Avalanche vs Predators Playoff Preview
This series has the potential to be much closer than most people think. The Predators have played the Avalanche well this season although Colorado is finally getting healthy at the right time. Unfortunately for Nashville, star goaltender Jusse Saros suffered an injury at the end of the season that will keep him out of this series for at least the first couple games. These teams have met four times this season with Nashville winning three of those games: Predators 3-1-0; Avalanche 1-1-2.
Colorado comes into this series as a heavy favourite and they will surely be hungry to live up to the Stanley Cup expectations that have been placed on this team for the last few years. The Avalanche are one of the deepest teams in the league at both forward and defence headlined by stars such as MacKinnon, Rantanen, Landeskog, Kadri, and Makar.
The Avalanche paid a steep price for goaltender Dacry Kemper and although he had a rough start to the season, his final stretch of the season will leave him feeling good heading into the playoffs.
The loss of Jusse Saros is undeniably a massive blow to the Nashville Predators and any hope they may have had of making it to the second round. If Saros can’t get healthy soon, this could be a shorter series than Nashville deserves.
On the bright side both Filip Forsberg and Matt Duchene reached the 40 goal mark which had never been achieved by any player in the Predators organization. Finally, Roman Josi has served as an incredible leader and captain for this team while leading all NHL defencemen in scoring with 96 points in 80 games. Nashville will need their star players to continue their dominant play heading into this series if they want a chance to compete.
Keys To The Series
One thing to watch in this series will be how Kadri handles himself when he finds himself in a situation where things are getting heated. The Avalanche can’t afford to have Kadri suspended for yet another playoff series because of how critical of a role he plays on their team. This is the first time all season the Avalanche have been fully healthy and it will surely be exciting to watch.