The Nashville Predators have stayed hot, as they extended their winning streak to nine games against the Dallas Stars. The offence has been on fire for the Predators, but they went about that win in a different manner. Defence led the way for the Preds, defeating the Stars by a score of 2-0. It wasn’t flashy by any means, but they showed they can still make it work on the defensive end. They should be a tough team to crack in the playoffs. However, how long can they stay this hot?
They’ve won 14 of their last 18 games, which they hope translates over into the playoffs. Peaking too early is always a concern for teams, but I don’t view this run they’re on as a fluke. The NHL postseason is wide open, though, and there are other competitive teams going to be in their way. If I had to pick a team right now, the Predators look like a club going to emerge out of the Western Conference. As it stands, it’s going to be tough on others in this conference.
If you want another hot team at the moment, look no further than the Anaheim Ducks. I said yesterday that there is usually a team or two who is fighting for the playoffs, catch fire at just the right time. The Ducks have won seven of their last nine games. Not quite as hot as the Predators, but they are doing some nice things to give themselves an opportunity to reach the playoffs.
The Ducks are currently 2nd in the Pacific, giving them a 3 point cushion on the closest team on the outside, the Colorado Avalanche. Anaheim needed a nice little stretch of success, and that’s what they’ve been able to accomplish of late. If they could beat the Predators tonight, they should see even more confidence moving forward. We’ll see which team breaks tonight. Head below for our free Ducks vs. Predators pick on Thursday night in the NHL.
Anaheim Ducks vs. Nashville Predators Pick
Game planning for the Predators isn’t exactly the easiest thing to do. Usually it’s better to either speed things up or slow them down, but good luck pinpointing what to do against Nashville. They are masters at adapting and taking whatever the other team wants to give them. With a record of 43-14-4, I’d say they are doing a pretty fine job of it. The Preds are 1st in the Western Conference and a point behind the Lightning for the overall lead in the NHL. They are 6th in the NHL with 3.2 goals per game. In their last ten games, they’ve averaged 4 goals per game, while allowing just 2.1 per game.
For the Ducks, they’ve certainly gotten back to basics. They’re doing what has made then a good team for the last decade. The little run they are on is thanks to their defensive effort. In their last ten games, the Ducks have allowed just 1.8 goals per game. Not just that, though, they scored 14 goals in their last three games. After playing five of their last six games at home, and getting productive results, I could see them going to Tennessee and taking a step back, at least for a night. It’s hard to bet against the Predators right now, and I’m not going to do it on Thursday night. Ride the hotter hand of Nashville at home.
PICK: PREDATORS (-150)