I’ll keep it short and sweet, both because we just saw these teams play on Thursday and because I know a lot of you still aren’t up for following much hockey—I hope your weeks have gone safely.
Tuesday night’s game against the Wild was an effective four-point swing that cost the Predators badly in the wild card race. The Wild currently sit ahead of the Preds, with one more point in the same number of games played, while the Jets’ 4-0 win last night has them in the WC2 spot for right now. Both the Preds and the Wild have games in hand on the Jets, but the Preds have been struggling lately while the Wild are on a roll. Hopefully Thursday’s game was the start of a turnaround for the boys in gold, but we’ll have to see.
Either way, it was great to see Filip Forsberg and Matt Duchene score and Juuse Saros get another shutout on the season. Friday’s practice used the same lines and goalies as the team sent out on Thursday, so we might be looking at an attempt to find out whether Korbinian Holzer really was the missing piece all along. You know what? If it turns out in June that he was I will take back every bad thing I said about that trade.
Meanwhile, while the Preds are looking to make it back into the playoff picture, the Stars are looking to end a four-game losing streak that has seen the Avalanche and the Blues pull away at the top of the Central. They’ve played pretty well over the last few games, but have struggled to get both shooting and goaltending at the same time. Their last two games, against the Oilers and the Predators, have featured a combined five goals for all teams, all of which were scored on the power play (John Klingberg had the Stars’ lone goal in the 2-1 Edmonton win).
Hockey is a flukey sport because it’s so low-scoring, and things like consecutive games with no goals scored 5v5 is another one of those weird quirks that I wouldn’t expect to last. (The solution isn’t to shrink goalie equipment or allow more contact in the crease, but I’d be fine with the NHL making the nets a few inches bigger.) I would expect at least one of these teams to score a 5v5 goal this afternoon, and I hope that whatever strength the goals are scored at that the Predators end up scoring more of them.
Today’s game is at 1:00 Central and will be airing on FS-TN and on ESPN+. You can also listen to the radio call on 102.5 The Game.
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