The Predators ring in the New Year with a trip out to California as they take on the Kings. Nashville is coming off a nice three day break while Los Angeles played a game on Thursday. Here's to hoping that the Preds continue their success from 2014.
The Los Angeles Kings
The Kings are coming back home from a visit to the Great White North this week, playing all the Canadian teams in the Pacific division. They had a rough start to the week as they dropped their first two games against Edmonton and Calgary, but bounced back nicely against Vancouver.
The Kings are sitting in second place in their division. The only problem with that is that they have played one more game than San Jose (who is behind them by one point), and they have played three more games than Vancouver (who is also only a point behind them). The Kings are usually a team that heats up at the right time, so I don't think there is any doubt that they will make the playoffs.
I'm sure Los Angeles will want to build on the win from Thursday night. They will definitely have their hands full with the Preds though. Being at home will surely rejuvenate the Kings. I expect the likes of Jeff Carter, Anze Kopitar, and Marion Gaborik to come out aggressive in this one.
The Nashville Predators
Nashville also had a couple of games this week. They lost a heart breaker to Chicago in the shootout on Monday, and then back against St. Louis. Pekka Rinne played both games on back-to-back nights. I don't expect him to do the same this weekend, but I also didn't expect him to do it earlier this week.
Nashville has been off to a great start this year. They aren't even at the half way point of the season, and they have already accumulated 51 points. Now that the Preds are getting secondary scoring from the likes of Colin Wilson and Craig Smith.. It doesn't hurt that they have a world class goalie and defenseman on the back end to help them out either.
The Preds have a little bit of breathing room in the division by beating the Blues earlier this week (it's not a lot, but we'll take it). You have to think they will come out of the gates firing today. There is no room for mistakes, especially considering Nashville has to go to Anaheim tomorrow.
Reasons To Watch
What else are you going to be doing on Saturday afternoon? But If you really need a reason to watch, I guess you can tune in to see Filip Scoresberg come one step closer to breaking the Preds' rookie point record.
Drink Of Choice For Game Time
Since this is going to be an afternoon start time, it might be a little early to start with something hard (or maybe not, it is five o' clock somewhere after all). I am going to go a little crazy on this one. You should enjoy a nice bloody mary for this game. Who doesn't love a good bloody mary in the afternoon, am I right?
Sights And Sounds
You can catch the game on SPSO, or listen to it live on 102.5 The Game. As I mentioned early, we have an early start time to this one. Puck drops at 3:00pm CST.