Preview: Predators Look to Widen Gap with Canucks

The Nashville Predators and the Vancouver Canucks look to renew rivalries after squaring off last Tuesday in Nashville. The Canucks managed to salvage a point in the contest with a last-minute goal from Brandon Sutter.

They went into overtime with a chance to win the game on a 4 on 3 power play, only to let it slip away in embarrassing fashion. Troy Stecher had his point shot blocked, leading to two on zero breakaway, where Roman Josi dished the puck to Calle Jarnkrok for the game-winning goal.

Since that game, two things haven’t changed for the Canucks. They followed that overtime loss with two more losses after regulation time. Their power play is still in a constant state of disarray, and it’s one of the main problems plaguing the team right now.

Nashville followed their victory over Vancouver with two more wins over the Boston Bruins and the Colorado Avalanche. All three of their last wins have come by one goal. They need to continue grinding out one-goal wins since they have the league’s third-worst winning percentage in one-goal games.

Nashville Predators at Vancouver Canucks

Tuesday, January 18, 2017, Rogers Area, 7:00 p.m. PST

Broadcast Channels: SNP, FS-TN

2016-17 Season Series: Jan. 11 – Vancouver Canucks 1 – Nashville Predators 2 (OT)

Nashville Predators: 20-16-7, 47 Points, 9th in Western Conference

Hot Players: Austin Watson (Four-game point streak), Filip Forsberg (Six goals in last 10 GP)

Key Injuries: P.K. Subban, Roman Josi, Mike Ribeiro, Colin Wilson, Petter Granberg

Projected Lines


Filip Forsberg – Ryan Johansen – Victor Arvidsson

Colton Sissons – Mike Fisher – Austin Watson

Calle Jarnkrok – Mike Ribeiro – James Neal

Cody McLeod – Derek Grant – Harry Zolnierczyk


Matt Irwin – Ryan Ellis

Mattias Ekholm – Brad Hunt

Anthony Bitetto – Yannick Weber

Starting Goaltender

Pekka Rinne

Vancouver Canucks: 20-19-6, 46 Points, 10th in Western Conference

Hot Players: Markus Granlund (Five points in last 5 GP)

Key Injuries: Ben Hutton, Erik Gudbranson, Philip Larsen, Jannik Hansen, Derek Dorsett, Anton Rodin

Projected Lines


Daniel Sedin – Henrik Sedin – Loui Eriksson

Markus Granlund – Brandon Sutter – Jayson Megna

Sven Baertschi – Bo Horvat – Alex Burrows

Brendan Gaunce – Michael Chaput – Jack Skille


Alex Edler – Troy Stecher

Luca Sbisa – Chris Tanev

Nikita Tryamkin – Alex Biega

Starting Goaltender

Ryan Miller


Game Notes

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]1)[/miptheme_dropcap] When will the Jayson Megna experiment end? The winger logged nearly 17 minutes of ice-time against the Devils on Sunday. His play was sloppy, subdued and uninspired. Yet, Willie Desjardins keeps giving the winger ample opportunity to succeed. It’s time for him to bring in either Reid Boucher or Anton Rodin in to see what the offensively-minded wingers can do. However, Jim Benning mentioned on Tuesday morning that Rodin reaggravated his knee injury, and will be unavailable for at least another week. Regardless, Boucher is still an option, but it doesn’t appear as if Boucher will suit up against his former team on Tuesday.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]2)[/miptheme_dropcap] We mentioned earlier that the Nashville Predators have a brutal record in one-goal games. The Canucks, however, have the league’s fifth-best winning percentage in one-goal games. They still rank fifth despite dropping three straight games in overtime. This team has no problem keeping games close, but their lack of goal scoring ability is going to push them out of the playoff picture.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]3)[/miptheme_dropcap] The power play issue has been beaten to death in Vancouver, and Desjardins hinted that it will seemingly continue along this path. His reasoning for keeping the power play together was because shuffling it up would take three or four games for a new unit to gel. What, and that’s not worth it because the current units are thriving? Patience is wearing thin among fans, who groan every time this floundering power play hits the ice. Something needs to change sooner rather than later for this pitiful power play.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]4)[/miptheme_dropcap] Ryan Johansen appeared on TSN 1040 radio on Monday, and he dropped a hint behind why the Preds have been inconsistent this year. He mentioned injuries being a big reason, but also the loss of leadership in the locker room. Other than Shea Weber, Johansen mentioned the departure of veterans such as Paul Gaustad, Barrett Jackman, and Eric Nystrom. Those aren’t guys that will get a lot of fanfare, but they are well respected in the locker room. The addition of Cody McLeod has already been well-received in Nashville. You can see why Jim Benning finds it important to have guys such as Alex Burrows and Derek Dorsett around the team.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]5)[/miptheme_dropcap] If there was ever a time for the Canucks to get their offence on track, it’s against the Preds on Tuesday night. Their defence looks paper thin without either Roman Josi or P.K. Subban in the lineup. Mind you, the Devils defence wasn’t much better, and the Canucks only registered 22 shots against them on Sunday. It’s also possible that P.K. Subban makes a return on Tuesday night. He hasn’t suited up since December 15th against the Minnesota Wild.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]6)[/miptheme_dropcap] On Tuesday morning, the Predators announced yet another waiver claim.

This news comes in the wake up the Predators placing yet another defenceman on the IR. Petter Granberg is the latest defenceman to enter the injury ward. He’s suited up in ten games for the Predators this season. Brad Hunt has five points in nine games for the Blues, including a goal against the Preds. It’s unclear if the Maple Ridge native will make his Predators debut tonight or not. Alexandre Carrier is the only other healthy defenceman on Nashville’s roster. The rookie hasn’t appeared in an NHL game yet, but he was named to the AHL All-Star game with 21 points in 34 games for the Milwaukee Admirals.