The Detroit Red Wings open up the 2012 postseason on the road in NHL betting action, as they face off with the Nashville Predators in Game 1 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals on Wednesday night.
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The Red Wings aren’t used to being on the road, and they have to know that they are going to be in for a long, uphill battle if they want to get to the Stanley Cup Finals once again this year. They were an atrocious road team all season long, and they have the second fewest wins on the road amongst all of the playoffs teams this year. Jimmy Howard has been one of the big culprits of the issues, and he is going to have to get over those problems on enemy ice, or Detroit is going to have a short stay here in the postseason. Howard went just 13-11-1 on the road this year, whereas he went 22-6-3 at home. He had a save percentage of just .907 on the road as well, and that just isn’t going to cut it to say the least. Offensively, there is plenty of firepower here, but the Wings just haven’t played all that well of late. A lot of injuries have hampered this team for the mass majority of the season, especially since that record setting 23-game winning streak at Joe Louis Arena earlier this year. Age is really starting to catch up to the Red Wings, and it is definitely showing.
The Predators knew that they had to come up big over the course of the last week of the season to earn home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs, and that’s exactly what they did. Pekka Rinne has been on absolute fire, allowing just two goals in those last three games of the year, all of which ended in Nashville victories. The offense is still really inconsistent and doesn’t have a heck of a lot of scoring options out there for a big game, but there have been some games of late in which this unit has done a ton. Over the course of the last six games of the season, there were four efforts with at least four goals scored. Rinne is the key, though. He has 43 wins on the campaign, and without his efforts in the pipes, this team wouldn’t rank No. 8 in the league in total goals per game allowed at just 2.5.
Detroit Red Wings @ Nashville Predators Pick: NHL bettors are spending a lot of cash on the name team here, but we don’t think that they are the better team in this series. Nashville is in better form, and though the Red Wings might have some of the more recognizable names, that doesn’t mean that they are a unit that has gelled properly this season. Especially on the road, Detroit is in big trouble.
Free Hockey Pick: Nashville Predators -135
Aaron 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.