Nashville Predators @ St. Louis Blues Preview: On the same level
The Preds and the Blues face off with similar records of late, as each tries to stockpile points before the Olympic break.
Man, how about that overtime winner, huh? As the game shifts from Nashville to St. Louis the Nashville Predators continue their path to the Olympic break by facing some tough competition. But the St. Louis Blues are having their own problems recently, which means the playoff contenders could be equals in the eyes of the Preds.
ExtraSkater has a booboo. Come back soon.
The St. Louis Blues
More on tonight's opponent
More on tonight's opponent
The Blues have come back down to earth a little recently. They are still all but a lock to make the playoffs, but 5-5-0 in their last 10 games isn't anything to write home about. Even the strongest of teams go through cold spells, and that could very well be what is going on in St. Louis. Another theory is that because the Blues have 10 players going to the Olympics, they are starting to focus their thoughts and energy towards the big tournament.
I'm not a believer in the second theory, but regardless of whatever is going on with the team, it would behoove Nashville to take advantage of their malaise. Alexander Steen, Swedish Olympian, isn't scoring at the clip he was earlier in the season, T.J. Oshie and David Backes, U.S. Olympians, round out the top three in the Blues scoring, but are also at a bit of standstill. The captain is doing his share, but Oshie has only three points in his last seven games. What that means is that the Predators need to take advantage of what's in front of them. St. Louis won't roll over, but if there's a time to take advantage of them, this is it.
The Nashville Predators
Shea Weber didn't seem to be ailing too much. After playing opossum late against the Jets, it was unclear whether the captain would even play on Friday night. Well, not only did he play but he put the entire team on his back and led them to sweet, sweet overtime victory. That overtime tally was his 15th of the season, which leads all defenseman in the NHL. As it was pointed out in the recap thread, we're not worthy.
#6 / Defenseman / Nashville Predators
Aug 14, 1985
|2013 - Shea Weber||53||15||23||38||-10||28||9||0||3||132||11.4|
Nashville is still only five points out of the Wild Card spot. When you take into context the way this season has gone, it seems like the Preds should be much farther behind than just five points. Granted, the four games left the team has before the Olympic break are against extremely tough competition. But if the Predators can at least tread water until the break, they can set themselves up for an intense race through the end of the season. Admit it, that's way better than you though they'd do a month ago.
Of course, as Dirk pointed out, Devan Dubnyk is 0-7 all-time against the Blues. So does that mean Hutton starts for the second night in a row, or that Dub Step is due?
Get your hockey on tonight at 7:00 p.m. CST. We'll make a thing out of it in the game thread.