With all of the struggles on this current road-trip, the Predators are hearing lots of negative murmurs from outside forces. The Nashville Predators came into this season with extremely high expectations, due to the off-season acquisitions and building off of last year’s success. For many, panic has set in as though the season has already been decided. Nashville is currently 2-5-1, a mere eight games into the season, and many across the country have written off this team. The Preds seem to have lost confidence and need to play “Predators” hockey, a mixture of physicality, timely scoring, and outstanding goal-tending. A win tonight will go a long way in building confidence with this team and help moving forward. A loss tonight and more trouble could be on the way in Music City.
There are three main goaltenders in the Nashville Predators organization: Pekka Rinne, Marek Mazanec, and Juuse Saros. Recently, a poll was conducted with the following question, “Is Juuse Saros the best goaltender in the Preds organization?” Of the responses, 67% stated yes. The fan-base is concerned with the goal-tending play of Pekka Rinne. The Predators defense has given up 13 goals in the last three games. This is not the recipe for success in the NHL. Saros is 4-1-0 with the Admirals, 1.81 goals-against average, and .934 save percentage. Now, the questions needs to be raised.. Should Juuse Saros be the starting goaltender in Nashville? Only time will tell what decision is made among the coaching staff of the Nashville Predators.
One major concern for tonight’s match-up will be the play of Matt Duchene. In the last four games, the Haliburton, ON, Canada native has five goals and two assists, which is his total points for the season. Duchene has been one of the best players in the NHL since October 20th and the Predators’ defense will need to know where he is at all times. He is averaging 17:40 time-on-ice per game and wins 59.6% in the face-off circle. The Predators will have to keep their tabs on Matt Duchene.
The Nashville Predators will look to build confidence and come out of Colorado with a win tonight. Be sure to catch all of the action on Fox Sports-Tennessee or you can listen live on 102.5 The Game. Puck drops at 8:00!