Craig MacTavish, a servant and apostle of the Way, writing to those who have faith in God, and members of the team that he has chosen, that through the righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ all victory will belong to Edmonton and her Oilers. May the bounces always go your way and wins be yours in abundance as you skate in the knowledge that leads to victory which I passed on while I was still with you.
God's divine power will give us everything we need for a strong penalty kill and a good power play so long as we remain faithful to the true knowledge which is given by him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Among the gifts he has given to us is very great and precious promise of yet another dynasty so that you also might become participants in the divine nature, immortalized forever, unlike those who, even if they were to win, would go unremembered. Unlike Nashville, Edmonton has escaped the corruption of the world which leads to a half-empty and quiet building on opening night.
It is for this dynastic promise that you must make every effort to support your faith with knowledge, and knowledge with skill, and skill with self-control (Ethan, you know I love you, but seriously, and I know I'm not your coach anymore and I know you're the captain, which you made abundantly clear about a million times last year, but seriously, stop taking penalties), and self-control with endurance, and endurance with toughness, and toughness with godliness (Look Gilbert, I know you guys like to party, but that's why we got rid of Torres in the first place and you don't even really deserve a spot in the NHL so I do not want to hear you complain about this) and godliness with love for one another. If these things are yours and are constantly increasing in your midst they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive on the ice, the mission chosen for you by our Lord Jesus Christ. Anyone who lacks these things is short-sighted and blind (yeah, you heard me right, short-sighted AND blind, just like that retarded-call machine Mick McGeough). So, brothers, be eager to lay claim to God's promise in all of these ways, for if you do, you will never stumble and once you have taken hold of it, entry into the rafters of Rexall Place will be granted to you.
And this is the reason I took a job with TSN: to continually remind you of these things. Even though you know about them already and are established in the truth that I taught you, I think that it is good and right, so long as I am able to write you, to refresh your memory. I know that temptation will come and I will "work" for a rival team, but it will be as sabotage just as our Lord Jesus Christ revealed to me. But when that happens I will no longer be able to write to you, and so I must make every effort now so that once I am gone you will not forget these most sacred teachings.
For we did not follow cleverly told myths when we made know to you the power of the first dynasty that came through the grace of Christ. No, we have eyewitness testimony of this great and glorious time of God's grandeur. Yes, some even recall the honour and glory bestowed on us from God the Father when that voice came from the Majestic Glory saying, "This is my team, my beloved Oildrop, with whom I am well pleased." There is one eyewitness there with you to this day, so you have the promise even more fully confirmed. You will do well to be more attentive to these things than the Predators were to Alexander Radulov. If not, you too will take for a sure thing what is in truth only there by the grace of God. Most importantly, understand this: no promise given to you by God is a matter of human interpretation because no divine promise ever came from human beings. Instead, people spoke the promises of God the Father through Jesus who is the Christ as they were directed by the Holy Spirit.
(Edmonton Oilers 2-1-1) @ Nashville Predators (2-1-0)
Sommet Center, 6:00 PM MDT
Television: Sportsnet West
More analysis after the jump...
Visiting Team Scouting Report: I was fortunate enough to see the Nashville Predators play once already this season and though I wasn't overly impressed they also have some nice things. Through two periods against the Colorado Avalanche they were not able to create much of anything and after Colorado took a 2-1 lead in the third it looked like they were going to let the fans go home sad. But they dominated at EV the rest of the way, scored twice and took home the regulation win. Nevertheless, with Dumont (and Tootoo but he kind of sucks) on the shelf and Ward just back from injury the Predators have about four solidly established players at 100% (Arnott, Sullivan, Erat and Legwand). They've split them up into two lines but the Oilers will still need to be particularly careful when the Arnott-Sullivan-Hornqvist group is on the ice. Of the 18 EV scoring chances against the Avalanche, that line generated 12 and allowed only 5 against which means the rest of the team was +6 -5 at EV (you know, looking back, trading Jason Arnott was a really bad idea). In order for the Oilers to have success, they'll want to force the action against those other lines and hope that they can contain Arnott's group.
Dirk Hoag of On The Forecheck sends along the following report:
The Preds skaters have gotten off to a slow start, getting massively outshot by Dallas and Buffalo in Games 1 & 3, and only really putting the hurt on Colorado in Game 2 after falling behind in the 3rd period. With J.P. Dumont on the shelf with "concussion-like symptoms", the scoring depth has dried up; the top line of Steve Sullivan, Jason Arnott and Patric Hornqvist has provided all the scoring. Pretty soon I'll have to whip up my milk carton imagery for David Legwand and Martin Erat if they don't get on the scoresheet soon.
On defense, there's hope that Kevin Klein is indeed ready for a Top 4 role this season based on early returns, but there's only so much the blueliners can do if the forwards can't generate consistent pressure.
The goaltending, however, has been great. There's basically a competition running between Dan Ellis and Pekka Rinne for playing time (both will be free agents next summer), and so far it's brought out the best in both keepers.
Expected Starting lineups:
Nashville Predators (2-1-0)
Sullivan - Arnott - Hornqvist
Santorelli - Legwand - Erat
Jones - Goc - Ward
Smithson - Guite - Grant
Suter - Weber
Hamhuis - Klein
Bouillon - Laakso
Edmonton Oilers (2-1-1):
Jacques - Horcoff - Hemsky
O' Sullivan - Gagner - Stone
Penner - Brule - Comrie
Moreau - Cogliano - Stortini
Visnovsky - Staios
Grebeshkov - Gilbert
Smid - Strudwick
Behind The Numbers: Edmonton's fourth line was absolutely shelled last time out, with Moreau, Cogliano and Stortini ending with Corsi values of -16, -12 and -11, respectively. They didn't surrender a goal against, but were under siege for most of the night. The Oilers were outshot 35-19 by the Canadiens, and the fourth line alone was outshot by eight shots, accounting for half of the deficit.
Sam Gagner continues to be the king of underliers [right sidebar] thus far, leading the team in EV +/-, Corsi, Chances Against and Chance Differential.
Nashville is 1 for 7 on the power play this year, while Edmonton has killed 11 of 15 short-handed situations. Watch tonight for the case of irresistible force versus immovable object.