Nashville Predators @ Winnipeg Jets Preview: Here We Go Again

These two new Central division foes are playing each other early and often. Will that budding familiarity pay off for the Preds? After tonight, these teams don't meet again until late January.

The Nashville Predators and Winnipeg Jets are meeting for the third time in three weeks tonight. It comes after the Predators willed themselves to a win against one of the leagues current powerhouses, and the Jets, well, did the opposite.

Just going by the standings, the few games are against the weakest opponents of the road trip. Putting up a quality game against a division opponent will set the table for a handful of Metropolitan division match ups next week. The Metro has been laughably bad, except for those pesky Penguins. Alas, I'm getting ahead of myself.

As far as tonight is concerned, the trend that has developed over the last several games is good offense, but questionable defense and goaltending. The fact that Nashville is almost break even in the possession metrics matches the good old fashioned eye test. Every game seems to bring stretches of good, solid play followed by a stretch of headless chicken emulation. That type of play already cost them one win on this road trip.

The Stats

Nashville Predators Winnipeg Jets
Record 8-5-2 16th 6-9-2 24th
GF/Game 2.47 21st 2.24 24th
GA/Game 2.80 19th 2.94 24th
5-on-5 Close SF/60 30.3 14th 30.6 13th
5-on-5 Close SA/60 28.4 11th 35.2 26th
Fenwick Close 51.50 10th 46.80 24th
5-on-5 Close Save % .929 10th .910 22nd
5-on-4 GF/60 7.8 9th 2.5 29th
# of PP's/Gm 3.00 27th 3.71 11th
4-on-5 GA/60 7.0 19th 5.5 12th
# of PK's/Gm 3.40 13th 3.88 24th

The Winnipeg Jets

Evander Kane hasn't been in the lineup for the past few games. He has been skating, and seemed poised to return to duty against Chicago, but sat out last minute. There is a good possibility he suits up tonight, but it will likely be a game time decision.

While he got his helmet back in a reasonable amount of time, there's no word on if Adam Pardy has gotten the beer smell off of his jersey and equipment. Don't forget to click over to Arctic Ice Hockey while you wait for the puck to drop.

The Nashville Predators

Don't look now, but the Nashville Predators are among the top five best teams on the power play. You heard that right. They are currently sitting at fourth in the league, clicking at an impressive 24.4% when up a man. Considering Colorado was the second best team on the PK at the time of the last game, it wouldn't be unfair to expect it to keep producing.

Taylor Beck might get his first shot of NHL action this season, as he is set to meet the team in Winnipeg after getting called up from the A. There is no timetable on his stay (or Forsberg's for that matter) but after what he did at the tail end of last year, it will be interesting how he performs with guys like Colin Wilson, Patric Hornqvist, and Viktor Stalberg in the lineup.

Game time is 7:00 p.m. CST, and Sports South has you covered on the television side.

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