Big day in the NHL with 11 games on the schedule and of course there are betting odds to go along with each one and in 10 of these contests, we have playoff implications to heighten excitement.
Boston has to win next three games or sits home for playoffs a second straight year. Tampa Bay and New York Rangers loser will be impacted and though Nashville and Minnesota are all but in the Stanley Cup chase (Predators are), each is on an extended losing streak and needs a home win to start to feel good about themselves again before they enter playoffs.
In reviewing the NHL odds, while we will be watching the results on each, yet our interests lie elsewhere for NHL picks and we will explain why in each case. With 3-0 sweep yesterday, that is 10 out of 15 winning days.
If Anaheim (44-34 SU) is a little sluggish at the start for their last home game of the regular season against Winnipeg (32-47 SU), do not be surprised. The Ducks have a date at Los Angeles on Thursday and first place could be at stake in the Pacific Division. With the Jets hardly competitive in losing seven of their last 10, Anaheim might not be that ready from the refs first drop of the puck.
However, the Ducks cannot be too relaxed because the importance of a victory is tantamount. If they win tonight, the worst outcome in L.A. would be their lead would be down to a point, with road encounters still at Colorado and Washington. But an upset loss as -235 home favorites and a Kings win means first place is truly at stake. Anaheim will try and exploit Winnipeg 24th ranked defense and the Jets are 5-14 playing with double revenge.
Free Pick – Anaheim wins
After a couple weeks of below average offense and even worse defense, Chicago (46-33 SU) has begun to find the back of the net and play more aggressively, scoring five and six times each in their past two contests. They probably believe this can continue against Arizona (35-43 SU) tonight, having tallied a dozen goals in two wins versus the Coyotes this season.
Arizona has hardly been pushover despite no shot of making playoffs, winning seven of their last 12. With goalie Corey Crawford expected to miss 10th consecutive contest and defenseman Duncan Keith suspended, the Blackhawks have given up at least four goals four times in past six outings, which the Coyotes could take advantage of. Even last night Arizona jumped to quick 2-0 lead at St. Louis, but were overwhelmed thereafter 5-0.