With every loss the Oilers are getting closer to being the first team since Ottawa in 1995 and 1996 to have the first overall pick in consecutive seasons. The Devils won their fourth straight earlier today and they are now tied with the Oilers for last place with 35 points. The Devils finally seem to be playing up to their potential, while the Oilers are 2-12-2 in their last 16 and seem destined to be first to the podium on June 23rd in Minnesota.
The Oilers flat out can’t win right now.
They are 1-7-2 when they outshoot the opposition, which they did on Thursday v. the Stars and still lost. They haven’t been able to put together a complete game very often, but lately they haven’t played that bad, they just can’t score. Only the Devils and Senators have scored fewer goals than the Oilers, and tonight they will be hard pressed to score even two goals.
The Oilers face the surging Nashville Predators for the first time this season. The Preds sit 4th in the west with 58 points, and tonight will be their 28th road game of the year. The Preds are 15-11-1 away from Nashville this year, and they win with solid defence and stellar goaltending. Shea Weber leads them with 29 points and their offence shouldn’t scare anyone, but their team defence is sensational, surrendering only 112 goals in 47 games.
Devan Dubnyk will start between the pipes and Jim Vandermeer replaces Taylor Chorney, who was sent to OKC yesterday.
Chorney was the biggest surprise at the skills competition yesterday winning the fastest skater challenge, although you could argue that watching Andrew Cogliano win the shootout over the likes of Taylor Hall, Magnus Paajarvi and Linus Omark was a bigger shocker.
Cogliano and Chorney’s wins show you that the skills competition is just a fun event. Chorney might be quicker in one lap around the rink, but there is no way he reaches Hall or Paajarvi’s speed in a game.
I’ve been shovelling at the farm since noon, and just realized I hadn’t put up a GDB. My apologies for the being forgetful, but I’m lightheaded after having to shovel open almost every metal gate on the farm.
GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Preds continue to be road warriors with a 3-2 win. The Oilers decent down the standings, but up the draft rankings has been quick the past two weeks and it looks like they will battle the Islanders and Senators for 30th place the rest of the way. Enjoy the ride to another first overall pick.