Predators looking to leave a mark

Posted on April 27, 2012

Predators looking to leave a mark

The Nashville Predators and Phoenix Coyotes are both looking to be the first.

The winner of this Western Conference semi-final will advance to the Conference final for the first time in franchise history, but neither is willing to look too far ahead just yet. 

Little separates these two teams.

The Predators were 2-2-0 against the Coyotes this season, both feature quality goaltenders.  Phoenix' Mike Smith tied Pekka Rinne with a 1.81 goals against average in the first round. Smith also had a .950 save percentage to Rinne‚Äôs .944.

Both have solid defensive corps and the players to make a difference offensively.

"I think they're a team a lot like us," said Mike Fisher. "They've got a good goaltender, have depth up front and a balanced scoring attack. I think they're a team that doesn't get enough credit."

The biggest factor for the Predators could be the difference between rest or rust.

"It was nice to finish the series early, but a week off is a little long," said Fisher. "The time off was good to heal some bruises, but I think the key will be to get off to a great start." 

Fisher had a solid series against the Detroit Red Wings where he finished with two assists, but he's hoping to produce more offensively this time around. 

"I was in a bit more of a shut down mode against Datsyuk last series," said Fisher. "While I would like to chip in a bit more, I realize it's not about points, but more about the team winning. I just want to help the team win."

The Predators had the luxury of starting the first round at home, but are just as comfortable playing on the road.

"It doesn't matter where we play," said Fisher. "We just want to play a real good, solid game."

From the very start of the season the Predators set their sights on a long playoff run. Additions at the trade deadline and the return of Alexander Radulov have left the Predators feeling even more confident.

"We feel good about our team's chances," said Fisher. "We feel like we have a great team. We expect to do well and we expect a lot from ourselves."

The Predators are anxious to fulfill expectations.