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Nashville Predators vs. Vegas Golden Knights Preview: House Edge

The Vegas Golden Knights are in town tonight to face the Predators.

NHL: Edmonton Oilers at Nashville Predators Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Vegas Golden Knights are in town tonight to face the Predators.

The Vegas Golden Knights

The Knights are 5-5-1 on this young season. They are skating a bit of a different crew this season, most notably without James Neal, David Perron, Luca Sbisa, and Jason Garrison.

They added Paul Stastny and Max Pacioretty in the offseason, as well as defenseman Nick Holden. Stastny is injured and Pacioretty only has two goals. The team is led by Jonathan Marchessault with 11 points (6 goals, 5 assists). William Karlsson has 3 goals and 6 assists, Reilly Smith has 2 goals and 3 assists. Ryan Reaves has 3 goals this season (!!!).

Nate Schmidt remains suspended for a PED violation, but he will be eligible to return in November.

Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury has a .897 Sv% in 10 games this season. Backup Malcom Subban has only started one game and posted a .871 Sv%. While the hallmark of October hockey is overreaction, it’s easy to see that Vegas fans are a little confused when it comes to this year’s team.

The Nashville Predators

The Predators are now 8-3-0. Filip Forsberg is playing ridiculous hockey and has 10 goals and 4 assists on the season. Ryan Johansen has 2 goals and 11 assists, and Viktor Arvidsson has 7 goals and 4 assists.

Then…there’s a bit of a dropoff. P.K. Subban has 2 goals and 7 assists, followed by Kyle Turris with 8 points (2 goals, 6 assists) and Mattias Ekholm with 8 points (2 goals, 6 assists). Ryan Ellis has yet to find the back of the net, and Kevin Fiala has only scored once in 11 games.

Rocco Grimaldi saw some ice time on Saturday. His speed can certainly be used to Nashville’s advantage. He fits better on the lower lines than Miikka Salomaki or Frederick Gaudreau, neither of whom has been impactful in the slightest.

The Predators simply cannot coast on the play of the first line. This isn’t exactly a major concern right now, but the rest of the team should definitely look to contribute or face the tough reality that several Milwaukee Admirals are playing better hockey than them right now.

Pekka Rinne and Dan Hamhuis remain on injured reserve. Troy Grosenick is riding the bench behind Juuse Saros. Saros is 5-2-0 with his losses coming from New Jersey and Edmonton. Rinne has been practicing, so we could see him activated from IR at any time.

Memories and Feelings

Once again, Nashville will likely want to erase the memory of a poor performance on Saturday.

Reasons to Watch

The World Series is over. How else are you going to spend your Tuesday night?

Tonight’s Theme Song

“Fire (Part 1)” by the Struts.

Tonight’s Drink of Choice

I went to Lynchburg for the 30th Annual Smoke in the Hollow BBQ Festival last weekend. It was a blast and we are sure to go back next year. While there, I picked up a bottle of Jack Daniels Tennessee Tasters High Angels Share. It’s 107-proof from January 2013.

How to Watch

Tonight’s game will be on Fox Sports – TN and the game call can be heard on 102.5 The Game. Puck drop is at 7:00 Central.