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2011 Stanley Cup Playoff Picks – Predators vs. Ducks

NHL Playoff Betting – Predators vs Ducks Series Preview & Pick



Playoff Schedule:
Wednesday, April 13 at Anaheim, 10:30 p.m. TSN
Friday, April 15 at Anaheim, 10:30 p.m. TSN
Sunday, April 17 at Nashville, TBD TSN
Wednesday, April 20 at Nashville, TBD TSN
*Friday, April 22 at Anaheim, 10:00 p.m. TSN
*Sunday, April 24 at Nashville, TBD TSN
*Tuesday, April 26 at Anaheim, TBD TSN

Odds to Win the Stanley Cup: Anaheim +1500: Nashville +2500
Odds to Win Series: Anaheim -150: Nashville +120
Season series: Anaheim – 1-3-0; Nashville – 3-1-0.

The Ducks vs. Predators series hasn’t generated much buzz at all and yet it features the only 50 goal scorer in the NHL this season and it also features the next goaltending Superstar. Both of these teams finished tied in the regular season with 99 points – Anaheim got home ice advantage because they had more regulation wins. They are evenly matched and could provide us with one of the longer series in the playoffs.

Name six members of the Nashville Predators? I can’t either but every year this team comes in under the radar and finishes in the top five of the Western Conference. The NHL had better give some love to Barry Trotz – he is an amazing architect and has his team being one of the toughest to play against in the NHL.

Nashville’s offense finished in the bottom third of NHL this season and only has two – 20 goal scorers. This team doesn’t do it with flash; they do it with hard work and with everyone contributing.

Pekka Rinne was incredible for the Predators this season. He was second in save percentage and that’s a good thing against Anaheim. He also had the third best goals against average this season – 2.12 goals per game.

The Anaheim Duck stormed through the second half of the season and suddenly became “that team that nobody wanted to face”. Bolstered by Corry Perry – the only 50 goal scorer in the NHL this season, a rejuvenated Teemu Selanne and a somewhat cloudy goaltending situation, the Ducks were simply the best team in the NHL during the second half of the season. They go into the playoffs on a three game winning streak.

Anaheim’s offense has gone off the charts. Many gave up on this team during the early part of the year but the talent woke up and has the Ducks looking like a contender on the West. Perry, Getzlaf, Bobby Ryan, Teemu Selanne and Sakku Koivu have been terrific down the stretch and have given the Ducks one of the better one-two punches in the West.

Goaltending is a huge issue for the Ducks. Jonas Hiller is still a question mark having sat out a long stretch and Ray Emery who looked like a savior is banged up as well. Who knows what to expect from this situation – they had better hope that the Predators weakish offense doesn’t find another gear!

Betting Prediction: This series is a difficult one to call. On one side there’s the flash of the Anaheim Ducks and on the other side there is the uber-steady play of the Nashville Predators. On the season the Predators surprisingly had a better goal differential +25 versus just a +4 for the Ducks.

I am going to go with the team that deserves to take the next step in the Staley Cup playoffs. It’s about time people start taking the Nashville Predators seriously. Nashville is built for the playoffs and built for teams just like the Anaheim Ducks. Barry Trotz and his no-name players get it done!

Pick: Nashville Predators +120 in 7

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