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2011 Stanley Cup Playoff Picks – Predators vs. Canucks

NHL Playoff Betting – Predators vs Canucks Round 2 Series Preview & Pick



Playoff Schedule:
Thursday, April 28 at Vancouver, 9:00 p.m. CBC, VERSUS
Saturday, April 30 at Vancouver, 9:00 p.m. CBC, VERSUS
Tuesday, May 3 at Nashville, TBD CBC, VERSUS
Thursday, May 5 at Nashville, TBD CBC, VERSUS
*Saturday, May 7 at Vancouver, 8:00 p.m. CBC, VERSUS
*Monday, May 9 at Nashville, TBD CBC, VERSUS
*Wednesday, May 11 at Vancouver, TBD CBC, VERSUS
* denotes if necessary

(1) Vancouver Canucks (54-19-9) vs. (5) Nashville Predators (44-27-11)
Odds to Win Stanley Cup: Vancouver +250: Nashville +1500
Odds to Win Series: Vancouver -240: Nashville +180

The Vancouver Canucks were able to exorcise their playoff demons and dispatch the Chicago Blackhawks for the first time in three seasons.

Vancouver needed overtime in the seventh game to dispatch the Blackhawks, while the Predators have had a few days to rest after defeating the Ducks in six games.

Now, on just two days rest, the Canucks begin their second round series against a Nashville team that has given the Canucks all season long. Vancouver appears to have shaken a playoff slump and is clicking on all cylinders going into Game 1 on Thursday night.

The Vancouver Canucks were the best team in the NHL all season long and despite a brutal stretch against Chicago they did what they were supposed to do – win! The offense didn’t score a ton but they were dangerous and Roberto Luongo silenced his mountain of critics with a stellar performance in Game 7.

For Vancouver, the Sedin twins will have to be better than they were against Chicago. The team as a whole was only able to score five goals total on Pekka Rinne in four games during the Regular Season and the Sedins accounted for just one! Daniel Sedin (5 goals, 2 assists) 7 points and Henrik Sedin (5 assists) 5 points against Chicago won’t have Dave Bolland to deal with in Round 2 which is a very good thing!

It was the play of Alex Burrows (3 goals, 3 assists) 6 points and Ryan Kesler that will likely be the difference in the series if the Canucks were to win. They were superb in the final two games against Chicago and will be a handful against Nashville.

Roberto Luongo had a rough series against the Hawks – 2.97 GAA, 0.903 Save Percentage. But in Game 7 he stepped up and looks like he is ready to prove some doubters wrong.

For Nashville, going into the series it has to be all about Pekka Rinne for the Preds to have any sort of chance– that’s a problem. Pekka Rinne had a 3.29 GAA and a 0.876 Save Percentage against the Ducks and looked shaky in the process. Still he is still one of the best goaltenders in the league and has given up just five goals in his last three games against the Canucks.

Nashville was pretty decent offensively in Round 1 to everyone’s surprise. The averaged over 3.5 goals per game in their series with the Ducks and got some unlikely production from names such as Jordin Tootoo, Mike Fisher and Nick Spelling. Martin Erat is expected back for the Predators which is good news. Nashville is a nice bunch of forwards but they are nowhere close to what Chicago is.

This Year’s Series: Nashville and Vancouver split 4 regular-season meetings, with each team winning once in the other club’s building. Predators netminder and Vezina trophy candidate Pekka Rinne, who looked shaky at times against Anaheim, had a 1.26 goals-against average, a .962 save percentage and a shutout against the Canucks in the regular season.

Betting Prediction: Vancouver goes into this series feeling pretty damn good about themselves and rid of the biggest physical and psychological challenge to their chase – the Chicago Blackhawks. Nashville might steal a game or two but Vancouver will win this one in convincing fashion.

Pick: Vancouver Canucks -240 to Win the Series

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