Nashville Predators vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Preview: Seeking The Real Predators

The Predators haven’t looked much like themselves lately. Neither have the Lightning.

The Predators are back in action tonight against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Neither the Predators or the Lightning have been playing to their potential, so this should be an interesting battle.

Nashville Predators

The Predators returned late Saturday from a disappointing effort in Florida against the Panthers. They failed to collect much-needed points and find themselves out of a wildcard spot in the Western Conference.

Based on practice lines on Monday morning, Kyle Turris might re-enter the lineup centering the second line. Of course, we’ll have to wait until game time to find out if #8 hits the ice for the first time in eight games.

Nashville’s special teams need a bit of work. Both the power play and penalty kill have been pretty flat lately.

The Predators sit at 11th in the Western Conference.

Tampa Bay Lightning

The Lightning are struggling, too. They’re in 12th in the Eastern Conference, also outside of the playoff wildcard bubble. You might be wondering how they’re performing so poorly with the talent the they boast on their roster.

Winger Nikita Kucherov has 28 points (9 goals, 19 assists) this season. Perennial Norris Trophy favorite Victor Hedman has 22 points (4 goals, 18 assists). Newly-signed Brayden Point has 20 points (10 goals, 10 assists) and captain Steven Stamkos has 20 points (7 goals, 13 assists). They aren’t blowing teams out of the water like last season.

Andrei Vasilevskiy is 9-7-1 with a .906 Sv%. Backup Curtis McElhinney is 3-2-2 with a .908 Sv%.

Memories and Feelings

  • Pat Maroon gloating in a preseason game by flashing his Stanley Cup ring to the Nashville bench didn’t sit well with me.
  • I’m also somewhat sick of the inconsistency we’ve seen lately. There have been brief glimpses of the Predators of old, but they seem to show up rarely. /

Reasons to Watch

  • Can the Predators get back in a groove in December?
  • Is Kyle Turris really free? Will he have a big game?
  • Predators-Lightning games are always intense./

Tonight’s Theme Song

How to Watch

Tonight’s game is at 7:00 Central. You can catch the game on NBCSN, and 102.5 The Game has the radio call.