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Are the Predators Stanley Cup favorites?


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With less than a month to go to the post-season, the Predators are on fire. After last year’s taste of Stanley Cup action, the Western Conference champions look determined to take the franchise to the next level and claim the Cup for the first time in their 20-year history.

Fans who engage with live betting on Stakers.com will find that the Predators are setting the pace in the Western Conference, and there are good reasons to favor the Predators right now if you’re handicapping the Stanley Cup.

Form

This is exactly the right time of the year to be hitting form and the Predators have been tearing it up since the start of 2018. Until their shoot-out defeat against New Jersey, Nashville had run up a ten-game winning streak, setting a record for the season and are 24-4-5 for the year, scoring four goals or more in eight of their last thirteen matches. No team has shown that level of consistent form and the Predators are looking irresistible at the moment.

Pekka Rinne

After his heroics last season, Predators fans may have feared that veteran Pekka Rinne couldn’t repeat at the age of 35. But in fact, Rinne has been even better this time round, and is hitting top form at just the right time. So far in 2018, only Andrei Vasilevkiy has a better record in terms of wins, while Rinne is also top five in save percentage among goalies who have started more than five games. The Finn is in the form of his life and is a key factor in the team’s play-off push.

Roster depth

Last season the Predators came close to toppling the Penguins despite not being able to call on Ryan Johansen and Kevin Fiala and this time the roster is even deeper. Coach Laviolette has an astonishing wealth of talent at his disposal, with play-off caliber starters like Nick BoninoKyle TurrisRyan Ellis, Scott Hartnell and Austin Watson not even ranking in the top ten scorers list. This abundance of top quality players means that no matter what the post season throws at them, Nashville will be able to cope.

Good on the road

It can be a mistake to read too much into regular season standings. After all, the Predators were only ranked 16 going into last year’s post season. But the fact that Nashville are one of only three teams with 20 wins on the road and at home is a sign of how strong they are, both in the net and in their roster. Last year’s post season campaign was built on an incredible atmosphere at Bridgestone Arena, but this year, the Predators have been almost as strong in their road games, a quality that will make them even tougher play-off opponents.

Last year was special for Predators fans but this time round we’re going into the post season expecting more. Their net minder is red-hot, the roster is deep and balanced, and no team is in better form. Bring on the Stanley Cup and let’s make history!