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GDB Game Notes: Nashville Predators @ Edmonton Oilers – Oilers Nation

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After a disappointing two-game swing through Arizona and San Jose, the Oilers will return home on Saturday night to host the Nashville Predators.

1. After an impressive showing in which they picked up five of a possible six points in a three-game swing against Calgary, St. Louis, and Calgary again, the Oilers seemed to have an emotional letdown after travelling to the desert. In Arizona, they came out flat in the first period, then, at home against San Jose, they had a quick start, but failed to keep their foot on the gas for the final 40 minutes. The team will need to find their energy again against Nashville and Chicago, two teams who won’t go away in the wild-card race.

2. This evening’s game (which will be played at 5:00 pm local time) will be the second of three meetings between the Oilers and Predators this season. Nashville came to down in mid-January after the Oilers lost an emotional game on the road to Calgary. The Oilers beat the Preds in a huge rebound victory and then hammered Arizona a few nights later before heading into the break. Hopefully, this game against Nashville works out the same way it did last time.

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3. Dave Tippett clearly wasn’t happy with the team’s effort over the last couple of games…

Hopefully, this gives them a kick.

4. The Preds have been one of the league’s biggest disappointments this season. After adding Matt Duchene in the off-season Nashville was expected to contend for a Stanley Cup, but they’re currently on the outside of the playoff picture looking in with the trade deadline quickly approaching.

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5. The team is 7-5-0 since firing head coach Peter Laviolette and replacing him with John Hynes, who got fired from his gig as the head coach of the New Jersey Devils a few weeks prior. Swapping out Laviolette for Hynes hasn’t fixed Nashville’s biggest issue, which has been poor goaltending. The usually-solid duo of Pekka Rinne and Jusse Saros has been terrible this year, posting a combined .893 save percentage.

6. Obviously, you don’t like to simply blame goaltending for a team’s struggles, but it’s difficult to pinpoint anything else glaringly wrong with Nashville this year. Their underlying numbers are good, they don’t give up many high-quality chances against, and they’re above-average offensively. One place they’re really struggling with is on the penalty kill. Nashville has a 74.85 penalty kill percentage, which ranks fifth-worst in the league.

7. Is that a goaltending thing? Or a team thing? Regardless, it bodes well for the Oilers, who own the league’s most effective power play at 28.75 percent. That said, while Edmonton does still have the top power-play in the league, it’s been a cause of concern the past couple of games as they haven’t converted on their last six opportunities. I’ve heard talk that Oscar Klefbom isn’t cutting it on the power-play and that either Darnell Nurse or Ethan Bear should get a shot on the top unit. The power-play hasn’t been good the past couple of games, but this is still the top power-play in the league for a reason. I wouldn’t say it’s time to hit the panic button just yet.

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8. Tyler Benson finally made his NHL debut last night, splitting time with Gaetan Haas and Alex Chiasson on the fourth line and alongside Connor McDavid. Interestingly enough, Benson was much more effective with the fourth-line guys, as he and McDavid didn’t muster a single shot attempt during their time on ice together. Over 2:40 of play at even strength, those two managed to get outshot nine to zero. Playing a rookie alongside McDavid is a difficult task because he attracts the other team’s top defenders.

9. Courtesy of Gregor here is the Oilers scoring last year compared to this season, though 54 games, as well as the Predators’ scoring.

TEAM TOP-5 FORWARDS REST OF FORWARDS DEFENCE
2018/19 103-133-236                                                  31-52-83 20-71-91
EDMONTON 106-152-258 47-56-103 18-81-99
NASHVILLE 70-67-137 68-109-177 33-102-135

10. Gregor added that the Predators don’t have any elite scoring forwards this year. D-man Roman Josi leads their team with 38 points and Matt Duchene’s 35 points is tops among forwards, but the Predators have scoring throughout their lineup. They are 9thin the NHL in scoring averaging 3.25 goals/game, but they have struggled mightily defensively, which is odd for a Predators team. They are 24th in GA/game at 3.23. Pekka Rinne has a .898Sv% in 31 starts and Juuse Saros has a .901Sv% in 22 starts.

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Alouettes trade for QB Trevor Harris – CFL.ca

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MONTREAL — The Montreal Alouettes announced on Sunday that the team has acquired veteran quarterback Trevor Harris from the Edmonton Elks in exchange for American defensive end Antonio Simmons.

In six games this season, Harris completed 135 of 192 passes, collecting 1,568 yards, adding six majors.

Harris (six-foot-three, 212 pounds) is in his ninth season in the CFL after playing in Toronto, Ottawa and Edmonton. In 139 career games, he completed 1990 passes for 23,750 yards, adding 126 touchdown passes. The 35-year-old quarterback has hoisted the Grey Cup twice (2012, Toronto; 2016, Ottawa). The Waldo, OH native was selected on the East Division All-Star Team in 2016. The former Edinboro University Fighting Scots suited up for the Jacksonvile Jaguars in 2010 and the Buffalo Bills in 2011.

“Trevor is a veteran who knows the league well and what it takes to win”, said Montreal Alouettes General Manager Danny Maciocia. “We are pleased to have been able to complete this transaction. We are confident that Trevor will work well with our quarterbacks. We thank Antonio for his services and wish him well.”

In 23 career games with the Alouettes, Simmons made 52 defensive tackles, five quarterback sacks and forced a fumble.

Simmons is currently in his second CFL season and joins the Elks after originally signing with Montreal in May of 2019.

The Georgia Tech product played all 18 regular season games for the Als in 2019, recording 45 defensive tackles, three sacks, and a forced fumble. In five games this season, Simmons has registered seven defensive tackles and two sacks.

A native of Jacksonville, Florida, Simmons played four years (2014-17) at Georgia Tech, collecting 83 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, and seven quarterback sacks. He spent time in 2018 with both the Denver Broncos and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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Flames D Andersson fined $5K for roughing Oilers F Yamamoto – TSN

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Calgary Flames defenseman Rasmus Andersson has been fined $5,000 for roughing Edmonton Oilers forward Kailer Yamamoto.

Andersson was fined the maximum allowable under the collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and the Players’ Association.

The money goes to the players’ emergency assistance fund.

Andersson was assessed minor penalties for both roughing and elbowing at 14:33 of the first period Saturday in Edmonton.

The Flames lost their season-opener 5-2 to the Oilers.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 17, 2021.

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Report: Maple Leafs to ease up on dress code restrictions for game days – Sportsnet.ca

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The Toronto Maple Leafs are apparently planning to loosen up on dress code restrictions for players on game day.

Players are required to wear jackets, ties and dress pants to and from the arena, as outlined in the CBA, however, teams can ease up on the mandate if they choose.

The Arizona Coyotes were the only team that opted to do so entering the season, but the Maple Leafs now plan to follow suit, according to Lance Hornby of The Toronto Sun.

The decision comes just a few days after ESPN published an article on Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews, who has shown a flair for unique fashion while away from the arena, discussing his displeasure with the NHL’s strict dress code.

“I don’t mind wearing a suit, but it gets old pretty quick,” Matthews said. “I think it’d be fun to wear different things and be able to express yourself, similar to what the NBA does or even the NFL a little bit.”

The 24-year-old Matthews, who led the NHL with 41 goals in 52 games last season, missed the first three games of the season while recovering from wrist surgery and is expected to make his 2021-22 debut Monday night against the New York Rangers on Sportsnet.

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