On Thursday night, the Nashville Predators showed that this year’s team is a different one from year’s past. Even though they lost to the St. Louis Blues, the Preds showed a fight back unlike any other. The Preds lost to the Blues 4-3 with a tip-in goal by Paul Stastny at 5:54 of the 3rd period. Nashville looks to get back with a win on Hockey Fights Cancer Night at Bridgestone Arena.
The purpose of Hockey Fights Cancer Nights around the NHL is to, “raise money and awareness for hockey’s most important fight.” With $14 million raised to date in the US and Canada, the Preds will be participating tonight. The Preds will have a special tribute planned for the first TV timeout. The organization will be giving out signs during the timeout and are asking all people in attendance to hold them up, showing a visual image to signify the fight against cancer.
If you can’t make it to Bridgestone Arena, the Predators organization encourages the fans to print a copy of the sign at home, using this link, fill it out and then tweet @PredsFoundation or @PredsNHL using the hashtag #HockeyFightsCancer before the game. Fans coming to the game are encouraged to participate before the game through social media as well.
The Winnipeg Jets (9-6-2 20 points) are one of the surprise teams in the NHL so far this season. The Jets have received a point in 9 of their last 10 games. Last time out, the Jets defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 3-1. Blake Wheeler led the Jets with 2 goals (5:29-1st, 13:02-2nd) and Michael Frolik added an empty net goal to secure the victory. Wheeler currently leads the team in points (12) and goals (7).
Keys to watch
Winnipeg’s Special Teams
There couldn’t be a more polar opposite approach when analyzing the Winnipeg Jets Special Team play. The PP (27th-11.1%) and PK (5th-87.5%) are on opposite ends of the spectrum. With recent increased production on the PP, PK for the Preds, look for them to try to take advantage of the Special Teams.
Goals Against Average per Game
The Jets and Preds are two of the best teams in the league in this statistical category. The Jets are ranked 2nd (2.00 GAA/game) and the Preds are ranked 5th (2.06 GAA/game). Both are outstanding at even strength (Preds-2nd, Jets-9th). Yet, both teams seem to struggle when they are down a man. The Preds have given up 12 goals and the Jets have given up 8 goals when it is a 4 on 5 situation.
Andrew Ladd has been a consistent contributor for the Jets over the past 10 games where he has attained 8 points (5 goals, 3 assists). The captain for the Jets will be a key component to the Jets and Shea Weber, Roman Josi, and the Preds defense will need to contain Ladd as he is a focal point to their offense.
The Preds will look to celebrate Hockey Fights Cancer night with a win. With the Jets nipping on the heels of the Preds in the Central Division standings, the Preds need to come out victorious. Fans will still be able to catch the game on FS-TN or listen live on 102.5 The Game. **Special Note: The puck drops at 6:00 pm instead of the usual 7:00 pm start time!