NHL Playoffs Preview for Western Conference Round 1. In the 2nd part of our 2 part series we will preview the Western Conference on the National Hockey League.
In this Eastern Conference we start with the match-up between the No.1 Ducks of Anaheim 51-24 (Pacific Division) playing the Jets of No. 8 Winnipeg 43-26 (Central Division) with the game played on Thursday the 16th of April 2015 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California with puck off at 10:40 PM ET and seen on CNBC TV.
The Ducks of Anaheim are favored on the opening odds at -160 on the Money Line and the total is 5 over -125 and they are -1 1/2 +185 on the Puck Line, while the Jets of Winnipeg are +140 on the Money Line and +1 ½ -225 on the Puck Line.
The Jets of Winnipeg and their fans will get to see some NHL playoffs postseason hockey again and leading their offense are their 3 scoring stars in Kesler-20 goals, Getzlaf-25 goals and Perry-33 goals. However, the Ducks are 11th in their league with 2.9 goals each game and have their own trio of scoring with Little-24, Ladd-24 and Wheeler-26 goals for the season. The problem for the Ducks is their defense which they need to tighten up if they are to win this series as they are ranked 20th in the NHL, but then the Jets are 10th of defense. Thus the prediction for those who Bet on NHL at an Offshore sportbook the Ducks is expected to win the NHL playoffs series and reach the final for the Western Conference.
Next we have the No.6 Flames of Calgary 45-30 (Pacific Division) playing the No. 5 Canucks of Vancouver 48-29 (Pacific Division) with the game played at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia with puck off at 10:05 PM ET and seen on CNBC TV.
The opening gambling odds are favoring the Canucks at -160 on the Money Line and the total 5 over -125 and -1 ½ +185 on the Puck Line, while the comeback on the Flames is +125 on the Money Line and +1 ½ -240 on the Puck Line.
Not many in the Hockey World expected to see the Flames in these playoffs, but to our surprise the made via an 8th seed berth for the Conference of the West.
In this 1st game the team who plays the best defense will win this first game, as neither team has had problems scoring on offense. Both teams were tied for 6th in scoring in the NHL playoffs. It’s predicted the Canucks will win this series and the semifinals for the conference.
Then we have the No. 2 Blues of St. Louis 51-24 playing the Wild of Minnesota 46-28 both of the Central Division and the game will be played at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri with the puck off at 9:35 PM ET and seen on NBCS TV.
The opening odds are favoring the Blue at -145 on the Money Line with the total 5 under -120 and -1 ½ + 200 on the Puck Line, while the comeback on the Wild is +125 on the Money Line and +1 ½ -240 on the Puck Line.
This expected to be a very contested series of game with the Wild and the Blues in this 1st round of the Western Conference playoff games as both teams play very well on their offense and defensive ends of the Ice. St. Louis ranks in top five in goals per game in the NHL, with defense only allowing opponents 2.3 goals each game, 4th in PP (Power Play) conversion and 7th in PK’s (Penalty Kills).
The Minnesota Wild rank 12th on scoring, 6th defensively, as they manage to stop 86.4 % of opposing scoring chances. Both teams have some exciting players to watch, so remember Tarasenko for St. Louis and for Minnesota there goalie Dubnyk. The prediction is the Wild will win this series and reach the semis for the conference.
Then again last but not least in the Western conference we have the No. 3 Predators of Nashville 47-25 playing the No. 4 Blackhawks of Chicago both of the Central Division with the game being played at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee with the puck off at 8:40 PM ET and seen on NBCS TV.
The opening odds for this game have the Predators at -115 on the Money Line with the total at 5 flat and the Puck Line -1 ½ + 250, while the comeback on the Blackhawks is -105 on Money Line and +1 ½ -300 on the Puck Line.
Since the Blackhawks came up short in the Stanley Cup games of 2014, they would like to get back in the winning column now that they have their star Kane back after being absent most of this past season, as his boost is needed in their offense, as this year they were 17th in the league scoring goals.
There’s not much to say for the Predators as of late there are plagues with injuries and will be lucky to stay with the Blackhawks in this match-up, and thus Chicago has a slight edge and is predicted to win the series and could reach the Cup finals.