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Nobody picks the Preds to advance…

Head on over to the hockey fountain of knowledge that is ESPN and you’ll see that none of their experts picked the Nashville Predators to advance.

Now stroll on over to Yahoo! Sports and see how many of their four panelists picked the Preds.

And now that we’ve got your blood boiling a little, why not visit and see how their staff predicted the fate of Music City.

Since that’s three websites worth of material, we’ll save you the math: out of 25 experts, only Brian Hunter of picked the Preds to produce an upset over the Chicago Blackhawks.

On paper (which, I’m sure most of these “experts” are relying on), it looks like a pretty convincing outcome but when you watch the underdog play night-in and night-out like we have, it’s not out of the question that Nashville surprises… well… everyone.

(except for you Mr. Hunter)

And before you get all up in arms about how I could possibly be preaching the Preds could win when it’s on record that I picked the Blackhawks to triumph, I’ll direct your attention to the “in 7” next to my predicted winner.

While a seven game series doesn’t guarantee that the Preds will finally win a road playoff game for the first time in franchise history, it does suggest that it’ll be a hard fought series and one that will take it’s toll on both teams. Picking a seven game series to go the distance means it’ll come down to one game, on one night, to determine who goes on and who starts booking tee times. And, as the George Mason‘s and Valparaiso‘s of the world will tell you, in single-elimination anything is possible.

Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne has shown, time and time again, that he can steal games. He’s shown it when the Preds’ offense is clicking and he’s shown it when scoring is no where to be found. His first round counterpart Antti Niemi has only posted his 26-7-4 record because the Blackhawks are goal scoring machines and give him plenty of help. If Rinne can hold the fort in the early going and allow his team to get on the board first, Niemi will finally be tested under pressure.

My point is Nashville is given zero credit by the so-called experts. Heck, even Phoenix was picked to advance more often than Nashville and Phoenix hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2002! So flip on that anger switch and get angry. Use that anger to get passionate. And bring that passion to games three and four at Bridgestone Arena and let’s force the “experts” to hear our voice.


NOTE: Jeremy was asked to contribute to‘s playoff preview posts on behalf of the Nashville Predators blogging community. To read his breakdown of the upcoming series, click here.