There is no moment more stressful for a team than having to go onto a playoff game that could see them eliminated with a loss. Evert team that makes it into the postseason works hard to get there, and it can all feel as though it was for naught if a deep run does not arrive after a successful regular season. The St. Louis Blues find themselves in that very spot, as they will welcome in the Nashville Predators for Game 5 of their second round series on Friday night knowing that a loss will result in the end of their season. The Predators have been surprisingly good in these playoffs, and the Blues have quite simply run into a team that is confident and on a positive roll. The good news for the Blues is that they will have the chance to stave off elimination in their own building, but they also know that doing so is only half the battle, as they would still need to head back to Nashville and pull back from the brink once more. Find the updated hockey betting odds here.
In Depth Analysis On The Predators At Blues NHL Game 5 Expert Predictions
When: Friday, May 5 at 8 PM EST
Where: Scottrade Center, St. Louis
TV: NBCSN, CBC, TVAS
Live Stream: NHL.TV
NHL Odds: St. Louis Blues -1½ (+265)
Why bet on the Nashville Predators
If defense really does win championships, then it may be time to start looking at the Nashville Predators as a legitimate Stanley Cup threat. The swept the Chicago Blackhawks in the opening round of the postseason, giving up just 3 goals while doing so. They have been a little less tight in this series, but have still only given up 8 goals in the 4 games against the Blues so far. That said, they appear to be tightening the screws once again, with just 2 goals conceded in their last 2 games in this series. If the playoffs were to end today, it would almost certainly be Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne who would be walking away with the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP.
Why bet on the St. Louis Blues
While you would think that the Blue would take some comfort in playing a potential elimination game in their own building, the fact of the matter is that home ice has not been particularly kind to them this postseason. They are just 2-2 at home during these playoffs, which is not the sort of record you can get away with if you hope to make a deep run. The bigger issue for the Blues right now is how they are going to solve a Predators defense that has totally battened down the hatches in the last 2 games. The Blues goal scoring opportunities have been kept to a bare minimum, which is something that needs to change if St. Louis are to stay alive.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
You have to believe that this series is over even if the Blues do find a way to win this one. The Predators defense is playing brilliantly right now, and one more solid effort on Friday night will see Nashville move on.