Game 5: (W)Oilers (6) at Nashville (1)
Tonight, the Edmonton Oilers will play the Nashville Predators with the game starting at 6pm mountain time. The Nashville Predators has a very impressive 11-1-0 record against the Edmonton Oilers including having won the last seven games straight at Sommet Center. Will the Oilers bring some trouble to the Predators in Music City?
What do the bookies think? Apparently the betting line favors the Nashville Predators (-130 Predators/ +110 Edmonton). The Nashville predators are 2-1-0 over their past three games while the Oilers have a 2-1-1 record over their past four. Again, the Oilers have only defeated the Predators one time in the past twelve games that these two teams have played each other.
Time and Space? If you watched the NHL playoffs last year, particularly the SCF series with the Detroit Red Wings vs. the Pittsburgh Penguins, you’ve already heard plenty of talk about time and space. In player interview after player interview, I heard a litany of remarks such as, “we’re just trying to limit their best player’s time and space.” This season, Pat Quinn has injected some size and grit, jam, crust, or whatever you prefer to call it with respect to Ryan Stone and Jean-Francois Jacques to create space for the skilled players on the Oilers’ roster. Already, we’ve seen some of the effects that these two players have had on the Oilers’ game.
During the most recent Oilers’ game vs. Calgary, we saw Jay Boumeister seemingly let JFJ beat him to the puck behind the Calgary net presumably because he was tired of getting taken into the boards by Jacques. A few quick passes later and Jacques was standing in front of the Calgary net being taken down by two Calgary defenders while Hemsky walked around to the side the net to pot a goal. In the last Oilers’ game against the Canadiens, Ryan Stone’s hard forcheck lead to a turnover and Patrick O’Sullivan’s first goal of the year. Of note, JF Jacques or if you prefer his moniker, crazy train, is currently 3rd in the league with 19 hits while Stone is 8th with 16 hits. Perhaps Dan Barnes said it best in today’s Edmonton Journal article, “They are tougher to play against and easier to watch.”
Injuries: Fernando Pisani (San Fernando) is still out with an undisclosed back injury. Both Steve Staios and Sheldon Souray have suffered recent concussions. Of the two, Steady Steve is more likely to be in the Oilers lineup tonight. Taylor Chorney has officially been called up according to Dan Tencer’s twitter. Marc Pouliot is apparently still out with a pubic bone injury. Moreau’s still recovering from a cellulitis infection in his ankle, but will likely play.
More to come…
Update: JDD – Jeff Deslauriers will be starting tonight. Staios is a game day decision as he apparently is suffering from headaches likely resulting from his recent concussion.
Projected lineups tonight from the Putting On The Foil blog…
Edmonton Oilers projected lineup:
Nashville Predators projected lineup:
Post game thoughts:
The Edmonton Oilers defeated the Nashville Predators with a score of six to one in game that looked to be heading towards the “debacle of monumental proportions” -MacT category for the Predators despite being severely out shot 41-17. Deslauriers looked surprisingly sharp, composed, and agile in net earning the 1st star of the game with 40 saves.
In the first period, the Oilers lit up Rinne with four goals and ruining his previously stellar save percentage. Hemsky set up Horcoff on the rush for Horcoff’s first goal of the season. Penner carried the puck in his infrequent but always impressive ‘big man’ style and set up Brule who was in front of the net for the second goal. Comrie made a slick no-looker pass behind him to Stortini for a goal in the dying seconds of a power play for the third goal. Zorg potted another goal on a pass from Cogliano to put the Oilers up 4-0.
For the second period, Cogliano used his speed to pot the 5th goal while Grebeshkov took a slick pass from Penner for the sixth. Keeping with the Oilers witching hour (last minute of the second), most of the Oilers on the ice looked half asleep and Arnot scored with less than a minute left in the second.
Overall, the Oilers looked to be out-worked, out-shot, and generally out-played during the third period yet managed to maintain the 6-1 score for a notch in the “W” column.