In part two of my playoff preview I take a look at the series between Arizona and Nashville. Taking a look back, these two teams had very different seasons. For Arizona the 2019-20 season started off great, but they faded off finishing the season a mere 5-5. For Nashville it was much different. They struggled out of the gate but turned it around at the very end.

Nashville Predators 

It was only three years ago that the Predators were in the Stanley Cup Finals. Very much has changed since as stars like P.K Subban have now moved on. After being the Central Division champions two years running, the Predators started the season slowly. Spending the majority of it at the bottom of Western Conference. However at the turn of the new year they were able to turn things around. Nashville would finish the season on a fantastic run, which propelled them into the final wild card spot.

The Predators x-factor come playoff time will be the play from their goalie tandem. Both Rinne and Saros will be key for Nashville as they did not have much fire power this season in front of them. Captain and defenceman Roman Josi led the team in points with 65, 17 more than their top forward. Rinne and Saros did have very mediocre years but the fact Nashville has two proven goalies will make a big difference. Since the playoffs this year won’t be like what we’ve seen in the past, this goalie tandem may be a huge benefit for Nashville. With the games happening quickly, we may get to see the two of them splinting the workload.

Arizona Coyotes 

Unlike Nashville, Arizona does not have the luxury of having two great goalies. They will have to rely on a group effort if they are going to make any sort of run. This will be the first time since 2011-12 that Arizona will be in the playoffs. Even with the great start to the season, the Coyotes were on the outside looking when the season came to a halt. Benefiting from the 24 team playoff format.

Trading for Taylor Hall at the deadline was a clear indication that the Coyotes felt they could make a run. Taylor Hall has the capability to be a huge difference maker. Hall when in form can be among the top scorers in the NHL. Being an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season Hall has a lot to prove, while the Coyotes hope their gamble will pay off.

Prediction

My prediction for this series is that Nashville will come out on top. The Predators from top to bottom have more playoff experience than the Coyotes. It won’t be a walk in the park but the Predators will be able to hold them off. Nashville will take the series in 4 games (3-1).