When the New Jersey Devils and Nashville Predators face off tonight in Newark, this won’t be any simple game. This game will be officially known as the John Hynes game. The Devils formally had their coach John Hynes fired in early December of this year. The Predators also fired their coach Peter Laviolette earlier this month, who is still looking for a club to coach. Can the Devils ruin John Hynes’s return, or will Hynes prove that the Devils made the wrong decision? Let’s see how each team fares in this battle.
Like I said earlier, the Predators fired Laviolette, so the Predators needed a coach fast. It took them only one day to find the next coach in John Hynes. How did he do with his new team in his first game? He lost to the Boston Bruins 6-2. However, the Predators did beat the Chicago Blackhawks the next night, which ended with a Pekka Rinne goal. Despite the win, record-wise, Hynes is an even 4-4, after the win last night against the Washington Capitals. For this matchup, the Predators are looking for their second win against the Devils this season, which we will discuss later.
For Hynes, however, he is looking to make a statement towards the Devils organization. Roman Josi, who just came back from the All-Star game, is the Preds best player. For the Devils, he is the person to guard in the game. Nick Bonino is also a name the Devils should study. In their previous matchup, he scored a goal and had an assist.
The Devils were coming off the All-Star break needed to start in the right way. Their last game against the Ottawa Senators helped. This game, like many others this year, saw the Devils blowing a lead in the third, but what makes it different was giving up two shorthanded goals on the same powerplay. But thanks to Kyle Palmieri, he made sure this wasn’t an embarrassing end of the game, tying the game at 3. Despite an excellent OT, the game went to a shootout. Thankfully the Devils were able to end it quickly, thanks to Nikita Gusev and Jack Hughes.
Tonight the Devils look to prove that Alain Nassredine could be a good coach maybe better than Hynes. The Devils are looking to rebound from their last loss vs. the Predators on December 7th when the lost 6-4 in Nashville. If I were the Predators, I would watch for Kyle Palmieri. Palmieri has been doing a fantastic job for the Devils since the Taylor Hall trade. Like many fans, I hope he’s not traded during the trade deadline in a few weeks.
My Game Prediction
For tonight’s game, I will say the final score will be 5-3 Devils. Two goals for the Devils will belong to Kyle Palmieri, while the others will go to Blake Coleman, Travis Zajac, and Nikita Gusev. For the Predators’ goals, I will go with Nick Bonino, Rocco Grimaldi, and Filip Forsberg.
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