It’s Family Day in Canada, so we have some afternoon NHL action on the schedule. I don’t know too many people who actually treat it as a holiday, but the government does, so it’s a day off for some people. We’re going to Nashville where the Predators have done a nice job at establishing themselves as favorites to get back to the Stanley Cup Final. Maybe not only get back to the finals, but win the whole thing. Last season they took a 4-2 series loss against the Penguins and have looked better than the Pens this season. A lot can change, but at the moment, the Predators look like they can do some damage in the playoffs this year. The Preds currently hold a record of 34-14-4, putting them in 2nd in the Central.
The Winnipeg Jets are ahead of the Predators, go figure, by 2 points. I expect the Predators to exert their will and take over that top spot, but certainly credit must be given to the Jets here. They are in a group of a few other teams that have exceeded expectations this season. If you ask someone who they feel is going to go further in the playoffs, the Jets or Predators, the popular pick is going to be the Preds. They know the drill by now. However, Nashville is coming off a couple of losses in a row to the Flames and Red Wings. Those are winnable games that they passed up. Tonight presents another winnable looking game, as the Senators are in Tennessee to face the Predators. Head below for our free Senators vs. Predators pick on Monday night.
Ottawa Senators vs. Nashville Predators Pick
While the Predators have been thriving this season and picking up from where they left off a year ago, the same cannot be said for the Senators. If the Sens beat the Pens another time last year, the Predators would have played the Sens instead. The Senators pushed the Pens to a seventh game, but they couldn’t pull it off. Given how poorly they’ve been playing this season, it feels so incredibly long ago. The Senators come in to tonight with a record of 21-27-4 and are getting bullied on defence. Netminder Craig Anderson went above and beyond last season, but he’s feeling the impact of a strong pullback. He enters with a 3.16 GAA and 0.904 save percentage. At 36 years old, his career is coming close to the end.
The Sens are allowing 3.4 goals per game for 30th in the NHL, second to last. In their last ten games they’ve allowed 3.3 goals per game. After a porous performance against the Red Wings the other night, I don’t see how the Predators don’t turn it up on this putrid defence. The Predators are averaging 3.02 goals per game, and I expect them to improve on that tonight. They’ve scored 8 goals against the Sens in their last two meetings. In their first matchup this season, the Senators took a 4-3 win in overtime. The Senators are capable of scoring, but it just isn’t enough to make up for their abysmal effort on defence. In their last ten games they have netted an averaged of 3.1 goals per game. Their last five meetings against the Predators has seen the total go OVER in 4-1. With how bad this Sens’ defence is this year, I’m surprised we aren’t seeing it juiced more. I feel comfortable making a pick on the OVER in Nashville tonight.
PICK: OVER 5.5 (-115)