Here are Today’s NHL Picks:
Maple Leafs @ Bruins
This Game 7 features two teams that cannot string two wins together. Neither team has been able to dominate for two games or sometimes even a full contest. It has made for a mostly entertaining series, however. Game 6 saw the Boston power play rise from the ashes as they scored twice. Boston added an empty net goal to seal the game as the over/under of 5.5 hit.
There are simple keys to this game. First, it comes down to two wingers. For Boston, David Pastrnak must be 100% and play. He has one of the fastest releases in the league and can find space where few others can. The same also can be said about Mitch Marner. Marner can do much the same things as Pastrnak and averages almost the same amount of points. The difference is Pastrnak’s floor err his ability to create scoring chances is more consistent. This is a Game 7 and the Boston winger has been the clutch one out of these two wingers.
Then, the goalies take center stage. It has been a strange series where Frederik Andersen has outplayed Tuukka Rask but not by much. However, Andersen in Game 7’s has been poor to say the least. The goalie has allowed 13 goals in three such games with a save percentage well below .900. It does seem the nerves get the best of Andersen at the worst possible time. Meanwhile, Tuukka Rask has fared only marginally better. He is 2-2 with a 3.72 goals-against average and .845 save percentage. The only time he gave up three or less goals was a loss to Montreal in 2014.
A big concern is Boston’s 1-2 home record as the Bruins have looked more comfortable playing in Toronto. Someone is going to exorcise some demons on Tuesday night in Boston.
1u – BOS Bruins MoneyLine @ -137
Golden Knights @ Sharks
Does Vegas blow a 3-1 series lead? It seemed unfathomable after they won three straight games the way they did. However, here we are with San Jose home in a Game 7 for a chance to advance to the second round. Game 6 featured a series of insanely odd events that doomed Vegas. First, Martin Jones stopped 58 of 59 shots which brought back shades of 2010 Jaroslav Halak as he stoned the Washington Capitals late in that series and especially in Game 7. The second was Tomas Hertl, yes, the Hertl that made the guarantee. He was invisible for most of the contest. Then, the forward darted out of the zone, fired a shot, and it found a way past Marc-Andre Fleury. No one expected it to happen that way, but it did.
Game 6 felt like a Game 7 in the sense that the teams combined for just three goals on 88 shots. Could that occur again on Tuesday night? It is possible but may not be as likely. The three home games in San Jose have seen 22 goals in all. However, this must be balanced with the lower-scoring tendencies of a Game 7. What may happen here? It’s a great mystery because both teams play at a high pace which just seems plodding. The tone set early by both teams will be telling. If San Jose is allowed to skate less encumbered, then look out. If Vegas hits everything in sight like in Game 6, the pace will be slowed.
1u – Over 5.5 total goals @ -125
1u – SJS Sharks Moneyline @ -110
Higher Risk Alert (if one so chooses)
1u – SJS Sharks Puckline (-1.5 goals) @ +240