By: Mike “Stoney” Stone
Here are six reasons why I think the Wings will fall to the Predators in a long 7 game series.
1.Pekka Rinne and Alexander Radulov. The Predators goalie is very good. Taking nothing away from Jimmy Howard who statistically had a better season than Rinne, I just feel at crunch time Rinne is a little bit better.Radulov should not even be allowed to be on the Predators this season, but I don’t make the rules. He is a great scorer who can be the difference in this series
2. Ryan Suter and Shea Weber arguably is the best tandem in the league, whether or not they are paired together. They know that this is probably the last chance for them to play together in Nashville as Suter is an unrestricted free agent and Weber restricted. As good as Lidstrom and Kronwall have been, the Preds duo are certainly more formidable.
3. Home ice. Yes, the Red Wings are more experienced and won a game 7 on the road at Phoenix 2 seasons ago, but in a series that is very close, the ravenous Predator fans could give their team the slightest of edges.
4. Health. The Wings are banged up, period. I know Datsyuk is getting back to his amazing self and Howard is now 100 percent, but it is apparent that even if Cleary and Helm are ready to go in game 1, they won’t be themselves and that will be a problem.
5. Trust.Granted Preds defensemen Kevin Kline and Jonathon Blum are not exactly all stars, but between Quincey, Ericcson, Kindl, or Smith, I am not ready to trust these guys in clutch situations. I give the Preds the slight advantage in the defensemen who gives fans the least worries.
6. Special Teams. Probably the most significant facet of the series. The Preds have the best power play in the league. The Wings are 22nd. Nashville was 10th in penalty killing to the Wings 18th. If the Red Wings can stay out of the penalty box they can win the series, but don’t count on it.
I am not being a hater. The Wings are still a very good team and have a good chance to win this series and even make a run. I just feel that this is the year that Nashville gets the one extra call or the one fortunate bounce and beat the Wings in a memorable 7 game series.