The Predators have not been excellent in the first two games of this Round One series with Colorado. They have been good at times and that has been enough to beat a young, scrappy Av’s team twice, but everyone knows it won’t be good enough going forward.
Give some well deserved credit to the Avalanche, they have done the things necessary to get leads and keep games at least close. They are getting secondary scoring, Nathan MacKinnon is a factor and their goaltending (despite the Denver media carping) has been acceptable… and it’s not enough so far. They are down 0-2 heading home to a place where they have been very, very good… the Pepsi Center.
28-11-2 during the regular season. Their play at home is the only reason they made the playoffs as they are one of only three teams with a losing regular season road record to make the playoffs. So… that should be a good thing, right? Of course it is, until you consider that there is only one team in the NHL to have single digit regulation losses on the road.
Yup… you guessed it.
It will be critical for Nashville to get started fast tonight, the slow starts at home were recoverable, but quieting what is sure to be a loud Pepsi Center crowd that hasn’t seen playoff hockey in quite awhile is going to be a key. Colorado has already shown that they have a hard time handling Nashville’s aggressive forecheck so the Preds playing on their toes from the jump will be crucial.
For Colorado, they have to finish. The number of open nets and solid chances they have missed on has got to be maddening. They are getting their opportunities on the power play but they have only converted on one of their eight chances. Nashville cannot keep giving up five power play chances a game and hope to win this series. The Preds should expect a heightened level of desperation to be added to the Av’s speed tonight.
Nashville is certainly taking this team seriously and let’s face it… if their game was as bad a some are saying, the Preds would be down 0-2 right now. Colorado is a very good hockey team and it will not be easy to close them out. Anyone expecting a blow out in every game and a four game sweep is kidding themselves.
Game three is always a turning point in a series. The Avalanche know that if they do not get a win tonight, they are most likely toast. The Predators know that as well, a win for Nashville tonight puts a stranglehold on the series that is very, very difficult to overcome.
Brew up the coffee Smashville for a 9pm game time… puck drop should be around 9:15. Coverage tonight on Fox Sports Tennessee and NBCSN for TV… 102.5 the Game and the Predators Radio Network for radio. Pregame on 102.5 the Game gets going at 8pm, FSTN’s pregame gets going at 8:30pm.
The Playoff Tracker
… a daily update of the Stanley Cup Playoffs brought to you by Mark Lonsway - THE real estate professional for hockey fans!
Wild weekend in the playoffs with one 3-0 lead in a series and five more possible.
Tampa Bay Lightning vs New Jersey Devils – TBL leads 2-0 – Game three is tonight
Washington Capitals vs. Columbus Blue Jackets – CBJ leads 2-0 – Game three is tomorrow
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Philadelphia Flyers – PIT leads 2-1 – Game four is Wednesday
Boston Bruins vs. Toronto Maple Leafs – BOS leads 2-0 – Game three is tonight
Nashville Predators vs. Colorado Avalanche – NSH leads 2-0 – Game three is tonight
Vegas Golden Knights vs. Los Angeles Kings – VGK leads 3-0 – Game four is tomorrow
Winnipeg Jets vs. Minnesota Wild – WPG leads 2-1 – Game four is tomorrow
Anaheim Ducks vs San Jose Sharks – SJS lead 2-0 – Game three is tonight
- As normal, the Predators have been dominant in the faceoff circle for the first two games, winning 61% of the draws in game two.
- While Pekka Rinne’s overall numbers are not great, he has still been there at the critical time, making the crucial save when absolutely, positively needed.
- The Black Aces are being called up as Milwaukee finishes their season… first one… Anders Lindback. I would expect a few more, especially Harry Z and Freddie G…
- Discipline, discipline, discipline… fewer penalties have to be taken by the Predators. Every chance they give the Av’s is playing with fire.
- There is a watch party at Bridgestone Arena tonight, ticket revenues benefit the Nashville Predators Foundation. $15 entry… $5 for season ticket citizens.
- Av’s defenseman Samuel Girard is listed as day-to-day with an upper body injury.
SlapShot Radio’s tenth anniversary season is on. As the longest running hockey show in the region, SSR feeds hockey fans what they crave… intelligent, fun, entertaining talk about their favorite sport and we do it from the opening of training camp all the way through UFA day… the only local hockey show that does that.
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