Last season was a disappointment for the Nashville Predators. They are a team who had gotten used to consistent regular season success, and then missed the playoffs for two years in a row. This led the team to finally go for a new look - they let go long-time manager Barry Trotz, brought aboard Peter Laviolette, and then actually acquired players who an play offensive (and, in the case of James Neal, who can be offensive too). It has been paying dividends for them.
The Preds are 4-2-1 away from home, and in their last ten are 6-3-1. No, that doesn't include an impressive win streak like the Blues have been on, but it does include some amazing goaltending from a healthy Pekka Rinne. Rinne is 8-2-1 this season with a .932 SV% and a 1.89 GAA. That is absurd. His probable competition tonight is Brian Elliott, taking over after Jake Allen's shutout streak ended in an unfortunate way Thursday evening. Elliott has a .920 save percentage and a GAA that has gone up just slightly to a 2.06.
This won't be an easy win for either team. The Preds have been excellent this season, and the Blues have beaten them six games in a row. Those weren't these Predators, though. The Blues are going to have to work to extend that win streak to eight.
This is your morning open thread. Don't forget to head to the nice folks at On the Forecheck and say hi before you head back for another Memorabilia Memories, a preview, and the game itself.