2012 NHL Playoffs: Nashville Predators Will Overcome Adversity Once Again
With their backs against the wall and adversity striking yet again, the Nashville Predators will dig deep to get back into the Western Conference Semi-Finals against a suddenly-explosive Phoenix Coyotes squad.
Heading back to Smashville for two games should've been the main focus over this travel break. Instead, stunning and deflating news came out as Alexander Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn were announced inactive for Game 3.
Given the national media fallout Tuesday as this news broke, it's obvious that many of those watching this year's playoffs aren't familiar with how the Predators do things.
The Predators play every minute with a chip-on-their-shoulder approach that got them to the playoffs seven of the last eight seasons despite being all-but-forgotten in the national spotlight.
The core of Nashville's roster has been together for a decade. They've been through more embarrassing playoff exits than they can remember.
An overwhelming majority of that locker room was around when the franchise they knew and loved was falling apart and unable to buy the talent they needed. Without an awe-inspiring and monumental campaign from their fans to keep them from relocating and leaving for good, they wouldn't even be in this position.
No Radulov or Kostitsyn, you said? It sounds dangerously close to being back to the regular-season Preds, who were miles better than the team that was run over in Game 2.
There would be much more concern if Nashville was having offensive issues in this series. Instead, they've scored six goals in two games and still find themselves down 0-2.
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The Big Three of Shea Weber, Ryan Suter and Pekka Rinne are laughing right now. They just shut down one of the league's scariest offenses in Detroit to four goals in the final three games of their first-round series.
Do you really think the best defensive three-headed monster in the league is scared of a Coyotes team that ranked 17th in scoring and 29th on the power play this season as they head back home?
The Preds are no strangers to overcoming impossible odds. In fact, they've become experts at doing so.
When they lace up their skates Wednesday night, each player will look around that locker room and see, by far, the best squad they've ever had in Nashville for a playoff series. They'll also see the determined faces of the players who have all bought into the system preached by head coach Barry Trotz.
Then, they'll race out in their signature banana-colored jerseys to the center of Bridgestone Arena, louder than ever, with thousands of fans swirling the towels that brand the motto "Stand With Us."
The Predators will stand firm against more hell than the Phoenix Coyotes could ever bring. This is a long series, and the Predators will make that imminent when they head back to Phoenix with a 2-2 series tie.
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