The Oilers are in Nashville tonight to take on the Predators, as the Oilers look to win their third straight game. The Oilers have won two games in a row but still haven’t gained any ground on a playoff spot over the last week, the Oilers should be sellers at the deadline but they have stayed pat. Apparently the Preds have been looking at Zack Kassian, do we see Kassian on the other side of the lineup tonight? I doubt it, but time will tell.
The Predators are 4th in the Western Conference, 1 point behind Winnepeg for 1st in the Central. The Predators are a tough team and the Oilers have struggled against the Preds the last couple years going 1-8-1. Though the Lone Oilers win did come in the most recent match up between the clubs. The Oilers skated away with a 5-3 win near the beginning of the season, when they club seemed to be on a roll, looking like an actual playoff threat. The Oilers have fallen off a cliff recently. Though I always hope for a good result from the Oilers I don’t have a good feeling about tonight.
Although the Oilers in my opinion are out of the playoff race considering how many teams they have to leap frog and how many points back they currently are. If the Oil can pull off a win and both Colorado and Vancouver lose, the Oilers will be in a tie with the Canucks (Ahead based on ROW), and be 6 points back of the final wildcard with a game in hand.
Oilers (Courtesy of @DNBsports on twitter)
Rieder – Draisaitl – Chiasson
Gagner – RNH – Kassian
Lucic – Cave – Currie
Malone – Brodziak – Rattie
Klefbom – Larsson
Nurse – Russell
Sekera – Benning
Line up subject to change due to trade deadline
Predators (Courtesy of www.dailyfaceoff.com)
Forsberg – Johansen – Aridsson
Fiala – Turris – Jarnkrok
Boyle – Bonino – Hartman
Sissons – Gaudreau – Grimaldi
Josi – Ellis
Ekholm – Subban
Hamhuis – Irwin
Preds are still in on Mark Stone, though it doesn’t look like they will land him, would impact lineups if that trade happens
Without McDavid in the lineup for the last game of his suspension, I don’t know if the Oilers will be able to work hard enough to beat a team as good as the Nashville Predators. Nobody is going to question the Oilers work ethic tonight but I don’t believe they have enough skill to compete tonight.