Nashville Predators @ Calgary Flames Preview: Bringing It Home
The Nashville Predators finish up their road trip in Calgary tonight before coming back home for All-Star weekend.
The Predators seem to be getting back on the right track. The Flames have lost two games in a row now. Regardless of what each team's records are, both of them will be looking to enter the All-Star break with a win and two points.
The Calgary Flames
The Flames have definitely cooled off since the turn of the new year. After going on a seven game win streak in December, the Flames have faltered and find themselves outside of the playoff race at this point of time in the season.
There have been some good things about Calgary's season though. One of those being Johnny Gaudreau. Johnny Hockey is having an awesome year, all while leading his team in goals, assists, and points (20G, 26A, 46P). On the flip side of things, the Flames drop off in point production from Gaudreau to the next guy is huge. Mark Giordano, who is second on the team in points, has 30 points on the season. To me, part of the reason of their inconsistent play has been the fact that they aren't getting any secondary scoring at this point.
They are, however, are getting decent play from their goaltender, Karri Ramo. Ramo has played well enough to keep the Flames in most of their games played. He's posted a 2.68 GAA and a .910 SV%. Those numbers aren't great so to say, but they are definitely good enough to not only keep you in games, but win some games as well. The problem here is that Jonas Hiller hasn't played so well in relief for Ramo.
It's easy to say that teams need get more secondary scoring from their lines, but this Flames team has the players to do it. Sean Monahan and Jiri Hudler have the capability to put up points. Hudler, especially, has been a Predator killer in the past and recent memory. Regardless, we can expect this team to take advantage of a tired Predators team playing the second of a back to back tonight.
The Nashville Predators
This team has certainly looked like they are on the right track, but that will be tested on the second night of a back-to-back. What better way to end the first half of the season, and welcome the Preds' all stars back home then with a win.
Pekka Rinne has really been on his game of late. He only allowed one goal in each of the three games he played in on this trip. Rinne has looked like his old self, and that is probably the best sign for Preds' fans. After those two games last week, he improved his GAA to 2.50. Whatever he did to get back on track is working, so let's hope he can keep it up in the second half of the season.
The Ryan Johansen trade looks like it is finally take shape on the whole team. Joey brings a dynamic to this team that we weren't able to see until now. He has a way of changing the offense to getting the best chances available. It took the team a few weeks to adjust to his style, but it looks like they have found a way to take advantage of it now.
Sights And Sounds
A little earlier start tonight with a puck drop at 8:30 pm CST. It will be live on FS-TN and 102.5 The Game for radio.