Monday, May 2, 2011
The Western Conference Semi Final battle between the Vancouver Canucks and Nashville Predators has now moved to Smashville for games 3 and 4. With the series being tied at one game apiece, both teams will be looking to get the upper hand on the series during the next two games.
Nashville seems to have the momentum on their side, coming off of a double overtime victory in Vancouver on Saturday night. Luckily for both teams, there was an extra day off in between games 2 and 3. Both teams needed that extra day off for rest after Saturday night.
As has been the case in the playoffs this year, home ice advantage doesn't seem to matter very much. The Predators have won three road playoff games this year, and teams all throughout the NHL playoffs have had great success on the road. The Predators will be looking to reverse that trend on Tuesday night.
My player to watch for the Canucks in this game is Dan Hamhuis. This will be his first time to actually play in Bridgestone Arena as a member of a team that is not named the Nashville Predators. That gives him a little extra incentive to be on top of his game.
For Nashville, my player to watch is Shane O'Brien. Up until this point in the series, O'Brien has not done anything to hurt the Preds as far as taking penalties. Eventually, you've got to think that he's going to start being a lot more physical and begin to take penalties. I hope that's not the case on Tuesday. Additionally, he really wants to beat the Canucks. I think he will get a goal before this series is over, and it may come in Game 3.
It's very important that the Predators maintain their home ice advantage in this series. It could be the difference in them winning and losing the series. The game starts at 8:00 on Tuesday night at Bridgestone Arena.
Posted by Robby Stanley at 11:26 PM