The Oilers continue their tour through towns where wins go to die with a stop off in Nashville. The Preds have been on the road a lot since the start of the season and still rank among the top 4 teams in the conference. They are 6-1-3 in the last 10 and have opponents singing the sad songs all night long.
Nashville’s defense is currently posting some unique plus minus numbers. Shea Weber (+19) and Ryan Suter (+15) lead the way–by a mile. Kevin Klein and Jonathan Blum (both -9) are joined by Francis Bouillon (-5) as the other regulars. It’s a curious gap, suspect it’ll close as the season wears on. Still, you can’t argue with that top pairing.
I think this is crunch time for the summer statements by Steve Tambellini and Tom Renney about winning being the priority and playoffs being the goal. If true, then the 4line and the inexperienced D have to be altered right away. The Oilers don’t have Linus Omark as a callup option, but Teemu Hartikainen could get the call and Magnus Paajarvi is a better player than he’s shown this year.
The blue? Peckham-Petry, Chorney-Teubert. It’s the hockey equivalent of getting 4 ab’s in a hitter’s park against the inconsistent spot starter. The young D are playing like Bob Sebra 1987.