The Nashville Predators played four games in the past week, taking seven out of eight points. Late collapses provide lingering concerns.
On this week’s podcast, Predlines is back as a trio. The Nashville Predators play almost every other night these days, so this episode is jam-packed. As usual, we break down the past week’s games, discuss some of the overall factors we’ve noticed, and look at the week ahead. Find it on Itunes as the Predlines Podcast or on Blogtalkradio.com/predlines. Recapping a solid week
As you’re probably aware, the Predators are winning a lot these days. In fact, they’ve won nine out of the last eleven games. Winnipeg’s visit to Smashville started off great, with Nashville taking a 5-1 lead midway into the third period. Fortunately, the cushion proved large enough to stave off the late collapse. The Predators went on to win 5-3.
Beyond that game, the Predators grabbed their second shootout victory of the season with the Habs in town. On the road, Pekka Rinne led the team to a massive shutout victory over conference-leading St. Louis. Finally, on Sunday afternoon, the Predators missed some big chances and settled for a shootout loss in Raleigh.
Big talking points
Kyle Turris is now eight games into his career in gold. Undoubtedly, he is dominating on the score sheet. In addition to his two goals and six assists, he has essentially unlocked Kevin Fiala. The Predators’ second line is lethal for opposition, and Turris is the primary cause.
All of a sudden, the Nashville Predators have a surplus of centers. Surprisingly, the result is that a new third line is born – containing three of them. Calle Jarnkrok, Colton Sissons, and Nick Bonino have made a few appearances now as a unit. With just 6.67% of their faceoffs being taken in the offensive zone, it’s clear that this line is designed to suppress shots. So far, they’ve been very successful at doing just that. However, is it a smart use of resources, or another example of questionable asset management?
In the next seven days, the Predators have three home games to look forward to. First up is the highly anticipated Chicago Blackhawks. For the first time in recent memory, Nashville will be heavily favored in this game. Chicago has struggled, and currently sits six points behind Nashville in the standings. Corey Crawford has been surprisingly inconsistent; his play will heavily dictate the outcome of this central division clash.
Thursday night, the Vancouver Canucks are in town. The westernmost Canadians have been surprisingly competitive this season, due primarily to young phenom Brock Boeser. The Predators defense will have their hands full with this early Calder nominee.
Finally, the still-injured Anaheim Ducks make their season debut in Nashville on Saturday night. Not much needs to be said here – Smashville will be rocking. Anaheim is truly limping along this season. The Predators have a great opportunity to defeat them for the second time this year.
Let’s hear it!
As always, feel free to reach out to Michael Wade, George Matarangas, or Corey Francis with any questions, concerns, or topics you’d like us to discuss. We hope you enjoy this episode, and this week’s terrific schedule!