Often times looking at the betting odds can be complicated, like today’s college hoops card with a ton of options. Today in hockey, not so much, with three games and us needing three picks, simple.
In what could be a Stanley Cup preview, Washington scored three unanswered goals over Los Angeles at home in a 3-1 victory last night. As promised, we said we expected a winning day and delivered with St. Louis (in OT no less) and Anaheim coming through, but was flat out amazed New Jersey goaltender Cory Schneider was beaten five times in 6-3 home loss to Philadelphia.
Time to get to today’s NHL picks in order of preference starting with best bet first.
After winning three straight home games, Montreal (27-30 SU) was giving the appearance their two month folly of bumbling play was over and they would perform at least similar to how they did in October and November. The loss at Buffalo was unexpected Friday, losing 6-4, having just lost to the Sabres at home nine days earlier. With three days between games, the Canadiens were thought to avoid first-ever sweep to the Arizona Coyotes and instead were nuked 6-2.
That leaves Montreal 1-7 SU in last eight road games and they have surrendered outrageous 4.5 goals a game. Little doubt the goaltenders are struggling, but what about the Montreal defenders, who are out of position by taking too many chances and providing little support. The NHL odds have the Canadiens as +105 road underdogs at Colorado (29-30 SU), who is only 12-17 at home, but is 11-5 after a two goals or more loss. Also, the Habs are dolorous 0-9 away after playing in two straight games where seven or more total goals were scored the last three seasons.
Free Pick – Colorado wins
This Original Six showdown has importance for both teams. Chicago (37-23 SU) has fallen into second place in the Central Division and while they still have 22 games to play, two of their three Stanley Cup championships have come as division champions. New York (32-24 SU) is playing once again like the club we saw in the first part of the season in taking five of six and is starting to welcome back important players back from injury.
This game will be on NBCSN tonight and after the Rangers opened as a -120 favorite, the two teams have been back and forth as very small favorites.