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Game 5: Same Story, Different Year


Game 5…

Familiar territory for a Nashville Predators team that has YET to get over this same hump, year…after year…after year.

The Predators are heading into this year’s game 5 in a very similar situation to last year’s game 5:

Win Game 1, Lose Game 2…Win Game 3, Lose Game 4…

However, this team is different. These players…different. Tonight’s battle has a sense of, well, destiny to it. Fate has led the Predators into the EXACT SAME scenario as last year, however this time with a chance of redemption. We all may sit here and think that maybe Game 3 was the exorcision of last years Game 5, however Game 5 is what it was: an absolute travesty and a waste of the greatest opportunity in franchise history. Game 3 this year didn’t make up for it, Game 5 is it’s own beast, so let’s break it down:

2004: #8 Nashville @ #1 Detroit, 4-1 Loss – Tomas Vokoun in the net

2006: #4 Nashville VS #5 San Jose, 2-1 Loss (Series Clincher) – Chris Mason in the net

2007: #4 Nashville VS #5 San Jose, 3-2 Loss (Series Clincher) – Tomas Vokoun in the net

2008: #8 Nashville @ #1 Detroit, 2-1 Loss (OT) – Dan Ellis in the net

2010: #7 Nashville @ #2 Chicago, 5-4 Loss (OT) – Pekka Rinne in the net

5 years. 5 post-seasons of series turning losses. 5 times Nashville has NOT been able to come back after losing this critical game. The Predators average goals scored are 1.8 in these games and they are allowing 3.2 goals. Not one goaltender in Nashville history has come out victorious in this series turning game, however our hopes now rely on Vezina-finalist Pekka Rinne.

Rinne, who currently has a 3.74 GAA in the 4 games so far this series, hasn’t had the brightest post-season so far, but if any goaltender is due for a turn-around performance, it’s Rinne.

With 13.6 seconds in last year’s Game 5, Patrick Kane was able to slide home a shorthanded goal right in front of Joel Ward and to the left of a diving Rinne, and Hossa finished the Preds off 5 minutes into overtime to seal the comeback. Rinne, and the Predators, weren’t able to recover from that Game 5 meltdown and had extremely bad luck and poor penalty-killing in Game 6 to finalize the series in favor of the Blackhawks.

This year, it’s a different story. You have to believe that Pekka Rinne wants a different result. Shea Weber wants a different result. David Legwand wants a different result. EVERY PLAYER who has sacrificed their hearts, minds, and bodies to further this team HAS TO want a different result.

Can Pekka Rinne recover from being shell-shocked in Game 4 and allowing a CAREER high (that’s right, a CAREER high) 6 goals?

Can Mike Fisher continue his scoring ways and help lead the Predators to a Game 5 win and give them a chance to clinch in Game 6?

Can Colin Wilson, who has been scratched the entire series, be given a chance to play tonight and prove to be the kick-start Nashville needs?

Can Kevin Klein and Shane O’Brien prove to this team that they can do more then have defensive melt-downs and take silly penalties?

Can Barry Trotz corral his troops for 2 more wins?

Can the Nashville Predators keep themselves alive and give retiring Brent Peterson a taste of the second round? Maybe even a taste of what’s further?

Can the Nashville Predators give the city of Nashville what it needs? A team who can win?

We’ll find out, however it all relies on tonights game. There are only two possible results though:

Nashville comes into Anaheim and leaves depressed, dejected, and most likely to lose Game 6 and the series


Nashville comes into Anaheim and gets their first ever 3rd win in a playoff series, meaning they will have a chance to clinch their first ever playoff series AT home in front of their friends, family, and legion of fans.

This is a different team, this is a different year. However, will we see a different result?