The Nashville Predators will face the Colorado Avalanche for the first time this year, and also looking to pick up their second win of the road trip.
The Nashville Predators dominated the Detroit Red Wings on Monday night with five unanswered goals in the second period and another goal in the third. Could we see this continue when the Predators play the Avalanche tonight in Denver?
With Matt Duchene having a two-goal game, both of them coming via the power play, let’s see if he can to start building a point streak back up against his former team.
Since this is the first meeting between Nashville and Colorado on the young season, it’ll be a pretty interesting game, but no starting goalies have been announced yet. This might be a good spot for Juuse Saros to get another start, who they could stick with the hot hand of Pekka Rinne.
How are the Avalanche doing so far?
Well if you look at it they have been doing well even with Grabriel Landeskog out for the long-term and with Mikko Rantanen being out for the foreseeable future as well. But with the Avalanche being 8-5-2 currently, they’re in third place in a crowded Central Division race.
This game is not going to be an easy one for either team with the battles in the past and even in the playoffs. The game should set a high standard for the Thursday night slate of hockey games. These are two teams that figure to be playing for the division crown in April.
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The Avalanche are barely clinging onto the top-20 in the NHL in power play percentage at 17.5, with the Predators being just ahead of them. Penalty killing is a bigger strength for the Avalanche than it is for the Predators. The Predators have been showing modest improvement in this area, but not where they need to be.
There’s no room for error in this game, and if there is a lot of costly mistakes from the Predators it could really cost them a key division win. Just because the Avalanche are reeling right now doesn’t mean they can’t dismantle a sloppy Predators team.
The struggles for the Avalanche makes sense with two of there top three players out. It makes the Avalanche a much more ordinary team. Without Rantanen and Landeskog, the Avalanche are having to lean heavily on their depth to stay afloat.
The Avalanche have some snipers on there team with Nathan MacKinnon having 18 points on the season and rookie Kale Makar with 11 points. Andre Burakovsky has nine points, but has been held without a point in his last four games. He’s a quality player capable of making good passes and setting up the offensive attack.
Setting a high standard
With this being the first matchup of the yearbetween these two, I think this game should be a good one and should also see some decent play from both teams. But this isn’t a walk over game for the Predators, and if they don’t come out and play a full 60 minutes of quality hockey then we could easily see a nightmare repeat of the Calgary game. Even with their injuries, Colorado can make things happen and are very well coached.
Filip Forsberg seems to be getting back to 100 percent, and that makes the Predators roster fully complete and ready to start stringing together some win. It appears that the JoFA line is back together, at least for the time being. This roster shift worked really well against Detroit, but Colorado is a much more quality opponent.
After seeing the win over Detroit, will we see the same push by the Predators fully aggressive at puck drop or do we see that passive aggressive style of play they’ve been guilty of doing? My prediction is it goes to overtime in somewhat of a defensive grudge match, with the Predators prevailing 3-2.