On the first of three games on the road, the Predators square off against the Vancouver Canucks for their second of three meetings this season. The Predators lost a snooze of a game in late November at home to the Canucks. They will be looking to settle the score against a slumping Vancouver team.
It feels like it’s been forever since the Preds last played.
The Vancouver Canucks
The Canucks struggled for a goal against the high-flying Winnipeg Jets on Monday evening. They’ve lost their past three games and are probably looking for a way out of the slump.
Their most notable subtraction from their win in Nashville a few weeks ago is winger Bo Horvat. He is out for more than a few weeks with a lower body injury sustained in a game against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Daniel Sedin notched his 1,000th point against Nashville...a huge achievement. The Sedin twins see far less ice time under new coach Travis Green, and it seems to be working for them. They’re producing now, but it’s December. Their production could decrease if they’re forced to play more minutes.
Rookie Brock Boeser made the Predators defense look rather awful. He is dangerous and somehow all over the ice. He is certainly in contention for the Calder Cup this season.
Goaltender Jacob Markstrom had a very bad night against Winnipeg. We might see Anders Nilsson in net Wednesday evening. Vancouver doesn’t have a set #1 goalie, so which goaltender occupies the crease is always a mystery until morning skate.
The Nashville Predators
After tying and leading the game against the Vegas Golden Knights on Friday, the Predators allowed a tying goal late in the third. The game couldn’t be settled in overtime, and a shootout was needed to give the Knights two points. The Predators did walk away with a point, but I’m sure Coach Laviolette wanted to work on some issues from Friday’s game in the last several days of practice.
It seems that Ryan Johansen will travel with the team and he hopes to skate in Wednesday’s contest. He was placed on Injured Reserve last week after a weird injury in the Boston game.
Pekka Rinne has been stellar as usual, but I’m sure there are some goals he’d like back from the Boston and Vegas games. Juuse Saros was sent to Milwaukee for some games and quickly recalled back to the Preds, so he will likely get a start between tonight’s game against Vancouver and Thursday’s matchup against the Edmonton Oilers. It’s unclear which goaltender will face which team.
Nick Bonino has added goals in several games since his return from injury, including a goal against Vegas. Viktor Arvidsson keeps hustling for more points, and the all-Swedish line of Pontus Aberg-Calle Jarnkrok-Filip Forsberg (IronBerg?) has looked better each game they’ve skated together.
Kyle Turris seems fine after taking a puck to the face at practice on Monday. The injury bug needs to stay away from Nashville.
We are nearing the much-anticipated return of Ryan Ellis. He continues to skate with the team in practice.
As always, the Predators are pushing for every pair of points they can get. Six points on this road trip would be huge. They are holding a solid third in the Western Conference behind Winnipeg and St. Louis having played two less games.
Memories and Feelings
-I know the Predators would like a solid win to start off their road trip. Their last showing against Vancouver was lackluster.
Reasons to Watch
-There’s nothing better to distract you from studying for finals than some Predators hockey at a later hour than usual! (I may/may not have chosen to work on this preview while studying for a final.)
Tonight’s Theme Song
“Hello Darlin’” by Conway Twitty. It’s been a long tiiiiiiiiiime...
How to Watch
Puck drop tonight is at 8 pm. Fox Sports-TN will have the live broadcast, and 102.5 The Game has the radio call. Remember that Fox Sports-TN has moved to channel 1250 on Xfinity.