We’re merely hours away from Nashville’s qualifying round series against the Arizona Coyotes -- the first postseason meeting between the two teams in nearly a decade. While the Predators are offensively and defensively capable of knocking out the Coyotes, they can’t look past them. They’ll have their hands full sizing up against players like Taylor Hall, Phil Kessel, and Oliver Ekman-Larsson.
There’s also a handful of questions that still surround Nashville. How will the goaltending situation play out? Can one of the league’s worst pair of special teams units turn things around? Will the offensive stars for the Predators get back to basics and start chipping pucks in the net?
Plenty of positives can be taken away from the exhibition game against the Stars on Thursday, however, it’s just that -- an exhibition game. Game one on Sunday afternoon will give us a much better idea of just how far we can expect the Predators to go and whether or not the postseason run will last longer than a week.
You would expect that this would more-or-less favor the Coyotes instead of the Predators, but I’m more inclined to consider this matchup more of a push than I would have previously.
Comparing both teams statistically over the course of the regular season, Nashville had a slight advantage over Arizona in terms of total goals scored (212 to 190). It’s not a major difference, but based on how the season . . .
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