The Nashville Predators (3-0-2) have started on a hot streak. With a possible 10 points to earn, the Preds are on top of the Central Division with 8 points. Early in this season, the Preds stars are shining bright as they look to begin a three game home stand against the Coyotes, rematch with the Blackhawks, and Pittsburgh Penguins.
In their latest outing, the Arizona Coyotes (2-2-0) struggled against the St. Louis Blues. The Coyotes were thrashed 6-1 against St. Louis. G Mike Smith has shown struggles between the pipes with a .822 SV% and has already given up 16 goals on the season (Edit: as of 12:00pm CDT, Devan Dubnyk has been named the starter for tonight’s game). One bright spot on the Coyotes has been LW Mikkel Boedker. So far this season, Boedker has amassed five goals and is a threat on the offensive end.
Keys to watch
Watch out for BOEDKER!
There is a big gap between Boedker and the rest of his teammates in scoring. With five goals, he leads his team. The closest teammate has only one goal and there are eight players in that category. Boedker has accounted for 39% of his team’s goals. The Preds will need to watch out for Boedker when he is on the ice. He is a difference-maker for the Coyotes.
The Nashville Predators have been polar opposite with their Power Play and Penalty Kill. On the positive, the PK has been very effective. Ranked 8th in the NHL, the Preds have an 88.2% on the PK with all players contributing. On the other hand, it has been noted on the struggles on the Power Play. With a goal from Captain Shea Weber, the Preds increased their PP to 12.5%. Abysmal at best, the Preds PP is now ranked 22nd in the NHL.
Strength in Goal
The Preds have shown their greatest strength early in this 2014-15 season. Pekka Rinne currently is toward the top in most statistical categories in goal with a .948 SV% (11th), 1.22 GAA (8th), and 3 wins (Tied-3rd). Also, Carter Hutton showed on Saturday night in Chicago that he was an extremely capable backup against the Blackhawks. Hutton had 35 saves with a .946 SV%.
Bridgestone Arena will be rocking when the Predators make it back home on Tuesday night. Nashville will be celebrating a great start to the 2014-15 season, being selected for the 2016 NHL All-Star Weekend, and the beginning of a week at home. Fans can come out to Bridgestone Arena, watch on FS-TN, or listen live on 102.5 The Game. The puck drops at 7:00 pm!