With three straight games being played in overtime, the Nashville Predators are 3-0. The team has shown, unlike previous years, that when it comes to overtime and/or the shootout, they are prepared to win. On Thanksgiving night, the Preds were able to take down the Edmonton Oilers 1-0, with a stellar performance from Pekka Rinne, and with another game-winning goal from Filip Forsberg. This team’s ability to create in the offense zone allowed for the overtime goal from Forsberg. Tonight, the Preds look to take down the Columbus Blue Jackets at Bridgestone Arena.
The Columbus Blue Jackets (6-14-2) struggled on Friday night against the Vancouver Canucks. In a 5-0 route, Columbus struggled during the third period when they gave up four goals. Canucks goaltender, Ryan Miller, was outstanding in net. Miller stopped 31 shots and has not allowed a goal in 152:05. Columbus was able to get a lot of shots on net, but could not surpass the hot streak that Miller is currently on for the Canucks. Statistically, on the season, the Blue Jackets are being led in points by Ryan Johansen with 24 points. Nick Foligno leads the team in goals with eight.
Keys to watch
Central Division Rivalry Renewed
Before the Detroit Red Wings and Columbus Blue Jackets were sent to the Eastern Conference, the Columbus/Nashville games were a true rivalry. These two former Central division foes will renew a rivalry tonight. With only two match ups for these two teams this year (11/29 and 12/22), look for an intense game in all facets. At one time, these two teams fought tooth and nail during their division games. Look for this old rivalry to be renewed and once again as Columbus makes their way back to Music City.
Possible awards in the off-season for the Preds?
Recently, NHL.com released their first quarter recognitions based on the postseason awards given out. Three Preds have been represented as possible winners of these prestigious awards at the end of the year. Coach Peter Laviollete (Jack Adams), Filip Forsberg (Calder), and Pekka Rinne (Vezina) are the representatives so far. In order for these three to remain on top of their individual award categories, consistency will be the key. The key for the Pred early-season success has been their ability to stay consistent in all parts of their game. We all know that it is early on in the season, yet it is exciting to see the Predators being recognized on a national level.
Columbus struggling in net
So far this season, Nashville has seen an outstanding netminder in Pekka Rinne. The exact opposite can be said for the Columbus Blue Jackets. Columbus has given up 81 goals on the season. This is not the winning recipe in the NHL. Sergei Bobrovsky, 2012-13 Vezina Trophy winner, has been lackluster at best this season. .907 SV%, 3.03 GAA will not get you anywhere and goaltending is Columbus’ greatest weakness so far this season. Having given up 81 goals on the season, Columbus will need to rectify their goaltending if they intend to get out of the cellar of the Metropolitan Division of the Eastern Conference.
After tonight’s game, Nashville will be away from Bridgestone Arena until December 4th. This matchup will be played on FS-TN or you can listen on 102.5 The Game at 7:00 PM! Be sure to follow all of the Penalty Box Radio writers, personalities, and contributors on Twitter for the best coverage of the Nashville Predators!