Second place in the Central Division battles second place in the Atlantic in this Tuesday night matchup. The Predators are riding high these days soaring to a fantastic 8-1-1 record through their last ten. Meanwhile, also winners of their last three straight, Toronto has kept the heat on the Florida Panthers for Eastern supremacy. They’re a mere two points out first place in the conference and could surge into the week with a lot of bragging rights following this tilt.
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In the words of Keith Urban, this game should have a Little Bit of Everything. Watch for the Preds to come out hot with the Leafs trying to protect their home ice like no other. The Buds have had the good fortune of a heavy home start to the year and they’ve made the most of it. They’ll have two more home dates after this one before hitting the road for three. Look for the Leafs to be on-guard early and often.
The Nashville Predators are fourth in the league in penalty minutes at the moment with 162. It’s been their Achilles Heel, but it’s also been one of their greatest strengths as well. It’s hurt them because when they do enter the box, they’ve only got the league’s 21st best penalty kill. Not to mention, they’re giving far too many special teams opportunities to the opposition. However, they combat that by boasting the fifth best power play. When they get their chance to be a man up, they usually strike. This is something Toronto is going to have to watch like a hawk.
The other big additive for Nashville’s success is their goaltending. They’re currently tied for eighth in the league with a 2.60 GAA through 15 games and have the sixth best save percentage at .917. These Preds are a pesky bunch who can beat you on the board, but also with the body. After coasting through a few bottom feeders earlier in the schedule, the Leafs will certainly have their hands full with the Preds on Tuesday.
There’s a million and one pep talk and pre-game speeches out there about defending your fortress. Expect head coach Sheldon Keefe to recite a few before puck drop. The Leafs enter this game with a 7-2-0 home record which still has them tied for most home wins in the league with Florida, but they have had a few blemishes. The 5-1 trouncing the Kings served up just over a week ago is at the forefront of them. The Leafs let their guard down and got pounded for it.
If Toronto wants to win this game, they’ll need to be on Nashville like white on rice. In other words, there can be no missed opportunities, no missed checks, and certainly no missed chances. Nashville can make you pay in the blink of an eye. If the Leafs can use their speed to their advantage and not get caught up in the funny stuff after the whistle, they’ve got a good shot of knocking off one of the league’s best.
Nashville is 6-1 through their last seven as an underdog. They’ve also hit the OVER in six of their last eight against Atlantic teams. Toronto enters this game-winning five of their last six at home and eight of their last nine overall. The Leafs also hit the OVER in five of their last seven against the Central Division.
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|Nashville Predators vs Toronto Maple Leafs Information|
|Teams||Nashville Predators vs Toronto Maple Leafs|
|Location||Scotiabank Centre, Toronto, ON|
|Time||November 16, 2021 at 7:00pm EST|
|How to watch||NHL Network, Sportsnet|
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Ryan has worked as a sports writer for the past decade and sports journalism for almost 15 years. He has worked in television, radio, print, digital, and podcasting since 2006. He is also the former co-host of the NFL Weekly Pick 'Em and Best Bets Podcast along with the Prop Drop on WSN.com.More info on Ryan Sullivan
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