Mediocrity. That is what the 2013-2014 Nashville Predators are striving to overcome. So far this season, mediocrity is exactly where the Predators have found themselves again, but there is potential for the Preds to go from average to slightly above average. Currently, the Predators sit in last place in the best division in hockey, and a big win over the Blackhawks tonight would do a lot towards moving them from the cellar to the lobby. Here are three players that the ‘Hawks need to keep an eye on this evening.
1. Mike Fisher: He doesn’t get a lot of press for his contributions but the 13 year-old veteran is still an impact player on the ice for the Predators. He has started to regress statistically but he is a leader for this club with his effort and young players all over the league should try to mimic his style of play. On another note, he is married to Carrie Underwood, which is always something to keep an eye on (to see if she comes to the game).
2. Shea Weber: The captain is off to somewhat of a slow start to the season but Weber is still one of the most talented defenseman in the world. He has hit a recent skid and because of his track record, it’s more than likely he will turn it around soon and coming off a solid performance against the New York Islanders and a not-awful game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, perhaps Weber is on his way to helping turn both his and the team’s season around.
3. Patric Hornqvist: This is the Predator who I believe will be representing the team in the all-star game last this season. He scored the lone goal in their game against the Islander, and now leads the team with five goals on the season. Hornqvist has shown in his career the ability to score goals and I think he will hover near 30 by the end of this season. I think he scores one tonight and if the ‘Hawks aren’t careful, a multi-goal game isn’t out of the question.
Honorable Mention – David Legwand – It’s hard not to write an article and mention the team points leader, but I managed to do so up until this very sentence! Legwand has scored some key goals this season, most recently a game winner against the Los Angeles Kings. I do think Legwand will struggle against whichever ‘Hawks Center he faces off against, but he is someone the Blackhawks can’t let beat them.
The Predators are coming off rough losses against the Islanders and Penguins and are below .500 with an 8-9-2 record. This is a big game for the Predators and I expect to see, for lack of a better term, some early season desperation in this contest from the Preds.
The Nashville Predators host the Chicago Blackhawks this Saturday at 8 PM.