Round 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs is about to come to a close and we just have one more game left.Tonight, the Nashville Predators and Anaheim Ducks will face off at the Honda Center in Anaheim for the second game 7 matchup of the 2016 playoffs.
The San Jose Sharks have been waiting for their opponent since Friday when they eliminated the Los Angeles Kings. They have since been able to rest and now keep an eye on this tight series matchup.
If Anaheim wins, San Jose will immediately board the plane back to Southern California to prepare to face their division rivals for game 1. If Nashville wins, they will have to travel to San Jose.
With that said, who should San Jose play in round 2: Anaheim or Nashville? Let us take a look at each teams’ cases in just a brief few factors:
The Case for a Anaheim-San Jose Series:
To the San Jose Sharks would love to face off against Anaheim. This is not because the Ducks would be an easier team, because they’re not; they are actually the tougher team. This is because it is the new California rivalry.
The Ducks-Sharks rivalry began in 1993, when the “Mighty Ducks of Anaheim” were first created. The first and last time these two teams faced-off in the playoffs was in 2009 when the eighth seeded Ducks upset the Presidents Trophy champions Sharks. The rivalry has since continued to heat up.
What would make this more interesting is that San Jose had just eliminated Los Angeles and to play the “other” SoCal team would make a great story. It would be a final battle for the Golden State Crown.
In addition, if San Jose were to play Anaheim, they would start on the road with the now infamous “Road Ice Advantage” that they used to eliminate the Kings. All San Jose would need to do for this matchup would be to win their away games and steal one at home.
The Case for a Nashville-San Jose Series:
Overall, San Jose match-ups against Nashville much better than they do Anaheim. While the series would be a much easier one for the Sharks to win, it still will not be an easy task to advance to the Western Conference Finals.
The first factor to keep in mind for Nashville is the protector of the crease, Pekka Rinne. While the goaltender has been inconsistent throughout the series, he can steal games if he shows up and plays like himself. If he does not, the San Jose’s hot rookies and super quick first line could steal the series.
Should Nashville beat Anaheim, they would be the most underrated team throughout the playoffs. This could be dangerous if other teams are caught sleeping on them, including a team as hot as San Jose.
Who Would I Like to See Play San Jose: Anaheim Ducks
What I Think Will Happen: Pekka Rinne shows up and dominates the crease, Nashville Predators Wins Game 7 in OT.
Game 7 of the Anaheim-Nashville Series is tonight at 7:00 PT
Game 1 of the WCSF vs San Jose will be Friday night at 7:30 PT
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