GDB 10.0: Can we turn the post-game F-bombs into on ice results? (1pm MT, Sportsnet)

7 months ago
The Edmonton Oilers stumbled once more in Thursday’s 4-3 loss to the Dallas Stars despite playing generally well, and this afternoon, we’ll be watching to see whether or not they can rebound against the Nashville Predators. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s game day.
Be sure to check out the latest NHL odds with online sportsbook Betway.
I know that nobody wants to hear this, but the Oilers played pretty well against the Stars, and it’s incredibly frustrating that we’re talking about a loss instead of celebrating. I know that no one has time for silver linings these days, but in a vacuum, Thursday’s game against the Stars was far from the problem. Unfortunately, we’re at a point in the season where the losses are piling up, and silver linings don’t pay the bills, so trying to find positives in another loss isn’t going to cut it anymore. As much as there were positive arrows in the Oilers’ last game, there weren’t enough of them to convert a strong effort into a win. Frankly, if the Oilers didn’t have bad luck right now, they wouldn’t have any luck at all.
The biggest problem standing in the Oilers’ way that I can see is their inability to limit costly mistakes. Whether it’s being unable to cash in a sure goal, getting caught by a bad pinch, or a missed save, it seems like any error that gets made winds up in the back of the net. At the other end of the ice, the snakebite is real. Outside of Evander Kane’s current run of seven points in four games, the well is running dry from the top of the lineup right down to the bottom and it is painful to watch. I wish there was an explanation for why every Oiler is seemingly slumping simultaneously, but those are the cards we’ve been dealt, and the only way past this shit is to go through it. Just like Gagner did in the third period against the Stars, let’s simplify the game, crash the crease, and fish for some garbage. It may not be the sexiest hockey you’ll see, but I’ll be damned if it’s not effective.
If we’re being honest with ourselves, there are a lot of guys who could use a lucky bounce right now, and I’m hoping that a date with the Predators is exactly what we need. For some cosmic reason, the Oilers have Nashville’s number lately, and if ever there was a time for a big rebound game, it’s this afternoon against the Preds. Then again, we don’t have much reason to feel confident right now either. In the games the Oilers play poorly, they’re dreadful. In the games they play well, the boys can’t buy a goal when they need it. It’s all a cruel joke, really. No one ever said the Oilers would be a defensive juggernaut, but the last thing I saw coming was an inability to score goals. The good news is that I still believe the Oilers have the skill to climb out of this hole, but seeing as the thing gets deeper by the day, we need the boys to figure this out before what feels like a lot of time starts to run out.
Let’s see what the numbers say…


POWER PLAY%21.223.3
AVG. SHOTS/FOR33.231.2
TEAM SAVE%.893.936
CORSI FOR%57.7948.44
Numbers courtesy of Natural Stat Trick (Sv%, CF%, PDO, Shooting%, xGF% all at 5×5)
  • This afternoon’s game marks Edmonton’s second of three games against Nashville this season and the first of two at Rogers Place. The next time these teams meet is on January 27th at Rogers Place.
  • Leon Draisaitl leads the Oilers with 39 career points (24G, 15A) against the Predators, while Sam Gagner leads the Oilers with 43 career games played against Nashville.
  • Leon Draisaitl registered four points (2G, 2A) the last time these teams met and now has 24 goals in 24 career games against the Predators. Leon is also the only active NHL player to average a goal per game versus a single opponent with a minimum of 20 games played. In his last 12 games against Nashville, he has accumulated a mind boggling 34 points (22G, 12A).
  • Juuse Saros set the Predators franchise record for most saves in a shutout when he stopped 46 shots vs. Edmonton on December 14th, 2017. However, in 10 career games vs. the Oilers, Saros is 3-5-1 with a .916 save percentage and two shutouts.
  • Worried about the early start? Understandably so. The Oilers have an all-time record of 62-81-23 in games that start at 3 pm (local time) or earlier.




****Third update: Connor Brown took warmups but will not play, Oilers going 11/6***
McDavid – Draisaitl – Hyman
Kane – RNH – Gagner
Holloway – McLeod – Foegele
Ryan – Lavoie
Nurse – Ceci
Ekholm – Bouchard
Kulak – Desharnais
In Draisaitl’s last 12 games against Nashville, he’s posted a ridiculous 22 goals and 12 assists for 34 points. It’s a stunning statistic and one we need to continue as the Oilers’ scoring struggles continue through the first nine games of the year. If ever there was a time when we needed a herculean performance from Draisaitl, then it’s here today against the Preds. Maybe that way his scoring touch can rub off on the others? Maybe? Anybody?


Forsberg – O’Reilly – Nyquist
Sherwood – Novak – Evangelista
Foudy – Sissons – Trenin
Smith – Parssinen – Fagemo
Josi – Fabbro
McDonagh – Carrier
Lauzon – Barrie
The Nashville Predators (4-6-0) continue their five-game road trip this afternoon in Edmonton after moving to 1-4-0 on the road in 2023-24 after a 4-2 loss to the Seattle Kraken on Thursday. If ever there was a team the Oilers needed to beat, it’s a team they’ve owned over the last few years that’s also struggling on the road. Dare to dream? In other news, Tyson Barrie makes his return to Edmonton for the first time after being traded for Mattias Ekholm at last season’s trade deadline. Barrie played a total of 190 games with the Oilers, registering 25 goals and 107 assists for 132 points.


Photoshop: Tom Kostiuk
Game Day Prediction: The Oilers continue their run of excellence over the Predators, securing a 4-2 win to kick off the weekend in style.
Obvious Game Day Prediction: Leon remains dominant over a Nashville team that doesn’t seem to have any answers
Not-So-Obvious Game Day Prediction: Ryan McLeod picks up his first goal of the season.

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