Oilers v. Predators - Mark 12:41-44

Dilip Vishwanat

Pat Laforge sat down to count the checks after a fundraiser and noted the names of those who gave. Many rich people put in large amounts, but some of the children gave their entire yearly allowance, all that they had. Laforge called the others around him and said, "Look at this! This check is for hundreds of thousands of dollars! Truly, I tell you, this one rich man has given us more than all of the children combined! His contribution is the most impressive because it's the biggest!"

Nashville Predators @ Edmonton Oilers

Rexall Place, 7:30 p.m. MST
Television: Sportsnet

The Race to the Bottom (It's Happening Again):

Race_to_the_bottom

Visiting Team Scouting Report: The Nashville Predators are on the fringes of the Race for the Bottom, and while that's probably not a sign of their true talent, they also look hopelessly screwed. The Predators were sewered this year by an injury to Pekka Rinne that resulted in their starting goaltender seeing just 15 games so far this season. With Rinne in the lineup more consistently, the Predators are probably more firmly in the playoff hunt, especially when you consider their Fenwick percentage of 52.3% with the score tied. In that sense, things are looking up. On the other hand, the Predators aren't at the level of the elite teams in the Western Conference and overpaid for players like Paul Gaustad, Viktor Stalberg, and Eric Nystrom, a problem made worse by the fact that they don't spend to the cap. So while this isn't a bad team, it's hard to see a path towards real excellence.

Expected Lineups:

Edmonton Oilers (24-36-9):

Hall - Gagner - Perron
Yakupov - Nugent-Hopkins - Eberle
Hendricks - Gordon - Lander
Gazdic - Smyth - Jones

Marincin - Petry
Fraser - Schultz
Klefbom - Ference

Fasth

Nashville Predators (29-29-10):

Cullen - Fisher - Spaling
Hornqvist - Sissons - Bourque
Nystrom - Wilson - Smith
Clune - Gaustad - Stalberg

Josi - Weber
Jones - Ekholm
Del Zotto - Ellis

Rinne

By The Numbers:

  • Tyler Dellow mentioned this in one of his earlier articles on Taylor Hall, but some of Hall's struggles at five-on-five have been masked by this incredibly high individual point percentage. Hall has been on the ice for 40 goals-for so far this season during five-on-five play and has registered 41 points for an IPP of 102.5%. It's going to be pretty hard for him to continue getting points from the bench. A more reasonable figure for Hall is something between 80% and 85%.
  • I mentioned Pekka Rinne's being out of the lineup as a real problem for the Predators this season, and though that's true, Rinne's play when he's been in the lineup has been a problem too. His even strength save percentage his year is just .917, which is below the league average. If it stays at that level until the end of the year, it'll be the worst showing of his career.
  • David Perron has already set a career high with 25 goals so far this season, 182 shots so far this season, and 70 penalty minutes so far this season. He'll very likely set a new career high in points too (he's got 48 now, and needs at least 51). Not a lot has gone right for the Oilers this year, but the acquisition of Perron is still looking pretty darn good.
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