The Predators continue their “best of 19″ series tonight when they come into Rogers Arena to square off against the league-leading Vancouver Canucks.
Looking at the Canucks: The Canucks are coming into this game going 5-5 in their past 10, which includes Tuesdays 2-1 Shootout win against rival Columbus. However, there is a telling stat here. This team has alternated wins and losses recently while they try to get healthy; for every win, there is a loss the next game. That’s right Predators fans, if you are superstitious like me, that gives you PLENTY of hope. However, the Canucks suffer from the same scoring syndrome that the Predators have: The 3 Goal Disease. In the past 10 games for the Canucks, when they score 3 goals they have gone 4-1-0. The latter? 1-4-0. Here’s another tidbit to think of: The Canucks only have 5 WINS when they HAVEN’T scored 3 goals.
Looking at the Predators: The Predators are just having ALL sorts of trouble. They’re 5-8-3 in their past 16, they drop a VERY winnable game against Edmonton on Tuesday (2-1 in a Shootout, 35 shots on net throughout the game with the only goal by rookie Tennessee boy Blake Geoffrion), they can’t seem to score more than 2 goals a game (all 5 of those wins they scored more than 3 goals, while they’re 0-5-2 when scoring 1 goal), their bus breaks down in Edmonton Tuesday night, the players have to take cabs and end up almost going to the wrong airport. Well…I think things are getting ready to change for this team. The young kids are starting to gel better with the veterans on this team, our goaltending is one of the BEST in this league, our powerplay is LOOKING better (well…kinda), AND I honestly believe the post-Detroit Win Hangover has come to it’s end. Why do I say this?
When we beat Detroit the last time and then Colorado afterwards, here was our breakdown of the next 6 games:
vs San Jose: 2-1 OTL
vs Vancouver: 3-1 W
vs Phoenix: 3-2 L
@ Columbus: 4-0 L
vs Chicago: 3-0 L
@ Dallas: 3-2 L
vs Columbus: 3-2 W
vs Edmonton: 2-1 OTL
See the pattern here?
OTL W L L L L W OTL
We’ve come full circle. It’s time to get back on the right track
For the Canucks to win: Pour the offense on. This team is SO dangerous it’s pathetic. 27 of their 40 wins this year have come from scoring 4 or MORE goals (8 of those were 6 OR MORE goals in the game). They have multiple weapons to strike with including that 1-2 punch of Daniel and Henrik Sedin, who combined have a Gretzky-like 153 points (47 goals, 106 assists together). 8 players on their team already have over 30 points. This team is EXTREMELY dangerous and can really hurt opposing teams on any given night and that’s what they’ll have to do against the Predators.
For the Predators to win: Find your heart. Find your soul. The Predators have been doing a lot of soul-searching in the past 16 games. Although they’ve had flashes of it from time to time in the past month, it keeps getting lost in the confusion that is the Western Conference playoff race. This team HAS to find its ability to PUSH through this tough stretch and get right back into the Top 8, where they sat for a long period of time before being kindly kicked right out.
The secret here? Find the back of the net. It seems like a difficult thing to do, but not so much if you think about it. Toss the puck to the net and rebound the garbage that gets bounced out. The Predators are a pesky, defensively-stingy team, who can suffocate a team when they bring their A-game.
As a fan, this is my take:
You KNOW how to do this. You did it very well in the last Detroit game.
Listen Preds…I know you’re tired…I know you’re hurting…and I know you’re down on yourselves. There are a lot of fans that are starting to write you off, as a team that’s probably going to miss out on the playoffs because of “injuries” or “inept goal-scoring” or any number of excuses. But you know what? I believe in you. And there are a WHOLE bunch of fans who feel the same way. We KNOW you can score those goals, we KNOW that this team finds ways to way year in and year out regardless of the talent level on the roster, and we KNOW what it means to bring the “Predator” attitude to a game.
You need to SURVIVE this road trip and come back home to the friendly confides of Bridgestone Arena, and it continues tonight. Go into Rogers Arena, come out with 2 points, and let’s head on over to Calgary.
1 game at a time boys, let’s focus on the smaller picture right now
Prediction: NONE. I’m superstitious, and now 1-1-1 when not making predictions. That will continue through March.
Playoff Outlook: 73 points, Currently, 10th place – 1 point out of 8th and 2 points out of 6th
Best of 19 Record: 0-0-1
Smarch Record: 0-0-1
Thanks for reading!