Winners of nine of their last ten games, the Predators have been firing on all cylinders. Although Kyle Turris already energized this roster, Ryan Johansen has finally broken out of his slump and has been on a tear. On the other side of the ice, the Hurricanes have been floundering, having lost their last two games. If all goes to plan, the Predators will pick up another two points today in their pursuit of Winnipeg and St. Louis.
The Carolina Hurricanes
A team picked by many to make the playoffs this season, the Hurricanes have played extremely mediocre hockey. They sit 7th in the Metropolitan Division, but they also have played four games less than both Washington and Pittsburgh, the current Eastern Conference wild card teams. Only five points behind both clubs, they could easily catch them.
In case the title did not give it away, this team is stocked with former Chicago Blackhawks. Here’s the list:
Trevor van Riemsdyk
Stan Bowman has just continuously dumped players over to Carolina in the Blackhawks’ eternal quest to escape salary cap hell. The biggest success in Carolina has been Teuvo Teravainen. Although he had been a great prospect for a while, finishing with 42 points last season, Teravainen already has reached 21 points in 21 games. He is really breaking out into his own this season and the Predators will need to contain the young Finn.
The Nashville Predators
Although the Predators had a great run to the Stanley Cup Final, their current run of form feels better than last spring. Although they won a lot of close games in the playoffs, they are just absolutely dominating opponents right now. Their games are not as close as the scorelines are appearing, namely due to the Predators letting up the gas when up three or more goals.
There are so many reasons for the Predators’ success. Filip Forsberg came out of the gates firing, Kyle Turris gave the Predators unprecedented offensive balance in their lines, and Ryan Johansen has finally found his game again. However, the number one reason for the Predators’ success this season has been P.K. Subban.
Subban is the second-leading scorer on the Predators behind Filip Forsberg. He is on track to beat his career best in points set while back in Montreal. Moreover, he has not had the luxury of playing with Ekholm this season, instead stuck with Alexei Emelin, who has been sub-par at best.
How Subban is not receiving any Norris noise makes no sense. People claim that he turns the puck over all the time, which seems to be a standard only he is judged on. Subban probably turns the puck over as often as any other elite defenseman, but he has more turnovers because he always has the puck. What, Emelin is going to lead a rush down the ice?
I don’t know what more Subban has to do to get credit for his incredible season thus far. On Friday night I saw Lukas Sedlak of all people deke Erik Karlsson silly. Subban deserves some Norris noise.
Reasons to Watch
- I’ve always had some soft spot for Finnish players. Teravainen has developed into an excellent two-way player who’s a joy to watch. Fellow Finn Sebastian Aho also has 18 points in 21 games.
- Ryan Johansen is on a hot streak and has found his groove.
- P.K. Subban is playing unbelievable hockey right now. Considering all the burden and pressure placed on him, having to anchor a pairing with Alexei Emelin, he is doing tremendous work right now.
Sights and Sounds
The puck drops in Raleigh at noon central. You can catch the game on Fox Sports and at 102.5 The Game.