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Game 18 Preview: Oilers at Avalanche


Edmonton Oilers
6:00 MT / 8:00 ET / 1:00 GMT
Colorado Avalanche
7-8-1 November 8th, 2009
15 pts Pepsi Center
26 pts
t-11th in West
Denver, CO
t-1st in West


The Avs try to continue as the only NHL team undefeated at home this year as they host the Edmonton Oilers this evening. If you're the type of person to believe in omens, my iTunes just served up two straight classic AC DC songs as I was writing this preview. Clearly, that bodes well for our chances, right?

Actually, if you glance at the tale of the tape below, these teams are quite similar statistically with the obvious exception being penalty killing and goals agaisnt average. Once you get beyond those (admittedly key) statistics, they are more or less the same. Both teams are middle of the pack scoring-wise. They are 29th and 30th in the league in terms of shots taken and are both near the bottom in shots allowed, so something will have to give tonight. And they both absolutely dreadful in the faceoff circle. Figure tonight's game to be a close one, similar to their meeting on October 27th when the Avs won 3-0 (it was 1-0 until midway through the 3rd period).

The Avs will again be without the services of John-Michael Liles. He is day to day with a shoulder injury suffered in the Chicago game. We wondered out loud if the Avalanche would recall Tom Preissing from his conditioning assignment to replace Liles tonight, and our question was magically answered by Craig Stancher on the Avs website. Preissing will remain with Lake Erie (they play tonight) and will rejoin the Avs on Monday and Ryan Wilson will play in Lile's absence. In other injury news, Darcy Tucker and Ruslan Salei both practiced Saturday wearing non-contact jerseys.

The Oilers have some injuries as well. Shawn Horcroff, JF Jacques, Ladislav Smid and Sheldon Souray are all out and Ales Hemskey is listed as day-to-day. The hockeycentric line combos are here.

Craig Anderson is the confirmed starter for Colorado. Nikolai Khabibulin is the presumed starter for the Oilers.

Oilers vs Avalanche coverage

Copper and Blue Preview

Game Notes



Edmonton Colorado
22nd 15 Points  1st 26
14th 2.81 GF/G  10th 3.00
21st 3.06 GA/G  1st 2.12
16th 19.7 PP%  14th 20.6
20th 78.7 PK%  2nd 86.1
29th 25.2 S/G 30th 25.1
27th 34.2 SA/G 25th 32.8
29th 47.2 FO%  30th 44.4
17th 14 PIM/G  11th 12.1
Penner 19 pts Top Scorer Stastny 16 pts