Anaheim Ducks vs. Nashville Predators
NHL Hockey Pick: Anaheim -110 odds (April 25th 2016)
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The Ducks got off on the wrong foot losing both Games 1 & 2 on home ice. A change between the pipes has flipped this series on it’s head though, as Fredrick Anderson has come in and stymied the Preds in three straight games.
There’s a lot to like about the Nashville Predators, and if it wasn’t for the fact that they play the Ducks in the first round, they might have been primed for a long playoff run. The Ducks finished with five more wins in the regular season, which doesn’t make a bit of difference here in the playoffs. What does make a difference though is that Anaheim allowed fewer goals than any other team in the league, and had by far the best special teams unit with the league’s #1 ranked power play and top penalty kill.
The Preds are 1-for-22 on the power-play in the series, and it’s hard to win games in this league when you can’t compete in special teams play. Nashville is 0-8 when losing three of the first five games in a playoff series, and is just 2-4 in it’s last six at home in the post-season.
Chicago Blackhawks vs. St. Louis Blues
NHL Betting Pick: Chicago +105 odds (April 15th 2016)
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I’m backing the Chicago Blackhawks in game-2 on Friday night. The Hawks dominated SOG in game-1, sending 35 shots at Brian Elliott, while allowing just 18. Chicago had their chances, but couldn’t find the back of the net and lost 1-0 in OT when a bouncing puck in front of their net went off a Chicago defenseman’s skate and landed behind Corey Crawford for the game winning goal. Our choice is to decide whether or not Elliott is going to stand on his head between the pipes in this series, or if Chicago’s somewhat dominant SOG attack last time out translates into a road win and an evening of the series. The Blues were definitely the more physical team delivering the majority of the hits on Wednesday, but Chicago isn’t fazed by this fact and in spots where Kane and Jonathan Toews were denied, I expect to see the puck in the back of the net if they get the same chances on Friday. The bottom line: The Blues will be hard-pressed to stop the Hawks’ talented attack for a second straight night and we’ll back the road team. I’m recommending a play on the Blackhawks on Friday. Thanks & GL! Scott Spreitzer.
San Jose Sharks vs. Los Angeles Kings
NHL Pick: Under 5 goals -110 odds (April 14th 2016)
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The Pacific Division rivals the Los Angeles Kings and the San Jose Sharks will open their seven-game series in the first round of the NHL playoffs with a match-up at Staples Center Thursday night. These two teams each rank in the top 10 in the NHL in goals allowed, and I expect a defensive battle in Game 1.
Here are my keys to the game:
1. History – The Sharks finished the season riding a trend of low scoring games, especially on the road where the total went under at a rate of 7-0-1 in their last eight.
2. Goaltending – The Kings have one of the best playoff goaltenders in the game in Jonathan Quick, The Sharks picked up James Reimer from Toronto, and he’s come in and really played well. Reimer had two shutouts in his last five starts of the regular season.
3. X-Factor – The under is 7-2-1 in Sharks last 10 games following a win.
Selection: This is a play on the Sharks@Kings to go Under the total (Free)