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Looking Behind, Forging Ahead Week 4: Prep the Passports

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Western Canada awaits after the Preds picked up four points last week.

Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

The first regulation loss of the season finally happened, and it was one heck of a stinker. Oh well, the Predators still picked up four points, including a monstrous effort against Chicago. If they play like they did on Thursday most nights, that's going to result in a ton of wins.

The Stats

We can finally start comparing how the Preds have been doing week to week. Have a look. (Scroll to the side to see full table)

Last Week
Games Fenwick% PDO Off ZS % TeamGF TeamGA TeamG+/- TeamG% Faceoff % TOI
5 52.33 101.85 50.86 6 4 2 60 46.2 206.2
This Week
3 50.38 103.63 37.68 4 3 1 57.14 44.95 113
Season
8 51.67 102.39 45.95 10 7 3 58.82 45.73 319.3

Preds took a little bit of a step back this week. It's not the most concerning thing in the world, but they are getting some favorable save and shot percentages. Keep an eye on this.

As for the players, slide to see week vs. season:

Olli Jokinen did not have a good week, and Gabriel Bourque is struggling on the fourth line. That could be a factor of having Colin Wilson leaving his line. Wilson continues to thrive, leading me to believe it's just going to be a matter of time before the points start coming. (Where have I heard that before?)

James Neal's super high PDO evens out when you look at the overall numbers, and realize it was crater deep last week. Expect him to be somewhere between what we saw this past week, and what we saw earlier this season.

Rich Clune may not be on this chart next week.

Golden Players of the Week

  • James Neal - Scored four of his five goals this week, including that hat trick against Chicago.
  • Ryan Ellis - Had a monster game against Phoenix, including the shootout winner. Ellis has been excelling in the sheltered minutes he's been getting, which is exactly what we expected him to do this season. Keep it up, HRS.
  • Mike Ribeiro - Doubled his point total this season, and looked great against his former team. The first line has just looked fantastic since Filip Forsberg joined the ranks, and he gets an honorable mention. The rookie leads the team in points with seven, and Ribeiro is right behind him with six.

Not-So-Golden Players of the Week

  • The entire team on Saturday - No explanation needed.
  • The goal posts behind Fleury - Not even the least bit helpful.
  • Gabriel Bourque - The long the season goes on, the more and more it looks like Gabby doesn't have a place on the team once Matt Cullen comes back. (Though Iron Hook may be sent down by default.)

Player to Keep an Eye On

  • Calle Jarnkrok - The young Swede hasn't been playing terribly, (54% CF on the season) but nothing is going right for him right now. A point of any kind would go a long way to boost his confidence, especially since of the three waiver exempt players, (Jones and Forsberg being the other) he'd be the most likely to spend a few weeks in Milwaukee.

***

Preds are out on the road until November 11th (thanks, Country Music Industry!), but there's only 2 games this week.

Wednesday, October 29th Nashville @ Edmonton

2013-14 Record Against: 0-3-0

Welp. For whatever reason, the Preds were AWFUL against the Oilers last season, with 13 goals against and only 2 goals for. In case you missed it, Edmonton was one of the worst teams in the league, finishing dead-last in the Western Conference, 10 points behind the Flames. They're off to another rough start, with a record of 3-4-1 after their first 8 games, so this is definitely a game the Preds need to win. If this team is gonna make the playoffs, they simply can't afford another 0-3-0. As if the losses weren't bad enough, the Oilers also ruined Thanksgiving.

Reasons to Boo the Oilers

  • Did I mention they ruined Thanksgiving? Because they totally did.
  • All the jersey-throwing. Have some dignity.
  • They could be terrible for another 20 years and the Panthers will get moved first.

Friday, October 31st Nashville @ Calgary

2014-15 Record Against: 0-0-1

The Flames are currently in 4th place in the Western Conference, although the shine comes off that start a bit when you notice they've played 2 or 3 more games than the other top teams in the standings. They did beat Chicago despite giving up 50 shots, which was hilarious, but they also beat the Preds in a shootout...which wasn't. Calgary hasn't been great at home this year (1-2-1 so far) so perhaps the Preds can continue that trend.

Reasons to Boo the Flames

Predictions

Jason: 2-0-0. Gotta be. Losing to the Pens, while frustrating, is understandable. Not so much for either of these teams.

Jon: 1-1-0. The loss is going to be one where they should win the game, but don't for some reason. Edmonton gives the Preds fits, and they've been playing much better as of late.