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Oilers v. Islanders - Proverbs 14:1-4

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

A wise man builds his home slowly and carefully,
but a fool tears it down with his own hands.

Those who follow their leaders in everything are rewarded,
but those who speak their mind are punished.

A fool's words become the stick that beats him,
but staying silent doesn't make you wise.

Without any star attitudes the team is united,
but no one wins games without their stars.

Edmonton Oilers @ New York Islanders

Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, 5:00 p.m. MDT
Television: Sportsnet

Visiting Team Scouting Report: The New York Islanders were a very good possession team last season, earning 51.6% of the Corsi events with the score close during five-on-five play. But that success hasn't carried over to this season. The Islanders have earned a woeful 44.5% of the Corsi events with the score close through their first games, and an identical 44.5% in all five-on-five situations. As you might expect, with such a precipitous decline the entire team is having a poor stretch here, but it's particularly discouraging to see the team's best players (John Tavares, Lubomir Visnovsky) unable to tilt the ice in their favor. The Metropolitan division as a whole is off to a slow start, but the Islanders will need to see these numbers improve markedly in order to make a second consecutive playoff appearance.

Expected Lineups:

Edmonton Oilers (1-5-1):

Hall - Arcobello - Eberle
Perron - Nugent-Hopkins - Yakupov
Smyth - Gordon - Hemsky
Jones - Acton - Brown

Belov - J Schultz
Smid - Petry
N Schultz - Ference


New York Islanders (2-2-2):

Grabner - Tavares - Okposo
Bailey - Nielsen - Bouchard
Moulson - Regin - Clutterbuck
Martin - Cizikas - McDonald

Hamonic - MacDonald
Hickey - Visnovsky
Donovan - Strait


By The Numbers:

  • The Oilers have had their struggles preventing goals through their first seven games, but they've done a pretty good job of putting pucks in he net at the other end of the ice. The club has scored 20 goals so far, and have eight players with at least half a point per game. Last season, the Oilers had just nine (out of a possible forty-one) seven-game stretches where they scored at least 20 goals. Their worst record in any of those nine groups was 3-4-0.
  • I remember when Colin McDonald was just another struggling Springfield Falcon, one of the many failed big men that the Oilers drafted in the early 2000s. But after a breakout season in Oklahoma City, McDonald moved on first to the Penguins and then to the Islanders where he found an NHL home for the first time at the age of 28. McDonald was signed to a two-year contract extension last March after a solid run of 24 games where he scored four goals and six assists. Since signing the new contract, McDonald has produced at a slightly reduced rate, scoring four goals and four assists in 26 games.
  • Boyd Gordon has never scored more than eight goals in a season, but he's already got four this season in just seven games. The majority of the difference is coming form his ridiculously high 36.4% shooting percentage, but Gordon's shot rate has also taken a bit of a bump this season, improving from his career rate of 1.27 shots per game to 1.57 shots per game so far this year. Now, in seven games that's a difference of just two shots, but with increased ice time overall and a consistent role on the power play, it may be a jump that Gordon can sustain.