Wrapping up yet another winning week on the ice, we move ahead to check the betting odds for Monday. Nothing easy about looking over today’s five games, but really like Top Play, which is listed first.
Thought long and hard about taking Florida to end their three-game slide after building 12-game winning streak, but teams coming off long road trips with zero or one days off are seldom good bets, but not thrilled about backing Edmonton on the road either, thus we passed.
With this being Martin Luther King Day, the calendar aligns to remind us it was 58 years ago to the day Willie O’Ree became the first black player in the NHL as he took the ice for Boston in their win over Montreal.
Here is what is on tap for NHL picks today.
While Washington, Chicago and until this past week Florida, have dominated the hockey headlines with their outstanding play, one team which has quietly been play very well is San Jose (23-20 SU). The Sharks were hanging near the bottom of the Pacific Division standings and it was mystifying, because they playing extremely well on the road, but could not do anything right at home.
After opening December with a six-game losing streak, San Jose began to turn their season around and has won nine of 14 since, including the last five in a row. The Sharks offense has been lethal in scoring 3.5 goals a game in this period, to move up to 5th in the league in scoring. Studs like Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton have been the table-setters, but recently, significant contributions have come from Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Tomas Hertl.
The NHL odds have San Jose as -165 home money line favorites over Ottawa (21-24 SU), who after starting the year 7-2-1 on the road, have faltered since at 3-10-1. With a victory, the Sharks could move into second place in their division.
Free Pick – San Jose wins
There are three teams in the NHL who are exactly even in goals scored and allowed and two are competing where a NFL team used to resided. While St. Louis may have lost two professional football franchises, the Blues (26-22 SU) have a solid footing and will take on Pittsburgh (21-23 SU).
The Penguins have made a flurry of minor trades to improve their roster, yet are still only 4-6 SU in their last 10 games. Sidney Crosby has been more a factor offensively, nonetheless, the Pens remain at 22nd in scoring at 2.43 GAG.