The Nashville Predators (24-20-7) will head to Manitoba to take on the Winnipeg Jets (26-23-4) on Tuesday night. These teams are rivals in both the Central Division and the Western Conference, and any game between these two is sure to be one to watch because of it. These teams' placement in the Central Division will make it even more of a high-pressure game. The Jets are currently ranked 4th in the division with 56 points. And the Predators are ranked just behind them with 55 points. It will be an important game, one that might shape the rest of these teams’ seasons. This game will be the third of four matches the teams have scheduled in the regular season. The last time they faced off was on January 12th of this year. In that game, the final score was 1-0, with the Predators shutting out the Jets for the win.
Predators in Desperate Need of a WinIf you had told the Predators last season that a two-game win streak is something that can be called promising, it’s likely that they wouldn’t have believed you. To many people’s surprise, a Predators lineup that should be performing strongly has been struggling all season to stay afloat in the league standings. Currently, just three points away from dropping to the bottom of the Central Division, there’s nothing the Preds could use more than a win. Unfortunately, that’s the furthest thing from what happened in their last outing. In a home game against the Golden Knights on Saturday evening, the Predators were shutout with a final score of 3-0. There weren’t many Nashville Predator highlights coming out of that game, with the exception of one player. Pekka Rinne, Nashville’s veteran netminder, was standing on his head for most of the game to keep his team within striking distance. Rinne faced 38 shots on the night and only allowed in two of those. Vegas’ last goal was an empty netter.
One of the more baffling aspects of Nashville’s season is the lack of production from their top line weapons. In their last game, they only managed 19 shots on goal the whole game, with only two of those coming from the first period. When you have players like Forsberg, Duchene, Arvidsson, and Johansen all healthy and playing at full strength, there’s no reason to have a period with that low amount of shots, let alone an entire game. The Nashville Predators say their sights are set on the playoffs. If they want to make that dream a reality, they’ll have to figure out their offensive issues sooner rather than later.
Jets Snap Losing Streak- Hope to Continue Winning
The Jets had been on an uncharacteristic streak as of late. They had dropped five games in a row- their longest losing streak of the season. Starting before the All-Star Break and continuing beyond it, Winnipeg was frustrated and in need of a win. They got that win over another Central Division rival in the St. Louis Blues on Saturday night. When the final buzzer sounded in Winnipeg, the score was 5-2 in the Jets’ favor. This gave the Jets a much needed two points, as well as temporarily halted the ascension of the Blues. In the last five minutes of play, the game turned into a one-goal affair until two empty-net goals sealed the win for the Jets. Those two empty nets were scored by Blake Wheeler and Patrik Laine. The Jets’ other three goals came from Andrew Copp who had one, and Jack Roslovic who came away with the remaining two. The Jets had Connor Hellebuyck in net, and he made 38 saves on 40 shots.
Much like the Predators, the Jets’ current place in the standings is not what most people would’ve predicted at the start of the season. For a team that finished second in the Central Division last season with 99 points, it’s surprising to see them struggling this late in the game. One of the Jets’ main problems is offensive production. The team is ranked 20th in the league when it comes to shots for per game, only clocking in at 30.8. They also struggle a bit when it comes to goals for per game. They’re ranked 19th in the league with only 2.92. To sustain a winning streak and a run for a playoff spot, the Jets will have to find a way to turn up the heat when it comes to their offense.
- Winnipeg is 6-3-1 when outshot by their opponent at home.
- Winnipeg is 8-0-0 when leading after the second period at home.
- Nashville is 3-6-1 when their opponent scores first on the road.
- Nashville is 3-13-2 overall when trailing after the first period.