at NASHVILLE PREDATORS
April 23rd, 2013
7:00 p.m. CDT
TV: FOX Sports Tennessee
Season series tied 1-1
The Nashville Predators have lost eight games in a row as the 2013 NHL season draws to an end, putting them within sight of a top-five draft pick this summer. Tonight, in their last home game of the season, they play host to the Calgary Flames, winners of three in a row.
(15-21-9, 5th in Central)
No team in the NHL has been worse than Nashville over its last 10 games. The Preds are 1-7-2 in the month of April.
More so than who is playing tonight for the Preds is who isn’t playing among those not on injured reserve. Mike Fisher (9G-10A) had hoped to come back for tonight’s game but won’t be on the ice. Taylor Beck (3G-4A) is out with an upper-body injury, making him the first of the AHL call-up players to miss time with the big club. Patric Hornqvist (4G-10A) is also out, as is Brandon Yip (3G-5A), clearing out room for three more AHL call-ups (Daniel Bång, Kevin Henderson, and Austin Watson) to hit the ice again tonight.
Others to watch
Pending RFA Matt Halischuk (4G-6A) is playing for a job next year. He posted two goals and an assist in the last game against Chicago after having been blanked the previous four games.
Bobby Butler (4G-6A) is in a situation similar to Halischuk’s. He has goals in his last three of his last four games.
(19-22-4, 3rd in Northwest)
Calgary has been playing pretty decent hockey lately. They’ve won three in a row and have been playing spoiler to lots of teams looking for playoff spots despite having been out of contention themselves for some time now.
Mike Cammalleri (13G-19A), the team’s leading scorer, has been instrumental in the Flames’ recent winning form. He put up two points in each of the last two games and has five in his last four games.
Others to watch
Former Portland Winterhawks product Sven Baertschi (2G-5A) had one point in his first 13 games this season. Over the last five games, though, the 20-year-old Swiss winger has two goals and four assists.
Aside from determining whether the Nashville Predators will creep into the top five for the NHL Draft this summer, there’s less meaning in this game than there is in what you had for breakfast this morning. The only exception is for players trying to impress the coaches so they can land a job for next season. With all of that factored in there’s no way to tell what’s going to happen, so at least there’s some sort of suspense.