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Preds Broadcasters Preview Preds/Canucks Series

by Staff Writer / Nashville Predators asked the team's star analysts to break down the Preds/Canucks Conference Semifinals series. Check out their predictions below.

Tom Callahan Terry Crisp Pete Weber
Series Storyline
I think it’s going to be the goaltending. Pekka Rinne didn’t have his best series against Anaheim, but he got stronger and played better as the series went on. Roberto Luongo was lights-out the first three games, absent in Chicago’s three wins and then looked good again last night. Confidence-wise I think it’s going to be interesting to see how he comes out. So I think goaltending is probably your top story, but I think the secondary story – again like Anaheim – Vancouver has two real good lines: the Kesler line and the Sedin line. If the Predators depth out-plays the Canucks depth, I think the top two lines will be able to keep pace with one another – I expect that Vancouver’s top two lines will contribute a little more – so the Preds can make up for that with more production from depth players, like they got during the Anaheim series. The storyline will be goaltending, Luongo, Rinne. I think both sides will be looking at their goaltending and say the first round’s over, but both can play better, both can elevate their game. They both will elevate their game, probably, now that they dodged the bullet in the first round. Plus I think part of the storyline will be the physicality of the series; who can withstand the longest. These two teams have a distinct dislike for each other already. Who removed the larger monkey off their back – the Predators for finally winning a playoff series or the Canucks for escaping the Chicago Blackhawks, the team that has knocked them out the last two years. The other storyline I think we’re going to have to watch is Henrik Sedin. There seems to be a problem with Henrik’s hand; he’s passing up some shots that he ordinarily would take. That’s going to be something that deserves a lot of watching.
Preds Skater To Watch I think it’s going to be Jordin Tootoo, I think what he’s done so far, he’s really changed the presence of the team. What he brings to the ice, now he has to be considered much more dangerous and that line has started to do some good things. My darkhorse for Nashville will be Mike Fisher. I thought he played real well in the Anaheim series; he started real hot. He’s a been-there-done-that guy, so I think a lot of the guys in the room will pay attention to him, how he carries himself, how he reacts. I think the key to this series is going to be Mike Fisher. I think he’s going to lead Nashville. It’s going to be a physical series, a knockdown, drag ‘em out series. I think he’s going to be a part of it. Having said that, another guy I’m going to keep an eye on is Shane O’Brien. If he can toe the line and play the game that he’s capable of playing, he’ll make a big difference in this series. He knows them, they know what he can do. Ryan Suter. Everybody is going to be taking a look at Shea Weber, but what Ryan Suter does on the ice makes Shea Weber better. And it’s a favorite rink for him; he played some of his best hockey in that barn during the Olympics last winter.
Caucks Skater To Watch Alex Burrows. He’s a disturber. He has the ability to turn the series in either direction. He can either take dumb penalties, do stupid things, play undisciplined, get off his game and take Vancouver out of it or he can be the guy who draws penalties, makes plays. He has skills. He’s a real good player when he wants to be. If he’s being effective, the Sedin twins will be even better.. Ryan Kesler. He’s just hitting on all cylinders. The Sedin twins are easy to pick out, up there, you have Burrows who likes to run around, but I think right now the guy who is hitting on all strides. I watched the last couple of games of the Chicago series and Kesler was the guy doing the damage out there Alex Burrows. Last night in the finale he went from Joe Carter to Bill Buckner and back to Joe Carter. The focal point was on him throughout the night. What a wild swing of emotions regarding him.
San Jose/Detroit Prediction I think Detroit sitting around has gotten healthy. I think San Jose might have an edge in Game 1 because of how long Detroit has sat, but ultimately I think Detroit in 6. I just have a feeling Detroit has more depth and San Jose’s goaltending is still a bit of a question mark. I looked at this; I delved into it deeply and I really don’t care. Let’s take care of our business and then see from there. In the early years it always seemed to be San Jose upsetting Detroit, but I think in this one that somehow or another I think Detroit takes it. I still have faith in Detroit. I think it’s going to be a grueling, tough series, though.

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