Hockey OddsOnline Sportsbook Overview

Baseball betting is lingering in the background right now as Anaheim sports fans concentrate on the Ducks’ playoff series against the Nashville Predators. The NHL hockey news writers have tended to ignore the Nashville Predators over the past few years, but Nashville has slowly been building a winning team and is a force to be reckoned with in these playoffs. The Predators love to crash the opposing net, they can keep their own crease clear of opposing players, they can skate with almost any team in the league and they have solid goaltending. These are all factors that the Ducks were well aware of when the series started, but are still unable to do anything about them.

A 5dimes review of the Anaheim Ducks’ season shows a team that was looking to reach for the upper-levels of the Western Conference after a slow start. The difference in the Ducks was the play of goaltender Jonas Hiller. When Hiller found his groove, the rest of the team was able to spread out a play more offense. When Hiller was lost for the season a few weeks before the playoffs, Ducks fans panicked. Veteran goaltender Ray Emery has stepped in and done a great job, but he lacks the foot speed that Hiller had and the Ducks are finding themselves forced to come back and play defense again. Falling back to play defense is what cost the Ducks points in the standings early in the season, and it is coming back to haunt them now.

Nashville Predators

Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne has been one of the best-kept secrets in the league for years. In the 2010-2011 regular season, Rinne finished second in the league with a .930 save percentage and third with a 2.12 goals against average. He is a Vezina Trophy contender, but yet many hockey fans do not know who he is. In this series, Rinne has not shown his full effectiveness yet. His stats are poor, but he is winning games. Things looked especially troublesome in game three when Rinne faced only 16 shots but gave up three goals. But the team in front of Rinne is playing so well offensively and defensively that he has some time to bring his game up.


Anaheim Ducks

While it can be easy to point at goaltender Ray Emery as the weak point for the Ducks, it is important to remember that Emery faced 37 shots in the game three loss. As was mentioned previously, when the Ducks do not have confidence in their goalie, they tend to collapse in towards the net and give up a lot of shots on goal. Even in their 5-3 game two win, the Ducks gave up 34 shots on goal. Anaheim is going to have to trust Emery and start bringing the play to the Predators or this series will be over very soon.

The Bottom Line

It is difficult for a team to lose its starting goaltender right before the playoffs. The players feel like they need to alter the way they play the game to adjust for the new goalie. The Ducks need to get back to attacking the opposition’s net or this game could be a blowout.

Gambling Advisor blog Pick: Nashville Predators

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