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Game Thread: Phoenix Coyotes at Edmonton Oilers - Stop The Bleeding

Derek Leung

The Oilers need 40 points in their next 32 games to make the playoffs, a tall order for a team with 15 points in 16 games. If they win today and go 4-4-1 on the road trip (another tall order) they will still need 29 points in their final 22 games to make the playoffs. Even the most confident of Oilers fans can't be optimistic.

If they finish 9th or 10th, I think Steve Tambellini saves his job. If they collapse, as is their custom, and finish with 37-42 points, and 13th, 14th or 15th in the conference, Tambellini can't survive. Win today and try to break even on a long road trip. Lose today, and it very well could spell the end of Steve Tambellini. No pressure.

Team Reports

Oilers Report: The team's best player is in the press box after a questionable hit in the Minnesota Wild game. The team's best centre is still on IR with a sunken knuckle. The team's defensive depth is still a mess. But they get Ryan Jones back, so there's that.

Coyotes Report: The Coyotes look like a playoff team again, but will be without Radim Vrbata and Derek Morris, though the latter is actually good news for Coyotes fans.

Expected Line Combinations

Ryan Smyth - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Jordan Eberle

Teemu Hartikainen - Sam Gagner - Ales Hemsky

Ben Eager - Eric Belanger - Ryan Jones

Magnus Paajarvi - Chris VandeVelde - Teemu Hartikainen

Justin Schultz - Nick Schultz

Ladislav Smid - Jeff Petry

Mark Fistric - Corey Potter

Nikolai Khabibulin

Scratches: Taylor Hall, Theo Peckham, Ryan Whitney

Broadcast Information

Rexall Place, 1:30 pm MST
TV - Sportsnet
Radio - 630 CHED

By The Numbers

Courtesy Jake Pringle.

First Six Games (4-2-0):

  • 12 PP goals on 32 chances (37.5% efficiency)
  • PP goals made up 75% of total offense
  • Scored at least one PP goal in each game
  • Team shooting% of 9.52%
  • 16 goals for (2.66 per game)

Last Ten Games (2-5-3):

  • 6 PP goals on 40 chances (15% efficiency)
  • PP goals made up 30% of total offense
  • Scored at least one PP goal in 5 of 10 games (1-3-1 without a PP goal)
  • Team shooting% of 6.89%
  • 20 goals for (2 per game)