Who would’ve expected that the bottom-seeded Nashville Predators would meet the defending champions, the Pittsburgh Penguins, in this season’s Stanley Cup Final?
On paper, the Penguins appear to be heavily-favored to win it all given their championship-winning pedigree and with the Predators only about to make their Stanley Cup Final debut. However, considering how this year’s playoffs have panned out, Nashville’s impressive performances thus far just goes to show that parity in the NHL makes for truly compelling and rather unpredictable results.
Exactly who do the internet’s experts believe will hoist Lord Stanley’s trophy by the end of this thrilling finale? Let’s find out below. And for our very own in-depth preview and prediction for the series, head on over here.
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2017 NHL Stanley Cup Final Expert Picks and Predictions
|John Buccigross||Pittsburgh in 7|
|Linda Cohn||Pittsburgh in 7|
|Alex Grant||Pittsburgh in 7|
|Tim Kavanagh||Nashville in 6|
|Steve Levy||Nashville in 7|
|Adnan Virk||Nashville in 7|
To break this deadlock, we looked towards the inputs of senior writer Craig Custance, who provided an detailed preview for the finals on the site. Custance saw this series going to Pittsburgh in seven games, with the Penguins’ crafty ways to prevail in contests and their playoff experience to win out. He also predicted Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, the Pens’ standout duo on the attack who have a combined 44 points in the postseason, to deliver in the big stage once more.
Fox Sports (c/o WhatIfSports.com)
The folks over at Fox Sports made great use of the WhatIfSports simulator to generate their prediction for the finals.
After running 1,001 simulations of the Pittsburgh vs. Nashville matchup, they discovered that the Pens wound up scoring an average of 2.81 goals per game, whereas the Predators came up rather short in that department at 2.44. In turn, the Penguins ended up winning 57.6 percent of those simulations and with the series going a full seven games as the most prevalent outcome.
Last but not least, Brian Marron of Bleacher Report believes that the Predators have had much better performances this postseason than the Penguins and that the boys from the Music City will sing a happy tune when all is said and done.
Marron stated that Nashville has had great control of its three playoff series thus far compared to Pittsburgh, and it’s really hard to argue against that. The Preds were very impressive in sweeping the mighty Blackhawks in the first round before needing just six games each to dispatch the Blues and the Ducks thereafter. Meanwhile, the Penguins went the distance against the Capitals and the Senators in the final two rounds, recently needing a tense 3-2, double-overtime victory at home over Ottawa in Game 7 before securing their second-consecutive trip to the finals.
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