The Ducks are already in desperation mode to not drop the first two games of the Western Conference Finals at home. A loss would drop them into a 2-0 disadvantage heading to Nashville but it’s the ‘total’ that NHL analyst Dana Lane is taking another swing at.
With a 9-2 postseason record, there is little doubt who the hottest team in the postseason is. The Nashville Predators scoring depth has been impressive with 15 different players scoring goals, 19 with points, but all great coaches are always looking to areas where they can improve.
If Peter Laviolette could point to any of his offensive weapons with the anticipation of a greater impact it could be James Neal who had the overtime winner in game one to give Nashville a 1-0 series lead.
If the Neal, Calle Jarnkrok, Colin Wilson line becomes a force the Predators won’t have any problem pushing games over by themselves which is one of the reasons I’m firing right back on game two’s ‘over’.
They'll face a different Ducks team who was only one full day to prepare for game one. I expect a more spirited effort from Anaheim, especially to start the game when 14 of game one’s first 15 shots came from Predators. Randy Carlyle team has to have some urgency because another loss at home will surely lead to Nashville’s demise.
The crowd should also play a bigger role in helping the Ducks get off to a better start. The NHL didn’t do the Ducks any favors with a 6:00PT start time. When the game started 1,000’s were stranded outside creating an early regular season atmosphere at best. With game two scheduled to start for 4:30 PT, on a Sunday, the Honda Center should be filled up.
Perhaps the extra energy will give the Ducks inept power play a boost as they’ve failed to connect on their last 20 attempts.
I’m all about the ‘over’ tonight for my NHL pick with another half unit added to my usual 1 unit play.
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