Canadian fans, it is time to strap in: the second round of the 2018 Stanley Cup series is about to get underway. The Winnipeg Jets have been simply sublime this year but must now defeat Central Division champions Nashville Predators in a bid to keep their Stanley Cup dreams alive. Can they do it? Only time will tell – they certainly have the talent to push the Predators close.
Nashville ran out 4-2 winners in their opening series against the Colorado Avalanche whilst Winnipeg secured a comfortable 4-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild. On paper, this should be an entertaining series; fuelled by the fact that these two divisional rivals have a mutual dislike for one another. Check out our thoughts on Game One of the seven-match series below…
Predators Well Placed For Stanley Cup Success
It would take a brave man to back against Nashville on current form and plenty of punters will be siding with the Central Division champions. At the time of writing, bet365 are pricing the Predators at 9/2 to go on and lift the most prestigious trophy in ice hockey. Supporters will be encouraged by their excellent form so far during the postseason…
The Bridgestone Arena will be expecting a home triumph to get the series underway and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see Nashville open with a win. The Predators have won two of the previous three meetings between the two teams – that recent record will at least give some confidence to those backing a home win.
KEY MAN: Filip Forsberg. Nashville’s leading points scorer during the regular season has had some help from his teammates during the playoffs. With six points in as many games, he is still up there near the top of the Predators though and should shine during this series.
Forsberg scored a vital goal in Nashville’s win over Colorado last time out and punters will be looking to back him to add to his postseason tally. He is a 7/5 chance with 888sport to score during Game One of the series…
Jets Will Be Quietly Confident Of Sneaking A Result
The Jets needed just five games to secure a series victory over Minnesota and Nashville fans will be wary of Winnipeg here. Being divisional rivals, both teams know what to expect but the playoffs tend to bring out the best in teams. Expect the unexpected in this contest; and the unexpected at this moment in time could mean that Winnipeg sneak a shock victory.
Canadian sports fans will be hoping that Paul Maurice’s men can defy the odds to win on the road in the opener – that might be the best possible result for neutrals too. Giving Nashville the initiative to push on and build momentum would be unwise; the Predators are one of the most reliable teams in hockey and they rarely relinquish a lead once they have it.
KEY MAN: Mark Scheifele. With five points in five postseason appearances, Scheifele has stepped up when it matters most of all. Four goals and an assist puts him as the joint points leader for Winnipeg in the playoffs and it would take a brave man to write him off here.
Watch this space: Winnipeg could shock the ice hockey world here. The Jets have the quality and experience to oust Nashville on home ice and plenty of punters will be getting behind the Canadian outfit. It won’t be straightforward by any means but a road victory looks likely in the opening match of what could be an exciting series.
PREDATORS 2-3 JETS