Tonight the Canucks come in to Nashville, TN and play against the Nashville Predators in game 58 for the Preds.
Looking at the Canucks: The most dominating team in the Western Conference so far. They come into this game going 8-2-0 in their last 10 game, but 2-2 in their last 4. That doesn’t mean much, I know, but if the Predators need to take care of a team that is hurting, now is the time to do so. The Canucks blueline is DECIMATED. Alberts (broken wrist), Hamhuis (concussion), Ballard (knee), Sweatt (foot), Edler (back), all out. The Canucks know they’re hurt and the players filling in for the injured are not doing too bad. However, having 5 D-men out is tough to swallow, and sooner or later it’s going to eventually catch up to the #1 team in the west.
Looking at the Predators: Inconsistency. That’s the real name of the game right now when you talk about the Predators. The only three things that are consistent with the Preds are: The Powerplay, The Penalty Kill, and The Goaltending. Past that? It’s a crapshoot night in and night out as to which team the Nashville faithful are going to see every night. 4-4-2 in their past 10, 2-1-1 in their past 4, and seemingly floating in the traffic jam in the Western Conference, the Predators have to act tonight if they want to not only gain ground on Detroit, but stay in the playoff race altogether.
For the Canucks to win: For Luongo? Keep doing what you’re doing. For the team? Play the game you usually play. Even with their decimated d-corp, this team is super deadly on offense, leading the entire league in goals per game, only second to Detroit, leading the league in goals ALLOWED per game, boasting the number one power play in the entire league, AND the number 5 penalty kill. This team is good, all the way around good. If they play like they usually do, then they shouldn’t have to worry about losing to any team.
For the Predators to win: BE CONSISTENT. Pekka Rinne needs to stand on his head every night for the rest of the season, which isn’t very much to ask as he’s already been doing that. The teams needs to stay out of the box and try to keep the Canucks out of their own zone for as much time as possible. Overwork their understaffed defensemen and outmuscle them on the boards. Put pucks on the net and drive to the rebounds. I say almost the same things every game about what it would take for the Predators to win, it’s just a matter of finding that consistency and getting the job done on the offensive side of the game, as our defensive side (Defense/Goaltending) is definitely doing it’s job (2nd in the league in goals against…right behind Vancouver)
Prediction: Well, I’ve been right on one side of the numbers for the predicted goals 2 games in a row, let’s see if I can make it a third? The Preds are going to have their hands full with the juggernaut that is the Vancouver Canucks, but I just don’t FEEL the Predators grabbing 2 points tonight. This game is going to be CLOSE (see my previous article on this series) and both goaltenders are going to see a heavy amount of shots (30+ on both sides), but I think Vancouver get’s the best of the Predators tonight in a shootout.
Vancouver wins, 2-1 in a shootout
3 Star Guesses:
1) Roberto Luongo
2) Pekka Rinne
3) Daniel Sedin
Thanks for reading!
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