GDB 26.0: PESKY PREDATORS

When Pekka Rinne went downwith a hip injury on October 22nd, many expected the Predators to stumble down the standings. Rinne started nine of their first ten games compiling a 4-4-1 record. Carter Hutton started one game prior to Rinne’s injury and he won. When Rinne went down the Predators expected Hutton to be their starter, however, he has struggled in seven starts, going 3-3-1 and allowing at least three goals in every game except one.

Twenty-two year old, Marek Mazanec has taken the job from Hutton. Mazanec was drafted in the 6th round of the 2012 draft, and after playing five games in the AHL he was recalled to Nashville when Rinne was injured. He’s played exceptionally well going 5-3 with a solid 2.01 GAA and 0.935 SV% and two shutouts.

The Predators always find a way to stay competitive. Over the past 73 games they’ve lost their 2nd best D-man, Ryan Suter, and their starting goalie and had to replace them from within. Most teams would be crippled losing key pieces like that, but the Predators are only six points out of the playoffs with a game in hand.

They don’t use injuries or free agent losses as an excuse. They just keep finding ways to stay competitive. Head coach Barry Trotz rarely ices a lineup that has as much skill as the opposition, but he and GM David Poile find players who buy in and work hard every night.
 
The Predators don’t complain they just find ways to stay competitive.

Tonight is a good challenge for the Oilers to see if they can match the work ethic, competitiveness and discipline of the Predators. The Oilers have more offensive skill than the Predators, but they haven’t learned how to beat teams when their skill isn’t effective.

They could learn how to be competitive from the Predators tonight, and hopefully match their intensity as well.

LINEUP

Hall-RNH-Eberle
Yakupov-Gagner-Hemsky
Smyth-Gordon-Perron
Jones-Arcobello-Joensuu

Ference-Petry
Grebeshkov-J.Schultz
Belov-N.Schultz

Bryzgalov

Wil Acton, Luke Gazdic and Corey Potter are out while Ryan Jones, Marc Arcobello and Denis Grebeshkov draw in. I’m curious to see if Dallas Eakins gives him 4th line more minutes, and how Arcobello plays with only 9-11 minutes. It is very difficult for most guys to stay in the game, when they play limited minutes, and if Arcobello can excel in that role I doubt he comes out of the lineup very soon.

QUICK HITS….

  • The only way Shea Weber gets traded is if he asks for a trade. He is the face of the Predators and after losing Suter, and paying Weber $26 million dollars to play 130 games by the end of the season; the Preds have no interest in moving their star D-man.
     
  • If Mazanec continues to play this well, he might be someone the Preds could shop to acquire some offence. They have been great at developing young D-men, but for some reason they can’t develop any young forwards.
     
  • The Oilers are 5-9-1 in their last 14 visits to Nashville. If they don’t work hard tonight, they will get beat.
     
  • Joensuu needs to play with more intensity. He has done nothing since scoring on opening night. He’s had flashes, but since returning from injury he hasn’t had the same jump in his game.
     
  • The RNH line has to rebound after a dreadful performance at home. They didn’t generate many chances, and seemed frustrated early on. They have to find ways to produce when their tic-tac-toe plays aren’t working.

GAME DAY PREDICTION: Preds work hard, and defeat the Oilers 4-3 in OT.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION:
Arcobello scores and those who were irate he was a healthy scratch for four games, feel some vindication. Oilers fans need something to feel good about.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Ryan Jones has been frustrated sitting in the pressbox, and he tries to make a statement to the coach by having a spirited tilt with Nick Spaling in the first period. It is a pretty even tilt, until the end when Jones lands an off-balance right hand that hits Spaling on the button. Jones who rarely says much on the ice, will sit in the sin bin with a huge grin on his face while he and the timekeepers talk about his time with the Predators.

MONTH OF GIVING RETURNS….

My third annual Month of Giving begins today on my show. In the past two years we’ve raised over $106,000 for Christmas charities to help those in need. I’m starting a bit early because I will miss a few days with the birth of our first child in the next few weeks, but I wanted to ensure we come close, or surpass, $53,000 again.

