Oh boy. This game. This game will make or break either team – or maybe that’s just me, as I stupidly agreed to work at 5pm tomorrow. And that’s PT, i.e. the same time as the game is suppose to start. Whoops?
The Preds will be missing Weber and Klein, so I’m going to be watching for the duo of Josi-Jones. They’re also still down Rinne though the adorable tandem of Mazanec-Hutton has been… okay. Maz has had a couple of shutouts, brilliant child that he is. Most notably the win against the Detroit Red Wings.
Canucks are still down Jordan Schroeder, but are otherwise still in tact from the game on Sunday against Carolina. (Has anyone heard anything on a potential return? Granted I’m 99% he’ll be headed to Utica, but still.)
This is the first time the Canucks and Preds will have faced each other since the 5-2 win by the Canucks back on April 15. Huh, that date sure sounds familiar. I wonder why… (uh, FYI, that was my first NHL game.) Hopefully, y’know, the Canucks will be able to collect a win without me in the stands. I really should have delayed my Nashville trip a month, but alas.
These are drastically different teams from last season though. Or at least the Canucks are. Gone: Keith Ballard, Steven Pinizzotto, Derek Roy, Mason Raymond (my tears), Andrew Ebbett, andMaxim Lapierre. The Preds are no longer filling in most of their forward holes like they were in April, which saw Mike Fisher, Brandon Yip, Patric Hornqvist, Colin Wilson, Paul Gaustad, and Gabriel Borque sitting out. The game was also what sealed the deal on keeping the Preds out of the playoffs last season, so there may be some bad blood from that. The Canucks haven’t lost to the Preds since the OT playoff lost in April 2011, in case you were wondering.
I think this is either going to be an extremely low scoring game, or a game of “A goal for YOU and a goal for YOU and a goal for YOU.” Both the Preds and Canucks seem to be in the same trend of all or nothing when it comes to finding the net lately. If Colin Wilson finally heats up and starts scoring the way I know he knows how, the Canucks may be in trouble. (But I wouldn’t hold my breath on that.)
If Ryan Kesler continues in beast mode (which … unless he’s injured, I’d just about lay money on), I would expect magic out of him tomorrow. Also, if you’re watching the game, keep an eye out for a #17 Kesler in the Preds gold in the stands. My bestie is an epic troll and a distant cousin of the Canucks Kes. And a Predators fan, obviously. (Love you, B!)
Keep your eye on David Legwand, who has quietly picked up 15 assists on the season. He’s definitely one of the major playmakers on the team. Canucks… hell, just choose a player. Alex Burrows goal watch maybe? (It’ll come, I’m sure.)
So that’s what I got for you. I think it’s going to be a fun game that I’m going to try to see part of on my tiny netbook while at work. FML. My two fave teams and I say I’ll work on my day off, sigh.