Game Preview: Predators vs. Red Wings
The Nashville Predators close out a 3 game home stand at Bridgestone Arena tonight against Division rival Detroit. The Red Wings come into this game in 2nd place in the Central Division & hold a 6 point lead over the Predators. This will be the 2nd of back to back games for Detroit (defeated LA 4-3 last night) so it will be imperative for Nashville to start strong & wear down the opposition with speed and continued physical play.
The Preds had a day of practice yesterday & after correcting a few things against Colorado on Thurs, they should be prepared to play this huge game.
If the Preds have any hope of moving up into the 4th seed, this is a game they must win. This is not the time to coast & hope to finish with a favorable playoff matchup, it is a time to play hard & gain as many points in the standings as possible. This will be the 5th of 6 match ups this season with Detroit leading the series 3-1 & the final game being played on 3/30 in Detroit. Expect a great game tonight that could be a playoff preview!
RAD-Alert… Every year about this time, there is a rumor that defector Alex Radulov will bring his enigmatic personality & offensive ability back to Nashville to fulfill the final year of his existing contract. While I think it could help the Preds, I won’t put too much thought into it until he is actually on the ice at Bridgestone Arena. I will report if there is any actual news, but right now all we know is that his season came to an end yesterday.
Injury update…. D Kevin Klein has missed the last 5 games & is expected to be out tonight Vs Detroit due to an upper body injury. F Brian McGrattan has missed the last 14 games with an upper body injury, but has returned to practice.
The bottom line: -The Nashville Predators are 38-20-7 (83 Pts) and sit 3rd in The Central Division, 8 Pts behind St Louis & 6 Pts behind Detroit.
-In the Western Conference The Predators are in 5th, 6 Pts behind Detroit with the chase pack: 6 Chicago (81), 7 Phoenix (76), 8 San Jose (75).
-The Predators close out a 3 game home stand tonight Vs Detroit.
-The Predators are 2-2-0 since Andrei Kostitsyn & Paul Gaustad joined the team.
-F Patric Hornqvist & F Mike Fisher lead the team in Goals with 20.
-F Martin Erat leads the team in Assists with 33 & Points with 49.
-F Jordin Tootoo leads the team with 85 PiM’s, Brian McGrattan has 61 PiM’s & 6 Fighting Majors (all at home).
-G Pekka Rinne leads the NHL in wins with 37.
Leg-watch 500- With 1 Goal Vs Fla last Saturday, David Legwand now has 489 points in his career (184G 305 A) with the Predators.