Not only are the Oilers looking for their first win, they're also hoping to get on the scoreboard without the other team doing it for them. Nashville would like to have another crack at playing for a full 60 minutes, instead of letting off the gas. These are both big challenges.
There will also be
yellow gold helmets.
The Edmonton Oilers
There's a little bit of hype surrounding Edmonton's 2015 first-round draft pick. How much, you ask?
This hit the Internet months before he was even drafted. Yeah...
McDavid isn't the only big name to bring hope to a hopeless franchise. With him comes former Boston general manager Peter Chiarelli, and former San Jose bench boss Todd McLellan. Both have their own track record of success, and bring a winning pedigree to an organization that's been slapping itself in the face for years.
The defense still has a ton of question marks surrounding it, even though they threw tons of money at Andrej Sekera to help out. He'll alleviate some of the growing pains, but not nearly all of them. They hope Cam Talbot will be able to stop whatever they let through. Talbot was excellent when he was filing in for Henrik Lundqvist in New York, but hasn't shouldered a full season's workload yet.
This season probably isn't the one where Edmonton gets over the hurdle, even if Connor raises the Corsi from the dead. But they may start down a path where they finally aren't a laughing stock anymore. That is, until they somehow win this year's draft lottery.
The Nashville Predators
Nashville kicked their season off with a win against the Carolina Hurricanes, but it wasn't pretty and it certainly wasn't confidence inspiring. Sure, the first half of the game the Predators looked like a finely tuned machine, pumping Cam Ward full of rubber and playing keep away from the other team. But halfway through, they were doing the exact opposite.
Letting the opponents back into games was something that haunted the team all of last year, and was a huge factor in decided the playoff series against Chicago. With a team like Carolina, one that's supposed to be a bottom-feeder, it's not great to see. For you visual people, check out the head-to-head match ups. Blue is good, red is bad:
That's a lot of red.
Of course, it was only one game and the season is still early. Thankfully, the Predators' first three games are against teams that aren't supposed to challenge for much. There is still time to work on on any problems, and if the Predators can put together a full game like what they showed for the first 30 minutes of Thursday's contest, look out.
Reasons to Watch
- #McJesus. (But for real, watch this kid.)
- The Preds have their own rookie sensation going by the name of Viktor Arvidsson. Not to brag, but he's on pace for 82 goals this year, while McDavid is rocking a big ol' ugly goose egg. Seems pretty obvious who to give the Calder to.
- We finally get to see if the #Gold helmets look as bad as the sneak peeks have shown.
- Filip Forsberg didn't score a goal on Thursday night, which means he's already over due. Did you see what he was doing with the puck out there?
- Talbot is still rocking a Ghostbusters mask, but with much more subtlety. Good on ya, Cam.
This song is two of my favorite things in one place, and it's hardly ever as relevant as it is right now.