The Week Ah-Pred: Nov. 18
After completing their 17-day marathon road trip, the Nashville Predators returned to Bridgestone Arena on Saturday night, and promptly handed the Chicago Blackhawks their most lopsided defeat of the season, 7-2. While the road trip ended as a tough one for Nashville, going 2-4-1 in seven games, the remarkable return to Music City should have washed away any bad taste left lingering in Preds fans mouths.
This week, the Preds are back on the road, as they head to the Northeast to take on the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday and Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday. The Preds are 56-37-16 against the Eastern Conference since 2005-06, 32-20-9 vs. the East since 2009-10, and 3-5-0 in inter-conference matchups this season.
Nashville Predators at Detroit Red Wings - Tuesday, Nov. 19 at 6:30 p.m. CT
Two old foes face-off on Tuesday night when the Preds and Red Wings collide in the Motor City. This is Nashville’s only trip Detroit in 2013-14, after facing the Wings at least three times on Joe Louis ice the past 15 seasons. In 43 all-time contests, the Preds are 12-24-7 in Detroit. Fans of the Winged Wheel will be able to see them just one time this season as they will venture south to Nashville in the final game of the 2013 calendar year on Dec. 30. The Wings will be out to end a game in regulation after all five of their games leading into Tuesday night’s tilt required extra time. The Preds will be out to turn their road woes around in a city where they’ve had some recent success, while the home team has uncharacteristically struggled in their home barn this year.
Nashville Predators at Toronto Maple Leafs - Thursday, Nov. 21 at 6 p.m. CT
On Thursday, the Preds travel to Toronto for just the 10th time in their 16-year existence, as they look to break their .500 record in Air Canada Centre (and no, I didn’t spell Center wrong). Nashville is 4-4-1 in their previous trips to Canada’s largest city. These two teams met a little more than a month ago here in Nashville, as Jonathan Bernier continued to stand tall against the Preds, shutting them out 4-0. It will be another Canadian homecoming of sorts as Rich Clune, Ryan Ellis, Mike Fisher, Kevin Klein and Nick Spaling all call Southern Ontario home during the offseason.
Filip Forsberg is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
Eric Nystrom is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
Pekka Rinne is on IR with a hip injury.
Brendan Leipsic (third round, 2012) has been lights-out for the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League. After leading the league in scoring a year ago, Leipsic has posted 26 points (14g-12a) in 19 games this season. The Winnipeg, Man., native is riding a five game points streak (4g-4a-8pts), including a three-point night (2g-1a) against Kamloops this past Saturday. Those numbers have the 5-9, 167-pound winger ranked ninth in points per game (1.37) and 10th in goals per game (.74). Leipsic was also named to Team WHL for the upcoming 2013 Subway Super Series between all three Canadian Major Junior Leagues and the Russian All-Stars.Colton Sissons (second round, 2012), who was drafted two picks ahead of Leipsic, is off to an amazing start in his rookie season for the Milwaukee Admirals. The North Vancouver, B.C., native has seven points (3g-4a) in his last five games, and leads the Admirals with 13 points (7g-6a) in 14 games. He also leads the team with 45 shots on goal.
|NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 16: In his first appearance at home goalie Marek Mazanec #39 of the Nashville Predators wins his first career NHL game against the Chicago Blackhawks at Bridgestone Arena on November 16, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)|