With a group of Game 2’s concluding last night on the NHL Playoff circuit, the rest of the action takes place tonight. There really haven’t been too many surprises thus far, it’s too early for that. But I suppose you could make the case that the Blues taking a 2-0 lead over the Wild is a mini-upset of sorts.
Not to me, but going by the odds the Wild were catching last night, you’d think it’s an upset of epic proportions. We cashed in on the mistake from the books, hitting the Blues as big underdogs in Minnesota.
There was also a mini-upset in Chicago, with the Preds knocking the Blackhawks off with a 1-0 win in Game 1. That’s where we’re going tonight, as the Hawks look to avoid falling into the trap the Wild are in at the moment. The Wild must go to St. Louis now and try and find a way out of their difficult spot.
It wouldn’t be the first time a team has dropped two at home in a series and still won, but this is the Wild we’re talking about, playoff chokers. The Blackhawks have been anything but chokers in the postseason, but they’re in danger of making the first-round hard on themselves if they fail to win tonight.
Chicago is not the easiest place to win two games at. In fact, it’s one of the hardest places in the NHL to play, notably during the playoffs. The Predators could get a jolt in just one series if they can come out beating the Blackhawks. They’ve failed countless times in pressure spots in the playoffs, so it’d certainly be something new for them. Let’s get right to our Predators vs. Blackhawks Game 2 pick.
Nashville Predators vs. Chicago Blackhawks Game 2 Pick
Pekka Rinne stole Game 1 for the Predators, and all teams who are looking for upsets need a goaltender to do just that. Rinne will be counted on to steal this series for them. He turned back 29 shots to earn the 1-0 shutout for the Preds. Rinne was just okay in the regular season, with a GAA of 2.42 and 0.918 save percentage. Can we expect this to continue? Just like Jake Allen for the Blues, Rinne might be able to pull a magic trick out of the bag and steal a couple on the road.
The goaltending and defence has been terrific for the Predators of late, going back to the regular season. In their last ten games, the Preds have given up an average of just 2.10 goals per game. The most impressive showing coming against the Hawks in Game 1. Corey Crawford did all he could, but Rinne simply outshined him. The Predators seem to be going back to their roots, relying on tight defence.
If they can keep it going, the Blackhawks may need to change some things up. The thought of another low-scoring game seems like it would make perfect sense, but I have a feeling something is going to give tonight. The public is going to be all over the UNDER. Note that Game 1 was the first game in seven attempts that there were less than 5 goals scored in a Predators-Blackhawks game. Look for things to open up on the ice, with a final score of 4-2 looking good.
PICK: OVER 5 (-110)