Nashville Predators @ Detroit Red Wings Preview: Ye Olde Central

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Old rivals meet once again as the Predators try to capitalize on an inspiring win and finally take advantage of another struggling team.

For the first time in franchise history, the Predators visit the Motor City, not as division rivals, not even as conference rivals, but as just plain old rivals. Realignment saw the Detroit Red Wings out of the Western Conference and into the new Atlantic division.

Regardless of labels or divisions, whenever these two teams match up, it sends Predators fans into a tizzy. Since there only two meetings between the clubs this year, one might expect for things to get a little heated, at least until the bad blood of the old Central dissipates.

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The Stats

Nashville Predators Detroit Red Wings
Record 9-9-2 20th 9-5-7 19th
GF/Game 2.30 24th 2.57 16th
GA/Game 3.05 24th 2.67 16th
5-on-5 Close SF/60 29.4 14th 29.2 15th
5-on-5 Close SA/60 29.8 15th 30.1 16th
Fenwick Close 49.60 17th 50.80 13th
5-on-5 Close Save % .915 23rd .931 10th
5-on-4 GF/60 6.7 16th 8.8 4th
# of PP's/Gm 3.20 23rd 3.10 27th
4-on-5 GA/60 6.7 17th 4.9 7th
# of PK's/Gm 3.55 17th 3.76 23rd

The Detroit Red Wings

You'll hear it probably a hundred times throughout the course of the day, so let's get it out of the way now. The Wings have not been good at home this year, going 3-2-6 under Joe Louis' roof. On top of that, they have lost six in a row, with five of those games going to overtime or a shootout.

Even with their poor play, the Red Wings top offensive dynamos are doing exactly what they get paid to do. Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk are atop the team standings with 23 and 22 points, respectively. Free agent pickup and Scourge of Ottawa Daniel Alfredsson is also finding his way in Detroit. The 40-year-old right wing has played in 19 games this year, tallying three goals and 11 assists.


Daniel Alfredsson

#11 / Right Wing / Detroit Red Wings

5-11

203

Dec 11, 1972

Last spring, the Predators missed out on the Danny Dekeyser sweepstakes, even though they fought hard to get him. The Western Michigan alum elected to play in his home state. Whatever, no skin off the Preds' bones, and they have a younger and better defenseman now anyway. You might have heard of him.

The Nashville Predators

Seriously, what happened on Saturday? I don't know whether the country air revitalized the players both mentally and spiritually. Maybe they had Cracker Barrel for dinner or prayed to Jobu to take away the fear of scoring from their sticks. Whatever it was they did, they need to do it exactly the same for the rest of the season. They won't score seven goals a game, but more than one or two would be fantastic.

Also, props to Shea Weber, who is the fourth player in franchise history to record more than 300 points. The next time he registers a point, he'll pass Kimmo TImonen as the Predators highest scoring defenseman. Feel free to bust that tidbit out when it happens to impress your friends.


Shea Weber

#6 / Defenseman / Nashville Predators

6-4

233

Aug 14, 1985

The good ol' hockey game comes to you live from Detroit at 6:30 p.m. CST on FS-TN. Here's hoping we don't have to hear Journey at any point tonight.

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