Nashville Predators: Western Conference Qualifying Round Predictions

Jarred Tinordi #24 of the Nashville Predators (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Jarred Tinordi #24 of the Nashville Predators (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /
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Nashville Predators
Nashville Predators (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images) /

2. 121. 3. 151. Prediction

The Coyotes are a tough defensive team with excellent goaltending. Darcy Kuemper will be ready in goal after suffering an injury during the season. Antti Raanta will be prepared in goal as well. If Taylor Hall and Phil Kessel get hot on offense, the Predators had better watch out.

The Predators have a veteran group led by Norris Trophy finalist Roman Josi. He and the other defenseman must match the Coyotes defensively. Most of the Predators’ core group was together during the Stanley Cup Finals run in 2017.

After struggling this season, the Predators need their high-paid forwards to come out firing on all cylinders. A lot is riding on the performance of the top two offensive lines. They should easily overtake what the Coyotes have in terms of forwards, aside from Hall, Kessel and rising star of Clayton Keller.

3 Things that Have Stood Out from Preds Training Camp. light. More

The Predators must get pucks to the net accurately and shoot often against a Coyotes team that lives, and sometimes dies, by its defensive play. They don’t make many mistakes and will do everything to make this a low-scoring, and maybe boring, series.

Veteran goaltender Pekka Rinne has struggled this season but has extensive playoff experience. Juuse Saros had an incredible second half of the season but has no playoff experience. Picking a starting goaltender will be a tough decision for Head Coach John Hynes.

These two teams played twice this year, splitting the wins. Unfortunately, the Coyotes blew the Predators off the ice in the first meeting with a 5-2 victory. The Predators got revenge in December and beat the Coyotes 3-2.

This whole series will depend on which Predators team shows up to play. Judging by what I’ve heard and seen in training camp, the Predators will be just fine, even if it takes five games to win.

WINNER – Nashville Predators in 5