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Nashville Predators @ Toronto Maple Leafs Preview: Silver Spoons

The Predators head to The City Where Hockey Takes Boil Over (And No One Cares To Check The Stove)

Toronto Maple Leafs v Nashville Predators Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images

Fresh off their first come-from-behind win of the season, the Predators will head to Toronto to take on the Maple Leafs.

This preview will be short. Let’s go!

Toronto Maple Leafs

The Maple Leafs are pretty good at scoring goals. They put up 3.18 goals per game, good for 7th in the league. No need to look far down the roster to find their most dangerous players:

  • Auston Matthews: 25g-18a
  • James Van Riemsdyk: 20g-12a
  • Nazem Kadri: 17g-16a
  • Patrick Marleau: 17g-9a

Interesting that all four of their top scorers are not racking up too many assists, except for Matthews. They are all great shooters and they know it. Passing? Who needs it.

Defensively, the Maple Leafs haven’t been very good. Though they only allow 2.78 goals per game (good for 13th in the league), they tend to let a lot of easy ones get by their goalies.

Take a look at their defensive heat map at 5v5:

That’s a lot of red to take advantage of for Nashville.

Frederik Andersen is questionable for tonight, so it could be Curtis McElhinney instead. He’s got a sparkling .932 save percentage in 10 games so far this season. But he’s still a career backup with a career save percentage of .907, so that might regress a bit. Maybe tonight?

Nashville Predators

Boy, what a Monday!

After cursing the universe for allowing Filip Forsberg to be suspended for three games and after going down 4-2 to the Islanders in the 3rd period, the Predators found a way to pull off a dramatic victory in overtime thanks to Roman Josi’s beautiful face.

And now they are only two games away from being reunited with Forsberg!

As far as the lineup for tonight, my guess is the same from Monday, with a twist:

Aberg - Johansen - Arvidsson

Fiala - Turris - Smith

Hartnell - Bonino - Jarnkrok

Salomaki - Sissons - Watson

Josi - Ellis

Ekholm - Subban

Emelin - Weber

The twist is that I think Aberg starts on the top line, where Sissons started on Monday. Those lines above are where they ended up against the Islanders, so I think we see it again.

Don’t hold out hope that something crazy happens and they scratch Emelin. He’s not been great recently and he’s taken some bad penalties.

Reasons to Watch

  • Ryan Johansen is shooting the puck again (even though he never really stopped shooting it and he’s been good all year regardless)
  • Kevin Fiala is on a tear, Kyle Turris is dishing sick passes, and Craig Smith has beautiful hair.
  • November 18th, 2014

(side note: though the Preds scored nine goals in that game, only TWO of those goal scorers will be playing for the Preds tonight. Crazy.)

Pre-Game Entertainment

This is a sick live version of this song that I heard recently. And I can think of no fan base better than Leafs Nation to howl these lines at:

You were lost in the silver spoon

Thought I pulled you out in time

And I hope that you got reasons

For the way that you’ve been lyin’

The Important Details

6:30 p.m. start, TV: FS-TN, Radio: 102.5 The Game