The Nashville Predators head into Detroit looking more like the Predators. On a brutal six-game losing streak, the Predators have gotten their step back lately with a couple of wins in a row. They defeated a good Washington Capitals squad, and then followed it up with a 4-0 win over the Flyers. That’s more like it for the Preds. Losing six games in a row is rather unorthodox of this team, who finished with the top record in the NHL last season.
It of course didn’t have any bearing in the playoffs. Nashville were sent home by the Jets before they had a chance of even getting to the conference championship. Finishing atop the standings never worked for the Capitals either, so the Preds have that going for them. It felt like it took taking some of the pressure off for the Caps to excel in the playoffs. They finally broke the choke label only after avoiding the Presidents’ Trophy.
The Caps had the best record in the league in back-to-back seasons in 2015-16 and 2016-17 before the Preds went 53-18-11 last season. The Lightning are currently way ahead of the rest in the standings with 66 points. They made it look easy again last night in Los Angeles against the Kings. It was never a contest, as the Lightning rolled over the Kings at Staples Center. Note that the Bolts haven’t lost in regulation since November 27th.
The Red Wings go into Friday night hoping to put an end to a six-game losing streak. They’ve been playing awful hockey of late, with just one win in their last ten outings. Injuries are starting to have an impact on the Red Wings, who went into 2018-19 without much room for hits to their depth. Head below for our free Predators vs. Red Wings pick.
Nashville Predators vs. Detroit Red Wings Pick
The Red Wings recently got Darren Helm back, but they’re going to need more than that to get on track. They’re playing like the team we watched over the first few weeks of the season that opened the season with seven straight losses. Their blue line is getting awfully thin and it’s been too much to overcome. Trevor Daley recently joined Danny DeKeyser and Mike Green off the ice with injuries. Anthony Mantha is also out for a good chunk of time.
None of them look like significant absentees on paper to a casual fan, but for a team like the Red Wings who can’t afford to get hit by the injury bug it hurts a lot. Green has been one of the most productive members of the Red Wings this season with his team leading +/- of 10. With the injuries piling up, the Wings have had to rely on young and inexperienced talent. The phone has been busy in Grand Rapids.
While the Red Wings continue to lose starters in their lineup, the Predators have been getting major contributors back. P.K. Subban and Viktor Arvidsson were activated from the IR at the same time, providing Nashville with some support just before things got ugly.
It took them a couple of games to shake off the rust, but with the Predators playing sharp hockey in their most recent wins, they are back on track. The Wings have gotten throttled for 3.6 goals per game in their previous ten games, while scoring just 2.5 goals on offence. They’ve given up at least 5 goals in four of their last five games for an average of 4.8 goals allowed per game. Expect the Predators to take advantage of the depleted Red Wings tonight to nab their third win in a row and hand the Wings their seventh straight loss.