Nashville Predators vs Winnipeg Jets Preview: Time to Climb

Mike Strasinger-USA TODAY Sports

The Stats

Winnipeg Jets Nashville Predators
Record 29-26-6 15th 26-24-10 23rd
GF/Game 2.70 15th 2.47 23rd
GA/Game 2.82 19th 2.92 23rd
5-on-5 Close SF/60 30.1 13th 29.9 14th
5-on-5 Close SA/60 30.9 22nd 27.6 7th
Fenwick Close 49.30 18th 50.40 17th
5-on-5 Close Save % .920 21st .907 28th
5-on-4 GF/60 4.6 26th 7.1 8th
# of PP's/Gm 3.25 19th 3.00 28th
4-on-5 GA/60 6.0 13th 7.1 27th
# of PK's/Gm 3.62 25th 3.07 5th

Winnipeg Jets

Since Paul Maurice took over as head coach, the Jets have racked up a 10-3-1 record that has them one step ahead of Nashville in the playoff chase. The guy who really seems to have benefited from the Maurice regime is winger Blake Wheeler, who has posted 7 goals and 9 assists during those 14 games to take over the team scoring lead.

In goal, however, Winnipeg continues to lean on Ondrej Pavelec, one of the weakest starters in the NHL. According to our pals at Arctic Ice Hockey, however, it appears that the third forward line is the one which Nashville should focus their efforts on:

Third the Turd. Despite the fact that they picked up pluses in the Yotes game (Dustin Byfuglien and Olli Jokien on the Wheeler goal) the Winnipeg Jets high priced third line continues to be a sore spot. They aren't scoring much and they are spending a lot of time hemmed in their own zone. With last change, the 3rd line will be one for the Pred to target.

Nashville Predators

Thursday night's resounding comeback win over Tampa Bay was a strong way to kick off the post-season push, but it was merely the first step on a long journey. This afternoon's tilt represents one of those critical "4-point games", because not only is it important for Nashville to win and earn the two points, but also Winnipeg needs to lose, and lose in regulation so they don't sneak out of town with anything gained.

The requisite urgency appears to be felt by the team, as we've seen team captain Shea Weber pass up an opportunity to rest in order to practice, and his play on Thursday was as impressive as we've seen all season. Two assists against the Lightning will help him climb the defenseman's scoring list and earn Norris Trophy votes, but what stood out to me was the aggressive defensive play over the final couple minutes - that's when Weber asserted his dominance and denied Tampa their chance to tie the game, by breaking up passes, charging into opportunities to take the body along the boards, and using his long reach to deny opposing puck carriers room to maneuver.


Shea Weber

#6 / Defenseman / Nashville Predators

6-4

233

Aug 14, 1985



GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG
SOG PCT
2013 - Shea Weber 57 15 25 40 -11 32 9 0 3 142 10.6

Will that tremendous effort by the captain rub off on his mates, and lead to another victory this afternoon at Bridgestone Arena? Check back for the Game Thread and join us at 2:00 p.m. to find out!

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join On the Forecheck

You must be a member of On the Forecheck to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at On the Forecheck. You should read them.

Join On the Forecheck

You must be a member of On the Forecheck to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at On the Forecheck. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9355_tracker