Well, folks. Game 6 is here. It’s an elimination game for the Predators in hostile territory. Can our boys pull out some last-minute magic and steal a game in Winnipeg?
The Nashville Predators
The Predators haven’t looked like themselves in this post-season… we can all agree on that. We’ve seen some flashes of excellent team play and defense, but not enough to inspire confidence. And now the Predators are going into Winnipeg tonight to hopefully take Game 6 from the Jets in front of their home team. It’s for sure going to be rowdy and wild in Manitoba.
Ryan Johansen looked like a man possessed on Saturday evening, but he was really the only one who was playing well enough to win. Yannick Weber added the evening’s first tally on a gorgeous “pick a corner, any corner” shot. He should do more of that in the regular season. I said on Saturday evening on Twitter that Roman Josi and Ryan Ellis were due a big game. They didn’t provide that for the Predators, and Ellis and Josi have been largely invisible in the series. Another absent player has been Kyle Turris. It’s not a good look.
Pekka Rinne was once again pulled for Juuse Saros on Saturday. If that happens again on tonight, you can bet the Predators’ season will be over.
The Winnipeg Jets
Young Kyle Connor was the catalyst for the Jets on Saturday night. It seemed like the rookie could do no wrong. He scored goals, set up goals, he did it all. Another man possessed is Mark Scheifele. He’s been on fire for his team. Dustin Byfuglien was once again a villain for the Jets, and it’ll probably stay that way into next season.
From his “Ovechkin office,” Patrik Laine found twine at some point Saturday evening to add a tally for the Jets. Laine has been an assist-machine this series, but now that he’s scored twice, all hell could break loose and the young goatherd Laine could put several more behind Rinne before the night is over.
Connor Hellebuyck was giving up rebounds like they were candy. Unfortunately, the Predators could not get on any loose pucks and always ended up chasing the puck into their zone. It’s pretty evident the Jets have played like the better team in this series. During the regular season, Nashville gave Winnipeg a run for their money in all five games. In the post-season, the Predators are almost making it too easy on the Jets. We’ve seen a shadow of our Predators this post-season and the Jets have stomped all over them.
Memories and Feelings
-There will be plenty after this game is over for sure. I’m not sure of what those feelings will be and speculating on that is not my strong suit.
Reasons to Watch
-The Jets will be amped up. How will the Predators respond after Saturday’s debacle?
-Will we see lineup changes? Will Scott Hartnell return to the lineup? Will Kevin Fiala stay in?
-Game 6 magic? Or handshakes?
Tonight’s Theme Song
“Last Chance” by Jet.
Tonight’s Drink of Choice
Tonight, I’ll be drinking a mint julep (or 5-6 depending on the game.) I have plenty of bourbon left from the Derby, and all that mint needs to be muddled into a glass with some Woodford Reserve.
How to Watch
Tonight’s game will be on NBC Sports. Puck drop will be a little after 8:30 Central, and 102.5 The Game will have the radio call.