Before we meander into the wine and turkey-fueled haze of existence that is Thanksgiving Day, we have some business to take care of. The Nashville Predators head to the Motor City tonight for a showdown with the Detroit Red Wings. Though they may be in different conferences now, this is still a game Preds fans have circled on their calendars each and every year.
Three Things to Watch
- Can the Preds Continue Building Positive Momentum?
The Predators are in the midst of their best run of the season with points in five consecutive games. While fans might have decried the “sleepy” performance at points in Monday’s 4-3 shootout win over the Coyotes, there was still plenty to be pleased with. Nashville dominated puck possession and the amount of scoring chances, the type of play that one would consider sustainable for long-term success. The only question is whether the Preds have those dominant games against better competition.
Tonight’s game should be a decent test in that regard. The Red Wings, despite a few flaws, are off to their best start in years at 9-5-4; a better record points-percentage wise than Tampa Bay, Florida, or the Rangers. No, that probably won’t last, but with players like Dylan Larkin and Dominik Kubalik among the top scorers in the league and goaltender Ville Husso providing elite goaltending thus far, the Wings should still prove to be a challenge for the Preds.
2. Can The Herd Line Get Going?
One of the biggest reasons for the Preds’ early success last season was the Herd Line; the combination of Tanner Jeannot, Yakov Trenin, and Colton Sissons combined for 48 goals from the third line, an unexpected source of depth scoring. This year, however, the trio has not had the same impact. Jeannot has just four points this season (3 G, 1 A) and hasn’t had a point since October 27th. Sissons and Trenin have just one goal each this season.
Trenin will likely miss tonight’s game due to injury, and Sissons has had two points in the past three games. But the player that Hynes needs to find a way to jump start is Jeannot. With 24 goals and 41 points last season, we know the scoring touch is there, but it hasn’t translated to the scoresheet this season. Against Arizona, we saw Hynes pair Jeannot with a more gifted play-creator in Cody Glass (who had a great game in his return to the lineup against the Coyotes.) If Glass can find creative ways to open up the Detroit defense, that might put Jeannot in better situations to finish.
3. Roman Josi Heating Up
Slowly but surely, the Preds’ captain is starting to look like the player he was last season. After recording just one point in the Preds’ first seven games, he’s exploded for 15 in the ensuing 12, including six in the past three. When Josi is cooking offensively, that sets other players up for success. Sure enough, we’ve seen players like Matt Duchene and Filip Forsberg capitalize on better playmaking from the 2020 Norris winner.
How to Watch
Puck Drop: 6:00 PM CST
Location: Little Caesar’s Arena - Detroit, MI
TV: Bally Sports Southeast, Ball Sports Detroit
Radio: 102.5 The Game
Red Wings’ SBNation Affiliate: Winging It In Motown