Nashville Predators: Yassssssss King!

DALLAS, TX - JANUARY 30: Los Angeles Kings goaltender Darcy Kuemper (35) reaches for the puck during the game between the Dallas Stars and the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday January 30, 2018 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. Los Angeles defeats Dallas 3-0. (Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - JANUARY 30: Los Angeles Kings goaltender Darcy Kuemper (35) reaches for the puck during the game between the Dallas Stars and the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday January 30, 2018 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. Los Angeles defeats Dallas 3-0. (Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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I hate myself for that title but my creative juices aren’t flowing at the moment. Anyways, the Nashville Predators take on the LA Kings in Tennessee.

The LA Kings sit in a three-way tie for second place in the Pacific Division and one point ahead of the Calgary Flames. Things on the West Coast are tighter than ever and these two points would mean a lot. LA is in a weird spot as they are 3-7-0 in the last 10 games, but have won their last two. They make their way into Smashville as the Nashville Predators are 6-2-2 in their last 10, but lost their last game against a divisional rival.

The Kings had a decent showing from their all-stars over the weekend, but let’s take a deeper look into who’s the power behind the crown.

Yassss King

You couldn’t talk about who’s on the Kings without discussing who’s on the injured reserve. The Kings are currently missing Jeff Carter (dynamic scorer), Derek Forbort (top four defenseman), Marian Gaborik, and Jonathan Quick. Forbort, Gaborik, and Jonathan Quick are questionable for tomorrow but no news has come out. Now let’s get to the team.

What can I say about Anze Kopitar that hasn’t already been said? He’s incredible on both sides of the puck and has scored 53 points so far this season. I could write essays about Kopitar’s brilliance, but I’ll keep it short. He’s a silent force whenever he’s on the ice and will shutdown whoever he’s matched with.

Another guy who needs no introduction is Drew Doughty. It’ll be a Norris trophy showdown as he and P.K. Subban will face-off. John Stevens has let the dog off the leash as Doughty is free to use all of his gifts in both ends. It’ll feel like he never comes off the ice, and it’s easy to think that when he plays 27 minutes and 12 seconds per game on average. He’ll be an impact player for sure.

One of the better, under-discussed player is Tyler Toffoli. The former second-round pick is having a quietly nice season with 30 points. He’s a sniper with an absolute laser of a shot. If he gets the puck in the slot, I’m not sure even Pekka Rinne will be able to make that save.

The Nashville Predators

Mike Fisher will not be available for this game and should join the team full time around the trade deadline. Here’s the projected lineup:

Filip Forsberg – Ryan Johansen – Viktor Arvidsson

Kevin Fiala – Kyle Turris – Craig Smith

Scott Hartnell – Nick Bonino – Calle Jarnkrok

Miikka Salomaki – Colton Sissons – Austin Watson

Defense

Roman Josi – Ryan Ellis

Alexei Emelin – P.K. Subban

Mattias Ekholm – Matt Irwin

Goaltenders

Pekka Rinne

Juuse Saros

Pekka Rinne will most likely get the start after Juuse Saros started against the Blackhawks.

Keys

  1. For the love of God, please keep them out of the high danger areas:

Look at that chart and tell me that the Nashville Predators don’t have a problem. Seriously, keep them out of the slot!

2. It’ll be easier to win 1-0 than 3-2: The Kings are stout defensively and have given up the second least amount of goals in the NHL. Goals will not come easy and the offense shouldn’t be expected to put up more than two goals.

Where to watch

The game will be on NBCSN at 7:30 PM Central time. Listen to the match at 102.5 The Game as well.

Next: Fisher's Back!