Carolina Hurricanes: Round 1 Series Preview vs. Predators

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NASHVILLE, TN – MARCH 9: Sebastian Aho #20 of the Carolina Hurricanes skates against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena on March 9, 2019, in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Ronald C. Modra/NHL/Getty Images)

Carolina’s spectacular season saw them capture their first division title since 2005-06. None of that matters now, as the Hurricanes find themselves in the Stanley Cup playoffs, facing a foe they have not met before in the postseason in what should be a fantastic series between the two sides.

While the Predators got the better of the Hurricanes in the final two games of the regular season, Carolina dominated the season series. Out of the eight meetings, the Canes bested their Nashville counterparts on six occasions. It’s a fresh slate in the playoffs, and the play-in series against the Rangers proved that last season, but the stats here do favor the Hurricanes.

Carolina outscored the Predators in the season series by a total of 24-17 across the 8 games. Traditionally, this is a team that the Hurricanes find themselves having a lot of success against. While in the playoffs, regular season statistics mean less than nothing, it’s still encouraging for the Canes to see the success they have had over the past few seasons against the Predators.

While most numbers suggest that the Carolina Hurricanes are the better team and that the Nashville Predators are completely outmatched in the first round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs, it is important to remember that anything is possible in a game where a vulcanized rubber disk is slid around on the ice.

Nashville concluded the regular season 7-2-1 in their last 10 games, winning their last 2 games against the Canes. It’s not going to be a walk-over series. This should be a tight-knit series and it should be very entertaining for the neutral who isn’t backing either team.

Nashville is best summed up as a team of strong depth players. While they lack the true star talent of previous cup winners, they still have a roster capable of rolling 4 lines and posing a threat with any line they throw out over the boards. They boast a strong defense and a promising young goaltender to backstop this organization.

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