David Poile is alone at the top.
Nashville’s general manager recorded his 1,320th career victory, the most in NHL history, as his team came back to defeat the Edmonton Oilers, 4-2, on Thursday night at Rogers Place. It’s Nashville’s sixth consecutive win overall and its 12th straight victory over the Oilers, its longest streak against any team.
Two goals from Viktor Arvidsson, including the game-winner in the third period, played a part in the Preds scoring four unanswered on the evening, all ending with a magnificent milestone.
“We’re all just glad to be a part of it,” Predators Head Coach Peter Laviolette said of Poile’s achievement. “There’s no question that he deserves everything that he gets. He works incredibly hard at his job, he works incredibly hard at the human side of things, inside of an organization, and he’s just a terrific person, a terrific GM. It’s very well deserved, and I can tell you that, just from being on the inside and speaking for what I know, he’s earned it. He’s really earned it.”
Goals from Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl put the Preds down by two after 20 minutes, but at the 16:28 mark of the second period, Scott Hartnell finished off a nifty passing play with his linemates Nick Bonino and Calle Jarnkrok to get Nashville on the board. Then, with just 10 seconds to play in the middle frame, Filip Forsberg dished a pass to Arvidsson during a 2-on-1 to tie the score, the third time in two games the Preds have erased a two-goal deficit.
Arvidsson tallied again in the third off a Forsberg rebound, and Austin Watson sealed it with a marker of his own as goaltender Pekka Rinne and the Predators posted their second win in as many tries to start their current trip.
And with a monumental occasion to boot.
“What an incredible accomplishment,” Watson said of Poile. “To be able to come back and deliver on such a huge night for him was something special and something really incredible for us as a group to be a part of. Congratulations to Mr. Poile and his family, again, that’s incredible.”
Edmonton, AB – March 1: (L-R) Preds Captain Roman Josi, General Manager David Poile and Head Coach Peter Laviolette celebrate after Poile becomes the NHL’s all-time winningest GM.
Edmonton, AB – March 1: (L-R) Preds Captain Roman Josi, General Manager David Poile and Head Coach Peter Laviolette celebrate after Poile becomes the NHL’s all-time winningest GM. Nashville Predators
Simply the Best:
It’s all come full circle.
With Nashville’s 4-2 victory over the Oilers on Thursday night, Preds General Manager David Poile collected his 1,320th career victory to become the winningest GM in NHL history.
And while Viktor Arvidsson may have played the role of hero on the ice, tonight was all about the architect.
In fact, it’s the city of Edmonton where Poile has his earliest hockey memories as a toddler. From ages three to 13, Poile grew up in city, while his father and Hockey Hall of Famer, Bud, was coach of the Edmonton Flyers.
Now, approximately 60 years later, he adds one more memory from the city where the love for the game began.
“I owe everything to the game of hockey,” Poile said. “For me, it actually started here in Edmonton. I lived here from ages three to 13, my dad was the coach and general manager of the Flyers, so this was my introduction to hockey here in Edmonton. Glen Sather (the previous recorder holder for most wins by a GM) was the longtime manager here of the Oilers and that’s the record I went ahead of tonight. Glen is one of my best friends, a mentor to me. I learned so much from Glen, so there’s a lot of those good memories. This is my 46th year in the National Hockey League, it’s incredible that I’ve been in this game that long and like I said, all my friends are in hockey, everything that I’ve ever gotten is in hockey, so it just feels really neat.”
Poile’s wife, Elizabeth, and daughter, Lauren, were on hand in Edmonton for the occasion, no one prouder for their husband and father’s accomplishment.
“I’m really happy for my family. My wife has been there for all 1,320 wins, and she’s been there for all 1,000 losses,” Poile joked.
The only general manager the Predators have ever known, Poile took a moment to step back and enjoy the milestone, a well-deserved reprieve from the day-to-day happenings in the NHL.
But another game awaits, and he’ll have win No. 1,321 soon enough.
“Somebody asked me today, ‘Where are you?’ And I said, ‘I’m in a great place.’ Coming into Nashville 20 years ago, I had a hope, a vision, a dream that we could make it a hockey city, and it’s turned out unbelievable,” Poile said. “Today, we have a waiting list for season tickets. Who ever thought that was going to happen?”
In Nashville’s 12 consecutive wins over Edmonton, the Oilers have been held to two or fewer goals 11 times and shut out on four occasions. Goaltender Pekka Rinne has personally recorded 11 of the 12 wins in a row. The Preds have won six straight in Edmonton.
Winger Craig Smith’s career-high, eight-game point streak (4g-5a) came to an end on Thursday night as he was held pointless.
The Predators tallied the game-winning goal with less than six minutes to play in regulation for the second time on their current road trip.
Forward Ryan Hartman notched an assist on Austin Watson’s goal; Hartman has two points (1g-1a) in two games with the Preds.
Nashville’s four-game trip continues Friday night in Vancouver (at 9 p.m. CT) before concluding on Sunday afternoon in Colorado.
Pete Weber’s Postgame Report