Your Nashville Predators take on the New Jersey Devils tonight at 6:00 CST at the Prudential Center. Let’s see how these teams stack up.
- Predators 8-6-2 (18 pts) 5th in the Central
- Devils 4-7-5 (13 pts) 6th in the Metropolitan
- Predators 2-2-1
- Devils 2-2-1
- Goals per game – Preds 2.3 (24th) – Devils 1.9 (27th)
- Goals against – Preds 2.9 (24th) – Devils 2.5 (12th)
- Power Play % – Preds 22.4 (7th) – Devils 17.9 (16th)
- Penalty Kill % – Preds 81.5 (18th) – Devils 84.0 (12th)
The big story over the last couple of years on the west coast was where would Roberto Luongo end up. Then, Cory Schneider got traded to the New Jersey Devils to play alongside another legend in Martin Brodeur. The Devils have balanced starts for both goalies so far but Brodeur has been better in the win column. Through eight starts for each, Schneider has a better goals against average and a better save percentage but only one win to Brodeur’s three. While Schneider is definitely the goalie of the future in New Jersey, Brodeur is still getting results. As what could be considered a sign of the times, Brodeur commented recently that he would consider a trade to a contender.
The goaltending has proved to be the least of the Devils’ worries. Even with the additions of Jaromir Jagr and Damien Brunner, the Devils have struggled to score goals. They are 27th in the league in goals for and have been shut out a league-high five times. It really doesn’t matter how good your goaltending is, if you cannot score.
The Preds struggled to score at the start of the season, but had picked up the scoring recently, Winnipeg notwithstanding. Viktor Stalberg finally got on the scoresheet and Colin Wilson has begun to look like the same player who averaged close to a point a game before getting hurt last season. Even David Legwand is on pace for a career season. The problem for the Preds lately has been on the defensive end. When they have scored, the defense has not been strong. This constantly puts the team in a tough position playing tight games where one mistake can cost you two points. A tight, grinding and low scoring game with the Devils might be just want the doctor ordered for the Preds.
Prediction – Nashville 2-1. The Preds will bounce back with a better defensive effort and stifle the offensively challenged Devils.