Seriously, they’ve won 4 of their last 5 and are 7-2-1 over their last 10 – something we never expected from their play at the beginning of the season. Unfortunately for the Leafs, they’re taking on the Bruins who haven’t played a game since the 7-2 thumping last Saturday. That and more after the jump!
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Sadly, I must also announce that this is one of the last “Picks” sections I’ll be able to do. I’m entering the wonderful world of full-time work so my time on the site must be re-focused elsewhere. I’m interested to hear your ideas for what we could turn this section into. We could obviously have someone else do the picks section to the extent that I do it (multiple games per night) but I think it’s fair to say that it’ll be near impossible for anyone to really establish a long-term winning record – the NHL is just far too unpredictable. So let me know what you think this section should morph into!
Toronto Maple Leafs +165 at Boston Bruins -185
This game was never supposed to go 7-2 last time and you shouldn’t expect it to go this time as well. The Leafs offense consistently doesn’t perform well against premier goaltenders and you could argue the Bruins have two of them. The Leafs barely hung on to win last night against the Islanders in their own building and to go back and try and redeem themselves against the Bruins is very difficult for me to expect, despite the fact that the Bruins are the Leafs’ only loss over their last 5. Boston has had 5 days to prepare for tonight’s game, rest they needed, and the Leafs have played twice in that same stretch.
Pick: Bruins -185 and Under 6.0 goals -105
Pittsburgh Penguins -155 at Montreal Canadiens +135
It feels like upset week in baseball this past week after the Pens dropped a home game to the Canes. Fortunately for us, the Pens are just as good on the road as they are at home, despite maybe a small drop on defense. They score 3.1 goals per game, 7th-best, yet still allow 3.1 goals per game. The Habs have averaged 4 goals per game over their last 3 games and held opponents to 1 goal in each. The Pens have lost back-to-back games for only the second time this season after a stretch of some very convincing wins. Crosby et al need to step up their games and I think losing back-to-back will light a fire under them. Pittsburgh has beaten Montreal in each of their last 4 meetings, including 2 this season.
Pick: Pens -155
Atlanta Thrashers +175 at Vancouver Canucks -210
I’ve learned two things about the Thrashers on their most recent road trip. 1) They can’t score in Canada. 2) They can’t win in Canada. Their once overpowering offense has fizzled to only score 1.5 goals per game over their last 4. Ondrej Pavelec is on-again, off-again and, for a team that has generally played well on the road in the East on the year, they’ve struggled mightily on their second extended road trip. The Canucks have lost 2 straight to close out their 4-game road trip and will be happy to be back home where they have the best home defense, 2.0 goals per game, and the 3rd-best home offense, 3.6 goals per game.
Pick: Canucks -1.5 +145
Phoenix Coyotes +110 at Los Angeles Kings -130
Last time the Coyotes were without Ed Jovanovski (suspended), their defense struggled, and I’m looking for the same thing to happen again to their 5th-ranked 2.3 goals against per game defense. The Kings peppered Evgeni Nabokov for 5 goals on 28 shots last night in a game they, in all seriousness, had no business winning. Even their own coach admitted he didn’t start Jonathan Quick because he wants to play his best lineup at home. They sold me. Phoenix has a quiet 5-game winning streak, holding opponents to 1.4 goals per game over that stretch. Fortunately for the Kings, the Coyotes had only 1 road game during that stretch as they are just an average road team, 7-6-1, with the 4th-worst road offense, 2.3 goals per game. If anything, the Kings showed they have a superpower offense, 3.6 goals per game at home but that also comes with defensive struggles, 3.1 goals against per game.
Pick: Kings -130
Fan Favourite Record: 15-15, -3.23
Betting results by category so far this season:
- Money Line 71-73, -13.33
- Puck Line 15-20, +1.62
- Game Totals 53-44-1, +2.20