Sujet : Looking Ahead: Which 2nd Round Matchup Favors The Preds?
As satisfying as the first round sweep of the Chicago Blackhawks may have been https://www.predatorsoutlet.com/Brad_Hunt_Jersey-27, the road to the Stanley Cup Finals is not over for the Nashville Predators. Now they await the winner of the Blues-Wild series. Game 5 of that series is slated for 2 p.m. today, with the Blues leading the series 3-1. No matter which team ends up the Predators’ opponent in the next round, they will have a drastically different style of play from the Blackhawks. Both the Wild and the Blues have a more physical approach to the game, looking to play tough on the boards while battling for pucks and trying to out-defense the opponent on the way to a low scoring win. Regardless of who the Preds play, get ready for some ugly games. If The Preds Play The BluesYou can expect a long, tough, grind-it-out, beat-your-brains-in kind of series, where there are probably more than a handful of cuts, bruises, injuries, and shouting matches. Maybe even a few fines and suspensions handed out. But assuming that the Preds don’t completely lose their minds and are able to actually play their game against the Blues, who has the advantage in this matchup? The Preds definitely have a puck possession edge on the Blues at 5v5. Nashville finished the regular season 5th in the league in Corsi-For percentage with a 51 Austin Watson Jersey.35% mark, not to mention they just beat the Blackhawks in four games, mostly due to their ability to possess the puck. St. Louis on the other hand finished the regular season 15th in the league in Corsi-For at 50.2% and are getting absolutely dominated at 5v5 by the Wild in this first series—the Blues have a meager 38.9% Corsi-For percentage in four games. So the 5v5 advantage should go to Nashville, for sure. But special teams may be a different story. The Blues have one of the best penalty kills in the league. They finished the regular season 3rd in the league on the penalty kill at 84.8%. While they do tend to take more penalties than they should , they’ve been very successful at preventing goals. The Blues found themselves shorthanded 263 times in the regular season, which ranked 7th most in the league, but only gave up 40 power play goals, which is 7th least in the league. Here’s a look at the shot advantages for each team on the penalty kill and power play over the last 25 games https://www.predatorsoutlet.com/Colin_Wilson_Jersey-9, courtesy of HockeyViz: Noted penalty killing forwards Alexander Steen and Kyle Brodziak are the usual mainstays, joining up with Alex Pietrangelo and Jay Bouwmeester. All those dudes are over 6’1” and pushing 220 pounds. That’s a heavy load to push around. Paul Stastny and Scottie Upshall are smaller, peskier forwards that have very active sticks. The Preds penalty kill has been inconsistent all season and even on its good days was only an above average unit. The penalty kill advantage goes to the Blues.