NHL Predictions Buy or Fade Edition
We will show each team, briefly discuss to Buy or Fade for selections and offer a free pick on each. As we head towards the middle of the Conference Finals, we have seen enough from each team to determine what judgments we should be making against the NHL odds at 5Dimes for their futures projects. Remember pick an online sportsbook that is dependable and has all the odds you are looking for.
Pittsburgh Penguins +205 odds to win it all
Buy - The Penguins have the most diverse offense of stars like Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin and snipers like Phil Kessel and Patric Hornqvist. Defensively, coach Mike Sullivan has patched it together in spite of injuries. Marc-Andre Fleury has been terrific in goal and improved his work in the goal crease to be more effective.
Fade - At some point, the losses of defensemen Kris Letang and Trevor Daley have to matter. Another potential problem is the Pens keeping their edge after defeating two of the best teams in the NHL in Columbus and Washington. If another blue-liner goes down or Crosby or Malkin would miss more than a game or two in a series, Pittsburgh becomes vulnerable.
NHL Prediction: Given the Penguins speed, ability to generate odd man rushes and swarm the net, hard to imagine any of the other three remaining teams can win four times against Pittsburgh.
Nashville Predators +235 odds to win it all
Buy - Nashville was the last team from the Western Conference to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs and after sweeping Chicago and dismissing St. Louis in six games, they are now the favorite to advance to Finals. Goalie Pekka Rinne has been a pillar of strength he's surrounded by a strong group of six defensemen. Offensively, the Predators have been resourceful.
Fade - Rinne has been outstanding in previous postseason action, but when he starts to lose it, he goes sideways in a hurry. The Preds have a system and when they stick to it, they are hard to beat. When the focus lags, there is not enough offensive playmakers to offset the shortcomings they have.
NHL Prediction: Other than Pittsburgh, this might just be a team of destiny. Nashville has never lived up to others expectations, however, if they stay on course and Rinne is superb, this might be worth a shot.
Anaheim Ducks +335 odds to win it all
Buy - Anaheim has the pedigree of being annual contenders since winning The Cup a decade ago. This club feeds off center Ryan Getzlaf. The Ducks have this never say die attitude and they have come from behind in multiple games down by two or more goals already. Other than Pittsburgh, the case could be made these Ducks have plenty to quack about, averaging 3.3 goals a game.
Fade - After being third in the regular season in goals allowed, Anaheim has not done the job defensively. Yes, they have continued to win, but netminder John Gibson could be generously described as "average" and multiple mistakes by blue-lines have also placed Gibson in harm's way.
NHL Prediction: Hard to make a pick unless Gibson really improves almost immediately. Also, if Getzlaf is even slowed down a little, not sure that winger Jakob Silfverberg or center Rickard Rakell can carry the load without more help.
Ottawa +410 odds to win it all
Buy - Let's make this clear, no team in the playoffs has worked as hard game after game as Ottawa. This team has bought in and plays a suffocating 1-3-1 neutral zone trap that requires great patience to beat. Erik Karlsson has been the best single player in the tournament and Bobby Ryan keeps making big goals and assists almost every game.
Fade - This is the least talented of the remaining squads and really does have to work extremely hard for everything they get. Goalie Craig Anderson has been good, not great and when opposing teams crack this defense, there are scoring chances on the backend.
NHL Prediction: It has been extremely impressive that the Senators have won two series, nonetheless, to think they can win two more without several skaters playing well beyond their skill level sure seems unfathomable.