A bargain when healthy. Photo courtesy nhlsnipers.com

Bits And Pieces - Sabres @ Oilers Preview

A NOTE ON STATISTICS

While following the Oilers over the past few seasons could hardly be called “therapeutic”, it has made me better at math.  Qualcomps, Zonestarts, Corsis and Fenwicks might be a little befuddling for some, but once you start learning what all of these stats are, you want to know all you can.  Knowing these stats help you understand the game more, and you can set some realistic goals for individuals, as well as the team.

With that in mind, I’d like to recommend you a site that I find interesting and useful called Sports Club Stats.  SCS does a fantastic job illustrating what your team needs to do to get into the playoffs.  Also included are situational records (the Oilers need to go 29-13-6 in order to have a good shot at making the second season) and impact games.  Check it out, you’ll lose an hour on that site pretty easily.

Oh, and Edmonton is playing the Sabres tonight.

If I could have one win...

Buffalo Sabres @ Edmonton Oilers – Game 35

28 DEC 2010 – 7:00 MST / 9:00 EST

Visit Sabre Noise on the Fansided Network

And here we go…

  • This is the first in a five game homestand for Edmonton.  With a little help from the link I provided closer to the top of the page, you’ll see that the Oilers are going to need about 64 points out of the remaining 96 available to entertain thoughts of going to the postseason.  Let’s start with two tonight.
  • Winners of the 2009-10 Northeastern Division, the Sabres are struggling to find an identity in 2010-11.  The Sabres are coming off a 5-2 defeat in Calgary last night, a game that featured Ryan Miller in net.  One would surmise that Patrick Lalime would be a logical choice in net tonight, but with the Sabres fading fast in the Northeast, it wouldn’t shock me to see Miller again minding the posts.
  • Thomas Vanek (remember him?) is Buffalo’s second leading scorer with 25 points (13G-12A).  Centre Derek Roy leads the team with 35 points, but he’s out for the remainder of the season with a torn quad.  Along with Roy, the Sabres will be without Tim Connolly and may be without Tyler Myers, who yesterday was out with the flu.
  • WELCOME BACK, ALES HEMSKY.  I put that in bold all-caps because I’m a little bit (really) excited to see Ales Hemsky in a game again.  Hemsky had been sidelined for ten games with a groin injury.   Defenceman Jeff Petry is slated to make his NHL debut tonight in favour of Jim Vandermeer, who is still nursing a bad ankle.

The majority of my family, friends, and acquaintances are Sabres fans.  After the 10-2 drubbing Buffalo thrust upon Edmonton at Rexall Place in 2009, I didn’t hear the end of it.

That’s not going to happen tonight.

Enjoy the game, and GOILERS.

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