Here are Today’s NHL Picks:
Blue Jackets @ Lightning
Here we go again. Columbus and Sergei Bobrovsky allowed 3+ goals in the postseason yet again but a strange thing happened. Tampa Bay got caught getting too cute. Columbus made them pay with a short-handed goal and a couple goals that probably would not normally be scored. The result was a 4-3 win that set the hockey world on its heels and Vegas as well. The over/under briefly flirted with 7 but has retreated a little to 6.5 again. Could it approach 7 once more? It is possible. Both teams scored 3+ goals once and it would not be a surprise to see it happen again. Why? This is because Tampa Bay’s answer to coming out too aggressive will likely be even more aggressive. Safe truly is death for them. If the over/under slips back to -125 or even more, the line will be pounced on and quickly. Do not be surprised if Tampa piles on 5+ goals by themselves.
1u – Over 6.5 Total Goals @ -142
Blues @ Jets
The theory is that the goaltending may have an edge here once again. Game 1 featured a 2-1 score with the goalies controlling play and interior defense weighing in as well. Defenses limited chances, especially the high-danger ones. Getting to 50 combined shots felt like a Herculean struggle and it may rise some on Friday but not enough to get concerned about the over/under too much. This will come down to the goalies again. Jordan Binnington stopped 24 of 25 shots in his rookie playoff debut. He did not look rattled as the goalie just continued to make the saves he has been. Honestly, Connor Hellebuyck did not look that bad either. Maybe, he could have had the first goal back but what can one do? This line was sliding back from a high of -140 and has a chance to do so further during the day.
1u – Under 5.5 Total Goals @ -129
Golden Knights @ Sharks
The theory is that the goals could come in bunches. Both teams are around 80% on the penalty kill. Also, the over has hit for both teams in two consecutive contests so looking the over props may be worth one’s time. Look at the 6 ½ for a little bit of strength. Can San Jose push the pace and pin Vegas in like they did for large stretches of Game 1? Vegas had shot droughts of 10,8, and 7 minutes on Wednesday night. That is very unlike the Golden Knights. The expectation is that Vegas comes out and asserts themselves early. It is a game that likely has a different feel to it but the second line of San Jose could not be contained by Vegas and will be a matchup continually exploited. At least, it should on Friday night as riding them a bit could lead to an easier win on the moneyline.
1u – SJS Sharks MoneyLine @ -129
By Chris Wassel