Nashville Predators @ Winnipeg Jets Preview: March Through the Frozen North
A final Canadian excursion pits the Predators against the sad remains of playoff also-rans.
Nashville isn't the only place that is unseasonably warm weather. Highs in the Winnipeg area are supposed to get up into the mid-30s today, which would be barbecue weather were it not for all the rain.
Today starts the first of another four-game swing through Canada. Considering the slate of teams are those bereft of playoff dreams, many might consider anything less than a second sweep a failure. While it's true these teams are either a shell of what they once were (Vancouver), not living up to budding expectations (Winnipeg and Calgary), or the Oilers, remember that any one team can win on a given night.
Also, check out the blank space the Predators have in front of them and behind them in the standings. Urgency has left the building.
The Winnipeg Jets
I swear it feels like these teams have played about 1,000 times already this year.
Since we last saw them, Dustin Byfuglien was signed to a large contract extension, Andrew Ladd sprinted out of town to join the Chicago Blackhawks, and Ondrej Pavalec came back to really help the tank.
The Jets don't have anything left to play for this season. Luckily, this team seems to want to embrace what it means to be in a Central division rivalry. We won't soon forget the mid-November that racked up a season's worth of penalty minutes in on night. There's no love lost between these two clubs.
So hopefully we'll get treated to an intense and physical hockey game that provides one last bit of entertainment before these teams get separated until next year. Winnipeg would love to get one last victory in, while Nashville wants to keep their point streak alive.
The Nashville Predators
Remember the panic that swept over Nashville when the Preds fell out of a wild card spot in January? Good times.
Now the conversation has shifted form "ARE THEY EVEN GOING TO MAKE THE PLAYOFFS?!" to "Hmm, who would be the preferred first round opponent? As it stands now, Nashville is poised to jump into the Pacific bracket and play whichever California team wins the division. Right now that's the Ducks. But there still exist some possibility Minnesota catches them, or Nashville rockets up past St. Louis or something. Slim, but possible. Here are the most likely first round opponents:
Against whom would you rather play?
Have I mentioned how much I love these guys? They announced yesterday a second part of the North American tour, and they'll be in Nashville on May 15th. Tickets go on sale Friday, so I'll see you at 3rd and Lindsley in a couple of months. Here's a great jam from their newest release.
Sights and Sounds
7 p.m. Central puck drop on FS-TN and 102.5 The Game.