The Predators are on a mini-streak with wins against the Wild and the Rangers. Can they make it three in a row tonight?
Mikael Granlund, often overlooked, has been a crucial pivot for Nashville. He’s got 5 assists in his last 7 games, and he has 12 total points. Fellow Finn Eeli Tolvanen has 2 goals and 2 assists. It’d be great to see him heat up a bit, too, but I’m just hoping for goals from Finns. Can Jusso Parsinnen find the back of the net again? We’d love some rookie magic from “Pars.”
The defense as a whole has been a bit lethargic. Roman Josi has 10 points (3 goals, 7 assists), but we haven’t seen too much from the rest of the blueline. Are they getting settled now that the defense pairs have been solidified?
Juuse Saros is 5-6-1 with a .907 Sv%. A few good games at home will do a lot to improve his confidence and his underlying statistics. He was stellar against the Wild and kept Nashville in the game late. Saros’s season starts have always been rough - is he getting into a rhythm?
New York Islanders
Seeing the Islanders without Barry Trotz is a little strange. The Isles themselves are looking to increase their win streak to 3, too. Someone has to win tonight.
Brock Nelson has been on a scoring streak lately, and the Islanders’ power play has been working hard. Nashville will want to avoid the penalty box, but we all know they’ll be forced to deal with the powerful power play from the guys in white and blue tonight. New York’s power play is effective at 20%, and they count on Nelson himself to force chances in front of the goal.
Youngster Noah Dobson (with his new contract) has the third-most goals in the NHL by a defenseman (5 goals). The Islanders themselves are first in the NHL with the most goals scored by defensemen. Saros will have to watch for shots from the blue line tonight. Check out Dobson’s goal against Ottawa earlier this week:
While reading up on the Islanders, I found that they’re 0-5-2 in their last 7 games against the Predators. Nashville and New York only meet twice a year, but that’s a wild losing streak, in my view. Is tonight the night they get a win back against Nashville?
Keep Your Eye on This Guy
Nino Niederreiter has been very solid alongside Ryan Johansen, and their chemistry results in some nifty goals like Nino’s from Tuesday. These two are FUN, but they’re effective and they’re certainly going to keep producing. Can Nino pot a goal or two tonight? He’s Nashville’s leading goal scorer and they’ll need every shot by Niederreiter tonight against Ilya Sorokin.
Reasons to Watch
- Ilya Sorokin. The Islanders are successful behind an incredible netminder who, in my opinion, does not get nearly enough attention nationally. He has a .932 Sv%.
- Juuse Saros vs. Ilya Sorokin = a goaltender battle on a boring Thursday night
- I’m not sure what else you’re doing on a Thursday night.
Tonight’s Theme Song
While I’m aware the Isles are named after the island of New York, I wanted to bring some island vibes into your life with this song from Common Kings:
How to Watch
102.5 The Game has your radio call, and Bally Sports South has your TV broadcast. Puck drop is at a pleasant 7:00 Central.