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WGD: Game 57: Red Wings vs. Predators

The Red Wings Dads trip swings south today as they make their way to Music City, U.S.A. Nashville hosts more than just parties and concerts, though. They are also home to one of the best teams in the NHL.

Currently two points behind the Winnipeg Jets for 1st place in the Central Division, the Preds have been busy rounding out their bottom-6 in preparation for a long playoff run. The Red Wings, labeled as sellers at this year’s trade deadline, are looking to shed assets. With Gustav Nyquist on an expiring contract, the Preds will get a good look at a player who would slot nicely into their top-6 and give them an even better chance of moving past the Jets in a 2nd round showdown.

The Preds are 5-4-1 in their last 10 and have a +29 goal differential on the year. It could get ugly for Detroit tonight.

THE RED WINGS

LW C RW
Justin Abdelkader
JUSTIN ABDELKADER

Rating: 70.3#106 LW

Dylan Larkin
DYLAN LARKIN

Rating: 79.1#28 C

Gustav Nyquist
GUSTAV NYQUIST

Rating: 75.4#52 RW

Thomas Vanek
THOMAS VANEK

Rating: 73.5#52 LW

Frans Nielsen
FRANS NIELSEN

Rating: 72.7#92 C

Anthony Mantha
ANTHONY MANTHA

Rating: 74.3#48 RW

Darren Helm
DARREN HELM

Rating: 70.7#155 LW

Luke Glendening
LUKE GLENDENING

Rating: 70.7#158 C

Andreas Athanasiou
ANDREAS ATHANASIOU

Rating: 76.5#45 RW

Michael Rasmussen
MICHAEL RASMUSSEN

Rating: 72.6#98 LW

Jacob De La Rose
JACOB DE LA ROSE

Rating: 68.4#192 C

Christoffer Ehn
CHRISTOFFER EHN

Rating: 70.6#101 RW

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Niklas Kronwall
NIKLAS KRONWALL

Rating: 72.0#72 LD

Mike Green
MIKE GREEN

Rating: 74.7#32 RD

Dan DeKeyser
DAN DEKEYSER

Rating: 72.4#67 LD

Nick Jensen
NICK JENSEN

Rating: 72.2#58 RD

Jonathan Ericsson
JONATHAN ERICSSON

Rating: 69.7#115 LD

Dennis Cholowski
DENNIS CHOLOWSKI

Rating: 71.7#7 RD

The Wings are still without Tyler Bertuzzi, but Justin Abdelkader actually played a pretty good game against the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday. The 2nd line continues to be frustrating as they just can’t seem to find any chemistry.

Christoffer Ehn has been a standout this year and he added a 2nd goal to his NHL resume on Sunday. He may not score much, but when he does, they are beauties.

Trevor Daley is still out with injury, but that’s okay because the Wings have too many NHL-ready defensemen and, if Daley were healthy, it would likely be Dennis Cholowski as a healthy scratch. I’m not sure what Holland is going to do about this blue line, but he needs to create some space pronto for young talent.

THE PREDATORS

LW C RW
Filip Forsberg
FILIP FORSBERG

Rating: 81.1#7 LW

Ryan Johansen
RYAN JOHANSEN

Rating: 77.6#34 C

Viktor Arvidsson
VIKTOR ARVIDSSON

Rating: 80.6#7 RW

Kevin Fiala
KEVIN FIALA

Rating: 75.5#29 LW

Kyle Turris
KYLE TURRIS

Rating: 73.7#72 C

Craig Smith
CRAIG SMITH

Rating: 75.7#40 RW

Colton Sissons
COLTON SISSONS

Rating: 73.1#84 LW

Nick Bonino
NICK BONINO

Rating: 73.2#80 C

Calle Jarnkrok
CALLE JARNKROK

Rating: 73.4#76 RW

Cody McLeod
CODY MCLEOD

Rating: 65.3#130 LW

Brian Boyle
BRIAN BOYLE

Rating: 71.0#148 C

Ryan Hartman
RYAN HARTMAN

Rating: 72.8#70 RW

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Roman Josi
ROMAN JOSI

Rating: 82.3#1 LD

Ryan Ellis
RYAN ELLIS

Rating: 80.0#10 RD

Mattias Ekholm
MATTIAS EKHOLM

Rating: 79.1#6 LD

P.K. Subban
P.K. SUBBAN

Rating: 80.4#8 RD

Dan Hamhuis
DAN HAMHUIS

Rating: 71.5#84 LD

Yannick Weber
YANNICK WEBER

Rating: 70.4#95 RD

The Predators are much healthier than the last time these two teams met. Since his return to the roster, Filip Forsberg is tied for 2nd on the team in points, with 7 in 6 games. Kyle Turris adds a ton to the top-6 as he centers the 2nd line between Kevin Fiala and Craig Smith.

We’ll get to see the newest additions to the Preds lineup on the fourth line in Brian Boyle and Cody McLeod. They were brought in as character guys who add some toughness to the bottom-6. They could give Detroit some trouble, which both of them have done in the past.

As for the blue line, I feel like every time I write a Preds pre-game I just gush about how good it is. But two of their top-3 point-getters are Roman Josi and Mattias Ekholm. They could both get north of 60 points this year. That’s massive. Their top-4 D are going to cause the Red Wings a lot of problems.

BETWEEN THE PIPES

Jimmy Howard vs. Pekka Rinne

Both of the goalies are still unconfirmed for tonight, but I would expect these two to get the nod. If Howard continues his strong play, then these games are good showcases for him on the trade market. The asking price from Holland right now is a 1st round pick and, with the way Howie has played this year, it’s not that far-fetched of an ask.

Pekka Rinner has also been fantastic for the Preds with a .914 save percentage and 2.49 goals against average on the year. Of course, the defense on this team is tremendously helpful for the goaltender, but Rinne does well for himself and has for his whole career.

HOW TO WATCH

Puck drop is at 8:00 P.M. ET tonight and you’ll be able to watch the game on Fox Sports Detroit or Fox Sports Tennessee.