No one really remembers the teams that came close to Stanley Cup glory in seasons past, but you can bet that the players on those teams don’t forget. The Anaheim Ducks were arguably one of the best teams in the NHL last season, and the general consensus was that the team that won the Western Conference would be the one that took the Stanley Cup. That ended up being the case, and it was the Chicago Blackhawks who were crowned as champs, with the Ducks left to ponder what might have been after losing in the Western Conference Final. Anaheim were immediately installed by pro hockey odds fans as one of the favorites to go all the way this season, but they got off to an absolutely horrendous start, with goals seemingly impossible to come by. Like all great teams, though, they found a way to get back on track, and they ended the season as the champions of the Pacific Division. They will get their postseason campaign underway with a tricky first round series against the Nashville Predators. Game 1 of the series is set for Friday, April 15 at 10:30 PM EST in Anaheim. You can catch the action on CSNBC, and can wager on the series at MyBookie.ag.
Predators vs Ducks NHL Playoff Series Betting Preview
— Nashville Predators (@PredsNHL) April 12, 2016
Why bet on the Nashville Predators to win the series
The Predators are a team that have long been known for a defensive style of hockey. While it may not be fun to watch, it has proven to be effective for them. This season was perhaps not as good from them as we are used to defensively, but they still have solid goaltending and a defensive unit that is very deep indeed. The Predators took 2 of 3 from Anaheim this season, but it is worth noting that all of those wins came at the very early part of the season when the Ducks were trying to find their feet. The Predators were a couple of games above .500 on the road this season, so they do have the ability to sneak one of the games in Anaheim, which you feel they have to do to win this series. Nashville are averaging 2.7 GPG, and are giving up 2.6 GPG.
Why bet on the Anaheim Ducks to win the series
As I mentioned earlier, the Ducks got off to a slow start this season, but they were far and away one of the best teams in the NHL in the second half. Their goaltending duo of Gibson and Anderson have been excellent this season, but both are somewhat lacking in playoff experience. If they can handle the pressure, the Ducks could well be a force to be reckoned with. The Ducks have been brilliant defensively all season long, and while their goal scoring average is less than they would like, you have to remember that they saw that number rise dramatically in the second half. The Ducks are averaging 2.6 GPG, and are giving up 2.3 GPG.
Expert pick and series prediction
This is likely to be a defensive battle with a lot of low scoring games. If that is indeed the case, then it’s going to be goaltending that wins this series. That swings things in the favor of the Ducks.
My Series Prediction: Anaheim Ducks in 6