Stanley Cup Playoffs 2017: Ottawa vs. Pittsburgh Series Prediction
The Conference Finals of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs Start on Friday. Meaning we are Getting Closer and Closer to the Stanley Cup, Who Will Win it? Follow This Series to Find Out!
BREAKDOWN OF THE TEAMS FIRST ROUND:
Ottawa has played two amazing series’ so far in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, one against the Bruins that was an absolute war and then the Rangers who forced the Sens to expand scoring and push their special teams to play. As for the Penguins, they ran through the Blue Jackets who were a surprise all season and then had a seven-game war against the Capitals who were first in the Eastern Conference and NHL. Both teams have the depth and goaltending, however, there can only be one winner.
Ottawa’s special teams stepped up against the Rangers but are still way behind their next opponents. Their power play sits 13th in the playoffs at 14.6 percent while their penalty kill sits seventh at 87.5 percent. Both of their power play units consist of Clarke MacArthur, Derick Brassard, Bobby Ryan, Mike Hoffman, Erik Karlsson, Alexandre Burrows, Kyle Turris, Mark Stone, Chris Wideman, and Dion Phaneuf. Now with two units that have some high octane offense that percentage could easily rise and possibly match their penalty kill.
Pittsburgh has a much better power play at 21.6 percent which is good enough for fourth in the post-season. Their penalty kill, however, is lacking at 80.0 percent which sits 10th, their power play ranking isn’t too surprising granted who they have up front. When you have guys like Phil Kessel, Evgeni Malkin, Patric Hornqvist, Justin Schultz, Sidney Crosby, Jake Guentzel, Nick Bonino, Conor Sheary, Trevor Daley, and Olli Maatta it’s not hard for them to put the puck in the net. But their penalty kill needs some work but that’s the con of owning so many offensive minded players.
The Sens have four awesome lines that can score goals at anytime, players like Ryan Dzingel, Turris, Burrows, Viktor Stalberg, Brassard, Ryan, Hoffman, Zack Smith, Stone, MacArthur, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Tom Pyatt can easily get the job done and shown that they can buy netting 34 goals so far. Now when it comes to putting the puck in the net from up front the Pens have flourished they have notched 41 goals for. Guentzel, Crosby, Sheary, Bryan Rust, Malkin, Kessel, Scott Wilson, Bonino, Hornqvist, Carter Rowney, Matt Cullen, Tom Kuhnhackl, Daniel Sprong, and Carl Hagelin give Pittsburgh one of the best offenses in the entire league.
The Sens also have three defensive lines that can help contribute and keep the puck out of the net. Marc Methot, Karlsson, Phaneuf, Cody Ceci, Ben Harpur, Wideman, and Mark Borowiecki have been great all postseason for the Sens allowing 33 goals against. The Penguins have allowed fewer goals against but not by much only allowing 31 compared to Ottawa’s 33. They already have three deep lines, now imagine when Kris Letang returns? Because Ian Cole, Schultz, Maatta, Daley, Brian Dumoulin, and Ron Hainsey have been lights out.
Craig Anderson has been great in the postseason but can definitely get some support to help his play get better. So far he’s got an 8-4-0 record with a .914 save percentage and a 2.49 goals-against-average with one shutout. Mike Condon also came in relief during one game and in doing so didn’t register a win or a loss and posted a .900 save percentage with a 3.03 goals-against-average. Now another place the Penguins have an edge is in net, Marc-Andre Fleury has somehow found his second wind and has been a cornerstone for the Pens in the post season. He owns an 8-4-0 record as well but has a better save percentage at .927 percent, but his goals-against-average is a bit behind Anderson’s at 2.55 and shares one shutout with Anderson as well.
This series is going to be great, but to be honest the Penguins have faced tougher opponents than the Sens and have come out on top. So the heavy favorite is obviously Pittsburgh but Ottawa won’t go down without a fight.
FINAL SERIES RECORD: Pittsburgh wins series 4-2
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