Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 04/27/12 at 02:42 PM ET
from Noah Love of the National Post,
Can anyone beat the Nashville defence?
Before the playoffs, the Predators seemed a bit of a paper (sabre-toothed) tiger. After acquiring three key players — Andrei Kostitsyn, Paul Gaustad and Hal Gill — at the trade deadline and having prodigal son Alex Radulov return to the fold, they had a wildly inconsistent stretch run at the end of the regular season as new and old personnel struggled to gel. But there was no sign of dysfunction as Nashville dispatched of the Detroit Red Wings in five fairly ruthless games. Yes, goaltender Pekka Rinne faced 37 shots in Game 1, 43 in Game 3 and 41 in Game 4, but Nashville’s defence kept Detroit’s finesse forwards to the edges. Weak shots were routinely fired, without obstruction, from the blue line or the top of the circle. Rinne was rarely troubled by the long-distance onslaught. Having said that, Phoenix has a much bigger forward group that will likely test Shea Weber, Ryan Suter and company a bit more than the Wings did.
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