Preview: Nashville Predators

So yeah.  Apologies for being gone all weekend.  Blogging was on the backburner for a bit, but I now make my triumphant return! We resume with a belated look at tonight’s matchup:

Nashville Predators vs. Detroit Red Wings

November 23rd 7:00pm, Sommet Center

Game Notes:

  1. After the highly-offensive and downright vile shift Georges Laraque took on saturday night, where he high-sticked Helm in the mouth and then took out Krons for up to 2 months, the Red Wings are a bit battered.  Helm is fine, but the Kronwall injury hurts…a lot.  We thought we’d be subject to a Derek Meech/Brett Lebda 3rd pairing, while Big-E will moved up to the 2nd pairing. However, per Khan, it appears we’ll see Big-E up with Lidstrom and all the pairings will be jumbled.  Having Brad Stuart on the 3rd pairing while Brett Lebda is on the 2nd seems comical to me, but I guess Babcock knows what he is doing.  Please come back soon Nik Jr.
  2. Ozzie will be starting in goal tonight.  Considering the state of the defense we might need a big game from our goaltender.  I’m left wondering though if we’ll actually get that game.  Ozzie was good against the Preds, and I think this time-share of late with Howard has been helping him get his head on straight.  No matter what people like/dislike about Howard, the fact remains I want to see Ozzie be the goalie that can still keep the Wings in the close games. Hopefully he has returned to that form with Jimmy “giant-rebounds” Howard taking up so much playing time.
  3. Nashville has won 5 in a row and Pekka Rinne has been on fire for the Preds.  He’s sporting a 9-1 record in his last 10 starts and his peripheral stats are spectacular. 1.71 GAA and .931 Sv%.  I guess all we can hope is that Z’s Red Hot power can help the wings put more than 1 goal in against the guy.
  4. Darren McCarty will be doing analysis for Versus during the intermission.  This will likely be the highlight of the night.  I can’t wait to see D-Mac doing analysis.  Does he wear a suit?  Does he punch Brian Engblom in the face?  The intrigue and suspense is killing me.

Bold and Stupid Predictions:

  1. Meech gets an assist on the power-play.  No this doesn’t mean he should be a stalwart on the point from now on…
  2. Eaves puts one in finally.  He’s been working too hard not to.  I like the Draper/Eaves/Helm line to get a goal tonight.
  3. Pekka Rinne reminds the Red Wings of the power of the Finnish Goaltender and holds the Wings to a low-scoring battle.
  4. Osgood holds it down just enough, but let’s in one goal he certainly shouldn’t.
  5. Red Wings Win 3-2.
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