NHL Picks for December 14th

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Two tough losses last night.  I watched almost all 60 minutes of the Canes/Leafs game and Cam Ward played great stopping 36 of 38 shots which was a tough one for our OVER.  If he wasn’t on his game I’m sure the Leafs would have scored about 4 or 5 goals, but even then it might not make it over with the Hurricanes doing next to nothing offensively.  With our underdog pick of Calgary Kiprusoff stopped 43 of 45 shots against him, but that wasn’t enough as Rinne let just one of the Flames 36 shots by him.

Lets move on to Wednesday, where we have three games on the NHL board and I have one play with the odds moving quite a bit towards the Blackhawks this afternoon…

**Note this is going to be a 0.5 unit play – I’m a little weary because of the tough situation Minnesota is in, but I like it enough to lay 0.5 units on it**

Chicago Blackhawks @ Minnesota Wild – WILD TO WIN (+135)

(Note: I’m risking 0.5 units to win 0.67 units)

This game opened up near a pick’em price, but has since moved to make the Blackhawks pretty heavily favored. I agree that the Blackhawks should be favored here with the Wild returning home after a 5 game road trip and on a back-to-back, but given the price we are getting the red hot Wild team I am going to ride with them.  Minnesota enter tonight’s game winning 17 of their last 22 games overall, and are 8-2 in their last 10 home games.  Long road trips haven’t bothered the Wild in recent years, as they are 12-4 in their last 16 home games following a road trip of 7+ days.  This year the Wild have had one road trip of 7+ days and they returned home with a 1-0 victory against the Avalanche.  The Wild are 4-1 this year in their first home game after returning from the road.  Also take note that the Wild are 8-1 in their last 9 games as an underdog.  The Blackhawks are just 3-8 in their last 11 road games vs a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.  I’m giving the goalie edge to Minnesota here too as Ray Emery gets the start again for the Blackhawks.  Although Emery has been winning games his 2.69 GAA and .905 SV% doesn’t match up to Backstrom’s 2.08 GAA and .932 SV%.  Although the Wild lost last night they were playing in a tough road rink and outshot the Jets 35-27 and could have came away with their 8th straight victory.  With a team rolling as much as the Wild are it is tough to pass on these odds playing at home, and although they are in a tough situation I am going to roll with Minny.

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