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Morning Skate: Red Wings vs Oilers

Game 65. Only 17 Regular season games left

Raise your hand if you'd rather be on IR than playing for the Oilers.
Raise your hand if you'd rather be on IR than playing for the Oilers.
Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

7:30p ET, Joe Louis Arena

Detroit,MI

TV: Fox Sports Detroit

Radio: 97.1 The Ticket

Oilers Blog: Copper & Blue

Here come the Oilers, the 29th team in the NHL, the team that never seems to get better, the organization who's in perma "rebuilding" mode, who has 7 1st round picks on the active roster, and who have become the butt of jokes about sucking around the entire league. Does that make me feel confident we'll spank them tonight? Not at all. There's something about the Wings that's bothering me right now, and it's a big part of why I'm nervous that this game will be closer than it should be.

Here's what's bothering me the most right now:

  1. Tomas Jurco is a healthy scratch and this is stupid
  2. Luke Glendening is on the top line with Pavel Datsyuk and this is a joke
  3. Teemu Pulkkinen had 0 Power play time last game despite this being an area he specializes in.

I disagree with the way Mike Babcock is currently using players (based on the last game and assumed same lines for tonight) and I think it's hurting the team and we're wasting potential and points if we continue like this. Tomas Jurco has been good, despite shitty offensive line mates and crap for ice time and no power play time. Has he scored all the goals he should have? No, and that's what a shockingly low 2.6% shooting percentage gets you, crap for goals despite the effort. Glendening tries real hard and I give him full credit for everything he does, but he's not a top line forward and putting him there instead of Jurco right now is laughable. I have no idea why Teemu Pulkkinen didn't get a single second of power play time yesterday afternoon, but it doesn't make any sense, we sure could use him on it. All of these things add up to not getting the most out of the players you have at your disposal, and I think it contributed to how awful the Wings played against Boston. I really hope for some changes for tonight, but until we hear otherwise this morning and afternoon, we'll assume similar lines.

The Expected Lineups (Hopefully these change)

Forwards

Tomas Tatar Pavel Datsyuk Luke Glendening
Justin Abdelkader Henrik Zetterberg Erik Cole
Teemu Pulkkinen Riley Sheahan
Gustav Nyquist
Drew Miller Joakim Andersson Stephen Weiss

Defensemen

Niklas Kronwall Jonathan Ericsson
Danny DeKeyser
Kyle Quincey
Brendan Smith Marek Zidlicky

Goaltenders

Jimmy Howard (starting)
Petr Mrazek

Scratches: Daniel Cleary & Jakub Kindl, Tomas Jurco

Injuries: Johan Franzen (concussion), Darren Helm (oblique strain), Alexey Marchenko (oblique strain), Jonas Gustavsson ("injury")

Forwards

Benoit Pouliot Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Jordan Eberle
Teddy Purcell Derek Roy Nail Yakupov
Ryan Hamilton Matt Hendricks Iiro Pakarinen
Luke Gazdic Boyd Gordon Rob Klinkhammer

Defensemen

Oscar Pouliot Justin Schultz
Andrew Ference Keith Aulie
Martin Marincin Mark Fayne

Goaltenders

Ben Scrivens (Starting)
Richard Backman



Line Matchups

Let's take a look at how the expected lines match up against each other.

The Red Wings have scored 187 goals this season  and 14 of them were scored by players not in the Wings lineup tonight. in contrast, the Oilers have scored 150 goals this season and 54 of them have been scored by people not in their lineup tonight. Ouch!

DET line scoring 3.9.15
EDM line goals 3.9.15

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Next we have a nifty gauge comparison of each line's average Corsi for % at 5 on 5 in close situations. Close is defined as a score that is tied (including a scoreless tie) or within 1 goal in the 1st or 2nd period, or when the game is tied in the 3rd period.

Adding Stephen Weiss to the 4th line really bolsters their possession, eh? The OIlers are a bad, terrible, awful, god forsakes team. You might even say they're the worse team of the Corsi era.

Wings Oilers CF% By Line

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Ok, now for the defensemen. This graph is taken from Waronice.com and it's awesome. All stats are at even strength in close situations.

*Marek Zidlicky isn't on this chart because I set the minute limit higher than his Wings MIN played in order to clean this chart up and make it readable. Zidlicky's bubble belongs very close to Brendan Smith's, below are their comparable stats that make up the data on the graph, for comparison.

Name ZSO%Rel TOI/Gm CF%Rel TOIC%
Brendan Smith 7 10.4 1.7 17.1
Marek Zidlicky 13.5 11.2 2.4 17.1

D men 3.9.15 2

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Below are the individual game save % for each expected starting goaltender.

The scale on these charts is different than last time, because Ben Scrivens had a bad start to the game on December 23rd against the Coyotes where he allowed 2 goals on 3 shots in the first 5 minutes, and was promptly pulled. Jimmy's chart reflects the same .333 SV% lower limit, the other option was to remove that game for Scrivens, but I don't like removing data. The linked scatter plots below show the outliers for both goalies so it's easier to see what's "abnormal" for them.

Howard Spiral Graph 3.9.15

Scrivens spiral graph 3.9.15

You can see Jimmy Howard's SV% chart in a scatter plot with trend line here.

You can see Ben Scrivens'  SV% chart in a scatter plot with trend line here.

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OILERS THE MATCH-UP RED WINGS
18-37-11 (47 pts; 29th in Pacific) Record 36-17-11 (83 pts; 3rd in Atlantic)
2.20 (28th NHL) Goals Per Game 2.88 (7th in NHL)
3.29 (27th) Goals Against Per Game 2.52 (12th)
16.1% (26th) Power Play % 25.3% (1st)
77.8% (27th) Penalty Kill % 81.9% (12th)
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (19 goals) Goal Leader Tomas Tatar (25 goals)
Jordan Eberle (47 points) Points Leader Pavel Datsyuk (54 points)

  • The Red Wings are 62-36-13-11 (W-L-T-OTL) all-time in the regular season against the Edmonton Oilers.

  • Last 10 Games: Detroit 5-4-1, Edmonton 2-6-2

  • Jimmy Howard is 11-1-2 all-time against the Oilers in the regular season with a 1.88 GAA, .927 SV% and 2 shutouts.

Let's Go Red Wings!!!