Can the Predators keep the good times rolling against the hapless Edmonton Oilers, a team which flops in the standings but often seems to rise up and surprise the Preds?
As part of your setup to this game, keep an ear open as our very own Jon Garcia will join Lowdown w/Lowetide on Edmonton's TSN1260, around noon Central time. We'll share a podcast link as soon as it becomes available.
|Edmonton Oilers||Nashville Predators|
|5-on-5 Close SF/60||26.7||26th||29.3||16th|
|5-on-5 Close SA/60||31.9||23rd||29.2||14th|
|5-on-5 Close Save %||.880||30th||.923||15th|
|# of PP's/Gm||3.28||23rd||3.16||25th|
|# of PK's/Gm||3.68||23rd||3.24||11th|
Getting out-shot consistently with suspect goaltending behind you is a surefire recipe for disaster, one the Oilers have pretty much perfected in recent years.
You can't help but shake your head at the Oilers (7-16-2, last in the Pacific), who once again have sunk to the bottom of the Western Conference standings despite a bounty of talented young forwards at their disposal. Edmonton serves somewhat as a cautionary tale for those who think the road to the Stanley Cup goes through the league basement, and a #1 overall draft pick.
I could've sworn I saw mention on Twitter yesterday that the Oilers plan to debut their shiny new goaltender today, which could lead to all sorts of wacky hilarity:
#80 / Goalie / Edmonton Oilers
Jun 22, 1980
Besides the most notable names in the lineup, we may also get a look at our old pal Denis Grebeshkov, who fans may remember from the 2009-10 season. After spending a few years in the KHL, he's back in North America this year, and the Oilers just called him up from Oklahoma City yesterday.
Make sure to bask in Alberta's misery with our colleagues over at Copper & Blue. As much as I love to mock the Oilers, they did win three straight before losing to Chicago on Monday, and they often seem to rise up and surprise the Predators with a strong effort, so who knows what to expect tonight.
Another night, another win for Marek Mazanec, and David Poile's blood pressure drops a few more points. There's no denying the kid has done a tremendous job under trying circumstances. Just as Dan Ellis rose to the occasion years ago when a snowstorm kept Pekka Rinne from taking a start away from him, Mazanec has seized the starter's job over the last few weeks and kept the team afloat while we all wait to see when Rinne might return.
Five wins in their last six games have brought the Predators to within six points of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, keeping the prospect of post-season participation alive.
Perhaps just as surprising as Mazanec's play is the way in which David Legwand is leading the way in scoring - coming into this season it looked like he was being squeezed out of Smashville, but he's been the team's best center on a regular basis. Mike Fisher gets dinged up, Matt Cullen shows well on occasion, and Paul Gaustad is limited as a two-way player. Legwand, however, is on pace for a career-best 65 point season:
#11 / Center / Nashville Predators
Aug 17, 1980
|2013 - David Legwand||25||5||15||20||-7||14||2||0||1||40||12.5|
Leggy has 14 goals and 20 assists in 47 career games against the Oilers, so let's see if he can take advantage of that porous Edmonton defense tonight.
Game time is 7:00 at Bridgestone Arena, with no local TV tonight. Enjoy the game, and have a Happy Thanksgiving!