Nashville Predators: Keys To A Game Three Victory

(Photo Credit: Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports)
(Photo Credit: Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports) /

Alright, everybody. As the old adage goes in the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, you are not truly in trouble until you lose a game at home! So with that said, I am still selling tickets to board the Nashville Predators “Positive Vibes Only Train.” They’re now on sale at 50% off.

The storm was anything but conquered by the Predators in Raleigh, NC, through the first two games of this best-of-seven set between the Predators and Hurricanes. Although the results were disappointing, not all was lost to the storm.

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There are still some pieces to salvage as the series turns back to Bridgestone Arena. The Predators are set to welcome the largest crowd in the NHL in the last 15 months to help even the series.

Let’s look at the keys to success that will help the Predators claw their way back into series contention!


While the members of the team have a lot to focus on, the fanbase has some work to do to help earn a positive result tonight!

After some disappointing results where nearly every Predator, aside from Juuse Saros, was unable to generate much excitement, many Predators’ prognosticators and pessimists have risen from the ashes on social media.

Side note. Hey Predators. Let’s not make Saros the most exciting part of these next two games.

Also, I caution to remind everyone that it’s a true accomplishment that the Predators are even in the playoffs.

With a microscopic chance of making the post-season this year, we’ve got to remember something. This team likes to dig themselves into a bit of a hole to climb out of.

How 2021 Nashville Predators would it be to be down 2-0 in a playoff series against the division champs and come back to make it an exciting series?

Let’s put the pitchforks away and hold off on the burial plans until we at least know the result of Game Three. Remember, positive vibes as the Predators will be in front of over 12,000 strong. Nashville’s “7th Man” can help will a win and get the Predators “vibin'” once again!

Lineup Log Jam

The Predators traditionally and currently are the definition of a team that “does it by committee.” Sometimes that committee mentality is detrimental to the overall progress of the franchise, but it has kept them competitive enough to earn seven straight trips to the post-season.

Yes, last year counts. Don’t @ me.

The fact is, Head Coach John Hynes has some difficult decisions to make when he submits the lineup card on a game-by-game basis. With so many players in this organization capable of contributing, the only thing he is guilty of is not becoming a chemist overnight and finding the right mix to optimize performance.

While that is a primary responsibility that falls on him, the more ingredients that mix into the equation, the more difficult it is to develop a solution. Here’s hoping for the underdogs he’s able to find the right mix to make this a competitive contest.

It looks like we can expect Calle Jarnkrok back in the lineup after missing Game Two with an undisclosed illness. It also looks like Eeli Tolvanen will stay in and can hopefully help rectify a woefully snakebitten power-play that went 0-7 on Wednesday night.

Along with many fans, I hope to see an insertion of Rocco Grimaldi at some point in this series to add a little speed and scoring ability. Grimaldi should be able to help counteract a Carolina team that oozes both throughout their entire lineup.

That decision again will be made by the actual coach of the team, however, and not from my armchair, unfortunately, but I digress.

The Stars Need To Shine!

As witnessed in the first two games of this series, the Predators lack a true game-breaking threat, unlike the Hurricanes with Sebastian Aho and Andrei Svechnikov in tow.

No disrespect to Filip Forsberg, but to unlock his full potential, he needs a little more help from some of the highest-paid players on the team, including his centerman Ryan Johansen.

It was an excellent start for the JoFA line in Game One, scoring the first goal of the series, but we need a vintage 2017-like performance from this line if the Predators are to stand a chance tonight.

Speaking of chances. Significantly more “Grade A” chances to test rookie netminder Alex Nedeljkovic for Carolina certainly wouldn’t hurt the Predators’ chances to get a victory tonight.

As for between the pipes, what more can we say about Saros? He has done everything he can to keep his team in this series. It can be said with certainty that the Predators will go as far as he can carry them.

Some timely goals from the guys in front of him and a renewed commitment to the defensive structure that got the Predators here will greatly aid Saros in his efforts to help bring this team a win and back in this series.

2-0. 109. 151. . Bally Sports South and USA Network. Friday, May 21. 0-2. 6 PM CDT


We all know what a fully engaged, energized crowd at Bridgestone Arena can do for this team. The Predators will not have the excuse to fall back on tonight of not having the home-ice advantage as they will play host to the largest crowd an NHL rink has seen in over a year.

The Predators need to use this energy, feed off of it, and get back to the identity that brought them here.

"“I’m excited to just get back to Bridgestone and get in front of our fans, [We’ll see the] most fans we’ve had in over a year, and I’m just looking forward to that. We know what our crowd can do to our club and the energy it can bring to us, so we are just excited to get home and play in front of our fans.” – Ryan Johansen"

Regardless, all eyes in the greater Tennessee area and mine up here in Saskatchewan, Canada, will be fixated on this matchup. Let’s drop the puck, pick up a W and get back in this thing!


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