Nashville Predators First Round Prediction

Apr 7, 2016; Nashville, TN, USA; Nashville Predators players celebrate after a 3-2 overtime win against the Arizona Coyotes at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 7, 2016; Nashville, TN, USA; Nashville Predators players celebrate after a 3-2 overtime win against the Arizona Coyotes at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /

The Nashville Predators are hoping this is their year.

At first glance, this seems to be a relatively even match-up. Line-by-line I believe the Nashville Predators hold a slight edge. Each team featured rather anemic starts, only to finish very, very strong.

Let’s begin with how the top 2 lines match-up

McGinn-Getzlaf-Perry vs. Jarnkrok, Johansen, Neal.
164 points                           155 points

Keep in mind, David Perron is injured and expected to be out for the series. This is essentially a wash of youth vs experience.- No clear advantage=Draw

Cogliano-Kesler-Silfverberg vs. Forsberg, Ribeiro, Smith
124 points                                  151 points
If any center can shut down a scoring line, it’s Ryan Kesler. However, Filip has been sensational lately.
2nd line Advantage Predators…

The Defense…. we all know how that looks. Advantage-Predators. 

Pekka Rinne SV% .908    GAA2.48

We expect to see John Gibson this round, even though the Ducks have split his time with Fredrik Anderson,

John Gibson  SV% .920     GAA2.07

Rinne has been extremely inconsistent this year. Yes, he has been better as of late but Gibson has simply been better for the entire season.


Stats from

So that is a glance at the match-ups. Both of these teams are hot, so the question is… which is hotter?

More from Predlines

The Anaheim Ducks were the 2nd to worst team in the NHL at Christmas. Since that time, the Ducks are an incredible 34-10-5. They are looking like the team that was one shot away from the Stanley Cup Finals the last post-season.

The Predators had their own turn-around begin a little later. Since January 21, the Nashville Predators are 21-10-5.

So both teams are coming in hot, I’m sad to say Anaheim is hotter. The Ducks feature the best special teams in the league.

Anaheim is 1st on the Power-Play and Penalty-Kill.

You read that correctly, number 1 in both categories.
If that doesn’t scare you, maybe the league-leading 2.29 Goals-against-average will. That is including their horrendous start. That’s how good the Ducks second half has been. They finished the season with the 17th most goals for. However, they have the second-most goals in the NHL since Christmas…
Stats courtesy of war-on-ice

Meanwhile, the Nashville Predators are 14th in goals against, 13th in goals for, 10th on the Power-Play and 16th on the Penalty Kill.

But what about Nashville’s turn-around? Since January 21,
Nashville is 9th in goals for
7th in Goals against
16th on the Power-Play
2nd on the Penalty kill

So not bad, but this does nothing to counter Anaheim’s incredible numbers.

If I take off my Smashville gold-colored glasses… the Nashville Predators are a slightly above average team.

Keep in mind the Predators 2-1 record vs the Ducks was during their struggles. They have not played each other since November 17th, so we cannot read much, if anything, into those games.

Coming into the season the Anaheim Ducks were a Stanley cup favorite. The first half of the year made people forget that. However the Ducks second half is simply too hard to overlook.

Prediction-Anaheim Ducks in 5

This is not going to go well Smashville, so you need to set expectations low. I believe the Ducks are the team to come out of the West and give Washington a run for their money.

More from Predlines

Special teams are going to be the key and Anaheim has a clear advantage. The Nashville Predators PK has been inconsistent for much of the year and the Ducks are going to jump at their opportunities.

Pekka Rinne has not given me any faith this year and I am not confident he has the ability to steal a series anymore.

Anaheim plays a tough game and Nashville is not as equipped as the Ducks are to play a grinding game.

The only way Nashville can win this series, beyond a key injury, is if Peter Laviolette can find a way to turn this series into a track meet. Nashville’s advantage is speed. However, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau is experienced enough to recognize this and slow down the game.

PredLines Staff Predictions:        Doug         Zach         Chance         Lincoln       Charles

Next: Breaking Down the Preds Penalty Kill

Sorry Smashville, this one is going to go quick.