Sure, this edition of "The Week Ahead" is a day late, but at least that narrows down the options in the poll, right? Following last night's 4-0 loss to Minnesota the Nashville Predators still have three more games this week, each presenting its own challenges and opportunities.
Tuesday vs Calgary Flames
If you thought the Preds were struggling, get a load of the Calgary Flames, who have lost 11 of their last 13 and are going through the dark, terrifying journey on the road to a franchise rebuild. Oh, and they're also engaging in a two-game road trip without their leading goal scorer Mike Cammalleri, who is out due to injury.
|2013 - Mike Cammalleri||37||13||8||21||-20||18||3||0||3||118||11.0|
So let's consult the checklist: lousy team, short their leading scorer, arriving in Nashville late after playing tonight at Carolina. That sounds like a team with a giant "KICK ME" sign on its back. If the Predators can't come out with a strong effort against the Flames tomorrow night... yikes.
Thursday @ Philadelphia Flyers
The Flyers have gone 23-16-4 under new head coach Craig Berube, who took over after Peter Laviolette was shipped out three games into the season. Leading scorer Claude Giroux was a controversial snub for Team Canada's Olympic squad, as he leads the Flyers in scoring once again and has them in the thick of a very tight race for playoff position in the Eastern Conference.
|2013 - Claude Giroux||46||13||28||41||1||24||4||0||4||128||10.2|
Saturday vs Colorado Avalanche
While everyone bats their eyes at Colorado's collection of goal-scoring forwards, it's goaltender Semyon Varlamov who has the Avs on track to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2010. This game will also mark Patrick Roy's first visit to Bridgestone Arena as a head coach, which could add an extra element of drama.
So what do you say, Nashville Predators fans? What do you expect out of these three remaining games this week?
Central Division Standings