GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Last year, the Nashville Predators earned plenty of frequent flyer miles in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
After flying back and forth to Anaheim twice before taking out the Ducks in six games, Nashville had to go to the Western Conference's western-most outpost -- Vancouver -- twice. They fell in six games, but if the Predators had advanced, a couple of trips to San Jose would have been waiting.
This year is a little different. With home ice in the first round, Nashville needed only one quick flight to Detroit in dispatching the Red Wings in five games. And the Predators have had an entire week to rest and prepare for their Western Conference Semifinal series beginning in Phoenix tonight.
"Two hours in a plane instead of 20," Nashville center Mike Fisher said. "That's pretty nice."
Nashville coach Barry Trotz said this season has been much less hectic on his team.
"Last year we battled right to the end to get in the playoffs," Trotz said. "Then we go back and forth to Anaheim, back and forth to Vancouver and if we ever got past the Canucks, we would have gotten San Jose and probably set a record for miles flown in one playoff year. It was pretty taxing."
"But we've had a lot of time off this year. We're fresh and we're healthy and we're ready to go."
By Jerry Brown - NHL.com Correspondent