Alex Daugherty of On The Forecheck took a few minutes to answer a few questions about the Preds and Game 1 on the off day. Check out his thoughts and see what we had to say to some of his questions over at On The Forecheck!
1. Nashville, despite giving up the first goal, really seemed to have control of Game 1 throughout and dictated the pace. Do you contribute this to their rest and the lack thereof for Anaheim, or is it something else? Do you think Nashville can continue that kind of play?
AD: Rest could have been part of it, but Nashville has been pushing the play of the game throughout these playoffs. The difference last night was the offensive generation that the Preds were getting--not since Games 2 and 3 of the Chicago series have the Preds seen such high shot attempt generation. That could be due to the lack of rest for Anaheim. For the most part, the Preds have been controlling games with defense, then hitting opponents with quick counter attacks. It seems clear that the Ducks aren't going to allow many quick counters, so the Preds will need to find a way to generate offense the hard way.
2. The powerplay went 0-5 in Game 1. Does that concern you as it seems Anaheim’s penalty kill might have finally woken up after a two-round nap?
AD: "Power play" and "Nashville Predators" are just two completely incompatible concepts. I do think that the Preds can win with just an average to below-average power play, but I have no expectations that they will ever really have a great PP unit. Like I said, they've been relying more on speed and counter attacks to generate offense. When they are confined to a 30' X 45' square of ice, they are a little less effective in their game. They like to really open up the ice and get the blue-liners and speedy wingers involved in the attack. Really stretch their legs. As for Anaheim, I'm not surprised their penalty kill looked better. They have great tools to succeed in that area of the game and Nashville tends to walk into traps far too easily.
3. Another 4 points from the Nashville blueline on Friday night. Does this kind of contribution from the back end need to continue if the Preds want to move on?
AD: Definitely. This team is incredibly dangerous when the defense is involved in the attack. You saw no better example of that than on Neal's game winner--two defensemen, Ekholm and Subban, were essential to making that play happen. The Preds do need more offensive involvement from certain forwards,though. Mike Fisher has zero points in the playoffs. Colin Wilson and Calle Jarnkrok each have only two points. That needs to change.