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Sharks Or Predators? Who Should Blues Fans Root For Tonight?

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Where do our rooting interests lie?

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The second round of the NHL playoffs ends tonight, with game seven between the Sharks and Predators beginning at 8:00 Central tonight. Let's admit it - we're all probably a little impressed that this series has gone the distance. The Predators, after falling into a 2-0 hole, clawed their way back into the series and just have refused to go away.

Regardless of who makes it out of the Western Conference Finals, the West will send a team to the Stanley Cup Finals that has never won the main prize. It's an exciting changing of the guard in the NHL.

But really, Why Not The St. Louis Blues?

Yep, we're bringing that back.

If the Blues want a smooth route to the Stanley Cup (though it won't be, because nothing is ever easy with these people), which opponent will they need to draw in the next round?

Let's look at the Preds and Sharks and their performance in the playoffs.

Team

GP

W

L

P

P%

GF

GA

GF/GP

GA/GP

PP%

PK%

Shots/GP

SA/GP

FOW%

NSH

13

7

6

14

.538

31

38

2.38

2.92

8.9

76.7

30

29.5

49.6

SJS

11

7

4

14

.636

36

28

3.27

2.55

28.2

81.8

28.8

29.3

45.9

Comparing the Predators and Sharks directly, it's pretty clear which team that the Blues would benefit from drawing. The Predators' 2.38 goals a game so far this postseason is 10th out of the 16 initial playoff teams, and dead last among the second round teams. An 8.9 PP% is good for 14 out of 16 teams, and again, last out of the second round teams. The Blues' 27.5% effectiveness on the power play is tied with the Pittsburgh Penguins for the second best in the playoffs. There's a bit of a disparity (the Sharks' 28.2% is first).

Honestly, the Sharks have been the better team in the postseason, but with the small sample size of the playoffs, stats tend to matter less - one game, one bad bounce, and the Sharks could be out, regardless of what their statistics are.

During the regular season, the Blues were 4-1 against the Predators; the one hiccup came in a 5-0 stomping by the Preds on February 27th. On the other hand, the Sharks took the season series against the Blues, 2-1, outscoring St. Louis 9-5.

Other than the fact that if the Predators win tonight there will be a game four road trip to Nashvegas in our future, Blues fans (and the Blues themselves) have reason to be fans of the Predators tonight. Between them and the Sharks, the Preds would be the easiest route to the Stanley Cup Finals.