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Game #65 Preview: Edmonton Oilers at Winnipeg Jets

It's Pardy time! P, A, R, D. Why? Because I gotta!
It's Pardy time! P, A, R, D. Why? Because I gotta!
Marianne Helm/Getty Images

Your Winnipeg Jets take on their penultimate nemesis in the #AwfulforAuston sweepstakes, the Edmonton Oilers. Until Friday's 6-3 shellacking at the hands of Laurent Brossoit and the Columbus Blue Jackets, Edmonton had put together a fairly nice run of three straight wins. Granted, that came after a six game losing streak, but it's a process.

Following Thursday's Ham-Ham heartbreak against the New York Islanders, Winnipeg got it together for long enough to defeat the Montreal Canadiens 4-2 yesterday. In keeping with their 14-15-2 record at the MTS Centre this season, the Jets are now 1-2-0 on this five game homestand.

Winnipeg dominated the shot clock when these two teams last met on February 13th, to the tune of 33-22. Despite this, a 1-1 game went all the way to the shootout, where former captain Andrew Ladd played hero:

Catch the game tonight, 6:00 PM Central Time on Sportsnet and TSN 1290.

It's a Numbers Game

Edmonton Oilers

Winnipeg Jets

Record

25-35-7

27-32-5

Division-Conference-League

7th - 14th - 29th

7th - 12th - 27th

Last 10 - Streak

3-6-1 - L1

3-5-2 - W1

Goals For / Game

2.40 (26th)

2.59 (19th)

Goals Against / Game

2.96 (26th)

2.95 (25th)

Shots For / Game

28.9 (22nd)

29.8 (16th)

Shots Against / Game

31.4 (27th)

29.5 (14th)

5v5 Corsi For %

49.0% (18th)

51.9% (9th)

5v5 Shooting %

7.18% (16th)

7.07% (19th)

5v5 SV %

91.57% (28th)

92.26% (21st)

Power Play %

17.2% (26th)

16.1% (28th)

Penalty Kill %

80.9% (17th)

77.5% (26th)

PIM / Game

09:10 (15th)

12:08 (27th)

Though certainly no Buffalo Sabres or Colorado Avalanche, the 2014-15 Edmonton Oilers were nonetheless a relatively dreadful possession team. Their 5v5 Corsi For % of 48.1% ranked 24th in the league, as did both their Corsi For and Corsi Against per 60.

This season has seen improvement, though of course not nearly enough for long-suffering Edmonton fans. Though still under the 50% mark, their 5v5 CF% of 49.0% ranks 18th. At 16th in the league, their offensive opportunities in terms of CF60 ranking have improved, though CA60 remains static at 24th.

For a team loaded up on young, dynamic offensive talent, the goals, shots and power play all seem mediocre at best. While it's not great or even good, one relative bright spot can be found on the penalty kill, which ranks 17th and features a rather effective Andrej Sekera.

Even this needs to be qualified however, for while their shorthanded Goals Against per 60 is 15th, Edmonton's PK actually allows the 27th most Shots Against per 60 and Corsi Against per 60. Long story short, goaltending may be bailing out shoddy special teams.

Cam TalBOT-3000

Cam Talbot

Ondrej Pavelec

Record

15-22-4

7-9-2

Overall Sv%

.918%

.901%

ES Sv%

.919%

.920%

PP Sv%

.903%

.844%

Head coach Paul Maurice made the somewhat surprising decision to go with Ondrej Pavelec again tonight, after he posted a .929 Sv% yesterday against the Canadiens. For what it's worth, Pavelec has a career 5-2-0 record and .892 Sv% against the Oilers, versus Hutchinson's 1-0-0, .862 Sv% resume. Not exactly spoiled for choice, but Pavelec does also have an ever-so-slightly superior even strength save percentage than Cam Talbot.

Among 45 goalies who have played at least 20 games, Ondrej Pavelec's .920 EV Sv% ranks 30th, tied with Colorado's Semyon Varlamov and Anaheim's John Gibson. Of course at .919%, Cam Talbot isn't very far behind at 32nd, and Talbot comes by his Sv% over 44 games versus Pavelec's 21.

While their possession stats ranged between bad and terrible, what perhaps most sunk Edmonton last season was downright abominable goaltending: their 5v5 Sv% of 90.19% ranked dead last in the NHL. Ben Scrivens provided Edmonton with an EV Sv% of .897%, Viktor Fasth right behind him at .896%.

Talbot may not be a world beater, but he's most certainly an upgrade and provides Edmonton a reasonable degree of competency.

Holding Out for a Hero

Brandon Davidson

Tobias Enstrom

Games Played

50

64

Goals - Assists - Points

4 - 7 - 11

2 - 13 - 15

Power Play Points

2

1

Shooting %

6.5%

4.4%

TOI / Game

19:30

20:19

PP TOI / Game

00:26

01:05

SH TOI / Game

02:39

01:23

5v5 Corsi For RelTM%

+4.2%

-0.0%

5v5 Penalty Differential

-6

-7

Dustin Byfuglien continues to be awesome, with an incredible 17 points in his last 17 games. Meanwhile, Jacob Trouba will be a gametime decision tonight, with the lovely and talented Ken Wiebe reporting "his skate went well this morning".

