Colorado Avalanche vs. Nashville Predators 4/12/18, Prediction & Odds

VGK first round playoff schedule announced

VGK first round playoff schedule announced

Relying heavily on backup Jonathan Bernier, a goaltender that Nashville last saw in game six of the Western Conference Final last season, the Avalanche will need him to stand on his head against a Nashville team that strikes in waves. Perhaps they could be slightly better when on the power play, but that's the only criticism you will get here.

There was a message sent last night, and that message may have been that Nashville can take a couple of body blows from the Av's, not play their best game... and still come out on the winning side. The Avalanche power play, which ranked eighth in the National Hockey League during the regular season with a 21.9 conversion percentage, was mainly kept to the outer portions of the offensive zone for the almost four minutes of man-advantage time.

Even if Ellis hadn't made his triumphant return to Nashville's vaunted blue line, this would've swung heavily in the Predators' favor. "Obviously, we gave a couple power-play goals to them there in the first, got down 3-0 to a really good team". But considering that Colorado had to grind for weeks to simply make it here, no one should be taking them lightly. If MacKinnon can penetrate the defense it gives Colorado at least a fighting chance in the series. Nashville forward Filip Forsberg sees the NHL's best in the regular season as a better team than the group that made a thrilling run to the franchise's first final as the lowest-seeded team in the playoffs.

P.K. Subban is a dark horse Norris Trophy candidate.

After being one of the NHL's worst teams in 2016-17, the Avalanche returned to the postseason for the first time in three years. There was a single spot he could stick it to get it in, and it was right on the money to tie the game at one. "For the last month we expected to make the playoffs". Unfortunately, Landeskog, MacKinnon and Rantanen accounted for 93 of the 214 goals scored by Avs forwards in 2017-18. The game settled down at that point from a scoring standpoint, but the nasty factor began to creep up as both teams looked for an advantage with behind the play shenanigans. The Preds are much more than goal scorers Filip Forsberg and Viktor Arvidsson.

One period later, the Predators answered back with a tough angle snipe by Austin Watson. The 23-year-old winger recorded a hat trick in the team's regular season finale and had five goals in the team's final five regular season games.

"They all had some good things to say about their personnel", Bednar said.

It is the defending Western Conference Champions versus a Colorado team that accumulated just 48 points last season.

What happened during the regular season?

. Rinne finished 42-13-4 this season. Parking and tickets are free, and concessions are discounted 25 percent.

Starting this week, the two teams whose last two seasons have been defined by defying expectations will square off. Colorado still has the underrated Tyson Barrie to move the puck, but who steps up to be the defensive rock?

The Playoff Tracker ... a daily update of the Stanley Cup Playoffs brought to you by Mark Lonsway - THE real estate professional for hockey fans!

Game 1 between the Avs and Preds will start at 7:30 p.m. MST on Thursday.

Nashville is coming into the playoffs mostly healthy.

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