We were lucky enough to have Alex from our friends in Nashville at the great blog On the Forecheck to join us and shed a little light on what the expect for the upcoming 2017 Stanley Cup Final. Let's learn a little about the Western Conference champion, shall we?
#1: For the lay Penguins fan who's more Eastern Conference focused, can you give a 5 sentence recap of how the Predators got to the Stanley Cup Final and just in general what kind of team they are?
#2: With the awful injury to Ryan Johansen, what will Nashville's plan be down the middle of the ice at the center position in the SCF?
#3: A lot is made about the Preds defensive depth, and we've long known guys like P.K. Subban and Roman Josi have been all-star caliber players for years. Who are some of the other guys stepping up and playing high level hockey right now?
#4: Who's one player maybe under the radar now that Penguins fans will definitely know by the time this series is over?
I'm really hoping it's Viktor Arvidsson. He hasn't made much noise since the Blackhawks series, but he is due for a breakout. He is so much fun to watch and he is pure hell on the forecheck. Picture Patric Hornqvist, but faster. This guy was among the league leaders in shot attempts generated per sixty minutes, shot attempt differential, and shots per sixty minutes. He scored 31 goals and it was through sheer hard work. Having said that, he has plenty of skill. His pass to Ryan Johansen that led to the series-clinching game-winning-goal against the Blues was magical.
#5: The environment down in Nashville has been electric this spring, it seems like there's great local buzz going on. What has this playoff run meant for growing the game in Tennessee and how special that the Preds have finally rewarded years of patience with some success?
#6: What's your series prediction and why?
#7: Expected lines for Game 1?