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Oilers v. Avalanche - Isaiah 5:18-19

Woe to those who are constantly impatient,
who rope off every decision and declare it evil.
Woe to those who say, "Let God hurry!
Speed this plan up so that we can see the results!
If the Holy One of Edmonton has a plan, let him prove it!"
and there is no one willing to gather them.

Colorado Avalanche (26-36-8) @ Edmonton Oilers (23-39-9)

Rexall Place, 8:00 p.m. MDT
Television: CBC

More analysis after the jump...

Visiting Team Scouting Report:

The Colorado Avalanche are a terrible team. Their record in regulation since Christmas is 4-24-8, which is almost unbelievable, especially considering their record in regulation before Christmas was 14-12-10, and unlike last season, they weren't relying almost exclusively on strong percentages to achieve their results. So what happened? Well, we know that through Christmas, the Avalanche earned 47.1% of the Corsi events with the score close, which isn't good, but it's not epically bad either. In their next nineteen games, the Avalanche earned 48.1% of Corsi events with the score close, but won only three times in regulation. Then Peter Forsberg made his very brief comeback and retired. I don't have all of the data from Forsberg's appearance until today, but in Forsberg's two games, and the seven games after his comeback, the Avalanche earned just 44.9% of Corsi events with the score close. That might just be a coincidence. Maybe the Avalanche just started playing poorly and it happened to be when Forsberg joined the team, but it might be interesting to go back and read some of the verbal from the players and coaches when Forsberg played and then retired. Did the players give up on the season there? I don't know, but it could be worth exploring.

Expected Lineups:

Edmonton Oilers (23-39-9):

Jones - Cogliano - Eberle
Omark - Reddox - Paajarvi
Giroux - O'Marra - Hartikainen

MacIntyre - VandeVelde - Strudwick

Peckham - Gilbert
Vandermeer - Petry
Smid - Foster


Colorado Avalanche (26-36-8)

Stoa - Stastny - Jones
Winnik - Duchene - Olver
Porter - McClement - Dupuis
Pyatt - Fiddler - Stempniak

Johnson - Liles
O'Byrne - Wilson
Hunwick - Holos


By the Numbers:

  • Ryan recently wrote about some of the records for futility that the Oilers are approaching this season. The Colorado Avalanche are on a similar journey. The lowest point total in franchise history (since the club moved to Denver) is Ryan Smyth's 59 in 2008-09. Matt Duchene has 54 so far this season, so he might get there, but... no guarantees. The team's low for wins in a season is 32, and given the club only has 26 now, that one's almost a lock. They'll need to gather nine points just to tie the 2008-09 team, and again, that one isn't looking too likely. Similar paths these two teams, similar paths.
  • For a while there, it looked like the Oilers were going to have an historically poor season on the penalty kill, but after a few months of downright respectable play (or at least much improved goaltending), the club has pulled itself into 28th spot in the league with a penalty killing efficiency of 77.3%. One of the teams they passed is the Colorado Avalanche who sit in 30th place at 76.6%. That's almost certainly going to be another franchise low: the previous low was 79.9% set in 2008-09.
  • Jim Vandermeer needs just one more point to get to 100 for his career, which would be a pretty nice accomplishment for the veteran defender. Vandermeer likely won't be an Oiler next season, but he's been better than I was expecting when this season started.
  • Among players with at least 100 shots so far this season, David Jones has the fourth-highest shooting percentage in the NHL at 18.2%. The crazy part is, that's not far off his career average of 17.3%, although that's only come on 255 shots. The Oilers leader this season was Dustin Penner who scored his 21 goals on just 137 shots for a shooting percentage of 15.3%. The only season he did better than that was last season's 15.8%.
  • Among forwards with at least twenty games played, there are only two who have more second assists than they do first assists at even strength: Taylor Hall and Ryan Jones.