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Oilers v. Predators - Exodus 22:21-24

Do not mistreat or oppress a poor team who comes to your town from afar, for you yourselves surely remember going to Chicago, Detroit, and San Jose, and how those people mistreated you. Do not take advantage of a group that comes to you nursing wounds and using children to fight their battles. If you do, and they cry out to me, I will hear their cry, and I will make certain that you are completely destroyed! Your wives will become exasperated at your sadness and your children will not stop weeping when your team is quickly cast aside for the sixth time in a row.

Edmonton Oilers (23-39-10) @ Nashville Predators (38-25-10)

Bridgestone Arena, 6:00 p.m. MDT
Television: Sportsnet West

More analysis after the jump...

Home Team Scouting Report:

The Nashville Predators are one of ten teams in the Western Conference with a realistic shot at making the playoffs. In that the team is on pace for over 97 points, you'd expect they'd be a lock at this point, but with nine teams on pace for that many or more, the race is still very close. That said, the team is in good shape. Not only are they probably a better team than a couple of their competitors (the Ducks and Stars are my two favorites to pick on), but they've got a reasonably soft schedule over their last ten games with five games against teams that are sure to be out of the playoffs, and of the remaining five, there's one each against both the Stars and Ducks. As I said before, they're not a lock to get in, but at this point, they are one of my picks to make the cut.

Expected Lineups:

Edmonton Oilers (23-39-10):

Jones - Cogliano - Eberle
Omark - Reddox - Paajarvi
Giroux - VandeVelde - Hartikainen

MacIntyre - O'Marra - Strudwick

Smid - Gilbert
Vandermeer - Petry
Peckham - Foster


Nashville Predators (38-25-10)

Erat - Legwand - Ward
Kostitsyn - Fisher - Hornqvist
Spaling - Smithson - Tootoo
Dumont - Geoffrion - Halischuk

Suter - Weber
Klein - Blum
Franson - O'Brien


By the Numbers:

  • The Predators have only five minus players on the team who have played at least ten games: Francis Bouillon (-3), Jerred Smithson (-4), Nick Spaling (-5), Shane O'Brien (-5), and new acquisition Mike Fisher (-5). Fisher also has just four points in eighteen games since coming over from Ottawa despite playing over 18:00 per game and getting 1:40 per game on the power play. I've got to think that David Poile regrets giving up his first round pick right about now.
  • Among players with at least fifteen goals, no one in the NHL has a higher shooting percentage than Sergei Kostitsyn. Kostitsyn also happens to be a restricted free agent at the end of this season. I generally consider David Poile a pretty sharp guy, so I'll be interested to see what he decides to do with this player over the summer.
  • This doesn't have much to do with tonight's game, but Craig Simpson had a playoff shooting percentage of 33.6% over the course of his career (36 goals on 107 shots), and a regular season shooting percentage of 23.7% (247 goals on 1044 shots). If I'm not mistaken, both are NHL records. Crazy stuff.
  • Six of Oklahoma City's top eight scorers are currently playing for the Edmonton Oilers, but perhaps the craziest thing is the fact that that doesn't account for all of the call-ups! As for those call-ups, I forgot to congratulate Teemu Haritkainen on his first NHL point against Phoenix, so congrats Teemu!
  • With 63 shots and no goals, Liam Reddox is currently tied for the 73rd shootingest (what? are you telling me that's not a word?) season without a goal in NHL history. Exactly three of the players above him are forwards with Craig Adams' 84 shots without a goal in 2009-10 representing the high water mark.