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Predatorial Pregame Warmup: November 6, 2013


Nov 6, 2013

Written by: Patten Fuqua


Last updated: November 6, 2013 at 9:14 am


Nashville Predators (7-5-2) at Colorado Avalanche (12-1-0)
Gametime: 8:30pm CT / 9:30pm ET
Television: FS-Tennessee
Radio: 102.5 The Game



Nashville Predators - Pekka Rinne (hip)

Colorado Avalanche - Alex Tanguay (knee)

Projected Goaltending Matchup

Carter Hutton, 3-1-1, 0 SO, 0.914Sv%, 2.76 GAA


Semyon Varlamov, 8-1-0, 0 SO, 0.944Sv%, 1.78 GAA

Keep an eye on...

Nashville Predators -

Carter Hutton - If the past 24 hours haven’t been any indication that Carter Hutton is about to get his make or break moment, nothing really is. Shortly after Magnus Hellberg was returned to Milwaukee in exchange for Marek Mazanec, it was revealed that Pekka Rinne will likely be out of action until at least Christmas with an e.coli infection.

Hutton has started all 4 games since Rinne was placed on injured reserve, earning a 2-1-1 record. On the season, Hutton has a .914 save percentage and a 2.76 GAA. In his last 3 starts, however, Hutton has allowed 12 goals on 89 shots.

He will likely not get a reprieve on Wednesday against the team with the NHL’s best record, but for right now, Carter Hutton is driving the bus and he hasn’t crashed it yet.

Colorado Avalanche -

Semyon Varlamov - Varlamov’s week has been everything Hutton’s week has not been. Last Wednesday, Varlamov was arrested on assault and kidnapping charges related to a domestic violence dispute.

Varlamov was never removed from Colorado’s line up and, in fact, made the Avalanche’s next start, a 3-2 overtime win at Dallas.

In 9 starts this season, Varlamov has a .944 save percentage and a 1.78 GAA, but it remains to be seen whether last week’s events will take a toll on his game.

Main Storylines

Nashville Predators -

In the past couple of weeks, Nashville’s schedule has slowed almost to a halt. After a four-day break between games last week, the Predators have had a three-day break after leaving Los Angeles on Saturday night. Since October 27, Nashville has played just twice.

The rest does appear to have treated the Predators well offensively, at least. In both of last week’s games, Nashville managed to put four goals on the board while finishing the week 1-0-1. The slow schedule has also given Carter Hutton more time to adjust to his role as an NHL goaltender and might allow injured players Matt Hendricks and Mike Fisher and opportunity to get back into the lineup sooner rather than later.

Outside of the brief Christmas break and the long Olympic break, Nashville will only have one more stretch this season where more than two days pass between games,

Colorado Avalanche -

At 12-1-0, Colorado has ripped off the best start in the NHL and they’ve done it largely on the back of fantastic goaltending.

While Varlamov is 8-1-0 with his aforementioned 1.78 GAA and .944 save percentage, back-up goaltender Jean-Sebastian Giguere has been virtually unbeatable. Giguere is a perfect 4-0-0 with a .75 GAA, a .977 save percentage and two shutouts.

It also helps that Matt Duchene has put up 9 goals in 13 games and Gabriel Landeskog has added another 5. Nathan Mackinnon isn’t having any trouble living up to the hype either, with a team-high 7 assists.

Hot goaltending, a goal scorer and a fiery coach behind the bench seems to be the perfect combination to get Colorado off to their surprising start.

Last time out...

On October 4, the Avalanche beat Nashville 3-1 at the Pepsi Center, but the story of the game was the Steve Downie hit on Roman Josi.

The hit, which was unpenalized on the ice, went unpenalized by the NHL. Josi, meanwhile, missed 10 games with a concussion. Downie would get 10 total penalty minutes in the game – all on minors – before Colorado found a way to unload him back to Philadelphia last week.

P.A. Parenteau scored the opening goal and added an empty netter at the end. Patrick Bordeleau had Colorado’s game-winner, while Paul Gaustad scored Nashville’s lone goal in the loss.

Varlamov was the winning goaltender, stopping 26 of 27 shots, while Pekka Rinne took the loss, stopping 33 of 35 Avalanche shots.

One interesting fact...

In March of 2006, Nashville traded Kris Beech and a first round pick to the Washington Capitals in exchange for defenseman Brendan Witt.

The Capitals used that selection at the 2006 NHL Draft to select Semyon Varlamov.


Photo Credit: Sarah Fuqua