Predators vs. Blackhawks Pick – NHL April 19th

Another exciting night of NHL playoff hockey last night. It has been good entertainment from a watchability standpoint that is for sure. The Penguins knotted things up against the Rangers and head home with the series all tied up after it looked like the Pens were dead in the water. A slow end to the season and getting blasted in game 1 behind an invisible Sidney Crosby didn’t help the confidence of Pittsburgh fans. But just like that the Penguins have people thinking that maybe they can pull the upset against the Rangers. That is how it works in the NHL playoffs, things can turn night to night, and especially, peoples perceptions for the rest of the series. One night a team is winning it all, the next they are in the dogs house. As athletes come to find, fans are fickle and will love you one night and hate you the next. That is magnified 10 fold come playoff time. For our pick last night, the Ducks were able to get a late goal to make it past the Jets to head to Winnipeg up 2-0 in the series. The Jets held on to a 1-0 lead for most of the contest, but couldn’t get an insurance goal to widen the gap. The Ducks were able to take advantage of that and secured win and 2-0 series lead.

We take a look at the Predators/Blackhawks series which promises to be a long series that could come down to a coin flip, or in this case, a fortunate bounce in the right direction. The Predators were in desperate need of a win in game 2 as heading to Chicago down 2-0 would have been a disaster for them. They’re going to have to win at least one game in Chicago for them to have a chance in the series. I don’t foresee them erasing a 3-1 Blackhawk series lead against a team of that caliber. It would be an awful way to end the year after such an excellent regular season. Head back to Nashville tied up and they should be in good shape. Chicago is going to be a madhouse today for this game. The Preds won’t be playing at home, a place where they had pretty good success this season. Instead they will have to find a way to win in Chicago. I am looking forward to this game and expect it to play out as an exiting one to watch. Of course, it would also be nice to add some bank with this game as well.

Nashville Predators @ Chicago Blackhawks

The Predators bounced back for a big win last game to tie the series up 1-1 but they are going to need to keep the momentum going in Chicago if they want to find the 2nd round. Minus the six men on the ice goal for the Blackhawks, the Predators won that game 6-1, but nevertheless, a 6-2 win is still impressive and should give them some confidence going forward in Chicago. Note the 6 goal mark for the Predators. Do you remember seeing that at all in previous seasons for the Preds? Nah. If they won it had to be of the 2-1 or 2-0 varieties. The Predators have been winning this season with their offense, though. In fact, Nashville finished in the top 10 in goals scored per game. In the playoffs they have scored 9 goals total in just two games.

The Predators have been able to take advantage of a shaky goalie situation for the Blackhawks, who are continually losing their faith in Corey Crawford. However, while all of the attention has been on the Chicago issues in net, the Predators had problems of their own. In the last ten games the Preds have allowed an average of 3.50 goals per game. I asked earlier if you were used to seeing 6 goals out of the Preds before. Now I am going to pose the question if you remember seeing them allowing that many goals before? Not that I can remember in a long time. With a total of 5, and all of the crazy stuff that can happen at the end of these playoff games, you have to take a look at the OVER 5 this afternoon.