Tonight, the Predators come in to Columbus, OH and play against the Blue Jackets in game 60 for the Predators.
Looking at the Blue Jackets: Four points out of the massive Chinese traffic-jam that is the Western Conference playoff hunt, and going 6-3-1 in their past 10, the Blue Jackets are playing some pretty good hockey as of late, making sure that opponents don’t take them lightly and TRYING to get back into the playoff race without looking from the outside for the ninth time in ten years. Steve Mason is on fire, going 7-3 in his past 10 games, and Captain Nash is also making sure this team stays alive with 11 points in the past 10 games (5g/6a). The Blue Jackets aren’t to be taken lightly as this is a team that is hungry to get into the playoffs and will do whatever it takes to get there
Looking at the Predators: Although the home games against the Blue Jackets in Nashville are pretty lopsided…not so much in the Jackets’ Nationwide Arena. Over the past 7 games in Columbus, the Predators have only gone 3-4-1. The Predators may not be having the same Win/Loss streaks they had earlier in the season, however since the 4 game losing streak, the Predators have pretty much gone back and forth between wins and losses (not including the DET/COL wins), you can’t play .500 hockey and expect to get into the playoffs.
For the Blue Jackets to win: Stellar goaltending and continue the amazing penalty killing against the Predators. Over the past 15 games against the Preds, the Jackets have killed off 44 of 48 chances (91.69%) and although it may not have helped in the outcome of some of these games, it definitely helps to kill off 90+% of penalties against any team. The Blue Jackets also live and die on their goaltending. When Steve Mason is on his game, this team is nearly unstoppable. If the Jackets want to continue their winning ways and get back to the playoff hunt, their goaltending has to keep them in the race
For the Predators to win: Oh how many times is it going to take before it sticks? Consistency, consistency, consistency. This team lacks consistency and it’s going to kill their playoff hopes and dreams if they don’t find it here soon. Goaltending has stayed fairly consistent, but it’s the defensive breakdowns and offensive miscues that are literally terrorizing this team. The Predators know that 3 goals a game determines their wins and losses, but the problem is finding those 3 goals. Find your offense, find your wins. It’s that simple for the Predators
Prediction: Win, Loss, Win, Loss…time for a Win for the Predators. I’m 1-3 in predictions so far since I started this blog about 9 days ago and I’m hoping to get a LITTLE bit better than that. The Predators need to put a choke hold on teams that are under the 8th Place-marker and they’ll start tonight against the Jackets.
Predators get back on track with a 3-2 Shootout win against the Jackets
Thanks for reading!