Hurricanes Hit New York City!! Hurricanes vs Rangers NHL Play-in Series Prediction.
The NHL playoffs are back on......well sort of. Before the traditional NHL playoffs (1st-8th) officially begins, teams ranked 5th to 12th in both the Western and Eastern conferences must first compete in a play-in series. Whether you agree with the fairness of the COVID-19 playoff format, hockey is back and we can bet on it. Let's get into the first series breakdown!
Carolina Hurricanes (6) vs New York (11)
If games that were played years (couple months) ago mean anything to you, don't even read the rest of the article and take the Rangers. The Rangers dominated the Hurricanes when they played during the season outscoring them 17 to 9 in 4 games. The Rangers are a high flying offensive team with Panarin and Zibanejad leading the way up front and Fox and DeAngelo pushing the puck up the ice from the backend.
Ignoring their games against the Rangers this year for a second, the Hurricanes play a lot more a defensive game than the rangers. You can tell just by looking at the base stats; a better penalty kill percentage and lower goals against that Hurricanes team are built around good team defense. To make things even better for the Canes they will have their best defenseman back in Dougie Hamilton, as he is now recovered from his Broken Fibula back in January and added defenseman Sami Vatanen from the Devils at the trade deadline.
The Difference Makers
Looking at a player from each team that will decide this series.
⭐ Petr Mrazek
Not all difference makers are on the positive side of things, as the Hurricanes' biggest weakness is definitely in the net.
Mrazek a known firecracker in net (example above), had a very below-average year in goal with a .905 save percentage and 2.69 goals against this year. You really never know what Mrazek will show up in net, but if it's at all a shakey version the Rangers will continue their dominance from the season and blowout the Canes.
⭐ Artemi Panarin
Hard-hitting journalism aside Panarin is the best player in this series. He was a major reason the Columbus Bluejackets pulled off the huge upset last year over the Tampa Bay Lightning and has been even more dominant this year putting up a remarkable 95 points in only 69 games. If he keeps up his MVP like play in the play-in round, it's hard to see Carolina being able to keep up.
Prediction and Betting Picks
The Hurricanes come in the series as a slight favorite at -140 on Bodog.
This series comes down to who you trust more, the Rangers offense vs the Canes defense. The Rangers badly outscored them during the season but playoffs are always much tighter defensively. I see a healthy Dougie Hamilton, the addition of Sami Vatanen, and average play out of Mrazek being just enough to push the Canes past a young inconsistent New York Rangers team.
Prediction: Hurricanes over Rangers in 5......Look to bet the specific series prop at +300