How to Watch
Puck Drop: 7 PM CST
Location: Bridgestone Arena - Nashville, TN
TV: Bally Sports South
Radio: 102.5 The Game
Red Wings’ SBNation Blog: Winging It In Motown
The Red Wings-Predators matchup doesn’t have quite the same luster as it did back in the early days of the Nashville franchise, or... heck... even the same luster it had back in November for these teams’ first game of the season. That being said, the fact that both Detroit and Nashville are in similar spots with similar goals for the rest of the season should make this a physical, entertaining matchup.
The Preds are — somehow — still in the playoff hunt despite jettisoning a bunch of key players at the trade deadline; they’re 6 points behind the final wild card team, Winnipeg, with three games in hand. Can the Preds actually get there? That’s a different debate for a different gameday post.
For now, Nashville’s main objective for the rest of the year is rack up little victories game-by-game; things that the team can build around moving forward. Can young players like Cody Glass, Phil Tomasino, and Luke Evangelista have good games with an added layer of responsibility? Can Juuse Saros and Kevin Lankinen continue their good run of play? Can the veteran leaders, like Matt Duchene and Roman Josi, find the form and consistency that helped them earn career-best seasons last year? These are the little storylines that are going to weigh more heavily on the momentum of this team than anything that happens in the standings.
The Red Wings, meanwhile, are in a similar situation. Detroit were sellers at the deadline despite technically still being in the playoff picture. The Wings have a handful of solid up-and-comers, and the focus for the rest of the year will be to find little victories for the team to build off of.
In a couple of years, this can wind up being a battle between two extremely solid NHL teams. For now, these are just two teams looking for a solid victory to build off of.