Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Oilers visit Music City in Western Conference showdown

The Nashville Predators will square off against the Edmonton Oilers for the second time this year. It will be the final game of a five game homestand. The last time these teams met, the Oilers got the 3-1 victory in a game that Nashville only had 12 shots on goal.

Nashville will hope to drastically exceed that shot total tonight against an Edmonton team that played last night against the Dallas Stars. The Stars were able to defeat the Oilers by a 4-1 score.

Edmonton rookie sensation Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nashville's rookie star Craig Smith will square off against each other for the second time this season. They have been the top two candidates for the Calder Trophy so far this season, and it will be interesting to see how they play tonight.

Nashville is coming off of a 4-3 overtime loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Predators have gone 2-0-2 on this homestand so far, and will be looking to end on a positive note before going on the road.

My player to watch for the Edmonton Oilers is Jordan Eberle. Like many of the players on Edmonton's roster, Eberle is a young player who is exceptionally gifted. It was only a matter of time before the Oilers saw drastic improvement. It seems that they are well on their way this year to becoming a much better hockey team than they have been in the past year, and that is due in large part to their young core of Eberle, Taylor Hall and Nugent-Hopkins.

For Nashville, my player to watch is Ryan Suter. Suter has already scored four goals this season, which is tied for as many goals as he had all of last year. Along with his defensive partner Shea Weber, Suter has a tremendous plus-minus rating so far this year at plus-15. If that play continues, it will put the Predators in a great position.

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