Nashville Predators (8) vs. Colorado Avalanche (1)
Western Conference Quarterfinals (Round 1)
Most analysts had the Nashville Predators well out of the playoff picture when the season started, arguing that they were in a “competitive rebuild” that could quickly become just a “rebuild” if things didn’t improve. Bounced out of the playoffs in the first round last season in six games by the Carolina Hurricanes and losing Ryan Ellis, Calle Jarnkrok and Viktor Arvidsson in the off-season did not instill a lot of confidence. They also lost four of their first five games, so writing them off was easy. Somewhere along the way, the newer players started to gel, while Filip Forsberg, Matt Duchene and Ryan Johansen decided to turn in career years with Juuse Saros threatening to earn a Vezina Trophy for stealing games much in the style of his predecessor Pekka Rinne. The late-season slump and an injury to Saros unfortunately sets the tone for this match-up, with the team squandering a chance to move up into the first wild-card slot in their last game against a hapless Arizona Coyotes team, coughing up five unanswered goals in the loss.
Unlike the Predators, the Colorado Avalanche have been Stanley Cup favorites all season. They finished second overall and earned the first seed in the Western Conference. They also score … a lot, finishing fourth overall during the regular season. So talented forwards like Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan McKinnon heading into a series against a backup goaltender (for at least the first two games)? This was likely not the match-up the Predators would have preferred, but we all know stranger things have happened. The Avs will also have a bit of chip on their shoulder after the last playoff round in 2018 where the Predators took a 4-2 series from them before bowing out to Winnipeg.
Series Previews from Around the Web
- Local Outlets
- Predlines: Have a little hope
- The Tennessean:
- Nashville Scene: Please Come to Denver, She Said No: Preds Open Playoffs Against Top-Seeded Avs
- AtoZ Sports:
- National Outlets
- The Hockey Writers: Predators vs. Avalanche: 2022 First-Round Playoff Preview
- Daily Faceoff: Stanley Cup playoff series preview and pick
- Sportsnet: Avalanche vs. Predators
- Sporting News: Predictions, odds, schedule, TV channels, live streams for first round in 2022 NHL Playoffs
- The Athletic (subscription required): 2022 NHL playoff preview: Avalanche vs. Predators
- The Other Guys
|Nashville Predators at Colorado Avalanche||Tuesday, May 3||8:30 PM CT||Ball Arena (Denver)||BSSO, ESPN|
|Nashville Predators at Colorado Avalanche||Thursday, May 5||8:30 PM CT||Ball Arena (Denver)||BSSO, TNT|
|Colorado Avalanche at Nashville Predators||Saturday, May 7||3:30 PM CT||Bridgestone Arena (Nashville)||BSSO, TNT|
|Colorado Avalanche at Nashville Predators||Monday, May 9||8:30 PM CT||Bridgestone Arena (Nashville)||BSSO, ESPN|
|Nashville Predators at Colorado Avalanche*||Wednesday, May 11||TBD||Ball Arena (Denver)|
|Colorado Avalanche at Nashville Predators*||Friday, May 13||TBD||Bridgestone Arena (Nashville)|
|Nashville Predators at Colorado Avalanche*||Sunday, May 15||TBD||Ball Arena (Denver)|
How to Watch
Unlike last season, there are no COVID-19 restrictions or capacity limits at Bridgestone Arena. There are still tickets available on the team’s website for Saturday’s game and beyond, ranging from $89 up to $327. The team already has the traditional “smash car” on the plaza where folks can pay to take out their frustrations on the opposing team (or at least, a car with their logo and colors on it) with a sledgehammer for charity.
Then again, you might want to nervously pace around your own home for the games, or perhaps you need to give an assist to a bartender that cannot find the correct channel for a game. Either way, these are the channels.
- Bally Sports South (BSSO): Direct TV (646); Spectrum (810); Comcast/xfinity (1250); AT&T U-Verse (1725 or 1729)
- ESPN: DirectTV (206); Spectrum (300); Comcast/xfinity (701); AT&T U-Verse (606); Dish (140)
- TNT: DirectTV (245); Spectrum (28/781), Comcast/xfinity (38); AT&T U-Verse (108/1108); Dish (138)
- NHL Network: DirectTV (215); Spectrum (321/828); Comcast/xfinity (716/1217); AT&T U-Verse (638/1638); Dish (157/9540)
Where to Watch
The Predators have also compiled a list of “Preds Approved” venues for the playoffs. These are bars and restaurants that promise to have the game on and to play the audio over the speakers. If you have never watched playoff hockey at a bar, be prepared for spontaneous chants and no, it doesn’t matter that they cannot hear you.