The Predators continue their “best of 19″ series when they face off against the Boston Bruins in game 4 of their current 5 game homestand and the second game of a 4 game workweek in one of the toughest weeks of the Predators season
Looking at the Bruins: Boston comes into this game by sneaking out a win against Columbus on Tuesday after losing their past 4 games before that (0-2-2). During that 4 game losing streak, they not only had problems keeping the puck out of their net, but they had problems with their special teams. In the past 5 games (including the win), the Bruins were 1-13 on the power play (7.6%) and 18-23 on the penalty kill (78.3%), however they DID kill off all 6 penalties against Columbus. Past that, Timmy Thomas, Mr. Most-Likely-To-Win-The-Vezina-This-Year, has started to inch ever so closer to Pekka Rinne’s numbers with a few key losses lately.
Looking at the Predators: Tough tough tough tough tough loss on Tuesday night to the Los Angeles Kings. Nashville comes into this game just 1 point out of the top 8, something they haven’t seen in a couple of weeks now, but a win on Tuesday could have bumped them into the Top 8. Just missed opportunities for an injury-laced lineup. However, this is the Predators M.O. all season, and every year at that: Expect the unexpected. When you expect this team to come out flying and take control and win a desperately needed 2 points, they kind of flub it up. When you think they are dead to rights and are going to be booking early tee times, they come up with a HUGE win to stay alive.
For the Bruins to win: Boston can absolutely STRANGLE you to death if you let them, offensively AND defensively. If the Bruins play like the #1 team they can be, then they should have no problem dispatching the Predators. If they play like they did in the 4 game losing streak? They’re going to have some problems. Tim Thomas has been playing like a man possessed all year long, no reason why he shouldn’t continue it.
For the Predators to win: It’s a tale of two teams this year, but the invincible, 3-goal scoring, Pekka Rinne-dominating team needs to come out to play for this game. Nashville HAS to reach 3 goals, it is ABSOLUTELY imperative they do. The penalty kill needs to be impervious, the powerplay needs to be active, the WHOLE TEAM needs to be on fire, and Pekka Rinne needs to show critics why HE should win the Vezina trophy.
Prediction: 3-2 Bruins in OT. Going to be a tough close game, but the Predators are going to drop a heart-breaker in the 4 on 4 period again, but garner enough points to hopefully get them in the top 8.
Playoff Outlook: 80 points, Currently, 9th place – 1 points out of 8th and 2 points out of 7th
Best of 19 Record: 3-2-2
March Record: 3-2-2
What SportsClubStats Says?: Predators need 99+ points to secure a playoff spot. They are currently 19 points out of a possible 24 points behind that
Thanks for reading!