Game Preview: Nashville Predators at Colorado Avalanche 4/28/22
The Predators are in the playoffs, but at what cost?
Tonight’s game is one of those games where you give some AHL call-ups a chance in order to ensure the health of your top players. Can we do that? Please? Saros is already injured and questionable for the playoffs. I’m going to be biting my nails tonight.
Filip Forsberg and Matt Duchene seem to be in a scoring race, but it’d sure be great to get some bonus goals from guys like Yakov Trenin, Colton Sissons, and Luke Kunin tonight. The secondary scoring has to step up against powerhouse teams like the Avs because the focus will surely be on the big-name guys.
I’m not sure who to expect in net tonight, but I’ll assume Rittich. It’d be fun to see Connor Ingram get some NHL time because these next two games are essentially meaningless. However, if David Rittich is your playoffs starter for Game 1, it’s time to get him some game action, too. Are these next two games a tryout? There’s lots of unanswered questions in goal.
Hynes says Preds are "hopeful" about Juuse Saros in the playoffs. Rittich and Ingram will each get a game tonight and tomorrow.— Joe Rexrode (@joerexrode) April 28, 2022
The Avalanche have powered through the season and are on the cusp of a big 2022 playoff series...they have a lot to prove after largely flopping in the postseason for the last few years.
Mikko Rantanen leads the Avs with 91 points (36 goals, 55 assists). Nathan MacKinnon has 88 points (32 goals, 56 assists). Cale Makar, the only likely Norris Trophy challenger for Roman Josi, has 85 points (27 goals, 58 assists). Secondary scoring is a big asset for the Avalanche, with guys like Andre Burakovsky, Devon Toews, Nazem Kadri, and Valeri Nichuskin with 50+ points on the season.
The Avalanche’s blue line is incredibly talented, and in net, they have Darcy Kuemper and Pavel Francouz. Kuemper has had a great season, posting a .922 Sv% over 56 games. Francouz, a rare right-catch goalie, has a .918 Sv% over 20 games.
Reasons to Watch
-David Rittich or Connor Ingram?
-Roman Josi on a points bender....I’m here for it.
-Roman Josi vs. Cale Makar
-If the Predators somehow get out of the first round, they’ll have to face Colorado on their way to the Western Conference finals.
Keep Your Eye on This Guy
I predicted that Filip Forsberg would end the season with 43 goals. Does he pot another goal or two tonight?
For the Avalanche, it’ll be fun to watch Makar as the spotlight will largely be on him and Josi tonight in a game of “compare the contenders.” Makar is talented, with a silky smooth skating stride and some of the best puck handling you’ll see in the League.
Tonight’s Theme Song
How to Watch
Tonight’s game is at 8:00 Central (NOT 7:00!!!). Bally Sports South has the broadcast and 102.5 The Game has the radio call.