Picks: Thrashers Set to Take It To Leafs

Updated: December 8, 2009 at 11:01 am by Brock Seguin

The Thrashers are getting some great odds tonight against a Leafs team that can’t win weeknight home games.  We’re looking at that game and more in a pretty full NHL Monday.  Picks after the jump! 

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Atlanta Thrashers -105 at Toronto Maple Leafs -115

Everything went wrong for the Leafs against Boston on Saturday as they fell 7-2 in their most embarrassing loss since they were winless in early October.  Sure enough, Atlanta has been on fire, winning 5 of their last 6 and holding opponents to an average of 1.5 goals against over that stretch.  The Leafs still boast the league’s worst road record by a mile, 2-7-3, and haven’t won a home game during the week at all this season (read into that what you will).  Add to that Atlanta’s incredible 9-2-1 road record, 5th-ranked, 3.4 goal per game road offense and 6th-ranked road, 2.6 goals against per game, road defense and the Leafs have a big issue.  Awesome odds here.
Pick: Thrashers -105

New Jersey Devils +100 at Buffalo Sabres -120

You’d hope that when two of the top three defenses in the league meet up and start their Olympic-calibre goaltenders, you’ll see a game go way under the game total.  All signs should point to that here as Buffalo averages 2.3 goals against per game at home, 2nd overall, and New Jersey averages 2.1 goals against per game at home, 3rd overall.  However, both teams have gone over the game total in 3 of their last 5 games, mainly due to their dominance over their opponents.  Over their past 10 meetings, they’ve gone 3-5-2 over-under-push and I like the under again here, barring any changes to starting goaltenders.
Pick: Under 5.0 goals +115

Carolina Hurricanes +210 at Pittsburgh Penguins -250

The Chicago Blackhawks barely squeaked out a win against the Crosby-less Penguins on Saturday so what chance should the Canes have tonight?  Carolina has the worst road offense, 1.6 goals per game (yes, it’s dropping), and the second-worst road defense, 3.9 goals against per game (yes, it’s rising).  Pittsburgh has the second-best home defense, 2.3 goals against per game, and the 7th-best home offense, 3.4 goals per game.  Carolina’s win at home to Vancouver shouldn’t sway anybody’s plays tonight as the Canes are 0-10-3 on the road.  Crosby is also back, helping the Pens out even more.
Pick: Pens -1.5 +120

Philadelphia Flyers -115 at Montreal Canadiens -105

Philly looks like a team in a tailspin.  They’ve lost 4 straight ( 7 of 8 ) and been outscored 16-4 over that stretch.  They were embarrassed by an underdog Capitals team in their own building.  The Habs, on the other hand, embarrassed the visiting Bruins on Friday and hopefully can continue some of that motivation tonight.  The Flyers haven’t travelled well this year, 5-6 overall, and it’s possible that there is a serious goaltending issue in Philly.  Ray Emery isn’t panning out to be what he looked like he could be at the beginning of the year and Brian Boucher is no more than he’s been meant to be, a backup.  The Flyers are mediocre scoring on the road but they’ve put up some better defensive numbers, 2.7 goals against per game, 8th-best on the road.  The Habs are one of the most unpredictable teams in the league right now but I’m hoping they build off their huge home win (snapped a 4-game losing streak) and take it to the slumping Flyers.
Pick: Habs -105

Washington Capitals -140 at Tampa Bay Lightning +120

The Capitals won, in two games without Ovechkin, by a combined score of 14-4 on 74 shots – that’s impressive.  The Lightning just snapped a 4-game losing streak with a home win over the Islanders – not as impressive.  Washington is a superb 9-3-3 on the road, 4-0-0 against the Southeast but will face a tough matchup in a Tampa team that is 7-2-4 at home, 2-0 against their division.  Pure offense, 3.6 goals per game on the road for the Caps, will meet good defense, 2.3 goals against per game at home.  The Caps are riding a 5-game winning streak, 3 of those games on the road, and the Bolts have only won 3 games over their past 10.
Pick: Caps -140

Calgary Flames -110 at Los Angeles Kings -110

You might want to call it road domination.  The Flames have built an 11-2-3 record away from home this season and are 4 for 5 on their current six-game road trip.  They clearly owe the bulk of their success to stellar goaltending by Miikka Kiprusoff who is 5-1-1 with a 1.13 GAA over his last 7 starts.  Jonathan Quick wishes he had that kind of success but he has still gone 3-0-1 over his last 4 games, despite allowing 3 or more goals in his last 3 starts.  Also, I read today that 3 of the Kings’ top 6 forwards haven’t found the back of the net in nearly a full month – that doesn’t spell good news when you’re about to face one of the best goalies in the game.  The Kings still manage to put up the second-best home offense in the league, 3.8 goals for per game, but it’s combined with the 4th-worst road defense, 3.3 goals against per game.  The Flames, however, average 3.0 goals per game but still allow a second-best 2.0 goals per game.
Pick: Flames -110

Fan Favourite Record: 14-13, -2.25

Betting results by category so far this season:

  • Money Line 65-66, -10.43
  • Puck Line 14-18, +2.2
  • Game Totals 51-42-1, +2.18