The Nashville Predators (2-2-1) are still sporting a giant black eye to their name after proving that futility can get near an all time low with a 12-shot, blown 3rd period lead against Edmonton on Monday where they saw their 1-0 lead turn into a 3-1 loss. After a little “soul searching”, the Predators may now be on the right track as they go up against a Vancouver Canucks (2-3-1) team who is trying to pick up the pieces themselves
Last Year’s Series: 2-2-0 (1-1 Home, 1-1 Away)
Last Year’s Playoff Series: 2-4 (0-3 Home, 2-1 Away)
Last Season’s Video Recaps:
Game 1 – January 26th, 2011:
Game 2 – February 17th, 2011:
Game 3 – March 3rd, 2011:
Game 4 – March 29th, 2011:
Western Conference Semifinals Game 1 – April 28th, 2011:
Western Conference Semifinals Game 2 – April 3oth, 2011:
Western Conference Semifinals Game 3 – May 3rd, 2011:
Western Conference Semifinals Game 4 – May 5th, 2011:
Western Conference Semifinals Game 5 – May 7th, 2011:
Western Conference Semifinals Game 6 – May 9th, 2011:
Looking at the Canucks: Talk about a Stanley Cup Finals hangover, eh? Both Boston and Vancouver seem to be getting off on the wrong foot. So far, the Canucks just can’t seem to find consistency, a problem the Predators are having to equal extents.
With a 2-3-1 overall record, Vancouver has had an increasingly difficult schedule compared to what Nashville has seen over their first 6 games. Losing to Pittsburgh, Philly, Detroit, and the New York Rangers isn’t something to really laugh too much about. However, as compared to the Predators, Vancouver has their equal share of injuries.
Ryan Kesler has spent some considerable time, so far, away from the team after still recovering from his hip surgery in July, but tonight he’ll be playing in his second game back for the team (initially playing this past Tuesday against New York)
Looking at the Predators: Another disappointing night on Monday left the Predators still scratching their head and looking for answers before they entered Rogers Arena to take on the Vancouver Canucks tonight. Entering tonight’s affair losing 3 straight, Nashville will be trying to change a few things around to see if anything clicks.
However, what’s yet to be seen (and maybe we’ll get an update later) is if any of the currently injured Predators will be playing in tonight’s contest. Mike Fisher and Francis Bouillon haven’t played a game yet for Nashville this season while Martin Erat has been out since the season opener. In yesterday’s report from Jim Diamond, he noted Coach Trotz DID say that Erat wouldn’t play and Bergfors would be playing somewhere tonight, yet most likely IF we see any of the injured 3, hopefully it will start Saturday at Calgary
Yet, with all things considered, if the new changes that Coach Trotz will be making to his line-ups don’t really click, what changes will he have to make once the injuries start waning off?
For the Canucks to win: The fans in Vancouver are getting a little restless with their all-star goaltenders, and rightfully so. However, for the Canucks to take tonight’s game and put it in their win column, Luongo has to play like he did in the playoff series against the Predators last year.
If Nashville comes out with the same level of intensity they did on Monday night against Edmonton, Vancouver should have no problems easily dispatching Nashville. However, if the Predators start pelting shots at Luongo, then the Canucks may be in some serious trouble come the end of the night
For the Predators to win: Two things:
1) Shoot the puck
There is no excuse for shooting the puck only 12 times in a game. 4 shots average per period? Not mincing words, but that is awful, just plain awful. Nashville has been outshot in ALL FIVE of their regular season games so far and have a 2-2-1 record to show for it.
They haven’t scored more than 2 goals in any of their losses either. Sound familiar? Nashville won 41 games last year when scoring MORE than 2 goals per game and now have their only 2 wins of the season THIS year when scoring more than 2 goals per game.
2) Protect Rinne
Both of the goals scored against Pekka Rinne on Monday night were easily preventable. The first from Taylor Hall, albeit a powerplay goal, showed him wide open on the left post opposite from where Rinne was at the time and no one was covering him. The second goal? A bad change left Ryan Smyth all alone for a 1 on 1 against Rinne. Could those have been prevented? Absolutely. Like Terry Crisp always says, “head on a swivel”
Nashville needs to heed those words and remember them tonight or else they could be in for a long evening in Vancouver and Predators fans could be in for a much longer one in Nashville
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Stay frosty, friends