The Calgary Flames land in their third destination of what is a long five-game road trip. Following Nashville, the Flames will head to Columbus and then Washington on Sunday to end the trip. The first leg was on a neutral site in the Heritage Classic at Mosaic Stadium, a loss against the Winnipeg Jets in overtime. They responded to that loss with a 2-1 defeat against the Hurricanes in Carolina. It hasn’t been smooth sailing in October for the Flames. They will be happy to say goodbye to this month and start fresh in November. Calgary go into Nashville with a record of 6-6-2.
6-6-2 doesn’t look like a team who went 50-25-7 a season ago. The Flames ultimately finished 1st in the Western Conference with that record, which got them 107 points on the season. They were 1st in the Pacific, while the Predators were 1st in the other division of the Western Conference with 100 points. Neither team were able to reach the Stanley Cup Final, though. That ended up being the St. Louis Blues who won the Cup over the Bruins. While the Flames are struggling to get back on the right track, the Predators are off to a good start at 8-3-1.
There was some concern in Nashville with P.K. Subban gone, but his absence hasn’t been felt on the blue line, at least not yet. The Preds aren’t a team who rely specifically on one or two players, though. They’re a well-built unit with depth that can still win games despite losing a player like Subban. However, the Predators did add some ammunition in the offseason.
They signed Matt Duchene in the offseason after spending time with the Senators and Blue Jackets last season. Duchene has made an immediate impact with 11 points for 3rd on the roster. The Preds’ offence has been clicking to open the season, and the defence and goaltending has been coming around most recently as well. They enter tonight on a four-game win streak, with Pekka Rinne a big reason for the success. Head below for our free Flames vs. Predators pick.
Calgary Flames vs. Nashville Predators Pick
As we approach the conclusion of the first month of the regular season, an early Vezina candidate has emerged in Nashville. It’s way too early for any accurate predictions regarding awards, but Rinne has himself on the right track. Rinne didn’t get a full workload in October, either. Juuse Saros received four starts and he was horrible between the pipes. He didn’t look like a guy capable of filling in for Rinne once he retires.
Saros owns a 4.00 GAA and 0.872 save percentage in four outings. Conversely, the red-hot Rinne has a 1.74 GAA and 0.937 save percentage. He is coming off back-to-back shutouts and hasn’t allowed more than 2 goals since October 10th against the Capitals. If Rinne did get a full workload, the Predators would more than likely have more points than they do right now.
The offence is providing Rinne with tremendous goal support as well. Nashville are 1st in the league with 4 goals scored per game. Any goaltender would love to play on a team with an offence that helps out that much. On the other side, David Rittich hopes to get some offensive help against the Preds tonight. Goals have been hard to come by on the road for the Flames this season, as they’ve looked slow and sluggish offensively.
Calgary enter Nashville having recorded only 1.63 goals per game on the road this year. They’ve also allowed over 3 goals per game, which equates to a terrible record of 2-5-1 on the road in 2019-20. I don’t foresee them suddenly waking up against Rinne and the Predators tonight. In one start against the Preds, Rittich posted a 3.00 GAA and 0.906 save percentage.
Look for him to allow 3 or 4 goals in what is likely a loss for him and the Flames. It’s hard to fade Rinne when he’s locked in, especially at home where he’s been at his best. Rinne owns a 2.22 GAA playing in Nashville for his career. Expect a 3-2 or 4-2 win for the Predators on Halloween night at Bridgestone Arena.