This stretch that starts tonight for the Nashville Predators is the fork in the road of the rest of the season for this team that’s been in flux all year.
Starting tonight against the Carolina Hurricanes, the Predators will be on a six-game stretch facing teams they’re a combine 1-9 against on the season. The other two opponents are Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers.
The Predators still aren’t completely buried just yet, even though most of us feel like they already are. To change the narrative, getting wins against the top dogs of the division is a must.
The Hurricanes were my preseason pick to win the division, and I’m sticking with them in that regard. They’re loaded with offensive weapons, they’re smart with their zone entries and use their speed to catch teams off guard.
No more nightmare reruns, please
I’m afraid this could be another rerun of the same nightmare we’ve witnessed over and over again in 2021. A game where the Predators turn the puck over constantly, give the Hurricanes odd-man rushes and just punish our goaltender.
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It’s one thing to lose because you simply got outmatched by a better team, but when you constantly see these starts where the Predators are sleepwalking, that’s when it gets frustrating. Especially when they flip a switch and nearly come back in the final period.
Juuse Saros remains on IR, and it’s still unknown if the Predators will finally give Kasmir Kaskisuo his first start for the franchise. I wouldn’t be against that move at all as the Predators have to eventually give Rinne a rest, whether Saros is back or not.
The winning formula for the Predators has developed into capitalizing on the power play, and that might be their only chance to beat Carolina tonight. To draw several power plays and continue that recent success in this area.
Eeli Tolvanen is giving fans a reason to keep watching this team. He’s feasting on the power play right now, and every power play we get from here on out, all eyes should be on the duo of Filip Forsberg and Tolvanen.
The Predators are now up to 18th in the NHL in power play percentage at just over a 20 percent success rate. If they can score another couple of power play goals tonight, maybe they have a slim chance to pull off their biggest upset win of the season.
I’d like to see the Predators use the same lineup they used Sunday in the win over the Dallas Stars. Up until the final eight minutes of regulation, the Predators controlled much of the momentum of that game.
The Hurricanes are a much better team than Dallas right now, so expect a fast start from them and one that the Predators have to be ready for right out of the gate. It’s proven that the Predators can’t successfully make these comebacks against teams like Carolina, Tampa Bay and Florida on a regular basis.
Puck drop is slated for 6 P.M. CDT and will be televised on Fox Sports Tennessee and broadcasted on 102.5 The Game in Nashville.