Nashville Predators Have Quick Turnaround Against Another Bottom Feeder

NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 22: Mattias Ekholm #14 of the Nashville Predators celebrates his short-handed goal against the Anaheim Ducks at Bridgestone Arena on October 22, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 22: Mattias Ekholm #14 of the Nashville Predators celebrates his short-handed goal against the Anaheim Ducks at Bridgestone Arena on October 22, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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Now is the time to take advantage of a soft part in the schedule for the Nashville Predators. They need a winning streak, and can start building one tonight.

The Nashville Predators may not be as good as we originally thought they were, but they’re definitely better than the Anaheim Ducks. This Predators team has to take advantage of weaker opponents on their schedule and start building a winning streak.

No matchup is a lock for the Predators because they’re so inconsistent. You never know which team is going to show up. The one that can beat anyone in the league, or the one that would probably lose to their AHL affiliate in Milwaukee.

Tonight the Predators play the second of a back-to-back as they take on the last-place Ducks. The Ducks have the fewest points in the Western Conference with 37, and they just beat the second-worst team in the West last night against the Kings.

The Predators have seven games left before going on their bye week which will give them eight days off. If the Predators can win five of the next seven, perhaps we’ll have some hope preserved for this team to sneak into the playoffs.

Injury concerns

The Predators are dealing with a few key injuries to the team, with the biggest one being Ryan Ellis. He’s on injured reserve due to the elbow to head he took from Corey Perry in the Winter Classic on New Year’s Day. A shady and questionable hit that has added more question marks to an already suspect Predators defense.

Nashville Predators
Nashville Predators /

Nashville Predators

Colton Sissons is the other big injury concern that has him on injured reserve as well. He’s a key player to the bottom six and also provides a defensive punch that the Predators will have to replace in the coming games.

Not sure if Matt Duchene will be ready to play after missing last night’s game with an illness. He’s a difficult player to replace for two games in a row considering the team is already missing Sissons.

There’s also Dante Fabbro facing the injury bug. He missed last night’s game as well, and that gave Jarred Tinordi some NHL action with the Predators. I must say that all of the call-ups played an impressive and smart game to help the Predators get a win last night, regardless of the opponent.

I’d like to eventually see what Alexandre Carrier can bring to the defensive lineup while Ellis is out. He’s already been called up from Milwaukee and is having an outstanding year for them in the AHL.

Do the Predators have enough left?

Can the Predators win two in a row in Southern California with such a depleted lineup? They’re pretty fortunate to be playing the Western Conference’s two worst teams while facing these rash of injuries. I’d give the Predators virtually no chance to win if they were playing almost anyone else in the West.

With that said, the Predators should be able to take care of business and get this win. They need to execute a conservative gameplan that focuses on playing tight defense in front of the net and capitalizing on scoring chances when they get them.

Concern over the power play and penalty kill continues to grow. The power play went scoreless on five attempts last night to fall back to 24th in the NHL. The penalty kill gave up a Kings power play goal on four attempts.

These two teams always get chippy with one another, and I’d expect nothing less than that tonight. Stay disciplined and let your talent take over. However, I will say that without Duchene, these two lineups are much more even.

Related Story. Depleted Predators Lineup Grinds Out Win Over LA Kings. light

This game could honestly go either way due to the Predators’ injuries, but they should be able to prevail and win their second in a row. Game will be broadcast nationally on NBC Sports Network and has a late start in the Nashville market at 9 P.M. CDT.