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Nashville Predators vs. Chicago Blackhawks 2017 Western Conference First Round Series Predictions, Picks and Preview

Nashville Predators vs. Chicago Blackhawks 2017 Western Conference First Round Series Predictions, Picks and Preview


Nashville Predators vs. Chicago Blackhawks Series Preview

*view all NHL Stanley Cup Playoff first-round series lines here

Series Schedule

  • Game 1: April 13, 8:00 PM ET, at Chicago
  • Game 2: April 15, 8:00 PM ET, at Chicago
  • Game 3: April 17, 9:30 PM ET, at Nashville
  • Game 4: April 19, TBD, at Nashville
  • Game 5: April 21, TBD, at Chicago*
  • Game 6: April 24, TBD, at Nashville*
  • Game 7: April 26, TBD, at Chicago*

(*if necessary)

Regular Season Head-to-Head

Nashville edged the Blackhawks in the first meeting but the Blackhawks took all wins in the next four showdowns.

Why the Predators Will Win the Series (+160)

This isn’t Pekka Rinne’s best season but he’s still Pekka Rinne, who remains one of the best goaltenders today. Rinne finished the regular season with a 31-19-9 record with a 2.42 GAA and .918 SV% across 61 starts. And while he’s just 1-2 this campaign versus the ‘Hawks, Rinne’s experience in the playoffs and familiarity playing Chicago during this time of the year shouldn’t be underrated. Rinne was the goalie when the Preds lost both in the first round of the 2015 and 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Rinne will get a big hand for Nashville’s elite set of defensemen, which will play a major role in containing the attack of Patrick Kane and company. The Preds have actually done that versus Chicago despite what their 1-4 record in this matchup suggests. In fact, the Predators have outshot Chicago in four of the five meetings. Moreover, Nashville is fifth in the league in Corsi% (51.37).

The Blackhawks are the favorites but they know full well how capable Nashville is of pulling off an upset largely because of Nashville’s defense.

Why the Blackhawks Will Win the Series (-200)

Because they’re the Blackhawks, who are proven performers in the playoffs going up against a team that has barely anything to show from its box of good playoff memories. But seriously, the Blackhawks look scary as hell in the playoffs because they’re as complete of a team as any.

Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Niklas Hjalmarsson have raised the Cup before with Chicago. In other words, they know what it takes to move from each round of the playoffs to the next.

Then there’s Corey Crawford. Crawford is a proven playoff performer. He is 48-33 with a .920 SV% in the postseason in his career. He’s handled the Predators well this season, going 3-1 with a 2.52 GAA in four starts.

Nashville sucks on the road, which is something you could tell from the Preds’ 17-20-4 record on the road this season. That doesn’t bode well for them, as they go up against a Chicago club that has a 26-10-5 record at home.

Writer’s Prediction

Chicago (+160) sends the Predators to an early vacation in six games.

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Written by Rex

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