Phoenix Coyotes, Nashville Predators Series Preview -NHL Playoffs Special
The National Hockey League (NHL) Playoffs will be filled be yet another goalie-goalie face-off as Pekka Rinne of Nashville Predators gets ready to go head-to-head with Mike Smith of the Phoenix Coyotes in round-two of the 2012 postseason.
Nashville Predators shocked the world when they disappointed and eliminated a tough team like Detroit Red Wings to advance into the next round and that too, in five games.
Phoenix Coyotes on the other hand, took down the 2010 Stanley Cup champion team, Chicago Blackhawks with their tough physical play in six games for another upset.
This will be another defining moment for Nashville as the Predators broke the opening round barrier just a year ago by advancing into the semi-finals and have now done it again. Going past Phoenix Coyotes would allow them to make franchise history yet again,
but the opposition does not have any plans of going down just yet.
It has been over 10 years since Phoenix saw the semi-finals and Shane Doan along with the rest of the line-up, have things figured out on how they are not going to only save the franchise, but their careers as well.
Utilising the home advantage will be something Phoenix head coach, Dave Tippett, is looking forward to as he embarks on a historical trip with his Coyotes team.
"The first way to keep it an asset is win your home games," Tippett said. "If you don't let home ice slip away, that can be a real defining factor." "Both teams will play well whether you're home or on the road.”
Mike Smith is definitely one of the leading goalies in the league at the moment and has been a huge factor for Phoenix’s success up until now, and not being nominated for the Vezina Trophy this year while his upcoming rival, Pekka Rinne was, is not something
he is thinking of.
"Individual awards are nice, but my goal is to win the Stanley Cup and be in the playoffs," Smith said. "That's all I can control."
"I was quite frankly surprised," General Manager, Don Maloney, said. "I know it's through the course of the year, but through the last two months there was nobody better."
The Phoenix Coyotes defence including Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Keith Yandle and Derek Morris will have to continue working their magic as they face one of the best defensive teams out there. For Nashville, their captain Shea Weber has been enough to shoot the
goals and tackle the players, making it an interesting contest altogether.
The Phoenix-Nashville series kicks off on Friday, April 27, 2012, at the Jobing.com Arena in Glendale Arizona.