It hasn’t been very long since Patric Hornqvist was injured when his legs got tangled with another player in the game with the Anaheim Ducks this past Saturday. Already the Nashville Predators are seeing a rough shift in their luck since then with a shutout on Monday night. They are not running on all cylinders right now, which makes the task Thursday night even harder. It is still an important game, of course, maybe more important than any yet this young season.
On Thursday the Predators will face the defending Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings in Los Angeles. The Kings aren’t undefeated or anything like that. They will come into the game with the same five season points that the Predators have. For the Predators, that just means that if they get a good game on the ice, they can beat the team that drank from Lord Stanley’s Cup. If that isn’t a momentum shifter for the season, I don’t know what is.
The important factor for them is consistency and not falling behind. They need to stay within a goal or two of the Kings at the very worst. That should allow them to stay back and keep their game plan moving along. If they get in a race with the Kings, they’ll get into trouble.
Also another key factor will be the man tied with the injured Hornqvist for the team lead in points, Martin Erat. Erat has had fairly good success against the Kings in the past. If he can come through with some big time play and Pekka Rinne plays up to form, the Preds can knock off the champs. We’ll see how the game goes.