The red-hot Nashville Predators head out to Edmonton for a meeting with the disappointing Oilers on Thursday night. At 27-32-3, the Oilers are all but removed from the postseason picture. It’s difficult to swallow for the Oilers, who were expected to build on what they accomplished last season. Their year ended in a Game 7 loss to the Ducks, setting up even more improvements in 2017-18. The Oilers entered the regular season as one of the top contenders for the Stanley Cup.
Months later, they’re a team that are sitting five spots behind the final wildcard. Five spots behind situates the Oilers 16 points behind the Ducks, who are currently in the last slot for the playoffs. In other words, the Oilers are not making the playoffs. If it weren’t for Connor McDavid holding this team up, they’d be near the bottom of the league with the Coyotes. Goaltender Cam Talbot, who played a pivotal role in their success a year ago, has not enjoyed the same level of productivity.
Conversely, the team on the other side is gearing up for another long run in the playoffs. The Preds came up short a year ago, falling to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Stanley Cup Final. Instead of regressing like the Oilers, the Preds have not been shaken at all by their near miss against the Penguins. Nashville enter with a healthy record of 39-14-4 as they look to not only get back to the Stanley Cup Final, but win it this time around. There are some good teams standing in their way, and anything can happen, but the Predators are on a good path. Acquiring P.K. Subban was one of the best things this franchise has done. Head below for our free Predators vs. Oilers pick.
Nashville Predators vs. Edmonton Oilers Pick
The Oilers must find a way to not allow this bad season to carry over into the following year, or there is going to be one Oiler in particular that is not going to be too happy. McDavid is a coveted possession, and he isn’t going to want to watch other young superstars playing on winning teams, while his services go to waste in Edmonton. The Oilers’ are trending at the back of the NHL on defence, allowing an average of 3.3 goals per game. That puts them at 29th in the league, behind such teams as the Coyotes and Canucks. There is only so much McDavid can do, and it’s certainly not enough to make up for their lack of effort on the blue line.
They’re going to have a heck of a time trying to slow down the Predators tonight. They’ve been tearing a hole through the net, with 17 goals in their last three games. In their last five games, they’ve averaged 5 goals per game. It could be a long night for the Edmonton defence if they continue to play like they have been. In their last ten games the Oilers have surrendered 3.8 goals per game. Cam Talbot has watched his numbers slip all the way down. He holds a less than average 3.11 GAA and 0.903 save percentage. The offence has been fine, with 3 goals per game in their last ten, but it’s not going to work with that poor attempt at playing defence. This one should make for an offensive display on Thursday night.
PICK: OVER 6 (-110)