The Predators practice this morning at 11 a.m. at the Bridgestone Arena not knowing if they will be facing Vancouver or Detroit in the second round series that will begin this weekend.
Around midnight tonight (barring overtime), when the Chicago-Vancouver game is over, the opponent will be known. If the Hawks win, the Preds face Detroit. If Vancouver wins, the Preds will face the Canucks. Either way, the series will begin on the road this weekend.
Follow the jump for pure speculation as to when the Predators could play in round two...
There has been no official word when the next series would start but due to arena bookings there are limitations on when games could be played. In Nashville, the Arena is booked this Saturday as well as Friday and Saturday, May 6-7.
In Vancouver, Rogers Arena is booked on Monday, May 2 as well as Thursday and Friday, May 12-13. The Joe Louis Arena in Detroit is wide open.
Therefore, if the Predators play the Canucks, they most likely open in Vancouver on Friday and play game two on Sunday. Games three and four in Nashville would probably fall on Tuesday and Thursday next week. Game five could then be in Vancouver on Saturday May 7. Game six in Nashville be most likely be Monday, May 9 and game seven in Vancouver would then be on Wednesday May 11 since the arena is booked the following two nights.
If the Predators play Detroit, you would probably see basically the same schedule with a shift of a day either way on a few games since there is no limitation on the back end. If the series started as late as Sunday, you could see a two day gap in Nashville between games three and four if they played Thursday and Sunday in the second weekend but that appears unlikely.
We will probably have official word what will actually happen at some point on Wednesday since the Western Conference will complete play tonight. The NHL would like to avoid as many nights with no action as possible so we should see games in the Preds series or the other one at least by Friday.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass