Preds Playoff Preview
The Preds made the Playoffs again this year, and for some reason to a lot of peoples surprise as well. While this team has never dazzled anyone, this may the year that the team has a good run in the playoffs.
IN the past years this team has been basically healthy all throughout the year than with about 5 games before the playoffs, they lose a key player to injury. Last year Nashville’s only 30 goal scorer only played 2 games in the playoffs and had those 2 games while not fully healthy either. This year the team has been stricken by injuries, Rinne twice has been injured, Suter, Lombardi has missed the whole season, as well as: O’Reilly, Sullivan, Erat, Legwand, etc. In fact only none of the starting 4 centers have played the full season. While Wilson and Smithson and technically center, they were not used that at the beginning and Wilson has played wing all year.
Now with the playoffs about to begin, the team is getting healthy and some player may even return like Sullivan and O’Reilly for playoffs which would be huge to the team. As with those two added no longer is Trotz forced to run 2 offensive lines and 2 grinder lines but can run three scoring two-way lines and one energy line.
This year has also been the emergence of Rinne who has been the team’s MVP no doubt throughout the year and is the reason they are in the playoffs to begin with. Everyone knows that goaltending is everything come playoff time and a hot goaltender can steal a series, well I fully expect Rinne to do that. He has done it all season by saving this team’s bacon and I don’t expect him to just flop come the most important time in the season.
Looking at the Ducks, they have a very deep offensive unit, which includes the leading goal scorer in Perry and a top line that makes any team cringe at the thought of going up against it. Than on top of that they have their 2nd line which features Selanne who has be making this game look like child’s play at the age of 40 is something people can only marvel at. While the Ducks do have the tools to win, their questions in goaltending are to be a concern for fans. With Dan Ellis starting in net against his former team can’t be comforting.
The Ducks Defence has been good this year with the emergence of Fowler and Visnovsky, but doesn’t stack up against the Preds defence, which has been noted as being one of the best young D cores in the league.
With that the Duck have the advantage in Offense but the Preds in Defence and goaltending. Its one style versus another, and as everyone says, Defence Wins Championships.
While the ducks have a very good team, look for Rinne along with Weber and Suter to shut-down the offense, and for the Predators to finally claim a playoff series.
My prediction is for Preds in 6.