A tough loss Monday taking the OVER 5.5 (+113) between the Red Wings and Coyotes. They didn’t really play a high tempo game that we usually see when they meet, and Mike Smith stopped 30 shots which I knew he was capable of but didn’t think he would do tonight.
A nice sized NHL board Tuesday, and I’ve locked in 4 picks.. my write ups will come sometime Tuesday — just getting the picks out early.
*UPDATE: I’ve added one play below, and finished the write ups for the picks*
**Added** Vancouver Canucks @ Nashville Predators – PREDATORS TO WIN (+101)
(Note: I’m risking 1 unit to win 1.01 units)
Toronto Maple Leafs @ Winnipeg Jets – MAPLE LEAFS TO WIN (+100)
(Note: I’m risking 1 unit to win 1 unit)
The Maple Leafs have gotten themselves in a playoff spot with some good play lately. The Maple Leafs have won three straight, 5 of 6, and have gotten points in 7 of their last 8 games. Their latest was a 6-3 win last night at home versus the Oilers, meaning they are on a back to back tonight as they fly out to Winnipeg. The Jets have dropped two straight and 5 of their last 7 games (needing extra time in both of their 2 wins over that span). Scoring hasn’t been easy to come by for the Jets, as they have managed just 6 goals in their last 6 games. The Maple Leafs on the other hand are averaging 4 goals per game over their last 5. The Jets most recent loss was a 3-0 loss Sunday in Montreal. Winnipeg is returning from a 6 game road trip (with the All Star break mixed in) and they do not play good when they are away from home for a long stretch. This season the Jets are 0-3 in their first game back after being on the road for 3 or more. Toronto has taken 2 of the 3 meetings between these two teams, with the loss being in Winnipeg, but with Winnipeg struggling right now and in a tough spot I like the Leafs to continue with another win.
St Louis Blues @ Ottawa Senators – BLUES TO WIN (-119)
(Note: I’m risking 1.19 units to win 1 unit)
The St Louis Blues are coming off a road loss in Nashville in which they maybe should have won if it wasn’t for Predators goalie Pekka Rinne. The Blues are still 9-4 in their last 13 games overall, which has them 30-14-7 on the season (although just 8-11-3 on the road). Brian Elliott is getting the nod tonight against his former team, and the All Star has been stellar. Elliott is 15-5-2 with a 1.69 GAA and .938 SV% this year. Ottawa has lost 6 straight games, including a bad 5-0 loss against divisional rival Maple Leafs on Saturday night. Scoring has been a problem for the Senators, as they have managed just 8 goals during that 6 game slide (compared to 20 goals against). Craig Anderson is in net for Ottawa, and he has lost all 6 games, allowing 3 or more goals against in 4 of the 6 starts. Already struggling to score I think Ottawa will have some problems against one of the better shut down teams in the league, with their All Star goalie in net looking to prove a point to the team that got rid of him. Take St Louis in this one.
Minnesota Wild @ Columbus Blue Jackets – WILD TO WIN (-120)
(Note: I’m risking 1.20 units to win 1 unit)
Minnesota is 3-1-1 in their last 5 games, with their latest a shootout loss in Dallas. On the season the Wild are 25-19-8 and 12-12-5 on the road. Their opponent tonight is the Columbus Blue Jackets who are coming off a win – just their 5th win in their last 22 games played. The Blue Jackets are coming off their longest road trip of the season (6 games + All Star break mixed in), and are just 1-2 this season in their first game back after 3+ road games. Over their 7 games the Blue Jackets have managed just 10 goals while giving up 20 against. In net for Minnesota is Niklas Backstrom who is 14-12-5 on the season, with a 2.30 GAA and .925 SV%. Over his last three starts he is 2-0-1 with a shutout and allowed just 3 goals against during those three starts. Curtis sanford will be in net for Columbus, and he is 9-12-4 on the season with a 2.56 GAA and .913 SV%. He is 1-2-1 in his last 4 starts, where he has given up 11 goals against. The Blue Jackets haven’t played at home since January 19th and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them come out flat tonight. The Wild are playing for a playoff spot (currently 8th in the West), while some Columbus players are playing to show case their skills hoping for a trade. This line has moved and you can now get the Wild at (-106) at some places – lets take Minnesota tonight in a good spot.
Vancouver Canucks @ Nashville Predators – UNDER 5.5 GOALS (-122) and PREDATORS TO WIN (+101)
(Note: I’m risking 1.22 units to win 1 unit and 1 unit to win 1.01 units)
The Canucks managed to pull off a victory in Colorado on Saturday afternoon with a late goal and then shootout victory despite being outplayed and outshot 46-29. The Canucks have now won 4 of their last 5 games, but have been to extra time in 4 straight games. Vancouver is 32-15-5 on the season and 17-9-1 on the road. The Predators pulled out a huge 3-1 win Saturday night against their division rival St Louis Blues, where Pekka Rinne stood on his head. The Preds have now won 6 of their last 7 games and are 20-6 in their last 26 games overall. Nashville is sitting just 1 point back of the Canucks in the Standings with their impressive 32-17-4 record. The Predators are 17-7-3 on home ice this season, and have won 13 of their last 16 home games. Nashville has also been stepping up against good teams, going 5-2 in their last 7 vs teams with a winning % higher than .600. These two teams have met twice this season, both in Vancouver, and have each taken a game. Because both games have gone over the posted 5 goal total we are now seeing a total of 5.5, which is rare when these two teams meet. I wouldn’t be surprised to see both Roberto Luongo and Pekka Rinne have great games tonight, in what both teams should be treating like a playoff game. This is a good measuring stick for the Predators, and I think they want to prove something tonight. The atmosphere on Saturday in Nashville was great and I expect it to be similar tonight with the Canucks in town. Winning 13 of their last 16 games I think the Predators are being under valued here. I’ll take Nashville as home underdogs, and the UNDER 5.5.
**Side note: to anyone not in the US I REALLY Recommend PinnacleSports.com — I place about 75% of my bets there right now, as I am always finding the best line at Pinnacle (unfortunately they don’t accept US bettors – but are great for Canadians and others)**