After defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 on the road back on Saturday, the Winnipeg Jets remain just four points behind the central division-leading @St. Louis Blues. During this four-game road trip, the Jets are undefeated through two games and have produced four goals in each of their two victories.
Coming into tonight’s game, this will be the first of four meetings between the Jets and Predators. This game also couldn’t have come at a better time for the Jets, as the Predators have lost four straight games. Nashville has also surrendered a combined 23 goals during their losing streak as well.
1) High Scoring Affair
With the extremely high number of goals the Predators have allowed over their previous four games, there’s a very good chance that this game will be no different for Smashville. Through 19 games this season, the Predators have allowed on average 3.37 goals/game, which is the tenth-most in the league. Although, Nashville has also averaged to score the second-most goals/game (3.68) in the league as well.
Despite the Jets averaging the 24th-worst goals/game (2.71) rate in the league, their team shouldn’t have any problems scoring a handful of goals against the Predators tonight in Bridgestone arena. With Winnipeg creating three goals or more in four of their last five games, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them score at least three goals in Nashville.
2) Dominating Road Trip for Nikolaj Ehlers
During this four-game road trip, forward Nikolaj Ehlers has been one of the best players on the Jets’ roster. Through two games, the 23-year-old has produced a pair of goals and seven shots including one that came during the power play against the Lightning, which was ultimately the game-winning goal as well.
Prior to this road trip, Ehlers had been held without a single point since Nov. 1, where he recorded the game-winning goal against the San Jose Sharks. Since the Predators own one of the worst conversion rates with their penalty-killing unit (75.4% 24th), that should provide Ehlers with a great opportunity to extend his current point streak to three games.
3) Ice Baths for Predators
Coming into this game, Nashville has been out hit in two of their last three games. Based on Winnipeg’s outstanding physicality so far this season, those woes are likely going to continue through tonight’s game. Through 21 games this season, the Jets have generated a total of 495 hits, which ranks seventh-most throughout the entire league.
Along with the Jets’ impressive number hits this season, the Predators have recorded the fewest number of hits (306) among all 31 teams. So, we’ll likely see the Jets physically dominate yet another team again tonight, for seemingly the 20th time this season.
Due to Winnipeg’s strength and toughness, the Predators won’t be able to create much success in the offensive zone, which will allow the Jets to spend additional time in Nashville’s zone. As a result, the Jets will be able to overpower the Predators and extend their win streak to three games following their 5-3 win over Nashville.