Onlookers can debate whether Nashville Predators forward Craig Smith was robbed of a goal during Wednesday’s 4-1 win against the Edmonton Oilers. There’s no denying that he had a big impact on tonight’s game, anyway, as he scored two goals (that counted) as Nashville ended Edmonton’s four-game winning streak.
(Speaking of streaks, the Predators won five straight home games for the first time since 2008, according to Sportsnet.)
Smith, 25, scored the first of his two goals after a nice bit of defensive work. Here’s the end result:
Ben Scrivens made some tough saves, yet Nashville was just too much for Edmonton. Also too much: Shea Weber’s ridiculous shot for his fourth goal of 2014-15:
Here are a couple possession charts if you’re into that sort of thing:
Even with Edmonton fighting to get back into the game in the third period, Nashville outscored the Oilers 2-1 in that final frame.
Plenty left to learn about both teams
The Predators have been looking pretty good, especially considering that 6-1-2 record. Still, we’ll find out more about this squad soon; tonight’s game kicked off a six-game road trip that will get tougher as it goes along. (Their possession stats are solid enough so far, so that’s good.)
The pendulum seems to swing violently for the Oilers each week so far in 2014-15. Perhaps a 4-5-1 record is fair enough for Edmonton so far. While the Oilers’ four-game winning streak was heartening, they’re also 0-5-1 against Western Conference opponents this season.
The Oilers finish their seven-game homestand on Saturday and then face five straight road games, so we may very well see more peaks and valleys through November.
Overall, the jury’s still out on both teams, yet the grade for the Predators is “so far, so good.”