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Nashville Predators vs. Winnipeg Jets Game 1 Preview: Thrash the Jets

Friday night playoff hockey...nothing better.

I’ll admit it. I’m worried about this series. I’m not worried about it because Winnipeg is a better team than Nashville. I’m worried because Winnipeg has really big guys on their team and they are dangerous every minute of the game. I’m worried because we will be taken on an emotional roller coaster against this team. I’m worried because there are likely to be injuries. I’m worried because the officiating is likely to be uneven.

I’m not worried, however, about the Beechcraft Tomahawk out front Bridgestone Arena. It will be in pieces by Sunday evening, and I’m willing to bet that the entire empennage (tail) will be shattered on the ground.

I’m not worried about how loud Bridgestone Arena will be tonight. I’m not worried about our Predators playing an uneven game like they did against Colorado.

The Winnipeg Jets

The Jets are coming in with plenty of rest after quickly disposing of the Wild in five games. Will they be rusted or rested? Will they still have the “malaise”?

If you missed them, here are the OTF previews for each position:

We know this series will be a grind for our boys. The Jets are talented and they aren’t going to surprise anyone with their skill. They have Patrik Laine, although Nashville allowed no Laine goals in the regular season.

There are guaranteed to be tons of penalties tonight. Will Winnipeg be more disciplined than Nashville in this series?

Arctic Ice Hockey has coverage for the Jets.

The Nashville Predators

The Predators are well-rested headed into this series. At Thursday’s team practice, we saw mostly intact forward lines with only Austin Watson missing for what we will presume is “maintenance.” Keep an eye out for the presser with Coach Laviolette this afternoon to see whether he will be available.

Pekka Rinne is due for some big games. He wasn’t his best against Colorado, and he’s battling fellow Vezina-nominee Connor Hellebuyck for the title of “the best” goaltender of the series.

The second line of Kyle Turris, Craig Smith, and Kevin Fiala have been incredibly honest about their lackluster performance in Round 1. Turris has put in some extra work before team practice, and all know they can be better against the Jets. This line can be a real scoring threat.

Our newly-formed third line of Austin Watson, Nick Bonino, and Colton Sissons is in for a huge series if they can keep up that Round 1 magic. Do they get a nickname? We’ll have to see.

Memories and Feelings

-Remember the time Nashville scored TWO shorthanded goals on the Jets on the SAME power play? Me too.

-I feel like we should start a donation drive of Advil, Tylenol, and ice packs for our boys tonight as they face off against the hard-hitting Jets.

Reasons to Watch

-Um, Game 1 of Round 2. Why not? Go watch Infinity War tomorrow.

-I’m not sure how you top Round 1’s pregame show, but I’m sure the Predators are going to try their best tonight. The team has announced that all fans should be in their seats by 6:55 pm.

-Who will tonight’s anthem singer be? Please leave your thoughts below.

Tonight’s Theme Song

“Danger Zone” from Top Gun.

Tonight’s Drink of Choice

Wild Turkey Master’s Keep 17-year bourbon. (I’ll be in Bridgestone, so there will not be bourbon of incredible quality. Sip some for me.)

How to Watch

Tonight’s game will be broadcast on NBC Sports. Puck drop will be a bit after 7 pm.

102.5 The Game has the radio call.

If you can’t get inside Bridgestone Arena tonight, the outdoor viewing area at Music City Walk of Fame park opens at 4 pm. They’re going to have a giant screen for fans, and there will be plenty of food trucks. Check out all sorts of game-day info here.