Not much went wrong for the Nashville Predators on Friday night—except of course for the loss. They out-shot the Winnipeg Jets 48-19, and played their most complete game of the playoffs. And even with all of that, the Jets still came away with a 4-1 win. Tonight, the boys in gold have a chance to avenge what happened Friday.
The Nashville Predators
Not much needs to be fixed for the Preds, other than their need to get more guys in front of the net. Not only did Hellebuyck give up numerous juicy rebounds that a Preds player sitting in front of the net could have pushed in, but he also got a clear look at most of the Preds shots. Although the Preds can win by playing a very similar game, they can’t do it without guys screening in front of the Winnipeg net.
Also, this game was not Rinne’s fault. He gave up one bad goal on the three he allowed, and that goal still could have been prevented by better defensive play from Nashville.
As for what to expect out of the lineup tonight,
As much as Peter Laviolette will tell us something about his lineup before a game, he just told us it will be the same lineup -- not that he told us for sure that Austin Watson will be playing. I would expect that, though.— Joe Rexrode (@joerexrode) April 29, 2018
Most importantly, this team, although they’re down, they are most certainly not out. Buckle up everyone, we should be in for a long series.
The Winnipeg Jets
While the Jets came away with a victory on Friday, they know that they can’t play that way and win this series.
Or maybe they do think that:
That’s Paul Maurice, saying that he basically doesn’t think the Jets “stole” Game One and that they played pretty well. Ok, coach.
As mentioned here, it’s only the 10th time since 1990 that a team has given up 48 shots in regulation in a playoff game and won the game, so I wouldn’t bank on that becoming a regular method of success in the postseason.
As far as the Jets, I would imagine we see the same lineup from them tonight, which would be:
Connor - Scheifele - Wheeler
Ehlers - Stastny - Laine
Tanev - Lowry - Little
Hendricks - Copp - Roslovic
Enstrom - Byfuglien
Morrissey - Trouba
Chiarot - Myers
The key for the Predators will be to keep the wingers from getting open looks. Guys like Laine and Connor and Ehlers are capable of breaking open the scoring from just about anywhere. The Preds successfully blanked that group from scoring on Friday, that will need to continue.
Reasons to Watch
- You’ve either already seen Infinity War or can push it back another day
- The Preds are going to come out firing on all cylinders after a weird loss, if this playoffs is any indication.
- This is do or die time for the Preds. Can’t head to Winnipeg down 0-2 and expect a whole lot to come from that trip. The crowd will be ready, let’s hope the team is as well.
The Important Details
6 p.m. puck drop on NBCSN and 102.5 has the radio call. Hopefully no giant dump trucks are making their way down I-40 today.