The logic of having the two teams with the most points in the regular season meeting in the second round of the playoffs certainly does seem flawed, but this is not “Breaking News” in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. It was just a year ago Washington and Pittsburgh were in the same situation.
This is the fifth season of essentially a – division format – and there is plenty not to like about it. Nevertheless, all 31 teams knew what could happen and top-seed Nashville probably would have had to beat Winnipeg either this series or the next to reach the Stanley Cup Finals anyways, so time to drop the puck.
This should be an extremely competitive series and sportsbooks agree with this as the Predators only a -140 series favorite with Winnipeg at +120. Nashville took the season series at 3-2 SU, with one of the losses on the road in a shootout. Four of the five contests were easy OVER outcomes.
A common storyline you might hear about in this series is the offensive and defensive contrasts. Winnipeg was the second-best scoring team in the NHL this season at 3.33 goals a game, while Nashville permitted the second-fewest goals per contest at 2.49. Like in boxing, stark contrasts are what can make a great matchup, but these clubs have more similarities than most realize.