After the Predators 4-2 win Sunday night and first playoff series win in franchise history, the opponent it will face in the second round is still up in the air.
The seeding works just as it did in the first round where the highest seed will face the lowest. As of now the only two teams to advance to the second round in the West are the Detroit Red Wings and Nashville Predators. The teams finished third and fifth in the regular season and could potentially face each other in the second round.
That is of course if the Chicago Blackhawks can continue its 3-0 comeback against the Vancouver Canucks, and if the San Jose Sharks can finish off the Los Angeles Kings.
The series so far between the Canucks and Blackhawks has been an interesting one. It seemed early in the series that the Canucks would sweep Chicago after winning the first three games. However, with the return of Dave Bolland to the Blackhawks lineup in Game 4, things took a drastic turn in the series. Many believed, myself included, that the number one team in the league would eliminate Chicago in that game, but Bolland proved us all wrong when he notched 4 points in the 7-2 victory.
Since that game the Blackhawks, and Bolland, have continued to upset Vancouver and with the overtime win Sunday night, the ‘Hawks have tied the series at three. Chicago has the chance to be the fourth NHL team in history to win the series after trailing 3-0 and eliminating the Canucks for the third consecutive year. Game 7 is Tuesday in Vancouver.
The series with the Sharks and Kings has been a tight one. San Jose had a 3-1 lead in the series and a chance to take it all in Game 5, but Los Angeles had other plans and defeated the Sharks 3-1. One should note, however, that the Sharks didn’t get the lead easily.
Game 1 ended in OT and they suffered a shutout by the Kings in Game 2. Game 3 saw a 5-5 score after 60 minutes of play, but San Jose was able to pick up the win in OT yet again.
The Sharks looked to finally play the game they are capable of playing with the 6-3 win in Game 4, but despite the commanding win for once in the series, they lost Game 5. The Kings have a great chance to tie the series at 3-3 tonight and force Game 7, and I believe that they can do it because they have matched or even played better than the Sharks thus far.
So, if Vancouver wins Game 7 against Chicago and San Jose starts playing better and eliminates Los Angeles tonight, then Nashville will face the Canucks in the second round of the Stanley Cup semifinals.
But if the Sharks happen to fall to the Kings tonight, which will more than likely happen, and then again in Game 7, and the Canucks still win its series Tuesday, then the Predators will still play the Red Wings as the Kings finished seventh in the regular season and would then face the number one seeded Vancouver.
If both the ‘Hawks and Kings win in the series they are in then, the third seeded Detroit would play against the eighth seeded Chicago, while #5 Nashville would play against the #7 Los Angeles and gain home ice advantage for the first two games in the second round.
Who do you want to see Nashville play?
Answer on our poll!
Some more exciting news for Nashville occurred earlier today when Shea Weber was nominated for the 2011 Norris Trophy. The trophy is awarded to the League's top defensive player that proved to have the best all-around ability in the position in the regular season. Weber finished the regular season with 48 points (16g, 32a) and was tenth in points among defensive players. Congratulations to our Captain!
|Our best Captain yet, Shea Weber.|
Weber isn't the only Predator to get nominated for a trophy this season either.
The beast in net, Pekka Rinne, was nominated for the Vezina Trophy on Friday, and with good reason. Rinne finished in the top three netminders in the legue this season, notching a goals-against average of 2.33, third best and a save percentage good for second at .930. He finished the season starting 64 games and posted a 33-22-9 record.
With Nashville finishing 21st in goals-for, Rinne is undoubtedly one of the main reasons the Predators made it into the playoffs and past the first round for the first time. I'll even go as far to say that Rinne is the best goalie Nashville has ever had. Congratulations Pekka! You deserve to win it!
|Nashville's finest goalie, Pekka Rinne|