The Predators continue their “best of 19″ series tonight when they come home sweet home and face off against the Minnesota Wild
Looking at the Wild: This team, as of late, has been having the Vancouver Canucks syndrome, alternating wins and losses. However, it’s been a little different:
Feb. 18-Feb. 28: W-L-W-L-W-L
Mar. 2-Mar. 8: L-W-L-W
So, for all you superstitious people, you can read what comes next…or, Predators fans can hope. This team has been plagued all year with a lack of consistency. The only thing that looks consistent, th0ugh, seems to be their powerplay, which as of today is converting at 20.3% for 7th best in the league.
The Wild have the right pieces to go deep into the playoffs, however they really need to make the playoffs first and they sit right with the Predators on the outside looking in
Looking at the Predators: The Predators dropped another heartbreaker against San Jose on Tuesday night, falling to the hands of Patric Marleau once again in overtime. However, looking at the positives, this team is looking REALLY good. They’re starting to find a bit of offense (even though they haven’t hit that 3 goal plateau but 3 times in their past 11 (yep, they’re ONLY 3 wins), they’re defense and special teams are looking really good, and they’re led by the most DYNAMIC goaltender in the league.
With a goaltender that is seriously getting Hart recognition and will get even MORE Hart recognition if the Predators make the playoffs and go a ways, you can do literally anything.
If the Predators can get a LITTLE more offense every single game, they could seriously, all joking aside, go 15-0-0 the rest of the way down the stretch. Yes, anything is possible with Pekka Rinne in the net.
For the Wild to win: Stifle the already anemic Predators offense. The Predators have one of the league worst goals-per-game average. If you can hold them under 3 goals, you’ll most likely win. This is what Minnesota is going to have to do. If Minnesota plays with sound defense (not too hard to ask with ex-Preds Marek Zidlicky and Greg Zanon), can have Pred-killer Martin Havlat pot a couple goals, and Backstrom has a great game, then Minnesota will win this one and jump back in the playoff race
For the Predators to win: Play desperate hockey. Pekka Rinne has stood on his head night in and night out, but for the most part hasn’t received any help from the 5 guys in front of him on the ice. This needs to change. If the Predators can turn on their offensive jets, something we ALL know lurks deep inside this team, and build a little chemistry together, this team WILL NOT LOSE another game. Play fast, play hard, play 60 minutes of hockey tonight, and protect your goaltender, that spells 2 points.
Prediction: 5-2 Predators. I get tired of picking the Predators for most games to win, however something about this game makes me think that it’s time for the Predators to get serious and they’ll start tonight
Playoff Outlook: 76 points, Currently, 11th place – 3 points out of 7th/8th and 4 points out of 6th
Best of 19 Record: 1-1-2
Smarch Record: 1-1-2
What SportsClubStats Says?: Predators need to go 10-2-3, 11-3-1, 11-2-2, 12-3-0 to secure a playoff spot
Thanks for reading!