Stop Taking Penalties, Please: NSH vs. EDM Recap

Last night's game wasn't technically that bad on the Predators' part; they were ultimately felled 4-2 by the Oilers due to costly penalties and, most importantly, Leon Draisaitl.

Credit: Knox News

Killing a penalty has been a struggle for the Preds this season, but they're usually able to stifle their opponent's power play (73.4 percent of the time) enough to not allow a goal. The issue with going on the PK against Edmonton, however, is that you're matching the league's second-worst PK unit with the league's best PP unit, as well as leaving yourself exposed to be utterly thrashed by the NHL's most lethal forwards: Draisaitl and Connor McDavid.

Draisaitl recorded a three-point night against the Preds- two power play goals and one assist. McDavid also obtained three points in the form of three assists. I'm of the mindset that if the Oilers didn't have McDavid and/or Draisaitl, they would be perennial bottom-five finishers. Yet, here they sit at 12th overall in league standings, first in the PP, and sixth in the PK. McDavid and Draistail really are that good.

Okay, back to the Preds. Win or loss, Filip Forsberg stole the night with his lacrosse-style, behind the net goal. A goal he's attempted multiple times (see his try against the Sharks on Mar. 29, 2018), Forsberg was finally successful in fooling both Mike Smith and Edmonton's defense. Before the 2019-20 season, this style of goal has never succeeded. Carolina's Andrei Svechnikov has now famously scored twice this season using the same "Michigan" technique, so Forsberg joined some exclusive company last night.

Colin Blackwell secured his second NHL goal last night on a wonderful feed from Nick Bonino. The Milwaukee Trio of Blackwell, Yakov Trenin, and Alexandre Carrier- who are collectively replacing the injured Colton Sissons and Ryan Ellis- have been exceptionally effective on the ice for the Preds in their NHL infancy. Trenin, who has played in just 12 games this season, already has six points as well as 17 shots on goal. Blackwell is catching his stride as of late; his first NHL goal came on Thursday's game in Chicago, and has five points and a +9 rating in 13 games as a Predator.

As far as shot spread is concerned, the Preds finished the game with a sound Corsi advantage over the Oilers. The Oilers came at Pekka Rinne hard from the left defensive pocket and both wings, but didn't stray at all from those exact positions, which left a lot of white on their heat map. The Preds were able to "paint" the zone much better; where shots lacked on the left wing, they more than made up for on the right wing and center ice.

The Preds will come home to play the Ducks tomorrow. The Ducks' last win, shamefully, came on Jan. 5 when they beat the Preds in a shootout. In their last 10 games, Anaheim is 2-7-1 and has allowed 38 goals in that time, putting them second from the bottom in league standings. The Preds really should have no problem handing the Ducks their fifth consecutive loss, but we've seen this team do far worse.

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