The NHL has another action packed night of hockey on Thursday. Eleven games are up on the board on November 7. The Nashville Predators and the Colorado Avalanche will meet up in one of those games on Thursday night. Both of these teams have been off to solid starts this season and these Central Division rivals will meet for the first time. This game will be at around 9:00 PM Eastern time.
Nashville has earned a record of 9-4-2 to this point into the season. The Predators are currently sitting in second place of the Central Division. Nashville won their last game against the Detroit Red Wings and have won five of their last seven games. The Predators will look to get another winning streak going with a win against Colorado.
The Avalanche have posted a record of 8-5-2 so far this season, which has them in third place of the Central Division. Colorado has hit a bit of a rough patch after a 7-0-1 start to this season. The Avalanche have lost five games in a row. Colorado will look to end this losing streak with a victory against the Predators on Thursday night.
The Predators and the Avalanche are both sitting in playoff spots early in the season. Colorado had a near-perfect start to the season, but have stalled out as of late. Nashville has picked up their play recently and jumped them in the standings. Now the Avalanche will look to take over the second place spot in the Central Division with an upset over the Predators.
Nashville and Colorado met up four times throughout the last season. The Avalanche hosted the first game of the season, but it was the Predators who won 4-1. The second game shifted to Nashville, where Colorado won 3-2. The Predators won the third game 4-1, but the final game of the season went to the Avalanche in a 5-0 shutout. This means that no home team won between these two last season.
The Predators have been playing really well as of late, winning five of their last seven games. Roman Josi has helped lead the team, posting five goals and eleven assists to lead the team in points. Ryan Ellis has put up fifteen points through fifteen games. Matt Duchene has earned four goals and nine assists in his first season with the Predators, while Nick Bonino leads the team in goals with eight.
Colorado’s last five games have all ended in losses, including losses by three goals in three of those games. Nathan MacKinnon has helped contribute to the Avalanche’s success this season. He has eight goals and ten assists so far. Cale Maker has twelve points to lead Colorado’s defenseman. Nazem Kadri and Andre Burakovsky both have nine points in their first season with the Avalanche.
After finishing with the worst power play in the NHL last season, Nashville has improved a lot in that territory this season. The Predators have scored 12 power play goals on 58 chances for a 20.7 percent success rate. Nashville’s penalty kill has allowed 10 power play goals on their opponents 47 attempts, which is a 78.7 percent kill rate.
The Avalanche have been solid on special teams throughout this season. Colorado’s power play has scored 11 goals on 63 chances so far this season, which is a 17.5 percent. The Avalanche’s penalty kill has been much better though. Colorado has stopped 42 of their opponents 50 power play opportunities for an 84 penalty kill percentage.
Colorado’s power play has struggled a bit this season, but they could get going against the Predators penalty kill, which has not been up to the league average. Nashville’s power play will have a tough test as they go against the Avalanche’s strong penalty kill. If one of these teams can earn the edge on special teams, it could help propel them to victory.
I expect Pekka Rinne to get the nod in the crease for the Predators in this matchup. Rinne has been great to open up this season as he has an 8-0-2 record through ten starts. He has posted a .923 save percentage and a GAA of 2.07 through those starts. Rinne’s last start came against the Detroit Red Wings, where he stopped 23 of the 24 shots he faced in the win.
Philipp Grubauer will likely get the start in the net against Nashville on Thursday night. Grubauer has put up a record of 6-3-2 through his eleven starts on the season. He has earned a save percentage of .915 and a 2.80 GAA. Grubauer’s last start came against the Dallas Stars, where he finished with a save percentage of .895 in the losing effort.
Rinne has been on a tear so far this season and he has yet to lose a game in regulation. Grubauer has also had a really strong season but has hit a rough patch through the Avalanche’s losing streak. Grubauer has had less than a .900 save percentage in two of his last three starts. I expect him to come out strong to bounce back and help Colorado end this losing streak.
The Avalanche have struggled over their last stretch of games, but I believe that they will end that losing streak with a win over Nashville on Thursday night. Colorado matches well with the Predators on special teams. Grubauer is also due to bounce back in this game, which would help the Avalanche pull off the win. All losing streaks come to an end and I think Colorado is too good to keep this losing streak up.
BetOnline has Nashville listed as a -113 against the money line. This line implies that the Predators will win this game around 53 percent of the time. The Avalanche are at home in this matchup and I believe that they should be the favored team in this game. Colorado is due to end this losing streak and that makes them my pick of the night.