7:00 PM CST | 102.9 FM | FS-TN (HD)
With a visit from the Los Angeles Kings looming on Tuesday, the Nashville Predators get set to take on one of the worst teams in the Western Conference tonight at Bridgestone Arena in the form of the Colorado Avalanche. The reason I bring up the Kings, of course, is because on paper, the ice, and in the standings, Los Angeles is a more important game and tougher opponent for the Preds.
Looking ahead to Tuesday's tilt would be the single worst mistake the Preds could make. For a team that currently sits out of the playoffs, they can only afford to focus on the targets directly in front of them, and that means the Avs - no matter how bad they may be. And make no mistake - Colorado is not a good hockey club. They have lost 17 out of 18 games, and allowed 3 or more goals in 20 out of 21. The Avalanche have lost Peter Mueller and Tomas Fleischmann to long-term injury (Milan Hejduk went down last night), while trading away Chris Stewart and Kevin Shattenkirk.
Even a wounded animal can still bite, though, and with Matt Duchene and Paul Stastny centering Colorado's top two lines, the Avs remain a threat to score at any moment. If the Predators commit themselves like they did against Minnesota, then two points will be in the offing, but lose focus, and lose the game.
Lineups after the jump.
Tonight's projected lineups:
|2010 - Pekka Rinne||51||3006||24||19||104||2.08||1477||1373||.930||6|
|2010 - Peter Budaj||36||1952||13||14||104||3.20||994||890||.895||1|