The Predators have been a great story in these playoffs. Before the postseason started, I didn’t expect a Conference Finals appearance, although I did predict them to beat the Blues. While I also predicted the upset against the Blackhawks in round one, no one could’ve predicted a sweep.
The Ducks finally rose above their game 7 struggles, defeating the Oilers. The turning point in that series was obviously the three goal comeback with three minutes remaining in regulation.
The numbers heavily favor the Predators in this matchup. The 95.1 save percentage of Rinne beats out the 90.5 of Gibson, even with the Ducks averaging seven more shots. By shot percentage, again Nashville holds the advantage. There is a huge differential in special teams favoring the Predators, with the Ducks having a penalty kill of just 69% and a power play of 13.9%. The eye test alone also tells me Nashville is the better team.
I see the Predators representing southern hockey in the Stanley Cup Finals.