Today is the final day before the All-Star break and while 22 teams players are already starting to enjoy their vacations, sportsbooks have posted betting odds on the remaining four contests.
Last night was a bit of an unusual as six different winning teams scored at least five goals. Hard to say specifically if the losing clubs started thinking about their time off after falling quite a bit behind, but that is the appearance it gave. We were not looking ahead to break, winning for the 12th time in 15 days with our NHL picks. For today, we have three heavyweights in action and we see no reason to expect upsets and will back all of them with our top choice first.
Los Angeles Take Advantage of Unstable Avalanche
Los Angeles (30-18 SU) has seen their lead in the Pacific Division dwindle to seven points because San Jose has surged like McDonald’s stock prices and the Kings have been indifferent at .500 in their past 10 trips to the rink. With the NHL odds having them as -200 opening favorites over Colorado (26-25 SU), this game might not look like much, however, the Kings will play eight of nine on the road right at after the break, thus two points do matter.
Colorado was crushed 6-1 last night in San Jose and will again be without top netminder Semyon Varlamov, who is in court as defendant in civil trial brought by his ex-girlfriend over an alleged domestic violence incident back in October 2013. That leaves backups Calvin Pickard and Roman Will to take his place and we saw what happened on Tuesday.
L.A. has won six of seven over the Avalanche and will have their No.1 guy in net in Jonathan Quick, who 13-4-1 with a 2.25 goals-against average in 19 career starts against Colorado and owns a 1.32 GAA in winning his last six. Situation just too good to pass on.
Free Pick – Los Angeles wins
Tampa Bay Finishes First Half With Victory
The real only concern about Tampa Bay (26-22 SU) not winning over Toronto (17-30 SU) is if they have already mentally – checked out – having last played Saturday, with break on deck. You would not think so as the Lightning has finally started to look like the defending Eastern Conference champions in winning seven straight before falling to Florida in an arduous scheduling spot. Losing two in row would leave a bad taste in Tamp Bay players mouths having recently fought so hard to climb in the standings and not taking advantage of a very beatable opponent.