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Game 56: Nashville @ Boston – Attack of the Killer B’s


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Photo By: THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/Winslow Townson

In another rare meeting, the Nashville Predators travel to Boston for a matinee showdown and a much needed two points.

The Bruins are formidable as per usual and the Predators need to play with some desparation after dropping 3 out of their last 5 since the All-Star break.

The yellow jackets will be in full swarm so it is up to the Predators to swat away and find the back of the net early and often…game time is 12:00 P.M. Central.

This Year’s Series: N/A

Looking at the Bruins: What else can you say that hasn’t been said…Defending Cup Champions..check….Top 3 in the East…check…All-World Goaltending and a beast on defense…check…anything else?

Oh yeah, just a score-by-committee offense that can roll four solid lines and wear another team down in the span of 60 minutes. Leading in points is Patrice Bergeron, but the leading goal scorer is non other than 2nd pick of the 2010 Entry Draft Tyler Seguin who has answered his critics in a big way after last year’s sub-par performance.

Looking at the Predators: Going into the All-Star break, the Predators were arguably the hottest team in the NHL. Unfortunately, the week-long lay off must have cooled their jets as they are 2-2-1 since January 31st. This isn’t a bad record at all, but coming off the unbelieveable streak in January, it is a mild disappointment.

The Predators boast a relative healthy roster and have the ability to healthy scratch for role players when needed. That time should be today as either Brandon Yip or Brian McGrattan should get the nod in what will be a physical battle. Yip provides the speed and puck-shooting while McGrattan brings the toughness and grit.

For the Bruins to win: TD Garden will be rocking and the Bruins can take full advantage of the crowd and come out hard against the Predators. The key to keeping the Predators at bay will be a solid forecheck. By keeping the puck in the Predators zone, the Bruins can tire them out and force the Predators to ice the puck or draw a penalty. The Predators penalty kill, which normally is in the upper levels of the league, is not as dominant as in years past.

Relying on either Rask or Thomas is another key as both goalies are more than capable of stealing sure goals. Rask got lit up at the end of the season last year in an overtime win in Nashville, so look for Thomas to get the start.

For the Predators to win: Don’t get flustered. All too many times in the Senators game, the Predators would make stupid mistakes: not clearing the puck, blind passes, too many passes, etc. The Predators need to keep the hockey simple and press out of their zone and effectively into the opponents zone.

Hopefully Yip will be inserted into the lineup over Smithson. Yip along with Spaling and Halischuk are a great energy line that can create mismatches for the opposing defense. This kind of line along with the Tootoo/Smith/Bourque line can open up the top two lines for more scoring opportunities. If the top two lines are shut down, then the 3rd and 4th lines can provide an offensive spark. (Sounds eeriely similar to the Boston Bruins)

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If you like what I have listed out here or if you have any questions/comments/concerns, feel free to let me know on Twitter…@Preducated
Stay HardCore, friends