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Oilers v. Devils - Ephesians 6:5-9

Bruce Bennett

My dear Oilers, you must listen to all of your coaches--yes, even Bucky--with reverence and fear, not just playing but actually living in obedience to them. Serve them sincerely so that they will not be confused by your inconsistent effort, serving them as you might serve Christ come in the flesh. Make an effort to please them all the time, not just while they're watching, even if that means granola for breakfast and a marathon for lunch.

Your loyalty first and foremost is to Christ, and it is really Christ that is calling you to this work! So work with all of your heart, knowing that every victory pleases your heavenly master more than it does your earthly masters, and that God rewards all people for the work they do, whether players or coaches, managers or owners, first-class fans or second.

As for you coaches, treat your players in the same way. Don't threaten them--(some manuscripts read: unless it leads you to victory)--but rather treat them with respect. Remember, you all have the same master in heaven, and he is not impressed by job titles.

New Jersey Devils @ Edmonton Oilers

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

Visiting Team Scouting Report: When I was making my predictions for each team, New Jersey was one of the toughest teams to make a decision on. Their goal differential was really poor, but their shot differential was excellent (Tyler Dellow--yes, again--has written something very interesting on the subject). Their best player, Ilya Kovalchuk left for Russia, and they replaced him with a 41-year-old Jaromir Jagr, who was effective last season, but... 41-year-old! They also acquired one of the NHL's top goaltenders, Cory Schneider, and yet retained bullheaded incumbent Martin Brodeur. As I was writing, I predicted good things for the Devils, if only they would be willing to give Schneider the reigns. Unfortunately for them, Schneider didn't play well in his first game, and Brodeur is getting set to start his second game of the season tonight.

Expected Lineups:

Edmonton Oilers (0-2-0):

Hall - Nugent-Hopkins - Eberle
Perron - Gordon - Hemsky
Hamilton - Arcobello - Yakupov
Gazdic - Acton - Brown

Smid - Petry
Ference - J Schultz
N Schultz - Belov


New Jersey Devils (0-1-1):

Henrique - Zajac - Ryder
Zubrus - Elias - Jagr
Clowe - Loktionov - Brunner
Carter - Gionta - Bernier

Salvador - Zidlicky
Greene - Larsson
Volchenkov - Harrold


By The Numbers:

  • Taylor Hall's move back to the wing is probably wise as Hall was really struggling to play the position. And sometimes, when things are really bad, even deeply flawed statistics like plus/minus are able to tell the story: Hall's -5 through two games is the worst two-game total of his young career.
  • Jaromir Jagr may well be the best forward of the dead puck era. Since the 1994-95 season, no one has more points than Jagr's 1,369 and his points per game rate of 1.29 is second only to Sidney Crosby's 1.41. Jagr is already 41 years old, and last year became the ninth player to record a half point per game in at least forty regular season games at age 41 or older. The best season at that age belongs to Gordie Howe who scored 71 points in 76 games for the Detroit Red Wings in 1969-70. The other seven players on the list are Johnny Bucyk, Ron Francis, Dave Keon, Igor Larionov, Mark Messier, Mark Recchi, and Teemu Selanne.
  • Dallas Eakins has talked about playing his best players more often this year, but I was still surprised to see David Perron leading the team in even strength time on ice through two games (16:09 per game) and averaging almost twenty minutes per game overall. With the line of Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, and Eberle reunited, it'll be interesting to see how much that goes down tonight.