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#1 Vancouver Canucks vs. #5 Nashville Predators – We’re getting a really nice price here going against the top seed in the Western Conference, as we’re really not sold that Roberto Luongo has the confidence to be able to take down anyone right now in a seven game series. The problem for Nashville though, is that it has no clue how to win a series like this because it has never been involved with a series beyond the first round of the postseason. Pekka Rinne really didn’t play up to his abilities in the first round against the Anaheim Ducks, and if the Quack Attack was giving Rinne problems, we can’t even imagine what Vancouver is going to bring to the table. The offense alone for Vancouver should manage to take down this series. NHL Playoffs Picks: Vancouver Canucks in 5 (-255 @ SportBet Sportsbook)
#2 San Jose Sharks vs. #3 Detroit Red Wings – There are a heck of a lot of Stanley Cup betting fans that think the Red Wings are going to run away with this series, but we’re really not all that sure that that is the case. Last season, it was San Jose that was able to really issue a beat down to Detroit, winning the series four games to one, with really just one even remotely iffy game in the bunch. Both of these teams have fantastic offensive weapons, as there are a ton of players on both sides that were good enough to be playing on their respective national teams in the Winter Olympics a year ago. Heck, the Sharks had their own All-Canadian line out there. The difference in this series, aside from home ice advantage, is the fact that Antti Niemi knows what he is doing to win a Cup. Niemi wasn’t always pretty last year, but he got the job done. Jimmy Howard really wasn’t all that great in the first series against the Phoenix Coyotes, but the offense was outstanding. If Howard struggles like that again, the Sharks will take this series. NHL Playoffs Picks: San Jose Sharks in 6 (+100 @ SportBet Sportsbook)
#1 Washington Capitals vs. #5 Tampa Bay Lightning – Grit and tenacity won’t be enough for the Bolts in this series. Sure, Tampa Bay was basically able to outmuscle and outwork the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round of the playoffs, but the stars really just don’t look aligned right now for them. Steven Stamkos was nowhere to be found during the majority of the series, and Martin St. Louis has fallen off just a bit. How much longer before Dwayne Roloson finally has a bad game? There are just too many questions here. The Caps look great, and unlike Pittsburgh, they have their stars in order. Alexander Ovechkin should have a mammoth series against a suspect Tampa Bay defense, which has allowed just a slew of shots thus far in the playoffs. Too much offense here for the ‘Ning to keep up. NHL Playoffs Picks: Washington Capitals in 5 (-175 @ SportBet Sportsbook)
#3 Boston Bruins vs. #2 Philadelphia Flyers – The Bruins and Flyers really are only considered right near each other due to the fact that the Flyers have home ice advantage in this series. You see how much that really meant to either one of these teams in their first series. Both lost two games at home, but were able to win Game 7 on their home ice. Boston is just the better team from top to bottom. We don’t see Daniel Briere scoring six goals in this series as he did against the Buffalo Sabres, and we certainly don’t think that Philly has any chance whatsoever of surviving if it needs to use three different goalies. The confidence that Boston has shown in Tim Thomas through thick and thin is finally going to pay off in this series. NHL Playoffs Picks: Boston Bruins in 6 (+100 @ SportBet Sportsbook)