NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Predators vs. Ducks (November 22)
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images. Pictured: Troy Terry
Predators vs. Ducks Odds
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
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The longshot Anaheim Ducks have been one of the NHL’s best stories so far this season. Ryan Getzlaf has been fantastic even at 36 years of age, Troy Terry has been a production machine and John Gibson is back in form in goal.
The Nashville Predators are off to a 9-7-1 start through their first 17 games and are basically right where most people expected them to be in the standings.
Saros Is the Key for Nashville
Bridgestone Arena has become one of the most electric atmospheres in the the NHL, but the Predators have only been mediocre at home this season. Nashville is 4-3-0 at home and will be returning to Music City after playing eight of their last nine on the road, including a 6-3 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday.
The Predators will likely start Juuse Saros in goal and the 26-year-old Finn is the key to this team’s success. Saros is off to an impressive start, skating to a .919 Save Percentage (SV%) and a +4.4 Goals Saved Above Expected (GSAx).
Saros has been getting plenty of help from his defense, which ranks 10th in expected goals allowed and seventh in high-danger chances conceded at 5-on-5.
Nashville’s biggest flaw through the first month has been a lack of depth scoring as the team is not getting much production from players behind Matt Duchene, Roman Josi, Mikael Granlund and Ryan Johansen.
Are the Ducks Legit?
I don’t think anybody would have predicted that Anaheim would 10-5-3 to start the season and there is no way anyone projected Troy Terry to be an early-season Hart Trophy candidate.
The 2015 fifth-round pick is currently fourth in the NHL with 22 points and is fifth in the league with 12 goals. He was the main cog in Anaheim’s recent eight-game winning streak, which was just recently snapped by the first-place Carolina Hurricanes.
Anaheim has also received key contributions from veteran blue-liners like Kevin Shattenkirk (four goals, 10 assists) and Cam Fowler (three goals, 10 assists).
After a couple of down seasons, John Gibson seems to have found his Vezina-level form again. The Pittsburgh native has a .926 SV% and a +1.4 GSAx behind a defense that has been just OK at preventing quality scoring chances.
Ducks vs. Predators Pick
The numbers suggest that Anaheim’s start isn’t a fluke. The Ducks are driving play, finishing chances, getting production from up and down the lineup and their goalie is in form.
If this game was played in October, this line would probably look a lot different, but Anaheim has proven to be a capable team and I don’t think there’s all that much that separates these two clubs at the moment, and as long as Gibson gets the nod in net for Anaheim, the Ducks will have a chance to skate off with two points on Monday night.
Pick: Anaheim Ducks +125