Sleeping with the Enemy: Edmonton

Detroit (7-2-1) at Edmonton (3-5-2)
9:00 PM – FSN

Edmonton’s coming off a 4-3 loss to Vancouver this past Tuesday and gets the pleasure of playing a hot Detroit team tonight.  A quick scout of the Oil Blogosphere/Media gives us these nuggets:

Edmonton Journal: Fear motivates Oilers against Detroit

Nothing like a headline which shows just how afraid teams should be of the Wings.

“Fear is a great motivator,” said head coach Tom Renney, after the Oilers morning skate Friday and before his club squared off against the Red Wings.

Fear is a great motivator?  Really?  Usually fear is how teams get blown out Tom.  Shawn Horcoff, however, isn’t so afraid.

“We’ve always played Detroit well,” said captain Shawn Horcoff. “We have since I’ve been here. Maybe it’s just a style thing but this is a different year. If we play the way we did in the first period against Vancouver, it’s really going to cost us.

We’ll see about that Shawn.  I sort of doubt that your record against the Wings has been about you as much as it has been about the Wings overlooking one of the worst teams in the league.

Copper and Blue: Nicklas Lidstrom Would Probably Beat Rocky Marciano

Now I don’t expect going on opposing websites to see much praise of the Wings, but Derek Zona at Copper and Blue has a post pretty much worshipping TPH.   Of course, though if anyone does deserve it, it is Nick.

All but two Red Wing regulars from last season were worse without Lidstrom on the ice, including two of the best two-way players in the league in Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg.

Very interesting stuff using Corsi, something that I’ve never actually seen done before (thanks Puck Stops Here for ruining what apparently is a very interesting stat).  The only ones that were not better were Leino and Stuart, both of which never really played directly with Nick.

The Wings have been near the top of all of the management efficiency metrics we’ve looked at thus far and the primary reason might be the ageless Swede patrolling the blueline.  Lidstrom is still driving on-ice results on the penalty kill, the power play, and at even strength and he’s still pushing and pulling teammates along with him.

When normal players hit forty, they the develop into specialists – hovering on the side-boards on the power play or winning faceoffs and hurrying off of the ice, or hanging on to the bottom pairing for one more season.  Lidstrom turned 40 and remained among the top 5% of the league at his position.

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Lowetide – Red Wings at Oilers, G11 ’10-’11

He has an awesome picture of an old Wings game (seriously, I’m not going to steal it, check it out) in his preview and, again, mostly compliments for the team that they are playing tonight. He doesn’t have much about Edmonton so this will have to do:

The Oilers are shuffling lines and defense pairings. The lines are interesting (Hall, Horcoff, Hemsky and Gagner with the other two kids) and the blue pairing are a giggle (Whitney-Vandermeer; Peckham-Gilbert and Smid-Foster). I wonder a little about the starting goalie tonight, but suspect NK will be in net.

So all in all, not a lot of hate from Edmonton. Hopefully the Wings can show some on the ice tonight, as Edmonton’s got some talented kids (mostly talking about Eberle, he’s got 8 points so far and a few pretty goals, see youtube below).  I just hope they don’t look ahead to tomorrow’s clash against the ‘Nucks.

Go Wings!