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Oilers v. Flames - Psalm 48:4-7

I remember a time when all teams joined forces
and turned against Edmonton.
But when they arrived, they were shell-shocked;
they were terrified by the skill on display.
The Smythe prayed for realignment
and the Wales writhed in pain at every Oiler victory!
You helped us to overcome dynasties, O God,
like they were nothing more than children on a pond.

Calgary Flames @ Edmonton Oilers

Rexall Place, 8:00 p.m. MST
Television: CBC

The Race to the Bottom (It's Happening Again):


Visiting Team Scouting Report: This is a big game for both teams in the race to the bottom. From where I sit, the top four players in this year's draft are clear of the rest, so finishing with one of the top four picks will be important. Right now, Calgary is sitting on the fifth pick, but a regulation loss tonight would be a big help. The Oilers haven't been too tough to lose to lately, but don't confuse that for them suddenly becoming a good team. The Oilers may be 6-7 in games that Ben Scrivens has started, but they've also been outshot 475-358 in those games, or an average of 36.5 to 27.5 per game. Pretty awful, so the Flames definitely have a pretty good chance to win.

Expected Lineups:

Edmonton Oilers (25-37-9):

Hall - Gagner - Perron
Lander - Nugent-Hopkins - Eberle
Hendricks - Gordon - Pitlick
Gazdic - Smyth - Jones

Marincin - Petry
Ference - Schultz
Klefbom - Fraser


Calgary Flames (28-35-7):

Glencross - Stajan - Hudler
Cammalleri - Backlund - Byron
Agostino - Monahan - Bouma
Westgarth - Colborne - McGrattan

Giordano - Brodie
Smid - Wotherspoon
Russell - Butler


By The Numbers:

  • Don't look now, but Sam Gagner has nine points in the ten games he's played since the Olympic break. He also has 28 shots in those ten games (2.8 per game), a big step up on the 90 shots he managed through the first 47 (1.9 per game). Gagner's never going to be a perfect player, but it's good to see that his offense is coming around a little in the last quarter of the year.
  • Tyler Wotherspoon is now eight games into his NHL career in his first season as a professional. It's always a little bit surprising when a defenseman makes that jump so quickly, but Wotherspoon did perform very well in his last junior season. When I was doing some research on Seth Jones before last June's draft, I discovered that Wotherspoon was his regular partner, and that if anything, the Winterhawks relied on him more than they did on Jones. Wotherspoon had the most events per game on the team (probably indicating that he had the most ice time), faced better competition when playing away from Jones than he did with him and yet performed better with others than did Jones. Kind of cool to see him now doing well as a pro.
  • Which Oiler has been on the ice for the most goals against? Jeff Petry. He's seen eighty-five pucks go behind his goaltender, one more than Andrew Ference who has watched the puck cross the wrong goal-line eighty-four times.