After a great showing at the NHL All-Star Game from Filip Forsberg (2 goals in the ASG), Shea Weber (108.5 in the Hardest Shot Competition) and Peter Laviolette (Coach of the winning team), the Nashville Predators look to get back in the swing of the things as they host the Colorado Avalanche at Bridgestone Arena tonight.
Before the break, the Colorado Avalanche (20-18-10) took on the Boston Bruins in a highly competitive match-up. The Bruins and Avs were tied going into the 3rd period, and with no team scoring a goal in the extra time, the game went to a shootout.
Colorado was able to get a goal in the 1st round of the shootout by Nathan MacKinnon as Semyon Varlamov was stellar in net not allowing a goal. The Avalance were able to get the two points with the victory.
On the season, Alex Tanguay leads the team in points with 32 (13 goals, 19 assists). Tanguay doesn’t lead the team in goals or assists, but combined together, he has the team lead in points. The team is currently being led by Jarome Iginla with 14 goals and Tyson Barrie has a clear lead with 24 assists on the season.
Keys to Watch
The Home Ice Advantage
With the team being welcomed back to Bridgestone Arena tonight, the Preds look to continue their home ice advantage in 2014-15. This season, the Preds are 18-2-1 at home, a record that contains 15 one-goal decisions. Two of the victories at Bridgestone Arena this year needed OT and four of the wins were in the shootout. Home ice advantage will be key as the Preds move forward in the season and try to make a deep run in the playoffs.
Young Talent on Display
Both teams will have the ability to display lots of young talent tonight at Bridgestone Arena. With last year’s Calder Trophy winner, Nathan MacKinnon, and this year’s front-runner for the award, Filip Forsberg, the ice will be filled with lots of young, up-and-coming talent for both teams. Look for both of these young talented players to continue to produce for their team. Forsberg leads all rookies and leads Nashville in points with 40 (15g-25a).
With a one week break from league play for the NHL All-Star Game in Columbus, the Preds were able to get more information regarding the injury status of Pekka Rinne and Ryan Ellis. With Pekka Rinne, things are looking up for the Nashville goalie. Rinne has begun skating and will continue his progress as he comes back from a lower-body injury. The idea is that the 3-5 week timetable is still available and progress is looking good. Marek Mazanec has been recalled from the Milwaukee Admirals to take the place of Rinne. Ryan Ellis’ diagnosis is a little more grim. The Predators organization released a statement saying that he will be out for two more weeks due to injury. Only time will tell when these two major contributors to the organization will return.
With the boys back in town, Nashville will be buzzing for the hometown team to hit the ice. This team has shown resilience from day one of the Laviolette reigime and look for a continuing approach to success and a never quit attitude as they look to start the 2nd half of the season with a bang. The game will be shown on FS-Tennessee or you can listen live on 102.5 The Game, if you can’t make it out to the arena. Puck drops at 7:00pm!