The Nashville Predators dropped one at home on Saturday night against the Red Wings. They played a good game, but just weren't able to convert when they needed to. This is going to be a rough week ahead, so it's important that the Preds start the week off with a crucial win.
The New York Rangers
The Rangers have looked all but great as of late. They are 3-6-1 in their last ten games, and are looking to get back to their winning ways going into the new year.
The offense for the Rangers has been clicking all year long. They have been getting some great production from Mats Zuccarello and Derick Brassard. They both are the top two point getter on this Rangers team. Rick Nash has also been contributing to the offense with 24 points on the season.
The problem with the Rangers as of late is their defense and goaltending. Henrik Lundqvist had a stellar start to the season, but has since then cooled off. He has definitely looked human over the last month. Now, I know you can't put it all on the goalie, but a guy like Lundqvist can steal games for you if need be. In the Rangers' last three losses, they have given up 7, 5, and 5. I don't care who you are, if you are giving up five plus goals a game, you aren't going to win many games in this league.
One advantage that the Rangers will have coming into this game is that they are coming off of an extended break. They will definitely have fresh legs and are going to be very aggressive coming out of the gates. Or we can hope that they will be rusty and make stupid mistakes early on in the game.
The Nashville Predators
Going into the extended break last week, the Predators looked to get back on track with two big wins against Minnesota and Montreal. They faltered against the Red Wings on Saturday night as they made some timely mistakes that ended up costing them at least a point.
There are some good takeaways from the last few games though. For one, it looks like Filip Forsberg is coming back into his last season scoring form. He had two goals against Detroit, and is really starting to feel comfortable again out on the ice. We all know though that Forsberg can't do it by himself. The Predators are currently being led by Roman Josi and Shea Weber in points. I love seeing the defensemen scoring points, but I don't love how they lead the team. They offense has to start getting things rolling. Nashville's defense is only going to be able to carry this team on defense and offense for so long.
Luckily for the Preds, Pekka Rinne has been playing well as of late. He has really settled in this season and has been playing like his old self. If this is the Pekka we get for the rest of the season, Nashville could make a big run going into the new year.
Reasons To Watch
- This will be the second meeting of the season for these two teams. The first one was taken by the Rangers, so let's hope for a different outcome this time around.
- This is going to be a matchup of two elite goalies in the league. It's always fun watching two athletes trying to one up each other.
Drink Of Choice For Game Time
I'll be enjoying some Booker's bourbon tonight.
Sights And Sounds
FS-TN for television and 102.5 The Game for radio. Puck drops at 7:00 pm CST.