2010 6th rounder and former Regina Pats captain Brandon Davidson has been a minor revelation for Edmonton. Recently re-signed for two years at $1.425 million per, the 24-year-old had played 181 games in the AHL before making the jump this season. From a 5v5 fancy stat perspective, he is one of head coach Todd McLellan's better even strength options, while perhaps not the penalty killing guru his heavy usage would entail.

Among the 153 defencemen who have played at least 50 shorthanded minutes, only Justin Schultz sees more shot attempts against at a per 60 minute rate. There are a number of current (and former, in Justin's case) Edmonton defencemen near the bottom of the list, however Andrew Sekera manages to be 37th by the same metric. And on this note of the penalty kill, enter Adam Pardy.

Adam Pardy is a man reborn, playing over 20 minutes in each of his three games thus far with Edmonton, not to mention a couple of assists to boot. In addition to his 20:50 TOI/GP, Pardy has also averaged 02:03 per game on the penalty kill, in an example of eminently appropriate usage. With the continuing absence of Oscar Klefbom and Eric Gryba, Pardy finds himself on the second pairing alongside Brandon Davidson, and can serve a valuable role for the season's remainder.

Gotta draft 'em all, gotta draft 'em all, Edmonton!

Mark Letestu

Alexander Burmistrov

Games Played

67

63

Goals - Assists - Points

7 - 10 - 17

6 - 8 - 14

Power Play Points

8

0

Shooting %

7.9%

7.9%

TOI / Game

16:05

15:36

PP TOI / Game

01:57

00:42

SH TOI / Game

02:35

02:02

5v5 Corsi For RelTM%

-2.2%

-5.4%

5v5 Penalty Differential

+2

+4

Oh Mark Scheifele, you're so fine you're so fine you blow my mind, 
Mark Scheifele, Mark Scheifele. 
Oh Mark Scheifele, you're so fine you're so fine you blow my mind,
Mark Scheifele, Mark Scheifele. 

In the seven games since The Assassination of Bryan Little by the Coward Anton Stralman, Mark Scheifele has stepped up. The newly minted 1C has nine points in those seven games and six in his last three, including his first career hat trick last night. There should be no doubt in Mark Scheifele's ability as a second line centre, and in this smallest of sample sizes, he's producing at a clip which teases perhaps more.

Since returning from injury, Connor McDavid has 22 points in 17 games and six in his last four. At 5v5, his Goals per 60 rate is higher than Alexander Ovechkin's, and his Assists per 60 higher than Sidney Crosby's. He's pretty good.

Skating tonight alongside Leon Draisaitl and the newly acquired Patrick Maroon, Taylor Hall is on pace for 27 goals and 69 points. He's doing this while shooting the puck a whole heck of a lot and rocking a completely sustainable shooting percentage. He's also pretty good.

KTV: Winnipeg Jets

Key:

As was mentioned above, Dustin Byfuglien is awesome. He also played 29:24 minutes less than 24 hours ago, which is a lot even for Winnipeg's best and most utilized defenceman. With Josh Morrissey playing his NHL debut, one might suspect this as the primary impetus behind Byfuglien's exorbitant ice time. The true culprit, however, is Paul Postma.

Postma played just 12:59 last night, contrasted against Morrissey's 15:54. But more relevant is the 4:13 RHD Byfuglien played on the man advantage, versus RHD Postma's 0:00. Play Postma on the power play and/or spread the minutes around a bit more, is what I'm trying to say.

Tweet:

Video:

Could it be any other video? Congratulations Mark Scheifele.

KTV: Edmonton Oilers

Key:

Connor McDavid.

Tweet:

Video:

At the very least, Connor McDavid has offensive help in the top-six. Sorry about the video, @KitKat_P.

Affection or Affliction:

Affection. Adam Pardy was the victim of inexplicable decision-making, whereby Mark Stuart and Ben Chiarot continued to be lineup regulars despite their many, many struggles. While no more than a depth defenceman himself, Pardy's lack of usage falls on the coaches, and it would be nice if Jets fans thanked him for his 131 games of service. Shower him with praise and adoration.

According to Nostradamus

Starting Ondrej Pavelec turns out to be the tankiest idea which has ever tanked. Connor McDavid has his first career hat trick, while Joel Armia scores the lone Winnipeg tally, assisted by Mark Scheifele of all people.

Winnipeg loses 4-1. Jets faithful are unfortunately not treated to the Pardy Dangle, Part Deux.

Stats, facts and automobiles provided by NHL.com, Natural Stat Trick, WAR On Ice, Hockey AnalysisHockey Reference and The Hockey News.