Predators finally get past the 2nd round
It’s still mind-boggling that last year’s series win over the Blues marks the only second-round series win in franchise history. In other words, this playoff success is still very fresh and new. That’s why it’s so important that the Predators prove this isn’t a fluke by doing it again this season.
With exception to the Stanley Cup Final showdown with Pittsburgh, the Blues offered the toughest resistance through the 2017 playoffs. Heading into that series, the Predators were buzzing after a shocking sweep of the Blackhawks. Shifting focus to the Blues was going to be a tough task. The series ends up being physical, as expected. Two division foes hungry for success in the playoffs. Neither franchise has a Stanley Cup.
Kevin Fiala‘s gruesome injury in the first game of the series really stands out in this series. We’ll never know what kind of impact he could have had if he plays the entire playoffs. Losing his scoring production ends up being a tough blow in the Stanley Cup Final.
Winning Game 1 on the road in St. Louis was huge, and the Predators also protected home ice to go up 3-1 in the series. Pekka Rinne was stellar, holding the Blues to two goals or less in five of the six games. Talks of just how far this team was going to go started surfacing after getting past a feisty Blues team with their own Stanley Cup Final expectations.