Nashville Predators vs. St. Louis Blues Preview: No Time For The Blues
The Blues seem like the perfect team to face right after going 65+ minutes with the best team in the league. Oh, wait, no they don't.
Seriously, this schedule is the worst. Just after leaving Chicago with a shootout loss, the Nashville Predators will return home to face the St. Louis Blues, who would love to steal 2 points and get even with the Preds in the Central Division standings. Luckily, the Blues played last night as well, beating the Avalanche 3-0 in a home win. So both teams will be playing on short rest and both teams badly want points to keep pace with the stupid Blackhawks. Should be a fun one at the barn tonight!
The St. Louis Blues
Since we last beat them 4-3 on December 4th, the St. Louis Tarasenkos are 6-3-1 in 10 games. While nearly all of their offense is generated through their top offensive and defensive lines, they struggle to get any consistent scoring from their other lines. The $28 million elephant in the room Paul Stastny has 7 goals, though most of those have come during his recent hot streak: he has 4g-4a in his last 10 games. So we really can't just key in on shutting down the top line. Such is life in the Central Division.
In goal, we will likely see Jake Allen as Martin Brodeur played last night vs. Colorado. This is a bit of good news for the Predators. Allen is 0-3 in his last three starts, giving up 12 goals in those three games combined. Watch below as he went all Mr. Bean when playing the puck vs. Dallas:
So, if the Predators have a chance in this one (and I think they do) they might need to make it a high scoring affair, just like last night. Just try to keep the puck away from Vladimir Tarasenko because whoa that guy is good.
The Nashville Predators
Aside from the game Monday night, the other big news in Smashville was the trade to send Derek Roy to Edmonton in exchange for Mark Arcobello. An interesting move, mostly because it came from Out-Of-Nowhere Land (right next to Surprisingville, just north of Thrown For A Loop Town). At face value, the Predators got the better end of the deal. Arcobello has a similar playing style to Roy, but makes 400,000 less and is 5 years younger. So just who is he?
A smaller, playmaking forward, Arcobello was undrafted and played college hockey at Yale. He then signed a two-year entry contract with the Oilers in 2011. He bounced around the ECHL and AHL before getting some extended time with the Oilers last year. He scored 4 goals and had 14 assists in 41 games. His 2014-15 campaign started off relatively well with 7g-5a in 36 games, and now he finds himself on a much better roster and in a much better situation. So, who knows? If he doesn't work out, we are only out 600K, as opposed to the $1 million Roy was getting. And hell, we waived him and then got a player out of it.
For the record, Arcobello's possession stats look underwhelming, with a career 49.0% 5v5 Corsi in 78 career games. I'm not sure he will get much of a chance to lock down a roster spot with the Preds. At best, this puts more fire under Gabriel Bourque, Taylor Beck, and Calle Jarnkrok to keep performing the way they have been.
Reasons To Watch
- Maybe Mark Arcobello gets a look? We should welcome him appropriately with a nice nickname. Arky? Belly? Marco? Arcoby?
- Carter Hutton start? Let the rage begin.
- You have to like the way Colin Wilson is playing. Someone give that guy a contract.
Pre-Game Music For Your Listening Enjoyment
If you need to cool your jets after the shootout loss last night, there is no way this song can't help.
The Important Details
7pm start, be at the Barn in your favorite seat or be at your favorite seat in your house watching on FS-TN or listening on 102.5 The Game