The Nashville Predators face arguably the most daunting task of any team in the first round, in facing the red hot Anaheim Ducks. The offensively stacked Ducks boast the second most prolific line behind the Sedin twins in Vancouver.
Many writers have given the Predators an early ticket to the golf course, but people fail to see the defensive pair that will directly oppose the Ducks Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, and Bobby Ryan, is probably the leagues best. Shea Weber is a Norris Trophy finalist (given to the leagues best defenseman) and Ryan Suter led the team in plus minus.
Nashville is also under recognized as a scoring team, and has the perfect mix of young players like Blake Geoffrion, and salty veterans in players like Martin Erat, David Legwand, and newly acquired Mike Fisher.
Anaheim’s offense can be slowed by the good defense of Nashville, but the real difference in an otherwise even series is goal-tending. The Predators Pekka Rinne is second in the league in save percentage, and third in goals against average. His play will determine the outcome of the entire series. With all this in mind Nashville wins in 7 games.
Nashville plays tonight in Anaheim, and desperatly needs to steal one of the first two games on the road to put the pressure on the fourth place Ducks