With both Nashville and Dallas fighting for Wild Card positioning in this young season, every point matters as these two face off tonight in a crucial, divisional matchup.
The Dallas Stars
The Stars, similarly to the Predators, have been struggling to start the year. Unlike the Preds though, the Stars have yet to hit a hot streak. They are only 4-5-1 in their last ten games, and find themselves, currently, out of the playoff mix. Yes, I know that it is still very early to be talking about playoff positioning, but when you play a Central Divsion rival three times in the first two and a half months of the season, every game is crucial, and will have a big impact come end of the season.
When you think of Dallas, you think of their big guns, Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn. In all honestly, you should think of those two guys, because once again, they lead the team in points. Not only is Seguin leading the team with 27 points, but he is also sixth in the league in points scored as well.
Maybe part of the reason the Stars have struggled a bit this year is that Jason Spezza has missed seven games so far this year. The time missed could be a reason for him not producing as well as he normally does. Regardless, we can’t expect his slow pace to be the norm in Dallas. I am sure that he will bounce back and get back on track sooner than later.
The Nashville Predators
I will keep this one short today. The Predators were able to snap a small skid on Tuesday night against the Avs. Now it’s a matter of if they can continue that tonight against the Stars.
A bit of good new though, James Neal is back in the lineup. From the looks of it from Tuesday night, he has not missed a step. With the lack of scoring from some of the other top scorers on the team, it was a big sigh of relief for fans when he returned to the lineup.
Let’s also not forget the play of Viktor Arvidsson. This kid just continues to play like a shot out of a cannon. He has simply done everything that this team and organization has asked him to do. Arvy is proving to be a solid top six forward on this team.
The goaltending for Nashville has cooled off a bit in the month of December. That was to be expected though considering both Pekka Rinne and Juuse Saros had an incredible month of November. I would imagine they get back on track by the middle of this month.
Reasons To Watch
- Heel James Neal is back and scoring again. Anytime he is on the ice, the excitement level just seems to be a bit higher than normal.
- If nothing else, you have to tune in to watch Arvidsson play. This kid is like a firecracker out there. You know there is the potential of something exciting happening every time he is on the ice.
- Do you really need a reason to watch a crucial Central Division rivalry game? It will be fun and exciting, and you should tune in!
Drink Of Choice For Game Time
Now that winter, and the cold weather, is settling in, I will be enjoying a seasonal brew tonight. I’m going with one of my favorites in Samuel Adams Cold Snap.
Sights And Sounds
You can watch the game on FS-TN or the Fox Sports Go app. You can also listen to it live on 102.5 The Game radio. Puck drops at 7:30pm CST.