04/11/2012 11:43 AM
Series to Watch
Nashville Predators Hope To Hold Home Ice Advantage Over Detroit Red Wings
Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, TN will be the site of Wednesday, April 11th's NHL betting showdown between the Nashville Predators (48-26-8) and the Detroit Red Wings (48-28-6).
You'll be able to catch the puck drop on this one at 8:00 ET on CNBC and CBC.
Home ice advantage is always crucial here in the playoffs, but it is even more of an edge in this series between two teams that have already faced off six times over the course of the regular season.
Nashville had to know when it beat the NHL betting odds against the Colorado Avalanche in the final game of the regular season that it was in great shape, while Detroit had to have a sinking feeling after losing in a shootout to the Chicago Blackhawks on the road earlier that afternoon.
The Predators are a fantastic home team. They went 26-10-5 this year here at Bridgestone Arena, and Pekka Rinne has historically been virtually unbeatable in this building. This year, he went 25-8-5 at home with a 2.33 GAA, and he has an 86-33-17 record for his career in this building as well.
Meanwhile, when you look at the NHL betting splits for the Red Wings and the difference between their home and road records, you have to cringe. Sure, they dominated at home this year, rolling off 23 straight wins, an NHL record.
They ended with a 31-7-3 record at Joe Louis Arena, the best home record amongst all teams in the league. That being said, they went just 17-21-3 on the road, the worst mark for a team in the Western Conference playoffs and the second worst record on the road in the entire postseason; just in front of the Washington Capitals. It should come as no surprise that home ice advantage has already stood up in this series in the regular season.
The home team went 4-2 in the six clashes against the NHL betting odds, with both teams winning on enemy ice once over the course of the year.
Nashville definitely has the edge, though. It comes into the postseason on a three-game winning streak in which it has outscored teams 10-2. Detroit has lost four out of six, and it doesn't have a regulation victory in six straight games.
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Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins Begin Crucial 4/5 Series
The battle on the NHL playoff lines will be hot and heavy on Wednesday, April 11th between the Philadelphia Flyers (47-26-9) and the Pittsburgh Penguins (51-25-6). It all gets started at Consol Energy Arena in Pittsburgh, PA with the puck dropping at 7:30 ET. Live television coverage is set for the NBC Sports Network and TSN. The Penguins and the Flyers hate each other as much as any two teams in hockey right now, and when these two battle each other against the NHL playoff lines, anything can happen.
It is clear that entering this series, the advantage goes to the Pens. They are the favorites to win the whole enchilada this year in spite of the fact that they are the #4 seed in the East, though they do come into the postseason sporting the most wins in the league with 51. Pittsburgh's season really hinged on the play of Evgeni Malkin, who is sure to be the Hart Memorial Trophy winner this year after running away with the league lead in points. James Neal proved to be a valuable commodity in his first full year in the Steel City, while of course, finally getting Sidney Crosby back on the ice has proven to be a tremendous boost to a team that was already fantastic offensively.
For quite some time though, it was Philly and not Pittsburgh that boasted the best offensive unit in the league. The Flyers never really did get their goaltending situation worked out, but they did score 264 goals this year; the third best mark in the Eastern Conference. If they are going to beat the NHL betting lines at all in this series, they are going to have to make sure that they get a bunch of great looks at Marc-Andre Fleury.
Philly picked up Ilya Bryzgalov just for this situation. He is going to enter the postseason as the team's undisputed net minder, something that we haven't seen out of the Flyersat all in the past few years. However, Bryzgalov will be up against it taking on Fleury, a man that has already played his way to a Stanley Cup title in his career.
This is going to be the third bout between these two teams on the NHL wagering lines in the last week and a half in this venue. The two teams split the clashes, but Philadelphia won the season series 4-2.
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