Day 2 of the NHL Playoffs continues tonight with three cards on tap across the country. The most attractive matchup of the evening has to be in Washington, as the Toronto Maple Leafs make their return to the playoffs against the Capitals.
They don’t get the easiest draw in the first-round, but in the long run, this may actually benefit them in a way. Auston Matthews and the rest of this young Leafs team who have no experience on this stage, will grow up quickly against Ovechkin and the high-powered Capitals. If anything else, this is going to be a nice growing opportunity for the Maple Leafs.
I’m not touching the Leafs and Capitals’ series tonight, instead we’re heading to Anaheim where the Flames and Ducks play in a rematch of a playoff series from a couple of years ago. If you recall, the Flames and Ducks got together two seasons ago, where the Ducks took care of business fairly easily in a 4-1 series victory in round-two.
The Flames are hoping they can extract a little bit of revenge, in a season that felt a whole lot like that year. Nobody had the Flames on their radar then, until they pulled a bit of an upset and reached the postseason and advanced to the second-round.
The Ducks put an end to it then. Here we are in 2017, and the Flames flew under the radar all the way to the playoffs. People were high on them last season, but they missed out playing in the postseason. They have a chance for revenge right out of the gate against the Ducks. Head down for our Flames vs. Ducks Game 1 pick.
Calgary Flames vs. Anaheim Ducks Game 1 Pick
The Ducks are feeling alright coming into the playoffs. In what has been a topsy-turvy year for them, the Ducks got back where they wanted to be. Randy Carlyle is the last head coach to direct them to a Stanley Cup, he will have that opportunity again.
The Ducks’ dominance over the Flames has been well documented. It’s actually become quite absurd. The Ducks have gone 27-0 over the Flames in their last 27 meetings in Anaheim. No, you are not reading that wrong, the Ducks have won 27 games in a row against Calgary at the Duck Pond.
The Ducks have gone 9-1 overall against the Flames in their last ten meetings, too. It’s been total destruction for the Ducks. So, the Flames were probably doing their best to avoid Anaheim in the first-round, but lucky them that they end up drawing them.
The Ducks went 4-0 to finish the regular season, including 8-2 in their final ten games. They seem to be hitting their stride when it matters most. Overlooking the Ducks right now could be a mistake. In what has been a familiar story for the Flames, the Ducks jump out ahead in the series with a win in Game 1. Our Game 1 pick in Anaheim is on the home team here.
PICK: DUCKS (-155)