Still without Filip Forsberg, the Predators finally figured things out against the Kings on Saturday, securing their first win of 2018. Tonight, they have a chance to grab their first home win before a little R&R.
The Nashville Predators
Unsurprisingly, P.K. Subban leads the Predators in points behind the injured Forsberg with 9 goals and 22 assists, a neat total of 31 points. His play has been phenomenal. Kevin Fiala, Viktor Arvidsson, and Ryan Johansen follow Subban on the points list. Tonight, we need big goals from those guys.
Ryan Ellis netted a sweet slap shot Saturday, making his presence on the ice very noticeable. We're glad our bearded ginger Rocket Ship has returned.
We saw two goals from Austin Watson’s crunching fourth line on Saturday. It’s only fitting that the bottom two lines step up in the absence of a big goal-scorer like Forsberg. That “next man up” mentality put the Predators in the Stanley Cup Final last year. Keep it up, boys.
Both goaltenders are playing quite well. The end of December was a little rough for Pekka Rinne, but he’s been back in excellent form to start off 2018.
The Edmonton Oilers
As per usual, Connor McDavid/McJesus leads the Oilers with 47 points on the season. He’s followed not-so-closely by Leon Draisaitl, with 33 points.
It doesn’t seem like this is a team that can string together enough wins to climb the standings. They sit at the bottom of the Western Conference with the Arizona Coyotes and the Vancouver Canucks. It makes you wonder if head coach Todd McLellan is on the hot seat. (TSN asks the same question here.)
Just like every other struggling team that comes to Nashville, the Predators should be wary of their opponent and be prepared to play a full 60 minutes of hockey. Without sounding too much like what I imagine Coach Laviolette sounds like pre-game, the Predators should definitely expect that Edmonton will be looking to nab a win in an effort to turn their season around.
They have the tools in McDavid, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Milan Lucic, and Patrick Maroon to score plenty of goals.
Starting goaltender Cam Talbot has a .902 save percentage on the season with a 3.12 GAA. New backup Al Montoya stopped 13 of 14 shots in a relief effort against the Stars the other night, his first appearance since being traded from the Canadiens last week.
Memories and Feelings
-Let’s shut out Edmonton again!!
-Confession: I’ve mentioned this before, but I picked Edmonton to beat Nashville in the Western Conference Final this season...and then go on to win the Stanley Cup against Tampa Bay. That doesn't seem like it could really be a possibility after Edmonton’s lethargic first half of the season...but you never know. Let’s NOT give them two points tonight.
Reasons to Watch
-Connor McDavid is absolutely incredible at that hockey. I hate when he’s up against the Predators, but he’s definitely more tolerable than Sidney Crosby.
-This is the last Preds game for 5 or so days while they go on their mandatory league break.
Tonight’s Theme Song
“Take it to the Limit” by the Eagles. The Preds should work their golden butts off tonight and go into the break with an additional two points.
How to Watch
Catch tonight’s game on NBC Sports! If you’re away from a TV, stream the radio call on 102.5 The Game. Puck drop is at 7 pm.