The Edmonton Oilers haven’t fared well against the Nashville Predators recently. They’ve lost every game against the Predators since late 2014 and looked like they were finally going to end the streak after going up 2-0 in the first. Well, the Predators showed why they’re Stanley Cup contenders and the Oilers aren’t.
Connor. McDavid. Is. Disgusting. ??. pic.twitter.com/mgyA391hrr
— Bar South N Celly™ (@BarSouthNCelly) March 2, 2018
Here’s why I don’t get upset at the missed call on Evander Kane against the Sharks. Connor McDavid gets away with a slash on Mattias Ekholm and it results in an Oilers goal. That’s likely a penalty, especially this year. But it wasn’t and McDavid makes them pay. The NHL’s officiating isn’t great, but sometimes it evens out like this.
— Chris Gordeyko (@TheNationChris) March 2, 2018
Milan Lucic lights up Calle Jarnkrok. Jarnkrok still got the puck out, but at least Lucic is involved in some way, even if it didn’t really help on the play all that much. Lucic isn’t on the best of terms with fans but that’ll get him in a few good books around Edmonton.
Draisaitl puts the Oilers up by two! pic.twitter.com/u80HfIvgLN
— OilersNation.com (@OilersNation) March 2, 2018
Leon Draisaitl puts the Oilers up 2-0 after entering the zone on the power play. It seemed like an innocuous shot, but Draisaitl wired it and probably fooled Pekka Rinne on it.
By the numbers
The Oilers had a good start but the Predators took control. They got a lot of really good chances and that’s not a surprise. Nashville’s a really good team. The Predators kept pressuring and eventually took the lead with two late-period goals in the third. Rinne’s save on McDavid’s breakaway when it was 2-0 allowed them to mount the comeback.
- The Oilers let another lead slip away. I thought it was odd McLellan didn’t pull the goalie. Apparently, he felt the losses were worse with empty net goals and said they weren’t winning many faceoffs. That sounds strange. I would have, especially with a prospect playing their first NHL game. I guess now is the time to send a message, but that still doesn’t sit right with me.
- On the same note, playing Lucic with McDavid sends the wrong message. Yes, they’re trying to get him going, but if ice time is supposed to be earned, Lucic hasn’t come close to earning first-line minutes with McDavid. McLellan said they tried reducing his minutes and now they’re trying the opposite. Over the year we’ve heard how players haven’t earned the chance to play with McDavid given their play: Jesse Puljujarvi, Nail Yakupov, Jordan Eberle. I don’t think any of them would have been playing alongside McDavid 5-on-5 and on the first power-play unit if they hadn’t scored in over 20 games.
- Ethan Bear was on the ice for three of Nashville’s goal, but I thought he had an okay NHL debut. I would have liked to see him get a push on the power play but maybe that happens the Rangers on Saturday.
- I watched the way the Predators move the puck from their defence and it’s night and day compared to the Oilers. The Oilers need defenceman that can move the puck better, but they’re fairly locked into this group with big contracts and trade protection to some (Sekera, Russell).
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