Call this the reverse-Corsi battle. The Oilers are doing quite well in “Corsi” (Google that if you don’t know what it is.. but basically the way “stats guys” prefer to measure how well a game is going for a team), the Maple Leafs are not. The Maple Leafs are winning… the Oilers are not. So the “stats guys” predict a rise for the Oilers, and a drop off for the Maple Leafs eminent. It’s rare to see the “stats guys” talk in a positive light about the Oilers, so it will be interesting to see how this pans out after 82 games. The Oilers are also doing very well in one regular stat.. face off percentage. The Oilers are 3rd in the league with a team 56.8%. I believe this is due to a better “team” focus on faceoffs. The wingers are just as important to winning a draw. I also believe that Gordon is phenomenal at this skill, and his knowledge is likely is rubbing off on other players much like how many felt Adam “don’t disrespect the league” Oates helped guys like Jarret Stoll get better on the dot. Possibly true.. possibly our imagination… but whatever it is, it’s working.
Now, the Oilers top guns need to become the Oilers top guns. It’s 4 games in, and Luke Gazdic (god love this wrecking ball) is tied for 2nd on team scoring with a wopping 1. Hello…. where is everyone??? Ales Hemsky looks to be almost his usual self, and David Perron is a beat out there… we just need to see guys like Hall, Eberle and Yakupov play the team game and also start putting the puck in the net. Once this happens, this whole Corsi / Advanced stats stuff will prove the stats guys right that this team is a much better team, I believe.
Some Oil news today.. Will Acton is house shopping. If you don’t know what that means, that means Eakins would have said “Hey, buddy, we like you here.. you aren’t going anywhere”. I don’t mind that too much, as I think that while it’s being overstated that his line was murdered against the Habs last game (10 chances to 1), I’m not so sure that it was quite as threatening out there as it sounds. I’m going to pay a bit more attention to these guys, but I don’t think they’re outbattled in the dangerous areas. There’s a big difference between letting someone shoot from the boards and letting Gallagher own the front of the net.
Jesse Joensuu could be back tonight, according to Dallas Eakins. Thank.. fucking.. God. The team needs someone like him to help Yakupov out. The team needs a guy who can also steal Ryan Smyth’s minutes. I definitely welcome his return. I’m not sure if that means Smytty will sit, or not, but it should mean that someone less talented will sit.. either Smyth, Gazdic or Brown. Given that the Leafs are very prone to thuggery, I’m going to guess that it’s Smytty who is scratched again.
EDIT: The healthy scratch is Nail Yakupov.. I honestly have no problems with this. Nothing against Nail, but he is at least one guy that could use a game from the press box.
Projected lines :
Smid – Petry
Ference – J.Schultz
N. Schultz – Belov