View From Nashville
For more information on the Nashville Predators check out On The Forecheck.
The Predators are currently on a three game winning streak. They are trying to hold on to second in the Central Division or overtake the Winnipeg Jets who are only one point ahead. This may prove a bit harder with their entire top line being banged up. Ryan Johansen missed the third period of Tuesday night’s game, Filip Forsberg and Viktor Arvidsson are on injured reserve. Currently, it’s unclear if either Johansen or Arvidsson, who is eligible to be reactivated, will play tonight.
The Predators also likely want to get a little bit of revenge on the Coyotes for beating them in overtime on January 4. Especially since the winning goal was reviewed and challenged and still upheld.
View From Arizona
The Coyotes are playing much better in the second half of the season than they did in the first. They’ve earned points in 4 of their last 5 games. Also the issue of last minute mistakes seems to be solved as all but one of their games has gone to overtime.
Still, it’s been a tough season and wins remain elusive for the young club. They’ve only won 10 games and have earned points in 18 games total. If they stay on their current pace they will end the season with 50 points only two points ahead of last season’s disastrous Colorado Avalanche team.
Will they be better on the road?
In the 18 games where the Coyotes have earned at least one point 10 of them have been on the road. It’s possible they are better on the road than at home right now.
Can the Coyotes keep playing well when the aren’t getting rewarded?
In their last game against the San Jose Sharks the Coyotes were actually the better team in 5-on-5 play. It didn’t matter though because they lost in the shootout after keeping the Sharks to only one shot on goal in overtime.
What’s going to go wrong now?
It’s a bit unfair to the team to say it out loud but it’s the question on every fan’s mind as they are playing. Even when the team is playing well or has a lead right now fans are waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Players to Watch
Arizona: Derek Stepan has been heating up with 4 points in his last 5 games. He is now second on the team points with a record of 9-19-28.
Nashville: Kevin Fiala has made an amazing recovery after suffering a broken leg in last season’s playoffs. He is third on the team for points with a record of 11-16-27 and will be leaned on with the injuries to the top line.
Filip Forsberg (upper-body) was injured on December 29 and is expected to miss 4 to 6 weeks.
Viktor Arvidsson (lower-body) was placed on the IR two days ago.
Ryan Johansen (possible upper-body) missed the third period of Tuesday night’s game and will likely be a game time decision.
Puck drop is 6:00 p.m. AZ time and can be viewed on Fox Sports Arizona or heard on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.