Preds Silence Jets. Force Game 7
by Taylor Parks
“A must win.”
“Do or die.”
“Do or do not, there is no try.”
“Win or go home.”
Just in case you were curious about how important this game was, Nashville was on the brink of elimination Monday night as they traveled to Winnipeg hoping to send the series to a game 7.
It didn’t take long for the Nashville Predators to take control of the first period, as Viktor Arvidsson scored on a ridiculous tip in front of Connor Hellebuyck to draw first blood. The goal was immediately waved off as the referee called the goal a high stick, but a review would show otherwise and the Predators would lead 1-0. During the remainder of the period, the Predators would control most of the play and Rinne would make some fantastic saves to take the Predators lead into the 1st intermission.
As expected, the Jets would respond (as they have all series) and would tilt the ice in their favor for almost the entirety of the 2nd period. I say “almost” purposely, as the Predators would tally the only goal of the 2nd frame despite being heavily outplayed. Pinned back in their own zone, Ryan Johansen would clear the puck off the glass to relieve some pressure. Filip Forsberg, who was fetching a replacement stick, would take the clear at his own bench, out skate a defender, and bury a great shot to go up 2-0. Rinne would continue to stand strong and shut out the Jets for a second consecutive period.
Period three was sure to be an exciting one and it did not disappoint. The Predators would have to kill an early, and well justified, penalty by PK Subban, but Filip Forsberg would score his second of the game at 8:16. (Words can not do this goal justice. I could try, but I would ultimately fail. Do yourself a favor and go look it up.) Viktor Arvidsson would also tally his second on an empty net goal as the Predators would take game 6 with an impressive 4-0 lead.
What We Learned
Backs Against the Wall
As they have done all year, the real Nashville Predators stand up when they have no other choice. On the brink of elimination, the Predators played their best and most complete game of the post season when they absolutely had to. They blocked shots (a lot of them) , forechecked hard, and kept the Winnipeg stars quiet. Impressive yes, but can they give this effort one more time? The biggest blessing is they now have a three day rest. Three VERY long days.
Hartnell IS the Secret Sauce.
He’s gritty, he’s sloppy, but he’s a leader. He isn’t afraid to mix it up, and isn’t afraid to get dirty in front of the net. Not sure exactly what it is, but he makes this team better. His shifts matter and are noticeable. God help Lavy if he doesn’t play in game 7. I will write a very strongly worded letter.
Forsberg. Wow. Rinne. Superb.
Go watch his goals again. Just do it.
The NHL’s Best Defense Appears
It took a long time, but the Pred’s top 4 finally showed up. They kept the Winnipeg forwards to the outside, were physical, and didn’t take away Rinne’s eyes. They were great all night and will be hard to beat with a similar effort in game 7.
It’s what championships are made for. It’s when the stars earn their pay. It’s when the fans have heart attacks. It’s why we love hockey. See you Thursday night.