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Predators vs Ducks preview: Revenge can work both ways

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These two Finns will present the matchup of the night...
These two Finns will present the matchup of the night...

Brace yourself for another late night of hockey as the Nashville Predators face the Anaheim Ducks once again, this time at the Honda Center (9:00 p.m. Central start on FS-TN). We'll be back this evening with the Game Thread, but for now, jump into the preview, where talk of revenge runs rampant...

Be there for the Preds' 1000th regular season game on Saturday vs. Montreal - take the OTF Discount!

Tale Of The Tape

Nashville (7-5-2) at Anaheim (5-6-3)
NSH Offense vs. ANA Defense ANA Offense vs. NSH Defense
GF/60 SF/60 Shoot % GA/60 SA/60 Save %
 NSH Offense 2.4 (13th) 25.4 (26th) 9.6 (6th) 2.5 (15th) 32.3 (30th)  922 (12th)   NSH Defense 
 ANA Defense  2.7 (20th) 28.4 (9th) 906 (24th) 1.8 (29th) 23.3 (29th) 7.5 (20th)  ANA Offense
GA/60 SA/60 Save % GF/60 SF/60 Shoot %
Special Teams
GF/60 SF/60 Shoot % GA/60 SA/60 Save %
 NSH 5-on-4  5.7 (17th)   44.2 (23rd)   12.9 (14th)  4.0 (9th)  56.4 (24th)  929 (3rd)  NSH 4-on-5
 ANA 4-on-5 4.2 (11th) 53.6 (18th) 922 (10th)  5.3 (21st)  58.5 (6th) 9.0 (23rd)  ANA 5-on-4
GA/60 SA/60 Save % GF/60 SF/60 Shoot %

Hopefully the Predators can avoid another special teams contest like last night, as that's really not their forte. The area to watch out for is when Anaheim gets on the power play; they're generating plenty of shots, as you'd expect with that top-heavy lineup, and the Preds' save percentage of .929 in 4-on-5 play isn't likely to stay that high (only one team in the last 4 years has done that, with about 90% finishing below .900).

Anaheim Ducks

The Ducks are in a bit of a free fall, an 0-3-2 stretch which has dropped them to 14th place in the Western Conference. Teemu Selanne continues to be the ageless wonder, but the rest of the bunch, even the dreaded Perry-Getzlaf-Ryan trio, aren't getting it done.

Teemu Selanne

#8 / Right Wing / Anaheim Ducks



Jul 03, 1970

2011 - Teemu Selanne 14 5 9 14 0 30 1 0 0 41 12.1

Ducks Schedule   Last 5 Games

@ Detroit Sat 11/05 L 0 - 5
@ New York Rangers Thu 11/03 SO - L 1 - 2
@ Washington Tue 11/01 OT - L 4 - 5
@ Columbus Sun 10/30 L 1 - 3
@ Nashville Sat 10/29 L 0 - 3

As always, head over to Anaheim Calling for all things Ducks, where they're bemoaning slow starts, pondering wacky trades, and whatever else might be causing their team's current malaise.

Nashville Predators

Injuries continue to dominate the scene with the Predators, and with David Legwand already out for this one, it's looking like the depth chart at center will read Fisher-Smith-Smithson-Geoffrion. We'll keep an eye on developments with Sergei Kostitsyn and Kevin Klein, but I wouldn't get too optimistic. One thing we can expect is to see Pekka Rinne in goal, after Anders Lindback got his first start of the season last night.

Pekka Rinne

#35 / Goalie / Nashville Predators



Nov 03, 1982

2011 - Pekka Rinne 13 747 7 4 2 29 2.33 406 377 .929 3

The Predators have fought through these injuries admirably, however, continuing to eke out points in the standings and position themselves squarely in the middle of the pack. 

Predators Schedule   Last 5 Games

@ Los Angeles Tue 11/08 L 3 - 4
@ San Jose Sat 11/05 OT - W 4 - 3
@ Phoenix Thu 11/03 W 3 - 0
@ Chicago Mon 10/31 OT - L 4 - 5
Anaheim Sat 10/29 W 3 - 0

Revenge On The Menu?

While knickers are still twisting in Anaheim over last spring's playoffs and the question of whether Jordin Tootoo is a diver, the Predators have reason to ponder notions of revenge tonight, too.

One oft-debated topic around these parts is whether an enforcer like Brian McGrattan is able to actually protect the rest of the team, or exact "justice" for things like Francois Beauchemin's hit on Mike Fisher back on October 29. I'm guessing not - and this isn't a knock on his toughness, it's just that the modern NHL isn't built on such notions anymore (making his very presence on the roster an anachronism). For an outstanding blog post & discussion on the topic of enforcers and the development of their role, review this from a few months ago at mc79hockey:

If you remember that famous scene in Slapshot, you know that, amidst the mayhem, the Hansons pot a goal and still had a teammate refer to them as a "fucking disgrace." If they re-made Slapshot with the Hansons portraying the goons of today, they'd spend the entire scene penned in their own of the ice before one of them ritualistically paired off with someone else. (If I was Chris Jones, I'd add "...concussed him and then downed a bottle of pills with the aid of some hard liquor." But I'm not.) That doesn't strike me as a particularly good evolution of the sport.    

So what do you think? Will we see any payback for the Beauchemin hit tonight? Should we? Of note, McGrattan's dance partner back on October 29, George Parros, is out with a torn retina for four weeks.