I’d like to start off this preview by sending the family of Eugene Melnyk all of Nashville’s prayers and thoughts after Eugene’s passing on Monday. The Senators announced Melnyk’s death on Monday evening.
Who thinks Tanner Jeannot might still have some “big dad energy” left? He joins the crew of “Preds Dads” and is definitely my “player to watch” tonight.
Yakov Trenin has been putting up multi-point games for the last two weeks or so quite quietly. Trenin is due for a hat trick, and combined with Jeannot and Colton Sissons, their line has the potential to do some serious damage on the scoresheet tonight.
Nashville’s win on Sunday was big, even over a struggling Flyers squad. Filip Forsberg, Mikael Granlund, and Matt Duchene were superstars, but allowing four goals dulled the shine a little. The buzzword around the Predators seems to be “identity,” and that identity was apparent on Sunday. The Preds never seem to get too low, but we do sometimes shake our heads at their play.
Mark Boroweicki and Dante Fabbro remain week-to-week with injury, but it was great to see Matt Benning back on the ice on Sunday.
The Predators posted this about our most handsome captain Roman Josi:
“Josi leads NHL defensemen and is tied for eighth in the NHL in points this season with 81 (18g-63a). He’s established career highs in goals (18), assists (63) and points (81). His 18 goals are tied for the second-most among NHL blueliners; he is second among all NHL skaters in assists.
His 63 assists are the most in a season in Predators history; his 81 points are the most by a defenseman and are the second-most among all skaters in a season in team history. He’s the second player in Predators history to record at least 80 points in a season, joining Paul Kariya, who had a franchise-best 85 points (31g-54a) in 2005-06.”
I’ll also add that a boring Tuesday in late March seems like a great time to re-sign Filip Forsberg.
Brady Tkachuk, the new Senators captain, leads the team in points with 46 points (22 goals, 24 assists). Youngster Tim Stutzle has 39 points (14 goals, 25 assists) and Josh Norris has 38 points (26 goals, 12 assists).
Norris is a threat on the power play, along with the other Senators “young guns.” Check out this clip below. Norris tucks home an easy goal from Colin White after Brady Tkachuk picks up the puck in the corner. White’s no-look feed to Norris demonstrates the chemistry of thisPP1 unit.
The Senators feel like a team that’s about to get really, really good. They aren’t there yet... they need some depth pieces and maybe even some additional star power, but they’ve got the right players in place for contention in a season or two.
This is Austin Watson’s first game back in Nashville after he was traded in 2020. The Predators did not play the Senators last season. Watson has 3 goals and 3 assists in 50 games this season.
Former Pens goalie Matt Murray has had a rough go in Ottawa. We see flashes of brilliance from him, but also long stretches of injury, poor goaltending, and low confidence. Anton Forsberg was recently signed to an extension and has started more games than Murray - 34 games - and has a respectable .919 Sv%. The Senators are no longer an “easy win” team, and it’ll be nice to see Nashville match up with the boys from Ottawa.
Reasons to Watch
-Big Dad Energy
-OTF’s very own Bryan Bastin will be in the building
-Austin Watson returns to Nashville
Keep Your Eye on This Guy
Tanner Jeannot and Yakov Trenin have been destroying the competition lately... Is it time for Colton Sissons to notch some goals? It’s no secret I am a big Sissons fan.
Tonight’s Theme Song
How to Watch
Bally Sports South has tonight’s game, and puck drop is at 7:00 PM. 102.5 The Game has the radio call.