This year I’ve gathered some excellent auction items: 

  • Michelle Derk from Remax Elite has donated her “seller’s commission” on a house.
  • A high efficiency furnace or Central air conditioning system including permits and installation and removal of old furnace from G&H Heating and Cooling.
  • I have some dinner packages with Eskimos and Oilers…
  • Rush VIP package…MFC VIP package…
  • Signed Messier jersey, and other signed jerseys…
  • Golf packages, jewellery, Oil King Suites…Gold seats to Oiler games
  • $1,500 GC for Dinette and Patio Showcase..
  • $1,000 GC from United Cycle…
  • Shopping spree at Derks clothing and dinner….
  • And more…

TODAY’S ITEM….

  • A one year lease on a brand new 2014 GMC Sierra SLE courtesy of Petersen Buick GMC.

    It is a 1500 4×4 Double Cab…
    Heated front bucket seats…
    Back up camera…
    Intellilink…
    You can get in Black, Stealth Grey or Silver.
    You need to start your one year lease by the end of January, 2014. 

You can bid by calling 780.444.1260 or 1-800-243-1945 between 2-6 p.m. today during the Jason Gregor Show.

Thanks in advance to all who will bid on these packages over the next few weeks. 100% of the money raised goes directly to the charities, and know that you will be making some people’s lives much more enjoyable during the holidy season.

I’m hoping we can reach $60,000 this year.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR 

  • Dan 1919

    I support Eakins and do not think firing another coach will solve anything, but he needs to get serious, his post game comment tonight regarding who will start in goal against Columbus, “We’ll talk to both guys in the morning, I’m not worried blah blah blah dubnyk had a shutout against columbus blah blah.” Deven Dubnyk has been the main downfall of this team this year, get over the guy and say Bryz will start because he just had an OUTSTANDING SHUTOUT!

    • Johnnydapunk

      Apparently Markkanen’s was the first for the Oil, though Darren Puppa shut out the Oil in 85′ in his first game with the Sabres.

      I actually saw Gage play about 12 ish years ago when he was in the British Superleague which was defiantly not super by any means, was still wearing his Oil gear at the time. Ended up having a pretty decent career in Europe.

  • Johnnydapunk

    Bryz Bryz Bryz This is the same guy that couldn’t stop a beach ball or keep his mouth shut in Philly They thought so highly of him they paid him a whole bunch of cash just to go away He gets a shutout against an offensive challenged team and now he’s a savior Horcoff is gone so now Dubnyk and Gagner are the wiping boys How does Hemsky escape the criticism When was the last time he was not a non factor tonight he was 0 0 0 0 and 1 shot on net Brutal When was the last time he was one of the 3 stars of a game From a vet that should be a leader He should be eating popcorn in the press box

  • Bryzarro World

    I believe that tonight’s lineup is the Oilers best lineup. Arcobello and Jones are so much better than Acton and Gadzik it is ridiculous. Johnshuu really perked up at the experience of playing with real NHLers. Grebeshkov is better than Potter or Larsen. Bryz was great (.978 SVP so far) but I am just saying he and Dubie are the top two goalies. DD has played well since his terrible start.

    We must temper our enthusiasm, but that’s 4 wins in 5 and the boys played a very good road game. The goal for the rest of this year is to get them moving on the right track, so that if we have a reason to be enthusiastic about next season.

  • Blood Orange

    It’s nice having a goalie that actually makes efforts to save the puck, rather than closing his eyes and hoping the puck hits him somewhere…

    Only a small sample size from Bryz. No complaints so far.

  • Spydyr

    Hope this game shows to the Dubnyk lovers how crappy a goalie Dubnyk really is.

    Was great watching a game with a real NHL starter in net.Not worried about every bad angle or weak shot getting in.

  • Spydyr

    Note to website manager: The page numbering of the comments in white on the blue/grey background is virtually impossible for my old eyes to see, making it difficult to scroll back to previous pages. Please change the colour of the numbers or of the background. Thank you.

  • Spydyr

    Gotta like Bryz,hope this is a sign of things to come!hope he plays and gets a win tonight to help the Oiler ship.Please send dubnyk away,after seeing a real goalie its gonna be hard to watch him close his eyes and hope!

  • OttawaOilFan

    Was really nice to hear Bryz get the shutout and also nice to hear the 4th line was more involved than usual!! I’m being cautiously optimistic at this point in time. DD had 5 games where he went 3-2 so I am giving Bryz the same amount of games before either Squeeing with excitement or crying myself to sleep. After 5 games I think we’ll have a good indication of where Bryz is going to go I think.