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WCQF – Ducks @ Preds, Game 3 – All Squared Up


The Predators continue the Western Conference Quarterfinals in Nashville as they take on the Ducks in game 3 of the best of seven series. The series is tied up at 1-1

Looking at the Ducks: Anaheim evened the series Friday night with strong play by their top line, as usual, and a powerplay that was able to convert when they needed to. However, ONE play could ruin that game’s outcome and the rest of the series. Late in the third period, Bobby Ryan STOMPED on the skate of Jon Blum with his own skate. Colin Campbell looked it over and sentenced Ryan to take a seat for the Nashville swing. This could be huge for both teams. Anaheim loses 20% of their offense and 1/3 of their top line. Will this play that big of a factor during the next two games?

Looking at the Predators: Nashville yet again did something they had done all season, play less than 60 minutes. In Game 2, Nashville found themselves in a 2-0 hole after 1 period and a 4-1 hole after 2. Yet…they came back. Halfway into the third period, it was 4-3 and the Predators had learned that THIS was the way to play in the playoffs. Although it was all for naught and they ended up losing the game on a last second empty netter (although the chances were there for them to tie the game) 5-3 total, the Predators can build off of that strong third period and off of the recent 2 game suspension to Bobby Ryan. BUT, the Predators need to control their penalty problem. They are currently averaging 5 penalties in each game and have given up 3 goals on those 10 penalties, TWO of those off of 5-on-3. So, you know where the problem is. If these penalties, especially the 5-on-3’s, don’t occur, then the Preds have a huge 2-0 lead with 1 shutout.

For the Ducks to win: Find a way to do it without Ryan. Ryan is a staple on line 1 for the Ducks, but that’s going to change for the Nashville swing. If the Ducks can find a way to effectively replace Ryan on the first line and NOT lose any chemistry with Getzlaf/Perry, then the Ducks COULD be ok. However, they’re not only battling the Predators and this suspension, but Nashville’s fans. Anaheim needs a quick goal, or two, to quiet the fans and lessen that advantage for Nashville

For the Predators to win: STAY OUT OF THE BOX. For God’s sake, STAY OUT OF THE BOX. If the Preds would have stayed out of the box on Friday night, they would have been coming back with a 2-0 series lead. However, an early 5-on-3 against the Preds spelled doom for Nashville and Anaheim capitalized on BOTH powerplays and never looked back. If Nashville can stay out of the box, this series is theirs.

Prediction: 3-0 Nashville. Anaheim loses Bobby Ryan and I think it’s more than enough to deter the Ducks for at least game 3, and probably game 4. Anaheim delivers a lackluster performance tonight and they are not going to be able to gain any steam as Pred-nation will make sure they know how loud Nashville can be.

BEST OF SEVEN Record: 1-1, Series tied


WCQF Game 1 – #1 Vancouver at #8 Chicago: VAN Leads 2-0, 8:00pm EST
ECQF Game 1 – #1 Washington at #8 New York: WAS Leads 2-0, 3:00pm EST

Thanks for reading!