I didn’t give much credit to the Nashville Predators when they played the Detroit Red Wings, then I realized the Red Wings are not young enough to win in the playoffs anymore. The Predators played probably the best defensive game so far in the 2012 NHL Playoffs among all the other teams. And afterall, defense wins championships.
Or is Gary Bettman wanting the Predators to win?
There’s a reason why Shea Weber didn’t get suspended for slamming Henrik Zetterbegr’s head into the glass after the 3rd period. To my knowledge I would assume the NHL and Gary Bettman wanted to keep the Predators Captain in the playoffs hoping the Predators would advance. And if that is the case, well they got it and it’s hard to think the Predators won’t have the NHL and Bettman on their sides for round two.
But the Predators did more then just play great defense and amazing goaltedning, they also put up goals on Jimmy Howard when everyone thought Howard would be the guy who carries his team. But like I’ve always said, Jimmy Howard is not a playoff ready goaltender.
Will the Predators get the puck past Mike Smith? Will anyone be able to beat Mike Smith? Smith has turned his game around so much that he has Steve Yzerman and the entire Tampa Bay Lightning organization spinning in circles.
The Predators have him to thank for their first playoff series win since the late eighties and much like Pekka Rinne Smith will continue to carry his team. We may even get to the point where we see 0-0 type games going into triple overtime!
I have been handicapping the NHL for a very long time but I have never come to a matchup like this one. Both teams play a great defensive game and their goaltenders are living high right now. The only thing I can say is that, the Predators may have the advantage in goal scoring unless Coyotes captain Shane Doan can find another level in his game and score at least every night.
Keep in mind, the Chicago Blackhawks lost that series on their own against the Phoenix Coyotes, they are their own worst enemy.
Series Prediction: Nashville Predators to win the series in 7 games.
Pucking Hockey is a registered trademark company. Pucking Hockey is a registered copyright company. All Rights Reserved.