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Ducks vs Predators Staff Predicitons

How confident is the AC staff in Anaheim’s chances to advance to the Finals?

Nashville Predators v Anaheim Ducks Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

The Anaheim Calling staff take a few minutes to talk about how they feel Round 3 will go for Anaheim. Check it out and then let’s hear your predictions in the comments below!

JC McDonough

Nashville is definitely the toughest team Anaheim has faced these playoffs. With, in my opinion, the most talented blueline in the NHL and a goaltender who is playing out of his mind, this Predators team is certainly a scary one. Add on top of that a potent Top-6 and you’ve got a dangerous combination. Anaheim certainly has the ability to beat the Preds, especially if they are able to get healthy, but this Nashville team just seems too talented to bet against.

Prediction: Nashville in 7

CJ Woodling

This may be the hardest series to predict. While my homer goggles say the Ducks can extract revenge, the composition of the Predators this year terrifies me. Given the playoff history between these two teams as well as Nashville's hot streak right now, the Ducks will have to avoid the mistakes of the Edmonton series. This Predators team can make them pay a lot more effectively than the Oilers could.

With that said, the Ducks learned a lot in the last series and played like a championship team in Game 7. Behind a next-level Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry combined with the usual shutdown greatness of the Kesler line, as well as the only blue line in the NHL that can stack up against Nashville's, the Ducks may just have enough to squeak out a series victory.

Prediction: Anaheim in 7

Daniel Kleinberg

Back when I assumed that Anaheim would lose to the Oilers (but those refs, right?), I started to look for another team to follow closely throughout the playoffs. Since I picked the Nashville Predators to be in the Stanley Cup Final at the beginning of the year, I knew I had to go with them. Well, now this is awkward.

This will be a very entertaining series. Nashville is more on fire than Ricky Bobby, but they do have their flaws. Can Pekka Rinne continue his brilliant play? Meh. The two best defenses in the league will go head-to-head and will probably find a way to provide just as much offense as the forwards. In the end, I have to pick the faster team that also has PK Subban. The only thing that could make the “not Shea Weber” defenseman even better is if he was part Finnish.

Prediction: Nashville in 6

Felix Sicard

Anaheim faces its stiffest competition yet in Round 3 in the form of the Nashville Predators. Peter Laviolette's squad features a balanced attack, the league's best blueline, and a surprisingly solid Pekka Rinne.

The Ducks' penalty kill has been atrocious this post-season. A unit mostly built on great goaltending has gone wayward. John Gibson has been lit up so badly that perhaps he starts to regress back to the mean a bit. Nashville has some structural issues in its man advantage, so perhaps Anaheim's penalty kill unit isn't quite as much of a weakness as it was against Calgary and Edmonton.

Ryan Getzlaf is in full MVP mode (he's the Vegas favorite for the Conn Smythe), dragging whoever his linemates may be with him. The rest of the forward group is extremely interchangeable, including the Jakob Silfverberg-led second line.

Randy Carlyle has shown an ability to make shrewd lineup changes. He's entrusted his young blueline with a huge amount of responsibility, to great success.

The Ducks won't be able to count on Nasvhille making the same kind of inexperienced mistakes as Calgary or Edmonton. That being said, they might benefit from facing a forward group that doesn't possess quite as much dynamic speed as the Oilers had.

I could absolutely see this series going either way, but something about this Anaheim team continues to defy expectations, which will make for an unpredictable series. I've been on the Nashville train all season long, and still think they're the favorites here. Nothing about this Ducks team has really made sense so far, however, so I'm giving them the edge, logic be damned.

Prediction: Anaheim in 7 — (Ed. Note: Felix is so conflicted about who will win this series that he changed his tune in the 3 hours between recording the #ACPod and sending me his prediciton.)

John Broadbent

This one is tough. As much as the optimist in me would like to see the Ducks advance to the Cup Finals, I think that this is where the road ends. We boast about having some of the best young defensemen in the league, but Nashville has that too; with more experience. Our forward depth is possibly the only advantage. Anaheim has 5 forwards over 0.5 PPG to Nashvilles 4. Pekka Rinne leads the league in SV%, Gibson is dead last among those still left.

So it is going to take consistently strong performances like their play in Game 7 and some much better goaltending from Gibby if the Ducks hope to get past this round. But with all the injuries and already overcoming so much adversity so far, I have to go with my head over my heart.

Prediction: Nashville in 6

Alex Siegman

I felt good about the Calgary series, I felt ok about Edmonton, but I do not feel good about this Nashville series. The 2011 series still sticks in my head when I think of Nashville. It gave us the best Bobby Ryan goal, but was also the beginning of the end of Randy Carlyle the first time around. Last year, Nashville spelled the demise of Bruce Boudreau. Neither series was particularly close, and this years Nashville team is better by leaps and bounds. But... after watching game 5 against Edmondton, seeing the game 7 curse broken, and Paul Kariya emerging into the Ducks spotlight, I'm in full Kevin Garnett mode: "Anything is possible."

Prediction: Anaheim in 7

Kristen Wright

I hate to write this, but I think we've reached the end of the road (as is our traditional postseason ritual + the unpleasant playoff history with Nashville). The Ducks will start strong, fueled by Wednesday's emotional victory against the Oilers. However, a rested and disciplined Predators team will stage a stealthy comeback that culminates in another heartbreaking Game 7 Ducks loss at home.

Prediction: Nashville in 7 (I desperately hope to be wrong!)

Caleb Speer

Nashville has not been kind to the Ducks in the postseason. This emerging rivalry will now have serious attention and should bring us a great series. Each club has a lot of depth on the blue line and a head coach who brings great experience. The teams differ in goal and at center. Nashville holds the advantage in net with Pekka Rinne. The man is on a mission and has been stellar with a .951 save percentage. So yeah, he's pretty good. Where the Ducks have an edge is down the middle. Getzlaf seems to be an unstoppable force and as we all know, Anaheim is the best club in the face-off circle. This looks like it'll be another hard hitting series with no love lost that could go the distance. The curse is over.

Prediction: Anaheim in 7