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It'd be easy to sit here and write about the many, many problems the Nashville Predators had in Game One against the Vancouver Canucks. Nobody decided to show up besides Pekka Rinne and Mike Fisher, and the results everywhere but the scoreboard (due only to Rinne's performance) made that very apparent.
That said, the other side of the coin is this - they only lost by one goal, and it'd be nearly impossible for the team as a whole to play any worse than they did on Thursday night. There's room for improvement in every area, and a full 60 minutes will very likely do the job required to beat the Canucks and take home ice back to Nashville.
As bad as the Predators were, the Canucks were just as good, and I doubt that they can bring the same type of performance two games in a row. If Nashville can shake the deer-in-the-headlights look and capitalize on the mistakes that are sure to come, they'll find themselves right back where they were in round one - headed back to Bridgestone Arena with a 1-1 split.
"We win and lose as a group of 20 every night," Barry Trotz said on Thursday, and that's really what it will come down to tonight. The Canucks are too good for Nashville to stroll around and wait for some lucky bounces, but just ask the Anaheim Ducks what happens when all 20 Predators contribute. I expect we'll see more of the latter than the former tonight at Rogers Centre.
While you're getting ready for the game, listen to a report from Preds' play-by-play man Pete Weber, on the scene yesterday in Vancouver (MP3):
Tonight's projected lineups:
#35 / Goalie / Nashville Predators
Nov 03, 1982
|2010 - Pekka Rinne||64||3789||33||22||134||2.12||1905||1771||.930||6|
#1 / Goalie / Vancouver Canucks
Apr 04, 1979
|2010 - Roberto Luongo||60||3590||38||15||126||2.11||1753||1627||.928||4|