Preds Advance: Radulov, Legwand, Bourque Shine

(4/21/12) The Nashville Predators made the prognosticators look smart on Friday night, completing their series with the Detroit Red Wings in a decisive manner.  The Wings managed to win only 1 game in the best of seven series, while the Preds advance to the second round for the second straight year.  Nashville awaits their next opponent.

Alexander Radulov - the KHL ringer - scored the game's opening goal on a sweet set-up from David Legwand, and then Legwand scored the second and winning goal for Nashville, assists to rookie Gabriel Bourque and Radulov. Bourque had 3 goals and 1 assist in the 5 game series, playing like a veteran on the team's top line.  

The Predators are built to perform in the playoffs, and currently everything is going according to plan. They have one of the very best netminders in the game in Pekka Rinne, they have the best defensive duo in Weber and Suter, and they have the second deepest offensive team (first goes to the Blues). The Predators have as good a chance as any team in the West to reach the Conference Finals.

For Detroit, it's tee time.  The Wings suffered key injuries to role players Helm and Miller at just the wrong time, which forced their offensive studs, Datsyuk and Zetterberg, to play in all situations.  As usual, they have the components needed to challenge once again in 2012-13, but it also feels like Detroit needs to bring their next prospective star to the show... but who is that?  Nyquist, Tatar, Jarnkrok, D-man Brendan Smith, or their top pick in the upcoming entry draft?  Something is currently missing from the championship puzzle in the Motor City;  nonetheless, the Wings' top guns remain solid keepers and draft picks for your 2012-2013 regular season pool.