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Nashville Predators vs. Buffalo Sabres: Back in the Saddle

It was the same old song and dance for the Predators on Tuesday. They have a lead, they add to the lead, they let the lead slip away. Games like the one against Colorado perfectly encapsulate the Jekyll and Hyde that is this team. (Boy, it’s been a while since we’ve heard that, huh?)

Tonight, they have a chance to pick on the little kid when the Buffalo Sabres makes a rare visit to Bridgestone Arena. If anything, it could be a way to get back in the groove for a chance to play spoiler tomorrow night in Dallas.

The Stats

Buffalo Sabres Nashville Predators
Record 20-44-8 30th 31-31-11 23rd
GF/Game 1.83 30th 2.41 25th
GA/Game 2.89 24th 2.88 23rd
5-on-5 Close SF/60 24.8 30th 29.6 14th
5-on-5 Close SA/60 35.7 30th 27.0 4th
Fenwick Close 40.70 30th 50.60 14th
5-on-5 Close Save % .924 20th .909 27th
5-on-4 GF/60 4.9 25th 6.2 14th
# of PP’s/Gm 3.14 23rd 3.01 28th
4-on-5 GA/60 6.0 16th 6.9 25th
# of PK’s/Gm 3.36 19th 2.95 3rd

The Buffalo Sabres

The Sabres were the first team eliminated from postseason contention this year, and anyone who has watched any of their games can see why. In the throws of rebuilding, they are one of the worst teams in recent years. Gone are mainstays like Ryan Miller, Jason Pominville, and Thomas Vanek. It will still be another few seasons before they are competitive again, but their draft and prospect cabinet is bursting at the seams. Buffalo fans should at least be encouraged at the amount of work Tim Murray has been doing to steer them in the right direction.

Patience is the key here, though. Though things are bleak in Nashville right now, they are nowhere near Buffalo bad. Granted, I don’t think anyone is calling for wholesale changes, but the game tonight will serve as a reminder to Predators fans that things could be a lot worse.

The Nashville Predators

One of the bright spots as the season dwindles down to its last few games is the play of Calle Jarnkrok in his first taste of NHL action. Iron Hook has three points in his first three games, and seems to look more and more comfortable on the ice with every passing minute. Hopefully his first goal isn’t too far off, but it’s great to see him adapt so well to his new digs. Remember, though, that it’s only a few games. So before you start penciling him in on the first line and claiming him to be the savior of the team, realize he’s still a developing prospect and there is still growing he needs to do.

Somewhere, Filip Forsberg silently weeps.

Tonight’s game starts at 7 p.m. CST on FS-TN (now on a new channel for DirecTV viewers). That is, if you decide to tune in and not check out the other nine games going on tonight.