The fans followed Kevin through another lost season, marching toward another draft where they could once again be the center of attention for all the wrong reasons. Kevin didn't want anyone to complain and so he spoke to them saying, "A great leader will be delivered to the fans, and they will kill him. He will be killed after delivering three first overall picks, but then he will rise again!" The fans didn't fully understand what he was saying, but they were afraid to ask him, thinking that it might be about Tambellini.
New York Rangers @ Edmonton Oilers
Rexall Place, 6:00 p.m. MST
The Race to the Bottom (It's Happening Again):
Visiting Team Scouting Report: The New York Rangers got off to a slow start this year, putting together a record of just 18-18-2 and goal differential of -14 before Christmas. Since that time, the club is 23-12-2 with a goal differential of +31. It's an impressive turnaround, and one that now has them in second place in the Metropolitan division. They certainly haven't overtaken the Penguins as the favorite to come out of that division in the playoffs, but their improved play at least raises the question.
Edmonton Oilers (25-39-9):
Hall - Gagner - Perron
Lander - Nugent-Hopkins - Eberle
Hendricks - Gordon - Pitlick
Gazdic - Smyth - Jones
Ference - Petry
Marincin - Belov
New York Rangers (41-30-4):
Hagelin - Richards - St. Louis
Nash - Stepan - Carcillo
Zuccarello - Brassard - Pouliot
Boyle - Moore - Dorsett
McDonagh - Girardi
Stralman - Staal
Diaz - Klein
By The Numbers:
- Over the last 20 seasons, the Edmonton Oilers have won 30 playoff games, exactly half of which came in the 2006 playoffs. That's one very magical run, but boy is that an awful lot of awful otherwise.
- The Rangers recently re-signed Dan Girardi to a new contract extension, and it's not hard to see why. Both he and Ryan McDonagh are averaging over twenty-three minutes per game this season while taking one the most difficult ice time. When you know you've got players who are effective, you may as well pony up if you can hold on to them with money.
- This will be Edmonton's eighth consecutive season without reaching the playoffs, tying them for the third longest drought ever. The only teams they're behind are the California Golden Seals (nine seasons) and the Florida Panthers (ten seasons). It certainly isn't getting any easier with practice.