After a day of rest at home, the Nashville Predators are back in action tonight, playing host to the Edmonton Oilers.
Going into tonight’s contest, the two teams have a nearly identical record, which will bring an intense playoff level atmosphere to the ice tonight. Despite being a single point behind Edmonton in the standings, the Predators are in a completely different situation than their opponent on Thursday night.
The Predators currently occupy the first of two wild card spots in the Western Conference, one point ahead of Dallas, but seven points behind St. Louis who holds third place in the Central Division.
Nashville is also four points ahead of Vegas to stay in the current playoff field. According to MoneyPuck.com, the playoff odds sit at 94.9 percent for the Predators as they look to yet again go into familiar postseason territory for an eighth-straight season.
It only gets hard from here
The Predators have nine games left including tonight’s against the Oilers. Of the nine, seven are against playoff teams.
The Oilers are the lowest in the standings out of the playoff teams on the Preds remaining schedule, making tonight a must-win for Nashville. The rest of the season includes two games against Calgary, and one against Colorado, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Minnesota, Chicago and Arizona.
Although things appear to be in the Predators’ favor in terms of qualifying for the playoffs, there is a very small margin for error, and they need all the points they can get.
A win over a rising Edmonton team will make a difference in making the playoffs, and/or who the Predators draw in the first round of the playoffs, which is likely going to be either the Colorado Avalanche or the Calgary Flames.
Three Keys to Nashville Predators vs. Edmonton
- Defensive coverage
- Shots on net, and plenty of them
- Minimal amount of penalties