Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Preds Take Game 1 in Dominating Fashion

Any road win in the playoffs is good, but the Preds sent a message in the 4-1 win last night over Anaheim. Anaheim has to be worried about their offense against a stingy Preds defense backed up by hot goalie Pekka Rinne. The confidence of Anaheim has to be rattled as well with their only goal coming on a 5-on-3 power play. Now all the pressure is on Anaheim in game 2. The Ducks can't go down 0-2 with 2 losses on their home ice to start the series and feel they have a reasonable shot to come back and win the series.

Other notes:
* Mike Fisher showed why the Preds traded for him with 2 laser shots for goals. His 2nd (and the 4th overall) sent Dan Ellis to the showers early.
* The Preds must be disciplined and not take penalties. The 5-on-3 was a situation where Kevin Klein lost his cool against Corey Perry. Anaheim's power play is deadly (#3 in NHL), but the Preds showed Anaheim last night that in even-strength situations they will have a tough time scoring against our defense.
* Anaheim really went after the body early and then got chippy at the end of the game. Again, Preds must keep their cool and know this is going to happen again if the Ducks can't get their offense going.
* Even though Preds won, I don't like Colin Wilson not playing. He is one of our top 5 players in terms of offensive skills. I would have him in instead of Halischuk.
* Will Cal O'reilly get back in lineup during the series? He is skating again now with the team since the broken leg suffered midway through the season. He is ideally situated to take Jerrod Smithson's place as center on the 3rd line in my opinion.

Friday night at 9:30 for game 2. If the Preds can withstand Anaheim coming out in full force and pull this game off, they would be in the driver's seat to win their first playoff series. It will be a war because Anaheim must win. The Preds better be ready.

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