Nashville Predators: Three Keys To Dismantling Dallas

Mar 30, 2021; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Nashville Predators players celebrate an overtime win against the Dallas Stars at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 30, 2021; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Nashville Predators players celebrate an overtime win against the Dallas Stars at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /

Get the W. By any means necessary and in regulation would be nice. That’s the message plain and simple from the  Nashville Predators faithful for tonight’s incredibly important contest set to take place at Bridgestone Arena.

Call it the “Mega Bowl,” call it the most important game of the season, call it whatever you want. The anticipation has completely boiled over ahead of this season series finale between these two combatants.

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The Predators have a chance to widen the gap and move much closer to securing the fourth and final playoff spot in the Central division, or conversely, allow the Dallas Stars to move into a tie for that spot with a game in hand as the season enters the final week.

Let’s take a look at the Predators’ three biggest keys to securing the victory tonight and moving that much closer to qualifying for the 2020/21 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Key #1: Get P***ed Off Early

Both teams have the advantage of coming off losses they would like to have back.

The Stars are coming off a 3-0 defeat at the hands of the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Predators watched (literally looked like the team was watching and not playing) a disastrous third-period result in a 7-4 loss to the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night.

These defeats mean one thing for both the Stars and Predators. They will be hungry to get back to work and get back in the win column, especially with every guy on both sides of the rink knowing the implications of earning a winning result for this game.

For the Predators, it’s a simple message for everyone in the locker room putting on a gold jersey. Get mad, get even, and get it going right from the drop of the puck. Beat them in the corners, beat them in the puck battles, beat them in disciplined physicality, and most importantly, beat them to get on the scoreboard!

The fans in attendance at Bridgestone will bring the same energy levels the team brings and give the Predators as much home-ice advantage as possible through all 60 minutes!

Key #2: Best On Best Domination

While both teams have suffered long-term injuries to key pieces of their lineups this season, there are still some incredibly talented players donning both colors tonight.

For the Predators, regardless of Filip Forsberg‘s long-awaited return from the injured list, the weight will remain on captain Roman Josi and goaltender Juuse Saros to lead the charge.

A valuable contribution will also be needed from the notable big game (and big salary) performer Ryan Johansen. He will need to step up and help set the tone for the gold guys tonight!

Put simply, the Predators’ best players need to outduel the Star’s best, and that includes neutralizing the threat of sensational rookie Jason Robertson for the Stars.

21-17-12. 7 PM CT. 151. . 119. Bally Sports South. Saturday, May 1st. 27-22-2

Key #3: Fully Embrace Your Identity Nashville Predators

The past two months have seen an incredible run for the Predators to earn their place back in the playoff conversation. After three days off, one of their longest breaks in this compressed schedule, the key here is not to let that rest lead to a slow start in ANY area of the game.

Nashville will need to use their time off as a weapon to establish the identity that has been the most important asset of their run (next to Saros, of course).

At this point, the systems are set, the X’s and O’s have been drilled into the player’s minds, and the lessons have been learned that will serve as a reminder of what happens when the identity is not there.

It is about being hard to play against the Predators, which is how GM David Poile built this team. The effort, energy, intensity, attention to detail. To get the biggest win of their season, all of those elements will have to be executed exceptionally against an equally hungry opponent.

What do you say, boys? Let’s drop this puck and enjoy a memorable night for all of Smashville!

The puck drops at 7:00 PM CDT and will be televised on Bally Sports South.  Follow along with us on Twitter for up-to-the-minute game commentary.

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