2016 NHL Futures – Series Picks
Looking for Predators vs. Ducks free series predictions & playoff picks? You’ve come to the right place if you’re searching for NHL Futures. It almost seems like it wouldn’t be an NHL Playoffs without the Nashville Predators vs. Anaheim Ducks meeting. Cappers Picks covers all 2016 NHL Playoff series – so check back as we’ll be adding more.
NHL Lines & Matchup Insight
NHL Betting – Anaheim Ducks vs. Nashville Predators First Round Series Preview and Picks
The Anaheim Ducks and Nashville Predators begin their first round playoff series on Friday night.
Many people’s preseason favorite to win it all this year, the Ducks have rebounded nicely from a disastrous start to the season and have begun to look like the contender they fancy themselves while the Preds – they qualified for the playoffs via a Wild Card.
The Predators finished seven points behind the Ducks in the Western Conference standings this year but they did win the season series 2-1. Both teams have a lot to prove in the postseason but only one can move on. So who will it be?
Let’s break it down.
Predators vs. Ducks Series Lines
Nashville Predators +165
Anaheim Ducks -190
Nashville Predators vs. Anaheim Ducks Series Schedule
- Fri 4/15, 10:30pm: NSH @ ANA | NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports
- Sun 4/17, 10:30pm: NSH @ ANA | NBCSN, Sportsnet, TVA Sports
- Tue 4/19, 9:30pm: ANA @ NSH | USA, SN360, TVA Sports
- Thu 4/21, 8pm: ANA @ NSH | CNBC, FX Canada, TVA Sports
- *Sat 4/23, TBD: NSH @ ANA | TBD
- *Mon 4/25, TBD: ANA @ NSH | TBD
- *Wed 4/27, TBD: NSH @ ANA | TBD
Nashville Predators vs. Anaheim Ducks Series Predictions: Forwards
It may be a bit shocking but the Nashville Predators were actually the better offense in 2015-2016 – they score 2.73 goals per game and ranked 12th while the Ducks were 16th in goals for averaging 2.63 per game.
In fact no Western Conference playoff team has scored fewer goals than Anaheim – crazy as that seems.
The Anaheim Ducks despite the disappointments in the scoring department still have the luxury of Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry who have been top tier player in the league for a long time now.
There are few that should be more motivated to get back to the top of the heap.
But there are some issues with the Dynamic duo – their linemates have been banged up indeed the last month of the season – David Perron (shoulder) and Rickard Rakell (appendectomy) are key cogs that won’t be at 100% if they do indeed play in the series and Brandon Pirri’s availability is also a huge question mark.
Jamie McGinn is a decent second line fill-in, Andrew Cogliano, Ryan Kesler and Jakob Silfverberg still exist as a top shutdown line and the Ducks do have a big, skilled fourth line that will likely give the Preds fits.
But gone are the days where Anaheim will outgun you out of their building.
The Nashville Predators have and emerging offense. Filip Forsberg and James Neal each had 30+ goal campaigns – Forsberg really took the next step this season especially toward the end of the Regular season.
The Preds acquired a true #1 centerman – Ryan Johansen came over from Columbus and solidified the lineup. Mike Ribeiro, Craig Smith, Mike Fisher, Colin Wilson, Paul Gaustad and Eric Nystrom are all quality big-leaguers ready to make a statement.
Verdict: Shockingly this is a draw – the Preds have been better this season but the Ducks have the potential to outplay their stats this year. In the playoffs, special teams are often the difference – I’ll take Perry and Getzlaf on my power play any day!
Nashville Predators vs. Anaheim Ducks Series Predictions: Defense and Goaltending
What makes the Ducks special this season is their newfound attention to detail in the defensive end. The team finished first in the NHL in terms of goals against allowing just 2.32 per game.
That’s something different from years past! Hampus Lindholm, Josh Manson, Cam Fowler and Kevin Bieksa are a superb top 4 – young (except for Bieksa), gritty and a nightmare to play against.
Sami Vatanen and Clayton Stoner will make up the final pairing for a Ducks team that has arguably the best defensive corp. in the playoffs.
As for Anaheim’s goaltending situation – your guess is as good as mine as to who starts. Frederik Andersen and John Gibson have been equally good all season long and making the Anaheim the best defensive club in the league.
The fact that the Ducks have two quality guys is a good thing – they will be fine throughout the playoffs no matter who gets the lion’s share of the work.
The Nashville Predators were 14th in the league in goals against – not bad but not great either. Shea Weber is still one of the best all-around defensemen in the league and Roman Josi is a terrific two-way defenseman.
They are the unquestioned top pair – the rest of the defense is a bit of a question mark. Mattias Ekholm, Ryan Ellis, Barret Jackman, Anthony Bitetto and Petter Granberg are OK but certainly not the top tier guys a team hopes to rely on heading into the playoffs.
Perhaps the scariest thing about Nashville’s defense is the season-long play of Pekka Rinne who has struggled – he has also played a TON of minutes.
The last three or so months Rinne has posted a save percentage of about .900 – not good enough for this team to contend.
Rinne has been a Stud in the past – maybe he will regain his form.
Verdict: The Ducks have proven all season long that they are the best defense in the game – no reason to think it changes in this series. Heck, I even give Anaheim the nod between the pipes!
Nashville Predators vs. Anaheim Ducks Free Series Predictions:
This series all boils down to special teams – the Ducks finished the season tops in the NHL in both Power Plan and Penalty Killing. Add in the fact that not team won more game after Christmas than Anaheim and the Ducks seem poised for another long playoff run.
The average Preds seem to be nothing more than a stepping stone along the way.
Take the Ducks in a tough six game series.
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