May 7, 2011

Free Stanley Cup Picks: Nashville Predators vs. Vancouver Canucks Game 5 Predictions

The Nashville Predators are on the ropes and need to find a way to win three straight NHL playoffs betting affairs against the Vancouver Canucks to keep their season alive. Saturday night is Step 1 at Rogers Arena, and things are definitely going to be difficult for them as huge underdogs on the Stanley Cup odds.

The biggest kick in the tush that the Predators have right now is the fact that they really have been good enough to win all four games in this series. They have only lost by one goal margins, save for in Game 4 when an empty net goal did them in on the puck line for a two goal defeat. Pekka Rinne has been absolutely remarkable in net, never allowing more than three goals to the team with the best offense in the game, and the defense has found a ways to shut down arguably the best duo that the league has to offer. The bottom line though, is that the offense just hasn’t been good enough to survive this constant onslaught that the Canucks are bringing Nashville’s way, and it is proving to just not be ready to compete at this level. After all, we do have to remember that this is the first time that the Predators have made it into the second round of the playoffs, and there are a number of key players on this team that have little to no postseason experience as well.

The difference has really been the play of Roberto Luongo for the Canucks. The 64 million dollar man who is signed through the 2022 season really could have hit a crossroad in his career against the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round of the playoffs. After leading his team to a 3-0 series lead, the wheels fell off for a couple of games. Luongo got the hook in both Games 4 and 5, and all of a sudden, rookie Cory Schneider was called upon in the pipes. Schneider ended up leaving Game 6 injured, and Luongo gave up the game winner in overtime on the road to set up a do or die Game 7. Others would have folded. Luongo embraced the situation. He stopped 31 of 32 shots in the overtime victory, and he has absolutely never looked back in this series. The Predators have only scored six goals in this series, no more than two of which have come in an game, and they have also been shut out once. Ryan Kesler has also almost single handedly put this team on his back, scoring three goals and logging three assists over the course of the two wins at Bridgestone Arena over the course of the week.

Nashville Predators vs. Vancouver Canucks Pick: The Canucks are the pride and joy of Canada right now, and it almost seems like the Predators are trying to take down an entire country. It just isn’t going to happen. We hate laying these types of Stanley Cup odds in the playoffs, but the right side on Saturday night is to take the Canucks -220.

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Andrew Ryan

Andrew Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.

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