Are We Ready for Nashville-San Jose II?
Yep, Nashville, the 4 seed, will host San Jose, the 5 seed. Again. Stanley Cup Playoff revenge dangling in front of the Preds. I think it's safe to say after last year's 4-1 destruction handed them by the Sharks last year, I hate that team more than any other. I hope the Preds do too, and that it matters.
The Preds were 3-1 against them this year, an improvement over the 2-2 regular season wash from last year, but this team is again going to have to contend with that line of Patrick Marleau, Jonathan Cheechoo, and Joe Thornton (among others) who absolutely wore the Preds out in last season's opening round. Marleau scored 7 freaking goals in that series.
Last year's playoff round was so frustrating for so many reasons. The Sharks dominated and the refs, looking for anything and everything (and nothing), didn't help out. It seemed like the Sharks were always in the offensive zone and/or on the power play. The Preds were outscored 17-10 for the whole series, but it seemed like 100-10.
The Preds should definitely look at tape from last year's demolition and get angry at how thoroughly they were dominated. Otherwise, we'll be looking at more of the same. Last year, it seemed like the Preds were getting a pass because Vokoun was hurt and untested Chris Mason was running the show, but believe me, anyone who watched the games last year know that it didn't matter if we had Patrick Roy in there. The defense is going to have to make sure Cheechoo, Marleau, et al, are spending time on their asses rather than setting up a tent in the slot. And stop doing stupid stuff and taking penalties.
I'm going to be ramped up, hopefully I can watch a few of these games, and maybe the Preds can make it out of the first round this year.