Tonight, the Nashville Predators have the opportunity to do something that has never been done in the history of the franchise. Nashville has the opportunity to move on to the Western Conference Final with a victory at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis tonight. The opportunity to move on was there last year against the Sharks, but the Predators lost in Game Seven of the Second Round. The Preds can expect a HUGE push in the first ten minutes of the game tonight. The Nashville defense will need to give Pekka Rinne every opportunity to stop the puck, remove screens, and allow him to do what he has done best during his 7-1 playoff record, and .953 save percentage. If the Predators can weather the storm, score an early goal to take the crowd out, you could witness history tonight.
The St. Louis Blues have seen strong play from their front line of Paul Stastny, Vladimir Tarasenko, and Jaden Schwartz. The Predators have given this group a tough time during this series. Over the first four games, the elite line for St. Louis has amassed three goals and two assists. The point production has not been significant for this group, but their ability to get chances to the net has been overwhelming. The Predator defense must keep this group’s chances to a minimum. They can produce at a moment’s notice, but have been relatively shut down this series.
The Nashville Predators and St. Louis Blues have played a brand of playoff hockey that is common this time of year: physical. Cody McLeod and Austin Watson have been the two that have been more physical than most. Watson leads all skaters in the playoffs with 49 hits and third with 6.1 hits per game. The rivalry between McLeod and Ryan Reeves seems as though their physical brand could spill over to a brawl, and could be a possibility tonight. This physical style of hockey must continue tonight for Nashville to keep up with the bigger Blues skaters. If the Predators can keep the physicality, with their speed and skill, we could be witnessing history tonight in St. Louis.
The Nashville Predators will look to make history tonight and move on to the Western Conference Final for the first time in the history of the Preds franchise. Be sure to catch all of the action on NBCSN or you can listen live on 102.5 The Game. Puck drops at 7:00 pm!