Nashville Predators @ Detroit Red Wings Preview: Rematch in Motown

Frederick Breedon

We've got your stats breakdown and a look at the mood in Detroit as the Predators pay their first call at Joe Louis Arena this season, tonight at 6:00 p.m. Central.

The Stats

Nashville Predators Detroit Red Wings
Record 8-5-5 10th 7-7-3 19th
GF/Game 2.06 30th 2.59 18th
GA/Game 1.94 3rd 3.00 21st
5-on-5 SF/60 21.3 30th 29.6 9th
5-on-5 SA/60 25.5 5th 28.5 16th
Fenwick Close 46.28 24th 53.27 6th
5-on-5 Save % .944 1st .926 12th
5-on-4 GF/60 5.3 18th 3.9 28th
# of PP's/Gm 3.39 27th 4.59 3rd
4-on-5 GA/60 4.0 3rd 9.0 27th
# of PK's/Gm 3.44 4th 4.35 23rd

You know, if you took the team names away from the top of this table, there's no way you'd convince me that Detroit is the team on the right.

The Preds host Jaromir Jagr and the Dallas Stars on Monday - find the best deals on tickets at TiqIQ!

Detroit Red Wings

Since these two teams last met on Tuesday, the Red Wings lost on home ice to Columbus, 3-2. Worse yet for Detroit fans, this involved coughing up a 2-0 lead on their way to defeat. There's a whiff of panic on the air in Motown these days:

This loss is on everyone. It's on the coaching staff for continuing to put Cleary and Abdelkader with the best player on the team. It's on Valtteri Filppula for apparently being a fluke last year. It's on Damien Brunner for not maintaining control of the puck with less than a minute left. It's on the defense for not covering a man wide open in front of the net. It's on Jimmy Howard for biting so hard on the pass that led to the winning goal.

This team is Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, and a bunch of 'who-knows-what'. The power play sucks, the penalty kill sucks, their bottom 6 can't score, their defense is porous, and their goalie can't make the big stops.

--- Winging It In Motown

I do pity Howard a little bit here, as goalies can get caught looking foolish when they lose confidence in their defense and start gambling more.

This could be the worst Red Wings team since the days when Per Djoos (one of the greatest hockey names ever) patrolled the blueline in Detroit, and the adjustment of expectations will be a painful process in the post-Lidstrom era.

Nashville Predators

Well, so much for the offense getting back in gear, eh? Last night's shutout was certainly disappointing, and heading into Detroit on the tail end of a back-to-back set doesn't generally bode well, but so far the Predators are defying expectations there. This is the fourth set of back-to-back games for Nashville, and they've put up a 0-2-2 record in the front half of those sets, with a 2-1-0 record on the back half.

After opting to dress Hal Gill over Jonathon Blum last night, it will be interesting to see if that decision holds tonight as well. Detroit has been less than stellar on the power play, perhaps leading one to think that Gill might not be as much of a necessity, but the veteran might come in handy against the skilled forwards the Red Wings still boast up front.

The other major call, of course, is whether to go with Pekka Rinne on back to back nights, or give Chris Mason a chance to erase the memory of that Presidents Day stinker at Colorado.

Sorry for the abbreviated preview this morning, but I'm out of town doing this remotely... and it's time to have some coffee & donuts.

Remember, this is a relatively early start (6:00 p.m.) tonight, so check back for the Game Thread at 5:30!

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