Even after the departure of Ryan Suter, the Nashville Predators stayed true to their identity. They don’t score a lot, but play their defense-first system to a tee, especially because their only true superstars, Pekka Rinne and Shea Weber, are back there, and this has, at least in recent years, allowed them to keep pace with the rest of the West.
But right now, with only a handful of games left in the regular season, here the Preds sit in 13th place in the Western Conference and 9 points out of a playoff spot. They’re decimated by injuries – with the likes of Colin Wilson and Mike Fisher out – and with youngsters like Filip Forsberg and Daniel Bang in the lineup, just getting their feet wet in the National Hockey League.
Strap in, Canucks fans. This game should be a doozy.
With the Canucks playing a set of back-to-back games today and tomorrow, Roberto Luongo will get his 18th start of the season. As we near the homestretch before the playoffs, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the last start for “Numero Uno” during the regular season. Or maybe ever.
After a lackluster perfomance against the last place Colorado Avalanche on Saturday – I believe Ryan Kesler eloquently called their performance “shit” – the Canucks are looking for a much better effort.
23-12-6, 52 points (1st in the Northwest Division, 3rd in the Western Conference)
The Canucks will be looking for the season sweep tonight in Music City. The Canucks won 1-0 back on February 22, and as well, a high-scoring 7-4 affair back on March 14.
The Predators are on the end of their own back-to-back set; the Detroit Red Wings shut them out 3-0 last night. They are currently on a 6-game skid and have gone just 1-7-2 in their last 10 games.
Dan “The Hammer” Hamhuis is currently riding a 5-game point streak (5 GP, 2G-3A-5P). @lyteforce may like to go streaking when Chris Tanev scores; personally, I’m hoping to put on my moon pants and scream “STOP, it’s Hammer time” when Hamhuis does something noteworthy.
- Ryan Kesler will start the game as a right wing, playing along side Derek Roy and Alex Burrows. After the Roy signing, many believed that Kesler moving to the wing would be the next step in order to utilize our top 6 forwards. Let the experiment begin. (Vancouver Sun)