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Predators @ Oilers Game 54 Preview

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Oilers look to snap six game winless streak. Enter Nashville.

Devan Dubnyk is Nashville
Devan Dubnyk is Nashville
Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports



Predators

@

Oilers3
23-22-8, 1.018 p/g Ranks 15-32-6, .680 p/g
Western Conference: 11th Western Conference: 14th
24th P/G 30th
21st ST 26th
27th ES 29th
21st Goal 30th
6:00 PM MDT - Sportsnet West
Rexall Place
The opposing view: On The Forecheck


We're Number One! (Again!)

We're back, baby. Deal with it.

The Oilers are saying

"We might play good for the first period and then sag in the second and play good in the third. We have to find a way to stop doing that. We are killing ourselves with efforts like that, not playing a full game"

That's Oilers centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins on the Oilers' inability to put it all together for sixty minutes.

RNH is spot on. The Oilers haven't gotten too many sixty minute efforts this year, what, with the fifteen wins in 52 games. Oilers are without a win in their last six (0-5-1). Last win was eons ago (okay, it was the tenth against Pittsburgh). The Predators come into Edmonton with a thousand more wins than the Oilers (okay, eight more wins) and a goaltender who was traded from the Oilers less than two weeks ago who might have picked up some "bad habits" during his time in Edmonton. Or, so says Predators coach Barry Trotz.

So, at least they've got that going for them.

The Opponent is saying

"I'm still trying to settle in and get comfortable with the guys in front of me, and let them get comfortable too"

Dubnyk's season has been one he'd probably like to forget, save for the fact the was sent away from Edmonton a week and a half ago. Dubnyk finished his 2013-14 tenure with the Oilers at 11-15-2 and a .898 SV%. Take away the first four games of his season, and his SV% improves quite a lot. Dubnyk's transition to Nashville has been a bit bumpier than I'm sure he would like, as he's allowed nine goals in his first two games.

Come to think of it, this has been a season that a lot of us would probably want to do over, not just Devan Dubnyk.

Of note:

  • THIS IS DIFFERENT: Even though the Oilers didn't come out on top, they didn't get tremendously outshot last game against the Coyotes, as is the norm. As a matter of fact, the Oilers had both greater Corsi (50/47) and shot totals (39/29). In other words, I think Ben Scrivens (0-2-0, .900 with Edmonton) gets the start today.
  • WE'VE GOT SKILLS: The Oilers held their annual skills competition on Saturday at Rexall Place. Ryan Smyth won the shooting accuracy contest, Luke Gazdic (!) won the hardest shot competition, and Nail Yakupov was actually allowed on the ice as a member of the team to participate. Things are really looking up for that guy.
  • Ales Hemsky was absent from this skills competition, and I'd be surprised if he was dressed today. Philip Larsen was a participant, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him.
  • FUN GRAPH - Check out this FUN GRAPH that Tyler put together tracking Taylor Hall's Corsi%. If you're on blood pressure medication, please make sure you're sitting down before clicking that link.

The Nashville Predators

Colin Wilson - Mike Fisher - Patric Hornqvist

Nick Spaling - David Legwand - Craig Smith

Gabriel Bourque - Matt Cullen - Eric Nystrom

Richard Clune - Paul Gaustad - Viktor Stalberg

Roman Josi - Shea Weber

Michael Del Zotto - Seth Jones

Victor Bartley - Ryan Ellis

Carter Hutton

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The Edmonton Oilers

Taylor Hall - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Jordan Eberle

Ryan Smyth - Sam Gagner - David Perron

Matt Hendricks - Boyd Gordon - Ryan Jones

Nail Yakupov - Mark Arcobello - Luke Gazdic

Andrew Ference - Justin Schultz

Anton Belov - Philip Larsen

Jeff Petry - Martin Marincin

Ben Scrivens.