Nashville Predators @ Phoenix Coyotes Preview: Admirals Aplenty

[NHL.com] - [SB Nation] - [Five For Howling]

8:00 PM CST | 102.9 FM | FS-TN (HD)

The Nashville Predators take their road trip to the desert tonight against the Phoenix Coyotes, who have earned one more point than the Preds, albeit in one more game. Both squads, though, are fairly hot - Nashville is 7-3-0 in their last ten; the Coyotes 6-2-2.

It might be beating a dead horse, but Nashville needs the two points tonight in the worst way - Phoenix is a direct competitor for that 4/5 playoff spot, with the "winner" getting home ice. Sure, its a ways to April, but the more points now, the easier it'll be later.

After the jump, more on tonight's matchup.

Lineups

Nashville

To say that Anders Lindback had a rough go of things on Sunday would be putting it rather lightly. Time for Trotzy to return to the man who's 2nd in the NHL in goals against average and third in save percentage.

Pekka Rinne

#35 / Goalie / Nashville Predators

6-5

207

Nov 03, 1982

GP MIN W L EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2010 - Pekka Rinne 29 1687 14 11 60 2.13 827 767 .927 3

Without Matthew Lombardi, Cal O`Reilly, Steve Sullivan, Jordin Tootoo, Francis Bouillon, and perhaps Marek Svatos, you can expect the Preds' lines to look somewhat like this.

Forwards
Wilson - Legwand - Erat (A)
Kostitsyn - Goc - Hornqvist
Ward - Spaling - Smithson
Halischuk - Mueller - Dumont
Defense
 Suter (A) - Weber (C)
Klein - Sulzer
Franson - O'Brien

Phoenix

Ilya Bryzgalov was recently named the NHL's "3rd Star of the Week".

Ilya Bryzgalov

#30 / Goalie / Phoenix Coyotes

6-3

210

Jun 22, 1980

GP MIN W L EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2010 - Ilya Bryzgalov 33 1942 17 8 83 2.56 1018 935 .918 2

Against the Sharks yesterday, the Coyotes were without Michal Roszival, Ed Jovanovski, and Vernon Fiddler.

Forwards
Upshall - Belanger - Doan (C)
Whitney - Hanzal - Vrbata
Korpikoski - Turris - Bissonnette
Pyatt - Fiddler (A) - Stempniak
Defense
 Yandle (A) - Morris
Ekman-Larsson - Aucoin
Schlemko - Lepisto

Thoughts

  • If you take a quick glance at Nashville's roster this evening, you'll see that there are six players on the team that we did not expect to be here at the beginning of the year: Alexander Sulzer, Chris Mueller, Nick Spaling, Matt Halischuk, Marek Svatos, and Anders Lindback. Of those, three have spent time in Milwaukee this year, and one in the KHL. The fact that the Predators are even in the playoff hunt, let alone the home-ice hunt, is pretty amazing, and a testament to the organization's ability to prepare prospects and operate in a system that allows even the most meager NHL talents to succeed.
  • The Preds have, statistically speaking, one of the best team defenses and goaltenders in the NHL. Failing to protect a lead, no matter how large or small, is inexcusable. What happened Sunday in Chicago cannot happen again.
  • We've said it before, but it bears mentioning again - with a completely healthy Ryan Suter, Shea Weber might be playing the best hockey of his career. His 9 game point streak is the longest in franchise history by a defenseman, and 4th longest in Predators' history. Since New Year's Eve, Nashville's captain has 13 points, tied for most in the entire league with Vancouver's Daniel Sedin.
  • The SB Nation story editor ate my entire preview at 10:00 last night, so, uh, this is your final bullet. Enjoy the game.
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join On the Forecheck

You must be a member of On the Forecheck to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at On the Forecheck. You should read them.

Join On the Forecheck

You must be a member of On the Forecheck to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at On the Forecheck. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9355_tracker