|Posted by Landon Ewaniuk on April 20, 2012 at 11:25 PM|
On Friday night, the Nashville Predators became the first team to advance to round 2 of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Preds beat their division rival Red Wings 2-1 in an elimination Game 5. Detroit native and career Nashville Predator, David Legwand scored the series winner 13 seconds into the final frame.
'Since entering the NHL in 1998 as a member of the Central Division, Nashville has measured itself against Detroit, the League’s dominant franchise during the last two decades. For the first time, in 2011-12 as the No. 4 seed in the West, Nashville finished ahead of the Red Wings in the standings -- and for the first time in three Stanley Cup Playoff meetings, they ousted their division rival." NHL.com
The victory marked the earliest playoff exit for the Detroit Red Wings since their lost to the Edmonton Oilers in the opening round of 2006.
So, how did the Predators beat the mighty Red Wings? Simple, by playing their system of solid defensive hockey that is overlooked by many. Pekka Rinne, allowed just nine goals in the five games, this guy is quickly becoming one of the premier goaltenders in the National Hockey League. Offensively, Nashville was able to use its youth, depth and speed to capitalize on the aging Red Wings. Alexander Radulov and Gabriel Bourque are two players teams' must stop going forward.
After winning just their second playoff series ever, many hockey fans are saying the Nashville Predators will represent the West in the Stanley Cup Final. That's how convincing this victory over Detroit in five games was. The Nashville Predators are hard to play against in all three zones. I can see why people would pick them as a favorite...
Congratulations, on being the first team to advance to round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs Nashville Predators!