March 20, 2019

Stanley Cup Final Buzz: Patric Hornqvist in for Penguins

30 May 2017, 06:51 | Rhonda Young

The Nashville Predators has entered the Stanley Cup 2017 Finals of the National Hockey League in the US.

Peering into my crystal ball, I see Pittsburgh's Stanley Cup experience setting them apart from Nasvhille in this series and their gifted forwards getting the better of the Preds' active defence. "At the same time, you can't think just because they haven't won it before that they're not going to be ready".

Sullivan has surpassed most outside expectations himself, taking over in the middle of last season and leading the Penguins on a relatively simple run through the weak East that included a five-game, first-round victory over the Rangers. "He's that good", said Justin Schultz, who leads Pittsburgh defencemen with three goals and 10 points. The Predators face the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 1 on Monday, May 29. Production has been consistent and beneficial for the Predators which is evident in their place in the Cup final.

Pekka Rinne will start in goal for the Predators.

One of Pittsburgh general manager Jim Rutherford's first moves when he took over in 2014 was to send forward James Neal to Nashville for forward Patric Hornqvist.

Several factors could work against the Penguins.

It's 3-0 Pittsburgh after the first period of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final against Nashville. "I've played with some big personalities, but that's probably the biggest, that's for sure". Blowouts have been the theme, and the two teams everyone expected would meet in the Finals have done just that.

"Of course I had some ups and some downs". "I was having a lot of fun playing some games". The Preds are closer than ever to the Stanley Cup and it won't be hard to give it all they've got. "That is something you do in a GM's meeting, not the night before or day of the Stanley Cup Final". "I've been impressed with the hunger level and determination level of this group". In Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Ottawa Senators, he was on the receiving end of some extra curricular activity, including this water bottle squirt from Mike Hoffman during the game. When it comes to dismissing this seemingly chasm-like difference between these two teams, Nashville and Pittsburgh appear to have found some common ground.

"I saw it coming", said Parenteau. Every year is a new year.

If this is Fleury's last ride, he'll go out with at least two Stanley Cups and 14 years with an organization that grew up as much as he did over that time. "They obviously have been fortunate enough to win a couple, but this could be the last chance. It's tough to get here, so whenever you get a chance to do that, you have to take advantage of it".

"When David made that trade, whether we wanted to say it or not, a lot of people touted it to be a piece that was going to put us over the top", said Subban. After a disappointing start to the regular season, the Predators were barely in wild-card position come March. Carrie Underwood (who is married to Predators captain Mike Fisher) did the honors before the first game of the playoffs, and a coterie of famous singers, like Trisha Yearwood, Luke Bryan and Keith Urban, have followed.

While everyone was watching the Penguins over the past few seasons, the Predators inconspicuously developed into a clutch postseason performer.

I've had some trouble picking this year's bracket. In the first year, we lost to Chicago in six.

I also see the Stanley Cup final going at least six games, possibly seven, and with a couple of overtime games before the Penguins pounce on their place in National Hockey League history. "It felt like we were right there". Malkin, though, has been chattering more and more lately in the dressing room, according to Chris Kunitz, one of only five players left from the Cup-winning team in 2009. "They've been to the Final before and won it before", said Predators defenseman Roman Josi.

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