Keys to Watch
Win or Stay Home
If the Nashville Predators are going to extend the series to game seven, they must have a win at Bridgestone Arena tonight. The Predators are looking at the possibility of having their season ended tonight after three, less-than desirable performances after starting the series off 2-0. The Preds need a collective effort that shows their ability that we have seen for a majority of the year. When the Predators are at their best, there are three key variables: 1. Strong play by Rinne, 2. Strong net-front presence, 3. High-Level intensity. If the Predators can put these three categories together tonight, they will push the series back to Anaheim for game seven.
During the regular season, Mike Ribeiro was fifth on the team in points (50), second on the team in assists (43), and fourth on the team with a +11 rating. Mike Ribeiro’s performance has been quite to point of topic for the fans on social media over the last games played. After five games played this post-season, Ribeiro has a -3 rating, one assist, atrocious in the face-off circle, and only three shots on net. The Nashville Predators regular season would have been completely different without the help of Mike Ribeiro. He was a valuable member of this organization, but the playoffs are different. The Predators need the Montreal, QC, Canada native to step up in game six. If his play continues, the Predators will need to bench him, or look forward to another early departure in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Possible Return of Craig Smith
Craig Smith was playing extremely well in the first three games of the playoffs, and due to a lower-body injury, the team has struggled. There is a correlation between Smith’s departure and the decline of the Predators offensive production. The Preds need a jolt in their lineup, and if Smith can go tonight and be effective, we could see Nashville play better against Anaheim. The Predators are looking for someone to standup and play a fast, aggressive game against the Ducks. They need offensive assistance and Smith might just be the player to do that.
The Nashville Predators will look to push the series to a game seven against the Anaheim Ducks at Bridgestone Arena. Be sure to catch all of the action on Fox Sports-Tennessee or you can listen live on 102.5 The Game. A pregame party on the plaza, featuring the smash car, begins at 4:00 pm! Doors to the arena open at 5 p.m. Puck drops at 7:00 pm!