After a very successful All Star weekend in Nashville, the Predators followed it up with a stinker on Tuesday night. NHL's new streaming service wasn't working properly, the game was a snoozer, and they lost. It was all in all a pretty horrible night.
Let's hope they can bounce back and get two points tonight against the Flyers.
The Philadelphia Flyers
The Flyers have been pretty decent as of late. They are 6-3-1 in their last ten games, and have won two in a row. They only sit five points out of a playoff spot, and for them, every game, and every point matters that much more. You would think tonight's game will be important as the Flyers will turnaround and host the Rangers in a couple of days.
The Flyers are being led by their big guns this season. All-Star Claude Giroux leads the Flyers in points (14G, 26A, 40P). Jakub Voracek and Wayne Simmonds aren't too far behind him either with 39P and 31P, respectively. The problem for the Flyers isn't production from these guys though, it's the fact that they can't get scoring from anyone else. They are second to last in the league in goals scored (113). That is a big surprise considering just a few years ago, this team was scoring five plus goals a game in the playoffs against Pittsburgh.
What makes that stat worse is that their goalies aren't playing that bad. Steve Mason and Michal Neuvirth have actually played half way decent this year. Neuvirth has definitely had the better stats of the two so far posting a 2.14 GAA and a .933 SV%. Those numbers are great on any team, but when it's on a team that can't score, those numbers might a well be 5.00 GAA and a .800 SV%. But Neuvirth has never been able to stay healthy through career, and once again finds himself on the shelf because of injury.
Regardless of all that though, the Flyers have found themselves right in the thick of things. They kicked off the second half with a win on Tuesday, and I look forward to seeing what they do for the rest of the season.
The Nashville Predators
Despite the 1-0 snoozer on Tuesday night, there are still a lot of things to look forward to for the rest of the season. The biggest thing is that the team got some much needed rest over the All-Star break. Granted, it seems like they built some rust, but I don't think that will last too long.
Another thing to look forward to is how rejuvenated the Predators' All-Stars looked this past weekend. Shea Weber, Roman Josi, Pekka Rinne, and James Neal all seemed to just have fun over the weekend. That, to me, shows that they can still have fun playing this game even though the season has not turned out the way they expected. That couldn't be more true for Rinne. Peks has been great in his last four starts. He has only given up a goal a game, and that is good to see for all Preds' fans.
Rinne playing well is one thing, but the way the Predators are starting to win games in another. We saw every type of victory on their Western Canada road trip before the break. They won games through blowouts, scoring a lot, and grinding out defensive wins. It was the first time all season, for me at least, that this team looked well-rounded.
There are only 31 games left in the season, and the Predators need to make the most out of all those games. There is still a lot of work that needs to be done, and it starts by taking care of business tonight, at home.
Drink Of Choice For Game Time
The last time I had wine during a game, I had a great time watching it. So I am going back to wine tonight. I have started to really enjoy a good Malbec, so that is what I will stick with.
Sights And Sounds
FS-TN for television and 102.5 The Game for radio. Puck drops at 7:00 pm CST. Let's hope the new NHL.tv doesn't crap out on us tonight.