Forsberg has been activated from IR and will play tonight against Vegas.
Vegas Visits Nashville
The Preds continue their home stretch tonight against the Vegas Golden Knights after solidifying a solid win against a streaking Ducks team. The 3-2 win was a major boost for this team, showing their resolve after an abysmal performance in Montreal a few nights prior. Very pleased to see Trenin finally getting the recognition on the scoresheet he deserves. It was only a matter of time he began finding the back of the net.
Slump games are always expected within a season, so although unfortunate with the team not being able to bury their chances, absent Duchene's hat trick, and Saros having a very off night, the bounce back at home was a positive step back in the right direction. The Montreal game appeared to be a perfect storm with the Canadiens struggling significantly and the Preds having four days off due to the postponed game scheduled in Ottawa. The key for tonight is whether the team can keep up the solid performances and leave the past infractions behind them. Vegas is always a tough test, and they enter the game tonight winning 7 of their last 10. Offense continues to not be a problem for the Knights, so the Preds better be in best defensive form. Ironically enough, when shots were at their lowest and being suppressed as I have constantly argued needed to happen for success, the Canadiens scored at will. Although I find this to be a game of bad bounces and everyone being off as opposed to systematic failures. An aberration of sorts as I remain steadfast in my continued analysis.
The team is happy to be back in front of the home fans after a long November and after Monday night it shows that the fans are glad to be back at Bridgestone as well.
Many still hold the Preds out to be a fringe playoff team, but this team continues to grind it out for points. You can't win a Cup or reach the playoffs in November-December, but you sure can ensure your ticket to an early summer. Points are critical at this time of the year.
I wrote previously that November is going to be a tough test for this team with the extended road trips. As of this writing, the Preds are standing at 6-3-1 this month claiming 13 of a possible 20 points. Would I have liked to capture more? Well, of course. But if you told me this before the long trips that this would be the result, I would have also gladly taken it. It's critical that they close out this month strong at home. The environment at Bridgestone appears to be trying to recapture some of its old glare, although it still has a ways to go. It would be great to have a home-ice advantage once more where teams always struggled to gain even a point on their way through Nashville.
Roster Moves & Updates
Michael McCarron has been re-assigned to Milwaukee with Ben Harpur joining him on a conditioning assignment.
Filip Forsberg remains on IR but has been practicing with the team the last few days as opposed to merely rehabilitating on his own.
I will be happy to see him back in the lineup. But I am also curious in the back of my mind the value he may bring on the open market as December and January approach. Big decision time is coming soon and I personally do not find value in keeping him (if a reasonable long-term deal cannot be reached, reasonable being an understatement) beyond the deadline to not have a genuine chance of winning a Cup. Crazier things have happened of course, but too many times we have sacrificed the future for the immediate now to only be put in potentially worse positions later on. Just a thought as there remains plenty of hockey to go and many decisions to make prior to the ultimate.
See you at Bridgestone tonight. And Go Preds!