History merely repeats itself. Whether it's being competitive, or retooling, or rebuilding, or anything else, if a man is destined to lose, he'll lose. Sometimes people say, "We're trying something new! A new plan!" But actually it's old; there's nothing new about it. People forget the past both good and bad, and these men most certainly won't remember the mistakes that brought them to where they are now.
Columbus Blue Jackets (31-24-7) @ Edmonton Oilers (21-35-8)
Rexall Place, 7:00 p.m. MST
Television: Sportsnet West
More analysis after the jump...
Visiting Team Scouting Report:
Just before Deadline Day, we were all blessed with another one of JLikens' fantastic posts on how teams have been outshooting so far this season. The Blue Jackets, it turns out, are a pretty mediocre team. If we look at Corsi results with the score tied, a good indication of whether or not a team is controlling the play at even strength, we'll find the Conference broken down into three groups: the good teams (Vancouver, Chicago, and Detroit), the bad teams (Edmonton, Minnesota, Colorado, Anaheim, and Dallas), and the rest (Columbus, Phoenix, St. Louis, Calgary, Los Angeles, San Jose, and Nashville). Columbus is at the very back of that list, and tenth in the Conference with a Corsi percentage of 50.5%, but they're definitely in the mix. Still, I don't think they'll make it. Instead, I'll go with Phoenix, Calgary, Los Angeles, San Jose, and Nashville.
Edmonton Oilers (21-35-8):
Hall - Horcoff - Eberle
Paajarvi - Cogliano - Omark
Jones - Gagner - Brule
Jacques - Fraser - Reddox
Smid - Gilbert
Vandermeer - Foster
Petiot - Strudwick
Columbus Blue Jackets (31-24-7)
Voracek - Vermette - Nash
Upshall - Pahlsson - Dorsett
Calvert - MacKenzie - Umberger
Moreau - Murray - Boll
Tyutin - Methot
Hejda - Lepisto
Clitsome - Russell
By the Numbers:
- Ethan Moreau has played in 28 games with the Blue Jackets so far this season. In the games he's played, the Blue Jackets are 12-12-4. When he's been out of the lineup the Jackets are 19-12-3. With Moreau, the team has a goal differential of -19; without him, it's +7. I don't think that any of this means a whole lot, but WOWY analysis can be fun when it agrees with your conclusions!
- With Dustin Penner gone, it's now extremely likely that Taylor Hall will lead the Oilers in goalscoring this season. If he makes it to 25 goals, he'd be the 14th player to do so in his first NHL season since the first lockout in 1994. For all that's gone (and going) wrong with the Oilers, Taylor Hall offers us some hope.
- Steve MacIntyre has now appeared in 41 games for the Oilers over the course of his career, and has a plus/minus of -2 during that time. For all the talk about the cost of an enforcer, they just don't play enough to cost much while they're on the ice. The big cost is missing out on an opportunity to carry a player with useful skills on the roster.
- Among players drafted in 2007, Jakub Voracek is currently third in the NHL with 40 points. Sam Gagner is fourth with 38. Both players are trailing first overall pick Patrick Kane, and have been passed by Sharks' forward Logan Couture. Did the Oilers make the right decision with Gagner? The debate rages on.
- The Oilers will go into the draft this June with nine different picks: two in the first round (Edm + LA for Penner), one in the second (Edm), two in the third (Edm + Cgy for Staios), two in the fourth (Edm + Pit for Garon), one in the fifth (Edm), and one in the seventh (Edm). That's a lot of picks, and coming off a draft of eleven prospects last season, the club is going to need to make decisions on some of these guys early if the fifty-contract rule remains and they want to continue putting together a competitive squad in the AHL. Cameron Abney, for instance, had better not get a contract.