by Taylor Parks
On Thursday night, Nashville Predators GM David Poile was in attendance in Edmonton looking to become the winningest General Manager in NHL history.
The Predators (40-14-9, 89 points) invaded Edmonton, fresh off what will long be remembered as one of the craziest games in Winnipeg just a few nights before. The Oilers (27-33-4, 58 points) undoubtedly looking for the clock to run out on this season, a season which started out with possible Stanley Cup possibilities. The Predators look to continue to keep pace in the West and to stay away from the Jets in the Central Division.
Edmonton came out firing on all cylinders, and really did a great job at keeping the Predators on the perimeter, limiting any high caliber chances by the Preds. The Oilers would score twice in the period, but not without a little controversy. On their first goal by Connor McDavid (29) McDavid slashed Mattias Ekholm’s stick out of his hand, leaving the defender at a disadvantage. The second goal was tallied by Leon Draisaitl (21) after Milan Lucic looked to have gotten away with a Charge against the Predators. The Predators would limp into the second period down by 2 goals.
The Oilers kept the pressure on the Preds in the second period, continuing to limit the Predators ability to carry the puck through the netural zone. Pekka Rinne kept the game close after numerous saves, but particularly, a huge save on a Connor McDavid to keep the Oiler lead at 2. Nashville would finally break through at 16:28 on a goal by Scott Hartnell (12), who continues his strong play. The Preds would strike back once more on a goal by Viktor Arvidsson (23) after a fantastic feed from Filip Forsberg with just 10 seconds remaining in the period.
After gaining the momentum at the end of the second period, the Nashville Predators never let it slip away. VIktor Arvidsson scored his 24th goal at 14:52 and Austin Watson delivered the dagger at 16:50 to complete the comeback (again). Nashvllle looks to continue their strong play tomorrow night against the Vancouver Canucks (24-32-6, 54 points).
What We Learned
David Poile Makes History
David Poile, your Nashville Predators General Manager, is now the all time wins leader for a GM in the NHL. With tonight’s win, Poile passes long-time GM Glen Sather with 1,320 wins. Poile has been with Nashville since the beginning and is responsible some blockbuster trades that brought players here such as Ryan Johansen, PK Subban, Filip Forsberg, and Calle Jarnkrok. It goes without saying that he is the reason we have experienced recent success, and I can only hope that by the end of his tenure he has a few Stanley Cups to his name.
So Many Different Combinations
Peter Laviolette has never been afraid to make changes to the lineup, but at times tonight it seems like a preseason game with how many different line combinations he threw out there. For instance, Ryan Hartman actually got the start on the JOFA line (without the A) and in the third period there was a power play that consisted of Ryan Hartman, Scott Hartnell, ad Nick Bonino with Mattias Ekholm and Calle Jarnkrok on the point. WIth the regular season slowly coming to an end, I would expect to continue to see the lines continue to change until he finds a home for Hartman and Mike Fisher.
Pekka Rinne doesn’t lose to the Oilers.😀
Photo Credit AP Photo/Mark Humphrey