The Predators continue their “best of 19″ series when they start their FINAL seven games of the season and face off against the Dallas Stars in the third game of a 4 game homestand, first game of the best of seven, and try to stretch their own win streak to 6 games.
Looking at the Canucks: You think Nashville is hot? Take a look at Vancouver. 3 wins in a row. 10 wins out of the past 11 games. Only two regulation losses in the past 12, guess who one of them was to? That’s right, the Nashville Predators. The Canucks come into this game a little angry and looking for a bit of revenge against the Predators for taking the last 2 of 3 games against them. However, Vancouver loses another piece of their blue line when Dan Hamhuis goes down…again…with another concussion. They’re getting stellar goaltending and unbelievable offense plus lead the league in total goals against and goals against/game, so what’s to stop them from taking care of business in Nashville?
Looking at the Predators: Nashville comes into this game winning 6 in a row and 9 of their past 12. The Predators are also tied with Vancouver and Washington for the LEAST amount of home losses in the entire league, which says one major thing about the Predators: If you come into The Bridgestone Arena, don’t expect to walk out with 2 points. This can be said for the past 6 years for Nashville, home ice has been a HUGE advantage for this team. Even better news for the Preds? People are getting healthy. Sullivan and O’Reilly both skated this week, Mike Fisher has finally come out to say he is “healthy” and had been playing “banged up”, and things are finally coming together for a team that can’t seem to figure out the final piece to the puzzle at the end of the season
For the Canucks to win: Compensate for your depleted blue line. With the addition of Dan Hamhuis being out for an extended period of time with a new concussion injury sustained against Columbus, the Canucks are going to have to seriously watch the holes that could start to appear. If Vancouver can prevent the Predators from rushing in the zone and capitalize on a powerplay or two and Luongo does what he normally does, then the Canucks will easily show the Predators why they are the top-ranked defensive team in the NHL.
For the Predators to win: Continue with strong goaltending and the three-headed monster known as The Wardratwand. Joel Ward, Martin Erat, and David Legwand have turned into a HUGE 1st line for the Nashville Predators. If they can get their usual 1-2 goals a game PLUS if Mike Fisher continues to show what a healthy Mike Fisher can do, I don’t think asking for a lot of offense to back up the goaltending is too much to ask.
Prediction: 4-2 Predators. Another day, another empty net goal scored by David Legwand. The Predators run their win streak to 7 and get 2 points closer to Detroit
Playoff Outlook: 92 points, Currently, 6th place/Tied for 5th – 1 points out of 4th, 6 points out of 2nd
Best of 19 Record: 9-2-2
BEST OF SEVEN Record: 1-0-0
March Record: 9-2-2
What SportsClubStats Says?: 95.3% chance the Predators make it. The Predators need 99+ points to secure a playoff spot. They are currently 7 points out of a possible 12 points behind that
WHO TO ROOT FOR?:
NASHVILLE PREDATORS vs Vancouver Canucks
PHOENIX COYOTES vs Dallas Stars
EDMONTON OILERS vs Los Angeles Kings
BOSTON BRUINS vs Chicago Blackhawks
WHICH TEAMS CANNOT CATCH THE PREDATORS IN THE STANDINGS?:
Minnesota Wild – Max possible points are 92 (2 points away from elimination)
St. Louis Blues – Max possible points are 91 (1 point away from elimination)
Columbus Blue Jackets – Max possible points are 91 (1 point away from elimination)
Colorado Avalanche – Max possible points are 80 (ELIMINATED)
Edmonton Oilers - Max possible points are 69 (ELIMINATED)
Thanks for reading!