oilers, Northlands Coliseum, and finally a place in the NHL."
"And so let us remember the great things that have come to us from our ancestors and let us fear Yahweh, the God of the Oilers, and cheer for the team he gave us with all of our hearts. Put away forever those old sweaters that you used to care about so much, and serve Yahweh and his team alone. Or would you prefer to cheer for a team that has the referees in their pocket and made the rules of the league to suit their purposes? Or perhaps a team that tried to exclude Edmonton from the NHL altogether? Whatever you do, I know that I and my family, will watch, cheer, complain, moan, jump up, let loose our biases, and let our blood boil for the city of Edmonton and its Oilers."
Edmonton Oilers (8-3-2) @ Les Canadiens de Montréal (5-6-2)
Bell Centre, 5:30 p.m. MST
Television: Sportsnet West
More analysis after the jump...
Home Team Scouting Report:
The Canadiens haven't won many games to start the season, but there are a lot of things that are going well. When the score is tied, the team is getting 54.4% of the shots and 52.5% of the Fenwick events during five-on-five play. Their overall numbers are slightly worse, but still well above average at 52.1% and 51.6% respectively. They're allowing the fewest shots against during four-on-five play in the league (33.8 per sixty minutes), and their power play is generating the third most shots in the league during five-on-four play (61.2 per sixty minutes). They haven't been able to turn these advantages into consistent outscoring yet, but I'd be very surprised to see the Canadiens continue to press this kind of advantage in all three game states only to end up outside the playoff picture.
Edmonton Oilers (8-3-2):
Smyth - Horcoff - Hemsky
Hall - Nugent-Hopkins - Eberle
Jones - Belanger - Gagner
Eager - Lander - Petrell
Smid - Gilbert
Peckham - Potter
Barker - Petry
Les Canadiens de Montréal (5-6-2):
Pacioretty - Plekanec - Gionta
Cammalleri - Desharnais - Cole
Moen - Eller - Kostitsyn
Darche - Nokelainen - Blunden
Gorges - Subban
Spacek - Weber
Gill - Diaz
By the Numbers:
- With an assist in his last game against the Phoenix Coyotes, Jordan Eberle passed Scott Thornton for 100th on the Oilers' all-time regular season scoring list with 54 points. Taylor Hall is currently tied for 106th with 51, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is tied for 199th with 12, which is just one point behind Matt Greene.
- Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle both draw a lot of penalties at even strength. Hall leads the team drawing 1.9 penalties for every sixty minutes of five-on-five ice time, and Jordan Eberle is tied for second in penalty differential (with Hall and Anton Lander but behind Magnus Paajarvi), drawing 1.1. more penalties per sixty minutes of five-on-five ice time than he takes. It's a bit odd, then, that Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has yet to draw a single penalty during five-on-five play so far this season.
- Going back to last season, Eric Belanger has played twenty-five consecutive games without scoring a goal. That's the longest drought he's had since... last season... when he went twenty-seven consecutive games without scoring a goal from November 12th, 2010 to January 10th, 2011.
- When the Oilers are short-handed, they've done a very good job at limiting the number of shots against, but they've done the best when Lennart Petrell is on the ice, allowing just 27.7 shots against for every sixty minutes of four-on-five ice time with him on the ice, compared to 43.2 overall. That overall number is good enough for fourth place in the league, but is well behind Montreal's league-leading 33.8.
- There are only three Oilers with a PDO below 100.0 this season, which speaks to the quality of the team's goaltending. The team leader is defender Cam Barker who clocks in at 106.4. And people still generally think that the guys stinks. Just imagine the rage if he wasn't getting the bounces!