Predators @ Oilers Game 70 Preview

Landie is Dandy but liquor is quicker. - Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Reign O'er Me, Almighty Scrivens


Nashville

@

Oilers3
29-29-10, 1 p/g Ranks 24-36-9, .816 p/g
Western Conference: 12th Western Conference: 14th
24th P/G 29th
21st ST 27th
27th ES 28th
22nd Goal 28th
7:30 PM MDT - Sportsnet West
Rexall Place
The opposing view: On The Forecheck


Twelve Of Sixteen

Don't look now, but the Oilers are 9-4-3 in their last sixteen contests, which means they've gotten at least a point in twelve of their last sixteen games.  Have the Oilers finally made the necessary adjustments to their game, only a little too late to make a difference?  The answer is "yes".  By that, I mean "yes, their goaltending has been all-world, and has kept the Oilers in the conversation of most games".  Scrivens is 6-6 in twelve games with the Oilers, he's faced 439 shots in those twelve games, and has turned aside all but 30 of them.  (.932).  That's an average of nearly 37 shots allowed per game, which would easily put the Oilers dead last in shots if applied throughout the season.   The club has averaged just over two goals per game during that time.

Where's the heavy lifting being done?  In the crease.  Lift me up, Ben Scrivens.  We fight amidst the battle cries.

The Oilers are saying

"I think a real commitment to that togetherness as a team and fighting on even knowing that we're out of it...I think that's an extremely hard thing to do, it takes a very high level of commitment and the players are doing that"

That's Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins on how the club isn't packing it in, even though it's surely the eighth consecutive season without a second season.

EVEN A STOPPED CLOCK IS RIGHT TWICE A DAY

At this point (game 70) in the season, alright.  Take that story.  I'm willing to take whatever story I'm being given if the team wins.  I'm am afraid it's going to create a dangerous narrative that the Oilers have turned some sort of corner (really, they haven't).  The Oilers as a whole aren't any better, their goaltending is better.   The 9-4-3 streak has seen 35 total goals scored for the Oilers (an average of 2.18 goals scored per game), the defence is yielding a bajillion shots, and that Ben Scrivens And The Holding Company has kept the wall from crumbling down.  The Oilers are winning a more today than they were a month ago, and for that, I'm happy even though you and I know that they're still struggling mightily.

The Opponent is saying

"It's tough with travel and playing back to back nights, it's not easy, it's always a test, more mentally than anything.  Lucky enough for me in the AHL we have plenty of 3 in 3 nights, so I'm used to that test, that's for sure"
That's Predators forward Colton Scissons when asked about his energy level.  The Predators had just lost a 4-1 contest to the St. Louis Blues, one day after clawing out a 3-2 victory over Chicago.

Colton Scissons has eight games and two assists in his NHL career.  A second round pick of the Predators in the 2012 draft, Scissons has notched 41 points (24-17-41) in 56 games with the Milwaukee Admirals this year. Scissons has been in the line blender during his time up with the big club, he's been in the middle with Patric Hornqvist and Gabriel Bourque on the third line as of late.

Points Ales Hemsky Has Since Being Traded

  • 7 (1-6-7) in 5 GP

Have some of this
  • The Oilers have had a pretty good level of success against the Predators this year, going 2-0 and outscoring the Predators 8-1 over those two games.  I've rambled on about how the Oilers allow a truckload of shots, and they allowed 35 and 33 in these two games (both wins for Ilya Bryzgalov). Of course if you score a few goals, a bevvy of shots against becomes less of an issue in hurry.
  • Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne has played in six games (2-4, .915) since returning from a hip injury. I'd expect him to get the go tonight.
  • Anton Lander still in for Jesse Joensuu, who is out with a wonky ankle.
  • Jordan Eberle has 50 points in 68 games, which averages out to about 61 points over an 82 game season.  This is Jordan Eberle you're going to get for the majority of his deal.  If this is surprising to you, don't let it be.  He's Jordan Eberle, he's a top six forward on any club, it's good he's an Oiler, and he's just fine.
  • KLEFBOM WATCH:  @ Carolina - 10:52 TOI, one shot, one blocked shot, Paired with Mark Fraser. (eye roll)
  • It's been a whole year since this happened!
  • That's probably the best Lennart Petrell moment in an Oiler uniform.  Is there a close second?

The Nashville Predators

Matt Cullen - Mike Fisher - Nick Spaling

Eric Nystrom - Colin Wilson - Craig Smith

Patric Hornqvist - Colton Scissons - Gabriel Bourque

Richard Clune - Paul Gaustad - Viktor Stalberg

Roman Josi - Shea Weber

Seth Jones - Mattias Ekholm

Michael Del Zotto - Ryan Ellis

Pekka Rinne

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Edmonton Oilers

Nail Yakupov - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Jordan Eberle

Taylor Hall - Sam Gagner - David Perron

Matt Hendricks - Boyd Gordon - Anton Lander

Luke Gazdic - Ryan Smyth - Ryan Jones

Andrew Ference - Justin Schultz

Martin Marincin - Jeff Petry

Oscar Klefbom - Mark Fraser

Ben Scrivens

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