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Predatorial Pregame Warmup: October 20, 2013

pregame

Oct 20, 2013



Written by: Patten Fuqua

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Last updated: October 20, 2013 at 12:33 am

On Sunday night, the Nashville Predators embark on the second game of their three game road trip as they head to Manitoba to take on the Winnipeg Jets.

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Nashville Predators (4-3-1) vs Winnipeg Jets (4-4-0)
Gametime: 7:00pm CT / 8:00pm ET
Television: FS-Tennessee
Radio: 102.5 The Game

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Injuries

Nashville Predators - Roman Josi (concussion)

Winnipeg Jets - Chris Thorburn (lower body), Jacob Trouba (upper body)

Projected Goaltending Matchup

Pekka Rinne, 4-3-1, 0 SO, 0.910Sv%, 2.49GAA

VS

Ondrej Pavelec, 3-4-0, 0 SO, 0.907Sv%, 3.00GAA

Keep an eye on...

Nashville Predators -

Eric Nystrom – Eric Nystrom has been a large part of Nashville’s increased shot production this season, putting 16 shots on net – only one less than Shea Weber.

So far, Nystrom has only seen one of his shots find the back of the net – a penalty shot against the Minnesota Wild’s Josh Harding. So far this season, Nystrom has had a shot in all 8 of Nashville’s games. His 2 shot-on-goal per game average through the opening weeks of the season is exponentially better than his career average.

The question mark for Nystrom is whether he can convert his shots on net into shots in net. If Nystrom starts to become a goal scoring threat, he could be the surprise of the season for the Predators.

Winnipeg Jets -

Mark Scheifele – Scheifele was drafted in the 2011 NHL Draft and was the first player that the franchise officially acquired as a Winnipeg Jet. Scheifele actually appeared in 11 games prior to this season – 4 last season and 7 in 2011-12. In both seasons, he was returned to the Barrie Colts.

This season, Scheifele started on a high note, scoring a goal in the Jets’ opener against the Oilers and then grabbing an assist in the second game against the Kings. Since then, however, Scheifele has disappeared. In his last 6 games, Mark Scheifele has zero points and only 7 shots – 4 of those shots came in one game. Picked by some to be a serious contender for the Calder, Scheifele is in early danger of being left behind by the rest of his rookie class.

Main Storylines

Nashville Predators -

Nashville is on a tear. They have not lost in regulation in 4 of their last 5 games, dominated possession in nearly all of them and out shot their opponents in 6 of 8 games this season.

Merely a tenth of the way into the year, Nashville has already suffered a major injury (Roman Josi), but shows no signs of being the same team that fell into the bottom division last year.

Right now Nashville is averaging 31.4 shots per game, but only 2.00 goals per game. At some point, one of those numbers has to equalize.

Will the goals finally start coming or will Nashville’s shot production drop?

Somehow even without goal scoring, Nashville finds itself with a record above .500 for the first time in what seems like a very, very long time.

Winnipeg Jets -

The Jets have been running a very Jekyll and Hyde act so far this season.

Either they are putting 44 shots on goal and being completely flustered by Dallas or they are handing the Blues a rare early season loss.

So far this season, the Jets are a difficult team to figure out. When they do not score, they lose. When they do score they win. They have won 4 games in which they scored 3 or more goals and lost 4 in which they scored 2 or less.

The question for every night so far this season for the Jets has been, which Jets team will show up tonight?

Last time out...

On March 24, 2012, Alexander Radulov made his long-awaited return to the Nashville Predators against the Jets at Bridgestone Arena. Radulov picked an assist on current Winnipeg forward Matt Halischuk’s second period goal.

Gabriel Bourque and Shea Weber each tacked on a goal, while Pekka Rinne saved 24 of 25 shots and the Predators walked away with a 3-1 win.

The Predators have never played a regular season game in Winnipeg since the franchise relocated from Atlanta.

One interesting fact...

Nashville has not allowed a power play goal in their last 4 games, killing off 13 straight penalties.

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Photo Credit: Sarah Fuqua