If you haven’t seen the hype video yet, here it is:
The Nashville Predators
What else can be said of the Predators right now? They’re finding ways to win behind either goaltender, they’re resting guys on rotation, and they’ve clinched a playoff berth. Is it time for them to coast? Not so much.
Filip Forsberg got his 20th goal of the season on Friday thanks to his best friend Viktor Arvidsson. Juuse Saros was again excellent in net, testing himself against the sniper Nathan MacKinnon and the dangerous Avalanche. Expect more starts from the younger Finnish goaltender while Pekka Rinne hangs out on the bench.
The top two lines have been rolling as of late. Kyle Turris was a man on fire in Arizona, and Forsberg potted two goals of his own on Friday in Colorado. With Calle Jarnkrok out, the lower lines have been doing some shuffling. Colton Sissons has been excellent lately. He posted his 9th and 10th goals of the season against Colorado, a career high for the young centerman.
The defensive corps have also been rotating. Expect to see a little more of Matt Irwin and Anthony Bitetto in the next few weeks before the playoffs begin.
The win in Colorado did more than clinch a playoff spot. It inspires confidence in the team. Fans and critics alike can’t help but be impressed by this Nashville team. And Nashville haters are always going to ask Nashville fans how many cups Nashville has...live in the moment, y'all.
It’s 2018 and the Predators want the Cup.
The Buffalo Sabres
The Buffalo Sabres are in the middle of a rebuild. With anchor Jack Eichel, they’re trying to build a Buffalo team that’s not the laughingstock of the NHL. He leads his team with 22 goals and 32 assists.
Buffalo is a team that’s putting together excellent picks, including prospect Casey Middlestadt, a college star.
Injured Kyle Okposo could play tonight. He’s struggled recently with injury, and it would be huge for his team if he could return to the ice. Okposo was sidelined late last season with a scary concussion-related incident. He has 38 points this season.
Rasumus Ristolainen leads defensemen in points with 35.
The Sabres have been rotating through three goaltenders for various reasons, including injury and subpar play. Chad Johnson and Robin Lehner have split the season. Johnson has a .897 in 28 games, and Lehner has a .911 in 51 games.
Buffalo beat Chicago on Saturday. They host Nashville, Arizona, and Montreal this week at home.
Buffalo has 7 picks in this year’s NHL Draft, and you can bet they are in the hunt for top-rated Swedish prospect defenseman Rasmus Dahlin. We won’t know where Buffalo falls in the lottery for a few more weeks, but after a season like this, a team like Buffalo is certainly justified having a top 3 or 4 pick in the Draft.
Memories and Feelings
-Phil Housley! You can bet he’s hoping for good play from his team as he faces his former team. Much kudos to good guy Phil. He is an excellent coach, and his work with the Nashville blue line is likely the reason for their success today.
Reasons to Watch
-MONDAY NIGHT HOCKEY is better than most things on a Monday, including but not limited to: the threat of severe winds, tornadoes, hail, lightning, flash flooding, the flu, dry contact lenses, and your favorite college basketball team losing in the NCAA tournament. (sorry, Tennessee fans)
Tonight’s Theme Song
“Dance, Dance” by Fall Out Boy.
How to Watch
Tonight’s game is on Fox Sports-TN. The radio call is on 102.5 The Game. Puck drop is an hour earlier than usual...6 pm Central!
P.S: Stay safe in tonight’s possibly inclement weather, Smashville.