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Oilers v. Coyotes - Matthew 19:16-22

Derek Leung

As Dallas Eakins began what he hoped would be a long journey, a young man ran up to him and said, "My new and wise coach, what must I do to get more ice time?" Eakins said to him, "Why are you calling me wise? We just met. But if you want more ice time, you must walk in the way of the hockey cliche." Yakupov, knowing that there were many of these strange rules, asked, "Which ones should I follow?" And so Eakins replied, Forecheck hard; backcheck harder; support the puck; stay with your man; get pucks to the net. Also, you must always put the team before yourself."

Yakupov replied excitedly, "I do all of these things well! What do I still lack?" And so Eakins said, "If you want to be perfect, you must not measure the quality of your game by how many goals you score. Stop cheating for offense, and you will receive unending praise." But when Yakupov heard this, he left very sad, for he loved nothing more than scoring goals.

Phoenix Coyotes @ Edmonton Oilers

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

Visiting Team Scouting Report: The Phoenix Coyotes are just 4-4-2 in their last ten games. They've been outshot over those ten games by a small margin (330 to 317), but have been outgoalied by a wider margin (the Coyotes have a save percentage of .903 over those ten games compared to .912 for their opponents). That gives them a -4 goal differential over these last ten games (excluding shootouts and empty netters), and if that continues going forward, the Coyotes are practically a lock to miss the playoffs. After getting beat up at home by the Blackhawks (sound familiar) in their last game, the Coyotes will be looking to right the ship against the Oilers.

Expected Lineups:

Edmonton Oilers (9-17-2):

Hall - Nugent-Hopkins - Eberle
Yakupov - Gagner - Hemsky
Smyth - Arcobello - Perron
Jones - Acton -Joensuu

Grebeshkov - J Schultz
Ference - Petry
N Schultz - Belov


Phoenix Coyotes (15-7-4):

Doan - Ribeiro - Moss
Kennedy - Hanzal - Vrbata
Klinkhammer- Vermette - Boedker
Chipchura - Halpern - Szwarz

Stone - Ekman-Larsson
Yandle - Morris
Murphy - Schlemko


By The Numbers:

  • Dallas Eakins has received some criticism for his handling of Nail Yakupov so far this season, and while some of it is deserved, I think it's worth pointing out that Yakupov has generally put in a position to succeed. He has the sixth most favorable end-zone start ratio in the league (69% of his end-zone starts have come in the offensive zone), and that protection hasn't meant decreased ice time. In fact, Yakupov's ice time has gone up from 14:34 per game last season to 15:27 per game so far this year.
  • The Coyotes have been a pretty good team against the league's bad teams, and a pretty average team against the league's better clubs. Against teams with a points percentage of less than .570, the Coyotes have a regulation record (W-L-T) of 6-1-4. Against teams with a points percentage of .570 or better, they're just 5-5-5.
  • The Oilers are also better against the league's weaker teams, but better is still pretty terrible. Against teams with a points percentage of less than .570, the Oilers have a regulation record (W-L-T) of 5-10-3. Against teams with a points percentage of .570 or better, they're a truly deplorable 1-8-2. Note that, although the Oilers have played much more on the road than they have at home, they've also seen more bad teams than they have good ones. This does not bode well.