Thursday, April 21, 2011

Second Chance Awaits For Preds

A five minute power-play with only seconds remaining in regulation of a Game 5 that would have put Nashville up 3-2 in the series. 13.6 seconds. That's all that stood between the Preds and their first Game 5 victory in playoff history. Patrick Kane wasn't about to let that happen. He tied the game and Marian Hossa won it for the 'Hawks in overtime.

Just 363 days later, Nashville has been given something that is rare in life: a second chance. Redemption. That's what comes to mind when you think about Game 5 on Friday.

The Preds are in a series tied 2-2 going into Game 5. Anaheim has regained home ice advantage, and has all of the momentum going back home. Martin Erat was knocked out of Game 4 on a cheapshot by Jarkko Ruutu, and Bobby Ryan is returning to the lineup for the Ducks.

Whoever wins Game 5 takes complete control of the series. All year, Barry Trotz and the players have talked about learning from last year's meltdown in Game 5. They've talked about playing a complete game each and every night. After Game 4, it's obvious that lesson has yet to be learned. However, what better cure than to be put in the exact same situation than you were a year ago?

Pred Nation has wondered all year long about how much different this team is than last year's. Up until this point, we have not been able to determine that. We're going to find out on Friday night.

Second chances are what makes sports great. If you fail, you know that one day you might have a shot to make up for it. Nashville has that shot on Friday night. Redemption begins at 9:00 p.m.