Posted on April 10, 2012
There's a different feeling in Nashville these days and it's one of confidence.
And who can blame the Predators for feeling good about themselves and their chances against the Detroit Red Wings in the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Game 1 is Wednesday at Bridgestone, with Game 2 Friday before heading to Detroit Sunday for Game 3.
The Predators have a playoff history with the Red Wings and while it hasn't been good to this point the feeling in Nashville is that it's all about to change.
For the first time the Predators finished ahead of the Red Wings in the standings and will have home ice advantage.
"I think we match up well against them," said Fisher. "They are a great team and we know it's going to be a tough series. That being said we have played well the last few games against them and hope to do the same in this series."
The Predators split the season series, 3-3-0, and won the final game at the Joe Louis Arena, which will definitely give Nashville confidence heading back to Detroit where the Red Wings have had so much success.
While the Predators feel confident by no means are they thinking this will be easy.
"I think obviously setting the tone in Game one is huge and having a really solid effort is huge," said Fisher. "I also think we need to key in on some of their key offensive guys and shut them down. They score a lot of goals so we need to be really good defensively."
Dealing with the likes of Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg will be a challenge, but the Predators will be counting on Pekka Rinne to rise to the challenge. Rinne has been one of the league's best and will undoubtedly be a huge factor in this series.
The Predators have their own offensive threats and will need to play just as well offensively as defensively to finally slay the Detroit dragon.
The Predators offence features a balanced attack with five forwards with 40 points or more. Nashville has seven forwards with 15 goals or more. The addition of Alexander radulov could also be a huge factor.
"We know that they are a great team with experience and we think they are one of the teams to beat," said Fisher. "Having finished ahead and having home ice is nice, but we know it's going to be a long and tough series."