|Colorado Avalanche||Nashville Predators|
|5-on-5 Save %||.907||23rd||.919||16th|
|# of PP's/Gm||2.94||28th||3.13||24th|
|# of PK's/Gm||3.86||27th||3.17||9th|
Just as was mentioned before Saturday's game, Colorado's weak spots have been goaltending (which bit the Preds over the weekend) and a propensity to take penalties (which Nashville failed to take advantage of). On home ice, the Predators' power play has been more effective, so therein lies hope for tonight.
Despite owning the worst record in the Western Conference, the Avalanche have beaten the Predators in each of their two previous meetings this season.
The guy who's looking forward to tonight's game is probably defenseman Tyson Barrie, whose only NHL goals have come at Nashville's expense (including the OT winner on Saturday):
|2012 - Tyson Barrie||19||2||6||8||-2||8||1||0||1||28||7.1|
I think it's time for the captain to really step up, though. It's not like he's been bad, but we need that "wow" from him that he gave night in and night out last season. And we need more than just Tyson Barrie generating offense from the blueline. It was great to see some bombs flying from the point last night; if they can keep doing that, the goals are bound to happen.
Taking a single point out of Chicago last night was an OK result considering the 2-0 hole the team fell into, but with three home games on tap this week the Preds need at least a 2-1-0 record to make headway in the battle for the playoffs.
What might help would be to get Mike Fisher back in the lineup, but I wouldn't get your hopes up on that quite yet. In the meantime, look for Paul Gaustad to continue his stand-in role on the top line between Martin Erat & Sergei Kostitsyn.
The big question, however, is whether Gabriel Bourque is able to play, after leaving last night's contest with an "upper body injury". Expect word later this morning on that, once Barry Trotz holds his media availability (due to last night's game there's no morning skate for the players).
This should be an interesting game, as both teams played last night and may have trouble finding their legs early. The bottom line is that the Predators should be the more desperate squad, and if they still harbor any hope for the playoffs, they should manhandle the Avs.