Here are Today’s NHL Picks:
Bruins @ Maple Leafs
Game 4 features a lot of the unexpected. Toronto held firm at the end of Game 3 which included two key blocks by Mitch Marner. That is correct. The Maple Leafs played defense at a crucial time plus received clutch goaltending from Frederik Andersen. Can Toronto do it again? The way these last few series have gone indicates a no. Both teams trading adjustments has been commonplace. Those adjustments are Boston’s burden currently. Will Boston move David Pastrnak down to the second line? That is one of the big questions. The other is how will Boston respond to adversity. Will they play as physical as they did in Game 2? That physicality led to offense and a win.
1u – BOS Bruins MoneyLine @ +105
1u – Over 5.5 Total Goals @ =142
Predators @ Stars
When do the bounces start to go Dallas’ way? They did not in Game 3 as Nashville scored two of their three goals off fortunate breaks. Dallas out shot and out chanced the Predators (especially in the second and third periods). Tyler Seguin had 11 shots on net and numerous point-blank scoring chances. These two teams are about as evenly matched as they come. Pekka Rinne stopped 40 shots on Monday. Can that happen again on Wednesday? Rinne has been very good on the road but not as good as Ben Bishop has been at home (.937 save percentage, six shutouts, league leading goals saved above average). The likelihood of less than six goals and even 5.5 gets higher every game.
1u – DAL Stars MoneyLine @ -113
1u – Over 4.5 Total Goals @ -120
Flames @ Avalanche
Can Calgary find itself? It was not as much the 6-2 defeat but how defeated the Flames looked during and after Game 3. Teams can go often one of two ways in these situations. They rally or they end up like the San Jose Sharks, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Tampa Bay Lightning. Calgary must find answers quick as the Colorado Avalanche flew up and down the ice on Monday – racking up 50+ shots on net. While Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, and Gabriel Landeskog have controlled play, the Calgary top line has been controlled and stifled. The frustration has boiled over to the point where some have called Johnny Gaudreau selfish. That seems outlandish but at the same time, Gaudreau cannot get pucks to his linemates as Colorado has turned up the defensive intensity to isolate the left winger. The Avalanche have effectively done the same thing to Mathew Tkachuk as well. Furthermore, what does Calgary do in net? Mike Smith is allowing goals like regular season Mike Smith (ten in the last two contests). If the goalie cannot make a few key saves, Colorado will again be able to control play and play downhill at that. This is what Colorado does best at home. They execute when ahead like few teams in the league.
1u – Over 5.5 total goals @ -133
1u – COL Avalanche MoneyLine @ +100