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NHL expert Chris Wassel's picks for today's hockey action

The NHL has eight games on the Saturday night schedule. Today’s goal is to streamline the picks in order to roll with tonight’s best. Let’s dig in!

Here are Today’s NHL Picks:

Toronto Maple Leafs @ Montreal Canadiens

  • Toronto plays on the back end of a back-to-back on Saturday which typically means goals are to be had.

This game will feature a great deal of pace between the two teams as it often does. High-event hockey is likely. The last four meetings between the two teams have seen 38 goals combined. That is 9.5 goals per contest which is well over the 6.5 projected for tonight’s game. Statschecker indicates that seven of the last eight games against the Atlantic Division have hit the over for Toronto. This is little exception to the rule as both teams (even without John Tavares) possess plenty of scoring to get us over the line on Saturday night. Take the over.

1u – Over 6.5 Total Goals @ +114

St. Louis Blues @ Boston Bruins

  • The St. Louis Blues won their first Stanley Cup ever in seven games over the Boston Bruins in June. Now, there is the first rematch.

Boston probably heard the song “Gloria” in their heads all over summer. It has been a bit of a struggle for both teams at times in the early going. Boston is 6-1-2 on the moneyline in October (3-0-1 at home) but near .500 against the spread and with the over/under. The tendency of the Bruins is to win more one-goal games at home than they do on the road. Their depth is better than it has shown in the early going. Tuukka Rask and Jordan Binnington are the expected goaltenders. Most often forget that Rask outplayed Binnington throughout most of last year’s series. Combine that with Boston’s top-six looking a little better early, the Boston moneyline is our target.

1u – Boston Bruins ML @ -166

Pittsburgh Penguins @ Dallas Stars

  • Dallas is still struggling to score goals and Pittsburgh keeps losing players. This seems like a less than optimal mix but there is one key number.

The teams historically play to the under in this series as the number six is significant. Statschecker tells us that each home game after a Dallas win has connected on the under (nine straight times). Dallas is who they are under coach Jim Montgomery. They play a style that usually prevents goals. They got hack to that a bit in their last home game. The under has hit in eight of Dallas’s 11 contests and the Stars are just 1-4-1 as the favorite. The numbers point to going simpler. Taking the under on this tilt is the most prudent play.

1u - Under 5.5 Total Goals @ -125

Calgary Flames @ Winnipeg Jets

  • The under has hit in five of Calgary’s last six games while it has connected in Winnipeg’s four of their last six at home.  

This game pits two teams that are playing outdoors. Yes, this is the league’s “Heritage Classic” which is being played up in Regina, Saskatchewan. Please note the 10:00 pm ET start. In the spirit of things, this game represents more of a neutral-site game. Outdoor conditions can be unique. It will be colder as well. Forecasted temperature for game time will be around -6 degrees Celsius with breezy conditions. This morning featured some snow and brisk winds which will put a chill in the air. Once the players adjust to the weather conditions, the ice should not be as much of an issue. Air temperature will come close to matching the ice temperature (about -5 to -6 degrees Celsius). Goals are usually at a premium in outdoor games with the under hitting in five of the last six contests.

1u – Under 5.5 Total Goals @ +154

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By Chris Wassel


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