Photo Credit: © Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Predators 2, Oilers 1 post-game Oil Spills: A game of inches

Another day, another frustrating loss. The Oilers have just one win in five games in 2018 and the faint hope that they had built up around making an unlikely playoff run prior to the Christmas break has now completely dried up. The team didn’t play poorly, but they just weren’t good enough, which has been the story all season.


This goal was kind of unfortunate. Nashville went ahead 2-0 when Ryan Johansen walked into the zone and launched a pass off the boards to Roman Josi. Josi’s one-timer was mostly stopped by Cam Talbot, but it deflected up and hit Adam Larsson in the face and Viktor Arivdsson was able to bury the rebound. There isn’t much you can do there, as Larsson was effectively tying up Arvidsson and likely wouldn’t have been able to score had the puck not drilled Larsson right in the face.

Under a minute into the second period, Connor McDavid pulled the Oilers to within one goal with an excellent individual effort in the offensive zone. He picks up the puck right against the board while being checked by Mattias Ekholm, but still manages to break free and slide a goal through Pekka Rinne’s five-hole. The fact he pulled this off against Ekholm, arguably Nashville’s best all-around defenceman, is brilliant.

The Oilers tied the game with a few minutes to go in the third period, but the goal was called back because Jujhar Khaira’s skate was in the zone before Mark Letestu carried the puck past the blueline. Edmonton had a flurry after that with the goalie pulled, but couldn’t get the tying goal past Rinne.

By the numbers

The first period was played evenly, with Edmonton edging Nashville in even strength shot attempts 15 to 14. Nashville was able to convert in the first on a power play (of course!) and they scored the second goal off of an unfortunate bounce. In the second, Edmonton turned on the engines and had 21 shot attempts to Nashville’s eight. I think at this point the Predators were playing conservatively, but Edmonton was only able to muster one goal early on. In the third, the shot attempts were split 11 to 11 with the Oilers getting a few high danger chances. All told, the Oilers’ defence did a good job shutting Nashville down, as they only allowed the Preds to get 33 shot attempts towards the net and 15 scoring chances at even strength. Unfortunately, Edmonton’s offence yet again wasn’t able to turn strong possession numbers into goals. Same old, same old.


  • The McDavid, Draisaitl, and Maroon line was dominant, as you’d expect. I imagine Todd McLellan will continue to roll with this group for the next few games, as they were the one trio consistently driving offence and generating chances in Nashville’s zone. The McDavid line managed 12 scoring chances at even strength, which was more than half that the entire team had combined.
  • I thought the blueline was solid last night. The Predators didn’t get many great scoring chances and the Oilers defence did a good job keeping the shots to the outside. Now, is that because they played well, or is it because Nashville scored a couple first period goals and played defensively the rest of the way? This is also a Nashville team without Filip Forsberg, their top offensive threat. I’m trying to be positive here, and it isn’t very easy.
  • Scott Hartnell had a brutal slash of Patrick Maroon in an area he, uh, you know, shouldn’t be making a slash. The refs missed it. Connor McDavid was also hooked on a breakaway. The refs missed it. I’m usually not one to complain about reffing, but it’s pretty shocking how little protection McDavid has been getting this season. Doesn’t the league want speed and skill to shine through?
  • The offside call that overturned Mark Letestu’s game-tying goal was the right one but the rulebook, but it’s a stupid rule. The league implemented these offside challenges because that one time Matt Duchene was, like, a mile offside and scored on a breakaway and the refs looked terrible. But in situations like this when Khaira’s skate is an inch over the line? Who cares? It isn’t effecting the play at all. It’s a little different, but in soccer, they altered the offsider rule so that it’s based on whether a player is involved in the play. This really needs to be changed in the NHL so that a guy off to the side with a foot over the line not effecting the play isn’t a reason to overturn a goal. Nashville fans know all too well just how stupid this rule is.
  • 99CupsofCoffey

    Have a button on the bench. The coach has 10 seconds to press the button after the puck enters the zone to Challenge. If he doesn’t press the button by then, Play On.

  • TKB2677

    What I find most frustrating about the offside call is when you look at the back foot that was off the ice, it’s almost 2 feet BEHIND the blueline. In fact his whole back leg is clearly behind the blueline and you can see it with the naked eye. So regardless if the skate is a millimeter off the ice, he’s onside. There is no debate given how much space there is between the blueline and the skate. If the skate is hovering about the blue then I get why maybe you can argue it could be either way but it’s not. It’s literally FEET behind the blueline. So it should be obvious to say to the other team. “I don’t care if his skate isn’t on the ice, look at where his leg is.

    • HardBoiledOil 1.0

      I thought they already took care of this foot off the ice crap in the off season after Kassian had at least a couple of goal called back because his foot was off the ice even though he was clearly onside?

  • Klef abs

    It still boggles my mind how much complaining there is about offside rules. It has been the same for decades. It is always called that way. If you want to complain about video review of it that’s one thing. But the offside rule has been the same for ever. And 99 times out of a hundred the linesman would have caught it before the goal was scored and blown it dead.

  • Jordan88

    No one should ever attack the players on any team for offensive production when the Refs don’t call the game.

    Rob Brown said that refs talk and they may have developed a grudge from the backlash they got when they BLEW several calls over the series.

    If that’s the case then refs need to be held accountable as it hurts the integrity of the league.

  • camdog

    In respect to the NHL I don’t watch non Oiler games anymore unless it’s playoffs. Entertainment value isn’t their. I will always watch the Oilers but hockey is no longer my favourite sport. I will watch playoffs, but I am not going to watch a video replay of a non Oiler teams have goals wiped off because the skate blade is off the ice.

  • Marlees

    So is the league going to review the spear to Maroon or what? Do the Oilers submit a request to them to review? Anyone know or is this just a dead issue and we all take it in the nards. I swear their is a conspiracy against the Oil.

  • oilers-patience

    Is it only me or isn’t it obvious someone needs to tell the players to go TO the net rather than continuing to skate by the net? Normally teams talk about banging and crashing the net when they can’t score. Everyone around this team talks about “playing with swagger”. What is that? Go to the net hard, bang around, dig in for rebounds. Play harder in the 10 feet around the crease. Its not bad puck luck, its poor effort where goals can be manufactured.