With only two games left in the regular season, the Predators have to find a way to get back on track tonight against the Minnesota Wild. The Predators are coming off of a loss in Colorado, while the Wild are coming off of a huge (and playoff clinching) against the Blackhawks.
The Minnesota Wild
The Wild have cooled off just a tad bit since the break in January. They are still 6-3-1 in their last ten games, and are coming off of a huge divisional win. With their playoff spot clinched, it is just a matter of positioning for Minnesota now. There is still a long shot for them to get out of a Wild Card spot and into one of the three divisional spots. At this point, it doesn't really make too much of a difference for them. It looks like they will have to play a divisional opponent in the first round, regardless of their positioning (unless, that is, if they somehow fall to the second Wild Card spot).
The Wild are going into the playoffs on a good note it seems like. Devan Dubnyk is continuing to play out of his mind, Zach Parise is doing Zach Parise things, and Jason Pominville and Thomas Vanek are providing great secondary scoring for the team.
Let's just hope the Ryan Suter messes up like this in the playoffs
Editor's Note: Mike Yeo has confirmed that Devan Dubnyk will be taking his first night off since the Reagan Administration. No confirmation on if they actually have to lock him in his hotel room to keep him from standing in the blue paint out of habit.
The Nashville Predators
Nashville is becoming great at giving up leads after getting early goals. That is not a great trend to be on going into the playoffs. The second period has been the problem for the past few weeks, and if they keep coming out flat in the second, it will lead to a first-round exit. Especially considering that they will be playing a divisional opponent most likely in the first round.
On the bright side, the Predators have a chance to clinch home ice for the first round with a win (of any type) and a Blackhawks regulation loss tonight. Let's hope they can get this done, because home ice advantage is exactly what this team needs in the first round.
Reason To Watch
The hope of winning the division is still alive. It helped that the Blues and Blackhawks both lost the other night. It also helps that they play each other tomorrow night. The Predators have to go out and win the division though. They can't hope that St. Louis just loses out and they can sneak away with a division title. They need to take care of business and win these last two games and get that first banner up in the rafters at Bridgestone Arena
Sights And Sounds
FS-TN for television and 102.5 The Game for radio. Puck drops at 7:00 pm CST.