Season Series Record, Ducks vs. Oilers: 0-0-0
KNOW THY ENEMY
Record (Points): 16-15-7 (39 pts)
Place in Northwest Division: 3rd
Place in Western Conference: 11th
Who's Hot? That Taylor Hall fella has 41 points (13-28=41) in 35 games played. Averaging 1.17 points per game.
Who's Not? The Edmonton offense. Currently on a two game losing streak, the team has given up four goals in each loss. Eight goals against and only one goal for.
Numbers for Nerds: The Ducks need to keep the Oilers at even strength as muck as possible. When playing 5-on-5, the Oil score 59 goals but give up 70 to their opposition. They even struggle at 4-on-4, scoring zero goals and giving up 5.
Enemy Dossier: Copper & Blue
There are only two things Ducks fans care about in relation to tonight's game against Edmoton: Ryan Getzlaf's healthy and that dishonorable Justin Schultz.
Let's take care of Getzlaf first. After sitting out the last two games, Getzlaf took to the ice this morning in the optional skate. As he was yesterday, he will be today - a game-time decision. It sounds like more of a possibility that he could play tonight but I'm in the same camp as Bruce. I don't want Getzlaf playing until he's back to 100% (unless it's the playoffs).
Boudreau: Getzlaf is a gametime decision. "He skated today and felt fine. I'll decide before the game." #NHLDucks— Anaheim Ducks (@AnaheimDucks) April 8, 2013
Now on to Justin Schultz.
He will be persona non grata at Honda Center on Monday night. Yes, I get it, Schultz utilized a loophole in the previous CBA to pick where he wanted to play. It's the right he had and he chose to exercise it. The part that pisses me off is the misleading of the organization when he knew he didn't want to play in Anaheim. At the start of free agency, Bob Murray summed up what Schultz should have done:
"I'm more confused than ever now. If he had it in his mind that he wanted to play in Canada ... OK. I get that. I'm a Canadian, too. But Eric Lindros, when he didn't want to play in Quebec, he went to his team that drafted him and said, 'No, I'm not going to play there.' He allowed that team to make the move to get something for him ... [Schultz] told us numerous times he wanted to play for us."
It's less about business at this point and more about 'doing the right thing'. Eli Manning didn't want to play in San Diego and the Chargers shipped him to New York. Jeff Carter was an a-hole in Columbus and he was sent to Los Angeles. In each of those situations, the rejected team got something in return. At least those guys were honest.
Schultz is having a good year for Edmonton. He's being considered for the Calder Trophy. (Side note: I wish Calder wasn't mostly about offense. Etem would be a great candidate based on his defensive contributions). Schultz is seventh on the Oilers in scoring (6-14=20) and tied with Sam Gagne for first on the team in power play points (4-10=14). Notice, he's got 20 points and 14 of them came on the power play. Note to self: keep Edmonton off the power play so Schultz has a difficult time scoring.
I don't care if Ducks fans are being called whiners or whatever else because of the we have been 'Schultz'ed'. (If any other team was in the same situation, they'd act the same.) Edmonton is fighting for their playoff lives and Schultz is on the team he wants to be. If he likes being in 11th place and not 2nd, that's fine with me. If he likes being part of a constantly rebuilding and dysfunctional organization, again, fine by me.
Those of you going to the game need to voice your displeasure twice as loud for those of us unable to attend. And here's to hoping Bruce starts Brad Staubitz just to pop Schultz and get kicked out of the game.