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Nashville Predators vs. Colorado Avalanche Game 2 Preview: Now We’ve Got Bad Blood

You made a really deep cut, Colorado.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Colorado Avalanche at Nashville Predators Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Remember back when Colin Wilson was a beloved Nashville figure come the playoffs? That changed really quick, as the now-Avalanche forward got into numerous tussles against the Predators in Game One’s 5-2 victory for the Predators. Most notably, the former #33 for Nashville took offense to the new and improved #33 Viktor Arvidsson shooting the puck with one second left in the game up three goals, eventually engaging in fisticuffs with Ryan Johansen.

For the record, yes, shooting the puck there was a totally “heel” move by Arvidsson. Did we love it? Absolutely. Somewhere in Vegas, James Neal was watching that play with a smile. Long live Viktor “the new heel” Arvidsson.

The Colorado Avalanche

Credit is due, the Colorado Avalanche came into game one completely unafraid of the Bridgestone Arena atmosphere. For two periods they came out and executed their game plan flawlessly and, had it not been for a sensational goal-line stop by Matt Irwin (you read that right, folks), they could have easily been up 3-1 going into the third period.

However, they could not stop the onslaught that the Predators unleashed in the third period. Filip Forsberg secured the game winning goal and then added a highlight reel goal to make it 4-2, putting the puck between his own legs before putting it through the legs of former Predator defenseman Samuel Girard.

As phenomenal as the goal was, if Girard had simply played the body, there is no chance Forsberg would have scored that goal. It was a complete misplay by Girard, who otherwise had a very solid outing in his first career playoff game. However, that’s what separates great teams from the good teams: they take advantage of their opponents’ mistakes and execute.

In case you need it, here’s some of our deep dives into the Avs:

Colorado’s Forwards

Colorado’s Defense

Colorado’s Goaltending

Colorado’s Special Teams

The Nashville Predators

As a recap of last game, I humbly present the following tweet:

Colorado surprised the Predators with their speed. Considering that the Predators heavily rely on their own speed to win games, it was not a good look to start the game. Thankfully, Head Coach Peter Laviolette made key adjustments of the game wore on. The key change was matching Bonino’s third line up against Colorado’s top line. Ryan Johansen, Filip Forsberg, and Viktor Arvidsson were not playing well against that top line, but the gritty sandpaper third line managed to get the job done. Moreover, it opened up a lot more room for Forsberg and he took full advantage of it. Expect to see those same line matchups tonight.

Reasons to Watch

  1. Uh, it’s a playoff game. You really need reasons?
  2. Things got testy to say the least in game one. Expect more blood to boil and to start hating the Avalanche.
  3. Long live Viktor “the new heel” Arvidsson.

Sights and Sounds

NBC will be broadcasting this game live from Bridgestone Arena at 2:00pm. If you’re the guy who yelled at Mike Milbury last time he was in town, please do so again tonight. If you can’t make or watch the game, you can always tune in at 102.5 The Game over the radio.