So we are finally here, December 5th 2015, Nashville Predators vs. The Detroit Redwings. Despite Detroit beating the Predators twice in the 2014-2015 schedule, 2-5 and 3-4, typically this matchup is one of my favorites and tends to bring out the best in the Predators. I'm not going to lie though, this year and in this moment, I have to say I'm just a little bit worried. As I always say, I truly believe Nashville is more than capable of coming away with a win, but this game is more than just important now. I believe this game is crucial. The Preds are currently in the Wildcard slot for the West but if we do not come away with the Win tonight we will surely be out. Not to say that we can't get back in it, but we need to build up that confidence and that momentum, especially with some really big upcoming game, notably the team here in Nashville we don't like to pronounce. It starts with a B and ends in Hawks....
Detroit's current standing is fairly similar to Nashville with 13-8-4 and Detroit at 14-8-4. Detroit's Mrazek is confirmed to guard the pipes tonight against Nashville and Rinne is expected to be placed into the net for Nashville. Although in my opinion I believe that Hutton might be best fit to stand guard.
Nashville really needs to contain Tatar who scored 3 goals in the previous season against the Preds. Also preventing Zetterberg, Datsyuk and Kronwall from keeping control of the puck.
Nashville is more than capable but with the injuries and scratches starting to pile up on the Preds roster, I think it's time the rest of the squad really steps up and fills those roles. With Fisher out we will be missing some of that aggressive edge as well as the workhorse banging those greasy goals in when it counts. Goose (Gaustad) out means that we really need our centers to step up and find ways to win the draws to gain possession of the puck early and frequently.
Three players from the Nashville squad that I think we will be relying on in this game and the upcoming games would include Calle Jarnkrok, Forsberg, and of course Roman Josi. Calle has been an essential asset winning the draws and taking the shots on net. As for Forsberg, let's get him the puck and be patient. Forsberg is a set-up guy so as long as we can play the puck in Detroit's zone and wait for Forsberg to be in the right place at the right time, I believe that is crucial and we can use that to our advantage. Also, I believe tonight will be the night that Colin Wilson breaks his drought. He's a super talented player and it's only a matter of time. Once that drought has ended I think Wilson will be unstoppable and become a top point scorer for the Preds.
Although it is not the end of the world if we don't get those two point tonight, it is imperative that we find a way to win this game. I think our boys are gonna hit the ice angry and hungry. One thing we know for certain, this game is going to be a teeth grinder and I am excited to watch it.
Win or lose, we are blessed to have the Predators here in Nashville to call our own and to rally behind. Hockey has changed Nashville for the good and sooner than later we will be bringing THE CUP to 501 Broadway.
Go Preds, We Love You!!!