An unfortunate way to end the second round, as both of our series picks (Sharks and Red Wings) fell in a 7th game. Both game could of gone either way too, with the Sharks out playing Los Angeles but Quick standing on his head and the Red Wings losing in overtime.
We still have up to 21 more games of NHL hockey as the Conference Finals series’ kick off Saturday. And there is definitely going to be some entertaining hockey with the last 4 NHL Stanley Cup Champions still alive.
Both game 1’s will start Saturday and I’ve got a play in each…
2 UNIT = Los Angeles Kings @ Chicago Blackhawks – KINGS TO WIN (+150)
(Note: I’m risking 2.00 units to win 3.00 units)
The Kings beat a solid Sharks team in 7 games in Round 2, and have been impressive knocking off two very quality teams in St Louis and San Jose to start their run at defending their Stanley Cup from last season. The Blackhawks came back from down 3-1 to beat the Red Wings in 7 games. They have now beaten Minnesota and Detroit, but will face a much more complete Kings team in the Western Conference finals. These two teams met 3 times this year with Chicago winning the first two 5-2 and 3-2, and then Los Angeles winning the last 5-4 in Chicago. Last season the Kings went 3-1 against the Blackhawks. Kings goalie Jonathan Quick gives them a chance to win every game, as he leads the NHL this postseason with a 1.50 GAA and .948%. Corey Crawford has been great for Chicago as well with a 1.70 GAA and .938%. These two teams match up well and I think we are in for a long series. I had this game closer to a pick’em with a slight edge going to Chicago for home ice advantage and I will happily take the value in the road underdog.
2 UNIT = Boston Bruins @ Pittsburgh Penguins – BRUINS TO WIN (+160)
(Note: I’m risking 2.00 units to win 3.20 units)
The Bruins took care of the New York Rangers in 5 games in their 2nd round match up after coming from behind to beat Toronto in Game 7 in round 1. The Penguins also had little troubles in the 2nd round needing just 5 games to beat Ottawa after taking care of the Islanders in 6 games in the first round. Both teams will have to step up their games in what should be another exciting, and long series. Although Pittsburgh went 3-0 in the regular season I don’t think that gives us a good indication of what we will see in this series. In those 3 meetings this year Pittsburgh won all by just 1 goal and in two of those games they were outshot 40-24 and 32-18 but still came out on top. The Penguins have an edge in goalie with Tomas Vokoun playing great, but I do think that the Bruins will be able to get to him much better than the Senators and Islanders did. I think we are in the same situation as the first game, in that either team has a chance to win Game 1 and although Pittsburgh should be favored on home ice it shouldn’t be this high. I’ll hop on the road team getting value at +160.