Right now, I hope you’re sitting in the comfort of your favorite spot, surrounded by those who make you the happiest, filled to the brim with Thanksgiving leftovers.
Right now, the Nashville Predators are getting ready to be on their favorite place (ice, of course), surrounded by those who make them the happiest (their teammates, duh), not filled to the brim with turkey (which is said to make you sleepy) because they’re hungry for a victory. Leftovers can come later, y’all.
Things aren’t great in Smashville right now. As the Predators’ Director of Digital and Radio Content Thomas Willis said Wednesday, a Preds win coupled with losses by the Sharks and Flames would put the Preds in the final playoff spot at the Thanksgiving Day checkpoint. The Preds lost Wednesday night’s game and are now two points out of a playoff spot. However, it’s only the last week of November, so there’s plenty of time to turn that around.
A #Preds win tonight, coupled with Sharks (vs. Jets) and Flames (at Sabres) losses, puts Nashville in the final playoff spot at the all-important Thanksgiving Day checkpoint. #VGKvsNSH— Thomas Willis (@TomAWillis) November 27, 2019
(#Preds also have multiple games in hand if you're a points % kind of person)
Friday, the Preds head over for a visit with their southern hockey neighbor the Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Nearly two months into the 2019-20 season, the young Canes continue to build on their surprising (storm) surge in the playoffs from last season. They’re currently third in the Metropolitan, but it’s a close race.
Meanwhile in Smashville, things haven’t looked great. The Preds have only won three games in the entire month of November.
The Preds are trying to turn things around heading into the end of the year, so here’s a quick breakdown of how things are going currently:
- The Preds are out of a playoff spot.
- Viktor Arvidsson is out four to six weeks thanks to a gutless cross-check with intent to injure, courtesy of Robert Bortuzzo.
- Head coach Peter Laviolette has sat Kyle Turris for five games.
- Daniel Carr and Mathieu Olivier received call-ups from Milwaukee, but are newcomers receiving the brunt of Laviolette’s line shuffling with little to no success.
- Pekka Rinne is on a cold streak, so the Preds went with Juuse Saros three starts in a row, but Saros lost on Wednesday.
- Ryan Johansen is heating up. He has two goals and one assist in his last four games, which is especially important with the injury to Arvidsson.
- Roman Josi is currently leading the team in points and is a consistent leader in offense on the ice.
- Juuse Saros tallied a loss against Vegas but had won his previous two starts, which were both against the defending Cup champions.
What happened in their last game
The team rallied to take a 3-2 lead in the third period of Wednesday’s game against the Vegas Golden Knights, but Vegas tied it and won in overtime.
The Canes are currently in a decent/good place in the stats column. However, off the ice, certain distractions in the form of former organization members are overshadowing the current team’s recent success.
Nearly all of Carolina’s key players are currently on fire—metaphorically speaking, of course.
Young team star Andrei Svechnikov has earned at least one point in each of his last five games. Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teräväinen had earned at least one point or more in each of their last three games, but came up without a point in Wednesday's game against the New York Rangers. Dougie Hamilton is second on the team in points and is averaging about a point every other game over the last five games.
What happened in their last game
The Canes went down 3-0 against the Rangers in the first period in Madison Square Garden Wednesday, but rallied with two goals in the second period to come within one goal of the Rangers. No goals were scored in the third period, and the Canes lost their first game after winning back to back games against Detroit and Florida.
Players to watch
- Andrei Svechnikov and Sebastian Aho — The younger Svech currently leads the team in points with 28 and the Carolina Sebastian Aho leads the team in goals with 12.
- Teuvo Teräväinen — He was getting 3-2 points per game the last few games. He didn’t earn a point against NYR, but can he bounce back?
- Juuse Saros or Pekka Rinne — Saros appeared to have the hot hand winning consecutive starts against St. Louis and earned a third start in a row against Vegas, but lost. Rinne lost consecutive starts and is on a cold streak.
- Ryan Johansen — Joey has three points and two goals in his last four games, including an assist Wednesday.
- Matt Duchene — After a quiet few games, the newest member of the Preds organization bounced back with a multipoint game in Wednesday’s loss against Vegas.
- Filip Forsberg and Nick Bonino — The leading scorers for the Preds so far this season. Which — if either of them — gets the first goal Friday night?
Reasons to watch
- Because you’re stuffed, don’t want to move, tired of talking politics with your family, and love the Predators?
- If the Canes win, will they do their Storm Surge? Don’t yell at me, I don’t want them to win, but it is cool.
What to drink
It’s officially eggnog season, y’all.
I bet you thought I was going to make a horrible pun and tell you to drink a Hurricane, didn’t you? You could, and that would be on brand, but this is the official start to the Christmas season, so eggnog it is.
How to watch
Puck drop is at 6:30 p.m. CST. You can watch on FOX Sports Tennessee or FOX Sports Carolinas (if you get that channel), and listen live on 102.5 The Game.