The Winnipeg Jets and the Nashville Predators are on a collision course in the Western Conference Second Round, and the goals flew when the teams met in the regular season, combining for 42 goals in their 5 games.
Winnipeg isn’t looking to see that type of offensive output from Nashville in their playoff series, aiming to bring the defensive intensity in order to keep them in check.
“I think we’re going to try and avoid the 6-5 games like we had in the regular season,” Jets forward Adam Lowry said. “It’s going to be a tight-checking series. I don’t think you can expect games to be 6-5 every night. Like I said, both teams can score, both teams can defend. It’s going to be a good series.”
Nashville won the Presidents’ Trophy as the NHL’s top team, so the task will be a tall one for the Jets.
“It’s going to be a good test,” Lowry said. “[They were the] best team in the regular season. We’ve had some tight games against them. We know they have a lot of depth, both up front, on the back end and one of the best goalies in the League. We’re looking forward to that challenge.”
Jets coach Paul Maurice says that the series will be about the scorers and not the goalies.
“It’s on the shooters,” Maurice said. “You’ve got two guys with spectacular numbers and when they meet each other, you’ve got a lot of people that can score on the ice, so everybody’s going to have to be good. The team that wins the series is going to have more guys going.”
Winnipeg is hoping to keep defenseman P.K. Subban and Roman Josi in check.
“That’s been a pretty constant thing we’ve focused on all year,” Jets defenseman Tyler Myers said. “Staying above the puck, keeping things simple. When there’s a play to be made, we’ve always encouraged our group to make them when they’re there. Simple plays can be the most effective sometimes and they’ve obviously shown they have a very active back end, and we’ll have to be aware of it for sure.”
Predators’ Pekka Rinne Activated From Injured Reserve
The Nashville Predators have activated veteran franchise goaltender Pekka Rinne, has been out for around 10 days following a collision with teammate Kevin Fiala, from the injured reserve list, the team officially announced on Wednesday.
In a corresponding move, Nashville assigned Troy Grosenich to the minors.
Rinne, 35, and the team continue to negotiate a contract extension but there isn’t anything imminent regarding those talks, according to The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun.
Predators Acquire Nick Baptiste from Sabres for Jack Dougherty
Baptiste appeared in 33 games for the Sabres last season, scoring 4 goals and notching 2 assists. Baptiste was Buffalo’s 2013 third-round draft pick.
Dougherty has played the past 2 seasons with the Milwaukee Admirals, Nashville’s AHL affiliate team, where he registered 1 goal and picked up 11 assists over 63 games with the team last season.
Scott Hartnell Announces Retirement
After 17 seasons in the NHL, Scott Hartnell is calling it a career.
Hartnell announced his retirement on Monday by posting the following on his official Twitter page:
Every young kid from a small town across Canada dreams of playing a game in the NHL … I was fortunate enough to play 1,249 of them.
A huge thank you to the Nashville Predators (twice), the Philadelphia Flyers, and the Columbus Blue Jackets. You are all world class organizations and it was an honor playing for your cities! (Seventeen) years in the NHL was the best job anyone could ever ask for. The games, the fans, the travel, the hotels, the food, the pregame soccer games, are just some of the things that I will always remember and miss. …
Thanks again to my family, friends & all of the fans that cheered for me (and against) along the way. I’m looking forward to spending more time with my wife Katie and son Wesley. Cheers to the NHL, and the next phase of life!
Hartnell accumulated 327 goals and 380 assists in 1,249 games throughout his career and spent his final season with the Nashville Predators last year.
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