Preds Quick Hits From The Crease 4-4-16
Good Monday morning Preds fans! First off I must apologize for taking a well-deserved vacation before the playoffs. I was completely unaware that the boys in gold were going to follow my lead during that time. Hopefully like myself, they will return to their previous form.
Despite the club’s recent struggles, they clinched a playoff spot and are all locked in to the first wild card position. The only question that remains is whether it will be a west coast match-up between LA or Anaheim. Those of us here on the east coast may be taking a couple naps before those late starts, but I’ll gladly take the trade-off of not facing a Central Division team in the opening round. So I’m sure you’re asking…. Who would you rather play?
The Kings haven’t exactly been at the top of their game to finish up the regular season. In the last two weeks, they’re just 2-5,with their only victories coming at the expense of Calgary and Edmonton. Prior to that they looked like world beaters, knocking off the likes of Washington, Chicago, Dallas, the Rangers and Boston in a span of 11 days. It appeared as though they were going to contend for the top spot in the conference at that point. Since their swoon, the Ducks have overtaken them for the Pacific Division lead. The Kings may not be as deep as they once were, but when they get to the playoffs, Jonathan Quick is as stingy as they come.
Compare that to Anaheim. The Ducks have had their issues of late losing to Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver in the past two weeks. Then they go out last night and nearly shut out the highest scoring team in the NHL, the Stars. It’s no secret they have incredible top-end talent in their lineup, but are not very deep in the scoring department. They were historically bad offensively for nearly half a season. They also have an old arch nemesis of the Preds in their lineup by the name of Ryan ‘chicken-wing’ Kesler. Something that remains a mystery is who their goaltender will be. Both John Gibson and Frederik Andersen have been hot and cold so Bruce Boudreau will have to go with his gut come playoff time.
If you ask me, I’d rather see Anaheim because Jonathan Quick can steal a series almost by himself.
What to Watch For: The Kings play in Vancouver tonight in an attempt to reclaim the Pacific Division lead while the Blues host Arizona with the opportunity to tie Dallas for the Central.