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.
Join OTF in the Fight Against Hunger this month, and contribute to our Virtual Food Drive for Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee!
|Nashville Predators||Detroit Red Wings|
|5-on-5 Close SF/60||29.4||14th||29.2||15th|
|5-on-5 Close SA/60||29.8||15th||30.1||16th|
|5-on-5 Close Save %||.915||23rd||.931||10th|
|# of PP's/Gm||3.20||23rd||3.10||27th|
|# 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.
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.
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.