As Kevin Lowe started walking toward the arena, the owner came running up to him and asked, "Good teacher, what must this team do to win the Stanley Cup."
"You think I'm good?" Kevin replied. "I suppose I do know a thing or two about winning. But to answer your question, we'll need to make sure to follow the conventional wisdom: concentrate our scoring in the top six forwards, make sure to get big bodies for the bottom lines, choose grit over skill for the bottom line, and always go with a veteran goalie."
"Teacher," the owner replied, "Isn't this what we tried with Steve?"
Looking at the owner, Kevin felt a genuine connection between them, and so he said, "There is still one thing you haven't done. Go, tank one more season so that a defenseman might be selected first overall. Then put me at the helm and I will take this team to the Stanley Cup!"
Upon hearing this, the owner was downcast, for he had already endured a tremendous amount of losing.
PNC Arena, 1:00 p.m. MST
The Race to the Bottom (It's Happening Again):
Visiting Team Scouting Report: The Carolina Hurricanes have some very talented forwards, but they don't have great depth, and their defense is in even worse shape. Still, the biggest disappointment for them has to be in goal where Cam Ward is carrying a $6.3M cap hit to an .894 overall save percentage in 24 games so far this season. He has been outplayed by both Justin Peters (.919 in 21 games) and Anton Khudobin (.925 in 25 games) and hasn't had an above average season since 2010-11. With two more years to go on his current contract, the Hurricanes, who don't usually spend to the cap, are in a tough spot.
Edmonton Oilers (23-35-8):
Hall - Lander - Yakupov
Perron - Nugent-Hopkins - Eberle
Hendricks - Gordon - Joensuu
Gazdic - Smyth - Jones
Marincin - Petry
Larsen - Schultz
Klefbom - Ference
Carolina Hurricanes (29-29-9):
Skinner - E Staal - Lindholm
Tlusty - J Staal - Semin
Gerbe - Nash - Dwyer
Loktionov - Malhotra - Dvorak
Sekera - Faulk
Hainsey - Bellemore
Harrison - Murphy
By The Numbers:
- Anton Lander played his first game after recently being called up from the minors and played 21:26, by far the most ice time he has ever received thus far in his NHL career. His previous high was 16:51 on January 17, 2012 in a game against the Blue Jackets.
- Radek Dvorak is now working his way through his 18th season in the NHL and currently sits 79th in NHL history with 1,249 games played, just two games behind Jari Kurri. If he manages to play another season, Dvorak could end up in the top fifty before he retires.
- At this point, it looks like Nail Yakupov isn't going to make half a point per game on the season. The last forward picked first overall to generate less than half a point per game in his second season was Patrik Stefan. The last one to generate less than Yakupov's current rate of 0.39 points per game in his second season was Joe Murphy who was taken first overall in 1986.