God has vanquished the Oilers like they're his enemy.
He has turned their sacred shrines into sites for mocking.
He has brought nothing but swift and unending sorrow.
He has turned the fans against their own team.
He has turned our holiest memories into a source of mourning.
Yes, God has rejected his own people.
Now it is their enemies who smile in Rexall Place,
who shout for joy as if these were days of celebration.
Rexall Place, 7:30 p.m. MST
Visiting Team Scouting Report: The Coyotes are reeling. They've scored just 14 goals in their last 8 games, a stretch that includes losses to the Flames, Maple Leafs, Devils, and Jets. Some of that is (as it usually is in these kinds of situations) just bad luck (they've shot just 6.0% over that stretch), but that doesn't make it any less frustrating. They've been able to break even in terms of shots on goal (234-234), but I'm sure they expect more against some of the league's worst teams. Will the Oilers be able to help them break out of their slump like they did for the Canucks?
Edmonton Oilers (15-31-6):
Hall - Nugent-Hopkins - Eberle
Perron - Gagner - Yakupov
Smyth - Gordon - Hendricks
Joensuu - Arcobello - Jones
Ference - J Schultz
Marincin - Petry
Belov - Potter
Phoenix Coyotes (23-18-9):
Doan - Ribeiro - Vrbata
Korpikoski - Vermette - Boedker
Kennedy - Klinkhammer - Moss
Chipchura - Halpern - Szwarz
Ekman-Larsson - Michalek
Stone - Yandle
Morris - Schlemko
By The Numbers:
- This will be Ilya Bryzgalov's second start in four games since the trades that sent Devan Dubnyk to Nashville and brought Ben Scrivens to the Oilers. Given that the Oilers haven't played any back-to-back games in this stretch, I find that pretty surprising. When the Oilers acquired Scrivens, I assumed that the Oilers would want as many looks at him as possible.
- Radim Vrbata has a reputation for being a much better player with the Coyotes than he's been elsewhere in his career, and the offensive numbers do suggest that's the case. In 396 games with the Coyotes, Vrbata has scored 0.69 points per game. In 364 games with other NHL teams, that number falls to 0.48.
- In the midst of another awful season, it's always nice to find things to celebrate. Taylor Hall has had some struggles this year (Tyler Dellow is doing a great job of investigating), but he's still on pace for 78 points. If he can make it, he'll be the first Oiler to have at least that many since Doug Weight had 90 points in the 2000-01 season.