Here are Today’s NHL Picks:
Maple Leafs @ Bruins
Here we go again. The third round of Boston versus Toronto begins in Boston tonight. Boston has been here before and vanquished Toronto twice. Both series went the distance as the Bruins found a way to close out those series. The key was the third period where the Bruins outscored the Leafs by more than a 2 to 1 margin. In last year’s series, Boston scored 12 goals in the first two games and then Toronto answered the bell, eventually rallying to tie the series. Then, Boston’s late kick showed as they closed out Toronto with seven goals in a wild Game 7. The first game of this series has that type of look. Toronto yielded 17 goals in their last five contests while losing four in a row. Unfortunately, Boston has not been much better as they have yielded 18 goals in their previous five games. Boston does have home-ice advantage and David Pastrnak who averages over a point a game against Toronto. Pastrnak and Boston’s first line again prove to be the difference.
1u – BOS Bruins MoneyLine @ -150
Hurricanes @ Capitals
The Capitals enjoyed a hot end to the season, as they won the Metro Division behind a 6-3-1 run in their last ten games. However, they are not the hottest team between the two. That would be Carolina, who won four of their last five outscoring opponents 17-10. Carolina’s penalty kill improved to 83% over the second half of the season while Washington’s slid back to around 77%. Washington also is third worst in the NHL in allowing high danger chances per 60 at 13.1. Carolina creates shot and scoring chances at a rate that is fourth best in the league. There is a feeling that they should be able to keep this game close easily. Add in that Petr Mrazek has a save percentage of .938 and a sub 2.00 goals against average in the second half and there is a recipe of seeing a Game 1 stunner perhaps.
1u – CAR Hurricanes MoneyLine @ +125
Avalanche @ Flames
The theory is that the goals could come in bunches. Both teams are under 80% on the penalty kill, Calgary scores at a rate of 4.05 goals per game at home, and Colorado scores at a rate of 3.17 goals per game on the road. It is risky as to where we are about to go here. Vegas does have the line at six but the 6.5 prop is at +140 which is reasonably high enough. Both teams can make this a high-scoring game. Yes, there exists a slight chance for this to dud if Philipp Grubauer plays as well on the road as he has over the last four or five starts. Mike Smith will be in net for Calgary which could be its own adventure (allowed six goals on his last 40 shots faced). Finally, Calgary playing their frenetic style at home should carry the night and Colorado’s offense with it.
1u – Over 6.5 Total Goals @ +140
By Chris Wassel