It might be all over for the Anaheim Ducks. If they lose Game 6 to the Nashville Predators on May 22, their Stanley Cup dreams will go up in smoke! The puck drops around 8:00 PM ET so hockey fans better not miss this game.
In what might have been some of the best hockey in the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs, the Nashville Predators and Anaheim Ducks have gone back and forth, trading off wins to create a highly competitive edition of the Western Conference Finals. Now, it comes down to whether or not the Ducks can pull out the victory in the clutch. After falling 3-2 to the Preds, this Game 6 meeting at the Bridgestone Arena is do-or-die. If the Ducks fail to fly high, their goose will be cooked – and the Nashville squad will skate their way to the Stanley Cup Finals.
The Predators got the edge in the crucial Game 5 on May 20. Goals from Colin Wilson, 27, Pontus Aberg, 23, and Austin Watson 25, gave the Preds the 3-1 win. The victory didn’t come without a cost. Pontus, who spent most of the 2016-17 season playing the minors before getting the call-up, netter his first career goal with less than 9 minutes left in the game. He connected with a rebound from a Filip Forsberg 22, shot, but not after getting to his skates following a collision in a scramble for the puck. “I face-planted there and lost my tooth,” he told ESPN afterwards, saying it with a smile, “but it didn’t hurt my head.” Here’s hoping he doesn’t have to exchange any more teeth for goals or his dental bills are going to skyrocket.
Speaking of medical care, the Ducks might have a few players in the infirmary for this game Forwards Rickard Rakell, 24, and Patrick Eaves, 33, didn’t fly out to Nashville for Game 6, according to the Los Angles Times, and goalie John Gibson, 23, is also questionable. Both Patrick and Rickard are dealing with lower body injuries, and though Eaves’s status has been upgraded (as he’s been injured since April 30) he’s not going to see action.
“It wasn’t a positive response from Eaves in skating [Saturday],” Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle, 61, said ahead of this game. “So we decided we’d leave him at home. And Rakell wasn’t ready to skate today. So both players are not available to us.” Being shorthanded in what will be the first of two elimination games can’t feel good for the Ducks. Yet, they avoided elimination when they played the Edmonton Oilers to a full 7-games. If they did it before, they could do it again.
Who do you want to win, HollywoodLifers?