Winnipeg Jets vs. Colorado Avalanche
NHL Pick: Colorado -160 odds (March 10th 2014)
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The Jets won 11 of their first 15 games under Paul Maurice, but have since lost three in a row. Their hopes of qualifying for the playoffs are slipping away, and a loss tonight in Colorado could put the post-season out of reach.
The Avs are also battling for playoff position, sitting just two points out of fourth place in the West, currently occupied by San Jose. With a chance to begin the playoffs on home ice, the sense of urgency for Colorado should be equal to that of the visiting Jets.
If the Jets are going to have any hope of salvaging their season, they are going to need better goaltending from Ondrej Pavelec. He got the hook after just 29 minutes, allowing five goals on 20 shots at home against the Jets on Saturday. He’s lost his last three starts, allowing 11 goals in the process.
Pavelec will have to face one of the highest scoring teams in the league, playing in Denver, one of the toughest places to visit. The Avs boast a home record of 21-9-2, and they have won six of their last seven within their division.
The Jets have struggled versus Central Division opponents, losing 16-of-23. I expect those struggles to continue on the road in Denver tonight.
Take the Avs.
Colorado Avalanche vs. Detroit Red Wings
NHL Pick: Under 5.5 goals -110 odds (March 6th 2014)
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Free NHL Prediction From Doc’s Sports: Take UNDER 5.5 Colorado at Detroit (8 p.m., Thursday, March 5) Goals will be hard to come by in Thursday night’s matchup between the Colorado Avalanche and Detroit Red Wings. You wouldn’t think that based on the last few games these teams have played, but both teams have been very fortunate with abnormally high shooting percentages in their recent games. Despite averaging less than 30 shots per game, the Avalanche has scored at least four goals in each of their last four contests. Detroit has averaged even less shots that that recently, but they have found ways to get the puck in the net. We should see some regression to the mean here, and I also like the fact that Detroit is banged up and missing a couple of their top guys. Take the under in this one and then sign up for the rest of the season for a great value of $595 (click here).
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Nashville Predators
NHL Betting Pick: Pittsburgh -145 odds (March 4th 2014)
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The Penguins got embarrassed at the outdoor stadium game in Chicago on Sunday and I expect the team to bounce back against a team in Nashville it should be able to handle. Pittsburgh is a strong 7-1 in games after it lost the previous game by two or more goals and a perfect 2-0 after losing three straight. The Penguins beat the Predators back in December convincingly 4-1. Pekka Rinne looks to be back in net for the Preds but we should expect some rust in his first game back. The Predators are just a mediocre 15-13-4 in home games this season while the Penguins are 17-12-2 on the road. The Penguins don’t have 40 wins this season by accident but have struggled with three straight losses recently so you have to think some desperation has to creep in here. With a talented veteran squad I expect they respond the right way after getting thoroughly out played in a nationally televised game. Sidney Crosby and Evengi Malkin were held in check in the blustery outdoor conditions in Chicago but should be back in their element against a Nashville team that doesn’t have guns to matchup with the great stars. Consider laying the fair price for a very good road team.