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Oilers v. Canucks - Mark 7:24-30

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Spor

In the midst of another failed season, Katz found himself dining at a restaurant in Sherwood Park. He was a bit reclusive and didn't want anyone to know he was there, but he couldn't escape being noticed. Then a woman, whose daughter was an eight-year-old fan, came and fell down at his feet. Now, this particular woman didn't actually buy tickets to the games. She begged Katz to do something about the state of the team's management, for her daughter had known nothing but failure for her entire life. But Katz said to her, "I will listen to my children, but why should I listen to dogs?" (In saying this, Katz was really speaking about two kinds of fans.) But she answered him, "Sir, even dogs under the table are sometimes given crumbs." Hearing this, Katz felt ashamed and said, "Because you have said this, know that I will take action." So she went home, and after checking the internet the next day, found that Katz had written a letter.

Vancouver Canucks @ Edmonton Oilers

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

Visiting Team Scouting Report: The Canucks are marching to another playoff spot, but as a person who lives in the Lower Mainland, there's a palpable discontent around the team. There's no sense in Vancouver (at least among the folks I speak with regularly) that the Canucks have a strong chance at winning a championship. It's a sentiment that's probably accurate, but it's difficult to know what they should do about it. Their starting goaltender (Roberto Luongo), top two defensemen (Dan Hamhuis and Alexander Edler), and top three forwards (Ryan Kesler, Daniel Sedin, and Henrik Sedin) will all be 28 or older by the end of April, and there just aren't many young players pushing their way up the lineup. The team seems destined for a crash, and if that's the case, it almost seems like mortgaging the future further is the right play. Could Mike Gillis push more of the future out to give the Canucks a better chance right now? I think it's a definite possibility.

Expected Lineups:

Edmonton Oilers (15-30-6):

Hall - Nugent-Hopkins - Eberle
Perron - Gagner - Jones
Smyth - Arcobello - Hendricks
Joensuu - Gordon - Gazdic

Ference - J Schultz
Marincin - Petry
Belov - N Schultz


Vancouver Canucks (25-16-9):

Sedin - Kesler - Burrows
Higgins - Dalpe - Hansen
Booth - Richardson - Kassian
Sestito - Lain - Weise

Edler - Bieksa
Hamhuis - Tanev
Garrison - Weber


By The Numbers:

  • The Oilers have allowed ten empty net goals so far this season, more than any other team in the league. That puts them on pace for sixteen over the course of the entire season, one more than the current record of fifteen shared by the 2010-11 Atlanta Thrashers and 2009-10 Carolina Hurricanes. (Note: I was only able to find data as far back as the 1987-88 season.) 
  • Zac Dalpe is slated to play on Vancouver's second line tonight (if Henrik Sedin is indeed going to sit) even though he has just four points through thirty-two games so far this season, and has averaged just 6:42 in ice time. That's a depth problem at center that the Canucks will absolutely want to address between now and the trade deadline. If Sam Gagner is available, I've got to think that Vancouver would be a pretty good fit.
  • Since the start of the 2010-11 season, Jordan Eberle has averaged 0.80 points per game, one of just 39 players in the league to do so. Taylor Hall has averaged 0.89, good enough to tie for 23rd on that list. Interestingly, only 7 of those 39 players have played for more than one team over the course of those four seasons: Thomas Vanek, James Neal, Mike Ribeiro, Brad Richards, Jarome Iginla, Rick Nash and Joffrey Lupul. The moral of the story? It's hard to find players who can score at that level, so if you've got one, don't give him up unless you're getting something equally hard to find in return.