After an important win last night in the Staples Center, the Predators have a chance to start a winning streak against the Ducks tonight. I think we can all agree: wins feel about 1000% better than losses. Let's see more, please.
Also, the OTF Watch Party was last night! Not only did it clearly bring some positive mojo to the team, the event was well attended and a rousing good time. If you were unable to make it, here's some of what you missed:
- Unadulterated hatred for a number of players, including Jeff Carter, Seth Jones, Viktor Stalberg, and Sean Avery (because why not).
- A thorough, beer-fueled analysis of the "dump-and-chase" strategy. (summary: it sucks)
- A live rendition of a HJN rant, performed by Dan.
- #HotTakes so hot they had to be handled with pot holders.
- A goat sacrifice. It worked.
- Shocked faces when we all realized that the puck can actually go in the net from time to time.
Overall it was a great night! Preliminary plans are in the works for hosting another one soon. Maybe we will get to host one sometime in May? Fingers crossed.
The Anaheim Ducks
The Ducks and Preds have identical records at this point: 43-20-7 through 70 games. The major difference is each team's play of late: the Ducks have gone 6-4-0 in their last 10 games, while the Preds have gone
to the crapper 3-7-0. The Preds do have a sizable goal differential advantage, which is interesting. The Preds are +32, while the Ducks are +11. This Ducks team will be a handful, as we have already seen. They own the season series already, with 2 wins in 2 games.
Anaheim is scoring at a 2.80 goals/game rate, good for 11th in the league. They are of course led in goals by Corey Perry (28) and Ryan Getzlaf (22). Matt Beleskey continues to have a breakout year, now with 21 goals in 57 games. Ryan Kesler (booooooo) has 44 points (17g, 27a) for the 2nd line, which just got a boost with the Tomas Fleischmann trade acquisition. Outside of Sami Vatanen, who has been battling a lower body injury, their blue-line scoring isn't great. With Vatanen leading all defensemen with 34 points (12g, 22a), the Ducks are hoping for a late March return. Francois Beauchemin and Hampus Lindholm look to provide scoring in his absence.
The Ducks did lose 2 of their last 3 games, which is good to hear. They lost 2-1 to the Canucks on Monday, 6-3 to the Flames on Wednesday, before beating the Wild 2-1 on Friday. Frederik Andersen didn't start the Ducks last two games, as Bruce Boudreau has prescribed more rest for him throughout April. The Preds will likely see Anderson tonight though, where he brings a .915 save % and a .609 QS%.
The Nashville Predators
Look at this craziness:
That's the % chances of winning from last night's game. Notice the proverbial rug being yanked out from underneath the Kings in the 3rd period. Stealing wins has not been something that has happened much recently, so I rather enjoyed that. Those little teeth-mark dips you see in the 2nd period? Those are Preds power-plays. I am honestly shocked to see the Kings win percentage took any kind of a dip there, because the PP looked about as awful as it has all year.
With that said, I am going to forego any further negative speak. Earlier in the year, I think I under appreciated the wins we were piling up. Then in recent weeks, I found myself pining for "the glory days" of 3-4 months ago. It's time to just enjoy the win. How about that play by Craig Smith? Pouncing on the opportunity and netting the tying goal at a ridiculous angle. Huge momentum boost. And how relieving it must be for Viktor Stalberg, an NHL player with NHL skills and NHL speed, to finally gets his first NHL goal of the season.
This winning thing... it feels good.
Reasons To Watch
- Didn't you see? They won last night!
- Carter Hutton will likely be in goal, which is always an adventure worth watching.
- Stu Grimson checkerboard suit #2? Maybe this time with a hatch print pocket square?
The Important Details
What's this? A reasonable start time! 7 pm! FS-TN and 102.5 The Game will have the game.