Keys to Watch
First Half Analysis
Tonight will signify the halfway point to the 2016-17 season as the Predators play game no. 41 at Bridgestone Arena. To say that this season has been a disappointment would be an understatement. The Predators went into this year as favorites to win the Central Division and make a run at the Stanley Cup. They are not out of the playoff race yet, but third period leads lost and losing games in overtime are taking their toll. They are currently sixth place in the Central Divison with 41 points and three total points out of the wildcard spot. Nashville has every opportunity to turn over a new leaf during the second half of the season and make a run, but time is ticking away.
Everyday, it seems as though a new player gets called up from Milwaukee to replace another injured veteran on this year’s roster, and today is no different. This morning, Pontus Aberg was recalled to fill another vacant position. Injuries have decimated the roster and experience is given to the youth of this squad. For a depleted roster, the Preds fared well against the Blackhawks on Sunday, but they were not able to overcome. With an average roster age of 26, and getting younger by every call-up, the Predators will need to give these young guns every opportunity for success.
Containing Horvat and the Sedins
Tonight’s top priority will be stopping the best offensive threats that Vancouver brings to the ice. Bo Horvat is currently leading the Canucks in total points (29), goals (13), and second on the team in assists (16). Horvat is excellent on face-offs at 54.18% and plays a physical brand of hockey. Then, there are the Sedin twins. They are playing their usual high intensity, smart, and creative style where both have the ability to score at any point, at any time. These players will be a threat to the defense of the Nashville Predators during tonight’s contest.
Tonight will be an interesting game as the Predators begin a home-stand after being away from Bridgestone Arena for an extended time. 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 7:00 pm!