Greetings, everybody. It’s just another manic Monday but only four games on the NHL schedule tonight as teams calm down from the busy weekend. All late games tonight for the East Coasters and that gives you plenty of time to look over your selections.
My apologies for not getting a column out on a busy Saturday. When I went to write it, the site was down due to a hosting issue and I had early dinner plans and a game to ref, so sorry about that guys and gals. In any event, with the way the games went on Saturday and Sunday, I probably would not have fared very well.
So, we’re back at it at the start of the work week. Just one Eastern Conference team in action tonight with one 10 pm puck drop and three at 10:30. Gotta love those late nights refreshing the scores or watching Center Ice until 1 am knowing that you have to be up in five or six hours. Always enjoyable. Here’s something for you to chew on until the games get underway.
SJ @ LA o5.5 (+105)
Huge fan of this line tonight with Ersberg going and the Sharks hellbent on revenge. The Kings pummeled the Sharks 6-2 on home ice a week ago and no doubt the Sharks will have that on their minds as they take the ice tonight.
The real key to the Kings success has been their play against the division. They’re 10-3 against division foes scoring four goals per game in the process. They’re clicking at nearly 31% on the PP against Pacific Division teams. In other words, they’re an offensive juggernaut on the left coast.
The Sharks have fared about .500 in the division going 8-7 so far, but the advantage for us is that they have also scored about three goals per game. Evgeni Nabokov is confirmed to go, but he has allowed 11 goals in his last four games.
Expect a very uptempo game tonight with lots of action around the front of the net. I fully anticipate this game being a 5-4 or 6-4 final.
PIT -1.5 (+210) @ MIN
The Penguins have definitely been an inconsistent team of late, but the offense is at least coming around. They have scored at least four games in each of their last three games. Meanwhile, Nicklas Backstrom has allowed 14 goals over his last four games.
It’s difficult to bet against the Wild at home, where they have played very well and generally manage to at least cover. But, Pittsburgh almost always plays well when the game is televised on Versus here in the States.
I will give Minnesota their props. They’ve beaten two very good teams in the gauntlet of a homestand. Their opponents this homestand: CGY, CHI, PIT, VAN. Brutal. I give them a lot of credit. Minnesota has killed off just 65% of their shorthanded chances over their last five games. If that trend continues, Pittsburgh’s powerplay runs them out of the game.
Look for Pittsburgh to get back on track a little bit tonight and take the opportunity to get away from the distractions of home and put together a solid game.
Not a huge fan of any of the values for the other two games. Gun to my head, I’d take COL moneyline at +145 and Nucks/Preds slightly over 5.5.
Enjoy the games tonight, players and good luck!