As loaded as Detroit is with familiar names, their fate hinges on Jimmy Howard. The 28 year old goalie missed time with a groin injury, and the slide in Detroit's play was noticeable. The Wings were 35-17-4 with Howard in net. 13-11-2 without him.
The Predators also rely heavily on their goalie. Pekka Rinne played in 73 games but still managed to put up solid numbers. If they do go deep in the playoffs, it will be on Rinne's back.
But they're talented elsewhere. They had the most potent Power Play in the league. Meanwhile, Detroit's PK unit was 18th in the NHL. The Preds should be able to score some key goals with a man advantage.
If Detroit were healthy, I'd pick the Red Wings. But they have a few injury question marks. Nashville plays well at home, Detroit struggles on the road. Nashville will score on the Power Play. Detroit will struggle to stop them.
Predators in 6.
1: Wednesday 4/11 - 8:00pm - DET @ NSH - CNBC
2: Friday 4/13 - 7:30pm - DET @ NSH - CNBC
3: Sunday 4/15 - 12:00pm - NSH @ DET - NBC
4: Tuesday 4/17 - 7:30pm - NSH @ DET - NBC Sports
5: Friday 4/20 - 8:00pm - DET @ NSH - CNBC
6: Sunday 4/22 - tba - NSH @ DET - tba
7: Tuesday 4/24 - tba - DET @ NSH - tba