Nashville Predators vs. Anaheim Ducks Preview: Hunting Season
After a lackluster performance in Anaheim last time out, the Predators look to give the Ducks another loss, similar to their first meeting.
The Predators are coming off of a week where fans saw 15 goals in three games. The Ducks, on the other hand, are coming off of a week where they lost three in a row. This game is definitely a tale of two completely different teams at the moment.
The Anaheim Ducks
As mentioned before, the Ducks lost three in a row last week but are coming off a win against Carolina. The Ducks have been streaky all year so far (losing more than winning). It is almost unfathomable how a team that looked so dominant last year, can look so bad at times this year.
I would think one of the main reasons is their offensive production so far. The are ranked dead last in goals scored (29). It's hard to imagine a team with Corey Perry, Ryan Kesler, and Ryan Getzlaf averaging less than two goals a game this season. Perry leads the team in points (5G, 6A, 11P), but even for Corey Perry standards, those numbers seem low. Kesler (6P) and Getzlaf (5P) have been pretty much non existent in the goal scoring department (only 1 goal between them both).
Obviously you can't win if you can't score, but it also doesn't help you can't keep the puck out of your own net either. The Ducks are towards the bottom of the league in goal differential (-16). It seems like when the Ducks lose, they are giving up a ton of goals, but when they win, the goaltending is on point. They don't have any consistency there. Either they are on and stopping everything, or just flat out terrible. Granted, Frederik Andersen has a 2.33 GAA, but when your offense isn't scoring, you need to be virtually unbeatable.
The Nashville Predators
What makes the recent offensive explosion even better is that all the lines are getting involved. Currently, for players who have played at least 10 games this season for the Preds, only one player hasn't scored a goal yet (Paul Gaustad). That right there should just show you the balanced scoring that Nashville is getting lately.
It also doesn't hurt that Shea Weber has found his scoring touch this season. What's even better is that it isn't just Weber, it's the entire defensive corps that is getting in on the action. Five of the top nine point producers for Nashville are defensemen.
The defense has the flexibility to play up because they have a guy like Pekka Rinne in the net. I know he has had a few games where he gave up a ton of goals, but he still makes timely saves to keep games close. Also, there is nothing better to get your groove back by shutting out a division rival. By the way, let's hope Nashville can keep the entire team out of the penalty box this time around.
Reasons To Watch
- Goals, goals, and goals. With Anaheim's shaky back end, I expect the Preds to continue their scoring binge tonight. You don't want to miss that.
- Watching the Ducks struggle this year is just so much fun. Who wouldn't want to see that?
- There is always a potential for a Roman Josi dangle. So be on the look out tonight!
Drink Of Choice For Game Time
I have been beer heavy this season so far, so let's move to the hard liquor for tonight's game. I would recommend enjoying a Moscow Mule. It's refreshing and the perfect way to potentially enjoy another win.
Sights And Sounds
The usual suspects here. FS-TN locally for TV and 102.5 The Game for radio. Puck drop is at 7:00 pm CST.