After a two year hiatus, the NHL All-Star Game is back. There was the Winter Olympics last year and the lockout before that, but now we’re back on schedule. After Friday’s fantasy draft, we now know the rosters and can handicap the NHL betting matchup.
Team Toews Can Win The Game Because…
Team Foligno has some flaws. For starters, there was a lot of homer-ism as in the early part of the draft, a lot of players were taking their teammates instead of drafting the best players on the board. Yes, it was entertaining for the fans to see but it’s not ideal for the construction of their team. As a result, Team Toews is a star-studded cast including Ryan Getzlaf, Rick Nash, Tyler Seguin, Jakub Voracek and John Tavares. As a result, they scooped up five of the top nine points leaders in the NHL while Team Foligno only got two (two others aren’t playing).
The other edge Team Toews should have is in net as one of the six goaltenders selected simply stands out. Marc-Andre Fleury started the season quite well but the Pens have been miserable of late, dropping 10 of 13. One of the main reasons for it has been the performance of Fleury, who has lost five of seven and posted a 3.19 GAA and .892 save percentage. Considering the other goaltenders in the mix – Jaroslav Halak, Corey Crawford, Roberto Luongo, Brian Elliott and Carey Price – it’s clear that Fleury is the weakest link. That gives Team Toews an edge and a good reason for bettors to take them with their NHL picks.
Team Foligno Can Win The Game Because…
They’ll have home-ice advantage…somewhat. With Foligno and Ryan Johansen on the same team, the fans in Columbus are going to be clearly behind Team Foligno. And while some people criticized the way Team Foligno started the draft, the reality is that when you’re constructing rosters this quickly, team chemistry might be more important than raw talent. Their team has five pairs of teammates and a number of them should play together – like Foligno and Johansen, who are normally linemates – and that should make their job easier.
There’s not a lot you can go on in terms of handicapping an All-Star Game but this could be one edge for Team Foligno – along with the home fans cheering them on.
All-Star games are always tough for handicapping. Let’s face it: nobody is really trying. Outside of the MLB All-Star Game, the other three major North American sports merely have glorified exhibition affairs. One thing we know is that these games tend to be high scoring as defense becomes optional. The offensive skill definitely tends to shine. What we do know is that four of the last five NHL All-Star games have seen at least 21 goals, so that shows gives us a trend to work with. Expect another high-scoring affair in this one and take the over with your hockey picks.
NHL Pick: Over at The Greek