Here are Today’s NHL Picks:
Bruins @ Blue Jackets
Boston and Columbus have battled to what feels like an even stalemate. It is more than the goals which are tied at five apiece. The entire series has this feeling that neither team can truly pull away from one another. So, what do you have then? It basically resembles a series, barring a dramatic shift, of next goal could win.
Now, is that a bad thing? That answer is obviously, no! The goalies will be under the spotlight because of it. Special teams for both teams have not been bad but it could be better. Both teams have hit the post several times already. There is one interesting note though and that is David Pastrnak has been moved to the third line. Is it mental or is it an injury? No one may know.
Game 3 features more questions than answers. Where is Josh Anderson? Will a team get a two-goal lead? How about this one? So, why is the moneyline as low as -120 for Columbus? Is that because it has been such an even series? Or, is it because of something else?
A big key for Columbus is getting off to a better start. The first two games have seen Columbus get out of the gates slowly. Columbus was able to quickly recover in Game 2 with a more sustained effort. Possession numbers and chances were almost even. That was in stark contrast to Game 1. The big turns were in scoring chances and high-danger chances. Did Columbus figure something out? The thought process is they are a younger and in theory, fresher team.
Columbus needs more balance to win this series and they have caused the Boston first line some problems. The feeling is if they continue to play their game, Boston will have a tough time keeping up. Now, where have we heard that before? That would be the Toronto series and right now, Toronto is golfing.
1u – CBJ Blue Jackets MoneyLine @ -120
Avalanche @ Sharks
There goes Colorado again. Alas, give the Avalanche credit because they pulled off something the other night few expected. Look at the way they dominated long stretches of Game 2. While possession was around even, Colorado excelled at chance generation. High-danger chances at even strength were frightening. Colorado had a whopping 15 to San Jose’s four. That is not a misprint.
Colorado clearly found their legs from the Calgary series. San Jose was starting to feel the pinch from the Joe Pavelski injury. Pavelski is such a big part of San Jose and especially on their power play or from situations in close. There are few players which his kind of hand-eye coordination.
How does San Jose slow down the top line for Colorado in Colorado? They will try and use the Logan Couture line and hope for the best. The Avalanche top line gets major correlation to their power play which is one of the better ones in the league. San Jose has its work cut out for them but if any team can find a way, it is them. The Sharks can flat out outscore teams when they need to.
Game 3 feels like a contest with many traps. The goalie matchup is Philipp Grubauer and Martin Jones. Watch to see how Colorado deploys their defense as they did change some of their combinations. It seems to work nicely when going from defense to offense. If San Jose cannot combat that with the expected faster pace, then look out.
Home ice advantage in Game 3 should help Colorado as they excel playing in elevation and was one of the main reasons why they were top three in the league in goals per game at Pepsi Center.
1u – Over 6.5 total goals @ +140
1u – COL Avalanche Moneyline @ -117
By Chris Wassel