Current Road Trip Key for Predators
On Monday night the Predators started their 5 game road trip against the Blackhawks. The Predators did lose in OT, but put up a spirited fight even while missing some key players. In the next 7 days the predators will play 4 games in their west coast swing, with 3 of those teams, being above the Predators in the standings currently, this road trip will be extremely important for the Preds going forward.
IN Nashville’s first 7 of 8 games this season, the Predators played extremely poorly, only managing to stay close thanks to Pekka Rinne. The team was being out shot, out played and generally out scored. After winning their first two games of the season the Predators than lost 4 of 5 with their only win coming against the flames in a 2-0 shutout from Peks.
Than on Oct.27th, after losing to the sharks 2 days prior the team seemed to turn their play around and had a solid game against the Lighting winning 5-3 and really having the first game of the season where the Predators weren’t completely saved by Rinne. They then followed up that win with another against the Ducks, shutting them out 3-0.
With one game already behind the Preds in this current road trip, a 5-4 OT loss to the Hawks, the nest four games are critical. The next game is Thursday against the Coyotes, who made the playoffs last year but aren’t fully expect to compete for a spot this year. In their previous meeting, the Predators lost their first game of the season in a 5-3 loss where the Preds started slow and never recovered. Hopefully the Preds can build of their last three games, and getting both Kostitsyn and Fisher back in the lineup would really help the team.
On Saturday the Preds than travel to San Jose, to play the Sharks. The Predators lost the previous match-up against them, 3-1 and were really out played that game. This may be the toughest test for the Preds as Nashville is a young small team with speed while San Jose in very big, especially up front and can throw the body. If the Preds are going to get 2 points from this game, they must be disciplined and use their speed to get around the defence and put lots of rubber on net.
In the Final two games the Predators take on LA for the first time this season, and than take on the Ducks in the end of a back to back. The Kings will be an interesting test for Nashville as they are similar to San Jose and are a very deep team. Nashville will have to play counter-attack style and hope to catch them on their mistakes. Against the Ducks, Preds seem to have their number and with Weber and Suter shutting down the top line, the Ducks have trouble scoring on the Preds. While it should be a close game, if the Preds play like they did the last time against the Ducks it should be another 2 points.
This road trip coming up can put into perspective where the Preds are this year in the west. Even though it is a long season, its not wise to throw away points. If the Preds can win 3 of their next 4, and finish the trip 3-1-1 that would be a very successful trip for them. With Nashville finally getting healthy, fans will finally get to see how this team will complete this year.