Nashville takes their talents to Philadelphia as they take on the Flyers today. The Predators are coming off one of their worst losses of the season at the hands of the Islanders. Meanwhile the Flyers, well, they're the Flyers. It is a lot of, you win some and you lose some with them.
I particularly enjoy when Nashville makes the trip to Philly. Why you may ask? Because I love seeing Flyers fans pine over players that they aren't going to get (ahem, ahem, Shea Weber).
Nothing better than a good old fashioned trolling. Am I right?
The Philadelphia Flyers
As I mentioned before, the Flyers are, well, average at best right now. Just when you think they get some traction and start to get a win streak going, they lose and fall right back into the same pattern of alternating wins and losses. Their numbers baffle me though, They are in the bottom half of the league in almost all of the offensive categories. Why is that baffling you may ask? Because they are in the top 10 in OFZO%. How is a team that is ranked number six in offensive zone start percentage end up in the bottom tier of every other offensive stat (including Fenwick for, Corsi for, and Goals for)?
What makes it even harder to understand is that they have two of the best offensive players in the league, in Jakub Voracek and Claude Giroux. Voracek is fifth in the league in total point production, and only two points off of the lead. They both also lead the team in points. Wayne Simmonds continues to be their consistent goal scorer (22 goals for him so far this season) and Mark Streit is providing some solid back end scoring for them as well.
So to me, the Flyers just don't make any sense. You look at their roster and think, this is a team that could do some damage. But then you look at all the stats, and it just doesn't translate over . Surely things will eventually turn around for these guys right? It might be too late though by the time they figure things out this season.
The Nashville Predators
The Preds are coming off of arguably their worst loss of the season, a 5-2 beat down by the Islanders. Luckily for us, this isn't your Nashville team of year's past. The old Preds would use that blowout loss and turn it into a four game losing streak. This year's Preds are different, very different. They have only lost one game after a loss this season. It is almost like they understand that one bad game doesn't mean that you need to change everything up .
A couple of things are going to change though. And those things are the addition of Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli to the lineup. I can't imagine the lines changing too much, but Laviolette will definitely have some fun tinkering with it to see what is going to work for the playoffs. He may even use Braden's optimal lineup choices if he's smart. Or he could just do what he thinks will work. I mean it has been working for him all season.
Reasons To Watch
- Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli returning in Predator's colors
- Another nightly save of the night highlight by Pekka Rinne (assuming he plays on this side of the back to back)
- Craig Smith, Colin Wilson, and Seth Jones. America!
Drink Of Choice For Game Time
I feel like I have been doing quite a few afternoon game previews lately. Because it seems like I recommend a Bloody Mary, Mimosa, and Screwdrivers way too much lately. So I am going to leave this choice to you guys. But if you guys are having trouble deciding, I would recommend a General Washington's Tavern Porter.
Sights And Sounds
You know the drill by now. FS-TN for TV, and 102.5 The Game for radio. Puck drops at 12:00 pm CST. Don't oversleep, or you'll miss some of the action!