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Predators - Red Wings Series Outlook

Predators - Red Wings Series Outlook

Predators - Red Wings Series Outlook
By Judd Hall 

No. 1 Detroit Red Wings vs. No. 8 Nashville Predators

Series Price: Detroit -350, Nashville +350

Series Format: Detroit, 2-2-1-1-1

Skinny: It was business as usual for the Red Wings again as they posted their third consecutive 50-plus win this season. A lot of that has to do with Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg proving that they’re two of the best all around players in the league, scoring 97 and 92 points respectively. However, Detroit has benefited from an offense that has no shortage of scorers as 11 skaters on its roster have at least 30 points.

The only thing better than Detroit’s offense this season is their skill in the defensive zone. The Wings allowed an NHL-best 179 goals this year…that’s 2.2 lamp lighters per game. This can be attributed to Chris Chelios proving you can be 46 and still anchor a blue line and Chris Osgood showing just how good he is between the pipes. Osgood has gone 27-9-4 with a 2.09 GAA this year. It also helps to have a second goalie like Dominik Hasek at the same time, too.

You have to believe that Nashville has to just be happy for making the playoffs this year. The Predators were set to be sold to a Canadian billionaire that planned on moving the club to Hamilton, Ontario as quickly as possible. Then local ownership came to the rescue. And Barry Trotz (who should win the Jack Adams Award this year) held his club together after losing Paul Kariya, Peter Forsberg, Kimmo Timonen and Scott Hartnell.

The Preds have been able to keep its speedy offense running smoothly thanks to the efforts of J.P. Dumont, Jason Arnott, Alex Radulov and Martin Erat. That quartet accounts for 106 of Nashville’s 227 goals for the year. They’ve also received a top shelf effort out of Radek Bonk to help shut down opponents in the attack zone.

Trotz has also hitched his wagon to the youthful netminder Dan Ellis, who went 23-10-3 with a 2.34 GAA this year. However, he’s making his first ever playoff run…makes you think he’ll be a little on edge.

Gambling Notes: Nashville has watched the ‘under’ go on a 6-1 run to close out the season. And 5-2 in its last seven games on the road.

Detroit is 6-2 in its final eight matches of the regular season. Meanwhile, the ‘under’ went 5-3-1 in that time.

The head-to-head battle between these Central Division rivals favors the Wings, with their 5-3 mark for the season series. Also, Detroit beat the Preds in a first round battle back in 2004, four games to two as the ‘under’ went 5-1.

Outlook: The Red Wings are finally healthy after getting through a spell there without a few of their most important offensive cogs.

Nashville is making everything work without having any big-name talent.

The odds are stacked heavily against the Predators, as well they should be. They’re overmatched in every aspect of this series.

Thankfully, it’ll be over soon as the Red Wings advance in five games.

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