Game Day: Coffey's Number Goes Up Tonight
Coffey won three Stanley Cups, as an Oiler: in 1984, 1985 and 1987. As Leagues top defenceman, he won the Norris Trophy in 1985 and 1986. He broke the 100-point barrier with regularity, and in 1985-86, he scored 48 times to break Orrs record of 46 goals in a season by a defenceman. Coffey registered 138 points that season, one shy of Orrs record
Prior to tonight's ceremony, the entire Oilers team will give Coffey a unique tip of the hat by wearing commemorative vintage jerseys during their pre-game warm-up with each player sporting the number 7. These jerseys will be available by auction through edmontonoilers.com later this evening.
The Oilers Store is offering three different Paul Coffey Frame Packs that were put together for this special occasion. They range from $69.99 to $199.99 and are available for purchase online.
On Monday, Coffey took some time out of his schedule to speak with Oilers fans through LiveChat on edmontonoilers.com. Fans were able to submit questions via the website over the past few days.
Heading into a contest last night against Calgary where they won 2-0, the Coyotes were also winless in three games, with outright defeats against Dallas and Detroit plus a 5-4 shootout loss to Nashville. Their play has picked up of late. They outshot Detroit on Saturday despite falling 2-0 and stormed back to force overtime versus Nashville on a goal by Ladislav Nagy with 2:04 left in regulation.
OILERS TO WATCH: Ethan Moreau is due to break out soon. Hes been getting chances the last few games but is still without a point in six outings... Ales Hemsky also has yet to score this season but has gotten himself in position to score plenty of times. He was absolutely robbed on a diving save by Kiprusoff Saturday during a five-on-three power play and its only a matter of time before he finds the net... Jussi Markkanen has put up some solid numbers so far this season. Friday night he took a loss in a relief effort while only allowing one goal. He currently ranks 12th in the league among goaltenders who have played more than one game with a 2.16 goals-against average. Hes also eighth in save percentage at .927.
COYOTES TO WATCH: Former Oiler great Wayne Gretzky is now the head coach of the Coyotes in addition to being the team managing partner. He makes his debut as bench boss at Rexall Place tonight... After missing the Coyotes' first two games of the season with an injury, Ladislav Nagy registered at least a point in his first three contests of the season, recording two goals and four points before being blanked Saturday in Detroit and last night in Calgary... Paul Mara had scored a goal in two of the last three games before last nights match-up in Calgary and registered three points in that span. With four points through seven games this season, Mara is one point shy of the 100-point plateau with the Coyotes... Nagy and Mara share the Coyotes team lead in scoring with Oleg Saprykin. All three players have collected two goals and four points this season... The Coyotes have a dangerous power play, converting 7-of-35 man advantages (20.0%) so far this season to rank 7th in the NHL. The team's power play ranks 6th on the road (4-for-17, 23.5%) .
ROSTER UPDATES: Edmonton: The Oilers are banged up at this early point of the season, with two-thirds of their top line on the shelf. Shawn Horcoff (sprained right shoulder) and Ryan Smyth (sprained MCL) is out. Igor Ulanov (ribs) and Todd Harvey (high-ankle sprain) are also out.; Phoenix: Brian Boucher (groin) is day to day. Mike Ricci (nose) returned last game. Denis Gauthier (hand) is out.
COFFEY AND THE JETS: Its ironic that Paul Coffeys number will be retired tonight as the Oilers face off against the Phoenix Coyotes franchise. The Coyotes started as the Winnipeg Jets and were longtime rivals of the Oilers in the old Smythe Division. Coffey registered more points in his career versus the Jets/Coyotes than any other team. In 85 total games played, he had 27 goals and 87 assists for 114 points. He scored more goals against the Calgary Flames (34) and Los Angeles Kings (33), however.
QUOTABLE: "Hes completely out of sync on his game right now. Its a confidence thing. Hes squeezing the stick like sawdust and hes not fluid in his timing."
- Head coach Craig MacTavish on the slow start to the season by Oilers forward Ethan Moreau, who has no points in six games so far.
WHATS NEXT?: The Oilers head out to Calgary for a single game once again on Thursday before returning home to face the Colorado Avalanche Friday, October 21. Game time is 7:00 p.m. MDT.