It’s time for us at A to Z Sports Nashville to make our Predators – Avalanche series predictions.

The Nashville Predators and Colorado Avalanche first-round Stanley Cup Playoff series gets underway Thursday night in Music City. It’s now time for us to make our predictions about the outcome of the first ever playoff series between these two sides.

Mark Harris:

The Predators are riding a 10-game winning streak against Avalanche heading into this first-round matchup which is enough evidence that Nashville has Colorado’s number, but I don’t see the Preds extending that streak to 14 games.

I think that Colorado’s first-line of Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen alone will steal at least one game in this series; that’s how lethal that group is. If Nashville can keep the Avs first-line remotely quiet, then yes, I could see the Predators sweeping this series, but I just don’t see it happening for four straight games.

If you’re Colorado, you also kind of have to like the fact that you’re the underdog and you’re playing essentially the same underdog from a year ago that knocked off the top seeded Blackhawks. Also, if you’re Nashville, you have to like the fact that the Avs don’t have their top netminder in Semyon Varlamov due to a knee injury and Jonathan Bernier will be given the responsibilities in net.

With Colorado’s absurdly talented first-line and the fact that I don’t see the Nashville winning streak over Colorado extending to an absurd number like 14 straight, I have the Predators winning this series in six games.

This series is flying under the radar, and that’s probably the right call, but there is no doubt that it is going to be full of speed, traded chances and plenty of back-and-forth action.

Predators in six.

Austin Stanley:

Sweep, right? I don’t think the Preds come out and sweep their first round opponent like they did last year with the Blackhawks. I don’t think the Preds will follow the Blackhawks as the West’s best team making a first round exit. Nashville wins this series, but in five games or six?

I agree with Mark – MacKinnon and Co. are talented enough to steal at least one game in this series, but my main question is if they can steal one IN Nashville. I’ve gone back and forth on that a lot over the last couple days. Throughout the playoffs last summer, the Preds shut down their opponent’s top line in the West playoffs – notably Patrick Kane (Chicago) and Vladimir Tarasenko (St. Louis).

The Preds will score a bunch of goals in this series for two reasons. The pace will be speedy (getting your heart rate ready for Winnipeg). And, Jonathan Bernier is in goal for the Avs. In Bernier’s last two playoff appearances (Ducks last year) the Preds scored a combined six goals on him. Bernier started in Game 6, that saw the Preds win the Western Conference Finals, and Colton Sissons and Austin Watson combined for five goals.

Therefore,

Predators in five. 

Zach Bingham:

This postseason, the Nashville Predators will be the hunted. After claiming the Presidents’ Trophy by notching the most points in the NHL regular season, Nashville has the home ice advantage in each round. I expect the the Preds to roll through the Avalanche in round number one.

Two key things stand out making my prediction easier. Colorado’s top goalie Varlamov will miss the entire first-round with a knee injury. So with the Avs using a couple of second tier goalies, that will play to the Preds strength, which is shots on goal. Nashville averages 32.2 shots on net per game and I expect those pucks to be lighting the lamp. The Avs steal one in the Rockies but Preds win the series handily.
Predators in five.

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