The Nashville Predators get the post-season underway tonight as they take on the Anaheim Ducks and the Predators are determined to get past the first round for the first time in their playoff history.
Nashville, as the number-five seed, may not be favored, but don't tell the Predators that. They feel they have the necessary pieces in place to make a long run including solid goaltending in Pekka Rinne, and one of the NHL's best defensive pairings in Shea Weber and Ryan Suter.
The Predators are also hoping the addition of veteran Mike Fisher will help the team along the way.
As one of Nashville's few players to have won a playoff round, Fisher will play an essential role for the Predators.
"We want to go deep and we want to make a run," said Fisher, who went to a pair of conference finals and a Stanley Cup Final with Ottawa. "I feel like with the goaltending we have here, and our defense is really solid here -- our all-round game -- I really believe that we're a team that can do some damage. Teams really don't want to play us. Obviously there's no easy matches, and in the West there's so many great teams, but we have to give ourselves a chance and focus on that."
Predators coach Barry Trotz sees Fisher as a two-way forward, which means he will be counting on the 30-year-old to play solid defense as well as offense.
While Fisher struggled early on after being traded to the Predators he finished the season strong with eight points in his last seven games.
"It felt great," Fisher said of being able to contribute. "It's been a tough go. It's not for a lack of chances. The beauty of it is we have different guys chipping in every night. Our offense has been really spread out. That's really been the key to our success. But it was nice getting a couple and hopefully I can continue on and help this group offensively."
The Predators aren't the type of team to score five or six goals a game and so they will definitely be looking for everyone to contribute.