Nashville Predators: 4
Edmonton Oilers: 3
A day after dealing defenceman Denis Grebeshkov, the Russian rear-guard made his greatest contribution yet to the dive for five, scoring a goal and adding an assist in Nashville’s 4-3 victory over the Oilers.
Given the trade, I decided to focus solely on Denis Grebeshkov rather than watching the game. It’s something I do when I’m really trying to evaluate a player and something I recommend to any fan; isolate the one player and follow him throughout (I started doing it after reading an NHL scout describe the technique to Gare Joyce in Future Greats and Heartbreaks).
Grebeshkov had a good, if not great, game. The offence was there, and he really is a wizard on the offensive side of the red line. His first point was a smart if awkward looking jump to the far side of the ice, the kind that looks really bad if it doesn’t work out. He pressured the Oilers’ forward (I believe it was Pouliot), causing a turnover which led to the Predators first goal. He did a lot of good things on the ice, the kind of things that remind any Oilers fan why he had such success at times during his tenure in Edmonton.
One of the less charming sides of Grebeshkov’s game is this thing he does where he needs to make a decision, but it seems like his brain gets stuck and by the time it re-engages it’s too late. He did it tonight at least once; hauling down Andrew Cogliano as he belatedly reacted to the speeding forward. He didn’t end up getting the minor penalty because Pouliot scored, but it was a vintage moment.
Speaking of Pouliot, he had a splendid game; his whole line from what I saw, in fact. His goal against Rinne was a beautiful thing to behold, a perfect shot that came about because both Brule and Cogliano made smart plays leading to the goal.
One final thought: I didn’t see a great angle on Ethan Moreau’s penalty with two minutes left in the game, but it sure looked like an iffy call.