After a rough few weeks, the Nashville Predators may finally have gotten their skates back under them. They’ll be tested in this today against the St. Louis Blues, who are ahead of them in the Central Division standings and would no doubt like to remain there. A strong February for the Blues gave way to a miserable March; they just got their first win of the month Thursday against the New York Rangers, snapping a four-game skid.
23-year-old Jordan Kyrou has been great for his team this season, leading the Blues in goals (22) and points (55), and coming in second to 22-year-old Robert Thomas in assists (33). Thomas has 34 assists and is fourth on the team in points, despite only having ten goals—he leads the team in on-ice xG per hour at even strength.
The Blues are also still getting hefty contributions from older players. Vladimir Tarasenko and Pavel Buchnevich have 19 goals each, tied for second on the team, and Tarasenko continues to be a threat whenever he’s on the ice. Buchnevich, meanwhile, missed Thursday’s game with an announced concussion, so we shouldn’t expect to see him today.
The Blues have played fairly unimpressive defense at 5v5, but have gotten outstanding goaltending from Ville Husso (.930 sv% on the season) and otherworldly goaltending from occasional backup Charlie Lindgren (.958 sv% over the five-game stretch that Husso was injured in December). Jordan Binnington hasn’t had his best year, posting a .904 to date. Their penalty kill is okay, but with the goalies’ help it’s been better than okay.
They’ve paired great goaltending with great shooting luck, overperforming an average 5v5 offense to rack up the goals, and converting well on a strong power play to score a lot there as well. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the Preds should try to keep the game at 5v5.
How to Watch
The puck drops at 11:30 AM Central; you can catch the game on Bally Sports South and 102.5 The Game.