Preds with another key game, face it they're almost all key games. Predators start a rough January schedule tonight at home...6 home games, 9 road games this month is going to make for a key, tough month..
even though we're coming off a long 5 game road trip, 10 of our next 15 are still on the road... so every home game becomes near critical to be honest..
Anaheim coming off a hard fought overtime win in STL last night, a game they didn't really deserve to win and in the middle of their own 5 game road trip. Sellane, Lupul, McDonald and the Niedermayers remain their leading scorers.
We're split the first two with these guys, and McDonald seems to always give us trouble. They are giving up less goals per game than we are and have a good pk, but they have had problems scoring goals and their pp has struggled at times. But even strength they have been an excellent team all year.
Should be a hard fought game, whoever wins the special team battle should win this one.
[rallycall] Absolutely NO TV tonight, so for all local fans...let's get out there and sell out the building...there are about 1,000 tickets remaining as of yesterday...that's not impossible for a walkup crowd. Let's welcome our boy's back from the road and show them we're still behind them. [/rallycall]
On to the game. Anaheim played at St. Louis last night so we need to press them whenever necessary to test their energy level. Gotta watch S. Niedermeyer and F. Beauchemin from the blueline and deal with Anaheim's size upfront combined with the speed and finesse of Temmu Selanne.
Personally, I'd like to see the lines juggled a bit...something like:
Kariya - Johnson - Hartnell
Sullivan - Perreault - Erat
Hall - Fiddler - Upshall
Hordichuk - Smithson - Tootoo
But I don't really expect a change.
Key to tonight's game has got to be time of possession. We need to win that battle to play a full 60 minutes of Predators hockey. Let's stay out of the box and get our PP working...GO PREDS!
Perrault at 12:53.....for his 13th goal of the season, second only to Sully......I told all you losers that he was going to have 25 this year,and noone would believe me.....he is certainly on course to get it.....
Lines switched up some with Hall up on the first line with Fiddler and Kariya.....and Upshall down on the 3rd line with Johnson and Hartnell......somewhat surprised by that,....if Trotzy was going to bring some size and gret to the 1st line, I figured it would be Hartnell, not Hall