The Nashville Predators fought off a late surge by the Ducks to take a 2-0 series lead.
Who would’ve thought in January that the Nashville Predators would have a 2-0 series lead against a Stanley Cup contender? It got to the point that watching games became torturous. After a brilliant trade and some fantastic play, Nashville controls their own destiny.
You should never doubt Pekka Rinne. The national media was pointing at Pekka as the reason that Nashville would struggle, he hasn’t so far. Pekka has stopped 54 of 58 shots in two games. One of those goals was deflected off of Roman Josi so you can’t be too upset over that.
Game 3 is the biggest game of the series so far. It will be in front of an extremely loud and proud Bridgestone Arena. No one saw Nashville winning both games on the road outside of the origination and the fans. Now, up 2-0, fans can feel the “S” word on the tip of their tongues. Of 182 teams that have tried to come back from a 3-0 deficit, only four have made it.
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The Anaheim Ducks are panicking. The future franchise goaltender
is now 0-4 in his career in playoff games. It also did not help that
kept taking turns on which one would be in the penalty box. If this keeps up, their season could be done by the end of this week.
Game 3 is 1,800 miles away from home. Away from the home fans. Away from their families and their beds. The Ducks do not even know who their goaltender will be. Should it be John Gibson who is 0-2 in the series and seems rattled, or do they switch to Frederik Anderson who will then have to face the tough, fast, aggressive Nashville team on the road in front of the fever-pitched Bridgestone crowd?
"“Too many penalties, for sure,” said head coach Bruce Boudreau to ducks.nhl.com,”We were just stupid out there.”"
If the Ducks just take their time and breathe, calm down a little and play their game, they may save their season. The clock is ticking on their dreams.
After one of the most stressful starts to a season, Nashville is sitting pretty in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Winning at least one road game would have been good enough but two is just the icing on the cake.
"“It’s huge. That was our mindset. It’s very challenging,” stated Ryan Johansen after Game 2 on the Predators Website, ” We’re are going against a great hockey team. We believe in ourselves.”"
There has not been one player that has stood out like they had in recent playoff series. It is a collective team effort. Craig Smith, Pekka Rinne, Roman Josi, and James Neal (basically everyone and everybody) has contributed in this playoff series. Even Filip Forsberg has switched his title from sniper to playmaker tallying his 3rd and 4th assist of the series in Game 2.
The Nashville Predators should feel phenomenal on their flight home knowing that they are coming home leading the series 2-0 for the first time in franchise history. Bridgestone Arena is already one of the toughest arenas to play in. The crowd is in the game for a full 60 minutes and will not let up. Game 3 on Tuesday might crack the foundation of the Bridgestone if Nashville can skate off 3-0.
This has been a great series for the boys in gold and blue. It’s crazy that there have not been any real fights yet in this series. Nashville has kept their calm and stayed composed throughout all of Corey Perry’s and Ryan Getzlaf’s crazy antics.
Nashville is back home in the cozy confines of Smashville, Tennessee and just needs to take every shift one at a time. There is no reason why the Preds should lose either of these games at home. Anaheim is a great team and could very well bounce back, Nashville can not let that happen, especially at home.
I see the Nashville Predators winning Game 3. It is not going to be an easy task but the Preds have weathered the storm so far and there is no reason to let up now. It’s going to be a “fangtastic” push to the finish line of round one.
Get loud and get proud Smashville.