When the Nashville Predators arrived in Southern California, they did so wearing the collective face of the underdog. The team that would have to face the mighty, though no longer called the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.
These heavily favored Ducks seemingly offered no weaknesses to their game, leaving the Preds to wonder how they could survive, much less thrive during the opening two game set against the Pacific Division champions.
You see though, the rub is, the games must be played.
Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, Ryan Kesler and company must take to the ice, and although their superior pedigree is meant to be displayed to the television audience, the fans, and the pundits alike, it is only after the whistle blows for the final time and the score is read up on the jumbo scoreboard that hangs high from center ice within the arena, that we actually know who has achieved victory.
The answer in both cases this past weekend at the Honda Center in Anaheim was the even mightier Predators team from Tennessee.
What happened? Multiple theories and answers ensue, but the long and short of it is, the Ducks were not the best team on the ice in either contest.
Now both teams fly back East, to face each other on Tuesday and Thursday nights at Bridgestone Arena.
To hand the series to the Predators after the opening two games would be an error, as well. These upstart Preds are still facing a very strong Duck team, a team that captured the Pacific Division crown (albeit, by virtue of the NHL’s other Southern California, teams, the Los Angeles Kings, losing their final game to the Winnipeg Jets.)
Tuesday night faceoff will be at the irregular time of 8:30pm Central time, so plan on being at Bridgestone Arena at an unusual time, for what appears to be a most unusual series.
Updated series schedule:
April 15, 2016: Nashville 3, Anaheim 2 (NSH leads series 1-0)
April 17, 2016: Nashville 3, Anaheim 2 (NSH leads series 2-0)
April 19, 2016: Anaheim at Nashville – 8:30 PM CT
April 21, 2016: Anaheim at Nashville – 7 PM CT
April 23, 2016: Nashville at Anaheim – TBD (if necessary)
April 25, 2016: Anaheim at Nashville – TBD (if necessary)
April 27, 2016: Nashville at Anaheim – TBD (if necessary)