Our NHL expert Sippy is back tonight having found no value in last night's slate.
Current Record: 8-7, -0.28u
Sippy's unit system ranges from 1.0 to 3.0, with most picks at 1.5 or 2u, but he'll occasionally stray from that - usually displaying a measure of his condidence in the pick.
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03/01 - Washington Capitals @ New York Islanders
Pick: New York Islanders ML +100
The Isles come into this one fresh off an emotionally charged 6-1 rout of the Leafs last night as Tavares really got what was coming to him - even watching on TV, I could still barely hear anything besides the crowd when he came into focus as the fans absolutely let him have it - and so did the Isles. New York looked really sharp on both sides of the ice, controlling the puck, forcing bad shots, and playing a physical game on defense (holding the 4th-highest scoring offense in the NHL to just 1 goal), while they were really able to open things up offensively and poured in a whopping six goals. They host the Caps tonight in a battle of Metro division rivals - yes, the Isles will be on no rest and are playing their third game in four days, but they've won 7 of their last 8 games in the last of a 3-in-4 and 9 of their last 10 games on the tail end of a back-to-back. After last night's W, they've now won 5 of their last 6 games at home with the only loss coming to the Flames, who hold the second-best record in the league. They looked really good last night and I think they'll carry some of that energy into this one against a Caps team that's been playing against some objectively shitty competition. In their last 6 games, the Caps have beaten the Sens, Rags, and Kings (all bottom-feeders), while losing to the Ducks and Sabres (struggling teams) - they also had a 3-2 victory over Toronto which was certainly impressive, but I'm just putting this into context. They've lost 6 of their last 9 games away from home and don't think they should be favored over the Isles in New York for this one.
Thomas Greiss will start in goal for New York tonight, and he's been cooking recently. Aside from giving up four goals in Calgary last week, he's been pretty objectively flawless, as before that game he'd won 5 of his last 6 starts with an insanely low 0.50 GAA in those appearances, not allowing more than 1 goal in any of them. He's posted a 2.26 GAA and .928 SV% up to this point in the season, which are really solid numbers for any NHL goalie, let alone a backup such as Greiss. Meanwhile, Braden Holtby will mind the net for the Caps and he's lost 4 of his last 7 starts with a 3.00 GAA in those games. His relatively poor play since the New Year began has pushed his GAA above 3.00, and he's posted a 3.27 GAA away from home this season - give Greiss the edge.