Love will be in the air tonight as the Predators take on the Devils for yet another home game. The Predators are winners of four straight, while the Devils are coming into the second of a back to back against Central division teams. We all know how these previews go by now, so let's just jump right in.
The New Jersey Devils
What can you really say about the Devils this year? As far as rankings go, they are below average in points and virtually every offensive category out there. However, defensively, they aren't too bad. They are just average, but they are giving up only 2.74 goals per game. In this day and age, if you are allowing less than three goals a game, you have a chance of winning games. The problem is definitely the offense. They are only scoring 2.25 goals per game.
You know you have a problem when Jaromir Jagr is your leading scorer in points this year. Isn't he like 70 years old or something? What's worse is the fact that he only has 29 points, and the Devils only have five players over the 20 point mark. To put that into perspective, the Preds have six players that have more points than Jagr, and three of those players have 40+ points.
One of the big problems offensively lies in their 5v5 Corsi For%. They are ranked near the bottom of the league in CF% and dead last in CP60. The Devils aren't dead in the water however. They are only 12 points out of the last spot in the playoffs. All it takes is a couple of long win streaks, and they are right back in the thick of things. (Ed. Note - The Devils are definitely dead in the water. The playoff picture in the East is set, it's just a matter of jockeying for position at this point.)
The Nashville Predators
If you still need a reason to watch the Predators play this season, then you probably haven't been watching all season long. They are riding a four game win streak coming into tonight, and they are clicking on all cylinders right now. The offense is scoring timely goals, the defense is playing tight when need be, and the goaltending has been out of this world.
My biggest worry was not knowing if the injury to Pekka Rinne would be nagging him for the rest of the season. Luckily for us, it doesn't seem to be. He had some rust against Anaheim, but was quickly able to recover right after that game. Rinne is further cementing his name in not only the Vezina trophy race, but the Hart trophy race as well. How are you going to deny a guy who uses every part of his body to make a save, the MVP title?
FIlip Forsberg broke the rookie point record the other night, scoring his 50th point of the season. What's crazy to think about is that last year's leading point getter among forwards for the season was Patric Horqvist with 53. And that was with 76 games played. Scoresberg has 27 more games to blow that number out of the water.
Reasons To Watch
- Rinne making ungodly saves
- Forsberg doing Forsberg things
- Colin Wilson potentially destroying someone else with a big time hit
Drink Of Choice For Game Time
Since it is Valentine's Day, I am going to go with some nice red wine. I would recommend a nice Malbec to sip on during this one.
Sights And Sounds
We are back on TV tonight after being off for the first two games of the week. FS-TN and 102.5 The Game for your viewing and listening pleasures. Puck drops at 7:00 pm CST.