Detroit stayed in the Western Conference for some time, but waved good-bye to its adversaries when an opportunity came to move on. They made sure to win one more playoff series on their way out and then left for the East where they expected to dominate.
Scottrade Center, 5:30 p.m. MST
The Race to the Bottom (It's Happening Again):
Visiting Team Scouting Report: The Detroit Red Wings find themselves in the unfamiliar position of fighting just to make the playoffs. They're currently sitting in ninth in the East, two points behind Philadelphia for the last spot. One of the problems has been their record beyond regulation, but it hasn't actually impacted their place in the standings as much as it has who they're chasing. Here's a quick look at what the standings would look like in the East if ties in regulation simply counted as ties:
Edmonton Oilers (23-35-8):
Hall - Gagner - Perron
Yakupov - Nugent-Hopkins - Eberle
Hendricks - Gordon - Joensuu
Gazdic - Smyth - Jones
Marincin - Petry
Fraser - Schultz
Klefbom - Ference
Detroit Red Wings (29-23-13):
Abdelkader - Legwand - Franzen
Bertuzzi - Glendening - Alfredsson
Nyquist - Sheahan - Tatar
Miller - Emmerton - Pulkkinen
Kronwall - Ericsson
Quincey - DeKeyser
Smith - Lashoff
By The Numbers:
- The Oilers were outshot 37-25 last night against the Blues. It was the fourteenth consecutive game that they've either been outshot or tied their opponent for shots. The last time the Oilers outshot their opponent was January 24th when they outshot the Coyotes 39-29 but lost the game 4-3.
- The Red Wings acquired David Legwand at the deadline, and a quick look at their depth chart up the middle shows just how much they needed him with both Datsyuk and Zetterberg out of the lineup, Detroit's three other centers have combined for just 39 points in 199 regular season games.
- I'd say that most observers haven't been impressed with the play of Mark Fraser, so it's interesting to see that the coaching staff seems to be gaining confidence in him. In his first five games with the Oilers, Fraser averaged just 12:53 per game, but in his last four games, he's averaged 19:05 per game.