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Nashville Predators vs. Anaheim Ducks: Back to the Stomping Grounds

Last postseason, the Predators only dropped one of four games against the Ducks in the Honda Center. Hopefully tonight the Predators make it four wins in their last five tries as the CMA Awards force Nashville out of town.

Nashville Predators v Anaheim Ducks - Game Seven Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Tonight marks the first road game in the annual CMA Awards five game road trip as the Nashville Predators take on the Anaheim Ducks.

The Ducks have also began the season with a slow start. While the Predators are still working on chemistry with their lines, the Ducks are working on chemistry with their head coach. Bruce Boudreau is out as Anaheim opted to bring back their former skipper Randy Carlyle. While he’s already led Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf to a Stanley Cup, the rest of his team is drastically different from the one Carlyle is familiar with.

In a big win over the defending Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday, the Nashville Predators finally looked like things were clicking. The Predators were fast, skilled, and punishing. Hopefully it continues out west.

The Anaheim Ducks

In a 180 degree turn, the Anaheim Ducks fired Bruce Boudreau, one of the winning-est coaches in this decade, for Randy Carlyle. Carlyle is known for playing a more archaic, old-school style of hockey, although more recently, it could be simply characterized as bad hockey. Nevertheless, the Anaheim Ducks’ management viewed him as candidate more qualified for the job than Bruce Boudreau.

While there were some departures on the blue line over the off-season, this is a team still led by the same faces. Ryan Getzlaf will be returning to the top line with everyone’s favorite villain Corey Perry. Perhaps if he focuses less on taking the puck from James Neal during warm-ups and concentrates on his own preparation, Perry could take revenge on the scoreboard for last season’s playoff knockout.

The Ducks are coming off the back end of a back-to-back as they played the Sharks on Tuesday night. Expect to see Jonathan Bernier in net for the black and orange.

The Nashville Predators

To say that the Predators feel at home in the Honda Center would be an understatement. In the pressure cooker known as the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Honda Center became Nashville West as the Predators won games 1, 2, and 7 of their first round series out in Anaheim. Now the Predators face the Ducks, who have a less impressive coach and are on the second leg of a back-to-back.

On this five game road trip, the Predators first play at Anaheim, then tomorrow night against the L.A. Kings. Following the Kings, they play San Jose, Colorado, and lastly Arizona. A great trip would be earning 6/10 possible points and the Predators have a great opportunity to earn the first two tonight.

Last game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, numerous Predators were out with a spell of food poisoning picked up in Detroit. However, a number of young players stepped up, carrying the Predators to a 5-1 win over the Penguins. Viktor Arvidsson and Kevin “Goals” Fiala had stellar performances, each potting two goals to their names. The lines for tonight are unclear, but hopefully both Arvidsson and Fiala build on their play from Saturday night.

Reasons to Watch

  • Did you enjoy seeing Corey Perry leveled during the last postseason? Want to experience that same rush of joy?
  • Expect there to be a bit of lingering animosity between these two teams. Emotions from a seven game series tend to hang around longer than one may anticipate.
  • The Ducks still have immense talent on their top line. The battle between first lines should be very entertaining.

Gameday Hockey Lingo Word of the Day

Pigeon [pij-uh n], noun.

Definition: Used to describe a player who benefits from other players on his or her team creating chances. Also used as a term for players who pick up “garbage goals”, goals off of rebounds and scrums in front of the net. It may be used as an actual term to describe a player or simply as an insult.

Example: “I can’t believe how much money Corey Perry has earned over his career for being Ryan Getzlaf’s pigeon!”

Sights and Sounds

The game will be televised on FS-TN. Alternatively, you can listen to it on 102.5 The Game. Puck drops at 9:30 pm CT.