clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Nashville Predators vs. Winnipeg Jets Preview: Supersonic

The Winnipeg Jets return to Music City for another contest against the Predators. Can Nashville grab another two points against the powerful Jets?

The Associated Press

The Predators last met the Winnipeg Jets on November 20th in Nashville. They meet again tonight, less than a month later. The Jets are on the same track as the Predators… winning more games, putting up big numbers, and trusting their goaltenders to bail them out if needed.

Winnipeg last squared off against the St. Louis Blues, shutting them out 4-0. Your Predators shut out the Calgary Flames late Saturday, aided by the impeccable Pekka Rinne. They have a two-game homestand this week, followed by a quick trip to Dallas before Christmas.

In December, the Predators have not lost in regulation. They dropped a shootout to the Vegas Golden Knights earlier in the month. It’s easy to appreciate the full-team effort in December, especially before the injured Ryan Johansen and Scott Hartnell returned to the lineup. Ryan Ellis still has to make his season debut, but we are nearing closer to his return!

The Predators sorta-soundly defeated the Jets last month in a 5-3 decision. That was back when the Predators turtled in third periods and almost blew leads...we don’t do that anymore, right?

Tonight’s contest will see a matchup of two of the top teams in the Western Conference. The Jets are dangerous, and the Predators should expect to play a full 60 minutes of exciting hockey tonight. The Jets sit three points behind the Predators in the standings. A win tonight would further separate the red-hot Predators from the rest of the pack.

The Winnipeg Jets

Where have the high-flying Jets been in the last month? Roughly the same place as the Predators, winning tons of games. They’re still led in points by Blake Wheeler, Mark Scheifele, and Patrik Laine.

Sunday’s win snapped a two-game losing streak. Winnipeg had lost to St. Louis and Chicago before they made a comeback against the Blues at home in Winnipeg. Since they last saw the Preds, the Jets are 7-6-1. They seem to be a hot-cold team, trading wins and losses and not really stringing together any sort of point streak.

Their recent play obviously doesn’t affect where they are in the standings: right behind the Predators. Regardless of their record since their last trip to Nashville, Winnipeg remains a highly dangerous team capable of hanging 4+ goals on any team on any given night.

Big defenseman Dustin Byfuglien is injured and will not likely play in tonight’s game.

Connor Hellebuyck has played 25 games for the Jets this season. He’s 17-4 with a .920 SVC. He’s been outstanding for Winnipeg this season.

Tonight’s matchup is the second of four meetings between these hockey clubs this season.

The Nashville Predators

Back from a three-game trip to Canada, the Predators have six more points in hand entering this two-game home stretch. Juuse Saros led his club to a shutout in Edmonton, and Pekka Rinne followed suit in Calgary on Saturday night with another shutout. Goals by Kevin Fiala, Ryan Johansen, and PK Subban sealed those victories.

Two games at home this week might mean bigger crowds with college students back for the holidays. Wins this week against Winnipeg, Carolina, and Dallas will definitely usher in some Christmas cheer.

We can expect to see more greatness from the Kevin Fiala-Kyle Turris-Craig Smith line tonight. Turris and Fiala both have point streaks spanning seven games.

Coach Laviolette seems to be cycling between Anthony Bitetto and Matt Irwin on the third defensive pair with Yannick Weber. Once our Christmas present of Ryan Ellis returns, there will likely be some shuffling. Who starts each night will be based off performance.

Pekka Rinne has been every adjective or synonym for “amazing” this season. He can boast a .930% over 25 games this season. How he’s not getting Vezina attention is absolutely mind-boggling.

An interesting quote from Rinne at Monday’s optional practice sums up the current mentality of this team…never settling. “When you look at the standings and where we’re sitting right now, we still expect more out of ourselves, and that’s a great thing to have in this locker room. Guys are not settling for anything and that’s a really good sign.”

Memories and Feelings

-I, like you, am so incredibly proud of the Predators this season. They’re comfortably hanging out at the top of the standings while perennial foe Chicago is somewhere toward the bottom.

-Two games at home this week!

-Today is my birthday, so a big win will certainly help me begin my 27th year in the best way possible. Celebrating it in Bridgestone with the BEST fans in sports is the best birthday present I could ask for. Also...maybe a puck?

Reasons to Watch

-Whether you’re headed to the Tire Barn or catching the game on TV, tonight’s game will definitely be action-packed and possibly filled with goals.

-Welcome home your favorite college students with a few beers and a hockey game in Smashville tonight!

Tonight’s Theme Song

“Joy to the World” by Three Dog Night.

How to Watch

As usual, tonight’s game is broadcast on Fox Sports-TN, and 102.5 The Game has the radio call. Puck drop is at 7 pm!