Stay Out of the Box
The Nashville Predators were able to take both games in Nashville to take a commanding 2-0 series lead against the Colorado Avalanche. The series will now shift to Colorado where they were 28-11-2 on the regular season. The Predators had a problem this year with committing penalties as the most penalized team in the NHL.
During the regular season, the Preds averaged 11:19 per contest, 320 minor penalties,and 24 major penalties. In grand total, the Nashville Predators had 928 penalty minutes, 16 minutes more than the next closest team. The Predators have got to stay out of the penalty box during the post-season. Colorado had the 8th ranked power play during the regular season (21.9%). The Nashville penalty kill has been excellent during the series, but staying out of the box will keep the Avs at bay.
The Predators were up 5-3 late in Game Two when Colorado pulled Johnathan Bernier. With the extra skater, Alexander Kerfoot scored to bring the game to the eventual final score of 5-4. Granted, the Predators would go on to win the contest, but a broken play led to Colorado coming within one. During the play, the defense broke down in front of Rinne allowing for the Avs goal.
Nashville needs to play the full 60 minutes tonight. Colorado, as the final team to make the playoffs, has nothing to lose. They are massive underdogs against the President’s Trophy winning team.
Nathan MacKinnon has been the best player for Colorado during this series. With his production this year, 39 goals, 58 assists, the Halifax, NS, Canada should be the leader on his team. Dynamic and focused, he is an outstanding player and Nashville has done a decent job reigning him in and not giving him much time in space. The Predators have to keep MacKinnon in check with his ability to score at a moments notice. If they can keep him from producing, Nashville could be one game away from moving on to the next round.
The series will shift from Bridgestone Arena to the Pepsi Center in Denver. Be sure to catch all of the action on NBCSN, Fox Sports-Tennessee, or you can listen live on 102.5 The Game. Puck drops at 9:00 pm!