It was another purely chaotic day in the NHL on Thursday when you consider the betting odds. Teams expected to win did not and they also lost to foes who have no shot at the postseason.
San Jose continues to not do the job on home ice, losing to Vancouver as monstrous -290 faves and seeing their record fall to 17-22 SU at the SAP Center, probably leaving them little chance now to catch Los Angeles or Anaheim in the Pacific. Tampa Bay with chance to tie Florida for first place in the Metropolitan is shutout on home ice by Montreal 3-0 as -245 favorites. Finally, you knew Minnesota was not going to close the season with a long winning streak, but seeing six-game streak stopped at home by Ottawa 3-2 was a head-shaker.
We have NHL odds on five games, but even I don’t play contests over -300, thus we are down to four and here are my three NHL picks for Friday.
Boston (40-37 SU) was not having a great season but a couple of hot stretches got them near the top of Atlantic Division. Once a certainty to make the playoffs, the Bruins have lost seven of nine and are just one point ahead of Detroit. Having to play at St. Louis (46-31 SU) and Chicago this weekend, they could start next week needing to sweep last three contests just to have chance for playoffs.
There will be nothing easy about winning against the Blues, who are trying to have home ice advantage for the Western Conference in tussle with Dallas and they have won 11 of 13 and their last five.
Boston has stayed in the hunt by being a top road team, but they have dropped five six away from home. With the B’s having scored 15 goals in nine games, losing past nine of 12 of at the Scottrade Center and being +145 road underdogs, St. Louis is the right choice.
Free Pick – St. Louis wins
This was not the closing salvo Chicago (44-33 SU) has expected. Since Mar.9th, the Blackhawks are 3-7 SU and will do no better than third in the Central and could fall to wild card status if they are not careful. Injuries have played a part in Chicago’s failures. Top goaltender Corey Crawford will miss his eight straight game tonight, though me might be ready to face Boston Sunday. Defenseman, Brent Seabrook, center Artem Anisimov and forward Marian Hossa have all missed time and as this article went to post, we do not how long All-Star Duncan Keith will be suspended for hitting Minnesota player over the head with stick.