Why Tuukka Rask will lead the Bruins to victory and other winners for tonight's NHL action.
Another bad weekend has led me to drop to 63% capping. That’s not how I roll. Last week I was unable to put too much time into my picks but this week I want to right the ship and push that percentage back up. Tonight offers a tough slate of games but I like my chances… time to #GETTHATMONEY.
Record: 34 – 20
Both of these teams had surprising wins in their last outings. The Panthers were able to down the Capitals at home 4-1 while the Bruins got a 3-1 win on the road in Montreal. I actually watched the Bruins game and what stood out to me was the play of Tuukka Rask. I own Rask in a keeper league and this season has been a nightmare for the stud net minder. However, he has begun to settle in as of late, and his performance in Montreal on Wednesday night was superb as it earned him first star honors. Rask has only allowed five goals in his last four games and his elite play will continue tonight. Although the Panthers looked fantastic in their last game versus the high powered Caps by allowing only 20 shots, I have to go with the Bruins here. I just think Boston is the better team and with Rask rounding into form and, the offense packing a serious punch, give me the Bruins at home where they seem to OWN the Panthers.
Key Stat: Panthers are 1-10 in the last 11 meetings in Boston.
Pick: Boston - Home Team Win – H
The Senators and Canadiens meet tonight at the Bell Centre for what should be an entertaining affair. The Canadiens head into this one riding a four-game losing streak, yet they still sit atop of the Eastern Conference. Life without Carey Price has been somewhat of a nightmare and now the Canadiens must lean on Mike Condon who has been less than stellar in relief. Condon has lost three straight while allowing nine goals over that span. To make matters worse the Canadiens have had major issues scoring as of late averaging 1.5 goals per game over their past seven games. The good news is the Senators are in town as they are one of the league’s worst defensive teams having allowed 87 goals on the season, which ranks near the bottom of the league. This is just what the doctor ordered for the Canadiens to breakout of their current slump. Give me the Canadiens in a high scoring game as they are always tough to beat at the Bell Centre.
Key Stat: Canadiens are 38-14 in their last 52 Saturday games.
Pick: Montreal - Home Team Win – H
The Kings come into this one having won last night in Pittsburgh via shootout. Jhonas Enroth will get the start tonight as he faces his former club. Enroth has actually played quite well this season when being called upon as he has a 3-1 record with a .962 SV% and 1.17 GAA. The Kings have turned a corner over the past month as they have propelled themselves into second place in the Western Conference. Part of this surge has been that their big guns have begun to wake up as Anze Kopitar has 10 points in his last 10 games after a brutal start to the season. The Sabres have not played terribly this year but the reality is they still sit near the bottom of the league and come into this one on a three-game losing streak. Although this game looks like a trap for Los Angeles, I like the Kings here as Enroth would love to get a win against his former club and will do everything in his power to do so. Furthermore, the Kings will try to preserve their current six-game winning streak. Give me the Kings.
Key Stat: Kings are 7-0 in their last 7 Saturday Games and 4-0 in their last 4 games played on no rest.
Pick: Los Angeles - Visitor Team Win – V
It is really hard not to feel bad for the Blue Jackets. I mean how many injuries have they had to deal with over the past few seasons and now they lose their stud net minder Sergei Bobrovsky for a prolonged period of time. The worst part about this injury is that they have little to no depth in the crease. Curtis McElhinney seems to be the top candidate to man the crease until Bob returns, however, based on his recent performance… FML if you’re a Blue Jackets fan. To be fair, I didn’t watch their last game, but he allowed 5 goals, and that can’t be good anyway you look at it. McElhinney has yet to get a win this season and I think he will have to wait a little longer for that ever elusive W as the Isles come to town. The Islanders head into this game having won five of their last six. What is most impressive is they managed to grind out many of those wins as three of them came in the form of a shootout. Additionally, they haven’t had the easiest matchups as they managed to get wins against the Rangers, Bolts, and Blues over the aforementioned span. I have to take the Isles here as McElhinney will be in tough should he get the call.
Key Stat: Islanders are 4-0 in their last 4 vs. Metropolitan.
Pick: NY Islanders – Visitor Team Win – V
Pekka Pekka Pekka… what’s happening man? Yet another goalie I own in my keeper league that is destroying my soul. Rinne has been kaka this season and most especially in his past 10 games. However, in his last game he reminded many of us owners what he can do when he’s in the zone as he dominated the Blackhawks, and led his Predators to a 5-1 victory at home. Is this enough for me to jump back on the Rinne train? No. But a date with the lowly Avalanche at home seems like a nice spot for Rinne to build on his last win. The Avalanche currently sit dead last in the Western Conference as they seem to have a really hard time keeping the puck out of their net. The bad news is they take on a Predators team that is shooting the puck a whole lot as of late. I expect the big guns for the Predators to shine in this one and Rinne to get the W. Give me the Predators.
Key Stat: Avalanche are 2-9 in the last 11 meetings in Nashville.
Pick: Nashville - Home Team Win – H
These are two teams that are trending in opposite directions. The Dallas Stars are loving life as they have only dropped three of their last 10 games (and just one regulation loss in that span). The Stars are currently the best team in the NHL, and much of this has been because of their explosive offense and potent PP; Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin produce the best one-two punch in the league as both are tied for second in points. The Blues on the other hand are 4-3-3 in their last 10 games and have won just one game in their past five.
St. Louis took a 4-2 home loss against the Flyers in their last game. Jake Allen will get the call in this one and he has been rather shaky as of late allowing three or more goals in three of his last five games. This could easily turn into a high scoring game and if so I like the Stars as they have the bigger guns. Give me the Stars as the Blues just don’t look right.
Key Stat: Stars are 4-0 in the last 4 meetings in St. Louis
Pick: Dallas - Visitor Team Win – V
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