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NHL Playoff Betting:Western Conference Semifinals Game Three: Canucks vs. Predators

Written by Gaby Varji   
Monday, 02 May 2011 21:38

NHL Semifinal OddsBetting Online Preview

As the bet Kentucky Derby online advertising rolled on each year, it became pretty easy to predict what the Vancouver Canucks would do in the playoffs. The NHL hockey news would report lopsided losses by the Canucks in the playoffs that could always be pointed back to goaltender Roberto Luongo. A 5dimes review of the Canucks’ Western Conference quarterfinals series against the Chicago Blackhawks showed that everything was headed in that direction again. Luongo was replaced for game six by Corey Schneider, and it looked bad for Vancouver. But Schneider was injured and Luongo was back in. Ever since then, Roberto Luongo has looked like a champion. His team, on the other hand, has not.

The Nashville Predators leave no mystery as to how they play hockey. They crash the other team’s net, bring the defensemen up into the rush and leave goaltender Pekka Rinne out to dry. Last year, Rinne held his ground as well as he could but the Predators still lost early in the playoffs.

This year, it looks like Rinne has the Canucks figured out and that could mean a very long series for the team from Vancouver.

Vancouver Canucks
There is a tremendous amount of pressure on the Canucks to win the Stanley Cup, and that pressure is starting to show in this series. After several years of dominating the NHL during the regular season, including this year when the Canucks ran away with the President’s Trophy, the Canucks’ fans are starting to get antsy for a championship. If this team cannot deliver, this could be the last season that this group is together.

The Sedin twins were on fire in the Chicago series, but they have been relatively quiet in the semifinals. The plan from Nashville seems to be pretty simple; hit the Sedins on every opportunity. The beauty of simple plans is that they work almost every time. The Sedins, and the rest of the Vancouver guns, have had no room to skate in this series and that is keeping the goal count down. This time it is isn’t Luongo, but the Canucks are in just as much trouble as they were least year.

Nashville Predators
People that follow the NHL are not surprised by the rise of the Nashville Predators. Nashville has shown signs of improvement every year for the past three or four years, and this run could be just the beginning of a history of playoff success for the Predators. Once again, the Predators play a simple style of hockey. They hit the Canucks often, crash Luongo and the Vancouver net and leave the goal stopping to Pekka Rinne. So far, it has proved to be a solid strategy. Time will tell if Rinne can keep this up in the face of what is sure to be an even more intense Vancouver attack.

The Bottom Line

This may not be the year for the Predators, but it is a stepping stone to better things for this franchise. The Predators are going to play one of the best games they have ever played in the playoffs when they come home for the first Western Conference semifinals home game in their history. How far that momentum will take them remains to be seen.

BSN Sports Pick: Nashville Predators

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