Make no mistake, Nashville sure looks in serious trouble against Winnipeg. The Predators were the No.2 defense in the NHL in goals allowed this season and thus far in this series, they have allowed 15 goals in three games, when it has taken opponents six contests to score that many all season.
What can Nashville do to slow the Jets down and how badly is their confidence shaken, after blowing three one-goal leads in Game 2 before winning in overtime and coming unhinged after a 3-0 lead in Game 3?
This has not been a fun series for either goaltender. The barrage of shots has been like Mike Francesa going after the other radio personalities at WFAN, where just retired from a few months ago, but changed his mind and is getting his job back (at a lower salary). Winnipeg’s Conner Hellebuyck faced 48 shots in series-opener in Nashville and only relented once.
In Game 2, which went to a double OT, Hellebuyck saw 41 attempts and the Preds Pekka Rinne faced 50. When the series shifted to the Manitoba province, Rinne tried to stop 45 more attempts and his counterpart 30. This series has felt like the All-Star game before they revised the format, where goaltenders were continually under siege.
With this kind of pressure, one could think the power plays have produced big numbers, but that has not been the case, with the Predators 3 for 11 and the Jets 2 for 9. So why has this series but so wide open, relentless pressure.