Blackhawks News

Western Conference Playoff Preview #4 Predators vs #5 Red Wings

By Keith Schultz

#4 Nashville Predators (48-26-8 104 points) vs #5 Detroit Red Wings (48-28-6 102 points)

Season Series

Season Series was Tied 3-3

Series Schedule

4/11 at Nashville

4/13 at Nashville

4/15 at Detroit

4/17 at Detroit

4/20 at Nashville

4/22 at Detroit

4/24 at Nashville


Nashville is a boring team with ugly uniforms that plays a system that suffocates if given a lead. They were very active at the trade deadline with many experts saying the moves they made solidified their chances at reaching the Stanley Cup.  They have one of the best power plays in the league with a 21.7% conversion rate which is helped by the fact they have two of the best blue liners in the league in Shea Weber and Ryan Suter. Weber shot from the point is a Canon!! The key to beating the Predators is not letting them score first, they were 34-3-4 when getting they first talley. They will put the defensive choke hold on the game when scoring first. Pekka Rinne had a great season and is the biggest reason that the Predators are able to play their defensive style.

LEADING SCORER- Martin Erat– 19g 39a 58 points

BACKSTOP- Pekka Rinne 43-18-8 1.66 GAA .923 save%

DIFFERENCE MAKER- Alexander Radulov  He may not be the Russian Wayne Gretzky but he does give the Predators a offensive weapon that does have some creativity.


This marks the 21st straight season that the Red Wings have made the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and this is only the 3rd time in those 21 years that they have to start their first round series on the road.  Detroit in the past two weeks have been getting all their injured guys back except for Darren Helm. They are anchored by Nicklas Lindstrom and his unlimited supply of Norris trophy’s.  Jimmy Howard was having a very good season until getting hurt, but is now back for the playoffs.  The two keys to the Red Wings beating the Predators will be getting on the scoreboard first and shutting down the Predator power play.  The Red Wings are loaded with Stanley Cup experience, but the question will be are they healthy enough.

LEADING SCORER- Henrik Zetterberg 22g 47a 69 points

BACKSTOP-Jimmy Howard 35-17-4 2.13 GAA .920 save %

DIFFERENCE MAKER- Pavel Datsyuk Now that he is healthy and back in the lineup his offensive ablity against the defensive minded Predators could be the diffence in a long Stanley Cup run for the Red Wings, or a unusual One and done playoffs for the Red Wings.

Ex-Blackhawk factor- Danny Cleary

Prediction Sure to go wrong- Red Wings in 6.  This series could be a proverbial blood bath or an extemely boring series, but Experience wins over the system.