|Anaheim Ducks||Nashville Predators|
|5-on-5 Close SF/60||31.5||7th||29.7||14th|
|5-on-5 Close SA/60||27.3||7th||27.4||8th|
|5-on-5 Close Save %||.929||9th||.908||27th|
|# of PP's/Gm||3.29||16th||3.07||27th|
|# of PK's/Gm||3.18||11th||3.14||10th|
The Ducks are flying along at the top of the Pacific Division this season, as head coach Bruce Boudreau has the team complementing the talents of Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry much like he had the Washington Capitals led by Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom a few years ago. Coming into tonight's game, Anaheim has won 14 of their last 15 games, making them the NHL's hottest team.
Of course, any time Anaheim comes to town you have to focus on Teemu Selanne, not only one of the game's all-time great scorers but also one of its most universally-loved players. At long last it appears the Flying Finn is breaking down, as his scoring totals have dropped to mediocre levels beginning last season. In 35 games, Selanne has just four goals and nine assists.
With 8 out of a possible 12 points earned over the last six games, the Preds are keeping those flickering playoff hopes alive, but just barely. Despite some assurances that this team is playing as well as it has in 10 years, what they haven't shown yet is the ability to maintain positive momentum. With two 5-game losing streaks so far to along with a 4-gamer, their best winning streak this season is just 3.
Now's as good a time as ever to turn that trend around.
With Mike Fisher's scoring streak having come to a close, the focus shifts to Craig Smith as the reigning "hot hand" in the Preds lineup, with six goals and three assists in his last 10 games. He's come a long way from last season's disappointing performance and may have penciled himself in as a regular Top Six winger here for the next few years.
|2013 - Craig Smith||41||12||13||25||+1||12||4||0||2||108||11.1|
Can the Predators keep racking up points in the standings against Anaheim tonight? If you're not at Bridgestone Arena this evening, tune into FS-TN at 7:00 p.m. to find out...
- Barry Trotz is saying strange things
- Nashville Predators 3, San Jose Sharks 2: Roman Josi scores game-winner to halt losing streak
- 2014 Winter Olympics Hockey Teams: Shea Weber & Roman Josi going to Sochi
- Tennessee Titans Fans: Welcome to Hockey Season!
- Nashville Predators 1st Half Review: The Centers