The second-round matchup between the Predators and Jets is here.
The Nashville Predators and Winnipeg Jets second-round Stanley Cup Playoff series gets underway Friday 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.
This series is a complete coin-flip, in my opinion. I think personnel wise, the Jets matchup against the Predators better than anyone else in the league. The only true edge the Preds have on their side is overall experience in these situations and of course home-ice advantage. What I continue to go back to however is how inconsistent Nashville looked during the first-round outside of Game Six. Sure, the Predators have shown just how lethal they can be when all is clicking, but so have the Jets.
The matchup the series is going to come down to is in net between the two Vezina Trophy finalists Pekka Rinne and Connor Hellebuyck. In the five games against the Preds during the regular season Hellebuyck was simply not good, nevertheless, I have just a bit more faith in the 24-year-old Michigan native over the 35-year-old Finn despite the fact the experience falls in Rinne’s favor.
We can’t gloss over the fact that up front the Jets are arguably the most gifted team in the NHL and the blue line from top to bottom is filled with skill.
Jets in six.
I don’t like the way the Predators played most of the time in the series against the Avs. For whatever reason, they often lacked urgency, intensity and focus. I guess you can throw the word “discipline” in there, too.
The Jets are deep and have more than just one dangerous scoring line, unlike the Avs. There’s no “Hamburglar” in goal across the ice of Pekka Rinne – Hellebuyck is legit. I also don’t expect the Predators to get 19 total points from the Watson-Bonino-Sissions line. Those guys are so fun to watch, but can’t possibly match that production (right?).
I think the Preds will go up 1-0 Friday night in Smashville. However, that doesn’t mean Nashville will be back to the Western Conference Finals in back-to-back years. The Jets will make the right adjustments. I feel like it’s a pissed off for greatness team. The Presidents’ Trophy goes home early, again.
Jets in six.