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 

  • Spoils

    whatever the outcome, i bet we do some good things and see improvement in some areas of weakness. probably played a good second period but the first and second weren’t quite were we like it to be. our corsi was ok and shot differential was outstanding. just got to put a complete game together. no problems. bliss.

  • pkam

    We add Ryan Jones back and even call up Grebeshkov from OKC, so we are going with all our Russians and ex-Predators tonight. Wonder how Predators feel if they were beaten by a team loaded with ex-Predators and Russians.

  • headmetal

    Nuge (6mil), Hall (6mil), Ebs (6mil)
    – the 666 line!!! –
    wonder if this should be called the ‘Beast line’!!!
    think we will be fine tonight. Oil win 3-2 after giving up 2 goals in the third to scare us all.

  • Ducey

    OMG.

    Jultz and Grebs on the same D-pairing seems rather…………, well, crazy………

    Combine that with the Hemmer, Gags, and Yak line, and these offensively challenged Preds will pot at least 5 goals.

    Book it, 6-1 shellacking that prompts MacT to have a segment on an upcoming radio show….

  • Ducey

    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.

    Are you drunk Gregor? πŸ™‚

    Finishing with the 4th worst record (with the worst goals for) in the league last year was “competitive”?

    The Oilers with the 7th worst record must have been even more “competitive”.

    • Jason Gregor

      So one 48 games stretch means they stink…maybe look at bigger picture..Here are last 3 full NHL seasons for Nashville…

      2012…playoffs, with 104 points.
      2011…playoffs, with 99 points.
      2010…playoffs, with 100 points.

      Oilers finished 30th, 30th and 29th those three years, but I guess the Preds aren’t competitive.

      Since 2006 Preds have made playoffs six times, and had 99+ points five times.

      You seem to like to argue just for the sake of it. Maybe take a moment to look at history rather than your usual small sample size…

      But yes for 48 games Oilers beat them, so clearly Edmonton is more competitive. #facepalm

      Oh, and they are already 10 points ahead of Oilers this year, despite losing their starting goalie for 5 weeks.

      • Ducey

        You indicated the Preds are “always competitive” and “keep finding ways to be competitive”.

        How is finishing in 4th last for 2012-2013, (just 2 pts out of 29th), and having the worst offense, being “always” competitive?

        You entire premise was that NSH somehow managed to stay competitive once they lost Suter. Well, they obviously didn’t. They stunk – so bad they were worse than the Oilers.

        Now they are currently out of the playoffs again.

        If anything is to be learned from NSH its not about effort or coaching genius. Its about playing an extreme defensive system based on the two best D men in the league playing 25 minutes a night. That will keep you “competitive” enough to make the playoffs. It obviously wasn’t enough to do much once they got there – which might give you pause to consider whether that set up will work well enough to win a Cup.

        • Jason Gregor

          They are within six points of the playoffs. That is competitive. Do you know what the word means?

          So because their system was defensive that means it wasn’t competitive or successful?

          And they didn’t play as defensive as you think…they were top 8 offensive team in west four of the six years they made playoffs.

          You do realize their is One winner each year? I said they were competitive, not a Cup winner.

          So the 15 teams who made playoffs but didn’t win aren’t competitive now? Winning the Cup has nothing to do with being competitive. One team wins, so many are competitive, but don’t win. Simple.

  • One more lose, followed by one more win to close the month off, then the hurt begins, enjoy these last couple games cause I think it’s about to get nasty around here.

    OGDP – Oilers lose in typical fashion 3-1.

    Eakins does his post-game routine β€œ I thought we were good to go before the game but it was a little bit of weird game that way, I definitely thought we played better than the score indicated, but giving up that goal I felt was the difference in the game”.

  • A-Mc

    Well i went straight to my fantasy hockey team pages to see if i could pickup the Nashville goalie. Unfortunately, it was too late and he wouldn’t make my roster until tomorrow. Because i wont have him on my roster but he IS available, that means he’ll get another excellent performance and/or shutout. Goalies wait until they are on my fantasy team before they let in 4-6 stinkers a game. Thx for nothing!

    Anyway:

    GDP: Oilers lose 4-1.
    OGDP: The dirty frenchman continues to throw pucks at the net! he’ll be the lone scorer on the night.
    NSOGDP: Arcobello is so cheesed off at having to sit this last stretch of games that he picks a fight with Weber.. and DOMINATES. Stunned, OilersNation’s ideas about size and grit are thrown completely out the window and we demand that MacT Sign Arco to a 25 year $100M deal.

  • Craig1981

    When speaking about how Nashville always competes and wins and giving props to the organization I think one also needs to look at what having one of the top 3-5 d-men in the league on your roster.

  • Baresnake

    GDP: Oilers win 3-1.
    OGDP: Taylor Hall picks up a goal and an assist.
    NSOGDP: With his first start for the Oilers, Ilya Bryzgalov stops 30+ shots for his first victory of the year. After the game, as he’s smiling like a Russian who’s discovered Stalin’s secret cave of vodka, he goes on and on about how the Flyers were wrong to give up on him and buy him out. The resulting clip is shown every 4 minutes on every Canadian sports channel for 3 weeks.

    Congrats on the baby news Gregor! If it’s a boy, I suggest the name “Jake” and if it’s a beautiful baby girl, I’ve always like the name “Jake”!!!!!

  • Craig1981

    Exactly JG do you mean by this statement?
    ” Tonight is a good challenge for the Oilers to see if they can match the work ethic, competitiveness and discipline of the Predators.”

    That’s a sad commentary on our team. Fire Klowe.

  • Cool Beans

    I want to see the “Kids” play like they are being paid 6 million dollars per year.

    I don’t want to hear about how they are learning, or how they just weren’t quite ready at the start of the game, or even how they played well at times and just made a couple of costly mistakes.

    6 million dollars a year.

    Earn it.Now.

  • Spydyr

    I can’t believe someone are so blessed with draft choices, or maybe they have hired great scouts! Nevertheless, it’s still up to the manager and coaches brave enough to deploy them; A good system for the team to follow, Then again, sometimes talent is over-rated, desire and hard-work trumps them every time!!! Is that too much to ask for? This is definitely my New Year’s wish then…….

  • NsxZero

    “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.”

    Yeah I hope it’s tic-shoot the puck-crash the net for a rebound-toe.

  • pkam

    Playing on the fourth line is pure disaster when it comes to the Oil……..no player including Wayne Gretzky could be effective playing 5 minutes a game. I would have Arco switch places with Gagner ……..if results matter to Mr. Bangs.

    Gagner is fourth line material due to his skating, but for some reason he figures very high with the Oilers Management.

    If the OIlers can start the game shooting and end the game shooting, eventually the hockey gods will reward us with some luck? Is it just me but whenever the opposition shoots there always seems to be a rebound. When we shoot there is NEVER a rebound……or a OIlers player within 20 feet!

    We need Philip Larsen back……..he moves the puck very efficiently up the ice………the Oilers should feed him spinach and Pizza ever hour until he starts to gain some weight.