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Predators living to survive their paradoxes heading into Game 6

Predators living to survive their paradoxes heading into Game 6
Published On: Sat, Jun 10
Mar 10, 2014; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Ottawa Senators goalie Robin Lehner (40) makes the initial save on a shot from Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis (4). The Predators defeated the Senators 4-3 in overtime at the Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

There is a paradox baked into this entire equation.

The Nashville Predators got hammered in Game 5 " putting their entire season on the line " and yet have reason to feel Zen amid the bubbling chaos around them. The Pittsburgh Penguins are one victory away from lifting the Stanley Cup and you know what?

No matter who you are, it just feels different when youre that close to something you want so badly.

Definitely keep it in the box, James Neal said Saturday of the Predators mindset ahead of Game 6.

You look at the calendar right now and you cant believe its June 10. Theres still hockey to be played and Phil Pritchard will be whisking Lord Stanley into the bowels of Bridgestone Arena on Sunday night.

The dirty little secret of the Stanley Cup Final is that everyone wants it to be over.

Well, everyone that is, but the Predators and the estimated crowd of 150,000 that is expected to watch the game outside the arena.

Its just that the grind is real now. This is at once the absolute best and most challenging time of your life, especially if youre one of the men battling for the puck along the boards or fighting for space in the slot. Not to mention all the stick work.

This scheduling helps, said Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne. A good recover day, and then a work day. In the playoffs, your mindset is different than in the regular season. A lot of times in the regular season, if things arent going your way one night, you take that with you and worry about it.

But in the playoffs this is our opportunity.

As much as this trophy is won on the ice it is won in the mind. Nashville carried the play through a huge portion of the first four games of this series and laid an egg in Game 5 on Thursday night. They let Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel combine for eight points.

Read the complete news article here...

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