Nashville Makes History
The Predators came into the NHL’s Stanley Cup Playoffs having never reached the Stanley Cup Final and they were cast off as a probable elimination as they were set to face the Blackhawks in the first round. The Predators were tagged as the 8 seed and they shocked the Blackhawks by sweeping them in the opening round behind a stellar performance of their top line and lights out goaltending from Pekka Rinne.
They weren’t done there as they faced the Blues in the second and they took the series in six games. Their defensive core was credited once again for putting up points and holding their own in the defensive zone it also helped that Pekka Rinne played out of his mind again. The Predators depth was key in this series as they received scoring from their bottom two lines as well as their top lines.
In their Conference Final series against the Ducks the Predators looked to be evenly matched and Pekka Rinne came back to Earth at the beginning of the series and he played average. But Pekka quickly went back into the stud he had been all postseason and he kept the Predators in every game during the series as the Preds were heavily outshot in the series. The Predators persevered though and began to turn the tides even through injury as they lost number 1 center Ryan Johansen for the remainder of playoffs. Depth Players like Pontus Aberg and Colton Sissons stepped up and delivered the Preds their first Stanley Cup Final appearance.
The Predators will have to await to see who their final matchup will be either the Penguins or the Senators. The Predators will continue to ride the hot hand of Pekka Rinne and their defensive core should hold up well against either team. Even without their top center the Predators have the depth to raise the Cup and a goalie that is certainly able to steal some wins for them. The Predators will look to begin their final series and raise the Cup starting Monday, May 29th.