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Nashville Predators vs. Arizona Coyotes Preview: Erat Demands More Forsberg

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Forgetting all about the conclusion of Saturday night's game vs. the Blackhawks, the Predators face the Coyotes Tuesday night in Bridgestone Arena. Some line changes and the return of Martin Erat highlight tonight's matchup.

Christian Petersen

The Arizona Coyotes

Arizona will come into Nashville sitting in 11th place in the Western Conference with 4 pts and a 2-2-0 record. Don't be fooled. Yes, they are 2nd to last in GA/GP (Goals Allowed per Game), but that's mostly due to a 6-1 drubbing vs. the Blues on Saturday (and you thought our result was disappointing). The Coyotes sit 8th in G/GP (Goals Scored per Game), Mikkel Boedeker leads the team with 5 goals, and they have 9 players that have scored this year, including our old buddy Martin Erat.

Remember how much Erat loves Nashville? He just loves it.

I will always, always enjoy beating the Arizona Coyotes for two major reasons. One, and the main one, is because of the 2012 Western Conference Semifinals series loss. If not for Glendale's thriving nightlife, we win that series. Two, because I have been to Arizona and its weather was not nice to me. It was 110 degrees in the daytime, 40 degrees at night. How do you even pack a suitcase for that weather?

In other news, the Arizona Coyotes fans are just thrilled to death about their new ownership group:

The Nashville Predators

At practice Monday, some notable line changes emerged... though, if you watched any preseason games, these changes may not be that surprising. Filip Forsberg seems to have rejoined James Neal and Mike Ribeiro at the top. Maybe Martin Erat made a line change demand? Meanwhile, Derek Roy has played his way into the top 6 alongside Craig Smith and Colin Wilson. Just in case you don't feel like clicking the link, here were the top 4 lines at Monday's practice:

Forsberg/Neal/Ribeiro

Smith/Roy/Wilson

Jokinen/Jarnkrok/Stalberg

Nystrom/Gaustad/Bourque

With Forsberg's skill, Neal's shooting, and Ribeiro's passing, we need to see more than just solid chances... we need goals. The second line, anchored by Craig Smith, has been really flying out there lately, but, like the top line, hasn't produced enough goals. Not even with Derek Roy's awesomeness. And, boy, Gabriel Bourque has just plummeted from that top line.

Pekka Rinne should be back in net tonight, looking for his 11th career win against the Coyotes.

Reasons To Watch

Like me, you probably want to see if tonight is the night the new-look Predators finally dominate a game the way we think they should. Let's see if the 3RDATORS can finally put it all together and play a solid 60 minute game against a team they should beat.

Wouldn't It Be Funny If

Everyone booed Martin Erat? Haha, if everyone booed Martin Erat, that would be hysterical. I think it would be hilarious if everyone booed Martin Erat.

Also, what if, in Erat's honor, everyone busted out their 3x5 photos of this guy (you know you have one):

forsberg

By the way, the puck drops at 7pm and the game will be televised on FS-TN... hold those photos high!