Anaheim Ducks Vs. Nashville Predators
Season Series: Ducks 2-0-1 (Preds. 1-2-0)
Experience proved itself valuable as the Ducks scathed off defeat from the speedy- Edmonton Oilers. Even though at points, being down 2-0 in the series, losing game 6, 7-1 it was the Game 5 comeback that said it all. After the Ducks came back from a 3-0 3rd period deficit to beat the Oilers in OT. The mental toughness and leadership, of Captain Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Ryan Kesler showed the resurrection power in the Ducks team. Showing experience and strategy, beats youthful energy and skill.
The Ducks although victorious, we’re completely exposed by the Oilers, leaving a big red target on the teams biggest weakness. Being, none other, than goaltender John Gibson.
The Predators’ are stacked on offence and John Gibson is going to be the firm foundation for the Ducks on defence. Gibson was reduced to nothing, many times against the Oilers, allowing 19 goals against, in seven games. In Game 6, Gibson was pulled after letting in 3 of his first 6 shots. His .908 SP for the post-season is the worst of any goaltender that played in the 2nd round. He will have to pick up his game if the Ducks want any chance to return to the Stanley Cup Final since last appearing 10 years ago.
Where the Ducks have the worst goaltending situation out of the 4 remaining teams. Their opposition the Nashville Predators have the best goaltending in that of Pekka Rinne.
Rinne is on pace to set a record for best playoff save percentage by any goalie ever! Which is a huge accomplishment. Rinne let in fewer goals, in both rounds against the league- leading Blackhawks and the St. Louis Blues, than John Gibson allowed in the 2nd round against the Oilers.
Rinne is close to writing history as he records a shattering .951 SP and an unimaginable 1.37 GSA. Rinne has been stupendous, but can also thank his formidable defensemen. Helmed by newly acquired P.K. Subban and Roman Jossi, backed by Nathan Ellis and Mattais Ekholm. The Ducks are going to have to play red-rover with two lines to bull-rush, if they just want to see the net.
The Ducks can answer the bell, if Ryan Getzlaf has anything to say about it. Getzlaf has been playing some of the best hockey of his career. Through 11 games, Getzlaf has already put up eight goals and 15 points, with no sight of stopping. The Ducks looked shaky as a collective, but if they can find the spark that showed that dovishly scary team during the 2nd period of Game 7. We can possibly, have a well-deserved Stanley Cup team on our hands.
The Predators however, show one thing, if anything over these last two rounds of the playoffs. That’s consistency, sure some points of set-back, but overall, they’ve saved their best hockey of the year for the spring. The clutch gene has kicked in, which they prove is all you really need to reserve a spot in the Stanley Cup Final. If the Predators can just keep doing what they’re doing. Allow the defence and Pekka Rinne to work their magic. The rest of the Predators team can sit pretty comfortably, as they rebound, bouncing pucks at John Gibson all series long.