When the storms of certain failure come,
those who aren't truly devoted show their true colours,
but the godly have a strong foundation of fandom.
Lazy players irritate fans and coaches alike;
they are like smoke in the eyes,
or a fan who thinks outshooting doesn't matter.
Fear of God makes for a long and happy career,
but the wicked who spend all their time chasing tail
end up in Russia.
Edmonton Oilers (23-42-11) @ Minnesota Wild (36-32-8)
Xcel Energy Center, 6:00 p.m. MDT
Television: Sportsnet West
More analysis after the jump...
Home Team Scouting Report:
The Minnesota Wild were on the fringes of the playoff race when the trade deadline came around, but they've been terrible since then. Their record in regulation is 2-8-3, and despite playing mostly from behind, the club has earned just 43.6% of the shots and 47.4% of the Corsi events in those thirteen games (aside: big thanks to Vic Ferrari for getting these scripts back up and running). The EV goaltending also bottomed out over this stretch with Minnesota's goalies posting an EV Sv% of just .892. Fortunately for the Wild, the Oilers haven't won in Minnesota in half a decade, so it would seem that their luck is about to change.
Edmonton Oilers (23-42-11):
Eberle - VandeVelde - Hartikainen
Paajarvi - Cogliano - Omark
Jones - O'Marra - Reddox
Jacques - Brule - MacIntyre
Smid - Gilbert
Vandermeer - Petry
Peckham - Strudwick
Minnesota Wild (36-32-8)
Brunette - Koivu - Miettinen
Bouchard - Brodziak - Havlat
Cullen - Madden - Clutterbuck
Nystrom - Kobasew - Staubitz
Schultz - Burns
Zidlicky - Spurgeon
Zanon - Stoner
By the Numbers:
- The Minnesota Wild have outshot their opponents just eleven times so far this season, the worst total since the Atlanta Thrahsers outshot their opponents just ten times over a full season in 2007-08. Unsurprisingly, that team wasn't very good either.
- Liam Reddox has taken 73 shots so far this season without registering a single goal. That puts him just 11 shots shy of the record for most shots by a forward in a season without a goal. That record was set just last season by Craig Adams, but with two playoff goals in 2009-10, it's a record that Adams clearly doesn't deserve. In Reddox we trust.
- Only two players who have taken at least one faceoff for the Edmonton Oilers have a faceoff percentage higher than 50%, those being Chris VandeVelde (61.2% on 67 draws) and Gilbert Brule (52.7% on 187 draws). As a team, the Oilers currently stand at 44.3% on the year, the second-worst total since the statistic started being kept in 1997-98. The only team worse is the 1997-98 Lightning who won just 44.1% of their draws and also happened to finish in dead last.
- Theo Peckham has double the penalty minutes of any other Oiler with 162 (this is also the eighth highest total in the league), which says a lot about what people like and what people dislike about Peckham's game. The Oilers certainly need some toughness on the team, and someone who's willing to drop the mitts but can play a regular shift certainly doesn't hurt. On the other hand, Peckham's propensity for fisticuffs sometimes leaves him badly out of position. He'll be a fun player to watch mature.
- The Oilers' next most penalized player is Ladislav Smid who sits 68th in the NHL with 79 penalty minutes, but that total includes just 22 minor penalties, and a few of those are coincidentals.