Columbus Blue Jackets
The Jackets made some offseason splashes, namely, Johnny Gaudreau.
Patrik Laine was injured in his first game of the season and is on IR. It’s looking a little weird for the Jackets right now, and their record reflects that (1-3-0). However, the Jackets won on Tuesday and will be looking to build on that. They battled back against the Canucks, and that momentum will be key.
Look out for former Predator Mathieu Olivier in blue and white tonight. Further, one of my favorite underrated defensemen plays for Columbus: Zach Werenski. He’s sort of slipped off the radar due to injuries and up-and-down play over the last few seasons, but Werenski could lead the way to the playoffs if the stars align for Columbus.
The Predators are...something. They left all their fire and energy in Prague, but a shootout loss on Tuesday after blowing a lead probably stings a little worse than two losses in a row. I’m not sure when or if John Hynes will change up the lineup, but it might be sooner than later.
Will we see Kevin Lankinen in net? There’s more questions than answers for this preview.
The Predators sure have to focus on staying out of the penalty box tonight.
From the Preds’ game preview: “Forsberg owns two career hat tricks against Columbus, including his first career four-goal game on Nov. 30, 2021” That’s a noteworthy stat. Can Forsberg light it up tonight? Fans often misplace their anger in the big-dollar players, and Forsberg’s new contract would be a lot easier for some folks to understand if he found the back of the net tonight, maybe even more than once.
Reasons to Watch
-Can the Predators stay out of the sin bin?
-It’s an early game!
-Johnny Gaudreau is so, so fun to watch.
Keep Your Eye on This Guy
Columbus - The obvious answer is Johnny Hockey, but I’m looking to see what Elvis Merzlikins can do in net tonight.
Nashville - Can Ryan Johansen and Nino Neiderreiter make some magic happen tonight? What about Mikael Granlund? The Predators as a whole are sputtering, but bright spots in Neiderreiter and Granlund could be a spark.
Tonight’s Theme Song
How to Watch
Puck drop is at 6:00 Central. 102.5 The Game has the radio call, and Bally Sports Southhas the broadcast beginning at 5:30.