Courtesy of ESPN
The Nashville Predators, picked by few to actually get out of the first round, have finally overcome the doubt that always surrounds them and lifted that black cloud of despair and will be dancing further into the Stanley Cup Playoffs as they hand the Ducks a 4-2 loss in Game 6, taking the series 4-2 over Anaheim.
Powerplay – 1 for 4, 25%
Powerplay For The Series – 6 for 27, 22.2%
Powerplay For The Playoffs – 6 for 27, 22.2%
Penalty Kill – 1 for 2, 50%
Penalty Kill For The Series – 14 for 22, 63.6
Penalty Kill For The Playoffs – 14 for 22, 63.6%
Best Play of the Game: Nick Spaling collecting the garbage left over from Jordin Tootoo’s drive to the net which was poke-checked by Ray Emery. Spaling roof’s it high above Emery to give the Predators a 3-2 lead in the game, which would ultimately be the game winner
Worst Play of the Game: Saku Koivu interfering with Sergei Kostitsyn with 38 seconds left in the game. Your team is down by one goal and you take a penalty in the final minute? Probably the most critical mistake you could have made.
Players (Good and Bad) of the Game:
The Good: Nick Spaling – 2 goals, +1, including the game-winner of the night. Spaling was an absolute force tonight and it showed. Incredible time to have an incredible game.
The Bad: Todd Marchant – 0 points, -2. The man was on the ice for 6:23 tonight but was on the ice for TWO of Nashville’s 3 even-strength goals. Anytime you play less than two minutes and are on the ice for MULTIPLE goals against your team, it’s gotta be a bad night
My Preds #1 Star: Jordin Tootoo – Even though Nick Spaling got the goals, without Tootoo having a repeat performance of Game 5, Spaling wouldn’t have gotten them in the first place. Tootoo finishes the series with 1 goal, 4 assists, and a +3. Great series and a great game for Toots.
Synopsis: I’m going to make this short and simple: Enjoy it for the night and then hit the RESET button. Sure, this is great, but now you’ve moved out of the first round and into the land of the big boys. Nashville has to start fresh and began working towards their next opponent, whoever that may be (preview coming Wednesday on the next opponent).
With scouts in the stands tonight from Detroit, you know the Wings are already doing their homework. So, even though this is a very historical moment in Nashville, savor it tonight and then move in to your next step. Some things to look forward in the next round:
Nashville’s Penalty Kill should step up considerably. ANY TEAM that would have faced Anaheim would have had the same trouble with their Powerplay that Nashville did. Now that the Ducks have been dispatched, the Predators can focus more on the balanced Penalty Kill they had all season
Nashville’s Powerplay should have an equal amount of success. Whatever the Predators were doing right during the Quarterfinals has to be bottled and released in the Semifinals. One of the keys to longevity in the Stanley Cup Playoffs is special teams that contribute. This needs to continue.
Pekka Rinne. Rinne had a tough first-round series against the Ducks, uncharacteristically having stats of .876 Save% and around a 3.5 GAA. Now that Rinne doesn’t have to deal with the likes of Selanne/Koivu/Getzlaf/Perry/Ryan game-in and game-out, his play should excel as well.
Time to hit the RESET button fans/players, the second round awaits
Highlights from tonight’s series-clinching win:
Series Record: 4-2, Predators Win
Thanks for reading!