After firing Tambellini, the Oilers hired MacTavish to lead them into the following season. But the fans became impatient during the summer, and even more impatient after the team lost a few games to start the year. They spoke against God and against Lowe saying, "Why are we rebuilding with young stars only to let them get slaughtered because of insufficient depth? There is nothing fun, nothing hopeful, and did I mention nothing fun in watching an annual death march to the league's basement!"
So Yahweh sent a plague upon the Oilers, injuring both players and fans alike. Some of the people came to Lowe and said, "We made a mistake by speaking against Yahweh and against you; please pray that this string of injuries might end." Lowe prayed for his players and for the first-class fans, and Yahweh said to Lowe, "Find a woman filled with the Spirit whose leg is injured and set her in front of the people; everyone who has doubts will look at her and will be filled with faith."
So Lowe called his good friend Ryan Batty to confirm that Emily had indeed been touched by the plague. Ryan then set her before the people, and whenever doubts arose, the people would look to her, and their faith would be restored.
Rexall Place, 7:30 p.m. MDT
Visiting Team Scouting Report: The Capitals beat the Oilers in Washington just ten days ago, but both teams come into tonight's game on a two-game winning streak. That might lead you to believe that these two teams are pretty good, but in actual fact, neither team has been very good so far this year. The Capitals have a shot differential of -2.9 per game so far this season, good for just 22nd overall and the Oilers aren't much better at -2.5 per game and 21st. Washington's total would be even worse if not for their fantastic power play: the Capitals have scored eleven goals so far this season five-on-four, the most in the NHL, and it's not (just) because of sterling percentages. The club is second in the NHL generating shots five-on-four with a total of 2.43 for every two minutes of time spent five-on-four.
Edmonton Oilers (3-6-1):
Yakupov - Nugent-Hopkins - Eberle
Perron - Arcobello - Hemsky
Jones - Gordon - Pitlick
Eager - Acton -Gazdic
Belov - J Schultz
Smid - Petry
N Schultz - Ference
Washington Capitals (4-5-0):
Johansson - Backstrom - Ovechkin
Erat - Laich - Brouwer
Chimera - Grabovski - Ward
Volpatti - Fehr - Wilson
Alzner - Carlson
Schmidt - Green
Erskine - Oleksy
By The Numbers:
- Nail Yakupov still hasn't scored a goal so far this season, and I can understand why that might be concerning after he potted 17 in 48 games as a rookie. But the lack of scoring isn't for a lack of trying on his part. Yakupov has averaged 4.0 shots attempts per game so far this season compared to 3.4 last year, and 2.6 shots attempts per game during five-on-five play compared to 2.2 one year ago. He's a dangerous shooter, and at some point, we're going to see some of these shots find the back of the net.
- Derek wrote an article earlier today about Alex Ovechkin's amazing shot rate so far this season. It's at the point where Ovechkin scoring a goal per game doesn't really require him to have a completely ridiculous shooting percentage. With nine goals on sixty-one shots, Ovechkin's shooting percentage of 14.8% is just a touch better than his career average of 12.2%.
- Edmonton has scored first this season in six of their ten games, which is great. Unfortunately, Edmonton's record when scoring the first goal is a rather pathetic 1-4-1. The rest of their division? 23-4-4. That's right. The Oilers have lost just as many games in regulation after scoring first as the rest of the division combined. Given those results, I'm sure you won't be surprised to learn that the Oilers have more regulation losses after scoring first than any other team in the league.