The Anaheim Ducks are out of the NHL Playoffs.
They pounded the Predators net yesterday but could not get through, and could not overcome the 2 goal deficit that the Predators left them in by the end of the 1st period. It was quite a great series overall with the Ducks losing 2 straight to begin before winning 3 in a row. The Predators did an amazing job picking themselves up however, and deserved to go through to the next round where they meet the Sharks. That series begins Friday night.
The first game of the Islanders vs Lightning series took place last night and it was a good one. Tampa got off to a good start going up 1-0 but the Islanders just pounded away at them and took a 4-1 lead which caused Bishop to be pulled. It’s going to make for a very interesting 2nd game and to see if the Lightning can keep going, and if Bishop will be out for vengeance after a very, very bad shift for him.
Today we’ll cover the rest of the series predictions with Penguins vs Capitals taking place tonight and the others beginning tomorrow.
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Penguins vs Capitals Series Betting Tips:
Graeme: This is a series that I’ve been so conflicted on. I actually hate the Penguins and I hate Crosby. I just hated the way the media would verbally fellate him, and then the whole concussion situation and the constant updates and press conferences really turned me off.
I also would like the Capitals to take the cup. They’ve choked so many times in the past but this regular season they have been tremendous and been a team we can count on and someone we’ve made a fair bit of money on. So if you had asked me who I was taking in this series before the playoffs began I would have taken the Capitals.
However times change. I hated the way the Capitals struggled to put away the Flyers. Part of that was after the Flyers fan actions in Game 3 – I REALLY wanted to see the Flyers eliminated and that got me mad. On top of that I loved the way the Penguins handled things with a fast paced offense, and the way the goalie situation was.
I do have a sneaky suspicion that if Fleury comes back the Penguins will crash and burn. Just one of those things where It feels like that will happen and that the Penguins are playing so well due to their current goalie situation. But I’ve gotta go with Sid the Kid here. Penguins in 6.
Scott: This is going to be a great series. Crosby and Ovechkin have met just once before in the playoffs and it was an amazing 7 game series won by the Penguins.
The Pens had a miserable start to the year but they replaced their coach and turned things around.
The Caps were the best team in the league this year by a wide margin. They went out and acquired some help in the offseason to help them get through the playoffs mainly Justin Williams who thrives in games under pressure and has the nickname of “Mr. Game 7”. The play of Holtby can’t be overlooked.
This will be a great series but it will come down to the goalies and Holtby has been one of the best in the league this year where the Pens are going with 2nd and 3rd strings to fill in for Fleury. If Fleury returns he will be rusty.
Caps in 6
Blues vs Stars Series Betting Tips:
Scott: The Blues are coming off of eliminating the defending Stabley Cup Champs. That alone should make the Stars worried. The Stars jumped out to an early 2-0 series lead against the Wild who then traded wins with the Stars until the series finished 4-2.
The Blues are a deep team who can run 4 lines and have an amazing group of defenders. Brian Elliott was also amazing during the first round. The Stars scored the most goals of any team during the first round and they will need to continue that against a tough defensive team like the Blues.
The Blues play a physical game that will wear you down. Sure the Stars have the edge in the offense department but the Blues have the better defensemen. Pietrangelo is going to be huge factor in this series and I think the defense is going to decide this series.
Blues in 6
Graeme: I think the Blues have peaked. I know they play an amazing physical game and all but I think beating last years Stanley Cup winners the Chicago Blackhawks is going to be too much for them – they’ll find it hard to get up and motivated after that.
I like the Dallas Stars. I think they’re better than the Blackhawks this season and although I don’t think they’ll walk this I do think they’ll be the team that at the end of the day is progressing. Some teams carry momentum – like the Islanders – but I don’t think we’ll see that with the Blues. I think we’ll see an adrenaline crash from them.
Stars in 6
And for those keeping note – that’s 3 series predictions where we completely disagree! We’ll be back tomorrow with the Sharks vs Predators series prediction and we’ll see if we go 4 for 4!