It’s a bleary eyed Pred Nation at work today after Nashville 3-2 win over the Dallas Stars last night to take a 2-1 lead in their first round series. It was a solid effort from Nashville overall but Pekka Rinne stole the show, stole the win and stole home ice advantage back from the pesky Dallas Stars.
The incessant media whining about the power play, JoFA scoring, second line effectiveness, Laviolette’s hair, the power play, the cost of peanuts, the power play… well, so far, the second line has seen goals from Mikael Granlund and Craig Smith… Forsberg scored on a power move for the ages last night and the power play has… well… let’s talk about the cost of peanuts at the rink.
I’m going to stay on the positive side as the performance of this team still stays on an upward tack. The defense looks great, Ellis and Josi are in fine form, Subban has ramped up his play to include his “get under your skin” factor moving up to a 10. He driving Dallas to distraction… and Mattias Ekholm returned to form last night after a stinker of a game on Saturday.
You have to love the impact of Rocco Grimaldi… two goals in two games and play that is going to make it impossible for Lavy to remove him from the lineup. He is noticeable for all the right reasons and Dallas hasn’t figured a way to stop him… which brings me to the JoFA line.
One of the best defensive teams in the is keying on them. It is almost as if the Stars coaching staff is daring the Predators to beat them without the JoFA line… and for the last two games… they basically have. The Stars are doing an outstanding job limiting chances from Arvidsson and Johansen… Forsberg had to use grit and determination to get his goal on a sweet stretch pass from Nick Bonino.
Look… I am not whistling past the graveyard here. The Predators have some things to fix… but they are getting the job done and I, for one, am pretty damn happy about it.
Game 4 is tomorrow night with the chance to put this series in a headlock and return to Smashville with the opportunity to close it out on home ice… and given how lit Smashville was last Saturday night, this one could be epic. But work to do before then… a lot of work!
Game four is 7pm (thank heavens) tomorrow in Dallas. We will be breaking it all down with Dallas beat writer Mike Heika tonight on SlapShot Radio at 7pm on 102.5 the Game.
The Playoff Status
The Eastern Conference
(1) Tampa Bay vs (WC2) Columbus – CBJ Leads 3-0 – Game 4, tonight
(2) Boston vs. (3) Toronto – TOR leads 2-1 – Game 4, tomorrow
(1) Washington vs. (WC1) Carolina – WSH leads 2-1 – Game 4, Thursday
(2) NY Islanders vs (3) Pittsburgh – NYI leads 3-0 – Game 4 - tonight
The Western Conference
(1) Calgary vs (WC2) Colorado – COL leads 2-1 – Game 4 – tomorrow
(2) San Jose vs (3) Vegas – VGK leads 2-1 – Game 4 – tonight
(1) Nashville vs. (WC1) Dallas – NSH leads 2-1 – Game 4 - tomorrow
(2) Winnipeg vs. (3) St. Louis – STL leads 2-1 – Game 4 – tonight
- Milwaukee Update – The Ad’s finished the regular season 2nd in the AHL’s Central Division. Their best-of-5 playoff series with Iowa drops the puck on Sunday and Tuesday in Iowa and then comes home to UW-Panther Arena for games three and four next Thursday and Friday.
- Suuuuuban – PK Subban has shown why he is so valuable to this team over the last three games, scoring, aggravating, hitting, blocking. Simply has been outstanding over the first three games of this series.
- Day Off, sorta – The Predators only held meetings today at the AAC… no practice… the Preds return to Smashville after tomorrow night’s game.
- Granlund – Nice to see Mikael Granlund get a bounce… hopefully that leads to a the breakout that Pred Nation has been waiting for… stay tuned.
- Scoresberg – My word Filip Forsberg had an awesome power move on his goal last night… looked a little like Peter Forsberg (no relation) out there…
- Vigneault – The Philadelphia Flyers have hired another retread to coach the team, Alain Vigneault was announced as the new bench boss in Philly yesterday… what is this… revenge for Fred Shero going to the Rangers in the 70’s?
- Suspensions – Joe Thornton got a game… Nazim Kadri got the rest of the series against Boston, and that was a break for him and the Leafs.
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