You Edmontonians know that in the early days of this project, when I had mentioned the possibility of leaving for Seattle, you let your anger subside quickly and returned to me in the matter of giving and receiving with open arms for which I am grateful. Even when the debacle in Glendale was being reported, you did not hesitate in providing help for me on more than one occasion. Not that I need you to give. I could invest in real estate anywhere, but with this project I am seeking a profit that will accumulate to your account. I have been paid in full and have plenty, but I am especially grateful now that I have received the gifts that Stephen sent me, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. I am confident that, when our project is complete, God will satisfy our every need. To our God and to his hockey team be glory forever and ever! Amen.
I send greetings to all who made the trip to Glendale. I also greet my friends still in Edmonton, and those who follow the team in other parts of the world. I exhort you to greet one another in every place, to let this team become your common bond. May we find God's spirit in our greetings.
Disastrous Money Pit Arena, 1:00 p.m. MDT
Visiting Team Scouting Report: The Coyotes have a strong start to their season with six regulation wins through their first eleven games. Their five-on-five play has been one of the team's strengths. They've got a Corsi percentage of 50.3% overall and 53.8% with the score close (tied in the third period and within two goals in the first two periods). The club has been able to do that largely because of the great start by Antoine Vermette and Shane Doan, a forward pairing that has taken some of the most difficult assignments and still managed to come out ahead, and this even though they've spent most of their time playing with 27-year-old Rob Klinkhammer who, before this season, had played just 38 NHL games.
Edmonton Oilers (3-7-1):
Yakupov - Nugent-Hopkins - Eberle
Perron - Arcobello - Hemsky
Jones - Gordon - Pitlick
Eager - Acton -Gazdic
Belov - J Schultz
Smid - Petry
N Schultz - Ference
Phoenix Coyotes (6-3-2):
Klinkhammer - Vermette - Doan
Korpikoski - Hanzal - Vrbata
Boedker - Ribeiro - Moss
Chipchura - Halpern - Bissonnette
Ekman-Larsson - Michalek
Morris - Yandle
Schlemko - Klesla
By The Numbers:
- The Oilers currently have eight players on the roster who have scored half a point per game or better so far this season: Jordan Eberle (0.91), Mark Arcobello (0.91), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (0.89), Taylor Hall (0.89), David Perron (0.73), Ales Hemsky (0.55), Justin Schultz (0.55), and Ryan Smyth (0.50). The last time the Oilers finished a season with eight players at half a point per game or better was, surprisingly, 2010-11. The list of players? Ales Hemsky (0.89), Ryan Whitney (0.77), Taylor Hall (0.65), Dustin Penner (0.63), Jordan Eberle (0.62), Sam Gagner (0.62), Shawn Horcoff (0.57), and Linus Omark (0.53).
- Measuring points per game from the 2007-08 season until today, Mike Ribeiro is sitting in 20th place at 0.92. Of the nineteen players ahead of him, the only one with a lower cap hit than Ribeiro's $5.5M is Marc Savard who hasn't played in almost three years. That doesn't make Ribeiro's contract a bargain (he'll by 37 when it expires), but it does make his getting paid this past summer pretty understandable.
- After starting the season in a smaller role, Anton Belov is suddenly getting a lot more ice time from coach Dallas Eakins. In Edmonton's last game against Washington Belov played 20:21, and in the game before that against Montreal he played 22:47. In both instances, that was good for third on the team among defensemen behind Justin Schultz and Jeff Petry.