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Oilers v. Predators - Leviticus 19:1-19

Yahweh also said to Moses, "Give the following instructions to every man who ever plays with stick and puck: you must be holy because I, Yahweh your God, am holy."

"You must always show great respect for your coach, who in turn must honor the holy Sabbath: he must never play the same goaltender in back-to-back games."

"Do not put your trust in dressing-room superstitions for I am Yahweh your God."

"When you present a goal offering, make sure that it is done properly so that it will be accepted by God. The offering does not need to be beautiful, but the puck must clearly cross the line. There must be no doubt. And when it crosses, make sure to stretch both arms heavenward to give thanks to God before embracing your teammates. If the puck does not clearly cross the line, your offering may not be recognized, and if you do not throw your arms heavenward, you will be shamed by the community. Anyone caught showboating to draw attention to himself will be punished by beating for not showing Yahweh the proper respect."

"Further, when you have already scored five or six goals, it brings no honor to anyone to continue piling on, so there is no need for worship since God will not accept it. Similarly, if you are losing by five or six, there is no reason to throw your hands heavenward in celebration or to share an embrace with your teammates for an expression of joy then would make a mockery of true worship. I am Yahweh your God."

"Do not dive."

"Do not deceive or cheat a referee and then complain about the refereeing."

"Do not bring shame on the name of God by using it to swear falsely. If you say, 'I swear to God I'll beat the shit out of you,' and do not follow through, you bring dishonor to God's name. So either follow through on your oath or do not swear at all. I am Yahweh your God."

"If you are a player, do not hold out for more money. If you are an owner, do not make your players wait until the next day to receive a fair contract."

"Do not stick out a knee for a knee or an elbow for the head or charge someone from behind without reason."

"Do not use another man's children to insult him, even if he is on the other team, or you will be rightly punished by beating."

"Do not speak of what is said on the ice in the media."

"Do not stand idly by after a teammate has been injured. You must throw punches. I am Yahweh your God."

"Do not nurse hatred in your heart for those who have wronged you or your teammate. Start a fight immediately, and you will not be punished too severely."

"Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against your teammate, but love your teammates as yourself, for they are your family. I am Yahweh your God; you must obey all of my decrees."


Nashville Predators (2-1-1) @ Edmonton Oilers (1-1-1)

Rexall Place, 7:30 p.m. MDT
Television: Sportsnet West

More analysis after the jump...

Visiting Team Scouting Report

I don't know how much a good coach is worth, but I'm becoming more and more convinced that it must be substantial at least in part because of the Nashville's moderate success season after season. They're one of just nine teams that have made the playoffs at least five out of the six seasons since the introduction of the salary cap, and they've spent (by far) the least money on players of any of those teams (Anaheim, Detroit, Montreal, New Jersey, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and San Jose are the others). A quick look at the forward lineup every year is a tell that the coach must be playing a big role. The club's current crop of forwards looks awful, but you know what, they looked poor last year too, and yet the team kept on winning. And this season's team already has a couple of players playing way over their heads: David Legwand leads the league in scoring with eight points in just four games and first-year pro, Craig Smith, has four points in his first four games after being drafted as an overager out of the fourth round in 2009. You'd think that injuries to Mike Fisher and Martin Erat (who account for nearly 20% of the team's payroll) would slow the club down substantially, but so far this season, the team has managed just fine.


Expected Lineups:

Edmonton Oilers (1-1-1):

Hall - Nugent-Hopkins - Eberle
Smyth - Horcoff - Jones
Paajarvi - Belanger - Omark

Eager - Lander - Petrell 

Smid - Gilbert
Barker - Petry
Sutton - Potter


Nashville Predators (2-1-1):

Wilson - Legwand - Kostitsyn
Halischuk - O'Reilly - Smith
Tootoo - Smithson - Spaling
McGrattan - Geoffrion - Hornqvist

Suter - Weber
Blum - Klein
Laakso - Hillen



By the Numbers:

  • Corey Potter played in his first game of the season on Saturday and will be in the lineup again tonight as he tries to get a firm grasp on a spot in the lineup before Ryan Whitney returns from injury. Potter played 19:26 against the Canucks, much more than either Andy Sutton (13:16) or Theo Peckham (14:26). If Potter continues to outpace some of the other men in the lineup, it will be awfully hard to send him to Oklahoma.
  • Tom Gilbert has averaged 26:27 minutes of ice time per game through the first three games, and while that number is no doubt buoyed by two overtime games, it's still an awful lot of minutes, good enough for seventh most in the entire NHL. Two of the guys ahead of him, however, play for the Predators: Shea Weber is in 5th with 27:00 minutes per game and Ryan Suter is 3rd with 28:05.
  • For the first time this season (that I noticed), Tom Renney made a bonafide effort to match against an opponent's top line with the fivesome of Ladislav Smid, Tom Gilbert, Shawn Horcoff, Ryan Smyth, and Ryan Jones all getting at least ten minutes of even strength ice time against the Sedins. No other player got more than three and a half minutes. The forward line did get scored on (with Corey Potter and Andy Sutton on defense), but overall, I thought that defensive group did very well.
  • For Horcoff, the tough minutes added to an already challenging faceoff load. Among players who have been on the ice for at least 25 end-zone starts, Horcoff has the seventh highest percentage in the defensive zone with 6 offensive zone starts against 22 in the defensive zone. The only players who have had it tougher are Ryan Shannon, Manny Malhotra, Kyle Brodziak, Maxim Lapierre, Samuel Pahlsson, and Derek Dorsett.  
  • The line of Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Jordan Eberle took full advantage of the cover, generating the three best Corsi (+6; +6; +7) and Fenwick (+11; +9; +9) differentials among Oiler forwards, and solidly outchancing their opposition (+2; +2; +2). It's always fun to see goals, of course, but it's more encouraging long-term to see those goals come with a solid foundation propping them up.