Not good enough to take the Grand 'Ole Opry boys from granted mind you, but smart enough to know they'll get to the second round fairly easily if they just do the things they're supposed to. Like stick to the plan.
The Red Wings caught some breaks to win the series opener the other night, so the hockey gods decided to even things out a little in the second period Saturday when a couple of lucky bounces led Nashville to score twice in 11 seconds to tie the game. But Detroit coach Mike Babcock negated the momentum shift by calling a time out that allowed his veteran team to regroup and to remember who they were and how they're supposed to play the game.
See Detroit doesn't panic. And it waits for opportunities it knows will eventually present themselves. Most important, the Red Wings don't give up the puck very often, which can be frustrating to teams that are in desperation mode. And that's the state the Predators were in after Kris Draper's shot went in off Nashville d-man Greg Zanon's skate a few minutes later to give the home team the lead that sent it to a 4-2 win.
Obviously the Predators didn't quit at that point. They came on strong and tried to force the play, but they couldn't penetrate the Wings zone with any authority and ended up taking ill-advised penalties as a result, essentially taking themselves out of the game.
And for all intents and purposes, out of this series.