Predators Meet Coyotes in the Desert
by Jackson Walsh
The Nashville Predators look to end their recent woes in Arizona, having lost five of their last seven matchups. They will once again do it without team point leader Filip Forsberg (34 points), who will miss 4-6 weeks with an upper-body injury.
Disheartening to the Nashville faithful is the loss of Forsberg, especially after much missed defenseman Ryan Ellis was just activated from the IR and played his first hockey game of the season in Tuesday’s 3-0 loss to the Golden Knights. For a franchise that is used to up and down news both on and off the ice, this comes as no surprise. The Predators (23-11-5, 51 points) enjoyed first place temporarily both in their division and conference, but are at the moment two points behind Winnipeg for the top spot and one point behind St. Louis for the second in the division.
After dropping the first game of 2018, they will try to return to the winning form enjoyed in mid-December against the worst team in the Western Conference. The Coyotes are a lowly (9-27-5, 23 points) that despite the recent optimism coming from team president of hockey operations John Chayka about everything going in the right direction, it all seems like hot gas, much like the non-hockey like weather in Glendale. There’s not a lot to be said about a team this bad with an average player age at 26, approximately 2 years under the league average.
These are the type of sleeper games that have cost the Preds in the past, especially being on the road. The team’s road record is a lot more impressive all tolled than last season at 11-7-3 already looking to beat out last year’s 17-20-4 road record through all season games.