NASHVILLE TN - FEBRUARY 07: Pekka Rinne #35 of the Nashville Predators makes a save on Dustin Penner #27 of the Edmonton Oilers on February 7 2011 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
After carrying the play through the first 10 minutes tonight, the Nashville Predators found themselves backpedaling the rest of the night, as Edmonton stormed off with a 4-0 that was characterized by one Oilers winger after another forcing the play into the Nashville end with their speed. It was the first career shutout for goaltender Devan Dubnyk, and the Preds' 3rd shutout on home ice this season.
When you watch a game like this, I think we can say the Preds have shirked off the old "undersized and speedy" label they used to have. How many times do you see a Nashville winger force a defenseman wide like Taylor Hall or Jordan Eberle (or so many Philadelphia forwards) seem to do so often? The guys work hard, certainly, but the overall team speed just isn't there like it used to be.
Follow after the jump for all the grisly details...
First up, the "highlights" (VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED):
- The Predators certainly came out and dominated play from the opening faceoff, posting a 10-1 shots advantage through the first seven minutes of play. If you haven't heard, though, Oilers goalie Devan Dubnyk is really tall (6'6"), so maybe that was why they didn't score.
- The longer things went like that, however, the less comfortable you began to feel, and sure enough, Andrew Cogliano drove hard to the net to put the Oilers up 1-0. That kind of hustle was evident on Edmonton's second goal as well, as former Pred Ryan Jones just outworked Colin Wilson to drive the net.
- That second period was truly nasty. The Oilers' speed kept the Nashville D back on their heels for most of the action. One appraisal judged the scoring chances 11-6 for Edmonton in that period.
- Check that, the third period was nastier! While Pekka Rinne had some right to be upset over getting bumped at the top of the crease on the goal by Jim Vandermeer, to have Dustin Penner blow by Alexander Sulzer on the left wing and put the Oilers up 4-0 was just demoralizing.
- Don't let the shot totals fool you. Once a team gets the lead like the Oilers did, it's very common for the trailing team to dominate the shot totals like the Preds did in the 3rd (15-5). It's called the Score Effect, and it's why you see such glowing Corsi numbers in the table below.
- Perhaps the most frustrating thing about this game was the inability of the Preds to capitalize on a terrible Edmonton PK unit. They went 0-for-3 with only two shots through the first two periods, while the game was still up for grabs.
- One suggestion to bolster the power play? Bench Martin Erat and Sergei Kostitsyn. When they're on the PP, the Preds' shooting rate absolutely goes into the toilet. David Legwand's actually done well there, so try giving him more time.
- The task from here forward is to throw this game in the dumpster and bring a strong effort in Detroit, where the Red Wings bounced back from two straight shutouts to beat the New York Rangers 3-2.
And now for those advanced even-strength stats...
|Even Strength||Individual Totals||Team Totals While Player Is On Ice|
|Player||Pos||EV TOI||Shots||Shts Blkd||Missed Shts||Blocks||SOG For||SOG Ag||SOG +/-||Tot SF||Tot SA||Corsi|
Who is your Predator of the Game?
Jeff Fisher (85 votes)
Lee Greenwood (48 votes)
133 total votes