Predators Quest for the Cup Begins Against Avs

Predators Quest for the Cup Begins Against Avs

The NHL regular season is now in the books and the playoffs are underway. For the Nashville Predators, it is a postseason full of high expectations. They finished the season with an NHL-best 117 points, also a franchise-record. That gave them the President’s Trophy, as well as the Central Division and the Western Conference titles. They had the least number of regulation losses and the best road record in hockey. Simply put, the Preds finished up as the best team in the league this year and are the favorites to win Lord Stanley’s Cup.

The Avs needed to play until the final game of the year to get into the playoffs after their 4-1 win against the St. Louis Blues. They face two huge obstacles as they will play without their number one goalie, Semyon Varlamov and one of their top defensemen in Erik Johnson for Round 1.

Let’s not forget that the Avs had a great year coming back from the worst record in hockey in recent memory last year to making the postseason. They did all of this after they dealt star center Matt Duchene and have a Hart Trophy candidate in Nathan MacKinnon.

Unlike last postseason, Nashville comes in a healthy team. They have the likely Vezina Trophy winner in netminder Pekka Rinne. They have probably the best forwards in hockey and added Kyle Turris, Mike Fisher, and Eeli Tolvanen to make them even more potent. They are the only team with 13 10-goal scorers and it would be 14 if not for the nine Ryan Ellis got in half the season.

This is a team that is four lines deep with just one mission in mind. They are here to finish what they could not last year when they lost to the two-time defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins. They also have home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs. They went 4-0 versus the Avs this year while scoring eight more goals.

The Preds are hearing plenty about the President’s Trophy jinx that was mainly created by the Washing Capitals inability to get anywhere each time they were the top team going into the playoffs. Unless the sky falls in on downtown Nashville, this series should be a short and sweet one.

Prediction: Preds in 5

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