A rough night last night going 0-2 with the two picks. Our underdog play on the Panthers wasn’t a good one as the Habs looked like a much different team than they did in their home opener winning 4-1. We also had the Wild who were tied 1-1 late but a bad mistake by Backstrom who tried to play the puck well out of his net led to a goal by the Predators who went on to add a late PPG goal to take it 3-1.
We move onto tonight’s pick which I sent out last night…
2 UNIT = Toronto Maple Leafs @ Pittsburgh Penguins – PENGUINS -1.5 [Puck Line] (+146)
(Note: I’m risking 2.00 units to win 2.92 units)
The Toronto Maple Leafs started the season with a 2-1 win in Montreal and then went home to lose to Buffalo 2-1 in their home opener on Monday night. Toronto actually looked better in the game that they lost, but they didn’t capitalize on scoring opportunities including power plays. The Pittsburgh Penguins have gotten off to a hot start with two road wins in Philadelphia (3-1) and New York (6-3). They now come home to play in their home opener in front of what should be an electric crowd. The Penguins have managed 9 goals in 2 games with Crosby only putting up 1 assist. James Neal has 3 goals while Malkin has 4 assists. Note that the Penguins led the Eastern Conference in home wins going 29-10-2 last season at home. The Maple Leafs were 17-21-3 on the road. Marc-Andre Fleury will most likely make his second start of the season, and he allowed just 1 goal against in his first start. Take note that the Maple Leafs are just 5-16 in their last 21 vs a team with a winning record and 8-23 in their last 31 games overall. The Penguins are 46-19 in their last 65 games playing on 2 days rest, and 19-7 in their last 26 home games dating back to last year. Surprisingly the Leafs split 4 games with Pittsburgh last season, and both of Pittsburgh’s wins were by 1 goal, but I expect a big Penguins win in their home opener against a much less talented Maple Leafs squad. When Pittsburgh shows up to play they should be able to take care of the weaker Eastern Conference opponents, and tonight I think we see that in their home opener coming off two big road wins.
2 UNIT = Calgary Flames @ Vancouver Canucks – CANUCKS -1.5 [Puck Line] (+192)
(Note: I’m risking 2.00 units to win 3.84 units)
Calgary has started off the year with two losses at home. Their home opener was a disappointing 4-1 loss against San Jose, and then Monday they came back from down 3-0 to tie the game up with Anaheim before losing another tough one 5-4. Vancouver has had similar problems, although they do have a single point with their latest 3-2 shootout loss to Edmonton at home. They dropped their home opener to Anaheim 7-3. The Canucks are going missing some key players to injury, but they have a very deep squad and should be able to get through it. The Canucks went 27-10-4 at home last season, while the Flames were just 14-17-10 on the road. Last season these two teams split their 6 meetings, with Vancouver winning by 4 goals in their first two meetings and then later by just one goal in overtime. Cory Schneider is getting the start tonight for Vancouver, and I expect a big bounce back game from him as now it looks like him and Luongo are battling for starts for the time being. Miika Kiprusoff hasn’t had a hot start either with a .830 SV% so it will be interesting to see how he does tonight as well. Note that the Flames are 8-20 in their last 28 road games, 3-10 in their last 13 vs Western Conference opponents, and 1-5 in their last 6 divisional games. The Canucks are 50-18 in their last 68 vs divisional opponents and 6-2 in their last 8 home games vs the Flames. Although the Canucks didn’t have as much success against Calgary last season, they are 10-4 in their last 14 meetings with the Flames. Right now I have the Flames as one of the weaker Western Conference teams and, although the Canucks are winless, I still have them as one of the best teams in the West. I think Vancouver finally shows up to play and they get a big win at home. At +192 I will take Vancouver to win by a few tonight.