The Nashville Predators are getting ready to play their second game while every other series has already played two.
The Stanley Cup Playoffs are the most amazing Pro Sports playoffs available. The eventual champion has to grind through a possible 28 games to become the champion. There is plenty of physical play to overcome. It is every other day against the same opponent for a series where tempers build, usually against usual rivals.
For fans, it is fantastic although nerve-wracking when you are watching your team. Every goal, every game means so much and you are living and dying with your beloved team.
With all of that in mind, we wanted to share some thoughts on this Stanley Cup Playoff season so far. It has certainly been interesting from a fan’s standpoint.
Nashville Predators First Line – The Anaheim Ducks fully expected to shut down the line of Ryan Johansen, James Neal, and Calle Jarnkrok. Coach Bruce Boudreau routinely sends out Ryan Kesler along with Andrew Cogliano and Jakob Silfverberg to play against the opponents top line and they were possibly the best shutdown line all season.
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The Preds Neal scored 35 seconds into the game and set the tone against Kesler’s line. Although Kesler scored in the second, Neal had nine shots on net, tieing a Predators playoff record. In Nashville, where Coach Laviolette has last line change, it will be interesting to see how he handles this. If Kesler’s line can’t contain Johansen’s line, it will be a long and very short series for the Ducks.
Technology is Too Prevalent -The idea for replay and coaches challenges was to keep missed call out of the news, not in them. It has been the theme of this Playoffs so far with disputed calls and way too much time being spent looking at those little iPads by officials.
There is no clear-cut version of how far or how high a player’s skate must be at the blue line on an offsides call and when it happens long before a goal is scored many passes later, how is it an advantage anyway. The Blues came right out and said that they felt they had a game stolen from them with technology.
Yesterday’s fiasco with Antoine Roussel‘s kicking, twisting goal off of Devin Dubnyk into what looked a net off the moorings was iffy at best. It was first called “No Goal” and reversed. If you haven’t seen it, take a look as it was one of the craziest goals we’ve ever seen:
You want to get the calls right but when the controversial calls are the news and not the game it just doesn’t work.
Things You Don’t See – When you’ve seen as many hockey games as we have, you just can’t believe that there are so many things that surprise you when you do see them. The Roussel goal was one, and this goal given up from the other end of the ice was another. We’ve seen goals from that far away before but those were when the net was TRULY empty. Thanks to @myregularface:
Quick Hits on Some Series:
San Jose – 2, Los Angeles – 0: The Predators and league experts were worried about anyone that had to play the Kings or the Ducks. So far they are a combined 0-3 in the playoffs. There is a long way to go but San Jose looks to be exacting revenge for last season’s fall out when they lost after going up three games to none.
Pittsburgh – 1, NY Rangers – 1: A battle of attrition in net in this one. The Penguins are playing a third string goalie due to injuries to Marc-André Fleury and Matt Murray. They lucked out in game one when Henrik Lundqvist was taken out by friendly fire when he was hit near the eye with a stick. The Penguins who were so hot coming in need one of their top two goalies to get healthy in a hurry.
St. Louis -1, Chicago -1: This is another “technology series” but has been the hardest hitting and most even series out there. It remains to be seen if either team can carry on to a second series after beating each other up in this one.
Capitals, Lightning, and Dallas: These three teams all look superior to their opponent so far and have 2-0 leads. They are all switching locations but look like they could be relatively short series. Detroit and Jimmy Howard look like no match for the beat-up Bolts and Philly and Steve Mason look about the same against the Caps.
It’s been a ton of fun so far and we’ve just scratched the surface. The Nashville Predators need to take care of business and move on to the next step. We’ll sure be watching!