Winnipeg has been methodically building a contender for the past several years. For just the second time in seven seasons the Jets are in the playoffs. However, unlike 2015 they bring much more credibility this year. Beyond that the Jets have plenty of upside with the Stanley Cup Playoff odds. But Winnipeg is facing the defending Western Conference champion Nashville. The proud Predators are better than last year. Battle tested experience and depth belong to them. But that offers no guarantees. Which explains the beauty of Stanley Cup Playoff hockey! Nashville hosts Winnipeg Saturday night.
Winnipeg Jets vs. Nashville Predators Game 5
Date and Time: Saturday, May 5, 2018, 9:30 p.m. ET
Location: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee
NHL Betting Online Odds at SBG:
|Predators||-1½ (+178)||5½ (-110)|
Jets vs. Predators TV Coverage: NBCSN
Nashville was the eighth and final seed with the Stanley Cup Playoff odds last year. Yet they ended up in the Stanley Cup Final. Pittsburgh proved too much for them there. But Nashville was validated as far better than their seeding indicated. This year the Preds won the President’s Trophy. That is indicative of best regular season team in the NHL. Ironically enough the problem is that their playoff path is tougher. Winnipeg has improved rapidly. And it’s not an accident. Rather its been a masterful build out for the Jets.
Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne was a key to their run last year. But this year his playoff numbers have dropped considerably. Rinne has a .901 save percentage. That is a far cry from his .927 performance of the regular season. Playoff wise last year he turned in a dominant .930 with two shutouts. Without a vast improvement in performance by Rinne the Preds are as good as dead. What is just as disappointing is that Nashville has scored effectively. They rank fourth in the playoffs for goals scoring. Yet it has not moved the needle.
Head coach Paul Maurice has been a perfect addition to Winnipeg. He is calm, self-assured and with a plan. Maurice has effectively built up the confidence of his emerging team since 2014. The team reflects his strong leadership. Jets players do not get phased or rattled. Instead they stick to task. And the payoff has been tremendous. Center Mark Scheifele is on playoff fire. He has eight goals and four assists with a plus four. Goaltender Connor Hellebuyck has made a big difference. His save percentage is .920. Clearly a better performance than Rinne.
This has been an even sportsbook head to head series. Both teams have four wins in the last eight meetings. Five of the last seven between the Jets and Preds have gone over the total. At Nashville the Jets have won just five of their last 17 visits. Five of the last seven at Bridgestone Arena in this matchup have gone over the total. No series in the second round has drawn as much praise. These are two of the best teams in the NHL
Matchup to Watch
This is the most critical game of the year for Nashville. They will bring value with the Stanley Cup Playoff odds. Home ice and motivation are their matchup advantage here.
Predators vs. Jets NHL Playoff Lines Picks
Nashville at home is the call!
NHL Betting Online Pick: Nashville Predators
NHL Betting Online Score Prediction: Predators 4, Jets 1
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