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Oilers v. Kings - James 1:19-21

Let me tell you what we need more of this summer, my friends: we need more people who are quick to listen, slow to speak, and even slower to get angry. Nattering at one another certainly doesn't produce the kind of righteousness and learning that God desires. We shouldn't be so committed to the ideas we now hold that they turn to venom when we speak to others. Instead, let us be patient and humble so that we treat one another graciously for acting in this way at all times has the power to save our souls.

Los Angeles Kings (38-27-12) @ Edmonton Oilers (31-37-9)

Rexall Place, 7:30 p.m. MDT
Television: Sportsnet West

More analysis after the jump...

Visiting Team Scouting Report:

The Los Angeles Kings need wins. They're one of the two best teams in the battle for the Pacific (the other is the Sharks), which makes them one of two teams that I want to finish seventh to take on the Canucks. They've been very good since the acquisition of Jeff Carter, piling up a 9-5-2 record in regulation (both ties turned into shoot-out wins) and a +17 goal differential. A win by the Oilers tonight would only push the Kings to the wrong side of the playoff cut-line, and thus makes Vancouver's path to the Stanley Cup just a little bit easier in addition to weakening their own draft position. No one wants that. Go Kings.

Expected Lineups:

Edmonton Oilers (31-37-9):

Hartikainen - Gagner - Hemsky
Paajarvi - Nugent-Hopkins - Eberle
Smyth - Horcoff - Jones
Hordichuk - Belanger - Eager

Smid - Petry
Whitney - Schultz
Sutton - Potter


Los Angeles Kings (38-27-12):

Richardson - Kopitar - Brown
King - Richards - Williams
Penner - Stoll - Lewis
Nolan - Fraser - Clifford

Scuderi - Doughty
Mitchell - Voynov
Martinez - Greene


By the Numbers:

  • Magnus Paajarvi was recalled earlier today, and is expected to be in the lineup. Paajarvi has done very well in his time in Oklahoma City so far this year, scoring 22 points in 27 games. You'd probably like to see him make the point per game marker, but a 6.3% shooting percentage can be tough to overcome. On the bright side, Paajarvi averaged 2.96 shots per game with the Barons.
  • Steve Tambellini took some flak for his acquisition of Colin Fraser, but Fraser has been able to find a consistent role on a much better team in Los Angeles. Fraser returned from injury on November 10, and has played in all 62 games since then. Yeah, he's a fourth liner, but he's been seen as an effective fourth liner by both of the Kings' coaches. All that to say, that Fraser acquisition is one transaction that Tambellini gets uncalled-for grief over.
  • Jarret Stoll is on pace for the worst offensive season of his career. Stoll has just 5 goals and 14 assists in 73 games. A good part of that is his career-worst 4.0% shooting percentage in all situations and his terrible 5.3% on-ice shooting percentage during five-on-five play. With Stoll headed to free agency this summer, the timing couldn't be worse.
  • Dustin Penner is another former Oiler heading to unrestricted free agency with less than stellar numbers. Penner has just 18 points in 60 games, and has seen his ice time shrink to 14:29 per game. Like Stoll, he's boasting a career-low shooting percentage (6.3%). Again, very bad timing for the player, but potentially a good bargain for someone in July (or August).
  • You'll notice that Matt Greene is still a bottom-pairing defender in Los Angeles, averaging just 16:39 per game (he has yet to have a season in which he's averaged 20:00 per game). I realize that Greene is probably better than a few of the players that the Oilers are employing, but I sure am glad that the Oilers aren't committed to Greene for two more seasons at a $2.95M cap hit.