The Nashville Predators head to Winnipeg tonight to take on the Jets in a huge division matchup. Newly acquired forward Hartman will start.
The Nashville Predators and the Winnipeg Jets face off tonight in a huge division matchup. Both teams come into this game playing great hockey. Both the Jets and the Predators made a few moves at the NHL Trade Deadline to better their team and give them a great chance for a run at the Stanley Cup.
The Predators come into tonight winning four games in a row. Most of the Predators wins during this streak have come in dominant fashion, including their wins over Ottawa, San Jose, and St. Louis. Nashville now boasts a record 38-14-9 with 85 points. Those 85 points are good for the second in the Western Conference and third in the NHL.
The Winnipeg Jets head into this game with a streak of their own. They are 5-1 in their last six games. The Jets are one of the best teams in hockey right now, scoring at least 4 goals in those recent wins. They boast a record of 37-16-9 with 83 points, just one win behind the Predators, and no doubt will be looking to move into first place in the Central Division.
Blake Wheeler is tearing it up for the Jets as he leads the team with 72 points. Wheeler has 18 goals and 54 assists on the year, good enough for 2nd in assists and 6th in total points in the NHL. He has been a huge reason for the Jets success this season. Patrik Laine has also been a huge part of the Jets success this year, as he leads the team with 31 goals and a total of 51 points. Laine is 6th in the NHL in goals scored.
Connor Hellebuyck has shown out this season, starting in his first All-Star Game. Hellebuyck has a record of 32-9-8 on the year and will likely be in goal tonight.
The Jets made some moves at the trade deadline to help push this team to their first playoff appearance in three years. They acquired Paul Stastny from the Blues in exchange for a prospect and a few picks, then added defenseman Joe Morrow from the Montreal Canadians for a fourth-round pick in the 2018 draft.
Both Mike Fisher and Ryan Hartman will be with the team tonight though. Hartman will see some action tonight, but the team might give Fisher a little time to get back. Don’t get me wrong, Fisher should help the team out, but I don’t believe that they will stick him in tonight in a huge matchup against the Jets.
The lineup will look very similar tonight, as the JoFA line is together, as well as Fiala-Turris-Smith. Scott Hartnell, Nick Bonino, and Calle Jarnkrok will be on the third line tonight. The fourth line will look different tonight, as Hartman is sloted with Colton Sissons, and Austin Watson on the fourth line.
The Predators haven’t announced who is in goal tonight, but Rinne should receive the call.
Filip Forsberg – Ryan Johansen – Viktor Arvidsson
Kevin Fiala – Kyle Turris – Craig Smith
Scott Hartnell – Nick Bonino – Calle Jarnkrok
Ryan Hartman – Colton Sissons – Austin Watson
Roman Josi – Ryan Ellis
Mattias Ekholm – P.K. Subban
Alexei Emelin – Yannick Weber
What to Expect
This will likely be a very fast game with both teams looking to fight for bragging rights and first place. The Predators captured a big division win on Sunday against the Blues, and will be looking to build on that win with yet another division win. The Predators will have some new faces, as well as the Jets. Getting a win in regulation for the Predators will be big, as it would push the Predators lead to two games. The Predators are on a hot streak and will try and stay on that in a huge Central Division matchup tonight.
Follow the Game
The game will be televised on Fox Sports South as the puck will drop around 7 PM. You can also listen to the game on 102.5 The Game.