The Nashville Predators are moving on to the Western Conference Final. They eliminated the St. Louis Blues with a 3-1 Game Six victory on Sunday, closing out the series and improving to 8-2 in this year’s playoffs.
“It’s a great feeling right now,” Predators defenseman Roman Josi said. “It was a tough series. Every game was tight, every game was a battle so we’re really happy right now.”
As we discussed earlier, Nashville was able to hold momentum and took the victory at the Bridgestone Arena. They’ve now won nine straight at home in the playoffs and allowed just six goals in five games in this year’s post-season.
They also find themselves in the conference final for the first time in franchise history and will play either the Edmonton Oilers or Anaheim Ducks.
Josi, Ryan Johansen and Calle Jarnkok had the goals for the Predators in Sunday’s win, while Paul Stastny had the lone St. Louis goal.
In a big way, this is a victory for Nashville general manager David Poile. This incarnation of the Predators is his team and he put the pieces together. And recently, he made a pair of bold trades that arguably set Nashville up for this series win.
Johansen was acquired as a top line centre in January of 2016, with defenceman Seth Jones shipped to Columbus in a swap. Defenceman P.K. Subban arrived in Music City as part of another daring trade, with stalwart blueliner Shea Weber sent to the Habs. The deals pushed Nashville into quicker territory and created one of the most mobile bluelines in the league.
And that mobile blueline nudged the Predators ever closer to their ultimate goal.
Poile put his stamp on the team and helped it progress from a grinding, deliberate club of years past to the speedy, offensive-minded group that put away the Blues. That evolution could yield long-term success.
“The expectation is a Stanley Cup,” Subban said after the Game Six win. “I think we took a big step today and obviously for this organization and the city, but that’s not our ultimate goal. Our ultimate goal is to win the Stanley Cup and we’ve worked really hard to put ourselves in a good position.”