Recovering From The Trip To Vancouver

Monday, 05.02.2011 / 4:27 PM
By Tom Callahan - Nashville Predators / Tom Callahan's Playoff Blog

So the Preds split the first two games against the Canucks in Vancouver and head home for Game Three on Tuesday night at Bridgestone Arena. Oddly enough, the two teams have scored exactly two goals each in the first couple of games.

While some are awaiting the Canucks to break out and explode against the Predators in the post-season (and for that reason alone don’t seem to think Nashville will be able to emerge victorious) I would like to simply point to the “it doesn’t matter anymore” regular season record between the two clubs. They split the series 2-2, with each team winning once on the road. Pekka Rinne’s goals against average? 1.26. How about Roberto Luongo’s? 1.77. There was exactly one power play goal in the series (Vancouver’s) in a combined 30 chances.

The point is while both teams would obviously like to score more, Nashville has seen this from the Canucks before and found ways to win. I think the pressure can only mount on Vancouver, a team known for scoring in the regular season. Look at it this way: if name guys like the Sedin twins and Ryan Kesler continue to not put up points, that’s exactly where the media focus goes. Nashville scores once or twice a game? Great! Who was it this time? There’s no one player to point fingers at and say “you’re not producing”… at least on a national stage. Barry Trotz may have his thoughts on the matter, but he’s been involved with it all season. Through the long lens of national media, there’s not a single player on this team who would bear that weight. Vancouver has several.

How anyone can expect this to be a high-scoring series is beyond me. Not to say there might not be a breakout game here or there. But everything points to a continuation of what we’ve seen so far. And that should suit the Preds just fine. Let the pressure build, let the Canucks feel the weight of “not scoring”, otherwise known as playoff hockey. It amazes me in the haste to crown the Canucks kings of the west that some of these obvious things get overlooked. But then again, I have a slightly different perspective – and I don’t mind the way things look right now.

PS – The goaltenders will continue to stand on their respective heads. These guys weren’t voted two of the three best from the regular season for no reason. Cherish this entire series, you may not see one with as much clutch puckstopping going head-to-head for a very long time.

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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

 
 

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