NEWS ITEM: Darren Helm is expected to play in tonight’s game one. For more, click here.
KEYS TO THE SERIES: Earlier today, we asked fans to offer up their keys to the Red Wings-Predators series. Here are some of the responses we received.
“To me, the biggest key is not letting (Pekka) Rinne get comfortable in net. Make him move, make him make second saves, and make him see Tomas Holmstrom’s backside.”
– Jared Pece
“My personal key to the series, many may disagree, would have to be the excitement I feel when gearing up for every game. Regardless of the time of night the game is on, I am always in front of my television cheering on MY team. Getting my hat, jersey and other gear ready is probably the best part of the night, beside the game itself.
– Alessia Masella, Toronto, Ontario
“I would say that the key to the series is getting on the scoreboard quick. Beating Rinne won’t be easy, however I think if we get Nashville on their heels, we can control the games and win the series.”
– Andy Thomson, Scotland
“I think the Mule (Johan Franzen) is most important. Franzen has got to step up another gear like he’s always done in the playoffs. Whether they know it or not, everyone seems to play better when Franzen is playing well.”
– Kevin Kristopik
EXCUSE-O-MATIC: Since I’m in Nashville with the team, I have left some obligations slide for a few days. Thankfully, Mike Babcock has crafted the following excuse for my boss.
Want your own ‘EXCUSED’ note? Visit our Excuse-O-Matic, where any one of our players can get you off the hook for missed calls, unfinished homework, unpaid bills, forgetting your anniversary and much, much more.
WHAT ARE THE LOCALS DOING: In an effort to keep the red out of the building, the Predators are offering jerseys for half-off … if you are willing to part with an old Red Wings sweater.
Where it gets interesting, if not heartwarming, is that the team intends to donate those jerseys back to a worthy Detroit charity. Those who are already Predators fans can purchase jerseys for 20 percent off, even without the jersey trade. Click here for more details.
A WORD WITH JUSTIN ABDELKADER
DRW: How excited are you to get the series underway?
JA: I’m excited. In our profession, you want to reach the playoffs. It’s something you look forward to.
DRW: Did you wake up with an extra spring in your step this morning?
JA: Like they say, the veterans, and I don’t consider myself a veteran just yet, get a new found energy for the playoffs. It’s a fun time of year to be playing and it’s the best time of year to be playing. The start of Game 1 is usually fast, one of the faster games in the series because everyone is so excited.
DRW: You aren’t afraid to get involved when things get chippy. Do you expect that to be the case tonight?
JA: It’s going to be a tight checking game, a hard fought game like every other game in the series should be. We’re just excited to get started.
And finally, Nick Lidstrom joins Ken Kal for today’s Comerica Bank Game Day Preview.