The Presidents Trophy winning Nashville Predators have their hands full with the Colorado Avalanche.
The Preds are strong and rough and fast. They have an outstanding goaltender. PK Subban plays the villain brilliantly.
In the vein of previous reminiscence, this is like the series back in the day with the Chicago Blackhawks. They seem kind of dirty but not in a way you can really put a finger on. Borderline hits to straight sucker-punches (Subban on Mac) leave a bad taste when watching the Predators.
The Avalanche seemed overwhelmed by that in the first game and dropped a laugher 5-2.
They found their legs in the second game and without a bad bounce may have won that game. Returning home for game 3, what respect the Avalanche had for Nashville’s forceful style had subsided. The Landeskog line skated in, out and around the Predators. They were a threat to score every time on the ice. Blake Comeau was everywhere, reminding longtime Avs fans of Mike Keane. Warsofsky filled-in admirably for the injured Sam Girard.
We aren’t even addressing the loss of top goaltender Semyon Varlomov and top defender Erik Johnson.
The Predators understand well the freedom of the eighth seed. They made it to the Cup Finals last season, losing to Pittsburgh. It’s not uncommon in the NHL playoffs for a lower-seeded team to ride a hot goaltender or breakout offensive performer deep into the playoffs. The Avalanche have the look of a team that could make some noise. Eventually the loss of Varly and EJ will have an impact but they are facing the best the League has to offer right off the bat.
The Avalanche aren’t afraid of the top-seeded Predators.
PK Subban better have more than cheap shots if Nashville hopes to put a stranglehold on this series.