Now the fans are back to blaming the veteran players. Just like last March. And the March before that. And the March before that. And the March before that. And the March before that. And the March before that.
If the Oilers can't outshoot Nashville, I doubt they can outshoot anyone. The Predators are struggling badly, but they aren't that far behind last year's underlying numbers, so Ryan Suter really didn't matter.
The Oilers needed 12 points on the 9 game roadtrip and they're going to be lucky to get 7.
Oilers Report: The Oilers continue to struggle in all aspects of the game, but especially in puck movement out of their end and into the opponent's zone.
Predators Report: The Preds are struggling to produce goals and it's easy to see why - they average just 23.9 shots per game. They're last in the league and they are way, way back of 29th-place Columbus. The Jackets average 26.8 shots per game. The Preds grabbed Bobby Butler and Zach Boychuk off of the waiver wire to help.
Expected Line Combinations
Taylor Hall - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Nail Yakupov
Magnus Paajarvi - Sam Gagner - Jordan Eberle
Ryan Jones - Eric Belanger - Lennart Petrell
Ben Eager - Ryan Smyth - Mike Brown
Ladislav Smid - Jeff Petry
Justin Schultz - Nick Schultz
Theo Peckham - Ryan Whitney
Scratches: Corey Potter, Ales Hemsky, Mark Fistric
Joe Louis Arena, 6:00 pm MST
Radio - 630 CHED
By The Numbers
Nashville's special teams are 28th in the league with a 90.9 STE. Their power play is 26th, their penalty kill is 26th.
Edmonton's special teams are 5th and slipping. But if the Oilers are going to win a game - beating the 28th-ranked special teams unit would be a start.
The should be quote the offensive tussle: Edmonton is 26th in Fenwick, Nashville is 25th. Both are 45% teams. I wonder how they'll settle this?
Nashville's even strength save percentage is .930 - good for 5th in the league, and that's mostly Pekka Rinne's .934. He's good, but his .820 save percentage while short-handed is killing the Preds' penalty kill.
On the other hand - Devan Dubnyk's .924 save percentage while short-handed isn't going to last, and when it starts to fall, the Oilers' penalty kill is going with it.