Today’s NHL pick below is brought to you by Brent. Kevin has hired Brent to provide daily free picks here at NHLPredictions.org. If you’re looking for Kevin’s NHL picks please click on the “NHL Member’s Picks” link on the right hand side.
Last night was a very tough way to get re-started here with my daily NHL picks. After some time off I made one selection for last night’s NHL action as I had the Leafs to snap a six-game winless skid in New Jersey at an attractive price of +110. Things looked like they could go either way throughout the entire game as the teams were deadlocked at 0-0 as far as 53 minutes in to the game. Toronto managed to score the game’s first goal with just over 6 minutes left to play in regulation, however like they seem to do more than any other team in the league, they blew the lead and the Devils tied the game with just under 3 minutes to go in regulation and eventually sent the game in to overtime. The Leafs actually dominated the extra frame and had several chances at the New Jersey goal, but Corey Schneider stood tall and was a huge reason why this game went to a shootout. New Jersey scored the only two goals of the shootout and sent the Leafs to their seventh consecutive loss and 15th of their last 18 games overall. Very disappointing from my standpoint as I thought the Leafs were destined to win after scoring the game’s first goal late in the third. Tough luck happens all the time in this gig so the only remedy is to move forward and hit a pick the very next night.
Boston Bruins @ New York Islanders
My Pick – BRUINS (+110)
The New York Islanders will host the Boston Bruins tonight with hopes of grabbing top spot in the Eastern Conference against a team that knows very well what it takes to earn that position. The Bruins have been among the elite Eastern Conference teams for several years now but due to a poor first quarter of the season this year they are in a little but of unfamiliar territory. However, Boston went 6-1-1 in their last eight games before the All-Star break to gain momentum and more importantly some points to get them back in the race. As in seasons past, the Islanders have used a dynamic and potent offense to win hockey games as their 3.17 goals per game this season might suggest. A total of 33 shots on goal per game has also helped when you have talent like John Tavares providing those opportunities, however I am of the opinion that things will be much more difficult for the Isles this evening against Boston. Boston is a very tough team to score against to begin with and to make matters worse for New York Tuukka Rask is playing his best hockey of the season at his point in time. Last year’s Vezina Trophy winner boasts a 5-1-2 record and a 1.46 goals against average over his last eight starts and over his last two starts at the Nassau Coliseum he has stopped 70 of 74 shots for a sparkling .946 save percentage. The Islanders began life without Kyle Okposo alongside Tavares with a 4-1 win over the rival New York Rangers, however somewhere along the line this team is going to miss Okposo’s offensive output. Before sustaining an upper-body injury he had 44 points in 46 games to rank second on the squad behind only Tavares. Another drawdown tonight for the Islanders and most likely their most important deficiency so far this season is their penalty kill. Their 74.2% rate on the penalty kill ranks second-last in the NHL and one has to think it could eventually be their downfall at some point either in the regular or post-season. This is a big test of the Islanders tonight, and one I believe they will fail. Take the Bruins on the road tonight at an attractive price.