Then I saw another beast coming up out of Missouri. He had two Orbs of Power and was a source of both great joy and tremendous sorrow, a symbol of the power and authority of the first beast. He caused all of the inhabitants of Edmonton to worship the first beast who had been healed of his poverty and told to spend. And the second beast gave miraculous signs, even bringing the Oilers to within one game of the Stanley Cup. Because of these signs - which gave great power and honour to the first beast - he deceived the people of Edmonton and then abandoned them.
After the departure of the second beast, the first beast created an image for the people to worship. The image was a puppet who had the ability to speak and anyone that did not worship the first beast and its image was destroyed. Then everyone, man or woman, rich or poor, hockey fan or not, was asked for their tax money to build a temple for the first beast and his followers.
Now the interpretation requires wisdom. If anyone is understanding let him recognize that the number of the first beast is four and the second was twice four: 444.
Edmonton Oilers (23-35-8) @ Philadelphia Flyers (40-19-6)
Wells Fargo Center, 5:00 p.m. MST
Television: Sportsnet West
More analysis after the jump...
Visiting Team Scouting Report:
The Philadelphia Flyers have been falling apart a little bit over their last four games, with four straight losses, including losses to the Senators and Maple Leafs, two of the worst teams in the NHL. Their goal differential over that time is a rather deplorable -13 (+6 -19). Will they be able to turn it around against the Oilers? You'd like to think so, but the Oilers have been playing well enough to earn seven wins in their last ten games, and with Devan Dubnyk starting in goal, the struggling Flyers might just continue their string of losses to awful clubs.
Edmonton Oilers (23-35-8):
Paajarvi - Horcoff - Eberle
Jones - Gagner - Omark
Giroux - Cogliano - Reddox
Jacques - Fraser - MacIntyre
Smid - Gilbert
Vandermeer - Plante
Strudwick - Foster
Philadelphia Flyers (40-19-6)
Zherdev - Richards - Versteeg
Hartnell - Briere - Leino
van Riemsdyk - Giroux - Powe
Nodl - Betts - Shelley
Carle - Pronger
Timonen - Coburn
O'Donnell - Meszaros
By the Numbers:
- The Flyers are in an interesting spot with respect to their defense. It looks to me like the top four is pretty much set as Chris Pronger, Matt Carle, Braydon Coburn, and Kimmo Timonen, but all four seem to be splitting the even strength duties quite evenly. All of them have a very similar percentage of end-zone starts in the offensive zone (the range is 50.1% to 47.5%), and all four players are tightly packed in all three quality of competition rankings as well. The guys getting the most ice time? It's actually Carle and Coburn!
- Amazingly, with that top four, the bottom pairing of Sean O`Donnell and Andrej Meszaros aren't really being sheltered - they're facing the least difficult competition, but have actually been fed the most difficult zone start ratios with O'Donnell at 44.3% and Meszaros at 44.1%. In a twist that doesn't seem to make much sense, all six of Philadelphia's most common defenders have a positive (raw) zone shift!
- Despite the most favourable zone start ratio among Oiler defenders (min. 20 games played) with 54.6% of his end-zone shifts starting in the offensive zone, Jason Strudwick has the worst Corsi rating among those defenders by a country mile. Strudwick's Corsi rating is -24.58 per sixty minutes. The next worst is Theo Peckham at -13.06
- No one wants a lockout when the current CBA expires after next season, but Mike Richards really doesn't want a lockout: it's the only year of his contract that he earns a salary of $8.4M; the next highest number is $7.6M which he earns in 2013-14.
- I should have mentioned it when he was traded, but barring a return later in his career, Dustin Penner finished his time as an Oiler in 26th spot on the all-time scoring list with 186. That's three points ahead of Mike Grier in 27th and two points behind Janne Niinimaa and Randy Gregg in 24th. All four of those guys were great Oilers.