Preview: Nashville Predators vs. Florida Panthers 3/18/21: Catnip

The Preds are in the Sunshine State (still) to face the Panthers tonight.

Nashville Predators

Ah, trade season. This time, it’s less of “who will Nashville overpay for?” and more of “who will Nashville trade?” Mattias Ekholm and Mikael Granlund seem to be the big names in play, however, I could see GM David Poile parting with Rocco Grimaldi, Nick Cousins, or Erik Haula, too.

Pekka Rinne has started a ridiculous number of games lately...I’m not sure if HC John Hynes refuses to trust Kasimir Kaskisuo or if he just wants to ride Rinne into the sunset. It was noted yesterday that Juuse Saros had been activated from IR and should be available to play in one of the two games against the Panthers.


Florida Panthers

Raise your hand if you knew the Panthers were in second place in the (new) Central Division. I’ll wait.

Aleksander Barkov leads the Panthers with 34 points (12 goals, 22 assists). It seems like a lot of those points have come against the Predators. Jonathan Huberdeau has 34 points (10 goals, 24 assists), and former Pred Patric Hörnqvist has 23 points (11 goals, 12 assists). Aaron Ekblad leads Panthers defensemen with 20 points (10 goals, 10 assists). Their leaders are stepping up.

In net, Sergei Bobrovsky has a.905 Sv% over 16 games. Chris Dreidger has a .920 Sv% in 12 games. Bobrovsky remains overpaid, but Dreidger might get some offseason interest for teams looking for goaltending depth. Dreidger could move at the trade deadline, too....but Florida would be smart to keep the Winnipeg native around.

Reasons to Watch

  • Eeli Tolvanen
  • Will Juuse Saros start right after returning from IR? Or will Pekka Rinne start his (checks notes) 394th game in a row?
  • The pairing of Mattias Ekholm-Alexandre Carrier is quite, quite good. I like it, I love it./

Tonight’s Theme Song

How to Watch

Tonight’s puck drop is a little early—6:00 PM Central. 102.5 The Game has the radio call and FS-TN has the broadcast.