Apr 26, 2013
Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty ImagesTweet
The Columbus Blue Jackets have to win this game for consideration in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They also need Minnesota and/or Detroit to lose their remaining games and Columbus has the possibility to get as high as the 7th spot in the West.
The Predators have the ability to get a pick between 2nd and 7th in the upcoming draft. By losing, the Predators, with a Tampa Bay win or overtime loss and Colorado winning a game in regulation and getting at least one more point, would have a higher probability of getting the 2nd pick and begin to reestablish themselves as a force with the addition of an elite prospect in Mackinnon, Drouin or Jones (or Barkov). Take that information and process that as you will.
The Blue Jackets currently sit in 9th, tied with Minnesota, but the Wild have more ROW’s (Regulation/Overtime Wins) and hold the last spot of the playoffs. While Columbus doesn’t necessarily control their own destiny, they have to win this game to have the chance at making the playoffs. Look for Columbus to play the hardest game they will play all year.
The goaltending for Columbus with Sergei Bobrovsky leading the charge has come at the most opportune time, and as many former Cup hoisting teams can attest to; a hot goalie can get you very deep into the playoffs, maybe even win that team the elusive Cup. Vinny Prospal continues to lead the Blue Jackets with 29 points. Remarkably, only 6 players who have played in more than 20 games have a negative plus/minus rating. Dalton Prout, a defenseman who has only 27 games on the year and has a grand total of 6 points leads the team with a +14 rating.
The Nashville Predators tried to give the rival Detroit Red Wings everything they could handle, but the depth and firepower of Detroit wound up beating the Predators by a score of 5-2 on Thursday. Joonas Rask saw his first NHL ice time and Mike Fisher came back to the ice after an injury forced him to miss a few games to score the first goal of the night.
Chris Mason saw time in net and gave up the five goals to Detroit pushing his GAA and SV% to 3.97 and .852 on the season. Pekka Rinne will more than likely get the start against Columbus and Nashville once again has the opportunity to play spoiler to another in-division rival. If the Predators win, however, their chances at getting that elusive top three pick diminish to picking in the 5th through 7th range depending on other game outcomes.
Game time is at 6:00 P.M. Central and can be heard on 102.5 the Game and viewed locally on Fox Sports Tennessee. If you like what you’re reading or have questions/comments feel free to write us below or follow us on Twitter @Preducated and @ThePredatorial.