For the first time, the Nashville Predators will host a Western Conference Final game in the city of Nashville. To say that Bridgestone Arena will be rocking tonight is a definite understatement. National “talking heads” have marveled at the sheer volume inside the arena and the rabid Predator fanbase. The Nashville Predators will need Bridgestone Arena to be “lit” against Anaheim. The Ducks increased the amount of hits, whether legal or not, and stepped up their game in Anaheim. The Predators will need to come out and jump on top of the Anaheim hitting barrage, but make sure that they play their style of hockey. If you give them an inch, they will take a mile.
One glaring problem from Game Two was the lack of defense from the Predators. Pekka Rinne has been absolutely outstanding this postseason, but gave up some weak goals en route to the 5-3 loss in Game Two. Expectations for Rinne will be high at home and he will need to be the type of player that Nashville had during the first two rounds during the postseason. Yet, it is not just on Rinne for the bad defense play. The defensive corps was pressing and became over-matched in Game Two. When given the opportunity, the Nashville defensemen need to engage offensively, but not at the expense of giving up timely goals at critical times.
The theme for “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego” keeps running through my mind when thinking about the offensive play of Colin Wilson and Mike Fisher. Wilson and Fisher have done an excellent job of going to the net this postseason, creating screens, and giving others the opportunities to score. Yet, when there are only two points between both of them, a problem rears its ugly head. Tonight, in front of a raucous crowd, would be a great opportunity for these two to have a banner night for their post-season success. The focus needs to be to get John Gibson moving, and these two do an excellent job screening the opposing goaltender, forcing movement from Gibson. The Predators need #PlayoffColinWilson and 3OT game-winning goal scorer, Mike Fisher, to show up tonight.
No matter who sings the National Anthem tonight, Bridgestone Arena will be louder than it has ever been in the history of the 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!