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If You Can't Fix What's Broken, You'll Go Insane: Preds @ Nucks

If a Canuck scores a hat trick tonight and Vancouver loses, I'm changing my sport allegiance over to badminton.

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Let's never talk about Saturday again. Wasted hat tricks make me stabby.

In truth, the fact Vancouver has managed to keep pace with everyone in the Pacific not named the Kings is remarkable. With some much needed rest following tonight's game and the news they'll get Dan Hamhuis back shortly after the ASG break, February is shaping up to be as pivotal a month that this franchise has had in recent memory. String some wins together, stay in the playoff hunt and they'll be shopping at the deadline. Conversely, they could sputter, eat up another injury or three and February 29th could see a lot of familiar faces head out the door.

Nashville is sort of in the same boat, on the outside looking in on the wild card spots. The Preds are no joke, once again sporting a dangerous, efficient defense with a rag tag group of forwards ahead of them and taking Johansen off Torts' hands is a win all around. Yet still they're 4-5-1 in their last ten, four of their top five scorers are on the wrong side of the +/-, Rinne looks like anything but a Vezina finalist and Mike Ribiero is still miraculously employed.

Human Guinea Pig Formations

Daniel Sedin - Brandon Sutter - Jannik Hansen

Sven Baertschi - Bo Horvat - Radim Vrbata

Alexandre Burrows - Linden Vey - Emerson Etem

Derek Dorsett - Adam Cracknell - Jake Virtanen

Alexander Edler - Chris Tanev

Ben Hutton - Luca Sbisa

Matt Bartkowski - Alex Biega

Ryan Miller

Kevin Fiala - Ryan Johansen - James Neal

Filip Forsberg - Mike Ribeiro - Craig Smith

Miikka Salomaki - Mike Fisher - Calle Jarnkrok

Eric Nystrom - Paul Gaustad - Cody Bass

Roman Josi - Shea Weber

Barret Jackman - Ryan Ellis

Mattias Ekholm - Petter Granberg

Pekka Rinne

Three Questions

1. Can Sutter handle 1LC duties for an entire period? An entire game?

2. Can Vancouver keep Josi, Weber and Ekholm off the scoresheet?

3. Will Hansen and/or Horvat continue to play hero when the team needs it?

Fearless Predictions

I'm tempted to say the roof collapses on both these floundering teams, but that's not nice. Vey has been getting plenty of 'stached attention on the road trip so let's say the GWG glory falls to him while somewhere else on this planet Cody Hodgson curls himself into the fetal position and shakes his fist at the sky.

Yeah, something like that. More or less.