The Nashville Predators will put an end to their lengthy six-game road trip on Sunday against the Carolina Hurricanes. They will head home to play the Capitals on Tuesday and spend an additional two games at home follow that. The Predators host the Jets right after the Caps, so they have a tough couple of matchups at home on deck.
We’re almost at the All-Star break, and following that, it’s when the men from the boys begin to get separated. The Predators are well off pace to match their NHL leading record of 53-18-11. With 15 losses on their resume already, it’s pretty well impossible for them to catch that mark. However, it’s not like it worked for them in the playoffs anyway. Nor did winning the President’s Trophy for the Capitals.
The playoffs in the NHL are wide open. Don’t sleep on the Preds in the playoffs this season. Playing without P.K. Subban, Viktor Arvidsson, and Filip Forsberg for an extended period of time undoubtedly had a negative impact. Now that they’re back and beginning to get into a groove, Nashville have looked like a better team.
They have wins in five of their last seven games, and in the two losses, they both came in extra time. The Preds take on a pesky Hurricanes team that has been playing solid hockey lately. Carolina have won six of their last seven games and playing like a team who wants to play spring hockey. It’s unlikely they can keep winning games at this pace and might be due for an ugly dose of variance soon. Decent team, though I think this recent stretch is going above their ceiling. Head below for our free Predators vs. Hurricanes pick for Sunday in the NHL.
Nashville Predators vs. Carolina Hurricanes Pick
You wonder what the Hurricanes would look like if they still had Jeff Skinner and Elias Lindholm on the roster still. The Hurricanes did it to free up cap space, but I don’t think management necessarily believed this team was going to be a fringe playoff team. At 21-18-3, the Hurricanes are 5 points behind for the final wildcard spot.
In any event, yeah, even if they happen to catch on as a bottom seed, they will have to play a team like the Lightning or Capitals in the first round. While upsets are always a possibility, they’d probably be playing to avoid a sweep. The Predators are a team that the Hurricanes have seemingly been strong against, though.
The Canes have won the last four in a row against the Predators. Their most recent meeting took place in December of 2017, a 4-1 win in Nashville. Skinner had 2 assists and Lindholm notched a goal, so the Preds won’t have to worry about those two on Sunday.
Nashville went on an awful stretch of ten straight losses on the road, but they’ve been picking it up with the return of three important playmakers. Further, their numbers have been above average with 3.17 goals per game as opposed to 2.88 goals allowed per game on the road in 2018-19.
This will be Forsberg’s fourth came back since hitting the IR. He likely should be up to speed for this one Raleigh. The way I see it, the Predators are worth more than -125 when they are healthy over an average Hurricanes team, albeit, overachieving Hurricanes team. Nashville started this road trip off with a loss in Detroit, though I expect them to end it on a positive note with a win in Raleigh.