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WCQF – Ducks @ Preds, Game 4 – THE Most Important Game


The Predators continue the Western Conference Quarterfinals in Nashville as they take on the Ducks in game 4 of the best of seven series. Nashville leads the series 2-1

Looking at the Ducks: Anaheim is struggling right now. The loss of Bobby Ryan, the questions in goal, and now with their GM voicing his opinion about missed calls, the Ducks can ill-afford another loss tonight. As the series heats up, Anaheim has to collect themselves and do so quickly. The only player that seems to be fully emotionally invested in the series is the ageless wonder, Teemu Selanne, whose words to the media after game 3 and after practices over the past couple of days, show exactly why the rest of the team needs to take an example from the 40 year old and carry the same level of emotion. Anaheim is able to capitalize off of Nashville miscues, they are able to score goals and do so quickly, however if they can’t find a way to comeback tonight, the series may be all but lost for the Fowl Faithful.

Looking at the Predators: There is something about this Nashville Predators team…something that strikes me as odd. In years past against their playoff opponents, there has been more of a sense of “Maybe we can do this?” or “Let’s try for an upset!” or “We love being Cinderella!”, however this year…this year there is only a sense of “1 game at a time” and “take care of business”. The Predators aren’t letting the words of Ducks GM Murray get in their heads and they’re not worried about games past, they’re mentally/physically focused on the next game ahead, something I don’t think I could have ever said about any previous Predators team. Out of all the players that may factor into this series, the one to keep your eye on tonight is Shane O’Brien. Shane O’Brien may not be the series X-Factor that Mike Fisher has been, but he could be tonight’s X-Factor.

For the Ducks to win: PELT RINNE WITH SHOTS. Last game? You had 16 total shots on net. Yes, you may have had 3 goals, but think of how many goals you would have had if you would have had DOUBLE the shots on net? Pelting Rinne with shots, right now, is your only option. You’re having difficulty beating Nashville on the 5-on-5 play, you can’t rely on the referees to give you advantages (and certainly not after your GM started to speak out on the officiating), and you’re going to have to score more than you’re goaltender gives up. Get shots on Rinne, a couple of quick goals early, and cause some doubt

For the Predators to win: SAME GAME DIFFERENT DAY. Play this game exactly like you have played the rest of them. Play hard, play fast, and play Predator hockey. Stay out of the box and don’t give Anaheim any type of advantages on the ice and score the first goal. The team that has scored the first goal in this series, so far, has gone on to win the game. You like playoff superstitions like the playoff beard? Well, heed that superstition as well. Stay out of the box. Play YOUR style of game, don’t play Anaheim’s. Score the first goal. You do these things and you’ll find your self needing only ONE win the next 3 to move on.

Prediction: 4-2 Nashville. Anaheim is going to come out fast and angry, however Nashville knows how to suck the life out of teams that do this. Nashville will get on the board early in the first and not look back from there, taking Game 4 and getting within 1 game of taking the series

BEST OF SEVEN Record: 2-1, Nashville leads


WCQF Game 4 – #3 Detroit at #6 Phoenix: DET Leads 3-0, 10:30pm EST
ECQF Game 4 – #1 Washington at #8 New York: WAS Leads 2-1, 7:00pm EST
ECQF Game 4 – #4 Pittsburgh at #5 Tampa Bay: PIT Leads 2-1, 7:30pm EST
ECQF Game 4 – #2 Philadelphia at #7 Buffalo: PHI Leads 2-1, 7:30pm EST

Thanks for reading!