By Amanda DiPaolo
The Nashville Predators will open their Western Conference Quarter-finals against the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday, April 13th at Honda Center.
In a battle of offense versus defense, the Predators big guns will look to stop some of the NHL’s most talented forwards in order to move on to the second round of the playoffs. Shea Weber, Ryan Suter and goaltender Pekka Rinne will have to contend with Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and Bobby Ryan, as well as Mikku Koivu and Teemu Selanne.
Predators Head Coach, Barry Trotz, says that one thought comes to mind when you think of the Ducks. “When you think about Anaheim, you think about the big line, that’s where it starts and ends,” Trotz said, adding, “Out of the players who have come through in the last couple of months, [Perry] has been as good as anybody. He’d be my MVP vote for the West.”
Trotz says sooner or later the Predators will break through to the next level by winning a playoff round, and is confident in playing Anaheim.
When asked how the Predators stack up against the Ducks, Trotz said “Probably the same as everybody else. We are all stacked up at 99 points.They have the big line and it will be key for us to stop them. We are going to have to bring a real good team game.”
Trotz said it was a little disappointing to not secure home ice advantage and now the Predators will have some initial traveling to do, but because the team has spent so much time at home as of late, starting on the road is being seen as a positive. “We aren’t road weary,” Trotz said.
The coach also says the Predators are feeling confident.
“We felt very confident we were going to beat Chicago,” Trotz said. “Most people weren’t picking us to beat Chicago. This team is very similar with that no matter who we play we are confident we can beat them.”
Trotz also commented on Marty Erat. According to Trotz, Erat should be ready to return to action for when the series begins, which can only help Nashville. “He was playting so well that [his absence] affects your power play and your five on five. He has great work ethic,” Trotz said.
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