Nashville Predators vs. Vancouver Canucks Preview: Sink or Swim?

Nov 5, 2022; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Nashville Predators forward Colton Sissons (10) defends against Vancouver Canucks forward Bo Horvat (53) during the third period at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 5, 2022; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Nashville Predators forward Colton Sissons (10) defends against Vancouver Canucks forward Bo Horvat (53) during the third period at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports /

The Nashville Predators are headed towards, if not already there, being sellers at the NHL trade deadline after a week where they went 1-3-0 putting them seven points out of a playoff position.

This past week the Predators had three games that were must-wins, and well, they did not do that. Only winning one out of the three games that they needed to win.

With losses to Arizona, Boston, and Minnesota, they find their playoff chances slipping away quickly and the realization of being sellers more prevalent.

Must Read. Could the Nashville Predators be Sellers at the Trade Deadline?. light

Tonight’s matchup with the Canucks is the second of three outings for these two teams and the only one at Bridgestone Arena. They met back in November in Vancouver in a 4-3 shootout win for the Predators.

The final meeting between these two teams is two weeks away during a West coast road trip after the NHL Trade Deadline.

Nashville Predators Take On Struggling Canucks Team

It is no surprise that the Predators (26-22-6) are favorites to win tonight against Vancouver. gives them a 59.9% chance of winning tonight’s matchup.

Vancouver (22-30-4) has been a disappointment this season however have found a way to win some games that they were not expected to. They have wins against the New York Islanders, Carolina Hurricanes, Colorado Avalanche, Seattle Kraken, and Edmonton Oilers this season.

Just the opposite of the Predators, the Vancouver Canucks rank 11th in the NHL in goals for with 191 on the season and 31st in goals against with 226. In their last game out, the Canucks put up six goals in a win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night.

One area that the Canucks have struggled in this season is playing with a lead. The Canucks have blown eight multi-goal leads and ended up losing the game.

8 PM ET. 22-30-4. 104. Bally Sports South. 26-22-6. Tuesday, February 21. 151.

Vancouver has been more inconsistent than the Predators this season and have already started making their moves for a rebuild. On January 30 the Canucks traded Bo Horvat to the New York Islanders.

The biggest area that has plagued this Canucks team is in the crease this season. Vancouver was planning on relying on Thatcher Demko this season however he has been out of the lineup since December 2 with a lower body injury. With Demko being out, the Canucks have had to rely on Spencer Martin and Collin Delia. These two goaltenders have a .871 and .878 save percentage respectively.

The Predators, who had struggled to find the back of the net this season, should take advantage of the Canucks goaltender situation and their poor penalty kill rating (65.43%) and win tonights game. It will not be a walk in the park though, as the Canucks do have some firepower in their roster.

Who to Watch for Vancouver against the Nashville Predators

The Vancouver Canucks have four players in the lineup with over 45 points this season. Elias Pettersson leads the team with 27 goals and 44 assist (71 points). Pettersson has five goals and six assist in his last five games.

Quinn Hughes, J.T. Miller, and Andrei Kuzmenko are the other three players with over 45 points this season. Hughes, a 23-year-old defenseman, has 52 points on the season. J.T. Miller has 51 points and Kuzmenko has tallied 48 points through 56 games this season.

On the other hand, the Predators only have one player above 45 points and that is Roman Josi. Josi has three goals and four assist in his last five games. Following Josi in points for the Predators is Matt Duchene (43), Filip Forsberg (42), and Mikael Granlund (30).

The inconsistency of this Predators team has plagued them all season long. Each night Predators fans are having to wonder which team is going to take the ice. Is it going to be the team that beats the Florida Panthers 7-3 or the team that gets shut out on home ice by the Boston Bruins 5-0?

Will This be the Nail in the Coffin for the Nashville Predators?

A loss tonight would be devastating to the Predators chances of making the playoffs this season. The Predators currently have a 9.7% chance of making the playoffs, a number that has gone down from over 20% before the All Star Break.

Next. Could the Nashville Predators Trade Roman Josi?. dark

While most fans, myself included, are already calling on the Predators to be sellers at the Trade Deadline and go into a rebuild, a loss tonight would all but solidify that expectation. The Predators are notorious for losing games that they should win and tonight may be more of the same.

However, a win tonight, could prolong the chances of the Predators going into a rebuild as David Poile would see there is still a chance of making the playoffs. With five games before the March 3 Trade Deadline, there is not much time for the front office to decide the future for this organization.

It starts tonight against Vancouver, win and Poile will sit on the roster and not make any moves yet, lose and I think it is time to start seriously considering making some major moves to better this team for the future.