Switching On Playoff Mode: NHL Game Previews (April 1-7)
In the waning week of the NHL season, there are many top matchups which may serve as key previews to the playoffs. Giants collide for one last time before they battle tooth and nail in the postseason.
Nashville Predators vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
Taking place on April 1, the two favourites to win the Stanley Cup collide for the last time before potentially meeting in the finals. The Nashville Predators are at +400 and the Tampa Bay Lightning at +450 to win it all with the best NHL bookmakers in Canada. In the reverse fixture, Tampa Bay took the win in overtime.
Washington Capitals vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
Instead of challenging Washington for the top spot, Pittsburgh has turned its focus to playing playoff-style hockey. At +900 to achieve the fabled three-peat, the Penguins have also defeated the Caps in two of their three meetings this season. On April 1, the Pens will look to enhance their long-standing psychological edge over the Capitals but they will be tired, having played the Canadiens in Montreal the night before.
Boston Bruins vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
Somewhat of a surprise package this season, the Boston Bruins have managed to keep the Tampa Bay Lightning honest in the Atlantic Division. Pushing the Bolts to the end, the Bruins may even challenge for the cup at +750. On April 3, Boston looks to take three wins from three games against the Bolts this season.
Nashville Predators vs. Washington Capitals
For the last two years, the Washington Capitals have dominated the regular season to win back-to-back Presidents’ Trophies. But this matchup on April 5 might signify a passing of the torch as Nashville coasts to their first ever Presidents’ Trophy. With a convincing 6-3 win over Washington in Nashville, the Predators’ immaculate recent road form could see them come out on top here too.
Minnesota Wild vs. San Jose Sharks
The Sharks have suddenly turned on playoff mode and are +1000 to win in the Western Conference finals after a strong run of results. The inconsistent Wild may need to grab a win if the St. Louis Blues keep surging and shunt Minnesota into the wild card battle. Luckily, their last two meetings with the Sharks have resulted in the Central team taking two points in overtime, and they’ll look to do the same on April 7.