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Edmonton Oilers vs. Nashville Predators Preview: McDavid Out

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Predators face an Oilers team lacking superstar Connor McDavid tonight.

NHL: Edmonton Oilers at Nashville Predators Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight the Nashville Predators (36-23-5) host the Edmonton Oilers (26-29-6) at Bridgestone Arena. Interestingly, the Oilers will be without superstar Connor McDavid tonight as he serves a two-game suspension. Considering that the Oilers are considered by many to be a one-person team, lacking their generational talent likely will not bode well for the Oilers tonight.

If you want more trade deadline news today, be sure to check out Kate and I streaming deadline talk live over on our OnTheForecheck Facebook page. We were live earlier and are running the stream again until 2:00pm central time.

The Edmonton Oilers

While the Oilers are still somehow in the playoff race sitting eight points out, they feel much further away than they are. There has been plenty of turnover in the front office and coaching staff, with longtime General Manager Peter Chiarelli getting a long-overdue boot out the door. They also brought longtime friend of the Predators Ken Hitchcock to take over the head coaching duties. Hitchcock has marginally improved the play of the Oilers, but the fact is that their roster is so flawed that his hands are tied as to how much change he can implement.

As the trade deadline carries on, there has been little news from the Oilers, which is not terribly surprising. They have a lot of bad contracts and want to shed salary, but nobody wants to subject their salary cap to those deals. The Oilers remain in salary cap hell and there really is not much going on with them this deadline.

Tonight, superstar Connor McDavid will not play against the Predators. McDavid is serving a two game suspension for elbowing the New York IslandersNick Leddy in the head. You can find a clip of the incident here. McDavid is the heart and blood of this Oilers team. Without McDavid, the Predators have a prime opportunity to pick up two points tonight.

The Nashville Predators

Losing 5-0 the other night against the Colorado Avalanche, the Predators remain a team that is under-performing and that lacks answers. Head coach Peter Laviolette and captain Roman Josi both spoke to the media after the game, saying that they played a good game and that bounces just did not go their way. Nonetheless, assuming that is true, a 5-0 defeat at home in late February is bad by every metric.

The Predators, despite being tied to nearly every high-profile trade deadline target, have yet to make a trade since acquiring Brian Boyle and Cody McLeod. Targets Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingel were both acquired by the Columbus Blue Jackets, and Gustav Nyquist was shipped from Detroit to San Jose last night. Mark Stone remains on the trade board and, with Winnipeg trading their first round draft pick to the New York Rangers for Kevin Hayes, another suitor for Stone is out of the picture. However, the price is reportedly too high for many teams, so it will be interesting as the deadline counts down as to if David Poile will actually make a move or not.

Reasons to Watch

  1. Will the Predators be missing any players tonight due to a late trade?
  2. The Predators have as good of a chance as ever to win tonight, facing a McDavid-less Edmonton team.
  3. Mondays are the worst. Make yours better by ending it with some hockey.

Pregame Meal

Once again, I’ll be downing a vegan Huel shake because it takes five minutes to make and I’ll be busy going through all the trade deadline information. Here’s hoping for more interesting food tomorrow.

Sights and Sounds

The puck drops in Bridgestone Arena at 7:00 Central. ESPN+ and FS-TN will televise the game while 102.5 The Game will carry it on the radio.