Looking Forward To Game 5

Thursday, 04.19.2012 / 4:48 PM
By Tom Callahan - Nashville Predators / Tom Callahan's 2012 Playoffs Blog
Yes, it's 3-1 Nashville heading into Game Five tomorrow night. You are allowed to feel good, dear Preds fan, but let's not get too cocky.

This is still Detroit, despite some injuries and issues, the Wings have played well in this series. But I also think the odds are in Nashville's favor that the Preds may indeed close it out soon.

First of all, I believe that Nicklas Lidstrom simply isn't 100%. I know we won't know the truth until after the season. Even at 70 or 80% he's still awesome and very effective. But I do know that any time you have an ankle injury it limits your mobility in several ways and Lidstrom is playing through it. Plus, missing Darren Helm doesn't help the Wings at all right now; his absence forces Detroit to play Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg a lot more on the PK, which forces them to use a lot of energy away from the offensive end.

For Nashville, Pekka Rinne is obviously the biggest factor in the series. Don't overlook Nashville's defensive efforts to block shots and get in the lanes too. Pekka can't do it all by himself and the Predators have certainly helped him out at key times. The upside is that Hal Gill hasn't played a single game in this series and the Preds have managed to get it to 3-1. I like to think of how much better the Preds will be when he returns! (And Gill has been skating hard the last two Preds practices, Tuesday's morning skate in Detroit and today's session at Centennial)

Also, look for new linemates Alexander Radulov and Gabriel Bourque to flourish together. I think the games they play will compliment each other very well… Bourque is turning into another Patric Hornqvist, a guy Barry Trotz can put on a line to make better and more energetic. Keep an eye on these two if they're paired up for Game Five!

And with that, let's be loud Friday night!

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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

 
 

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