Jets vs Predators – NHL Game 7 Pick for May 10th
On Thursday, the Winnipeg Jets travel to Nashville to take on the Predators in Game 7 of their 2nd round series. This game promises to be an exciting contest as both teams finished at the top of the regular season standings, have alternated wins this series, and have won on the opposing team’s home ice. So, even though Winnipeg is playing at Nashville, they’ve already proven capable of winning on the road.
For the series, Winnipeg has taken 2-of-3 games in Nashville as they won 4-1 in Game 1 and 6-2 in Game 5. That’s an incredible 10-3 goal disparity on the road in their two wins. Overall, the Jets have outscored the Predators 14-8 in Nashville and 22-to-16 in the series. For the playoffs, the Jets have scored 38 goals and have given up 25. That’s an impressive ratio of 3.16 goals scored per game compared to 2.08 goals allowed per game.
Game 6 saw a desperate Nashville team go on the road to defeat Winnipeg who was trying to close out the series at home. The Predators are looking to get back to the Stanley Cup Finals for the second straight year and imparted their will on the Jets in Game 6. Despite being outshot by Winnipeg, Nashville jumped out to an early lead in the game and never looked back. That was due to goalie Pekka Rinne who recorded his 5th career playoff shutout by stopping all 34 of Winnipeg’s shots. The Predators also stopped all 4 of Winnipeg’s power plays.
At home, Rinne has had some tough games during this series. The Predators are going to need the Rinne from Game 6 if they want to win on their home ice in Game 7. Additionally, they would love to have their top line of Forsberg, Arvidsson and Johansen duplicate their success from Game 6 as they combined for 8 points on 4 goals and 4 assists. For the playoffs, Nashville’s Filip Forsberg has 15 points and he will be called on to lead this Predators offense in Game 7. When Forsberg records a point, the Predators are 3-1 in this series and 6-2 in the playoffs.
As mentioned above, the Jets are averaging over 3 goals per game and they’re led by Mark Scheifele who has 13 points in 11 games. He, along with his teammates, will need to find his scoring touch again as Scheifele has scored multiple points in 6 post season games. When Scheifele scores a point, the Jets are 3-1 in this series and 6-1 in the playoffs.
Typically in Game 7’s, it comes down to defense and goaltending. For the series, the Jets have had the advantage in goaltending as Connor Hellebuyck has outplayed Pekka Rinne. In this series, Connor has stopped 199 of 216 shots for a .921 save percentage. That’s slightly down from the first round series where he had a .924 save percentage against the Minnesota Wild. Rinne has stopped 183 of 202 shots for a .906 save percentage. That’s also slightly down from his .909 save percentage in round 1 against the Colorado Avalanche. Despite the numbers, Hellebuyck is basically a rookie and Rinne has 11 years under his belt including last year’s postseason run where he went 14-8 with a .930 save percentage and 2 shutouts.
In the history of the NHL, there have been 170 Game 7’s. The home team has gone 100-70 in those Game 7’s, which translates into winning 58.8% of the time. The team that scores first has gone 126-44 in Game 7. For this series, the team that scored first has won 5-of-6 games. The Predators have scored first in 4 of the 6 games.
Nashville went 31-16 at home this year and 25-13 against the division. Winnipeg is 14-12 in road games where the total is 5.5 goals and 17-15 on the year when Hellebuyck was in the net on the road. Rinne went 28-11 at home this year and 22-10 against the division.
Despite Winnipeg’s success in Nashville, I’m going with the Predators. They have the playoff experience and a veteran at goalie. Additionally, they have the Game 7 history on their side.
Bet: Nashville Predators moneyline -152
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