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Predatorial Pregame Warmup: November 8, 2013


Nov 8, 2013

Written by: Patten Fuqua


Last updated: November 8, 2013 at 10:10 am


Nashville Predators (8-5-2) at Winnipeg Jets (6-9-2)
Gametime: 7:00pm CT / 8:00pm ET
Television: Fox SportSouth
Radio: 102.5 The Game



Nashville Predators - Pekka Rinne (hip), Matt Hendricks (upper body - day-to-day), Mike Fisher (lower body - day-to-day)

Winnipeg Jets - Paul Postma (blood clot), Jim Slater (undisclosed), Mark Stuart (hip), Jacob Trouba (neck)

Projected Goaltending Matchup

Carter Hutton, 4-1-1, 0 SO, 0.908Sv%, 2.94 GAA


Al Montoya, 2-2-0, 1 SO, 0.921Sv%, 2.20 GAA

Keep an eye on...

Nashville Predators -

David Legwand - David Legwand is currently in the midst of what might be the most productive stretch of his NHL career. Rolling into Winnipeg on a career-best streak of three consecutive multiple-point games, Legwand is the team’s leading scorer with 14 points in the team’s 15 games this season. Legwand also has 9 points in his last 5 games.

After Nashville’s 6-1 loss to St. Louis on October 27, Predators head coach Barry Trotz specifically stated that Legwand needed to have more production in order for the team to be successful. Apparently Legwand heard the call, ripping off 3 goals and 4 assists in his last 3 games.

Legwand also had 2 points the last time Nashville played Winnipeg, including the assist on Craig Smith’s overtime winner. Another multiple-point night on Friday would make Legwand a point-per-game producer. While it’s only one-fifth of the way through the season, the fact that Nashville’s highest scoring player has scored more points than the opposing team’s highest player is certainly an unusual sensation.

Winnipeg Jets -

Al Montoya - With Ondrej Pavelec struggling to a 4-7-2 start, Winnipeg head coach Claude Noel handed the reins to Al Montoya last weekend to see what he would be able to do.

In Montoya’s first start, the Jets thoroughly dominated Detroit, winning 4-2 on the back of Montoya’s 26 save performance.

Montoya did not fare as well in his second outing, allowing four goals on 28 shots in a 4-1 loss to Chicago. Pavelec, however, had faced the Blackhawks earlier in the week and allowed four goals on just 14 shots.

However, considering Pavelec has only given up fewer than 3 goals in 3 of his 13 appearances this season and has only beaten Nashville once in his career, there is no reason to think that he would be a better choice in net than Montoya.

Main Storylines

Nashville Predators -

The Predators are scoring…and that’s really all you need to know.

Three games into this seven game road trip, Nashville has scored14 goals. They scored four goals each in the overtime loss at Phoenix and in the win at Los Angeles. In the win over Colorado, Nashville did something Tennessee’s football team could not do against Missouri – they put 6 points on the board.

Besides Legwand’s 7 points on the road trip, Colin Wilson has 4 points (all against Colorado on Wednesday), Patric Hornqvist has 4 assists, Erik Nystrom and Paul Gaustad have 2 goals, Mattias Ekholm has 3 assists and the Predators have earned 5 of 6 possible points in the standings.

Winnipeg Jets -

Only once in their last 11 games has Winnipeg won a game in regulation – and that was with Al Montoya in net.

Winnipeg has only won three games in that stretch. The last time these two teams met, Winnipeg was 4-4-0 and appeared to be having a very rollercoastery start to the season. Ten games later and that rollercoaster has been all downhill.

Since Nashville rolled into Winnipeg on October 20 and beat the Jets 3-1, Winnipeg has managed to win just twice.

In addition to sitting at the bottom of the Central Division, the Jets also have allowed more goals (51) than any other Central Division team.

Last time out...

On October 24, Nashville beat the Jets 3-2 in overtime.

Shea Weber opened scoring in the first period on the power play, while Winnipeg’s Anthony Peluso’s first career goal in the second period was the equalizer.

Patrick Hornqvist put the Predators back in front in the third period, but Blake Wheeler tied the game late to send it to overtime.

With 17 seconds left in overtime, a turnover in front of Ondrej Pavelec was pounced on by David Legwand and passed to Craig Smith who scored the game winner.

Carter Hutton stopped 34 of 36 Winnipeg shots for the win, while Pavelec allowed three goals on 33 shots for the loss.

One interesting fact...

Predators assistant Phil Housley played for three seasons with the original Winnipeg Jets, from 1990-1993.

In 1991-92, he was a Norris Trophy finalist with the Jets, while in 1992-93, he had one of the best offensive seasons by a defenseman in NHL history, scoring 97 points in 80 games.

Housley was named to the NHL All Star Game in all three seasons with Winnipeg.


Photo Credit: Sarah Fuqua