Nashville Predators @ L.A. Kings Preview: Try, Try Again
The Predators will make another attempt to not lose a game today.
The Predators have had an extra day off since their collapse at the Winter Classic, and are probably well past ready to stop marinading in that loss. Ryan Ellis has been placed on injured reserve, and Alexandre Carrier has been called up from Milwaukee. Whether Carrier will actually get ice time we’re not sure; practice yesterday was...strange.
Roman Josi is skating with Yannick Weber at #Preds practice. Mattias Ekholm is with Jarred Tinordi, Matt Irwin with Dan Hamhuis. Dante Fabbro is absent, and obviously no Ryan Ellis (IR).— Brooks Bratten (@brooksbratten) January 3, 2020
The Nashville Predators
Ellis’s loss is a huge blow to a team whose goaltenders have been struggling to stop pucks. Pekka Rinne’s problem almost seems as if some of it is in his head, or his self-confidence; the goals he’s allowing are goals he should be stopping. On the other hand, Juuse Saros has struggled most with very dangerous chances—I would expect him in particular to have a worse time without Ellis, who’s been a huge piece for the team defensively.
Roman Josi still leads the team in points (41). Filip Forsberg and Matt Duchene have joined Ellis for a three-way tie for second on the team in points (28). Josi and Forsberg are tied for the team lead in goals, with 14; Nick Bonino and Calle Järnkrok are the only other Preds with double digits in goals, exactly as we all predicted going into the season.
In sum, a lot of forwards who are getting paid a lot of money are struggling to produce offensively. There isn’t much else to say that we haven’t already said, at this point.
The Los Angeles Kings
The Kings, like the Predators, are second-last in their division; unlike the Predators, they have yet to crack the forty-point mark on the season.
Anze Kopitar leads the Kings with 37 points and with 15 goals; he’s trailed by Drew Doughty in points (26) and by our old friend Jeff Carter in goals (12), while Tyler Toffoli comes in third in both categories (23 points, 11 goals) while driving play well. Jonathan Quick and Jack Campbell have identical save percentages of .894, though Campbell has done worse with better overall defense.
The Kings as a whole have balanced out their lackluster offense and goaltending with good defense. We could be in for a real [spiderman_pointing_at_spiderman.gif] game tonight.
Reasons to Watch
- I mean, it’s Saturday night. What are you going to do, go out and socialize?
- At some point, the Predators are going to win a game again. It might as well be tonight./
How to Watch
The game starts at 9:30 Central and will air on FS-TN. You can also listen to the radio call on 102.5 The Game.
Statistics cited are from hockey-reference.com. Background information is courtesy of hockeyviz.com.