Pekka's Preds Face the Flames

Game Preview #68

The current standings are deceptive for Flames fans because almost every team holds games in hand on them. Lets suffice to say that if the 4 teams currently right behind the Flames won their games in hand they would pass the Flames and push them out of the playoffs.

One of those teams is the Nashville Predators. So this is yet another big game. The Preds have been a bit flat and are not one of the red hot teams out there at the moment with a 4-4-2 record over their last ten BUT are coming off a big win against the Canucks – taking them down 3-0. 

This game will be a battle of opposites as the Flames red hot Offense takes on the Predators top 5 Defense and the #1 Goalie in the Western Conference - Pekka Rinne. 

More after the jump...

The Stat Rack

 

PREDATORS

STATS

FLAMES

65

GP

67

33

W

34

23

L

24

9

OT

9

75

P

77

0.577

P%

0.575

2.45

G/G

2.94

2.29

GA/G

2.76

14.9

PP%

18.1

85.6

PK%

82.4

28.9

S/G

30.1

30.1

SA/G

28.3

50.2

FO%

48.3

Number Crunch

This number crunch is a sort of Yin and Yang. The Flames superior PP goes against the strong PK of the Preds and vice versa. The Flames especially since the start of 2011 have been one of the best offensive teams while the Preds remain one of the best Defensive teams with a  league ranked 3rd overall GA at 2.29.

 

Alive in the Last Five

Flames

Jarome Iginla has 4G 3A  and + 4 in his last 3 GP.

Alex Tanguay has 2G 6A and is +5 in his last 5 GP

Rene Bourque has 3G 2A and is -1 in his last 3GP

 

Predators

Pekka Rinne has a 0.912 SV% and 1 SO over his last five games with a 2-2-1 record.

David Legwand has 2G 2A  and is +4 over his last 4GP

 

Anticipated Roster (subject to change by game time)

The Flames

The Predators

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tanguay

Moss

Iginla

Erat

Legwand

Ward

Glencross

Jokinen

Bourque

Kostitsyn

Fisher

Hornqvist

Hagman

Stajan

Jackman

Spaling

Smithson

Tootoo

Kostopoulos

Backlund

Modin

Wilson

Geoffrion

Halischuk

 

 

 

 

 

 

Regehr

Bouwmeester

 

Suter

Weber

 

Giordano

Sarich

 

Klein

Blum

 

Staios

Babchuk

 

Franson

O'Brien

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kiprusoff

Karlsson

 

Rinne

Dekanich

 

 

Anticipated Game Style

The Flames Offense vs The Preds Defense, two of the best in the NHL at what they do. It will be interesting to see who comes out on top.

I long ago stopped underestimating the Predators. Year after year they have shown that come playoff time they are always hungry and somehow find a way to get in despite the odds.

One on One

Jarome Iginla vs Pekka Rinne

Iginla has heated right up lately and is looking for his 30th goal of the season and in joining a set of pretty rarified company in being one of the few players to get 30 goals in 10 straight seasons.

 

Rinne has the 2nd best SV% in the NHL at .929%, the second best GAA at 2.08. He is the best Goaltender in the Western Conference by the numbers and only Tim Thomas of the Bruins has better numbers.

The Magic 8-Ball

 As I said in the intro this one is a game of opposites, teams with the opposite strengths. Watch the counter-point though in how the Preds' Offense takes on the Fames' D.

The game may be won or lost in that counter battle.  Those first goals will be key in this one…

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