The Nashville Predators and fans alike went through a range of emotions last night. Not only did they see their team go down 4-1 against the Avs in the third, but they also got news that Jimmy Vesey would not be signing with them. The night looked like it could have been salvaged though when the Preds attempt of a comeback came up short. All in all, the Preds have to live another day to clinch a playoff spot. Let's hope that's tonight.
The Dallas Stars
The Stars have already clinched a playoff spot, but they have more on their minds. They want to lock up that first place positioning in the conference. There are a couple of reasons for this. The first of which is I don't think anyone wants to play the Predators in the first round of the playoffs. The second of which is they definitely do not want to fall into a matchup with the Blackhawks either. Both scenarios pose a problem for the Stars, as either they will be getting the hottest team in the league, or the defending champs.
One thing that could prevent them from getting that top spot in the conference would be the loss of Tyler Seguin. They lost him at the worst possible time in the season. Luckily for the Stars though, they have held serve in his absence. They have gone 6-2-2 in their last ten games, and have won four out of their last five games.
Even without Seguin in the lineup, the Stars are still a threat. They have good depth at forward, and a decent enough of a defense to keep them in games long enough for the their offense to score. It will be a fun race to watch going down the stretch, that's for sure.
The Nashville Predators
As mentioned earlier, the Predators had an interesting evening last night. The fans had the feeling of disappointment when Vesey opted for free agency, then excitement when the Preds mounted a comeback, and then disappointment once again when they fell short.
Last night's game was actually a good sign to me. Last year at this point of the season, this team would have thrown in the towel and lived to fight another day. This year, this team fights till the very last whistle. It is definitely what you want to see as a fan of the team going into the playoffs.
It is also amazing to see the skill that this team possesses on the offensive side of things. They have two 30-goal scorers in James Neal and Filip Forsberg and they have offensive from the back end in Roman Josi (Who broke Shea Weber's single season point record last night). That's not even mentioning the likes of Ryan Johansen, Craig Smith, and Mike Ribeiro.
This team is one that is poised to make a deep run this year. They are trending the right way, and are finding ways to win games. Those are probably the two most important things going into the playoffs for a team, in my opinion.
Reasons To Watch
- Well for one, this is definitely going to have a playoff atmosphere to it. Both the Stars and the Predators need the win for positioning in the playoffs. This should, theoretically, be some of the best hockey we see all season.
- Forsberg and Neal have a chance to break Jason Arnott's goal record. They have been scoring at will as of late, it seems. I would imagine they end up breaking it, it is just a matter of when. Let's hope one of them can at least tie the record tonight.
- The Stars' goaltending.
Sights And Sounds
FS-TN and 102.5 The Game will have your coverage for this one. We have a slightly later puck drop at 7:30 pm CST tonight.