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Nashville Predators vs Anaheim Ducks: Western Conference Final Game 1

Despite the quick turnaround, we’ve got you covered for this first ever conference final for the Preds.

St Louis Blues v Nashville Predators - Game Six Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Over the past, uh...*checks watch* thirty hours or so and counting, we’ve done our best to get you prepared for this series.

Anaheim Ducks

The Anaheim Ducks’ series against the Edmonton Oilers had very little defense and a whole lot of offense over most of their seven games, yet came down to a nailbiting 2-1 win to break their streak of home ice game seven losses. I anticipate a lot more games like the latter rather than the former.

Interesting quote from Randy Carlyle there about Pekka Rinne.

For comparison, here’s Ducks General Manager Bob Murray with some comments about Ducks goaltender John Gibson.

Gibson is currently sporting a .908 sv% and 2.80 GAA, but he did allow three goals on six shots in game six versus Edmonton, so I’d expect a bit better out of him. Their backup, Jonathan Bernier, has a bit of a lifetime rep for owning the Predators, but I don’t expect to see him unless something goes horribly wrong.

A lot has been made of a potential Kesler vs JOFA matchup, but I’m not sure that’s what either coach will want to roll with.

Nashville Predators

Several players briefly addressed the media before heading to Anaheim on Thursday, and Mike Fisher was sporting a bit of a fat lip from his collision with the boards during practice.

Laviolette was very much business as usual, making it clear that they’re not satisfied with where they are now.

My biggest question going in to tonight’s game is which lineup will Laviolette roll with, depending on the health status of players like Pontus Aberg and Craig Smith.

Reasons to Watch

  1. This is the very first conference final! It’s gonna be lit.
  2. Will Laviolette go speedy or heavy? Some blend of both? #FreeMiikka?
  3. Arvidsson was kept fairly silent in the St Louis series, and Forsberg was similarly snakebitten. I’m looking for them to break out in a big way.

Sights and Sounds

Puck drop is at 8 PM Central on NBCSN, streaming here, or you can catch the game on 102.5 FM. Fox Sports Tennessee will also be doing a first-ever playoff postgame show following the end of the game.