The last time the Nashville Predators and Arizona Coyotes played against each other, it was in Canada, in the 2020 qualification round. The Preds lost the best-of-five series in four games. Now, with the addition of the Seattle Kraken to the league, the Coyotes are in the Central Division, allowing for lots more exciting late-night in-division games.
Tonight is Hockey Fights Cancer night.
The Nashville Predators
Home from a long road trip, the Preds have lost multiple players to injury over the last couple of games. We’re waiting for news on Alexandre Carrier, but the fact that Cole Smith has been called up from Milwaukee suggests that Michael McCarron probably won’t be available tonight. Rocco Grimaldi was waived to get Smith up, and cleared waivers yesterday—good news for the Admirals.
While David Rittich had a wholly adequate performance against the St. Louis Blues, we should expect to see Juuse Saros in goal tonight.
The Arizona Coyotes
The Coyotes are off to a very rough start to the season, going 1-12-1 (not a typo), with their only points coming in a November 6 win against the Kraken and a shootout loss to the Buffalo Sabres in mid-October.
Defender Shayne Gostisbehere leads the team with 11 points, while no other player has more than seven. Gostisbehere’s nine assists are also a team-leading number, while Lawson Crouse is the goals leader with four.
Scott Wedgewood was credited for the Coyotes’ win, and has a sparkling sv% of .939, but came in in relief after usual starting goalie (and former Preds prospect) Karel Vejmelka (season sv% of .902) allowed two goals in the first minute.
I’m going to be honest: I don’t know what it is that’s making the Coyotes this bad. They’ve allowed more than twice as many goals as they’ve scored—both a drastic departure from league average—and while their offense isn’t good their defense doesn’t look this bad on paper. Some of it could be special teams, where they’ve played poorly and gotten bad results, but I’m not sure that’s enough to destroy the first month of a team’s season by itself.
How to Watch
Puck drop is at 7 PM, and the game will air on Bally Sports South and 102.5 The Game.