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2010 Stanley Cup Playoff Picks – Predators vs. Blackhawks

NHL Playoff Betting: Predators vs Blackhawks Series Preview & Pick

Stanley Cup Betting fans sure are getting their money’s worth from the free nhl picks we give out here at Capperspicks.com. Stick with us for the entire 2010 NHL Stanley cup playoff run.

CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT OUR HOCKEY HANDICAPPING PLAYS FOR THIS YEARS PLAYOFF ACTION —–>

  • GAME 1: @Chicago, Fri. 4/16, 8:30 p.m.
  • GAME 2: @Chicago, Sun. 4/18, 8:30 p.m.
  • GAME 3: @Nashville, Tue. 4/20, 9 p.m.
  • GAME 4: @Nashville, Thu. 4/22, 8:30 p.m.
  • GAME 5*: @Chicago, Sat. 4/24, 3 p.m.
  • GAME 6*: @Nashville, Mon. 4/26, TBD
  • GAME 7*: @Chicago, Wed. 4/28, TBD

Predators vs Blackhawks Odds To Win 7 Game Series:

Bruins +355, Blackhawks -425

In the salary cap era, the window for an elite team to win the Stanley Cup is smaller than ever. That’s why the cap-strapped Chicago Blackhawks find themselves under greater pressure than most teams to win it all while they can still keep their amazingly talented roster intact. The first obstacle on the road to Lord Stanley: the pesky Nashville Predators, who always seem to sneak their way into the playoffs.

(7) NASHVILLE PREDATORS vs (2) CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS

The Hawks have many strengths on their side. For most of the year, their success came from the blueline out. The tandem of Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook may be the league’s best. That said, they’re not as deep as they were earlier this season on the back end. They shipped Cam Barker to Minnesota and his replacement, Kim Johnson, is day-to-day with what is likely a concussion. Puck mover and power-play specialist Brian Campbell is also out with a broken clavicle and rib after he took a vicious hit from Alexander Ovechkin in March.

The Hawks’ blueline remains solid – especially since Keith and Seabrook will play 30 minutes a game – but they’ll turn to their extremely deep forward corps as their main backbone in these playoffs. Jonathan Toews should be a force in the playoffs. Given his size, hands and outstanding faceoff ability, it’s no wonder he plays his best in big games. Patrick Kane is the team’s top scorer and extremely tough to handle given his speed and stickhandling ability. Then there’s Marian Hossa, who is looking to reach a third consecutive Cup final.

All that and we haven’t touched on Chicago’s outstanding supporting cast, comprised of role players like Dustin Byfuglien, Patrick Sharp and Andrew Ladd. All of them are comfortable playing a physical game but have scoring touch, too.Sports Betting at Sportsbook.com

So how will the plucky, well-coached Nashville Predators keep pace? First off, they’ll rely on their excellent defense corps. Shea Weber is the envy of most NHL teams thanks to his bonecrushing hits and howitzer of a slap shot.

To have a chance, Nashville needs him to dominate like he did for Canada in the Olympics. Dan Hamhuis and Ryan Suter are also excellent minutes eaters who can chip in offense when needed.

But Nashville’s downfall in this series will be its inability to score. Sure, the Blackhawks’ netminding tandem of Anti Niemi and Cristobal Huet is a major question mark entering the playoffs, but I’m not convinced Nashville has the firepower to test them. Its leading scorer, Patric Hornqvist, finished with a measly 51 points this season.

Five Blackhawks finished with 51 or more points; Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith both had more than 51 assists.

It’s nothing against Preds starter Pekka Rinne, but he’s simply not the type of talent who can steal a series in goal.

Even if he stands on his head, he won’t get enough help from the team in front of him offensively.

Given that Chicago scored the third most goals and allowed the fifth fewest in the league this season, it’s simply too deadly a matchup for Nashville to handle. Expect a very short series.

Prediction: Blackhawks in five.

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