I looked up toward they sky. I couldn't believe my eyes! Right in front of me was a Flying Fridge! And then an angel from heaven asked me, "What do you see?" What could I say? I told him, "I see a flying fridge, over six feet tall and almost as wide." And then the angel said, "This Fridge is a sign for you. You have read the number twenty-seven on its back and this is the meaning of the number: your team will win exactly twenty-seven games. But do not despair, for this season will root out evil and faithlessness. I have sent this Fridge into the dressing room. Through its eyes and ears I will pay attention and those who have lost faith and no longer believe that they are a part of Yahweh's chosen team will be banished forever."
St. Louis Blues (27-24-9) @ Edmonton Oilers (20-33-8)
Rexall Place, 7:00 p.m. MST
Television: Sportsnet West
More analysis after the jump...
Visiting Team Scouting Report:
I really thought that the St. Louis Blues were going to be a good team this year, and to some degree they have been. Despite a terrible run of injuries, the Blues have still managed to post positive possession results (51.1% of Corsi events at EV with the score tied through the season's first fifty-two games), but their goaltending has been absolutely brutal. Jaroslav Halak, Ty Conklin, and Ben Bishop have combined for a .907 save percentage at even strength, and that's just not going to be good enough to compete in the Western Conference. Goaltending is a funny thing. Betting on Jaroslav Halak and Ty Conklin was perfectly reasonable, but when they didn't meet expectations, the Blues were hooped.
Edmonton Oilers (20-33-8):
Penner - Horcoff - Hemsky
Hall - Cogliano - Eberle
Paajarvi - Gagner - Jones
MacIntyre - Fraser - Reddox
Smid - Gilbert
Vandermeer - Foster
Peckham - Strudwick
St. Louis Blues (27-24-9)
McDonald - Backes - Stewart
Steen - Berglund - Oshie
Winchester - Sobotka - Boyes
Crombeen - D'Agostini - Janssen
Jackman - Pietrangelo
Nikitin - Polak
Colaiacovo - Shattenkirk
By the Numbers:
- Cam Janssen has had 76.1% of his own zone starts in the offensive zone, which is the most favorable ratio for any forward in the NHL with at least twenty games played (just ahead of the Sedins). Janssen also has the worst Corsi number on the club at -9.50 per sixty minutes of ice time, and his finished his shifts more often in the defensive zone than he has in the offensive zone. Cam Janssen sucks.
- We've been giving Ryan Jones the gears for shooting out the lights so far this season, but his 14.8% shooting percentage isn't terribly far off his career average (13.2%) and doesn't even lead the club. That honor falls to Dustin Penner, who has shot 15.9% so far this season on the back of shooting 15.8% shooting last season, compared to a career average (including those seasons) of 13.7%. His shot rate has also gone down over the last few years from 8.85 per sixty minutes from 2005-06 to 2008-09 to 8.08 per sixty minutes last season, and 7.14 per sixty minutes so far this season. I'd personally still like to keep Penner, but there is a pretty good argument to be made that selling him now would be selling high. Then again, maybe Penner has unlocked the shot quality mystery.
- Andrew Cogliano has missed exactly zero games so far in his NHL career, and tonight marks his 307th consecutive game with the Oilers, almost a third of the way to Doug Jarvis' record of 964 games. Tom Gilbert missed a few games very early in his career, but he's now appearing in his 315th consecutive game, which leaves just over two seasons away from breaking Karlis Skrastins' streak of 495 consecutive games, the record for defensemen.
- Ladislav Smid has now played in 310 career NHL games, and has scored four goals. There are only seven other players in NHL history who have played at least 300 games without scoring more than four goals. One of them spent some of that time as an Oiler (props if you know who before reading on). The other seven men are Randy Holt (395 games and four goals), Brad Brown (330 games and two goals), Christian Laflamme (324 games and two goals), David Hale (315 games and four goals), Matt Walker (310 games and four goals), Terry Murray (302 games and four goals), and Chris McAllister (301 games and four goals). That's 28 goals scored for the eight men combined, all of them at even strength.
- Shawn Horcoff needs just two points to reach 400 for his career. That feat has been accomplished by 564 players in NHL history as of today, and of those 564, only 74 of them scored every point for just one town, and a lot of those careers are still underway. Horcoff's not out of the woods yet on that front, but it's amazing to think that Horcoff may well end up as one of the best 500 scorers of all time and spend his entire career as an Oiler.