Stanley Cup Playoffs: Nashville Predators vs. Colorado Avalanche Preview
It’s the best team in the NHL versus the team that squeaked into the playoffs on the last day of the regular season.
(Photo credit: Sergel)
Top team versus the scariest team
It’s a battle between a team with more motivation than ever to get back to the Stanley Cup Final after falling to Pittsburgh last year and a group of players that weren’t expected to be anywhere near the postseason.
Colorado vs. Nashville just feels like a matchup you want to watch. It’s got the best all-around team in the NHL in Nashville and one of the best players in the game today in Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon.
But how do the two teams stack up?
Season Series: Nashville 4-0-0; Colorado 0-3-1
- Nashville: Filip Forsberg (26-38-64), Viktor Arvidsson (29-32-61), P.K. Subban (16-43-59)
- Colorado: Nathan MacKinnon (39-58-97), Mikko Rantanen (29-55-84), Gabriel Landeskog (25-37-62)
Players to Watch:
- Nashville: F Kyle Turris was the big part for Nashville in the deal that sent Matt Duchene to Ottawa, and he’s going to be a major key for the Predators. With the penalty problems that Nashville likes to get in to, Turris will be needed to win key faceoffs and keep the puck out of the Predators zone.
- Colorado: G Jonathan Bernier has to be relied on with Semyon Varlamov unavailable due to injury. If Colorado wants any shot at pulling the upset, Bernier has to play like a number one goaltender.
Outlook: Nashville is far and away the best team in the NHL, and they handled the Avalanche pretty well in the regular season. That being said, Colorado has the best player in the series in MacKinnon. The former first overall pick has the ability to completely take over the series, especially if Nashville continues to get into penalty trouble.
If any team can shut down MacKinnon, though, it’s a Nashville squad that boasts the most elite defensive group in the NHL. For Colorado to pull off the upset, they need depth scoring from the bottom six and the blueline.
Pick: Nashville in five
|1||Thu, Apr 12||Avalanche at Predators||9:30 p.m.||NBCSN, SN, TVA|
|2||Sat, Apr 14||Avalanche at Predators||3 p.m.||NBC, CNBC, SN, TVA|
|3||Mon, Apr 16||Predators at Avalanche||10 p.m.||NBCSN, SN, TVA|
|4||Wed, Apr 18||Predators at Avalanche||10 p.m.||NBCSN, SN, TVA|
|5*||Fri, Apr 20||Avalanche at Predators||TBD||TBD|
|6*||Sun, Apr 22||Predators at Avalanche||TBD||TBD|
|7*||Tue, Apr 24||Avalanche at Predators||TBD||TBD|