Second Season Starts Up

Monday, 04.09.2012 / 11:37 AM
By Tom Callahan - Nashville Predators / Tom Callahan's 2012 Playoffs Blog
Get ready hockey fans! It’s time for the second season, the second wind, and the second chance. It’s time for the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs to begin.

This year I really do believe that every single one of the Western Conference teams can win the Cup. Up and down the eight clubs there is a reason to pick each team, a ray of hope that shines for one reason or another. I don’t think I can say that about the East.

For the Predators and Red Wings, it truly is a shame that a 100-plus point team will go out in the first round. Each team has played some impressive hockey, has a good collection of stars, and can in a single moment turn the momentum in a game. Nashville did well to earn a 4-1 win in Detroit in its last regular season appearance at JLA, and also showed it can come back on the Red Wings thanks to Shea Weber’s third-period heroics in Nashville on December 15th at Bridgestone Arena.

Don’t mistake those signs to point to an easy series however. Detroit still has Zetterberg, Datsyuk, Lidstrom, Bertuzzi, Franzen… you get the idea. A healthy Jimmy Howard is a good thing in net for the Wings. While perhaps they’ve aged a little bit again this year, the quick-strike ability is still there (witness the games against St. Louis and Chicago towards the end of the season) and they can be extremely dangerous. For Nashville to neutralize the Wings they really have to control the middle of the ice and limit turnovers. Detroit simply feasts on transition goals and has the skill to make anyone pay who does not safely escort the puck out of the zone.

For the most part, you know what to expect from the Red Wings if you’re a Predators fan. What you might wonder is what the Predators themselves bring to the ice. Yes, on paper this team is far and away the best edition in quite some time. How will that translate to the ice? Will Nashville be able to really put things together for a deep run?

For me signs point to yes for reasons like Hal Gill and Pekka Rinne on defense, plus three (and most daysfour) lines that are legitimate threats to put the puck in the net every game. The third line has the team’s leading goal scorer in Patric Hornqvist, and if Andrei Kostitsyn appears onthat unit the potential for goals doubles. The Predators have weapons this time around, and as long as they continue to play a team game an operate within the system while showcasing creativity, they will flourish.

That said, if this team gets in any way selfish and loses the buy-in to the team concept, that’s where the wheels can come off in a hurry. It takes all 20 guys going in the same direction to win a hockey game, and if that’s the game the Predators play – look out Lord Stanley.

Until next time, keep your stick on the ice.

In order to view this page you need JavaScript and Flash Player 9+ support!

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
S. Weber 79 23 33 -2 56
P. Hornqvist 76 22 31 1 53
C. Smith 79 24 28 16 52
M. Fisher 75 20 29 -4 49
R. Josi 72 13 27 -2 40
M. Cullen 77 10 29 4 39
C. Wilson 81 11 22 -1 33
N. Spaling 71 13 19 2 32
R. Ellis 80 6 21 9 27
G. Bourque 74 9 17 -5 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Hutton 20 11 4 .910 2.62
D. Dubnyk 11 18 3 .891 3.43

 
 

nashvillepredators.com is the official Web site of the Nashville Predators and nashvillepredators.com are trademarks of the Nashville Predators.  NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2013 Nashville Predators and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

NHL Ticket Exchange | Bridgestone Arena | Contact Us | Employment | NHL.com Terms of Use | Site Map | AdChoices