2017 NHL Playoffs First Round Predictions: Flames vs Ducks

Western Conference 2017 NHL Playoffs First Round Predictions: Calgary Flames vs Anaheim Ducks

The 2017 NHL playoffs start this week with 16 teams battling it out on the ice in the first round series. In the Western Conference, the Flames vs Ducks’ series begins tomorrow and I have some predictions if you’re planning on laying down some action.

Series Schedule

  • Game 1: April 13, 10:30 PM ET, at Anaheim
  • Game 2: April 15, 10:30 PM ET, at Anaheim
  • Game 3: April 17, 10:00 PM ET, at Calgary
  • Game 4: April 19, 9:00 PM ET, at Calgary
  • Game 5: April 21, TBD, at Anaheim*
  • Game 6: April 23, TBD, at Calgary*
  • Game 7: April 25, TBD, at Anaheim*

(*if necessary)

Will The Flames win the series?

The Flames have a shot at winning the series because the Ducks’ defensive ranks are thinned out at the moment. This gives the Flames’ top scorers- Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Mikael Backlund- plenty of opportunity to find the back of the net. Rookie Matthew Tkachuk is also having a breakout season with 13 goals, 35 assists and could also score. A lot is riding on goalie Brian Elliott’s shoulders however; his playoff experience will be critical in this series if he can prevent the Ducks from scoring.

Will the Ducks win the series?

Well, the Ducks are in playoffs via their fifth-consecutive Pacific Division title, going an incredible 11-0-3 over their last 14 games of the regular season. This performance certainly gives them the edge over the Flames that only went 5-8-0 in their last 13 contests. Every Duck will be looking to even the tables  in this series after top defenseman Cam Fowler was knocked out by a brutal low hit from Mark Giordano. And, the Ducks’ ranks are chock full of talent to inflict heavy damage; Anaheim brings back four players from the 2014-15 squad with 50-point campaigns this season in Ryan Getzlaf, Ryan Kesler, Corey Perry and Rickard Rackell. Plus, you also have to consider that the Ducks have the edge on their home ice considering their home-win record of 25 games straight.

Series Prediction: Over the regular season, the Ducks won four of fives games against the Flames.   Anaheim’s ranks are also made up by practically the same team that knocked them out in five games in the second round of the 2015 playoffs. Though this year’s series will be tough for the Ducks, I think they’ll pass through in six.

 
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