How did the St. Louis Blues win the first round? Jake Allen. Of course, the Blues limiting shots to the outside and giving Allen clear views of shots helped him tremendously. But will he be able to continue this heroic effort? Probably not. His save percentage exceeded both the season average and the average for the playoffs. The good news is, Rinne’s save percentage was even higher. Both the Predators and Ducks had exceedingly high save percentages and shooting percentages. I’m of the opinion neither team will be able to sustain either of those during the second round. Meanwhile, the Blues managed to beat the Minnesota Wild with a somewhat average 5v5 shooting percentage, even while out shot by the Wild. Nashville on the other hand had a wildly above average shooting percentage. Heading into the playoffs, Nashville’s shooting percentage was trending below league average. It jumped during their series with Chicago. Is this an example of Nashville’s skill or the Blackhawks’ struggle? Jake’s save percentage has been steady just above league average and the Blues shooting percentage was holding relatively steady at above league average before the playoffs.
In other words, the Blues have been more consistent with their scoring and goaltending. Nashville’s success against Chicago might be more a result of “puck luck.”
This is why I like the Blues’ chances against the Predators.