Nashville Predators vs Dallas: Central Division Throwdown

Feb 15, 2016; Nashville, TN, USA; Nashville Predators center Paul Gaustad (28) exchange punches with Dallas Stars center Vernon Fiddler (38) during a fight in the second period at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 15, 2016; Nashville, TN, USA; Nashville Predators center Paul Gaustad (28) exchange punches with Dallas Stars center Vernon Fiddler (38) during a fight in the second period at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Nashville Predators  face a tough divisional foe Dallas after a horrific Monday.

When it rains, it pours.

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The Nashville Predators just needed a regulation win to clinch the playoff spot. The game started off fine against Colorado but in a matter five minutes and four seconds the Preds were down 3-0. Not all the goals were Pekka Rinne‘s fault, two of the three were deflected in. Pekka was later pulled in the first which should turn okay as he is rested and should get start in net tonight against the Central Division-leading Dallas Stars.

Not only did the Preds lose the game it looks like they are losing Jimmy Vesey too, but that is the topic of a discussion that we will have later.

Nashville is going to need to turn their bad performance last night in for a great one this evening. Nashville is 1-1-1 against Dallas this season and plays them one more time for the end of the season. If Nashville can win both of those meetings, the Central Division will get crazy.

Dallas Stars

The Dallas Stars are a key example of what a good front office can do for you. Nashville and Dallas have worked along the same lines bringing in key pieces throughout the years to help out the playoff push. Pieces like Spezza, Seguin, Sharp,  and Oduya have got Dallas into the position to win the Central. Dallas has also been hot of late going 6-2-2 in their previous ten games. Their defense does not have the star blue-liner that it probably should, but Dallas is still a lethal team in the NHL.

Dallas, similar to Nashville’s Vesey situation, has an issue with a roster spot. Will sniper Tyler Seguin be able to recover and preform in excellent condition after suffering an Achilles injury on March 18? Besides Jamie Benn and Jason Spezza, Dallas really doesn’t have any other go-to goal scorers. Even thought they have question marks with Seguin, it looks like they will get trade deadline acquisition Kris Russell back into the line up for tonight’s tilt versus Nashville.

Dallas is 24-12-2 at home this season after beating San Jose at home on Saturday night. Nashville is 18-13-7 on the road this season. Things need to change or the big green machine in Dallas will just keep winning.

Nashville Predators defenseman
Nashville Predators defenseman /

Nashville Predators

For some reason last night it just seemed as if everyone lost hope. After we allowed three goals and had a few questionable officiating calls,it left the Preds laying on the ice asking what just happened? I honestly can’t tell you why we acted that way.

Nashville is 6-3-1 in their last 10. The Preds have also out-scored opponents 46-36 in this month alone. Last night our five-star d-man Roman Josi scored his 57th point of the season which gave him the most in a single season for a Preds defenseman in club history.

Nashville is as well-rounded a team as any team in the NHL. If a forward skates to the left he will face Weber, if he goes right he has to deal with Josi and if somehow he can get through them he has to face the brick wall of Pekka Rinne. Our forwards are some of the best in the league with Johansen, Forsberg, Fisher, Neal, Ribiero, and Smith. The Vesey situation combined with last nights bizarre loss has caused a lot of Preds fans to press the panic button.

Don’t panic, tough teams like Nashville find was to prevail through any adversity. This team is solid from the first line to the fourth line. Nashville is also 20-10-6 since acquiring Joey. Those six OT loses hurt but Nashville can hang with any team they face on any given night. Nashville has also proved no deficit is too big or too small as they have fought back in most contests. Don’t worry Smashville, the boys in gold and blue are going to get back on that winning streak.

Prediction

This game is going to be fun. Dallas comes into to game well rested while Nashville played last night. Rest and fatigue may show but Nashville will use every single ounce of energy they have to stay in the game and win. Nashville and Dallas square off one more time in the final game of the regular season. If the Predators win tonight, it could propel them into the final five games with extra energy . If they win the final two meetings it could also change the entire outcome of the Central Division standings.

Next: Analysis of the Best Playoff Matchup

The Nashville Predators are back in action on the road Thursday night to finish up the two-game road series in Pittsburgh against Sidney Crosby, Patric Hornqvist and the Penguins.