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Nashville Predators vs. Montreal Canadiens Preview: On The Right Track

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The Predators play host to the Canadiens tonight in Nashville.

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

After a much needed Central Division win against the Minnesota Wild on Saturday night, the Predators look to continue their winning ways tonight as they take on Montreal.

The good thing is that the Predators will get some needed time off after this game as they don't play again until Saturday. The bad thing is that this could be a game they could overlook heading into the extended time off.

The Montreal Canadiens

The Canadiens are experiencing quite a different feeling the past few games compared to the beginning of the season. They are 2-7-1 in their last ten games and are struggling mightily right now. Luckily for them, they got off to a huge lead in the division, and are still sitting 3 points ahead of the Bruins in the standings.

It's no surprise that the loss of Carey Price has hurt the Habs. Any time you take the reigning MVP and Vezina trophy winner off of a team, they are going to hurt. He was having himself another outstanding year before the injury sidelined for an extended period of time. Mike Condon hasn't been playing bad in Price's absence, but those are big shoes to fill. It is hard to ask someone to come in and do exactly what Price did for this team.

What's hurting the Canadiens more than the loss of Carey Price is their lack of scoring recently. In their last three games, they have only scored a combined three goals, and that's including a shutout in one of those games. They could get away with scoring one to two goals a game with Price in the net, but they have to get their offense going if they are going to win games without him.

The Nashville Predators

It seems like the Predators finally figured out the formula to score goals in this league. Get people to the front of the net! Traffic in front of the goalie always creates madness, and in turn (most of the time) will create some great scoring opportunities.

What was great about their win against the Wild was that the big guns came to play. Filip Forsberg, Mike Ribeiro, and James Neal were the goal scorers. It almost gave you a nostalgic feeling from last season. But I think Preds' fans this year have learned to wait and see if they can keep it up for multiple games before getting excited.

Pekka Rinne has also been playing pretty well as of late. He seems to have finally settled in and is see the puck really well. It definitely helps when Nashville can get quality starts night in and night out from Rinne. And by no means am I saying the Rinne has been bad this year. He just hasn't been himself, and to be honest, I think I would still take Rinne playing at 75% of his capabilities than most goalies in the league.

Reasons To Watch

  • Last year's game against these two clubs was extremely entertaining and fun. It made you feel like these two teams would meet in the Stanley Cup Final. Let's hope this game can bring half that excitement.
  • It will be interesting to see if the Predators have actually figured out how to score consistently now. Tune in to find out.

Drink Of Choice For Game Time

I am going to leave tonight's selection up to you guys. I enjoy hearing different people's selections.

Sights And Sounds

FS-TN for television and 102.5 The Game for radio. Puck drops at 7:00 pm CST.