It is now a best of three, with Nashville possessing home ice advantage. The teams have split on home ice so far, each winning one in their own barn, but as a series progresses you would much rather have two of the last three at home. Unless you are St. Louis or Winnipeg… but I digress.
I didn’t write anything for the last few days. In the spirit of letting that butt whippin’ go… I prefer to look ahead to today’s matinee in Smashville.
The team practiced both days and true to his comment from Thursday, coach Peter Laviolette welcomed both Brian Boyle and Wayne Simmonds back to practice on Friday. Extensive work on special teams was evident, along with the absence of Rocco Grimaldi who is being described as day-to-day or as a maintenance day… take your pick.
The Preds Twitterverse has been a cornucopia of hot takes… some ok, some woefully uninformed and some were just bats**t crazy. The playoffs do bring out the interesting takes… from trades that need to happen, to firings that need to happen, to blowing the team up. Gang… it’s game five… the series is even and Nashville has home ice. If the Predators had gone into Dallas and lost game three but won game four… the takes would be radically different. The situation is the same… each team has to win two games of the next three; and only one team gets to play two of them on home ice.
The problem with all of these hot takes is this… they act as if there is only one team on the ice.
You have to give Dallas credit, they are playing a whale of a series so far… honestly… they have played so well that only rotten goaltending in game three has this series tied. They are playing disciplined hockey and playing to their strengths as a hockey team. They are not a rollover.
Do the Predators need to come out strong today? Yup. Would it be nice for the power play to get on track? Yup. Would it be great for Smashville to be loud, crazy and proud for an entire 60 minutes today? Yup.
The good things about games like Wednesday’s is that they are easy to put behind you as a player, as a coach, as a team… as a fanbase? Not so much. So… the team has moved on, they are focused on today and what needs to happen to take a 3-2 lead in this series.
I expect to see one of either Brian Boyle or Wayne Simmonds back in the lineup today… no word on if Rocco Grimaldi is available. Game time is 2pm, the game is being carried on NBC, channel 4 in Nashville… pregame on 102.5 begins at 1pm, game coverage with Pete Weber and Hal Gill starts at 2.
It should be nuts at the Bridge… see you there.
The Playoff Status
The Eastern Conference
(1) Tampa Bay vs (WC2) Columbus – CBJ Wins 4-0 – Next Up – Winner of BOS/TOR
(2) Boston vs. (3) Toronto – TOR leads 3-2 – Game 6, tomorrow
(1) Washington vs. (WC1) Carolina – Series tied 2-2 – Game 5, tonight
(2) NY Islanders vs (3) Pittsburgh – NYI Wins 4-0 – Next Up – Winner of WSH/CAR
The Western Conference
(1) Calgary vs (WC2) Colorado – COL wins 4-1 – Next Up – Winner of SJS / VGK
(2) San Jose vs (3) Vegas – VGK leads 3-2 – Game 6 – tomorrow
(1) Nashville vs. (WC1) Dallas – Series tied 2-2 – Game 5 - today
(2) Winnipeg vs. (3) St. Louis – STL leads 3-2 – Game 6 – tonight
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