Stanley Cup Playoffs Picks Of The Day For Thursday

Thursday, April 14, 2016 2:09 PM GMT

The opening night of the Stanley Cup playoffs was devoid of an upset, but chances are that will not be the case among tonight four matchups, despite both top seeds being in action for the first time.

Both Washington and Dallas (see long form article I wrote here at sportsbookreview.com) appear safe tonight, but what about the other two contests? Yesterday I mentioned I was three-time hockey champion at Cappers Monitor in the past four years and on my official NHL playoff picks there for the Stanley Cup last season, I was 20-12, 62.5 percent. Maintaining that percentage picking as many game as I will here the rest of the way is unlikely, but got off to nice 2-1 start yesterday and have three more choices against the NHL playoff odds ready to go.

Washington Holds Off Philadelphia
Washington players after openly talking about the lack of intensity down the stretch the last five weeks of the season, believe they have done enough and are ready to get the playoffs started and elevate their game the right way in spite of 11-10 SU mark the last quarter of season.

Philadelphia has not had that luxury and needed every point in 15-5-3 finish to secure last playoff spot in the East. Having split four games with the Capitals, the last three all one-goal outcomes, the Flyers do not fear Washington. Philly still prefers to be physical, which will be important for them in this series, but being the last team to embrace the rule changes which made speed imperative, the Flyers have finally caught up.

The Caps are large -230 favorites, but there is good chance none of the encounters will be easy for them against Philadelphia, but in the series lid-lifter, Washington has enough and moves to 21-5 having lost last contest.

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Free NHL Pick: Washington wins
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

Experience Matters for Florida in Opener
Having perused around Al Gore's invention, the internet, found the New York Islanders are a sexy pick to upset Florida in this series, but this is one hockey handicapper who is not on board, for the series or this contest.

The Islanders has health issues they are dealing with, including the top goalie Jaroslav Halak who is out. While New York has quality players who are in their prime, they lack the experience in too many areas.

The Panthers on the other hand are just as youthful and skillful, but have players like Jaromir Jagr and netminder Roberto Luongo, who have been through the playoff wars and enjoyed success. Granted, Luongo can be as cold as he can be hot is potentially problematic, but he stopped 81 of 87 Islanders shot attempts this season, with is club holding 2-1 edge.

It has been two or more decades since either club has won a playoff series and one of these streaks will end and expect the Panthers to reach 14-4 when playing with three or more days rest and snag series lead as -140 favorites at Intertops.

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Free NHL Pick: Florida wins
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

Hungry Sharks Steal Game 1 in Los Angeles
Another very popular pick on the information highway is Los Angeles to win the Stanley Cup for third time in five years. The Kings have almost everything needed, strength down the middle of the ice, wingers and defenders who can work the corners and top notch experienced goaltending in Jonathan Quick.

Backed with this seemingly unbeatable combination, at least until Los Angeles reaches the Stanley Cup Finals, why are they only -140 home favorites against San Jose? The Sharks won the season series over the Kings 3-2 and two of those victories came at the Staples Center. San Jose was the best road team in the NHL this season at 28-10-3 and knows how to play L.A. and has to execute.

Two years ago the Sharks had 3-0 series lead on Los Angeles and lost and Kings went on to win The Cup. There a varying opinions on how this matters, but if you read comments from San Jose websites, every player still on that team remembers that pain like it just happened. Maybe Los Angeles wins tonight, but unless the Sharks suffer injuries, even with loss, which I doubt, I will be backing them in Game 2 with the visitor 10-2 on the road versus winning foes.

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Free NHL Pick: San Jose wins
Best Line Offered: at YouWager