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August 1, 2020, 10:14 AM ET [2 Comments]
Paul McCann
Nashville Predators Blogger •Predators Radio Network • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The day is here… meaningful hockey is back as the puck drops on the Stanley Cup Qualifiers as five series get their best of five series going. Let’s break down each qualifying series in the order that they start…

New York Rangers vs. Carolina Hurricanes - This one gets going at 11am today and I think this is one of the more intriguing series on the qualifying round. Questions in net for the Rangers and can Carolina build on last season’s playoff success. I think they can, Canes in four.

Chicago vs. Edmonton - The rebuild vs. the new guard… should be an interesting series as Chicago appears in a “playoff” series for the first time in three years. Edmonton appears ready to take the next step in their recovery… a step they have been poised to take for the last four seasons. The Oilers in three stretching the Chicago playoff losing streak to seven….

New York Islanders vs. Florida Panthers - Some folks are looking at the Panthers as a dark horse to do some damage in these playoffs. They have experienced coaching and some developing talent, going up against a disciplined Barry Trotz coached team that loves to play above its’ head. It’s a year too early for the Cats… Islanders in four.

Pittsburgh vs. Montreal - This one is simply silly. There is no doubt on this one… the Habs looked terrible in their exhibition game and simply can’t keep up with a deep and talented Penguins team. Pens in three.

Calgary vs. Winnipeg - It’s Canada on Canada crime as these two teams tangle. These teams match up well everywhere except in net… Connor Hellebuyck is a Vezina contender and will be the difference maker. Jets in four.

>Nashville vs. Arizona - Coming tomorrow

Toronto vs. Columbus - The biggest upset opportunity of the qualifying round, John Tortorella will get the most from his suddenly fully health team. How do the Leafs respond to the weight of expectations as they play in their home rink… I think Columbus wins this in five.

Minnesota vs. Vancouver - Two under-the-radar teams with lowered expectations. Vancouver wasn’t expected to be here at the start of the season and Minnesota’s record of failure in the first round have levelled off the expectations. Goaltending will be the difference as Vancouver wins in four.

The puck drops at 11am… let’s get it on!!


Random Notes – Presented by

- No decision on who is in net yet for the Predators… and the goalies did not make Coach John Hynes job any easier by combining for a shutout in Thursday’s exhibition game.

- It is my belief that the break may have helped Viktor Arvidsson more than any other player… his style of play will benefit from coming in fresh.

- Isn’t it interesting how NBC just doesn’t learn. They got great ratings for the games from Nashville in past playoffs… and they choose a round robin game instead of a playoff game for the mothership on Sunday…


SlapShot Radio is back for our summer season as Zack, Brent and I are on Monday night’s at 7pm. The best hour of hockey talk on the longest running hockey show in the southeast … Join us Mondays at 7pm on 102.5 the Game.

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