Nashville Predators vs Colorado Avalanche
It’s Game Two of the Western Conference Round 1 playoff series between Nashville Predators and Colorado Avalanche at the Bridgestone Arena on Saturday afternoon.
The Predators finished top of the overall NHL standings in the regular season and a full 22 points clear of Avalanche in the Central Division. They also had a clean sweep in the Head-2-Heads, winning all four games between the teams.
Avalanche only qualified for the playoffs by winning its final game of the season 5-2 against the St. Louis Blues to secure the final Wild Card place. Few are expecting them to make further progress beyond this stage of the competition, despite the excellence of their Center, Nathan MacKinnon.
The Predators were surprise Stanley Cup finalists last season, but have a stronger squad at their disposal this time and go into the playoffs as favourites to win the trophy. They are certainly the pick to prevail in this game.
Pick: Nashville Predators
Boston Bruins vs Toronto Maple Leafs
Game Two in the playoff series between the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs takes place at TD Garden on Saturday evening.
The Bruins finished the regular season seven points above their Atlantic Division rivals, although in the Head-2-Heads, it was the Maple Leafs who were the dominant team with three wins in four meetings, including a 4-1 victory at TD Garden back in November.
A poor end to the season cost the Bruins top spot in the Atlantic Division and the Maple Leafs also look to have the greater depth to their squad, which could be crucial in what looks likely to be a tightly fought the playoff series between these teams.
That said, the Bruins are strong at home and they could just have the edge in this game.
Pick: Boston Bruins