Friday, May 12, 2017
NHL playoff preview: Nashville Predators vs Anaheim Ducks
There's just two more rounds remaining. Four teams. Two from each conference. The Western conference finals start today, between the Anaheim Ducks and the Nashville Predators.
Second round: vs Edmonton Oilers in 7 games
The Ducks got past Connor McDavid's Edmonton Oilers in the second round. Their 3 goals in 3 minute comeback in game 5 was crucial. Their skaters are strong, but they'll need goalie John Gibson to do better. In the first 2 rounds combined, Gibson has a 2.80 GAA and .908 SV%.\
Second round: vs St. Louis Blues in 6 games
P.K. Subban and Ryan Johansen were both involved in major trades by the Preds the past 2 years, and have come up big this postseason, with a combined three goals and 16 points. Goalie Pekka Rinne has been the best goaltender this postseason, with a 1.37 GAA and .951 SV% in 10 games, with a pair of shutouts.
My prediction: Nashville Predators
Rinne has been hot while Gibson is cold. Subban, Roman Josi, Mattias Ekholm and Ryan Ellis overpower the Ducks forward core. Johansen and James Neal, plus Viktor Arvidsson can put the puck in the net. It's the Preds series to win.